About My Blog

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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!!

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 ^^