As mentioned in my previous post, I made three pitches in one to the features editor of The Irish Times. It turns out that while fighting for crumbs off the table I managed to find an entire cookie; the editor liked one of my ideas and wants 800 words by Thursday morning Irish time. There’s not much point in me going through the other two, but the one that stuck is this: at Concordia University, one of the two large English-speaking universities in Montréal, there is a department of Canadian Irish Studies where, among other pursuits, a load of Quebecois and other nationalities are learning Irish. Some of these fine people have never been to Ireland.
Last night at one of those generic Irish pubs that are so popular everywhere save Ireland itself there was a ‘Networking and Integration evening’ for recently arrived Irish immigrants. I made it my business to find someone from Concordia as soon as I got there. I struck gold, finding not only the director of the Centre for Canadian Irish Studies but also an Irish teacher from Spiddal, Co. Galway. I’m meeting the director, Michael Kenneally, at his office in about three hours. I asked for his number but he said I should just show up; “It’s on the ninth floor and you turn left,” he said. Aoife, the teacher, was more forthcoming with her digits. She’s also allowing me to sit in on a class this Tuesday where I will get a chance to interview some students.
Unfortunately, my Olympus voice recorder gave up the ghost this week. Some moisture seems to have infiltrated it on the journey from Dublin to Montréal via London. I’ve looked up a replacement on craigslist – the online hub of many a transaction in North America – but can only meet the seller over the weekend. Hence, when I meet Mr. Kenneally today I will be recording him using a Blackberry that I got last week. Let’s hope I don’t mess up the recording. As a back up, I think I’ll use the traditional pen and paper format too.