Good evening from Dublin, Ireland! Today was a busy first day for me here in Dublin.
This morning, I had a meeting with the Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland, otherwise known as ASPIRE. This meeting was the first of four days worth of meetings with different Aspergers/Autism organizations while I am here in Ireland. ASPIRE was started back in the early 1990’s by a man whose son has Aspergers and it helps people all over Ireland. It was nice to share my personal story with the people at ASPIRE, as well as to learn more about what they are doing.
After my meeting with ASPIRE, I walked back towards my hostel and when I got about a block away, I stumbled onto an outdoor street scene that was being filmed for a new HBO show. I guess I fit right in with the crew as I was able to have coffee and sandwiches that they were serving in the cast/crew catering area. I also was able to talk with some of the extras before filming. I don’t think anyone knew that I wasn’t actually part of the production, but it was still fun to be on the inside and see it take place.
Once my time on set was over, I headed over to Trinity College to go back to school, literally.
A quick history lesson: Trinity College/University of Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland and was founded in 1592.
The campus is beautiful and it’s home to over 16,000 students.
Once on campus I decided to take in a lecture in one of the lecture halls in the arts building. After asking a few students how to find the biggest lecture halls, I decided to attend an International Relations class. There were probably about 100 people in the class and none of them knew I wasn’t a student. When people asked me why I hadn’t been in class before, seeing as today was the start of the fourth week of lectures for the term, I told them that I was a new student and I had been skipping class the last few weeks.
It was a fun experience and I plan to attend one or two more lectures on Wednesday morning. If nothing else, I get to tell people that I went to college in Ireland.
Tonight I’ve kept it low key and grabbed some food at an Irish grocery store for dinner. I bought a pizza and some chips so it wasn’t really Irish. But hey, it was cheap so I was happy.
Tomorrow I will be taking the train to Belfast, Northern Ireland to meet with representatives from Autism Northern Ireland, as well as with politicians of the Northern Ireland parliament who helped to pass the NI Autism Bill a few years ago.
It will be a very exciting day and I’m looking forward to Belfast.
Until next time….