Tag Archives: UCC

A life update before we plunge into the good stuff once again.

Hi there friends and people I don’t know. Probably more people I don’t know than friends, actually. But that’s another story.

Last time I was here was August 17th, so I’m going to a nice, easy but relatively boring post in order to ease myself in gently to this blogging thing once again. I’m thinking list form, because there’s less of a chance for me to go off on a tangent and it might look friendlier to the eye for all you loyal readers.

1. Beginning where I left off, I drank a few glasses of whiskey and orange juice the morning of the results, and waited until I knew everyone would be gone from the school and went and collected my results. Neither precaution was really necessary though, because I got 590. And, if you’re like the vast majority of people to which I’ve told this news, you’ll want to know where those 10 points went; the answer being science fucked me over. A1s in everything, and then A2s in biology and chemistry, which I think is quite good for bullshitting my way through science.

2. I went to Electric Picnic. That was terrible amounts of fun. I probably didn’t see as much music as I had planned, but I don’t regret that for a second. Great craic, and a long list of memories that I’m not going to bore you with. Not that I want such stories to become common knowledge. What happens in Stradbally stays in Stradbally. Unless you’re one of those people who holds a grudge. In which case you shouldn’t be allowed go to Electric Picnic in the first place.

3. I started college. Law and French in the mighty as-featured-on-HIMYM UCC. It’s class. Law is interesting, and I like French, or at least the idea of one day being able to speak it fluently. (Or to fluently speak it. Do we have any opinions on split infinitives?) Aside rom the academic stress of starting my assignments 24 hours before they’re due, and struggling to attend lectures after a night out when sleeping is so much more attractive, I love college in general. UCC is lovely, and I’m glad I stayed in Cork, even if I would absolutely love to move out. I like how you’ll always see some friendly face around campus. I like how it’s different from school and so much more ‘me’. I like how my class are lovely and we’ve good craic together. I like arsing around campus even if I’ve a million other things to be doing. I like it in the evening when it’s dark but the illuminated Quad looks lovely and, at the moment anyway, the Christmas lights just make me smile. Oh, and it’s Ireland’s only five-star university, yo..

4. Following on from point three, I do a radio show on UCC radio every Friday, along with three others. It’s in Irish, which wasn’t exactly our plan but I’m glad, because it gives me the opportunity to use my Irish on a weekly basis, something I know would never have happened after I changed my CAO from Law and Irish to Law and French if it weren’t for the show. It’s very ‘organic’ as we like to say on a regular basis, in that it’s rarely well-planned, our Irish isn’t fantastic, I say ‘like’ about 100 times per show, and we’ve started depending on Youtube for music instead of iPods and CDs which isn’t the best idea. Like today we played some Christmas track but there was just random noise for the first 30 seconds while some stupid airport scene took place in the video. If this all sounds like your thing, UCC98.3fm (accessible through iTunes radio) every Friday from 2pm ’til 3pm.

5. I got a MacBook Pro, which pleases me very much. I’d had my good ol’ Sony Vaio for the past three years, and while it was still going strong-ish, I broke the screen by pushing on it too hard when angling it in order to watch Gossip Girl – or something equally embarrassing – in bed one night. So y’know, I told the parents how imperative a laptop was for college, especially in my course so I can save the environment and read various cases and reports on-screen as well as doing assignments and the like. And I told them there was no point in getting me anything other than a Mac because I just wouldn’t be happy. So they bought it for me as my Christmas/birthday present. Quite frankly, it’s the best Christmas/birthday present I ever got, and that ol’ education discount is nice too.

6. Oh I got my Christmas holidays today. We finished off with a charming French exam which we won’t talk about right now. (Ah to be fair I did pass.) Next week is technically study/review week but I doubt I’ll make it into college which leads nicely on to my next point…

7. …because I have tonsillitis! Only made it to two lectures this week as a result, although to be fair I did do a contract law assignment on Monday in between going to the doctor and taking antibiotics. So I finished the assignment half an hour before it was due, made my mum drive me to the print shop in the student centre but they told me they were “closed for printing” (’cause they do so much else) as there was a “big job” going through. Panic ensued, until I remembered this other place up on College Rd., ran there (first time running in UCC, awkward) and then continued my sprint to the law office and I made it, sans-bibliography, with five minutes to spare. Anyway, tonsillitis sucks. First time getting it so the doc wasn’t all ‘to hospital with you!’ but it’s still a terrible nuisance and my tonsils look disgusting and all I want to do is eat sorbet. Made orange sorbet myself one day during the week, squeezing about ten clementines and one large orange in order to get enough juice. The sorbet was amazingly good but it was gone all too soon. And so much for my dad’s promise of getting me more today.

