Tag Archives: school

On the eve of the results..

So, here I am, sitting in my bedroom, eating a banana, alone apart from the crane fly in the corner whose murder I am currently planning. The Facebook statuses are being updated at a rate only comparable to the eve of the Leaving Cert itself, and I’m lamenting the fact that there’s only a glassful of orange juice left in the house to go with my Jameson in the morning.

I’m strangely calm right now, but when I start to think about walking through the front doors of the school again, seeing the principal, teachers and fellow students, and, most of all, being handed that envelope, it makes the whole thing seem a little too real.

In fairness though, this is nothing compared to June. It’s hard not to get worked up about it all, but the exam’s are done and no-one can change that now. (Well, maybe a corrupt State Examinations Commission employee, but that’s unlikely. Hopefully.) And, unless something terrible happens, like failing maths, we all get to go crazy tomorrow night and drink ’til we no longer remember what the Leaving Cert is.

I’m excited too. Excited at the thought of finally escaping from the clutches of secondary education. Excited at never having to think about a state exam again. Excited about what the future holds…maybe.

I went to the pub to meet a few friends earlier. Everyone was just going a bit insane at home and heading out for a drink seemed like the best idea. I had a mojito, which was suitably pretentious of me. People were planning tomorrow’s activities on an hour-by-hour basis, but I think I’ll go with a more spontaneous approach to things, it’s more my style..

Whatever happens there’ll be tears, either of joy or despair, and plenty of alcohol to intensify those emotions and help in the creation of much drunken debauchery. Right now though, it’s time to find that feckin’ daddy-long-legs’ hiding place, murder it with my trusty weapon of The Irish Times, and get myself to sleep. G’luck folks, it’ll be grand..

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A Life Update (Possibly in list form)

Wow. Hi. Remember me? Probably not. Apologies to the four people who’ve been checking this horrifically neglected blog on a daily basis in the hope that I’d published some more of my world-class ramblings. I’ve been busy. Because I like lists at the moment, I’m going to tell you in list form what I’ve been doing. Or some of what I’ve been doing at least.

1. I went to Amsterdam! I think that’s the biggest bit of news really, hence it’s number one. Although this list will not be arranged in order of importance. Anyway, I visited a friend in Amsterdam and spent five-nights-six-days there. It was lots of fun and Amsterdam is an amazingly chilled out and beautiful city.  If I get a chance, I’ll do an Amsterdam post, because it really does deserve one of its own.

2. I did my pre Leaving Cert exams before that. They were ok. I don’t mind exams; they’re better than having classes and they seem to go pretty fast. I’ve nearly all of the results back at this stage and I’m quite pleased, especially considering the vast majority of subjects were studied solely the night before.

3. The Irish orals are on this week and French next week. My Irish is coming up this Thursday I think, a fact which is slightly terrifying, but not as terrifying as the fact that French is next Monday. There’s a high probability of me crying.

4. I’ve been listening to lots of music, probably just in an attempt to avoid doing any work, but it’s nice all the same. I’m also very much looking forward to various gigs and festivals that will be taking place during the summer.

5. I’ve been talking about getting a summer job. Yeah, just talking about it. God forbid I should hand out CVs or actually do anything about it.

6. I’ve joined StumbleUpon and have whiled away many hours looking at nothing. It’s horribly addictive and I wouldn’t recommend joining unless you consciously want to destroy your education and/or home life/marriage.

7. I hung out in the library there a bit while I was doing the pres. Studying, like. Not actually hanging out reading the newspapers with the old men or anything. Life’s not that bad yet. It was good though. I made a friend when this guy borrowed my set square, I saw hobos being arrested on Grand Parade, I went for lunch and coffee in Gusto lots, I engaged in polite conversation with an old man, I wondered just why that Vans was up on the window ledge next to me, I cursed the loud buttons on my phone, I looked out the window alot and, from time to time, I studied.

I couldn’t be bothered concluding this nicely so instead:

The End.

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Journalism, or am I crazy?

Last week, I came home to news of The Sunday Tribune’s financial difficulties. The vast majority of my Twitter stream alternated between tweets about The Tribune and others about the impending closure of two Waterstone’s outlets in Dublin. While both pieces of news were as bad as each other, and reminded us of the real effect of this recession, the Tribune story struck more of a chord with me.

Not a week goes by anymore without someone asking me what I put down on my CAO or what I want to do with my life. I usually babble on for a minute or so about how I was torn between choosing a science course and a humanities course, but eventually disclose the dream of one day getting paid to write.

