Recipient of the Clete Daniel Memorial Medal
My semester in Dublin was, by all accounts, unusually snowy. The average December snowfall in Dublin totals about 3 inches. By Christmas of 2010, there were about 10.5 inches of snow piled up in Casement Aerodrome, 10 miles outside of Dublin.
I had never thought about the phrase, “snow etiquette,” until it was sorely lacking. The many times that I trudged up the snowy hills of Cornell to get to class, I was vaguely aware that the only people who might be inclined to pummel me with snowballs were my mischievous friends.
Dublin soon taught me what a false sense of security I had held. I was leaving my friend Galina’s dorm one night, when, as soon as my boots crunched down on the snow outside, an icy blast hit my neck and began sliding under my scarf.
I looked around, a bit confused, but saw no one. Okay, I thought, it's just a fluke.
On my way to class a few days later, I was rounding the corner of the gate that surrounded my dorm, when a giant snow missile fell from the sky, striking the top of my hat and nipping my right ear.
Hmm, I thought, once is a fluke, twice is…a pattern. I reconsidered the snow etiquette issue, and concluded that the combination of youth, unbridled Irish enthusiasm, and unusual weather had rendered the laws of snow etiquette null and void.
Armed with this knowledge, I began identifying likely perpetrators ahead of time: students crouching behind fences, buildings, snow forts, rolling glittery white missiles in their gloved hands.
Hah! I would think to myself, taking an alternate route. I have outsmarted you!
Yet usually, by the time I had completed that thought, a snowball had already hit me squarely in the back.
Walking to the bus stop one afternoon, a snowball grazed the top of my boot. Now, by this time, I had learned my lesson: fight snow with snow! Decked out in my warm, Irish woolen mittens and hat, I returned fire enthusiastically.
From my experience, there’s really no way to avoid a bunch of previously snow-deprived students from gleefully attacking you. Who knew that one of the lessons I would learn from Dublin would involve arming myself with snowballs and laughing when a little snow would hit me in the face? (It was downright refreshing, really.)
Now, these are just a few of my memories from Dublin, and I have not even touched upon the outstanding academic program I was enrolled in, the UCD team of professors and staff that helped me to learn and grow, and the beautiful sights within the city of Dublin and Ireland, in general. But, I’m fairly certain that my peers will cover those points in greater detail. I only hope to offer you a glimpse of the spirit of the city, the campus, the culture, and to guarantee you that you will have your own memorable, and if you’re lucky, snowy, stories to tell.
- Evelyn Bing, UCD 2010, ILR 2012, Recipient of the Clete Daniel Memorial Medal