8. I’d love an Irish coffee or a Bailey’s coffee right now. And some sorbet, of course. Slán.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

See-Ay-Oh.

That title may make no sense whatsoever to you, but I was just trying to mix things up a bit. And yes, I am aware that that was an extremely innovative and mind-blowing way of doing it. Titles are not my forte.

If you’re still lost, I’m talking about the CAO. Central Applications Office, for those of you lucky enough not to have a clue what those three little letters stand for; three little letters that strike fear into the hearts of sixth years nationwide. I’ve been thinking about what direction I want to go down later in life for a while now. I suppose that’s an obvious statement. In reality, I think that, as children, we’re always thinking about it, even if we don’t realise it. When I was four years old I decided I wanted to be a vet. Nothing else would suffice.

For the next nine years or so I watched every ‘Animal Hospital’, ‘Vets on Call’ and ‘Emergency Vets’ I could find. I dreamed of opening my own surgery and treating every animal that walked, hopped, flew, slid or swam through the door. Truth be told, I did manage to have my own veterinary hospital, where I successfully managed to treat all the stuffed toys I owned. There was a notebook too, where everything was recorded. I took things very seriously, although I did offer free check-ups.. Not sure was that such a good idea..

Fourteen years on, and I wish I was still as sure about my career as I was back then. Between then and now I’ve contemplated teaching, science, pharmacy, medicine, law, Irish, media and probably a lot more I can’t think of right now. The vet phase lasted until I started secondary school, and slowly I started thinking about science of some description. Then at some point, law became a possibility followed by journalism within the last year or two. To sum things up, I haven’t a clue what to do.

Since starting into our final year of secondary education, we’ve been bombarded with prospectuses, guidance sessions, predict-your-points worksheets, entry requirements, UCAS, HPAT, closing dates, open days and university fairs. That big, brown, scary CAO envelope was thrust into my hands all too soon, and things started to seem a bit too real and ‘official’.

My own dilemma is the fact that I am torn between two completely opposite areas. Should I go down the science route? Medicine, pharmacy, veterinary, biomed, biochem? After all, I’m doing both Chemistry and Biology, as well as honours maths, so surely this is the route I should be taking? We’re told it’s the future of our world, the smart economy, it’s where the jobs and the high salaries will be.

Then at the completely opposite end of the spectrum, we have law, journalism and media. Last Saturday, I went to talk upon talk at the UCC open day. Everything was great and interesting and what have you, but when I was listening to that law talk, it was like something clicked. When the lecturer described a law student, it was like she was describing me. When she talked about career opportunities, it was what I wanted to hear. I left UCC completely set on either Law and Irish or Law International. I had found ‘the one’.

Not for long though. The little insecurities slowly started creeping back. Will I like it? Employment opportunities? Is science ‘safer’? Is science more ‘sensible’? Am I really a more scientific person? So we’re back to square one.

After going through all of this, I have two main issues with the CAO system:

1. How are 17 and 18 year olds expected to know what they want to do? I know this has been said a thousand times before, but it’s so, so true that I see no harm in it being said again. The guidance we receive in school is minimal. Proper career guidance should begin well before we need to begin worrying about CAO forms, ideally in third year. I know that 5th year subject choice has affected a lot of people, so Leaving Cert is too late to begin talking about college courses.

2. My main gripe lies with the points system. This, too, is nothing new, but it probably affects me more than number 1. I’ll say it straight. A1 students only do medicine because they can. They do it for the prestige, to show forever that they got 600 points in the Leaving Cert. How in God’s name could they ever contemplate doing something like Arts? Sure, no-one would even know they were intelligent then! Ha! And so, we end up with lots of unhappy students: those doing medicine who wish they were somewhere else, and those who wish they had gotten medicine, whose place was robbed by unhappy student type 1.