Each and every time I answer this question I ask myself where this whole journalism idea came from. The only relative of mine who ever wrote anything was my dad’s second cousin, who published two novels for pre-teens, along with a primary school textbook and a school play. So writing’s not exactly in my blood..

It’s hard to pinpoint when I first got this dream of being a journalist into my head. I suppose I always liked writing. Many a time as a young wan I tried writing a book, and for a few years there kept a diary religiously.

Being editor of the school magazine in TY is probably what made me seriously consider a career in publishing or the media. There were, of course, other people involved with the magazine, and there’s no way it would have ever happened without them, but I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t do a hell of a lot of work to get that magazine printed and sent off to The Irish Times before the deadline for the competition closed.

Having been taught the basics of InDesign by an art teacher in school, I spent my mid-term painstakingly putting the magazine together, bit by bit, before flying off to Paris for a school trip. Last year was much the same, only Paris was replaced by an even better trip to London. In some ways, though, last year’s magazine was a more influential experience. It’s hard to say which magazine was better overall, but if I had to pick one, I’d probably choose last year’s ‘Snap!’ While ‘Ink’ from the previous year was impressive, the bit of experience we had shone through in ‘Snap!’ Above all, I put together every single page of it, and maybe even more importantly wrote an award-winning article about Plugd’s closure.

I know that sounds quite conceited but it’s not. If I could write about Plugd for the rest of my life, then my articles would all be pretty good. It’s easy and enjoyable to write about something you know very well and love even more. And as much as this would be a fabulous career, I don’t think it’s very feasible. Having said that, if you know someone who’d like to hire someone (i.e. me) to write a regular column about Plugd, then do pass on my details.

I remember going to the school magazine awards in the Science Gallery in Trinity in TY. I think it was Shane Hegarty of the Times who told us a story of how his career in publishing started when he put together his 6th year yearbook. It was a nice story to hear because it reminded me a bit of myself, only my ‘career’ started even earlier, in 6th class when I designed the cover of out primary school yearbook. And it wasn’t that I was the only one willing to do it, because everyone in the class had to do one, and then there was a vote among the class. If, one day, I become a mighty successful journalist, this will be my story of my beginnings in journalism. I could embellish it a bit though, and claim that I knew from that very moment it was all I ever wanted to do. How romantic..

Now though, I’m eighteen and need to be a bit more realistic about job opportunities. I could have done the sensible thing and went for Medicine, but when have I ever done the sensible thing? I probably should be contributing to this whole smart economy lark, but instead I’m aiming for the most insecure career possible.

It worries me that I’ll spend my life writing the odd article here and there, struggling to find permanent work or make ends meet. I’m scared that I’ll regret choosing this airy-fairy future over a solid, well-payed, highly-sought-after job. The current vogue of blaming the Irish Government for everything doesn’t really apply here, unfortunately enough. The newspaper industry was changing long before the IMF arrived in the country, so I can’t go shouting at politicians who come canvassing to the door that they’ve ruined my chances of being a journalist. That’s a bit annoying really, because it would have been nice to have someone to blame.

Last June I spent one amazing week working with the Irish Times, and I’d have given anything to stay there and not have to come home and face the raucous music that is the Leaving Cert. When I do imagine my future self, it’s not in a hospital or a lab but somewhere else, less concrete, but there’s usually a notebook in hand or laptop in front of me.

I don’t think I’m in any way gifted at writing or English which sometimes make me reconsider this whole ‘plan’, if you can even call it that. Yes, I’m well able to ramble on and successfully bullshit my way through an exam, but this doesn’t mean I’ll be pumping out literary masterpieces any time soon. Or any time at all.

I may be deluding myself. More than maybe, I’m probably deluding myself. But I think I’ve got to at least try to achieve the dream first, and if it doesn’t work out, I can always marry a farmer…

 

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Summer.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned summer much here so far. It’s weird to think that I started this blog on the first day of 5th year, and now it’s almost all over. It seems so long ago that I wrote that first post, but the year seemed so short too.

Now though, summer is here, and it’s time to go off the rails and party all night and be the completely carefree teenager like the ones you see in American TV shows. But y’know what? I’m not going to do that. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but it’ll be what I want to do.

Kinsale this evening..

Summer is always built up to be the HUGE event and non-stop party but I think people get a tad carried away. Calm down, and things will fall into place naturally. It worked for me last year, and I had the best summer ever.

