Editor’s Note: For the next installment of the Saylor.org Student Profiles, we hop across the pond to Ireland to meet Declan Flowers. Thank you so much to Declan and the other Saylor.org students who have participated in our series. If you’re a Saylor.org student and would like to be featured in this series, please drop us a line at [email protected].


Declan at the World Heritage Site, Nesebar, in Bulgaria.

Saylor: Declan, thank you very much for letting us feature your experience with Saylor.org.  Can you share your background with us?

I am from the rural region of Ireland called Clonbullogue.  My loving wife, Rosemary, and I have two wonderful daughters, Aisling, who is studying economics and business, and Grainne.  As I approach the golden age of 54, I work as a paramedic with Ireland’s national ambulance service.  Previously, I spent 20 years in the military as medic.  During my service I had several tours of duty with the UN missions.  Those experiences placed significant historical biases and prejudices.  When I’m not saving lives, I love fishing, shooting, and traveling, especially to ancient sites.

Saylor: Why are you taking Saylor.org courses?

Because of where I live, I have not had access to higher education.  Since I work at home, I get to take advantage of Saylor.org’s online platform.  It has given me the opportunity to further my pursuit for a first rate educational experience.  The courses provide free quality materials as well as a structured course overview.

Saylor: What courses are you taking and how has your experience been so far?

Currently, I am taking Ancient Civilizations of the World (HIST101) and an Art History course.  Both have been going very well.  I find them well developed and the information enlightening.

Saylor: What is one of the most important lessons you have to share with others?

So far based on my coursework, I have realized that there is no single view of the past which can answer all of my questions.  There are many ways to view history, and I have enjoyed learning this throughout my courses.  The most important aspect is how one interprets the information.

Saylor: Finally, what are your future plans with Saylor.org?

I plan on continuing with History as a major and perhaps Art History as a minor, but I’m more concentrated on completing my present courses rather than getting ahead of myself.   Luckily, my family has been very supportive and helpful with my Saylor.org goals, so a huge thank you goes out to them and to all at on the Saylor.org team.  Keep up the good work!

Thanks, Declan!