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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hannah Jenkins
Hannah Jenkins
Copy Editor

Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily Gouin April 19, 2024

Perceptions gained through travel

While traversing through the Emerald Isle on a recent vacation, I learned a few things, not only about myself, but some things about being an American as well.

For starters, while I was absolutely blown away by the beauty that Ireland held, the reported friendliness of the Irish people, which indeed was true, and the pure adventure of being in a foreign country – I couldn’t help but feel a certain affinity towards my American heritage.

One thing that didn’t exactly bring joy to my heart overseas was the Irish’s complete misunderstanding of the term free refills. Meaning, they don’t do it. Have I been spoiled over here in America with the enormous portions (including free refills), eagle-like attention of wait-staff in restaurants and cold beverages? The answer is yes, I have most definitely been spoiled.

While the no free refills thing was severely disappointing, the fact that an Irish bartender knew more about the current election than I did made me less than proud. It did open my eyes however, and make me a tad more grateful. Grateful that our country really means business with refrigeration of beverages for starters. What can I say? I hate warm pop. On a more serious note, I started to understand the different dynamics of our two countries.

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Rumor has it that Americans are sort of frowned upon by Europeans, but I didn’t get that sense. I did get a sense that a lot of the Irish were simply interested in America. I can’t tell you how many people brought up American politics to me, which blew me away. Several people knew not only our current president and vice president, but our nominees for the current election. I couldn’t tell you anyone currently in power in Ireland, or anyone who ever was in power.

When I asked why they cared so much about our government, one person told me it was because America is the most powerful country in the world and it’s in their best interest to know. I was impressed.

Another large difference between Americans and Europeans is Americans are in a perpetual rush; Europeans are not. They don’t mind taking a stop to smell the daisies or digest their food properly.

After a hasty meal inhaled by my friend and I, we sat and stared blatantly at passing waitresses wondering when we could leave. My friend said to me, “What is this? I’m an American. I don’t want to sit here enjoying myself, I want the check.” I couldn’t help but laugh and agree. Once I was done with my dinner, I really didn’t want to just relax either. There were people to see and things to do.

Being in a rush all the time isn’t exactly a good thing, but it did work well during our time abroad. Our dedication to seeing as much of Ireland as we could cram into one week allowed us to embrace the true Irish experience: pints of Guinness, rolling green hills with cliffs jutting into the ocean and vivacious street music. Without our American need to be impatient and want more, we may not have gotten it all in.

Some things I did take home with me from the Emerald Isle, besides a Claddagh ring and a knock off Dior scarf, were these: Maybe brushing up on current politics isn’t the worst thing, (if the rest of the world can do it, so can I). Having three glasses of pop with dinner isn’t the best for my health anyway and sometimes you just need to enjoy life and not rush it, like I did when I finally got to kiss something Irish. And no it was not the Blarney Stone.

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