About My Blog

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Ireland
Welcome to my blog! In my school (and many other schools in Ireland), fourth year - the year after our Junior Cert - is optional. It's a non-exam-based year but there's still plenty to do like projects in various subjects, work experience, competitions and trying out loads of new things! This year, a new idea was brought into TY; for each student to write a blog on their year...so this is my blog about my experience of TY. I started writing it in Spetember/October and it'll go up to the end of May when we get our Summer holidays and TY is over... If you're thinking of doing TY or if you just want to know more make sure you send me questions and I'll try my best to answer! Enjoy reading it!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Last Post of TY

Well this is a memorable moment...my last post of TY! I'm officially on summer holidays but I thought I'd write one last post of TY to draw my blog to a close :) (cheesy or wha'?!)
We finished up yesterday through tears, laughter and a bundle of the most amazing memories! On Monday night we had our "Graduation" night...it was amazing! We spent the past few weeks getting projects from the whole year together, planning costumes, practising our dances and doing loads more in preparation for the night.
On Monday we spent the whole day in the hall putting posters up on the walls, displaying things on tables and going over each of the acts again and again. Finally at 4 o'clock everything was ready to go.
When we came around 7 o'clock on Monday evening the hall looked great - there were colours everywhere from all the projects and the atmosphere was buzzing! The show started at 8 o'clock and by then our parents had all taken their seats. Our MC's for the night started off the show followed by Ms L starting our "roll call"...(shabooya :L) After that Amina did their dances and we did ours. Other acts included sean nós dancing, an Irish song (Connemara), Mama Said, ballet (classical & modern) and our graduation song; "Count On Me" by Bruno Mars. The night was so much fun and a great success! At the end we got our awards, certs and gave presents to various peopel and then there was tea and coffee for our parents & teachers.
Before we left we got our TY hoodies (which look really nice and are super comfy!) Then most of us headedd to McDonalds in Maynooth to celebrate. It was nearly twelve when we left but we had such a ball!
Yesterday was our last day of TY. When we went in in the morning we cleaned up the hall and took down all our posters. The paper bin was full to the brim of unwanted projects! (I kept all of mine!) At 11.30 we got on the bus for our last trip of TY - bowling in Newbridge! It was really good fun...I did pretty ok...better than I thought I would anyway ;) After bowling we played some of the video game things in the place before getting back on the bus to go back to the school...where we said one final goodbye to Eileen (who's moving school) and to each other until September.
TY was an amazing year and I'm really going to miss it! I learned so mucha dn made loads of new friends. My favourite bits were a mixture of Carlingford & the Gaisce hike! I have so many memories and it was definitely a year to remember...the best school year ever!
Thanks so much to everyone who madde the year as amazing as it was...especially Ms L and all our teachers!
On a side note, this blog was the first I've ever done but I really enjoyed it and maybe I'll do another one in the future!
I think everyone should do TY...I'd really recommend it to everyone! :)
Byeeeeeee! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Geography Project Update

I didn't realise we had to link our map to geography so here's the stuff I added...
Mumbai is the fifth most populated city in the world and is also known as Bombay.
Chicago City faces both extremities in weather throughout the year...from very, very hot to very, very cold.
South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world and has a population of almost 50 million.
Hawaii is the newest of America's 50 states and is made up of 8 islands (including one called Hawai'i).
Dublin is a primate city and the largest city in Ireland.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Our School Website & TY Blog

Here's a link to our school website...it's updated regularly about events in the school. Also, here's a link to our TY blog, run by our year-head Ms L. She gives regular snippets from our blogs and information about whats going on in our year. :)

Scifest

After several months of preparation (!) we went to the Scifest competition on Tuesday to display our projects and take part in the competition. It was an early start - we had to be at the school at around five to eight in the morning! When we arrived we had to register and then we hung up our poster. Judging started at 10am. We had two judges, a man and a woman. They were really nice and Ciara and I felt it went well overall. After lunch (chips...mmmmm....) there were loads of talks on. We could pick two to go to. Hayley and I went to one on "fun chemistry". The guy was blowing up stuff, making oxygen, freezing stuff with dry-ice and doing loads of other cool stuff. The we went to a talk on forensic science...it was fascinating seeing how forensics are used to figure out who committed a crime etc etc. There are sooo many types of forensics too - I found it really interesting.
After that we took down our posters and then the awards ceremony was on. Ciara and I didn't win anything (we were devastated! :L) but other groups in my year won prizes, including the overall winning prize! I was so proud of everyone!
It was a really good day :D

Sports Day

Yesterday was sports day in school. Everyone came in in their tracksuits and t-shirts. We had the first two classes, then break, then another class, then lunch and at 12 o'clock sports day started. It was a bit touch-and-go at first because the weather wasn't too good - there were really dark clouds and in typical Irish fashion it began to rain a bit. But it kinda stopped and sports day went on :)
There were loads of different events throughout the day - relays, shot-put, high jump, long jump, and sprint races in the more "sporty" end of things. Novelty races included wheelbarrow, 3-legged race, slow bike race, skip-a-thon and at the end there was a huge game of rounders between the 6th-years and the teachers. The teachers claim they won but I'm not so sure... :)
The slow bike race was basically exactly what it says on the tin - 50 people brought in their bikes and the race was to see who could reach the finish line fastest...but you weren't allowed stop or put your foot on the ground or you were disqualified!
There were sweets, drink and ice-creams & ice-pops on sale too throughout the day which was cool!
I'm not that sporty so I didn't really take part in much of the stuff but a few of us had fun doing unofficial "jacky-back races" and rolling down the backs...a few times it rained but the atmosphere was still great and there was loads of good music playing too :) Oh and there were hula-hoops and skipping ropes too...I must say I'm not that bad when it comes to hula-hooping!
It was such a fun day...I'll try and upload pictures soon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - Book Review



DON'T READ THIS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BOOK!!! :)
I read "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult as part of our English class book report project.
The book focuses on the struggles of the Fitzgerald family as a result of their daughter Kate’s illness – she suffers from APL, a form of Leukaemia. She was diagnosed when she was two, and at sixteen she has undergone many surgeries, transplants and tests.  Her sister Anna is three years younger than her and was a designer baby – she was born specifically to act as spare parts for Kate, and has spent her whole life donating bone marrow, promyelocytes, tissue and more to her sister. Kate needs a kidney and Anna will have to give Kate hers, but she decides that she has had enough and looks for medical emancipation by suing her parents for the rights to her own body. This tears her already-fragile family apart at the seams.
In the novel, each family member is highlighted through their own words, as too are other key characters involved in the case, such as Anna's lawyer Campell Alexander and her guardian ad-litem Julia Romano. The book was written in a format that enabled the reader to get a deep insight into each charaters mind; I could clearly see what each character was thinking, how they felt, their reaction to the case and also their reactions to Kate's illness. Despite the main story of the novel being centred around Kate, none of the story was told from her perspective, except the final chapter, which is written after the case ends and the devastating events that follow have occured. Each chapter was written in the first person from the point of one of the characters, almost like a diary.
My favourite character was Jesse; Anna & Kates' brother. Jesse is the eldest in the family and describes himself in the novel as being "the lost cause". He is a disruptive child and his parents, especially his mother (Sara) seem to have given up on him. Jesse is a pyromaniac and regularly sets fire to vacant buildings around area where he lives. This is symbolic in many ways. Firstly, his father, Brain is a fireman, and it is he who has the job of putting out the fires that Jesse starts. It is made known in the novel that Jesse has suffered from lack of attention since Kate was diagnosed when he was four, and this could be his way of secretly looking for attention from his dad, even though Brian is oblivious to his son's actions. Also, fire also plays an important part in the novel and could be considered a key theme. At the start of each new section, there are quotes or poems based on fire, as the dysfunctional family are described as "burning themselves out". Jesse lives in an apartment above the family's garage, another indication of his parents lack of consideration for their son. In the same way that his family have given up on Jesse, he seems to have given up on his family. He has accepted in his mind that his family has no time for him; Kate gets attention because he is sick and Anna does because she can save Kate so Jesse feels inadequate. Jesse has tried to ammend this by donating blood at the hospital every three days, unbeknownst to his parents. After Sara noticed injection marks on his arm, she questioned him, believing that he was doing drugs. His reply was; "...Didn't you wonder who else was keeping Kate in platelets?" Another very symbloic quote from Jesse is "Darkness, you know, is relative." Jesse knew he had problems, and to him this was important, but he understood that Kate's problems were even more important. His philosophical views & attitude, along with his nobility made him my favourite character.
My Sister’s Keeper deals with many topical and controversial topics, such as designer babies and using one child to save another.  On the front cover of the book it posed the question; “If you use one of your children to save the life of another, are you being a good mother or a very bad one?” I found while reading the book that this question regularly ran through my mind. It certainly is a very difficult question to answer and a very debatable subject. This makes the novel very interesting and made me want to keep reading. During the court case Sara makes the point very clear that she loves both of her daughters equally. I think Sara's character is probably the most hard to understand as a teenage reader but in the end it was clear that Sara loved her children and was just doing what she believed was in her sick daughter's best interests.
I really enjoyed reading this book because it opened my eyes to some of the most touching, poignant and thought-provoking subjects written about. I thought that it was very inspiring, especially as the novel was partly inspired by a true story. It made me think a lot about what real problems are. I thought the book was very philosophical and I found that the many twists in it (especially the ending!) made it a very interesting, enjoyable and emotional read. Definitely a book I'd recommend; I'd give it 10/10! :)

Back At School Again :)

Well this week we came back after two weeks off for Easter holidays. We had Monday off because it was a bank holiday but even still the week seemed to go by really slowly!

