Winter 2005-06: Knowing that a number of my friends would be at University College Dublin competing at the World Debate Championship influenced my decision to vacation to Ireland in the winter of 2005-2006. During the first half of the week, I journeyed to the beautiful and ancient Rock of Cashel. Next, I continued southwest to Cork, Ireland’s second largest city, where a great group of Italians, Czechs, Spaniards, and even Americans made me feel very welcome. (Special thanks go out to Roby for getting me so sick that I nearly missed my first talk at a professional conference upon returning to the US!) After almost falling into a pit and dying in the Blarney Castle, I bussed north to the remote Burren to bike the countryside, visit the Cliffs of Moher, and be scared half to death by a deranged Englishman. I returned to Dublin where after attending Christmas dinner for the city’s homeless, I met up with a group of debaters for a big New Year’s celebration and subsequent exploration of the nearby Dun Laoghaire.