Writing about encounters is an excellent way for the traveler to process all that happens along the way. As you sort through recollections and find the right words to express them, you teach yourself the meaning of your experiences, and your memories become valued possessions. A Semester at Sea voyage provides a perfect opportunity to enrich and enhance a travel experience, first through mindful observation, and then through journaling and essay writing, both about life at sea and about the places where we make landfall during the voyage. The class will prepare for port stops by reading professional travel essays that both inform us about the upcoming location and model a sensitive and insightful written response. Regular peer reviewing and critiquing workshops will help sharpen both the powers of observation and writing style of each class member. As a class project, each student will revise and complete a series of personal essays on the voyage’s ports of call.
Field WorkCountry: Ireland
Day: 1 - Dublin - Friday, 20 September
This immersive field lab experience will offer a sense of the historic and contemporary dimensions of Dublin as a writer’s city and a city of writers. Now designated as a UNESCO City of Literature, the capital city is the birthplace of three Nobel laureates of literature; Yeats, Shaw and Beckett, and the creator of the world’s first modernist novel, James Joyce. The city also continues to be a vibrant literary city, celebrating words written, spoken, sung. Home to festivals and writing workshops, literary museums and walking tours. Irish literature and history are inextricably linked so we will begin the day with a brief introduction to the literary profile of Dublin at the Irish Writer’s Centre, and then a tour of the city. We would hope to include a lunchtime play at the celebrated Bewley’s Café Theatre as part of the International Fringe Festival, which will be in full swing during your visit. The day will also include a little bookshop browsing, a visit to Trinity College and the Book of Kells the steps of Leopold Bloom’s odyssey in Ulysses. We will finish the day by participating in the celebrated Dublin Literary Pub Crawl where two actors lead us around the city interspersed with excerpts from songs plays and poetry of Irish writers. Academic Objectives: 1. To experience the physical nature and texture of the city of Dublin through walking its streets and pausing frequently to reflect on its rich history still shining through its streets, parks, river, and monuments. 2. To learn more about the important political and literary figures who made Dublin their home, and to by participate in a cultural event or performance embodying Irish culture 3. To become observant visitors and writers, absorbing and capturing as much as we can of what we see and hear, and to learn more about the history and culture of Dublin and of Ireland in preparation for writing a photo/sketch travel essay