On Tueday in Art we started painting colour wheels. We had to draw a circle with twelve segments. Every fourth segment had to contain one of the three primary colours; red, yellow o
and blue. The middle segments between each of the primary colours had to contain one of the three secondary colours; green, purple and orange. The other segments were one of the tertiary colours. (mixture of the primary and secondary colours...eg. blue-purple). Today we started painting colour list things where we focused on shading. We had to do tints and shades...tints are where you get the primary colour and add white paint and shades are where you add black paint. I added white to red and black to blue (which was very hard because the blue was already reeeally dark!).

In PE we've did tennis this week...Hayley and I were partners and we were really.....eh awful! The amount of times we had to run after the ball when we missed it was crazy!

Next Tuesday we're going to Tallaght IT for the Scifest Competition...everyone in the year who entered got in and we're going to show our projects at the exhibition and see how we do in the competition! (Honestly, I don't hold up much hope for Ciara and I!) :D

Yesterday in Home Ec we cooked again. Everyone in the class made soda bread, a traditional Irish bread. Also, each pair got to pick one other thing to make...Laura and I made vegetable soup...well actually Laura made the soup while I made the bread. In the end they both turned out really well and it was definitely nice having freshly-made soup and bread for lunch! Yuuum! :)

Yesterday in religion we started watching a documetary about NBA players from Yugoslavia who had to face civil strife and the loss of friendship as a result. It's called Once Brothers and so far, its really interesting. It's so sad to see how a good friendship could be torn apart by politics! I'm looking forward to seeing the rest next week.

In Music on Wednesday our class chose a "gradutaion son" to sing on TY night on the 30th May! It's called Count on Me by Bruno Mars and it's sooo sweet...all about friendship (but not too cheesy!). So far everyone in Emnet has enjoyed singing it in music class and for Ms L.

In Tech today we started working on a new project...mobile phone holders! We drew them out on paper and then cut them out to make a prototype! It'll be cool seeing them when they're finished...if we get them done on time!

Meanwhile in every class we've been busy focusing on our plans for TY night. Everyone in the year has a job now and we're really looking forward to it...Ms L & Amina even came up with a cool Bring-It-On-inspired intro! It should be good fun! :)

This week we started making our "documentary" (eh...video) on TY...so far the interviews with girls from our year have gone pretty well and we're looking forward to seeing the finished production!

Well that's all the news from this week...I'm glad it's Friday because I have lots of projects to work on over the weekend that I want to get done! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tag 5: Mumbai, India

I placed a tag in India because I always found Indian music very interesting...it has a haunting sound to it but at the same time its quites soothing in a different sort of way.. :)

Music in India is very varied...folk, pop, classical, R&B etc. Hindustani is a type of music that originated over 3000 years ago! (Around 1000BC). It's a type of Indian classical music and has religious links. Here's a Hindustani (eh...ignore the video...!)

Some popular instruments in India include the Sitar, the Tabla and the Shehnai.

I placed the tag in Mumbai because it was here that the film "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008) was set and filmed. It featured the song "Jai-Ho" by the Pussycat Dolls...check it out here.

Tag 4: Hawaii

I've always loved Hawaiin music (I know that's wierd). I watch the first scene of "Lilo & Stitch" on repeat all the time because the music mixed with the dancing is so nice :D By the way, Hawaii is technically part of America, but I'm treating it as part of Oceania.

An interesting fact about Hawaii is that in their language, there is no word that actually means "music".

They use chanting and hulu dance to express themselves. In Hulu dance, all the movements mean something different and are very specific. A lot of the more traditional Hawaiin music has become less popular as music from the American mainland has become part of their lives.

Here's the song from Lilo & Stitch that I love...It's called He Mele No Lilo which means "A Song For Lilo". You can look up what the lyrics mean on the internet...they mention mountains and flowers but the translations can be kinda cryptic :)

Here's another Hawaiin song, which sounds pretty cool. It's called He'eia.

Tag 3: Chicago, Illinois, N. America

American music has a HUGE influence on what we listen to, especially in Ireland and Britain. So many of our favourite musical acts are Americans (Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Chris Brown etc etc). We are literally surrounded by it, so instead I've decided to focus on an American musical - Grease - rather than popular American music.

I put the tag in Chicago because Rydell High School (in Grease) is supposedly based on an actual high school in Chicago.

The score for Grease is largely rock & roll, with the music and lyrics composed by Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey. The original score consisted of a piano, two tenor saxophones, bass guitar, percussion and two standard guitars. "You're The One That I Want" is the most popular song from the musical...see it here.

America has also brought to the world a lot of other musical-based productions, such as Chicago, Guys & Dolls, various Disney TY programmes & movies and...Glee :/

It also gave us American Idol and various other shows like it...no wonder the USA has the largest music market in the world!

Tag 2: Ladysmith, South Africa

I chose South Africa, and more importantly, Ladysmith, because this is where Joseph Shabalala, founder of the male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo if from. I studied this group for my Junior Cert music course and I like their music.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a world-famous group (they're performing in the National Concert Hall in Dublin in June) who sing in the style of Iscathamiya and Mbube. They were founded in 1960. The have had fantastic success with their album "Graceland", and were even banned from entering Iscathamiya competitions because of their excellence. They have won Grammy's and Academy Awards, among many others.

Click here for their song "Homeless".

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tag 1: Ireland, Europe (The Irish Traditional Music Archive - 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2)

Here, various items such as books, sheet music, photos and recordings are made to preserve the tradition of old Irish music. It was founded in 1987, has the largest collection of its kind, and is free & open to the public.

Irish Tarditional Music has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. It was often used in the past to tell stories, to mourn, or just for entertainment. Some traditional Irish instruments include the fiddle (like a violin), the tin whitle and the bodhrán (a type of drum). Sharon Shannon & Seán Ó Riada are two well-known singers in Irish Traditional Music. Click here for a clip of Sharon Shannon playing "The Neck Belly Reels" on accordian.

Also, many famouse musicians and bands (such as U2, Enya & Aslan) come from Ireland. Click here for a clip of U2 (With or Without You) or here for one of Aslan (Crazy World).

Geog Project - My Music Map

About a month ago we were given a project from Ms L that involved travelling around the world via Google maps to find out more about our interests all over the globe. I chose music as my interest...I loooove music! I play piano but I love every type of music and listening to music is how I chillax! For the project we had to make a map and place five tags on it from different places relating to our interest. We were supposed to connect them but I did it kinda wrong so they're not really connected but anyway...then we had to make five blog posts on the tags...this post is the intro. I'll post the rest in a while :)

The Intro:
I love music so I'm going to travel around the world and look at different types of music from various different countries across all the continents :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

F1 In Schools National Finals

Wow! I haven't blogged in sooo long....I was so busy recently!

Thursday 7th April was the National finals of the F1 In Schools Competition. We had spent a busy few days getting ready for it and the last-minute pressure was really on...we all had to work hard to get everything done on time and to ensure that our posters, porfolio, presentation...but most improtantly...OUR CAR were ready for the competition.

