Ciaran Parker

Ciaran Parker

I'm an eternal student. There are so many things we must find out about our world and FutureLearn has enabled me to partially quench my thirst for knowledge, though I'll never stop learning.

Location Cavan, Irish Republic



  • Kevin has touched my heart. He views his time studying history at undergrad level as misspent. How I agree. That's just what I did, but then I compounded my waste by doing a PhD in medieval history. Ok, so I did learn some important stuff about the past but not really relevant in today's world

  • Sure did. It was an eye-opener!

  • Ciaran Parker made a comment

    I must admit a liking for the second.

  • I'm partial to a mojito or three ..

  • Eating patterns were traditionally dominated by English mores, so it is interesting that one sees a recrudescence in the 'traditional Sunday roast lunch' or the reappearance of the 'meatn2veg' - undercooked gristle and overcooked vegetables, all ridiculously over-priced. Like all conservative revanches, this was a reaction to the excesses of green gastronomy...

  • But let's stay a moment with the poulet-patate. Homo sapiens, his classical descendants and medieval interlopers could not have enjoyed it until the discovery of the potato and it's introduction into western European diets, something which was far from straightforward. What is more, the poulet-patate's appearance in a meal underwent a serious change, after the...

  • Is it possible to see 'the meal' as a performance, with differing audiences? One important shift occurred when the food was produced by those who prepared it, or by close relatives. The game was captured by the male, yet prepared by the female. But then industrialisation made the production of the food more foreign. It took place maybe far away. The meal...

  • @NiraRamachandran I hope it is realised that pubs are an essential part of Irish identity too. Many are different from their English counterparts, but they all face the same challenges.

  • I feel your pain. Since I've become practically immobile a trip to my local has to be planned like a military operation. As I've never driven a car I must get a cab, and even though the distance isn't great, I've already spent money before I've even got there. Thankfully, I never have any problems getting into them.

  • This is a great course! pubs mean so much to people. When I was very young I hated pubs as places of drunkenness. They were where my father, a man from Northants, spent far too much time and money. Once while on holiday he gave me his glass to finish. It was nearly empty but I was only seven! My appreciation of pubs and their impact on society has broadened so...

  • Victoria mentions that her first pub was called The Cross Key. An inn with this name was established in Co. Cavan in the mid 17th century and the location was ever after known as Cross Keys. (The village has since earned a degree of notoriety for a later hostelry known as a place where an underaged youth could get served; as it also housed a disco it also...

  • I am a passionate partisan of the New European Bauhaus and its ideals. It offers hope for a great future at a time when we see a resurgence of those forces which destroyed the original Bauhaus.

  • @InekeFioole no doubt you have heard Miller Light described, very aptly, as 'the taste of nothing in a glass!' Retsina is probably the most hideous drink in the world, made from third-rate wine to which something ghastly is added. When it is served very chilled on a Greek island, at noon on am August day when the temperature hovers above 40 ' centigrade, it is...

  • I don't really know what my 'online presence' says about me. Naturally, I desire that I leave as positive an impression as possible. But, at the same time, I hope that those who really want to know me will utilize other, broader means of assessment than a quick peek at the Internet.

  • I believe the neck-tie to be the most sartorially ridiculous article of attire in the world. It serves no practical use, though, together with the western-style business suit, it has become a must-have element in the he uniform of a political leader. Most third-world leaders now sport it instead of military fatigues. Its wearers may well be guilty of the...

  • The reason I use a Tablet is that I'm able to work while lying on my back. This has been for me the most productive posture for me. I should use my PC more, but increasingly I associate it's usage with discomfort and back pain. I don't use a smartphone as the text appears as too small.

  • Ciaran Parker made a comment

    I had never heard about the Social Model of Disability. It has great potential to change our worlds. In this regard, this may have been the single, most important course I've ever taken with FutureLearn. Pardon me if I seem some what arrogant, but it has crystallised a lot of things I already knew about disability, or maybe only sensed.

