The part of my internship that I love the most is that it is completely hands on. Unlike previous internships, I am doing very little filing, paperwork, miscellaneous office work, etc. Instead, I get to accompany a lawyer to court every morning and sit in on consultations in the afternoon. Having so much client interaction has allowed me to engage with dozens of locals. Through these interactions, I have been lucky enough to meet so many interesting new people. When interacting with locals, they can usually tell quickly that I am from America simply because of my accent. A lot of locals that I have met are interested in America and immediately start asking me questions and sharing stories about their holidays to America or about family members they have in America. One man I met had a fairly interesting story about his time living in America a few decades ago. I met this man in the custody area of the Cork District Courthouse. He was in custody for a variety of charges including theft, assault, and public order. He asked where I was from in America then told me about when he lived in New York City. He said one day, St. Patrick’s Day, sometime in the 1980s, he was sitting in an Irish Pub in the East Village. He was alone, minding his own business, having a pint, when a man and a woman walked into the pub. The man and the woman happened to be John and Carolyn Kennedy. Knowing the two have Irish descent, this man started talking to them and offered to buy them a drink. They accepted and engaged in conversation with this man. After a while of talking, the Kennedys invited the man to stop by their apartment on the Upper East Side. A few weeks later, the man went to their building, said he was there to see the Kennedys, and the security guard thought he was lying. They called up to John and Carolyn and they assured security that they invited the man to their apartment. It was so interesting to hear about this man’s experience with a family who holds such a large place in American history.
Other locals I have met don’t have stories as exciting as spending time with the Kennedy family, but overall it is both rewarding and humbling to meet so many different people on a daily basis. I find it rewarding because I get to learn so much, hear so many stories, see a whole new side of the world, and develop a new perspective. The experience is humbling for similar reasons but also because I see so many similar challenges between the people in Cork and people that I have met in America that it has made me aware of a lot of cultural similarities and realize that the world isn’t as big as we think.