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Learning language while picking up garbage

A fascinating short piece in the New York Times profiles a New York City sanitation worker who has improved his Irish whilst working.

Ed Shevlin began studying Irish a few years ago, and speaks it to people he sees whilst collecting garbage along his route in Rockaway, Queens. Mr Shevlin was awarded grant by the Fulbright Commission for Summer Language Study and spent a month this summer in Galway, staying with an Irish-speaking family and studying at the National University of Ireland.

Currently Mr Shevlin’s working towards a bachelor’s degree in Irish Studies and learning Irish at night. On top of his study commitments and work, he teaches an Irish class and is involved in Irish cultural events. Sweetly, he even met his girlfriend through mutual love of the language, posting on a dating website that he was looking for “grá mo chroí,” or “the love of my heart.”

This just goes to show that you can not only learn a language whilst working, but find love too!