Dr. Strangelove and Northern Irish Semesters

Everyday when I get up, one of the first things I do is check my email. Yesterday, among the usual barrage of J Crew sale announcements and other junk was an email titled “Study Abroad,” sent from the Irish American Scholars Programme 2014-15. That’s an email I’ve been waiting for since early March, when I sent in my acceptance of a spot at Queen’s University in Belfast for the fall.

This email had information about how to pick my courses and sign up for housing. It also had a form to download and send back with all of that course information. So, I went and downloaded the form, and read through it. Things I learned from that form: semesters at Queen's are not the same as ones at American universities—they run through January. Apparently, for the fall, there are “teaching semesters” which run September to December, and then there’s the “full semester,” which runs September through January. This means that the norm is to have finals during January.

The form has a little asterisk that says students who need to be back at their home universities in early January can apply to do the teaching period only, and to make alternate arrangements for their exams.  But, the form says later on, you’re going to pay for your on campus housing through January whether you’re there or not. So now I’m trying to figure out whether I should sign up for just the teaching period, and be back at C of I for winter term, or whether I should take the full semester, since I’ll be paying for my room either way. Right now, that choice is going to depend on what spring and winter term courses will offered next year—if one class that I need is only offered during the winter, I’ll need to come back for sure. But if I can manage to take that course during the spring, I’ll have to think about it some more. On one hand, by the time December rolls around, I’ll probably be pretty ready to come home. And I mean, Christmas. On the other hand, I’ll be paying for my room anyways, January in Caldwell is pretty bleak, and maybe I can convince my family to come to me during Christmas (or maybe we can pick some warmer European local to meet up, who knows). In any case, that’s what’s on my mind right now.

In non-Northern-Ireland-related news, the Heritage scholar group had movie night with the Henbergs last night, at their home right across from campus. The featured film was Dr. Strangelove, which President Henberg introduced with some remembrances from his own Cold War informed youth.  After the movie, we had a casual, short discussion, complete with President Henburg taking up a seat on the floor.  The Heritage group is always a lively bunch, and it made for a fun Thursday night. Other pros of visiting the president’s house—some of the permanent art collection is hung there, so we encountered one of the College’s Roy Lichtenstein prints on the way downstairs to the tv room.

From the Archives,

Megan Mizuta

Megan is a junior Literature in English major from Boise, Idaho.