We will cross that bridge when we come to it…. well I have come to the bridge and the work I have been doing for the past few months is finishing up and I will cross the river back home in about two weeks. The Fulbright work at the college culminated in some ways in a day of research information shared in a professional workshop on Friday December 2. It was well attended both by AIT lecturers and a variety of other individuals from around the country. I think participants left with renewed enthusiasm for social sciences research and some interesting ideas about integrating arts research as well into this process. I have student work to mark for the term, and will be the second marker for someone else’s papers. They have a system of dual markings to cross check the grading. As a final step “externals” come in to also oversee the marking. I still have not come to an understanding of why 40 out of 100 is the passing line. No grades are given, just marks, like 65, 51, 79 etc. All would be passing (unless of course below 40 and oddly enough some will be it appears to me on first look at some of the work). A pass/fail type system. I think it allows a lot of shoddy work to get through… but I also think I don’t fully understand the process so can’t really comment meaningfully on it! Other Fulbright work is coming together in the town of Athlone: an art workshop for the public, a seminar on community arts development for artists, a public screening of the film “Art from the Streets”, a night of entertainment featuring poetry (me), dance (Amelia), singing (my colleague Sue) and storytelling (another colleague Paul). I am also doing an art therapy workshop at National University of Ireland, Maynooth campus and I continue to follow up on art therapy connections all over the country. I prepared an article for the Journal of the Irish Association of Creative Therapists and have submitted it. I think that’s about it… plus a lot of informal yet very productive meetings and discussions with my peers at AIT, creative therapists nationwide, students and local artists. I have enjoyed it all. Feels a bit sad to be leaving, yet I know I will maintain work that has started here- and thank goodness for the internet. It really does allow for connections to be ongoing, and for that I’m glad.
The photo is by Corin Bishop photography off of the Athlone.ie website. The St. Peter and Paul church, bridge over the Shannon, and my home is just off photo to the right.