I was relieved when, on Wednesday, the box arrived back from Cork with our car in it...I was a bit worried, though, when we opened it up and saw that our aerofoil had been broken, however all was resolved when Michelle & Mia got together to make a new one out of pink plastic. Still, there was so much to do...Sarah volunteered to collect our posters from a guy in Newbridge and Hayley's mam (who pretty much came to the rescue all the time throughout the project) organised for the portfolio to be printed and then collected it for us. Most of the team spent extra time in the Tech room on Wednesday getting ready for the competition, along with Mr W who gave up loooads of time to help us. I worked on our Powerpoint for the Verbal Presentation. Hayley & Mia sanded the car, Sarah varnished it, Mia & Michelle built the aerofoil and the last-minute work was getting done pretty rapidliy...until the bell rang and we had to go home with our car still not ready. Mia took the car and offered to paint it, but she didn't have a vice to finish the aerofoil, so Michelle said she'd do it and drop it to Mia's house later. Hayley's mam had bought the spray-paint, so she had to go to Mia's house after school too to drop it off...and I had the glue to stick the aerofoil on so everyone was going to Mia's house in dribs and drabs when school was over just so the car would get done! :L

The next morning, we had to be at school at 7.45am! We left soon after...and I saw the finished car for the first time...I must admit I was kinda scared! It looked great though...Mia & Michelle had done a fab job! When we arrived there, we could see the competition was fierce...most of the other schools had big fancy displays and impressive-looking uniforms, but we set up our stand and it looked really good (and not OTT like some of the others)!

First thing we had was our verbal presentation in front of 5 judges. It went really well - they seemed to like us and they were all very nice. Our "speech" could be no more than 5 minutes and we sort of ran out of time but we got in all we wanted to say when the asked us questions afterwards. Then we had our display judging. Two judges did that one. We thought it went good aswell and they really liked our logo too which was a bonus! This is the logo here..


By the way...Éalú is the Irish for escape!


Last but not least was our race...probably the worst bit of the day for us! Our "driver" Sarah was fantastic....her reaction times were brilliant and much faster than the other team, but unfortunately the way the car was manufactured this time meant that it was a lot slower and sadly, it didn't perform at all how we would have liked...oh well!


We had a great day, despite only winning in our hearts :D Thanks Mr. W for all your help! :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Gáisce Hike :)



Yesterday 14 of us + 2 teachers set out for Wicklow for our Gaisce hike...it was definitely a weekend to remember!




We came into school in our hiking gear (ie. tracksuit bottoms etc). We left after lunch, at 2 o'clock. When we arrived at Knockree hostel in Wicklow, lots of us recognised it from our ecology trip in 3rd year...

We checked in and got our rooms...I was with Aoife, Siobhán and Ashling N (Aoife & Ashling are from 5th year). We put our food that could go off in the fridge, packed our bags and then set off for the first leg of our hike at about 4 o'clock At first when our guide (I can't remember his name) showed us the mountain we'd be climbing, I got a bit of a shock...it looked huuuuge, but as we got going I realised it wasn't too bad. This is the mountain we climbed...we went to the end of the trees near the top;

We stopped for a few breaks along the way to regain our strength which was good because they were needed (for me anyway). The wind on the mountain was so strong...we could nearly lie back and be held up! The views were lovely along the way...we could see so much. When we got near the top our guide decided to go back down because the wind was too strong to go any further. We got up and down in record timing...we arrived back at the hostel at ten to seven! Our guide said we had walked almost 20km!

After that we went to our rooms for showers and stuff...the shower I went into was fuh-reez-ing! And there was a big spider too!! eeshk :/

Then we went down to the kitchen to make dinner...I had to get help 'coz cooking isn't my strong point...who knew pasta could be so easy! ;) After we cleaned up we got into our pj's and went to the tv room to watch 50 first dates...such an awful movie :D We were getting kinda freaked out by girls from another school who kept watching us through the window...but it was all part of the fun :L

"Quiet time" in the hostel was after 11pm and the movie finished at 10.59...perfect timing! Then we went to bed...ish...we finally got to sleep at around ten to twelve after some wall-feeling, talking, and eh....forcing into bed ;)

We were woken this morning at 8.00...according to Siobhán I was a sight for sore eyes when Ms. H came to wake us...I quote "You looked like someone who had been asleep and didn't want to be woken!" hehe :D you got it in a nutshell Siobhán!

We packed up our stuff and went for breakfast....just a side note: Kellogs mini-packs are in no way filling! We brought all our stuff downstairs and gave back our keys...but we weren't finished yet!

We had two new guides today...Mick and Andrei. We started off with orienteering. Team Andrei (the one I was on) lost :( actually we let then win! jk :P Then we did archery...I was surprised coz I was ok at it and I thought I'd be awful! The final score was 1400 to us and 1320 to the other team...I scored two bullseyes which was really cool! Here's us behind the targets afterwards...

After archery we went to use the low ropes...there were tight-ropey things that we had to walk across and that sort of thing; easier said than done because we were blindfolded when we were going across! Everyone had a go...even the teachers! Here's me going across blindfolded with Aoife ready to catch me if I fell...I made it though!

Speaking of falling...there was another rope thing after that and there was a metal wire that you had to walk across with the help of these two blue ropes that were in a criss-cross kionda shape (worst description ever!). When Aoife was going across I was standing behind her (supposedly) ready to catch her...but she fell back and I wasn't looking and I missed her...nevertheless she landed on top of me and the two of us went flying onto the ground...sorry Aoife! Siobhán caught the moment on camera....

And afterwards...

Afterwards we did some team games like making a square out of different shapes, making numbers add up to 15, moving a ball using drain pipes and "skis". I think Team Mick won most of the stuff :( :D


And that was it! We grabbed our bags, waved goodbye and got back on the bus. We stopped in Enniskerry to get ice-creams. We got back to Esso (where we were being collected) at 2.20. I had such a good time...the weather stayed gorgeous for most of the trip...I was really hot anyway! (I used my suncream too :D) ...so many funny memories (Siobhán feeling the wall for me...taking pictures of bananas....loads of funny conversations and mis-interpreted sentences!! :L) Fortunately I'm not in much pain at all...I'll upload more photos from the trip later. Thanks to the teachers who brought us! :)

Everyone who went ^^

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Challenge 4: Finding My Way

I've added a blogroll to my blog as part of Challenge 4 of the blog challenge. I've added a few blogs to it...I already had the blog challenge blog. I added my Transition Year blog, which my Year-Head Ms L posts on. I also added my friend Hayley's blog and the Blogger Cafe blog. I'll add more as I find more blogs that interest me. I haven't added any categories yet because I don't have enough blogs but I'll do that soon. :)

French Pen-Pals

After coming back after Chrismas we were told that we'd be getting pen-pals. We found out that they come from Brittany. Last week we got our first letters from them. My pen-pal is called Kevin...he's 16. He told me a bit about himself, his family and his interests...I wrote another letter back and our teacher is going to send all our letters together soon...I can't wait to hear more about him...at the moment we're doing a short project on Ireland and the area we live in to send over to them. It's really testing my French skills! I hope Kevin can make sense of what I'm saying... :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

English Trip

Last Thursday we went on an English trip to the National Museum of Ireland, the National Library & the National Gallery (in Dublin). In the National Museum we saw artefacts from pre-historic history (?) like rocks and bog-boats. We then got to see some "bog-bodies". They were dead people who's bodies were preserved in the bog for thousands of years. They were really life-like looking (but knida disgusting.) One guy had only his torso -no head or legs. Another had no legs but had a torso and a head. The last guy has a full body. It was so interesting! At the national library we saw a W.B. Yeats exhibition - we were told all about his life and about his poetry. I honestly didn't like him after the exhibition -he's really really really wierd! Then we went for lunch...Mai, Hayley, Clara, Emma & I went to Eddie Rocket's...it was great craic! We got burgers and chips and milkshakes...which Mia spilled all over herself! After lunch we went to the Natinoal Gallery to look at paintings done by W.B. Yeats' father, John Yeats (I think that's his name...). It was a really good day! Thanks to Ms. B for organising it and to Ms. B & Ms G for bringing us! :)

Earth Hour

As part of challenge 3 we had to blog about a global issue we took part in...I decided to take part in earth hour on Saturday night from 8.30 to 9.30. Everyone in Ireland (and around the world as far as I know) was encouraged to turn off all the lights in their houses for one hour. I turned of my bedroom light and other lights around my house - I also encouraged my family to do the same (my dad let me dim the lights in the tv room!). It really made me realise how much we rely on light and therefore electricity to get by...I don't know what I'd do without my laptop, phone, ipod or the the tv...(I'm that sad!). In the houses around me, a lot of lights seemed to be off...I don't know whether that was just coincidence or if others were taking part too, but even still, it was very interesting...I wouldn't have been able to survive longer than an hour though! :L