  • We must never give up on hope, the belief that things can and must get better. Frustration is a natural phenomenon, but it must be seen in the same way as taking a breath. I see the struggle in terms of a duty owed, to myself but more importantly to everyone.

  • Medicalisation is often forced by regulations that make provision of welfare benefits dependant on the existence of a medically-diagnosed condition.

  • Law and Policy have to be implemented by human beings. They may be victims of prejudice. When blatant acts of discrimination occur these often go unreported, as there are few lawyers interested in pursuing these claims.

  • In the Irish Republic Disability Policy is still dominated by providing for the disabled's welfare needs. Concomitantly, there is a linked desire to ensure that antiquated notions of welfare entitlement such as Means Tests are robustly enforced. This is pursued through means of 'campaigns' against 'welfare fraud'.

  • I had never really thought about disability pride. I am all for it. But forgive me when I say that I wish I wasn't disabled. Things would be so much better. To take disability no 1, visual impairment. I would be able to see and recognise people freely. Does this lessen me as a disabled advocate? Am I a 'self-hating cripple'?

  • I have always sought to improve my sight, as it is no joke being disabled. I have held out hope of some decisive surgical intervention. Unfortunately it is not to be. I always avail of physiotherapy when it has been offered, as I found confinement to a wheelchair to be so limiting.

  • Those who are labelled with the impairment of dementia often have their basic rights taken away from them. In Ireland judges accept diagnoses handed out by hospital doctors. The subjects are denied the ability to defend themselves as they are pronounced as being 'personae ad litem'.

  • You never mentioned you loved in Saudi Arabia!

  • Thank you for introducing this outline of disability struggle. With deep shame I say that I was ignorant of UPIAS, Vic Finkelstein and Mike Oliver.

  • Societies may change but while there may be nuanced alterations to how disability is viewed, these are largely cosmetic. Sociewty in the Irish Republic has changed radically over the last half century, due to the decline of the Cathollic Churcdh, but the disbling barriers still remain. I believe the said religious organistion openly discrimates against people...

  • I want to just comment on a statement made above. "If disabling barriers can be identified, then they can be removed." Perhaps, in a perfect world! It has been my unfortunate experience over forty years here in the IRish Republic that in many cases, where a disbling barrier is identifi4ed, far from it being removed or amleiorated, it is often consolidated and...

  • Another form of disabling barrier is psychological. I often find travel to be traumatic because of the onset of irrational fears.

  • Disability stems from society's inability to deal with impairment.

  • Hi all! I am Ciaran from the Irish Republic. (Finally they have named a storm after me!) I have a physical and a sensory disability and I am very excited to find out more about disability studies.

  • It must have been disappointing and frustrating that those types of compatibility issues should emerge so quickly. It was a good idea to produce both an original tape content plus an edited version. I imagine most people ultimately choose the edited one for ease of listening. Nevertheless, there will be a hard core of Gerhard scholars who will embrace all the...

  • Well done on such a marvelous achievement!

  • The RCM's collections contain a true Aladdin's Cave of materials, some on composers who are well-known like Ralph Vaughan-Williams, but also about lesser figures such as Leonard Salzedo. My head is truly spinning from my brief perusal.

  • Fascinating.

  • I enjoyed the Gerhardt. I thought it inherently beautiful. The Boulez was static and I considered the Cage to be confused. Gerhardt used contrast throughout, as well as rhythmic compulsion.

  • It is outrageous that Roberto Gerhardt should be cast asunder on the waves of oblivion. He was as a great composer. Before taking this course I didn't know of his role on electronic ,USOC, though I did not know much about electronic music either! His fate has not been helped by having an Iberian first name and a German surname. He was not one of us!

  • I am confident that Ligeti would have had as huge an impact on electronic music as he exerted on acoustic music through his long career as a composer.

  • I need hardly point out that Ligeti was a Hungarian composer, though he left ethnic identification behind him when he was compelled to flee Hungary following the Soviet invasion of 1956.

  • I wonder what Mahler would have made of electronic music?