Onwards and Upwards

Today, my body is finally starting to get used to this new time zone. Even though I like to think of myself as being adaptive and flexible in most situations, traveling across the ocean and to a new country has been physically taxing. We walk almost everywhere in Dublin which is great for staying active but hard on my joints. Despite the physical exhaustion, we push forward to new and exciting things. Still, this trip has challenged my previous limits to flexibility. When traveling with a larger group, in our case around 20 students, you must be able to adapt to new situations and learn how to work best as a group. I had grown quite used to being independent at Pitt, so this trip has made me realize that I can afford to be more forgiving and more understanding of others. I have had to be more patient and just go with the flow. Throughout our first few days here, I have had to almost relearn how to keep up a positive attitude even when I felt frustrated or exhausted. I think that entrepreneurs must also have this skill of persevering and remaining positive and motivated even if they are not successful at first.

We have also learned and experienced first-hand that in Irish culture, it is often not expected to be right on time and not common to always have everything planned out to the tee. This has been another large adjustment for me as I thrive off of to-do lists and schedules for everything in my life. I think one large takeaway from this experience will be what I can learn from Irish working culture. Dr. Kelley taught us that the way that American vs. Irish students are taught to think are polar opposites from each other. American education teaches us that if we follow a rubric exactly, we will receive an A. However, in Irish education, they are taught to take an assignment and be creative in order to demonstrate their understanding of material. In this Irish style, even if you follow a “rubric,” you are not guaranteed an A. I think we as Americans can learn a lot from this contrasting style because it allows for people to show their creativity and individuality in their work instead of creating a standardized way of thinking and working.

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