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Teacher, students spend time in Ireland

Mrs. Weston and the 16 students on the Cliffs of Moher, with a 700 foot drop behind them.


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Temperatures rise as birds begin to sing. There are no children rushing into cars or walking down the streets carrying backpacks because school is out; it is summer. Some people may be sleeping in, while others may just be waking up to get started on a long day of work. However, for Jan Weston and the 16 students who accompanied her, the day has already begun in the wee hours of the morning when they boarded their first plane in their quest to reach Ireland.

Ireland is a country ripe with history. From the lasting effects the Vikings’ colonies have had on the country to the Potato Famine that left many citizens dead, history alone is what intrigued Weston to travel there.

“It’s just always intrigued me,” Weston said. “There’s so much history, and the history is fascinating. We saw castles and castles and more castles. We saw so many castles we almost stopped looking.”

In order to get “the most bang for your buck” as Weston calls it, the trip had to be compacted with new sights, foods, sounds and memories more frequently than usual due to the nine day limit the group was there for, two of which were solely used for travel. Therefore, the group was able to see amazing places such as Dublin, the Ring of Kerry, Killarney, Limerick, Blarney Castle and many more.

“We started out in Dublin, and we got to do the Ring of Kerry,” Weston said. “(The Ring of Kerry) is a beautiful scenic drive around the southwest part of Ireland. (There are) beautiful old castles everywhere. Some of us went out to the Aran Islands and that was a lot of fun, too. We saw this ancient castle up there (that was built) in the 900s.”

The group also saw where the Potato Famine happened.

“There’s just so much history,” Weston said. “In Dublin, we saw the Book of Kells. That’s one of the oldest Irish manuscripts there is. ”

Senior Jarred Romero was one of the 16 students who attended the trip. 

“(The trip) has made me more mature by going overseas on my own,” Romero said. “My family likes to travel a lot, so although this was a big trip, hopefully it’s one of many.”

For Weston, who is quite the historical buff, the trip to Ireland was insightful. Not only was she able to see new places and experience another culture, but she was able to learn interesting facts, that she will undoubtedly use to enrich her teaching.  In the case of traveling to the Ring of Kerry, for example, Weston learned that driving clockwise helps avoid traffic.

“For some reason, you always drive clockwise around the Ring of Kerry to avoid any delays from tour busses, which must travel anti-clockwise around the Ring of Kerry due to the narrow roads,” Weston said. “So, they tell everybody else to go the other way.”

According to Weston, the most memorable part of the trip was when she kissed the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. The stone’s story begins when the King of Munster gave Robert the Bruce of Scotland 500 soldiers to help in the fight against England. When they won, Robert the Bruce gave the stone that will later be known as the Blarney Stone to the King. This is called “The Gift of Gab” because in Irish folklore anyone who kisses the stone will have the ability to speak eloquently.

“So we all kissed it, but what I did not know is that you go down backwards and they hold your feet,” Weston said. “You’re 10-stories up and then you kiss it. I made a fool of myself. I totally did, but we all kissed it. Blarney Castle was my favorite, just because I heard about it all my life. I just thought it would be a heck of a lot easier to kiss that thing.”

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Teacher, students spend time in Ireland