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Issue 123 - It's all Academic

Whisky Magazine Issue 123
October 2014


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It's all Academic

Back to the classroom at The Irish Whiskey Academy

I've always found it slightly odd that, as we near the physical end of the year, the academic year begins. I'm never sure if this was a cunning ploy of the well-educated scholars and monks at the earliest universities to ensure that, no matter how difficult their new intake of student would be, there was a nice, long holiday just a couple of months away; or if it was just a pure coincidence. I'd guess the former, as they were clever folk, those monks...although anyone who has tried to drive around Oxford or Cambridge since the automobile was invented might question their forethought on town planning; they really didn't see the development of the car coming, when they set up seats of learning in the 13th Century.

With the new academic year just starting, I'm reminded of the excitement and anticipation I felt as a child when heading back to school. Or at least that is what I tell myself it was. In reality, the emotions were the polar opposite: dread and fear, being stuck in a classroom listening to an aging teacher drone on about a subject he'd lost his passion for, while I daydreamed of simply being outside, playing football. It was a simple Pavlov's dog relationship, the morning school bell would sound and my heart would sink.

But times have changed and now I consider education to be the most noble of pursuits. As Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” and as a spirits writer, I am always striving to learn more abou...

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