I have a few plans for the three months off alright, but I’m not going to into them now or you’ll have no reason whatsoever to read Wintertime Clothes over the summer and that wouldn’t be very good at all would it? Speaking of blogs, I’ve been asked to write a blog during the summer for an organisation I suppose you could call it, so watch this space for more details of that!

Today’s the first day that I’ve been properly excited about the summer, and it feels good! I’m looking forward to taking a break, sitting outside cafés drinking coffee, and spending time with certain people. There’s a few other bits and pieces in the pipeline too, such as Kinsale Arts Week. The first volunteer meeting was this evening, and it was so nice to see everyone again and see the new box office and have a catch up. And I got to tell everyone about last year and how it’s such good craic and I’ve been smiling since.

We’ll see how it all goes anyway. SUMMA 2k10 FTW. (That’s sarcasm btw..)

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Guidance…

I don’t know why they call it guidance at all really. You sit there, listening to that ‘guidance counsellor’ drone on and on about how to apply and where you can do level 6 courses and blah blah. I know all this shit already, I need you to help me figure out to do with my life, not tell me that it’s good to get into the habit of filling out forms in black biro.
The prospectii that I already have at home are thrown at me, and I have to ‘research’ a course, research here meaning reading the brief course description that I’ve read ten times myself already. Everyone proceeds to scribble down banal details such as number of places, course code and where to apply. You people think I don’t know this already?!?! You actually think that just by reading the prospectus in the ‘Guidance Suite’ it will miraculously all become clear as opposed to reading it in the comfort of my own bedroom?
So every Monday, I leave the ‘Guidance Suite’ more confused than ever. I’m being told to do Arts or go to a post-leaving cert college. Not being snobby here, but I’m capable of alot more than a certificate, you people should know this. Or has the motto suddenly become ‘Aim low and you might eventually get there via the longest possible route just in time to have the degree you want to stick on the inside of your coffin’. I’m all for looking at different options, and trust me, I have. I’ve possibly looked at every possible area and course available to me. And to be honest, that’s the problem. I’ve too much choice. If I work hard, I can get however many points I want, so that’s not a huge issue. But where to start?
When I was young, very young, I wanted to be a vet. That dream lasted for a good while and I thought I’d never, ever want to do anything else. I even remember telling my parents that you could only do vet med in Dublin, and what would I do, not realising I’d be mad to move away when the time came.
I think Science came next, although maybe there was a very short period of time where I was interested in teaching. But yeah, from about 1st to 3rd year I was set on Science. I was looking at Biomed, Medicinal Chem, general Science, Biochem and so on. Then I contemplated Pharmacy and thought about Medicine, and to this day I still do. Law crept in round about third year, and is still a strong possibility.
Fourth year opened my eyes to the completely new (to me) area of media. Design, journalism and TV/radio suddenly fascinated me. This all happened for numerous reasons and I still have this idea of what I want to do. It’s an extremely idealistic view of what I’d like to end up doing, but everything starts with a dream. I think I love writing, and design too. I like organising and running events. I like the arts and culture. I like the Internet, newspapers, blogs, film and graphic design. I like Irish.
So right now, I have two vastly different options in front of me. I have the scientific one, which absolutely fascinates me. As gay as it sounds, I have a hunger for knowledge, and I like knowing the answers and understanding things. Science is modern and the key to our future as Ireland begins to focus on R&D. The option to study the human body and drugs and having such powerful knowledge seems exciting, and I know I would love studying medicine or pharmacy. It’s the job that’s turning me off. I don’t know how I’d like to be stuck in a lab on my own all day surrounded by test tubes and droppers. I’m not sure if I’d be able to cope in a hospital as contagious diseases scare the living daylights out of me. Being able to save someone’s life would be utterly amazing, but I just don’t know how I’d cope in a hospital, married to my job.
Then there’s option two. If I chose that route, there’s lots more choices to make after that. I was thinking of Law and Irish and if I had to fill out my CAO today that’s probably be number one. Law’s a very broad degree and I think that’s what I need, while Irish would allow me study something I love and use it to possibly get into media or something completely different. Journalism and New Media in UL is something I’ve been looking at too, although it’s a very new course. There’s a few in NUIG that interest me too. That’s the thing about UCC, it’s very ‘traditional’ course-wise. While other colleges are looking to the future and diversifying into modern areas, UCC seem to be holding back a little, and it annoys me, because I really don’t know if moving away is financially feasible.
So here you are, with me in the midst of making one of the biggest decisions in my life. This time next year, that form will have been signed, sealed and delivered. I’m merely a teenager, who still has to get dropped here and there by my parents, who can’t even legally buy alcohol, and yet I’m expected to know what I want to do with my life.
Mind-boggling, in more ways than one.