Friday, March 25, 2011

Percussion Workshop

I had no internet last week so I have a lot to catch up on with my blog :/ On Tuesday last week we had a percussion workshop with a guy called Dave from Jabba Jabba Jembe (see his website here). We had it from 9.45am until 2.40pm, so we got to do loads of stuff. When Dave arrived we helped him to bring in his drums from his van...he had really cool colourful bags that they drums were in. Then he showed us how to play the drum properly. You use the palms of your hands with your four fingers together and your thumbs sticking out. There were loads of different types of drums, all different sizes. One was called the jembe and it was the main drum. There were bass drums too and other drums I didn't know the name of. He also had loads of hand percussion instruments. Some were made out of gourds. We played loads of rhythms and we all had the chance to try out every drum - it was really cool. At the end we watched a video called Foli on Youtube..you can see it here. It's about jembe druming in Africa. We also watched a video on Stomp...a grup of people who use every-day items (like sweeping brushes and basketballs) to make percussive sounds...it was sooo cool! It was a really good day...when all of us were playing together the sound was amazing (and really loud!). I'd love to learn how to play the jembe drums properly some day. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back At School :)

I don't trust the Google translate gadget so I'm going to translate my last post myself so everyone can understand (just in case the gadget says the wrong thing!).
Here it is in English:
Well, as I said yesterday, I'm going to write this post in Irish.
We came back to school today...I have to say it was sorta strange...we weren't in proper classes for a few weeks because of the amount of competitions that were on this month.
This morning, first of all, we had careers class...everyone told stories about work experience. People were at hospitals, universities, the Guards and a lot of other places.
Then we had maths class. We're doing "probability" now...it's not too hard. After break, we had English...from the start of the year we were doing our dramas, so today it was very strange when we did poetry! We read a poem form the poet W.B. Yeats; "The Wild Swans At Coole". I love that poem! On Thursday, all of TY will be going to the Yeat's museum in Dublin for the day. I'm really looking forward to it!
Now I'm in I.T. class...everyone is writing on their blogs.
Tomorrow we're having a percussion workshop...it'll be interesting!
There are only three weeks left until the Easter break...there's seven weeks left in TY! :(
This year went so fast...we had a taste of fifth year today :/
I don't have a lot to write aout today yet...maybe something will happen later...I'll write more tonight... :)

Ar Ais Ar Scoil :)

Challenge 3: Bhuel, mar a dúirt mé inné, tá mé chun an "post" seo a scríobh as Gaeilge. Thangamar ar ais ar scoil inniú...caithfidh mé é a rá bhí sé saghas ait...ní raibhemar i ranagnna ceart ar feadh cúpla seachtaine maidir leis an méid comórtais a bhí ar siúl an mí seo. Sa maidin, ar dtús, bhí rang "Careers" againn...d'inis gach duinne scéaltaí faoi taithí oibre. Bhí daoine ag oispidéal, ollscoil, an Garda Síocháina agus a lán áiteanna eile. Ansin, bhí rang matamaitic againn. Táimid ag déanamh "probability" anois...níl sé ró-dheacair. Tar éis am sos, bhí Béarla againn...ón tús an bliain bhíomar ag déanamh ár drámaí, so inniú bhí sé an-ait ar fad nuair a rinnemar filíocht! Léamhamar dán ón file W.B. Yeats; "The Wild Swans At Coole". Is aoibheann liom an dán sin! Ar an Déardaoin beidh an idir-bhliain ar fad ag dul go dtí an musaem Yeats i mBaile Atha Cliath don lá. Tá mé ag tnúth go mór leis! Anois tá mé i rang ríomhairí...tá gach duine ag scríobh ar a "mBlogs". Amárach beidh céardlann "percussion" againn...beidh sé suimiúl. Níl ach trí seachtaine fágtha go dtí brise na Cáisce...tá seacht seachtain fágtha san idir bhlian! :( D'imigh an bliain seo chomh tapa...bhí saghas blás agam inniú don cúigiú bhliain :/ Níl a lán agam chun scríobh faoi inniú go fóill...b'fhéidir tarlóidh rud éigin níos déanaí...scríobhfaidh mé níos mó anocht... :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Challenge 3: Going Global

This week's challenge involves making my blog more international-friendly, as well as by discovering who is looking at my blog and where they're from. I also have to write about a part I played in a global issue such as world water day (March 22nd) or earth hour (March 26th). This is my first post on Challenge 3...I'll write more as I check each part of the challenge off the list. Firstly, I added the blog challenge badge to my page...you can see it along the left-hand side with my other gadgets...if you click on it, it will bring you to the Blog Challenge page. Next I had to add gadgets to find out where my page visitors are coming from. I already had a views counter and a clustr map so I added a feedjit and a revolver map...you can see them also along the left-hand side. Then I added a Google translate gadget so anyone can read my blog. It's not 100% accurate but it was the best I could come up with. Next step I've to write a post in a different language. English is my first language and I learn French in school (although I'm not very good at it!) but I'm also pretty fluent in Irish so tomorrow I'll write a post in Irish...it's our National language and I'm very proud to be able to speak it. I often speak Irish at home and sometimes with my friend Hayley too...I think it's really important to keep the Irish language alive because there are less and less people able to speak it these days...it's a dying language, but that saddens me because itt's part of our identity as Irish people. So yeah, that's my rant on Irish...I'll post tomorrow as Gaeilge (that's the Irish for "in Irish"!). :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Design (again!)

Since St. Patrick's Day is over, I decided to change my blog design again. I picked this one becasue it really reminds me of Spring, and Spring is probably my favourite season! I love when the weather starts to heat up a bit, the sky turns blue again and the leaves come back on the trees...Winter is such a bare season and I love when it's over and Spring gets here. This year and last year we had particularly long and cold winters so I love Spring all the more.
In my background design there are loads of birds and leaves which kinda symbolise Spring. I also picked the three primary colours (and green) because they look nice together...I really like my new design. It's nice and bright and makes me smile :)

TY Pictures!

Siobhán from class Amina made a lovely video of photos from this year...she added different friendship songs too. It was really nice and it brought back so many memories about this year...good times! :D
Check out the video here...well done Siobhán! :)

Blogger Challenge 2: Heads

So as part of Challenge 2, I had to create an avatar. I used Build Your Wild Self. I really liked this website because it was easy to use and kinda unusual. My avatar has brown hair and blue eyes like me. I left my hair down in it because I have really long hair...and it looks more like me that way! I used purple clothes because it's my favourite colour (well after pink, but I preferred the purple there!). I could choose between shorts and a skirt and I never wear skirts so that's why I chose shorts... :) My avatar is kinda unusual (like me!) because she has a tiger's tail and butterfly wings...I chose the butterfly wings because (this sounds wierd!), I'd LOVE to be able to fly...it looks so cool! I hope to get flying lessons in the future. I chose the tiger tail because I think tigers are so cute...and the whole point of "Build Your Wild Self" is to add animal parts to your normal body...loads of them were scary though...I don't like snakes, spiders or sea-animals! Making the avatar was cool...it took me a while to figure out how to upload it (in the end it was actually very easy :/) but I enjoyed it :) I'll make more soon... :D
My Avatar...the Fly-Tiger (a.k.a the fliger!)...I sound like a baby! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Blogger Challenge 2: Feet

This week, challenge 2 is called "heads and feet". We have to create an avatar (heads) and then look into our digital footprint (feet). I'm going to post separately on both so this is my post about my digital footprint. In the instructions for this challenge, there was a video about how each everyone in the world has a digital footprint, which begins before we are born. It showed all the different things which contribute to this, such as sonograms (before we were bron), social networking, bank cards and more! It was kinda scary to see how much information about me people around the world have access to... In the challenge we were told to google ourselves to see what came up, so I put in my name and home town first. The first item that came up was from the local secondary school (I don't go to that school) and it had mentioned my name in an article about a debating competition I was in. Further down there was an article from Intel about energy and there was a picture of me when I was in primary school along with my name and school name. Then I googled my name and my school name...more stuff came up on debating; there were things from my school website and also from my mini-company website. I google my name with Twitter & Facebook but there were too many results...I'm sure if I looked long enough I'd find myself though! At the moment I'm trying to think of all the websites I've ever joined; Hotmail & Yahoo for email, Facebook, Twitter & Bebo for social networking, Youtube for...entertainment? and loads more! I can't even remember them all now, but I know there must be hundreds. Even websites like O2 & Meteor aswell..wow! As a rule, I generally only fill in the spaces necessary to join the website...things like name, DOB & email. I never fill out the spaces that I don't have to fill out...they don't need that information! Also, I'm very particular about the email addresses I give out. I have two and I use them for different things...I hate getting email from places I join or things like Facebook so I give them one email address, while the other is for emailing people and such(I rairly get spam/junk mail there as a result!). I never really thought too much about my digital footprint before now, but now that I'm aware of it I'm defninitely going to be very careful about the information I put out there about myself! You never know who's looking...

