The GoGlobal Blog



Last week at UCC was the best week in the academic calendar– RAG week. RAG week, which stands for Raise & Give, is 4 days that are crammed with a number of events that all raise money for different charities. Events normally start around 10am and run until 4pm that any and all students can participate in. The on campus bars also open at 12:30 everyday and are packed with students from open to close. Walking into New Bar on campus, is just like walking into a night club– dimmed lights, blasting music, swimming with people, and flowing drinks– all at 1pm. This makes the general tone of the entire campus like a party. Some students participate in as many activities on campus as possible and some just use RAG week as an excuse to drink 24/7. But no matter which way you spend RAG week, it is for a good cause, so drinking that pint at 2 isn’t as bad when you throw a Euro into a bucket for charity while you drink it.

The table of the campus’s New Bar (the club is called Áras)

It is also important to note that Cork City is largely a college town, this means that it’s not just the campus that goes crazy when RAG week comes around– the whole city does. People who don’t attend college at UCC will come for RAG week, practically all of the pubs and clubs have some kind of drink deals during RAG week. We went into the city on Monday night at 10:30 and the line to a popular club was already around the block and the club didn’t open for another half an hour. The whole city seems to go crazy for RAG week, the week before RAG week we were in a cab and the cab driver spent half of the time talking about how people from the country come into Cork for RAG week. Each apartment in the complex that I live in received a letter from our landlord reminding us of some of the apartments rules and threatening serious consequences to tenants who break these rules, such as throwing eggs out of the window or at other buildings, tampering with security cameras and fire extinguishers, and so on. There would also be a security guard on the premise during RAG week instead of our usual night wardens. This letter made me wonder what has possibly happened in past RAG weeks to prompt this type of letter.

The letter from our landlord

So how did I survive RAG week? Did I even survive RAG week? Yes and yes. I actually only had one class all week of RAG week and that was my music class on Monday. My two government classes were cancelled because it was reading week. My folklore class had a story-teller guest speaker for one class and the other was just cancelled. This left me with a week for free time to enjoy this crazy cultural phenomena that is RAG. On Monday I shot clay pigeons with two other friends. I was horrible. I did not hit a single pigeon thus embarrassing my gun-loving American stereotype. On Tuesday, we watched some of the ‘iron stomach’ competition which consisted of the contestants taking off one of their socks, putting it over a carton of milk, and drinking the entire carton. Wednesday, my roommate and I woke up at 12:15 and some how made it to the color run at 12:30. Thursday, we went to the on campus bar again to watch some student karaoke. And Friday, I did not leave my bed. RAG consisted of a lot of dancing, borrowing roommates clothes, laughing, and a relaxing feel-good atmosphere that never really seems to be missing in Ireland. It was a week that I will never forget, and my liver will never forgive me for.

Marypaz eating a chicken roll– a staple of RAG week cuisine


Sadly, the end of RAG week brought me back to the harsh reality that I am in Ireland to go to school. As March approaches, I have major, assignments for all of my courses due. With papers and projects due every week, it is time to buckle down and get my study on. There are many silver-linings to a month of hard-work. The major one being that after April 2nd, I will have only one more paper due (a paper in my music class due on the 24th) and then I will be completely finished with class assignments. No finals for me, which means I will have practically 2 months to fully enjoy my time in Ireland and abroad. With many trips planned on the horizon, all it takes is a positive attitude, and lots of cups of tea, to get me through this month of work and to the end of the tunnel.

I should be quick to note that this month of work will definitely not be only work. This weekend I head up to Dublin with some friends and leave with one of my roommates from Loyola. My roommate, Alyssa, is visiting me over her spring break and I cannot be more excited to show her how I have been living here as she has been experiencing one of Chicago’s coldest February’s ever. Once she leaves, I have a weekend trip to Kerry planned as well as a weekend in Glasgow. The end of March also means a visit from a Rome-center friend, Allison, whose plans we are still trying to iron out. With so much work and play in my future, it is crazy to think how I will ever adjust back to life at home. It is safe to say it will be a more difficult transition home then it was to get here.

Thats all for now! More later!

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