Having been drafted in at the 11th hour (no complaints, mind you!), I spent a week in Porto, working alongside my DkIT colleagues on an Erasmus+ initiative titled SPACE which promoted STEAM education:
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) is all about using creativity and critical thinking in learning about our world and universe, informed by the technology developed by the European Space Agency.
The initiative brought together students and staff from Belgium, Norway, Portugal, and ourselves from the Emerald Isle. A thoroughly enjoyable week was had, from stimulating workshops to undulating hills, and from looooooooong walks to sampling the local delicacies, all under a blistering hot sky. Not bad, for March eh?
Many moons ago, the wonderful Jenni Jo introduced me to the equally wonderful Dave Matthews Band. It may have taken almost 16 years but they do so…
‘you usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for’…
And boy, was it worth waiting for.
Hamburg was the venue. Bag packed, it was an early morning flight, and a case of planes, trains, and automobiles to get to my hotel, and a final ten-minute walk to the Mehr! Theater am Großmarkt and a glorious, glorious night.
Arriving in the quaint, olde-town of Canterbury, one can only be struck by the passage of time. The centuries-old architecture, nomenclature, layout, and general mannerisms of its towns folk stir up every historical sinew in ones self.
From its cobbled streets to its forthtress facades, and from its obscure-angled buildings to its Cathedral gem, the town of Canterbury is the perfect getaway for those with historical inclinations.
Indeed, I couldn’t help but let the mind wonder to a time when Sandor Clegane would have frequented the many alehouses of the hamlet.
Buoyed by our welcome, Peter Morris and I (sticking with the olde-English vernacular), presented on our experiences, and those of our colleagues, on teaching animation through the blended learning mode at Canterbury Anifest.
Our research was well received and stimulated much discussion on the differences between teachers and management on the provision for blended learning. Much work remains in this area.
In the course of the symposium, we were treated to some animations. Marfa (2018) by the McLeod Brothers really struck a chord with me.
Some might say they enjoy the 175km challenge around the hills (and mountains) of County Kerry. I call them liars. Given that this was my second time around the circuit I wanted to enjoy rather than endure the cycle this time around. Trimmer (by 5kg) from the last time I took on the challenge, alas the Ring of Kerry was not so much enjoyed but endured, albeit much of this is down to the fact that I didn’t fuel myself sufficiently in the early stages of the cycle.
A short stop in Cahirsiveen at the 60km mark, was soon followed by the arduous Coomakista climb and while I reached the summit, I did so with little energy, owed entirely to insufficient food, particularly carbohydrates, in my body, and a rise in temperature, owed to the once-in-a-generation heatwave.
After refuelling in Sneem, albeit feeling somewhat nauseous due to the high sugar intake, I completed the remainder of the cycle incident-free, slowly and steadily summiting Molls Gap before the dangerous descent into Killarney.
In future, I will be more mindful of my carbohydrates intake, will get a better nights sleep, will put more kilometers in the legs, and will enjoy the challenge as opposed to its endurance. Who said never again?
I am currently gearing up (ahem) for the 2018 Ring of Kerry Cycle.
The cycle, not a race(!) takes place on Saturday, July 7th and is a challenging 175km route through the picturesque hills, drumlins, and mountains of County Kerry.
I am raising funds for Down Right Brilliant, who are aligned with the Newry & Mourne Down Syndrome Support Group.
Our story began some 35 years ago when a group from Killarney had an idea – to cycle the 175-kilometre ‘Ring of Kerry’ to raise money for charity. 35 years later, that vision hasn’t changed. Our story has. Today, the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle brings together 10,000 participants each year, making it Ireland’s largest one-day charity event. Together, we’ve raised almost €15 million for 150 charity organisations who make a powerful difference for people in need across our communities.