WHILE SOME TRAVEL with books or earbuds and others lug their laptops, our short break to the States involves an itinerary that fits inside my Nokia E90 as a series of screenshots, bookmarks and media clips. Most tourists assemble their libraries of photos after returning from their journeys. I'm populating my phone with images we want to see first-hand in New York City, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Dutch Country. We will visit cellphone Amish just off US Route 30, chatting with Emma about her quilts and with Daniel about hios wedding buggies. We also need to check in with heritage along the streets of Philadelphia while catching up with two of my family who lived through the Great Depression as teenagers. If plans hold up, both Philadelphia and New York will become places I meet people I have not seen for more than 30 years. I'm the one with the belly.
Thoughts of the Irish downturn will linger with us as we whip around four States (NY, PA, DE, MD), especially the prospect that my job as a third level lecturer will be put under scrutiny as part of a major cull by the Irish Minister for Education. There is considerable duplication of courses in different Irish institutions and quie a number of courses do not have enough students. In one plan, some students and staff will transfer from one institution to another. Most observers believe smaller courses (numbers enrolled below 10) will face immediate cuts. We hope we can survive that first round of cuts because no other third level institution in Ireland provides academic credit for creative multimedia output such as podcasting (seen in the photo with equipment we use at Tipperary Institute).
John Walshe -- "Hundreds of colleg jobs facing the chop" on the front page of the Irish Independent, 16 March 2009.
Úna Mulhall -- "Institutes stress urgent need for united approach" in the News section of the Irish Independent, 16 March 2009.
Editorial -- "Taking the tough course" in the comment section of the Irish Independent, 16 March 2009.