My honors students left Ireland 11 days ago, and I am resting and reflecting, and catching up on a few details during my stay here in Dunquin, Co. Kerry. In earlier posts, I wrote a bit about four of my eight students – in the next few posts, I’ll write a bit about the other four of my students. We had such a great learning journey – each of these eight students – with their own personalities, learning styles, rhythms and preferences, made such wonderful contributions to this group. It was marvelous to watch them as individuals – learning, processing, struggling to understand, being delighted and enchanted, talking and reflecting – through solitary and group cybersleuthing and research, through small group and whole group discussions, through blog responses, and through planned excursions and serendipitous in context impromptu encounters.
One of these fabulous Honors students, Jazmin Fontenot, was one of the CU Denver UHL (University Honors and Leadership) Program students who came to me the fall of 2013 with a request that I teach an Honors Maymester in Ireland. I was impressed with Jazmin’s perspicacity all along the way – she and Kate O’Connell met with me several times during the year as I planned the class and began to work on the huge number of details required for a learning experience in two countries over three weeks! She’s a quiet but determined young woman, and keenly interested in broadening her life experiences and worldview. I believe she now has a solid base from which to expand those goals – she served as one of our two student leaders and did a great job! Take a look at her blog to see the topics that deeply resonated with her – her love of nature and her deep emotional reaction to learning about The Troubles, hearing personal stories, and making profound and poignant connections to the Civil Rights movement in the US. Her post on Unspoken Love, the play we saw in Derry about mixed marriages (Catholics and Protestants) is moving.