Parade Pics

This is a slide show I made of photos from the parade in Dublin yesterday...I was experimenting with a new programme so it's not that good...anyway...here it is;

By the way...there's no music because I couldn't import it from my files...sorry! :/
Parade pics - slideshow maker

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lá Glas Photos

Okay, Blogger is acting up for me..I wrote the on Lá Glas earlier and now I can't copy the text here above the video for some reason so that's why they're in two separate posts...anyway...enjoy! By the way, I spelled Phadraig wrong...I added in an extra "h"..oops! :)



St. Patrick's Day Part 2: The Parade

Well today is St. Patrick's Day and originally I didn't have any plans, but in the end I went into Dublin with my mam and my sister for the St. Patrick's day parade. We got a great spot on O'Connell Bridge, near enough to where it starts. We were waiting for a while but, luckily, the weather stayed nice (it was mainly sunny and not too cold!) and at around 12.30 the first of the acts passed by. There was a huge variety in the number of participants, and they came from all over Ireland and all over the world. There were marching bands from American high schools (as well as from Ireland), floats with really unusual characters, dancers, horses, dogs (from the Garda unit) and loads more! Even around me in the audience there were people from England, Texas, New Zealand and Italy! It's so cool to see so many people celebrating St. Patrick's Day with us...everyone there was wearing leprachaun hats, green scarves, boppers (those hair-bands with springy things on top) and tops with Ireland written on them...even if they weren't Irish!

We were standing right opposite the RTE booth (much to my dismay) and my sister was on tv...hehe :L (I don't think I was thankfully - náireacht!). The parade was great...by the end I was wrecked though from standing for so long...my legs were so stiff...but I'm glad I went! Check out my post called "Parade Pics" for the photos I took...

St. Patrick's Day Part 1: Lá Glas

Yesterday was Lá Glas in our school...everyone dressed up in green ( well most people anyway) to celebrate St. Patrick's Day (which is today). I'm only blogging about it now because I spent ages making a video thing of photos and a few clips of the day.


My year started late (10.40am) because we had gotten back so late the night before after the drama show in Glasnevin. When I arrived in school just after break, everywhere I looked there was green! Each year had a theme to go by and loads of people dressed up according to their theme. First years were Irish dancers, second years were mythical creatures, third years were soldiers, us TY's were Aer Lingus, fifth years were the Irish rugby team and sixth years were St. Patrick.


At lunch time, everone crowded out to the courtyard for a parade and a céilí. A few representatives from each year (the best in each class) walked around the courtyard and the best from each year won an easter egg. Our year, however, did it differently (!). Leah came up with a plan and helped us to put it together...we were all dressed up as tourists, air hostesses, air traffic control and (of course) pilots. Leah had put together a CD with sound affects and music to go with a skit. Firstly, a voice called out for people on a certain flight to go to their gate, and we all got up and started walking around the courtyard. Then a siren came on and we all screamed and jumped to the ground...Leah (who was the villain) came into the courtyard and "kidnapped" our three pilots - Ruth, Chloe and Ms L! Then we all turned around as the Batman theme came on and "Batman" & "Robin" (Niamh P & Davina) ran into the courtyard to save us. It was really funny and everyone seemed to enjoy it...well done Leah!


Our year won eight easter eggs to share bewtween us for our skit and in maths (after lunch) both classes got four each...we certainly enjoyed them in Ms. L's maths class!


I took loads of pictures throughout the day and a few clips of some girls doing Irish dancing on their own at lunch at the céilí so it's in the post entitled "Lá Glas Photos"... :)



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Holy Faith Drama..

Our school was once upon a time a Holy Faith school...the Holy Faith sisters set it up in the 1950's and up until 1999/2000 it was a Holy Faith convent. Margaret Aylward was the woman who founded the Holy Faith sisters nearly 200 years ago and this year is the bi-centenary of her birth, so we were asked (along with 3 other schools to perform a drama based on what she would do for tady's society were she still alive). Our plays were the ones we used for the Briery Gap drama competition earlier in the year (mine's about drink-driving). We arrived in Glasnevin at around 11am and didn't leave till late but we had a great day...we practised twice and then we were given pizza from the Holy Faith sisters (Dominoes..yum!). The show started at 8pm and the audience was pretty big! I didn't really get nervous...I'm so used to doing the play by now. Anyway, I really enjoyed it! The other schools were all very good too...their themes were similar to ours. It was very late by the time we back to the petrol station on the bus...half ten! I was so tired by then...I fell into bed when I got home! Thanks to Ms. G., Ms B., Ms C & Sr. S., as well as Ian and Glen from Celbridge Youth Drama for all their help!!

Mini Company....this is it!

I haven't written all week so I'm gonna catch up now...
On Monday we went for the Kildare finals of the Mini Company competition. Myself, Hayley, Michelle, Ailbhe, Leah, Mia, Clara & Emma met up in my house on Sunday to fix up some last minute things...our posters had completely stuck together with double-sided sticky tape from the last competition so Clara & I spent aaaages trying to pry it apart (using a hair-dryer, oven gloves, a towel, a barbeque tongs, and butchers knife and nail-polish remover). Eventually we separated them but they were so crumpled that we had to make a border to go aroun the egde to make them look better.. :/ Anyway, we got our work finished and by the next morning we were ready to head off to the Osprey Hotel in Naas to our competition.
We arrived there at around 11am and spent over an hour setting u our stand and getting ourselves ready for the day. Emma & Mia had ensured that morning that we got a decent display board which wouldn't fall down (like the one we had in our regional final!). We got it up and put black sheet over it with fairy lights. My dad had helped us to make a big thing in the shape of our de-knotter with our mini-company name on it and we hung that up above the board (after the disastrous one we made ourselves out of paper-maché). We started to panic when the internet wouldn't work but we manage to get the home page of our website open so the judges could see it. We set up our table and then went for lunch (potato wdges and chicken goujons...mmmm...) courtesy of the competition.
At 2 o'clock the judging started. We had three judges...the first was a lady who was judging our interview skills and our stand as well as the product itself. The second was a man from AIB who was judging our finances, and the third was another man who was judging marketing and sales. Overall, we were very happy with our interviews. Out of the 18 schools in the final, our school had the most entries (four); Baby Cakes, The Just Desserts, Spoover and us. After the judging we had to wait a short while before the results were announced...meanwhile there was a lot of attention from people who had come for the prize-ceremony in our project. We were saying that had we manufactured we could have made loads of sales that day....oh well!!
Finally the results were announced..The Just Desserts were the first to win a prize...they won the judges award for excellent presentation and an excellent interview (they made cookbook on a USB key)...well done girls!! Four other prizes were given out...most innovative, best business report and best display. Then they announced that we had won second place! We were sooo happy...out of 120 groups who entered in Kildare we had come second! We got a gorgeous trophy and €200, and we were offered a free marketing package from KFM, our local radio station. Sadly, we won't be going through to the next round but we're still really happy with how we did...I don't know yet what the future hold for Knot A Problem but we might yet manufacture...keep an eye out on http://www.dknotter.com/ (our website). Well done to everyone!
By the time we got home that evening we were all wreckedbut had had a very enjoyable day... :)
Btw...we owe a huge thanks to Ms L & Ms L (two different teachers...our year head and our mini-company teacher) for all their help and guidance throughout the project... :D

