Irish workshop in Winona

I spent last weekend at Gaeltacht Minnesota‘s summer workshop at the lovely Winona campus of St. Mary’s University (Some pictures here). I went there for the first time in 2007 and have been back every year since. As always, I learned a lot and had a great time.

Once again I was placed in Dineen’s class. Friday evening we worked on dependent clauses, and the copula. Most of Saturday was spend working on the conditional mode (e.g. “I would go”), with a little bit on noun declensions and how they form the genitive case and plurals. All of this I had seen before but I needed the practice. Sunday morning we read and translated a fun short story, then watched the advanced class read the play they had been working on.

Friday evening was game night. I am not really into board games even in English, but this was OK. I was in a group playing Apples to Apples as Gaeilge. To get more people involved, and to make sure nobody was overwhelmed by the Irish, we played in teams. This, and a couple beers, removed the pressure, and I found myself enjoying the game.

Late Saturday afternoon heavy rains came through. Despite jackets, ponchos, and umbrellas, we were all drenched when we crossed the campus for dinner. After that we went to the library for the evening all-class exercise. Just as we finished that mia_mcdavid called me. She was in Chicagoland for a fiber arts show. Our son James was home in Roseville. The storms had also hit the Twin Cities and knocked out power to our house. Mia was on the phone to James and the call was dropped. I had a tense hour wondering if I needed to leave Winona and make a late night drive home. I packed for a quick departure. However, one of our land line phones is an ancient no frills model, needing no power beyond what the phone lines themselves deliver. Mia was able to reach James this way, and also contacted mairi2 and twolodge, who came over to help him cope — Thank you to both of them! After Mia reported this to me I able to relax and join the workshop’s evening party.

There was a lot of Irish language material. I don’t know many grammar notes I will be able to write up before they get overtaken by the normal course of Monday night Irish classes, but I will try to do something. I don’t want this to become a case of Paradigms Lost.

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