daily preciousness

Sunday, June 25, 2000

busride to Clonmacnois

So we're on the tourbus -- the 'coach' -- riding westward from Dublin to Clonmacnois.

The rolling hillside country, dotted with fluffy white sheep and holstein cattle, soon lulls us into a false sense of complacency. Everything is just like back home.

Then we come across a 'caution: chippers on road' sign that tells us something is afoot. Then another sign greets us, 'workmen ahead.'

The bus comes to a sudden halt. I'm sitting to the left of the driver, in the tourguide seat right next to the bus steps. The workmen ahead dump a truckload of gravel ('chips') onto the road. Then a giant machine smoothes them all out, leveling it all off. The big orange machine goes forward and back, forward and back, smoothing off the gravel so that it's completely level. Beside the machine, about a dozen guys lean on their shovels, contemplating the zen master-leveller at work. The shovels look as though they've never really been used for any actual work.

Observing the slow leveling of the gravel chips, our busdriver, Donnie, says, 'that's a year's worth of work, that is.'

That Donnie has a wry wit. Turns out that's not all he had. He also has an apartment in Spain -- that's how good the economy is. Impressive.

Last night, I spoke with Jim, the publican at Mahaffey's, the neighborhood pub for our dorm. I gave him a little cake from the birthday party.

We had a celebration for Gino's birthday. Gino's the Theatre professor -- and one of the least theatrical, most reserved performers I've ever met. _I'm_ more of a performer than he is, strangely enough!

So he and I might do a number from 1776 for the group's July 4th celebration. Might be fun....

Our class was sabotaged today. No IRA bombs -- just a classroom full of strangers as we walked in. I made a quick call to the office to check up on everything. And we've been moved. Oh well, I guess one room is as good as another.

Turns out it's a worldwide conference on organizational violence. Folks from all around have gathered to discuss better ways to combat violence. Apparently it's not just us yanks that want to have serious discussions about raising standards of safety. I guess everyone, especially the Irish, can appreciate the importance of that.

Time for class now. We're meeting with the head of the drama department today. Should be good.


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