Friday, March 11, 2011

Work Experience Day 5...it's all over now :(

Today was my last day of work experience in the courts....actually it was my last ever day of work experience in TY!! :'( I really will miss it!
Today I just did more filing and alphabetising. I also interviewed my supervisor, Ann Marie, for my Work Experience report booklet. I found out loads from her about her job...she only gets 27 days holiday a year! Like woah! She also works Flexi-time, which means she picks the hours she works...she can work from 8am to 7pm and has to work 6 hours 57 minutes a day (isn't that a mad number?!). She says that the most important thing in her job is not breaching confidentiality, and also..you have to have good customer service skills because, as a public servant, she answers to the public. The lucnhtimes are from 12.30 - 2.00 in my office and people can decide how long to use themselves...they also take tea breaks sometimes...which I'm not used to so I never went on one.. :)
I spent a while after lunch finishing off my booklet...I had filled it in each day but I was just adding in a few bits of extra information about the building and stuff (one of the ladies there gave me a booklet to get some of the information).
I learned loads about the building; there are 22 courts, 16 have space for juries, the otheres don'tt. The building was built btween 2007 and 2009 to bring all the criminal jurisdictions (I didn't spell that right...) together. There are eight floors, including a basement that holds prison cells for the prisoners awaiting trial. There are loads of lifts...4 main ones in the "grand hall", but also loads of others that can't be seen, including ones leading from the jail cells to the court rooms. There is a separate "dining room" for judges and another one for members of the jury. Staff and the public can eat in a self-service canteen, but its divided into separate sections for both parties. The building is very, very modern because it's so new. It very bright and spacious.. and clean! When you go in the front door there is a security point like at the airport! I needed a special card (like all the other workers there) to let me in and out of my office and other doors that are locked to non-employees.
Some of the jobs in the Criminal Courts of Justice include barristers, judges, solicitors, court clerks, registrars, interpreters, prison guards and clerical workers, aswell as LOADS more.
I learned a lot from this work experience; before I went I wanted to do medicine or law when I'm finished school but I'm pretty sure now that I don't want to do law...I didn't find it interesting enough. I also know for definite that I don't want to work in an office...I like being able to walk around freely and I just don't think it would suit me personally.
From the work experience programme as a whole, I've learned a lot too. I'm nearly 100% sure now that I want to do medicine after school. I learned that it takes a lot of patience when applying for a job...I wrote sooo many letters (waaay before the work experience dates) and got hardly any back. I also learned how to write a letter to apply for a job and how to make a CV. Another thing I learned was how hard it is to start a new job...going in on the first day was really awkward because I didn't know anyone. I learned how to communicate well with different people and with adults too. Also, the independence skills I learned were phenomenal...more so this time round...having to make my own way to work experience by bus and make my own lunch arrangements and stuff was kinda scary but very cool aswell...there were no teachers or parents to spoonfeed so I had to make decisions myself...even knowing what to do next when my supervisor was away from her desk (or what bus-stop to get off at!). Work epxperience has definitley been one of the most worthwhile module so far this year...I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to start working for real now! (I bet I'll take that back in a few years!)
I'd love to be able to do another week or two in other places seeing what they're like...for example at a school (I was only there for one day in November so I'd like to spend more time there). Thanks to everyone at Naas Hospital, Tirmohan National School, The Courts Service & The Criminal Courts of Justice for all their help! :)

Work Experience Day 4

So today I'll write about yesterday and today. Yesterday was a really good day...I was on time for the bus (and therefore didn't miss it/nearly miss it) and I got off at the right busstop (very proud moment for me..) :L I did more filing and putting sheets in alphabetical order. After lunch the other girl doing work experience in the criminal courts came down and I showed her how to do the filing...she had nothing to do in her office so she came to help me out.
Putting bundles of files in alphabetical order was NOT fun! Each pile was about 30cm deep and they all started with the same letter! I have some advice for anyone who will be doing work experience or just working in an office in general; learn youur alphabet. Everyone thinks they know it...but wait until you have one hundred different second names all beginning with con...then you'll know all about it! I had a post-it note stuck on the partition between my desk and the desk infront of me with the alphabet written on it! :L I had fun though...the ladies who work around me are all so nice and very very funny!!!
I got the bus home without missing it too...overall, it was a very good day! Yay :)

Work Experience Day 3

I'm a bit behind in my posts about work experience due to a lack of spare time, so even though it's Thursday, I'm going to write about yesterday.
I knew I had to be in early yesterday (9.30 instead of 10) because I was going on a tour around the courts with a school from Ballymun at half nine, so I was getting an earlier bus than usuual. Unfortunately, I have bad luck when it comes to buses and when I came around the corner out of my estate the bus was already after leaving the busstop and was stopped at the traffic lights! I ran up to the door and luckily the driver let me on (just a quick note: I was on time, the bus was just early). I was really happy when I got into Dubin because I only got off one stop early this time...I'm getting better!
I went through security and then waited on the school to arrive. We went around with a barrister named Carl. We went into one of the court rooms and had a mock trial...some people got to try on the barristers' gowns!
After that I went to see a real trial...it was a very interesting case beacause it was a famous murder trial. I stayed there until the court was adjourned at 13.00 and then I went home (I had a half day!).
It was very interesting to see a proper big case like that..I'll write about today, tomorrow (I'm tired now.. :L)
Working is hard...I think I'm just gonna retire after secondary school..I now know why my mam and dad are complaining by the end of the week! :D

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pancake Tuesday!

By the way...for anyone who forgot, today was pancake Tuesday...I had two pancakes with Nutella and one with lemon and sugar (don't worry..they were small(ish))! I just got back from step aerobics (for Gáisce) so that will burn off some of the calories I consumed from the pancakes :L
Tomorrow is the start of lent so I won't be eating chocolate for weeks!!! Yelp!! How will I survive? A teacher once said to me the worst thing a girl can do is give up chocolate for Lent 'cause girls need chocolate to put them in a good mood...I agree! (Watch out!!!!!) JK :P

Work Experience Day 2

Day two in the courts was really cool and very interesting..I didn't get off to the best start this morning (it was just one of those days) because I neaarrly missed my bus and then I got off the bust two early and had to walk for aaaages (I'm not good with the whole bus thing..)! Finally I arrived in the office I'm working in though...with one minute to spare! Ann-Marie, my supervisor, told me I was going to the courts today to see some cases. I did some files and at half ten went down to court 3 to see the trials. The 10.30 ones all were very quick (about 2 minutes each!) and I didn't really understand much (they spoke very fast and used lots of big legal phrases) but the 12 o'clock ones were longer and I understood a lot more!
The court room was really cool...there was a big table at the top where the judge sits and under that there's a table for the registrar and someone else (I can't remember their job). Then there are two tables for solicitors and barristers. At the sides of the tables there are two stands for witnesses and the person being brought before the court sits either to the side of the tables (if they're in custody) or in front in the seats (if they're not in custody).
It was very busy in the court room...there were loads of Gardaí there and solicitors & barristers. It finished at one and I went back up to the office to get my stuff so I could go on lunch but I had forgotten my card thiong that opens the doors so I was locked out...I got help from a man who showed me to the information desk and the lady there called Ann-Marie to let me in! Oops! :/
After lunch I went back to my files....there was a LOT of work to do...one of the files for court on Wednesday was HUUUUUUGE and it took me aaaages to do!
I finished at four and got the bus home (I actually missed my bus 'cause I was in the toilet but I just got the next one a half hour later).
Tomorrow I'm goung on a tour with a school around the place and then I get a half day...I think I'm getting off at lunch time but I'm not entirely sure...
I had a really good day today...seeing what a court is like was pretty cool!
I'll right again about it tomorrow.. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Work Experience Day 1

This week I'm in the Criminal Courts of Justice for Work Experience. I was a little bit nervous going in this morning because I had to get the bus into Dublin city and even though it's only about a half hour away, I'm not a big fan of Dublin and always have no sense of direction and therefore get lost very easily! I was rather proud however because I managed to get to Phoenix House in Smithfield - where I was meeting my contact - without getting lost or having to ask for directions (although I did get off at the wrong bus stop but I was very early so it didn't make a difference!). When I met my contact we went up to her office and I signed some paperwork re work experience. She told me a little bit about the courts and then we got on the Luas (which conveniently had a stop outside the building) and went up to the criminal courts of justice where I'll spend the week. She introduced me to my supervisor, Ann-Marie. After she left Ann-Marie showed me around and then told me what I'd be doing for the day....
I had to take a pile of court order sheet things and then stamp them with the date the person was due to arrive in court...that took a good while. Then I separated them into two piles depending on the time of the trial. Then I put them in alphabetical order and ticked them off a list. I did that for all of the court cases this Wednesday and for some of the Thursday ones. I was allowed to take lunch any time between 12.30 and 2 for as long or as little as I wanted. I went from 1 till 1.35 (I had soup in a little cafe). I finished at 4. The bus-stop is just across the road which is dead handy! And then my bus (66) came straight away!!! I was very happy... :)
I'm really looking forward to the rest of the week...on Wednesday I'm going a tour with a school (so yeah, a school tour) around the courts and I'll also get to the see the courts in action!
The courst are very different ot the hospital (where I went on my last work experience). It's a much slower pace (if that makes any sense) and just totally different....I really enjoyed today...I'll write again tomorrow :)

New Design!!

As part of Challenge 1 for the blogger challenge we were asked to change the theme of our blog...so I went for Shamrocks because they're kinda apt in light of what season it is...in Ireland at the moment we're busy getting ready for St. Patrick's day next Thursday 17th March 2011. I can't wait! I don't know if I'm going to a parade yet...I might just watch the Dublin one on TV...but the atmosphere is always great on the day..and the higlights are brill on RTE News that evening! St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland so it's a big deal...parades not only occur all over Ireland, but all around the world too! I'd love to go to the New York one someday... :) Oooo..update: just figured out how to change the font and stuff...I really like my new blog "makeover"...pretty awsum!

Blogger Challenge 1: About My Blog

Challenge 1 in the student blog challenge is to write about the purpose of our blog...so I made a page on what my blog is about. You can check it out above^^ Basically this is an account of my year in Transition Year (4th year). So far it has been the best year ever and I've enjoyed every minute of it!...read above or send me questinos to find out more... :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Busy Week!

Woah...this week was soooo busy...but definitely a good one!