Of course there’ll be exceptions. There are many students who get 550+ and do the low-points courses, because they realise it’s all based on supply and demand. But for the vast majority of them, they’ll always feel the need to answer ‘BIS, but I was thinking of doing Pharmacy too..’, when asked what course they’re doing.

Tomorrow I have my careers interview with the guidance counsellor. Let’s hope she can work some magic.

Leave a comment

Filed under Leaving Cert

Hello again..

I am such a bad blogger, I do know that. There is no regularity whatsoever to Wintertime Clothes anymore, so much so that I don’t think I should bother trying to make anyone read it. If they do, then I’ll be delighted but it’s like it’s always on the back of my mind if I haven’t written a post in a while. It used to be sort of a daily blog, and I was good at keeping that up for a while but I can’t seem to do that these days. I love writing, I love it a hell of a lot, but if blogging’s going to become a chore then I don’t think I should bother trying to pretend that I do a post everyday. Maybe if I say right now that I’ll do one post a week, or two posts a week then I’ll manage to stick to that. I read somewhere once that blogs should be regular. That doesn’t mean posting everyday, but just post at the same time every day/week/month so that your readers know when to expect a post.

I also know that blog posts should be short. I’m not good at keeping things short though. Once I start writing I don’t want to stop and then I think of a topic that would make a good blog post but I don’t know whether to throw it into the middle or do a separate post straight afterwards about that topic. I usually go with the former meaning that this blog has no structure whatsoever apart from the fact that the post title will most definitely not be applicable by the last sentence. If you get my drift.

I think I first started blogging just to keep me writing regularly. An English teacher told me that you can’t just not practice writing and expect to get an A in your essay. She said just write, about anything and everything once you’re forming words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs in some coherent manner. Hopefully this is semi-coherent anyway.

If you like reading all this stuff that has no logical sequence whatsoever then I’m a very lucky blogger. Recently, I’ve kind of started thinking about trying to build up a bit of a portfolio or something. Some day in the near-ish future I’ll need to be sending CVs to newspapers looking for a bit of freelance work and I’ll need something to show them. I write here about once a week but to be quite honest this isn’t something I’d want to be sending to a newspaper editor. It’s fine for a blog, but that’s what it is. There are two articles I could include in my ‘portfolio’ so far, namely a piece that was published in the ‘Go’ travel supplement in the Times, and an article I wrote about Plugd Records which won an award in an Irish Times competition. This blog isn’t exactly on par with that stuff like..

Speaking of journalism and all that jazz, I’m beginning to think I should just do what I said I never would and do journalism in DCU or UL or somewhere. Forget that whole get-a-solid-degree-and-then-do-a-masters shite. Media studies in NUIM looks very tempting too because you can combine it with a arts degree so you take media and two arts subjects in first year, drop one of the arts and continue to degree level with media and one arts subject. There’s Irish and Journalism in DCU too but I don’t think that’s exactly what I’m after. Maybe I’ll completely change my mind by CAO time but at least I’m doing some bit of thinking about it all.

There’s two other things I was going to mention but I just found out that Reeling in the Years is on Youtube and I now feel like looking back on simpler times. Ahhh..

2 Comments

Filed under rambling

Nice weekend

Just some ofmthe things we consumed last night..

Just some of the things we consumed last night..

I think my lack of posting here kinda shows I’m a bit busy at the moment. All the same I like the calm of a Sunday morning. There’s nowhere to rush to, nothing major to do; you can just take a break. Then again, this all changes at 7pm when you realise you should really start your homework. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Friday was nice. Tennis started again and it was so good to play again. My lungs nearly exploded at the end of the fitness section, which made me realise just how unfit I’d gotten over Christmas. My 12-year-old brother was playing my 17-year-old friend, and the child won. It’s kinda shit for the teenager being beaten by that little squirt for the last place on this new squad, but the child must be good, and that’s life.

It was up early for me on Saturday for Maths in UCC, which really wasn’t so bad. The lecturer we had is pretty amusing and he showed us this really cool thing about the last digit of the ISBN number on books and how you can calculate it by using this modulus thing. And he’s a man after my own heart with his need for coffee or else he can’t think.

