Kurian Therakath Peter
Government of Ireland (India) scholar 2014-2015
MA in English
It is not often that you wish you could relive a year of your life and change nothing.
My year in the beautiful city of Cork, Ireland was that rare time that leaves me screaming ‘Encore’. It was both extremely fulfilling as a scholar and fledgling academic as well as personally rewarding. My teachers at UCC are some of the most inspiring educators I have come across; vastly erudite yet easily approachable; wonderful communicators who revivified that sense of wonder about literature that got me into this business in the first place. The opportunity to present at conferences and the guidance I received while applying for the Irish Research Council scholarships were invaluable. My classmates, drawn from the many countries of Europe, were a smart bunch, instantly likeable and accepting, always up for a friendly pint at one of the countless pubs that litter Cork’s landscape.
The city and the country are beautiful, often breathtakingly so. I saw much of Cork riding a bike on its cycle-friendly roads. It’s a small city, unintimidating; a city you can make your own. I will fondly remember its meandering river, the Lee and its Lee-gulls sitting serenely on the water as the river carried them slowly forward. I saw much of Ireland on the weekends with my hillwalking club. Walking in the mountains of the Gap of Dunloe or Mangerton is a fine way to spend a Sunday. In the Galtee Mountains one November morning, I experienced snowfall for the first time.
The rain takes some getting used to. A stranger at a bar in Cork told me “ It’d be a lovely country if it had a roof.” All in all, I wouldn’t change much however. I’m off to Vancouver to pursue a doctorate at the University of British Columbia and I will be glad of all the lessons Cork taught me, chief among them: The probability of rain is inversely proportional to the probability that you’re carrying an umbrella.