On Thursday we went to Clane GAA for the local finals of the Mini Comapany competition. When we arrived we found our stand...we were really happy coz we got a big table to fit all our stuff!! Emma had collected the posters the night before and they looked great! Our stand was a bit hard to put up coz it was broken but it looked really good when it was finished. Our interview with the judge went pretty well...we were happy, even though our report book was too big. The funniest bit was when five minutes after the judge left our stand, the whole display collapsed!! It took a great team effort to get it back up but it was very funny afterwards! Loads of the other projects were brill and the standard was huge, but at the end we were told (along with five other groups from our year) that we got shortlisted for the next round, and we found out later that day that we made it to the next round!! We're so happy...the next competition is on 14th March.

Our Formula 1 in schools regional final was yesterday. We had a very stressful week with that but by Thursday evening our uniforms, portfolio, poster and car were all ready to go and I stopped hyperventilating (I'm the team manager(!)). So we arrived at the school at 7.45am(!). We got a bit lost on the way but eventually we arrived at Griffith College and got set up for the competition. Our display poster looked really well...Mr W loved it! Firstly we had our portfolio interview. Two judges came to our stand and looked through our portfolio, asking us each abou the part we had to play in it. Everyone had something to say and we were very happy with how it went. Then it was time to race our car. We were up against a team from Carlow called Team Phoenix. We had a false start in the first race, and in the next two we were beaten by 0.2 seconds! The gap was so tiny! Sarah, the "driver" did an excellent job, and we were so proud of her! After that we had our visual display interview. We presented a PowerPoint presentation to two different judges and basically told them what we did again, as well as answering some of their questions. It went very well and we were really, really happy at the end at how it had gone! After lunch (in the college restaurant...chips...mmm...) another judge came over to ask us about the manufacturing of our car. He was only with us briefly. At the end of the day there were some fun races, that anyone could take part in. They were just testing reaction times. Then there was the awards. After giving out some of the awards (we didn't win any..aw well) they announced the teams who had gotten through to the nexxt round, the national finals. It's safe to say that we were sufficiently shocked when they called out our team name..we have a few stuff to fix up with our car but we're looking forward to it in April.
Thanks to Ms. L & Mr. W, our teachers for Mini Company & Tech/F1 respectively for all their help! Oh, and to Ms. L our year head and all the other teachers who let us work on our projects in their class coming up to the deadline!

After F1 we had the Wesley College choir competition. Everyone sang really well, but sadly we didn't place-the standard was really high!

It's been such a busy week...I was glad to have a lie-in today! Next week we're on work experience. I'll be in the criminal courts in Dublin. I went in with my mam today to find out where I've to go on the first day (I dind't know where Phoenix House was). It should be an interesting week. I'll blog about it each day. :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Back At School

Woah...it's only Wednesday and already so much has happened! Firstly, we got back after our week-long midterm break..
On Monday we had Mini-Company. Our competition is tomorrow so it's all go. We had a very interesting class trying to battle against display boards...thankfully our group are getting one of the easily-assembled ones tomorrow but there are four boards that will prove difficult for whoever gets them...
I can't wait for the competition tomorrow. We're collecting our posters this evening (by we I mean Emma & Michelle), we have our project book ready and our prototypes are painted and looking sooo cute. I have to fix up the name-tags for everyone. I should be fun and fingers crossed we'll get through to the next round...
Yesterday we did soccer in P.E. I was the goalie which wasn't a good idea because I tended to flinch when the ball came my way...and I let in three goals...but it's all in the effort! :L
The Wesley College Choir competition is on Friday so we were busy singing to our hearts' content yesterday and today in extra practises to be ready for Friday.
Also on Friday is our F1 in Schools competition. Our poster has been submitted and will be delivered to our school tomorrow morning. I just finished the portfolio and the PowerPoint and our car is being spray-painted this evening. It got pretty stressful there at one stage but thankfully, we're nearly ready to go!
Next week we're on work experience. I'm going to the court's service in Dublin. It should be interesting!
I'll write tomorrow about the competition...we've a half too :D

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mid-Term Break Next Week!

I can't believe it's already the February mid-term!!! Seems like only yesterday we were coming back after Christmas!!! I'm going to spending some of my week off in the Gaeltacht for a cinnire training course...speaking Irish! :)
I'm glad today is nearly over because there were a lot of projects due in today (our Tech F1 in Schools car design, our Mini Company report booklet & our Geography diseases of poverty project!).
I had a slight mishap with the printer at home last night (I had no colour ink-only black and white!) and I was afraid I wouldn't get it printed out, but I got it done in the end.Our mini-company report looks really good now...we just had a few small changes but all in all we didn't have much to do today and we got it submitted without any hassle. Our car for F1 had to be finished off and I was a bit worried that we wouldn't get it done but thanks to Mia and Mr. W, we emailed the designs off after lunch.
So today has been busy but very productive!! And now we've the week off to recover!!! :L (from what?!) lol :)
Happy Mid-term everyone!!! :)

Student Blog Challenge

I've decided to take part in next month's student blog challenge...it should be interesting. I think I'll get to look at other students' blogs and they can look at mine. I'll get a new challenge each week that I'll have to do. I'm looking forward to it!
Here's a link to the blog challenge site...
http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/students-march-2011/.

Sometimes in April

Today we spent the three classes between break and lunch watching Sometimes in April It's a movie about genocide in Rwanda and how the Hutus and the Tutsis were battling against each other. The Hutus were above the Tutsis and set out to eliminate the Tutsis. Its a true story and was really sad. We watched it with Amina and we're gonna finish it off after mid-term in class.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Maths games

Today in maths we played probability games in maths...they weren't very fun but they were interesting...I was with Hayley and we had two die which we had to roll 72 times. The aim was to see what we'd roll and how many time we rolled each number. Our results were pretty acurate. We started another game like it but then the bell went so we couldn't finish it...I think we'll be doing more like it again on Friday.. :)

P.E.

Today, because of the mocks, we ended up having pe, then lunch, and then pe again instead of the usual double. Mr. L was gone to cross-country so Ms. O'C took both of our classes. For the first class we played capture the flag. We were put into two teams and then we had to run from our side to the other team's side and grab the "flag" (it was a bib!) and bring it back to our side without being caught - a LOT easier said than done! Needless to say, the game went on for ages and no-one won in the end coz it was time to go in for lunch.
After lunch we played rounders. We stayed in the same teams. I don't know who won but it was definitely very close...I didn't manage to get home...I only got past the first cone when I was put out...oh well!!! Sin saol I supposse... :)
Anyway...I really enjoyed PE today...it was good having the classes split up before and after break. I think we'll be doing rugby again after mid-term but I'm not entirely sure... :)

English Writing Workshop

Today a writer called Oisín McGann came in and talked to us about writing. He has written a few books and illustrates them himself. It was really interesting and very funny! He told us that he has three notebooks; one in his pocket, one by his bed and one by his chair at home where he writes down any ideas that pop into his head to keep them for future use.
At the end he drew a picture of one of the characters froma book of his and gave it to us for the school...it was soooo good!!!
He also gave us some good advice about writing...he told us that every story should have a distinctive beginning, middle & end, and that there should be a climax, something to overcome, and a way to overcome it!
You can check out his website here; http://www.oisinmcgann.com/.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Croke Park

Today we're going to the GAA museum at Croke Park as part of history. We're leaving next class. I'll write more about it when I get back...I really hope there's a shop there 'cause I'm hungry for chocolate,,,or crisps...mmmmm.... :)
Well we went to the GAA museum yesterday and I had such a good day!!! I admit I never had any interest in the GAA etc (awful, I know!), but after yesterday, I have developed a want to go see a match all of a sudden!!
First of all we went into a room and saw a movie for about twenty minutes about the All-Ireland hurling and football finals 2009 and all the preparation that goes into having a match there. It was so intersting!
Then we went on a tour of the whole stadium. We got to see the changing rooms, the players' loungs (its a VIP room - we were lucky to get to see it), the pitch, the stands and a corporate box. Our tour guide (I can't remember his name :/) told us the prices for a corprate box and to rent a seat for 10 years...I must say, you'd want to have a money tree growing in your back garden!! In the canging rooms there were jerseys from every county in Ireland and even some GAA clubs abroad in London and New York!!! It's so cool to know that people all over the world play our national sport!
The pitch was immaculate - there were two men cutting it with normal lawnmowers - the pitch is the size of three soccer pitches!!!! They can't use ride-on mowers coz they might ruin the grass!!!
We also got to see some of the cups including the origianl Sam McGuire cup.
In the museum there were games to test how high you can jump, your aim, your balance and other stuff like that. I found out that; I can't jump high, my balance is appaling, and I couldn't hit a target if I was paid! :) Oh well!
We got to go for lunch in the cafe there if we wanted...I got garlic bread and Hayley and I shared a chocolate bar... :D
It was a really enjoyable day and I learned loads about the GAA and Croke Park. When I went home I asked my mum can we go to a match sometime soon and she said yeah!!!
Thanks to Ms. McG and Ms. McH for organising it and bringing us! :)
PS...I'll try and upload some pictures soon :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Baby Cakes' Bake Sale

