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Corps Member Monday: St. Paddy’s Day- From Dublin to Baton Rouge

March 17, 2014

by Noel Thompson, corps member proudly serving on the New Schools for Baton Rouge Entergy Louisiana Team at Broadmoor Middle School

About this time each year, I think back to my study abroad period during Junior year at UNC and consider the progress and choices I’ve made thus far. This year, it’s interesting to compare my study abroad experience specifically to my time at City Year. Both are a finite amount of time in a different culture. Both locations stretch my comfort zone and force me into new territories. Both expose me to amazingly talented and driven people that I want to surround myself with for a very long time.

I always get a bit teary eyed thinking of my time in Dublin, because I always considered the time there unfathomably important to my life in retrospect. I always knew there was a magical period of 6 months where I would be interacting with some fantastic people and students with the same sense of adventure and purpose that I held so dear. We were striking out on our own to see the world. To learn cultural differences and embrace change. Drawn by Joyce, family ties, or some mystical inclination towards the rugged pastoral instinct, we wanted to be there.

In images, there were a few striking similarities.

noel1

Before:Blogging for Education’s sake (awards ceremony with the Minister of Education for Ireland)

 

After: Blogging for City Year

After: Blogging for City Year

The parades (and photobombers)

The parades (and photobombers)

Baton Rouge Parades...

Baton Rouge Parades…

 

These guys are typically very friendly over there.

These guys are typically very friendly over there.

 

Things don't try to eat you in Dublin

Things don’t try to eat you in Dublin

As I come to the end of my time with City Year Baton Rouge, I come to the same realization that all things must come to a close. I traveled to Dublin and Ireland made a profound impact on me as a student. I hope that in my time as a Corps Member, I have paid that back to my students at my middle school.

 

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