As Time Goes By

When I wrote my last post I told myself that I’d try to post every two weeks or so. Now, over two months later, I can only be thankful that I didn’t include that promise in my last post. Best laid plans indeed…

In those past two months, I feel like I’ve done so much and yet not enough. My classes started in mid-September and things have been nonstop ever since. I’m only enrolled in two classes this semester but it feels like my workload is so much bigger than in previous years. I suppose that’s grad school for you.

So what have I been up to these past two months? Schoolwork and seminars, club meetings and day trips, the list goes on and on. I’ve met so many wonderful people here. University College Dublin is a welcoming, yet challenging academic environment. I like to think that I’ve thrown myself headfirst into it, or perhaps more accurately, I challenge myself every day to do so.

In my time here I’ve seen a lot of Dublin and its surrounding areas. I’d like to share some of my experiences with you now. While you might not be able to join me here in Dublin, I can at least share some of the pictures I’ve taken.

This is a picture of one of the lakes at UCD, although the actual water is hidden by plants. Here you can find swans swimming around and seagulls lurking, waiting for a student to drop a piece of food for the seagulls to snatch up. As you can see, UCD is quite spread out, which is lovely for a casual walk and incredibly stressful when I’m late for class.

This is a picture that I took on a tour during Culture Night in Dublin. Culture Night is this really fun event that occurs all over Ireland where galleries, museums, theaters and more open their doors to the public for different free events. This year it happened on the 17th of September. I went with a group of friends from school. This is a photo that I took in Marsh’s Library, which was built in the early 1700s. This is one of the cages (yes, cages!) that the librarians used to lock readers in so that the readers couldn’t steal the valuable books. I know some librarians from my childhood that might have liked to do that to me.

Finally, a picture from my trip to the seaside town of DĂșn Laoghaire. This is one of the day trips that I’ve gone on while here in Ireland. I hope to do more in the future. While international travel is a bit difficult at the moment, there’s plenty to see in Ireland! I have preliminary plans to visit Cork in early December and Galway… sometime. I’ll keep you posted on my travels here.

I’ve had a great time so far in Dublin and I look forward to more new experiences. I look forward to sharing them with you. Hopefully, it won’t take me another two months!

See you in one month and three weeks,


Hello From Dublin!

Greetings from across the pond! My name is Hannah Kempel, newly arrived in Dublin, Ireland. I am one of this year’s Roger M. Jones Fellows and I look forward to sharing my journey with you over the course of the year. I graduated last year with a major in Electrical Engineering and a minor in History. That minor is what pushed me to apply for a program studying history here in Europe. Well, here I am, enrolled in the History of Welfare and Medicine Masters program at University College Dublin.

I’ve always had an interest in history, especially medical history. I was lucky to have access to a variety of amazing classes on the subject and related ones at Umich, and these classes only increased my interest. I applied to several different history programs, from modern to ancient history, but this program at UCD stood out to me from the beginning. It’s an area of interest of mine but also unfortunately very topical in 2021, with the pandemic continuing to rage around us.

The pandemic has and will continue to affect the parameters of my stay here. From having to wear a mask all through a 6.5-hour flight (an experience I wouldn’t recommend to anyone) to the extra documentation I had to show at Passport Control, I’m already having different experiences than those of previous RMJ Fellows. I’m lucky to have in-person instruction this term, but who knows what will happen next?

All I know is that I’m very excited to see what this year has in store for me, to meet new people and learn new things. I move in to my apartment on Monday, a side unit on a larger property that I am renting from a local family. It’s bright, cozy, and 10 minutes from campus! Until then, there’s plenty to do, from setting up an Irish phone plan to getting acquainted with the city that I will call home this year. I can’t wait to share my experiences here with you!

Until then,