One of the other mini-companies in our year, Baby Cakes (they make baby clothes in the shape of cakes!) held a bake sale today to raise money for their Mini-Company. Everyone in our class helped them out by selling the food, manning the door and eh...buying from them!!!
I got a 2 marshmallow & chocolate cups which were DIVINE! (I never have chocolate in school so it was a nice change!). They had loads of food there like cookies, cake and rice-crispie buns...and LOADS of chocolate (cause our year looooves chocolate!).
They raised 165 euro for their mini-company project...well done girls!!! :)

Music Composition

In music today we composed our own pieces using Sybelius...mine was called Brochailli (ahem)... They were very interesting (!). It was fun being able to make a piece and then listen to it afterwards! :)

Home Ec Project

At the moment we're busy writing up our presentations for our Home Ec project on internatioanl cuisine. Laura and I have got info on New Zealand geography, cuisine and sport (I included a video on the Haka)! It's nice and colourful too... :) It's probably due after mid-term 'cause we still have to cook one last recipe.
Tomorrow we're starting on food theory...we'll be learning about food safety & hygiene, the HACCP system, food poisoning and food spoilage...it should come in handy for the future and stuff!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waris Dirie Movie & Slideshow

After reading some of the autobiography from the world-famous model, we got to watch the movie based on her story. WOW!...it was sad, but really amazing to see what she did with her life and especially how she raised global awareness on such a horrific issue in the world today. A mini project we did was to make a story-board on her life so here's the one Hayley, Michelle & I did...

Rugby...

Ha! I just laugh every time I picture myself running, petrified, into a crowd of harmless TY's thinking "Oh my God, I'm gunna die". And then all they do is take my tag. Hehe!!
Me + rugby = bad idea!! Don't get me wrong, it's really fun, and I enjoy doing it, but I wish that I could (just once) get somewhere without throwing the ball into space and running away. Oh well...it's great craic though and I must say...the other girls in my year are AMAZING! Ailbhe ran soooo fast up the pitch today!!! I'd just fall...actually I wouldn't be able to run that fast in the first place! :L
Rugby = good fun...but I should definitely get practising!

Rince Gaelach

On Friday last week we practised our "haon, dó, trís" in the hall with class Amina during Irish. It was really fun! We did "Bailí Luimneach" and one other (I can't remeber which one - it could have been the Siege of Ennis, which I ca't spell as Gaeilge!). At the end of the class Niamh, Aoife and Karen (and Ruth apparently :L) showed us some of their dancing skills on their own - they were brill!!!! We'll be doing it again this Friday as far as I know - I can't wait!!
Also, in Irish today we watched the gearr-scannán "Cáca Milis". It's on the Leaving Cert course for us. It's a really sad movie about a blind man and how awfully he is treated. At the end we had to listen to Happiness by Alexis Jordan to cheer ourselves up a bit!! :D

Cooking in Home Ec

I was a bit apprehensive when I first started cooking in Home Ec because I'm no Gordon Ramsey...actually I'm the opposite!!..I'm an awful cook!

But the week before last we started cooking for our international cuisine project. Laura and I are basing our project on New Zealand cuisine. On the first day of cooking we made Hokey Pokey biscuits. Here's a picture of the finished biscuits (they're not burned - that's the melted chocolate!!);


Last week we made chicken and broccoli bake. I forgot to take a picture but it tasted really nice (except I accidentally left it in school over night and then it SMELLED!!!!)
We were supposed to be cooking again tomorrow but the mocks are on so it's being post-poned. Laura and I are still deciding what to make anyway so it's good we have more time...
I've decided that I really like cooking though so maybe it can be a hobby to consider!! (Hehe :L)

F1 in Schools

So far, team Éalu (me, Kate, Michelle, Hayley, Mia & Sarah) have been pretty busy with our Formula 1 in schools project. We've nearly finished designing our car using SolidWorks and we'll be sending the designs, along with our block of Balsa wood down to Cork, where it will be manufactured, next week.
On Monday, Roisín (from the other group, team Swift) and I went to KFM studios in Naas and did an interview about F1 and about TY. It was really cool to be inside a radio studio and to see how everything worked...although it was a tad embarassing being on the radio!!
We stay back on Thursdays after school so Mr. Walsh can help us with our projects and to get a bit more work done. We have a Twitter account now and a Facebook page. At the moment, we're busy looking for sponsorship. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Desert Flower by Waris Dirie

This book is about a super-model, Waris Dirie. In it, she tells the story of her life. She was born into a Somalian herding family. At age 13, after her father arranged for her to marry a man in his sixties, she ran away from home and went to live with her aunt. Eventually, she left for London where she then went on to develop a career as a model. In this story she highlights the horrors of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and how it had a huge affect on her life and the lives of millions of African girls in the past, and still to this day.
I thought this book was very sad as Waris clearly had a very difficult childhood and suffered a lot throughout her life. I did, however, find it very interesting and eye-opening as it highlighted to me the horrors of FGM and how so many young girls here to suffer at the hands of this outrageous custom. I didn't realise that it was such a prominent issue still present in the world today. It was also a very inspiring story as it showed how, by her independance and courage, a girl of a very disadvantaged upbringing could make such a good life for herself and could achieve happiness. I thought it was a really brilliant book.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Catch Up...

On Tuesday last week we all went to Mullingar to participate in the Briery Gap TY Drama Competition. We all performed our plays - the play I was in was about a girl called Aoife and the effects drink-driving has on her and her friends' lives. I was Aoife's mother in the play so I had to act all depressed which was really difficult 'cause it's hard not to laugh! The other dramas in our year were one on domestic violence, one on the novel Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, and one on the poem But You Didn't by Merrill Glass. I really enjoyed performing - it was kinda scary at first but it was a great experience.
Today and tomorrow we're all having meetings with Ms. H. about our subject options for the Leaving Cert. We'll have to pick our options next week - I'm going to do Biology, Chemistry, History and Music, hopefully! :)
Later today I'm going to Dublin with some girls from the choir to sing at a mass this evening in honour of the bi-centenary of Margaret Aylward's birth - she founded the Holy Faith Sister's and our school used to be a Holy Faith school.
On Thursday this week we're having a movement workshops organised by Ms. C. in conjunction with our dramas. We'll have to perform our dramas in a few weeks time for the Holy Faith Sisters, which should be interesting. The theme is what Margaret Aylward would have done if she was still alive today.
At the moment we've loads of projects that we're working on. In French we just completed a project on "Les Pays Francophones" -French-Speaking Countries. My project was on Haiti. We've got a project in Home Ec on International cuisine. Laura and I are doing New Zealand. Last week we cooked Hokey Pokey Cookies...they tasted pretty good!! :) We'll be cooking again this week, maybe a steak dish. In art we're doing a project associated with our Home Ec project. We have to focus on the art/architecture etc of the country we're doing in Home Ec. New Zealand is definitely a difficult one!!
This week we wrote our first letters to our French pen-pals. We don't know the names of them yet, but I can't wait to hear back!
Well that's all my news for now...I'll write again soon!! :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Back After Christmas...

Last week was our first week back after Christmas. On Friday we went to the RDS to the BT Young Scientist Exhibition. Two groups from our school, one from our year and one from 5th year had projects there. It was really interesting!
On Thursday we had a talk on recycling by a member of WEEE Ireland. He has set us a task to give out ten battery recylcling boxes.
Before Christmas we went to Carlow for a Self-Help Africa Workshop in December. We were split into four groups and each group went to three of four workshops. They were; Development, Civil Strife, HIV/AIDS and Lesotho. I learned a lot about the third world and how it's being developed.
On the 18th December a group of us from the choir carol sang at the Orchard Garden Centre. The choir as a whole sang at the school carol service the Friday before our exams began.
We were supposed to go bowling but the school was closed bacause of the snow so we're going som eother time.
Our Home Ec project last term was to design an outfit using a pair of white trousers and a white t-shirt. On Friday 10th Decmber we had our fashion show in the hall where we showed off our designs.
We were really busy last term - we had loads of projects, workshops and talks!
This term we already have two projects; one on French-speaking countries (I'm doing Haiti) and a Home Ec project on international cuisine (I'm doing New Zealand).
I can't believe that we've been in TY for 4 months already! :)