Today we met with Dr. Darren Kelley, a professor at Trinity College, who helped us gain a better understanding of the development of Ireland. We went to see the transformation of the Docklands, and what caused them to change. He mentioned a few of the more obvious reasons, such as the good education in Dublin as well as the low income taxes for corporations, but he also talked about things I have never considered to be a reason why companies are expanding more and more into Dublin. One of his additional reasons for this include Irish people being good at working people, or as he called it, bullshitting them. Another reason is that Irish people have a different education that leads to more creativity. I will discuss both of these reasons for why Ireland, Dr. Kelley claims, is inherent for great economic growth, and also how much I agree/disagree with these assertions.
First of all, Dr. Kelley mentioned how Irish people are good at playing the person. By this he meant that Irish people know when to agree, disagree, ignore, lie to, etc. with someone based on the type of scenario and energy the person is displaying. This conclusion is one I didn’t buy into very much. I think many people from all over the world can do this, and I’m not sure being Irish gives you any special advantages. Additionally, I’m also sure not every Irish person is good at playing people. I worked in the food industry while in high school and over that time I got very good at catering my responses based on the customer, whether it was a compliment or complaint. This just seems to be a customer service trick learned over time, not a nationality based thing.
As far as the education system in Ireland, I think it is accurate that Ireland puts more of an emphasis on creativity than America. It has been known for a long time that the American educational system is very structured, and this can leave people who are more creative or learn in different ways at a disadvantage. This is also why standardized tests are criticized so much. It is hard to assess people based on one result when there is so much variation that exists. However, this is the system we have in America (both in school and later in life), so it is what we have come to get used to, therefor, it didn’t surprise me when he said that his American students wanted a rubric, which he refused to provide. When he said that, I immediately thought back to the Eaton exercise we did. This is because what the activity was asking us to do was pretty vague. It was an open-answer type question, where many ideas could be correct, but for a while my group was stumped. This is because we are so used to wanting a specific response, when we had so much freedom to use creativity in reaching an answer, we were confused as to what we were supposed to do. Personally, this is a very real scenario of how expectations in Ireland and America contrast when it comes to thinking in a specific way.