Unlike the previous weeks, this week was a rather calming one. I did not go on any tours nor plan anything extravagant, instead I went to try out a couple of cake and gelato shops. The chocolate fudge cake at Queen of Tarts is amazing and the mint gelato at Sun Bear is incredibly refreshing. Sun Bear is also located near Stephen’s Green park, so walking around while eating gelato was really relaxing. The number of parks in Dublin is simply beautiful. I love to walk around whether it is in the city or in the parks but taking a stroll through any of the parks is peaceful. If there is no rain, I always make sure to take a walk around the nearby park in Dublin City University every day.
My internship is going well, though it can be a bit repetitive. Nonetheless, I learn a great deal about Ireland’s political system, its political leaders and the Garda. This is where I found a huge gap in knowledge that I needed to fill and familiarize myself with as soon as possible. For example, there are always uncertainties about who an article is speaking about, and I must know who the individual is in order to complete my work. Ireland’s government system is, of course, very much different from the United States, but I did not think it would have this drastic of a difference. I am still familiarizing myself with the different political parties involved in the government as well as the levels of their judicial system. Moreover, the terminology Ireland uses for their government is completely different. There are no “Senators” or “Governors” or even a Congress, but rather “TDs” which means Teachtaí Dála, a member of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas which is the Irish Parliament. There is nothing more frustrating than having to learn an entirely new governmental system, especially if your work depends on it. What makes it even more difficult is that the terms are in another language, Gaelic. In order to navigate around this problem, I have no choice but to be on my toes. The moment I come across a foreign term or any name, I automatically search up the word or name on Google. Once I establish that the term or figure deals with politically corrupt acts within Ireland, then I have the green light to continue reading the article and marking it as corrupt. Granted, I am still unfamiliar with a lot of the terminology and I still get frustratingly confused.
Another ambiguity within my internship is that I must categorize each corrupt offense as “petty” or “grand” corruption. The issue is, though, I had been given unclear directions as to what exactly constitutes as “petty” or “grand” corruption. It becomes even more ambiguous because each corrupt act is never the same, so there is a lot of uncertainty in what to categorize these acts as. I have to continuously ask my supervisor what he thinks since not only is there unclear guidelines, but perceptions of what is petty or grand is at play. I may think a certain offense is grand, while a coworker of mine may think it petty.
Despite the ambiguity, the vague guidelines and frustration, I find it quite useful in understanding the country and its history. I get to learn what makes up Ireland and how the country operates. I am not merely working for a firm and calculating numbers relating to the firm within Ireland, but rather I am directly learning about Ireland. Additionally, I can actually have intelligent conversations with locals now because of it and even understand what they are speaking about. Still, there are numerous times when confusion sets in and I have no clue what something is about, but that encourages me to read more about it. Gaining knowledge makes me happy, especially if you get to share that information with others. This internship is very much increasing my awareness of how different a country can be from another, especially in its government. I find that everything I learn and everything I will take away with me when I leave will prove to be more valuable than any other experience I have here in Ireland.