The North Star Project, 2013 Summer Report Number Thirty-Seven — Northern Ireland, Goodbye

The North Star Project, 2013 Summer Report Number Thirty-Seven — Northern Ireland, Goodbye

By Megan Hennen

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My eight weeks in Derry had seemed to have come and gone in the blink of an eye and before I knew it, we were all packing up our belongings once again for our week long field study in Dublin before heading back to the University’s Coleraine campus. It was a very bittersweet last week because although I was beyond excited to head down to Dublin as well as having the whole group reunited once again, it was extremely difficult to say goodbye to a city that I had become so familiar with and made so many memories in. People had actually started asking me for directions to places around the town and I was able to tell them how to get there with confidence despite the look of doubt they had on their faces once they heard my American accent. And to this day I still miss this place more and more, everything from the people with their stories and their Derry accents to something as simple as walking down Strand Road into the city center or taking a ‘wee dander up the walls’.

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Though the goodbyes were difficult and that I could’ve spent months in Derry, it was time to see and learn more and try to get a better grasp on the conflict and the peace process from the perspective of those down South. So with that we were off to the Republic of Ireland to act as both tourists and students, we would hit all of the main tourist attractions as well as take advantage of the opportunities that come with being a HECUA student and that was something to look forward to.

The North Star Project: Collaboration between The Middle Ground Journal Student Interns, The College of St. Scholastica, and North Star Academy 8th Grade Global Studies Classes, 2013-2014 School Year Summer Reports.

Under the leadership of our North Star host teachers and student interns, The North Star Project has flourished for two years. For a brief summary, please see a recent article in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

This summer we will re-tool and re-design the collaborative program, drawing on the experience of our veteran student interns, ideas from our host teachers, and new projects provided by our incoming student interns. This summer The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. As of the time of this report we have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world. We will post their brief dispatches here throughout the summer, and report on their interactions with the North Star students and teachers throughout the school year.

Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA, June, 2013

(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 6, Spring, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.


Filed under Megan Hennen, North Star Student Editors, Professor Hong-Ming Liang

12 responses to “The North Star Project, 2013 Summer Report Number Thirty-Seven — Northern Ireland, Goodbye

  1. Tayler Boelk

    Beautiful pictures! The first one shown is incredibly similar to a building in my hometown. It is always fun to see such different places appreciate similar architecture as they borrow each other’s ideas.

  2. I loved the story about you gave directions to people. I’m sure the expressions were great when they realized you weren’t from the area!

  3. Chelsea Bastyr

    I love the photos! I’ve always dreamed of visiting Ireland and am hoping to get there sometime within the next year to visit some family located nearby! That’s awesome that people were asking you for directions and you were able to give them. I’m sure they weren’t expecting the American accent as you confidently showed them the way!

  4. Tsigereda Kebede

    It’s always sad to leave a place that you get used to living in. It kind of reminds me of when I went to visit my homeland, Ethiopia. I stayed there for about a month but it felt like time flew by so fast. It was very hard for me to leave.

  5. Amy North

    I can’t imagine leaving a place that has basically become your home. The longest trip I’ve ever gone on was when I spent two weeks in Norway, and it was hard enough to leave then.

  6. Emily Schiro

    The story about you giving directions made me laugh a little to myself. It had to feel great to be confident in your answers even though people probably still did’t believe you. The pictures you included were great! It looked absolutely beautiful there!

  7. Tommy Traaholt

    I really enjoyed this article because i can relate. I never really wanted to leave my hometown and knew it basically inside and out. Now moving to a new city I feel as if i need to start all over to learn where everything is. It is definitely hard leaving a place that has stuck on you for so long. Great article!

  8. Benjamin Carlson

    Saying goodbye is always difficult when we form a deep connection. I to have had troubles saying goodbye to things near and dear to my heart but we must move forward and use our newfound knowledge and ideas to better the world. I hope you can make it back to your dearly missed city one day.

  9. Ashley Svihel

    That’s awesome that you were able to give directions and the fact that they doubted you when they heard the American accent is funny. How long were you in Derry to be able to start knowing directions in the city?

  10. Michel Doege

    It is hard enough leaving home for a week, to leave it behind would be and struggle and another culture shock. The fact that people asked you for direction is funny to me, It just shows how well you fit in. Did anyone ever not take your advice because of the accent? If not that is funny, but it also shows how we many see people not from around where we live as different or incompetent.

  11. Kaytlin Hintz-Knopf

    First, the photos are amazing! I hope you can keep some of the connections you’ve made over there. I took a 2 week trip to Russia a few years back and am still in touch with friends I made over there. I would love to go to Ireland sometime.

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