We walked to town then, stopping along the way to take various photos for the magazine: the gates of UCC, the Glucksman, the Vault closed due to flooding, Café Depeche, the Kino, the courthouse. Then we met the others and wandered around taking pictures of coffee hangouts for Caroline’s article which tells you what kind of person you are based on what coffee shop you hang out in. It’s funny, only because it’s so true..

Then ourselves headed to Cork Coffee Roasters, where Hannah almost broke another plate. It was busy but nice and the staff were chatty and the coffee was good, the brownies amazing too. We talked about various stuff, including family holidays and our intense loathing for them, and what our favourite day ever was. I had a few.

Botch and I then went to the library while the others went to Topshop or somewhere. We were looking for a book on the old mental asylum in Cork for an article I’m writing for the magazine. Upstairs we went into the reference library, wandered through the shelves holding the books of the Irish Constitution, and finally found our way up another narrow stairs to the Local Studies room. All the cabinets were locked but the man working there knew exactly where the book I wanted was. We sat down at this table, the man opposite us poring over a huge book of sorts with old, yellowing pages, and leafed through every page.

Just as we finished up, the lights were turned off, and it was quarter past five. Fuck knows how long we spent in there. Stress ensued as I replied to texts, answered calls from my dad asking was I coming home, where I was blah blah blah, but then got a lift home with Hannah.

Had dinner, went to mass. I kind of enjoyed mass. It was the first time I was in the church since it’s been completely revamped and it’s really rather nice. There was an article about it in the Examiner last weekend I think, and I wanted to have an ol’ sconce. The new walls and windows and pews are lovely, and the stone floor is so much nicer than whatever was there before. The ceiling and altar are nice and modern too. I think attendance has increased with this new, comfortable church as a lot of the seats were full, so I went and sat on my own, and I liked it. I mean, it’s not like I listen to what’s being said but I like just sitting there and thinking. It’s not often you can do that without having something else you should be doing.

Then we went to Aisling’s house for Roses, coke, gin, exercise equipment, and the mighty book of answers. Really, really nice evening. Happy happy happy. 🙂

And if you actually made it this far, well done!

3 Comments

Filed under today

Snow Day!

The view from my window...sort of.

More like long snow weekend. Today didn’t feel like Friday, probably because yesterday felt like Monday. And yesterday felt like Monday because it was the first day back at school. Bloody wrecked, so I am.

But then, lo and behold, during Maths just before lunch, it’s announced we have Monday off due to adverse weather conditions. And then I come home, and on Facebook it’s all ‘Ahhh I love you Batt O’Keeffe’ and ‘Wooo! No skul til thurs!!!’ and such. I tried to avert my eyes from the ‘txtspk’ as the kids these days call it, and focus on the positives.

The main positive is, of course, what has turned out to be ‘a two-day week and a five-day weekend’. Zack Morris said that many, many years ago on Saved by the Bell, and it’s an ideal I never forget. Now it’s here. I vote we name it Zack Morris Week or something to that effect.

I know I live a little to the left, but still pretty cool..

Our driveway covered in, I dunno, two inches or so of ice, which means the cars have been left at the bottom of the driveway. No longer can we just pop out to the car with minimum exposure to the cold, but instead you get your daily exercise getting to the car in the morning. Win win situation! Apart from the danger of walking down, the state of the driveway, the wrecked grass, the fact that it’s annoying, blah blah…

I’m still trying to get it into my head that tomorrow’s Saturday. The lovely Maths Enrichment classes in UCC are starting again tomorrow, joy of joys. I sat through weeks and weeks of impossibly hard Maths last year, and I return again for more educational Saturday mornings. Hannah, you are just too cool dragging us back there. Looking on the bright side, as I seem to have done a lot in this ridiculously boring post, is that I get to check out UCC’s newest building, the Western Gateway Building. Accentuate the positive…

I’ve started watching Friends again on YouTube, just in the correct order. Currently working my way through Season 2, and my, what a show. You’d kind of forget about it. I think Chandler’s my favourite, but I like Joey too, and Ross. And all of them.It’s just one of those questions in life that’ll never have a definitive answer. More like a theory when you think about it…

Leave a comment

Filed under rambling