It took me about two weeks to get used to the weather here in Ireland. I swear it has been colder since I arrived this summer than most of the winter was in Williamsburg. When I first landed I was concerned I had made a terrible choice not to bring gloves and a scarf with me, but now that I have acclimatized those thoughts seem like exasperated ravings of a very tired traveler. Which I was.
Although initially the change in weather did give me pause, I have not otherwise doubted that coming here for a summer internship was the best choice for me. By the time I leave in August, I will have been in Dublin, Ireland, for exactly 11 weeks. My master’s program at William & Mary, the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, helped fund my time here with a welcome stipend, and in return for my work here I negotiated with my hosts for room and partial board. Dublin is, by far, not the most inexpensive place to live, but thanks to the TJPPP and Dublin City University I get to spend the summer living and working here. And when people back home tell me Virginia has been over 100°F for days in a row, it makes me appreciate the 50°F mornings and evenings here in Ireland’s capital.
But I am also enjoying the work I am doing here. As an intern in the School of Law and Government, my tasks and projects have been varied. I have been happy to never be a coffee delivery mechanism, or a paper re-shuffler here. Instead, I helped organize a conference on the study of parliamentary policies, and attended and assisted that conference. I got to spend time in the Oireachtas (Ireland’s Parliament) and the Royal Irish Academy. One task for the conference was to update and maintain the conference’s website (leg2012.info), which is a skill I now have thanks to this internship.
Besides the conference, my long-term project is to research environmental policy in Ireland since the Recession here. Are policy makers here finding environmental protection and sustainability too expensive to pursue, or is it more important than ever? This report will hopefully also yield analogous information on environmental issues in the US. There are also smaller projects; just yesterday I was asked to give a short guest lecture at a summer camp for gifted and talented youth here at DCU about my experiences teaching English in Kosova in 2010-2011. Wish me luck!
Ian Cross was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1987, but grew up all across the United States. He attended the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and the Humanities, a public residential high school, before graduating with a B.A. in History and Economics from Earlham College in 2010. After spending a year teaching English in Kosova thanks to a Fulbright grant, Cross came to William & Mary to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy. Cross is an articles editor for the William & Mary Policy Review and also serves on the School of Arts & Sciences Honor Code Violations Committee. His brother Colin is an undergraduate student at William & Mary.