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Oxegen

What I missed...

Today, round about lunchtime the first part of the line-up for Oxegen 2010 was announced.

It was really rather amusing in school, as one friend of mine skipped class to sit in the bathroom listening to Cormac Battle via her phone. Having said that, this was really just so she’d miss Irish as opposed to her having any interest in what acts were being announced.

At lunch time, everyone was at it. There were phones out all over the place as everyone frantically disregarded the fact they were using up ridiculous amounts of credit and logged on to Facebook, Twitter, oxegen.ie, or even rte.ie I heard. I got my first glance at the line-up when a friend logged on to Facebook, and I was surprised to say the least.

Eminem. That shocked me. And not in the good way. I really don’t know why. It puzzles me.

Anyway, along with Eminem they announced Muse, Jay-Z, The Black Eyed Peas, Kasabian, The Prodigy, Florence and the Machine, Paolo Nutini, Faithless, Stereophonics, David Guetta, Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, John Mayer, Hot Chip, Calvin Harris, Newton Faulkner, Gossip, The Temper Trap, Empire of the Sun, Goldfrapp, La Roux, Wolfmother, Rise Against, The Coral, Broken Social Scene, Ellie Goulding, Two Door Cinema Club, Armand Van Helden, Steve Angello, Simian Mobile Disco, Erol Alkan, Steve Aoki, A-Track, Aeroplane.

So there you have it. There’s a few that stand out as ‘Yay I want to see’ but it’s the headliners that turn me off. Well Muse, cool, but compare Eminem and Jay-Z to last year’s Blur, Killers and Kings of Leon and I know which I’d have chosen. I think I kind of missed out last year. I remember looking at the poster in Plugd everytime I went in over the summer and pointing out all the acts I wanted to see. Not so much this year so far..

Florence, Vampire Weekend, Broken Social Scene, Two Door Cinema Club and Simian would be top of my list. And there’s always the remainder of the line-up which is being announced on March 8th I think. I guess I’ll go, if I have the money and if the ‘rents let me go. But if I was 18, I know I’d be choosing Electric Picnic. Still though, I guess it’s sort of a ‘coming of age’ thing and there are a good few bands I like alot, but I know my friends will probably want to be elsewhere. (Caroline I’d love if you’d come..)

At one point today actually, a girl in school said she had the line-up on her phone from the Oxegen site, and reading through it, it was simply amazing. I was jumping for joy (not literally). But then it began to sound all too familiar. It was, lo and behold, the 2009 line-up. So much for that.

So here’s to the festival season, eh?!

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Work, work, work..

I feel utterly bored when I am working, but ridiculously guilty when I’m not. I pop online for a quick break, but that quick break inevitably turns into half ah hour. Then I’m about to go offline and someone starts a chat on Facebook. And what can you do then? This vicious cycle continues, generally until it’s time to go to bed.

I did a little work this evening though. I’ve a test on Co-ordinate Geometry in the morning, and really hadn’t much of a clue of it. Not that I have much more of a clue now, but at least there’s not the same level of guilt. I still have two theorems to learn. Dear lord I hate theorems.

I stayed after school for an hour or so today to work on the magazine. We didn’t get a whole lot done on the computer; it was more drawing out a plan and deciding what’s going where. And looking through photos of Plugd and Daithí and floods and such on a USB. Very productive. There was also the obligatory conversation about Our Lady’s Hospital as we stared out the window at it.

I’m thinking of going into school on Friday on my day off to work on the magazine. For some mysterious reason InDesign vanished off my laptop, so I only have Photoshop now. I might as the art teacher for the school’s copy of InDesign so we could work on it at weekends and over mid-term and the like. I’m not sure will she give it to me though… Maybe a bit of a down-on-my-knees-begging job could do it.

I’m going to start something new on the blog, for a bit of variety. Two ‘features’ so to speak that I’ll post maybe once a week or so. I am aware that rambling about my day is awfully boring, so I’m thinking of a list format post every so often. Lists are very readable; people like them. I’m also going to make more of an effort to post photos. They’re not going to be works of art, but just random things I see on any given day. Like today, for example, I might take a picture of my Converse on the floor in this room. That kinda thing; nothing exciting.

But now, two lovely theorems await, along with every question on the Digestive System that has ever come up in the Leaving Cert.

Oh. The. Joys.

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