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Irish And Not Ginger?! Breaking News!

My name is Jordan Henderson (not to be confused with the other Jordon Henderson on campus who is incidentally in my Psychology class) and I am one of the editors for the WWN, as well as being an international student myself.

I hail all the way from the drizzly docks of Northern Ireland’s capital city: Belfast. It’s no Caribbean but I suppose it’ll suffice as home. My culture there has the added adventure of being influenced by the Republic of Ireland (or just called “Ireland” by people who have never been to either the North or the Republic) and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) (also not to be confused with the United Kingdom which is what the actual nation is called, and includes Great Britain plus my wee corner of Ireland) (seriously guys; email me if anyone needs a geography lesson because as two countries (UK & Ireland) we’re deliberately very confusing). The number of times I’ve attempted to explain an outline of which country people from these two places identify with is mind-bogglingly difficult because to be frank and honest, we don’t really know ourselves. And if I hear one more person say “Oh I’m Irish. My grandfather’s uncle’s friend’s niece’s dog’s new owner’s lamp came from Ireland etc…” Well then that doesn’t make you Irish in my eyes sunshine, sorry. Unless you throw me an Irish passport resembling mine then you cannot claim ourselves to be alike in nationality. Sorry not sorry. If I had a penny for every time I’ve encountered this “issue” I would probably be able to afford Willamette University. *cue dry audience laughter*

Now for a bit of cultural history! Northern Ireland is notorious for the “Troubles” whereby many political issues driven by typically extremist religious factions destroyed the nation and left it in ruins. 3,700 deaths from 1960-1990… That’s scary. You will find that although my generation will not have been affected much by the troubles (I’m a wee 1993 baby), the above generation will all have been greatly affected. The very serious question of “Catholic or Protestant?” endangers your life, and depending on which area of Belfast you are in you must answer correctly (even if you do not identify with that religion). We’re very well known for our Irish car bombs (not the kind you drink at a frat party) and have devastated most communities with them. The simple fact of the matter is that all sides involved are to blame because more-or-less every extremist group chooses their own violent way to retaliate against threats and deaths. If you are ever to visit Northern Ireland then DO NOT do so during the week that falls around a special holiday on the 12th July. You may find yourself in some very serious bother. The holiday is meant as a celebration of Protestant habituation in Northern Ireland as the result of a battle-win for them. Protestant communities light bonfires, and many would dress up scarecrows as famously deceased Northern Irish men/women and children and then throw these icons onto the bonfire. It’s an unfortunately common thing and happens every year without fail. If you are interested in the troubles then I would recommend a movie entitled “Veronica Guerin” which is based on the real-life events of a famous journalist of the same name, who investigates one of the biggest Catholic paramilitary (which is a fancy word for a typically violent religious extremist group with high political standing) organizations known as the IRA. Most of Ireland knows the story of this dedicated woman (working a high-profile case in one of the most dangerous jobs at the most dangerous of times), who was at the pinnacle of outing some of the leaders of the IRA, before being shot and killed by some of their members. The Youtube link leads to a cover song featured in the movie during the clip when she is killed, and is stunningly moving. It was sung by an 11 year-old boy called Brian O’Donnell who used to sit in Dublin city and sing in order to get fed and earn some money. Many people don’t like his version but I love it and think it is a great example of Irish music
Even now in Ireland you are not allowed to admit you are part of the police force because if you do then you and your family’s lives are at serious risk. Most of the car bombs will be put under cars outside known police officers houses (makes me worry a lot for my neighbour 🙁 ). It’s such a silly sounding thing to explain however it makes perfect sense: If you are in the police force in any way and want to stay alive past 40 then you lie about what you work as. People literally make up anything and only divulge the truth to their closest friends and family.

(Film poster for the 2003 hit!)

So yes, selfishly back to me; I’m Jordan and I’m famous for getting into tangents. I am a junior majoring in Biology/Biological Sciences which is interestingly pretty different to my current degree at my home university in the North of Northern Ireland. At home I have lost my passion for studying Marine Science, coupled with a stagnating life back in Belfast, which brings me to why I am at Willamette. Quite self-explanatory really. My home university is basically the university people go to when they don’t get their first choice, therefore being in a private college is a massive privilege for me, and is presenting me with so many new opportunities. This is resultant in me enthusiastically throwing myself into every club and organization I can picture myself enjoying which smoothly leads me to my next area of personal info: hobbies!
Badminton is one of my favourite sports (mostly because it is difficult to be injured playing this, which is paradoxically unexplainable as to why I enjoy dodgeball so much. I wonder if Willamette has a dodgeball club. Hmmm). Debate society is also super-interesting to me however I have yet to join any such organization, and also I am trying to force myself to get involved in the LGBTQQUCITTTsSaPO (So many letters now it is beginning to look like a keyboard smash. Bloody political correctness) community which I have spent many years avoiding in Belfast due to the massive lack in acceptance (a HUGE cultural difference). Other hobbies include watching TV shows like “Modern Family” (New episodes out now folks), “The Walking Dead” (Next! Week! Can’t! Wait!), “Game of Thrones” and the best television program ever produced: “Orange Is The New Black”. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe my love for this gem of a show. Furthermore alcohol and nightclubs play a massive part in my life (Some Irish stereotypes are true I suppose).
Other random facts about me:
-I have a twin sister who has a Youtube channel about her hearing impairment, and we could not be more unalike lol (Is it even appropriate to use “lol” in a published article?! I suppose we’ll find out).

(My twin and me at our 21st birthday party last April. About 60 sore heads the next morning haha.)

-If I am wearing jeans, they will always always ALWAYS be skinny (I’m hoping to start some trends over here. Just look out for my collection of knitted sweaters)
-Back home my prized possession is my Nintendo 64 console which nearly drove me to tears when our analog TV sets all went digital and the pixel quality resembled an unfocused microscope
-Tacos are my all-time favourite food. I don’t care what anybody says about how ratchet they seem (picking up on that Cali-slang already), they are freaking delicious!
-I have had my hair dyed every colour possible

(About 6 years old but I think it gets the point across that I’ve had literally EVERY colour. No shame. Is YOLO relevant here?)

-I have an unusual passion for singing to and dancing to Argentinian Tangos. I’m not sure whether it’s the power play, the blend of soft vs staccato beats, the South American style, or the range of notes typically involved but I find them incredibly addictive (On another note, I will literally sing any song at any opportunity so if you are unlucky enough to be in the firing range of my tone-deaf voice then I can only apologise).
-And finally 16 oz white chocolate mocha’s with Raspberry syrup from the Bistro are the quickest way to my heart

I look forward to editing articles by my fellow internationals, and more importantly, getting involved myself by writing plenty of articles from my unique culture. Try not to get too mad at my English spellings of words such as “colour” “autumn” and “travelling”, Stay classy Willamette and I’ll see you next issue!

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