It’s a Friday night. So far as you can tell, you had only blinked and in that time a week was lost to you. You’re sitting in the living room watching nothing in particular with your family, who are draped over the furniture around you like blankets over a bed, restful. You’re kind of, sort of, yet not really paying attention to the television. Your phone buzzes with the odd text coming in, friends and half-friends, all talking about what seems important in the moment – the match, the movie, the Christmas plan. And then, in one of the many group chats full of your friends;
One message. A message that wipes away everything else; the match, the movie, the Christmas plan.
Over the first term of Transition Year, 4B have been taking a class in equestrian studies with Mr Dowling. Throughout the course of this module, we were taught about many different aspects of the horse racing industry, such as the breeding of thoroughbreds, the buying and selling of racehorses, different types of racing, the gambling side of the industry, and the part Ireland plays in international racing. As part of this, we had several visits in and out.
Our first visit in was from jockey Gary Carroll. He told us about how he got into racing when he used to take horses out on the gallops, about his weekly routine in relation to how much he rides, which is pretty much daily, and how often he races, which is generally weekly if not more. He detailed the difficulties that ensue from the strict dieting involved in being a jockey, and that even a glass of water can tip your weight so he is often dehydrated when racing. The talk gave a very stark yet interesting and honest insight into the reality of being a jockey.
Leo Powell was the second person who came in to talk to 4B. He is the editor of the Irish Field, a weekly newspaper that covers all aspects of equestrianism, including racing. He gave us a history of how he seemingly fell into journalism, though he was always involved in the industry, as he previously worked in Goffs. He seemed to have a very evident love for horses, but his talk also gave great general life advice – he said that we need to do something with our lives that we will enjoy, and do something nice for ourselves every day. His words were very wise and enlightening for the
Between speakers we ourselves took a visit out to the Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE) by the Curragh. It was a very engaging morning as the class was out and about interacting with a part of the industry. A man named Keith showed us around the lecture rooms, the fitness rooms, the simulation room, the stables and the arena and we also got glimpses of the accommodation on site and the gallops outside. At the very end we got to see a hall full of all the famous jockeys RACE has produced since its establishment.
Our final visit was a visit in from Eimear Chance, a speaker from Irish Thoroughbred Marketing. This is an agency that works to promote Irish-bred horses abroad and encourages the message that they are the best-bred horses in the world. She explained that they do this by way of advertising over social media, newspaper and sponsorship campaigns, and by going abroad themselves to promote at big international events, such as the Breeder’s Cup in Kentucky just a few weeks ago. They also facilitate buyers and breeders coming to Ireland and help them get to events
The class really enjoyed the module and learned a vast variety of new things thanks to Mr Dowling’s efforts to teach us and get speakers in to give us different perspectives on the industry.
(Written by Molly Gervin)
The Cross and Passion College debate team was formed from Transition Year students early on in October, comprising of Abigail Coates, Áine Budds, Eve McMahon, Katelyn Hegarty-Kelly, Alice O’ Toole, Rhiannon Kelly, Róisín Robinson and Molly Gervin.
Since then, Cross and Passion has partaken in two debates as part of the first round of the Rigbey Jones debating league. The team formed for this particular series of debate is comprised of Abigail Coates, Róisín Robinson and Molly Gervin. The first debate was held in St Mary’s secondary school in Naas, and the motion was “Charity begins at home”. The team from Cross and Passion was opposing the motion while Patrician’s Brother School was proposing the motion. The team won by using the argument that “charity does not begin at home, it begins where it is needed most” to argue what was debatably the more difficult side of the motion. Molly talked about the root of the phrase “charity begins at home”, the selfishness involved in it and its damage to one’s psyche. Abigail discussed the facts and statistics in relation to the topic that showed the need for worldwide compassion. Roisin drew attention the idea of home, and those charitable people who do not have one. The PBS boys were fantastic, with very well thought-out and presented topics and we were glad of a good debate between us, but in the end CPC won by unanimous vote from all three adjudicators.
The motion for the second debate on the 21st of October was that “This House believes in a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour”. Cross and Passion was, once again, opposing the motion. This time the debate was held in the Gaelcoláiste in Naas, and we were debating against the students from this school. This time, our team’s token line was “we do not live in a world of black or white; we live in a world of colour”. We used this line to argue the points of second chances, the reasoning behind antisocial behaviour, the human tradition of forgiveness, etc. The team from the Gaelcoláíste argued what appeared this time the harder side of the motion extremely well so that our team were not sure of ourselves, but once again the win was to us in the end, although this time it was by a two to one vote from the judges rather than a unanimous decision.
On the 18th of November CPC were proposing the motion that “This House moves to abolish single-sex schools”, while St Mary’s were opposing. This time the debate was held in Cross and Passion. The CPC team was composed of Laura Quigley, Abigail Coates and Róisín Robinson. Sadly on this occasion the Cross and Passion team lost to St Mary’s, who themselves presented excellent points and well deserved their win. We were absolutely delighted with our first two wins and are currently still waiting to find out if we will be going through, as both the Cross and Passion team and the St Mary’s team both have two wins. Now the points have to be done up from all three debates to determine who will carry on, and results of this are still pending.
(Written by Molly Gervin)
The book that I am reviewing is called “The Burning Shore” by Wilbur Smith. I choose this book because of its great detail and how imaginative Smith is when he depicts the story to us. The book was first published in 1985 and was the follow up to another Wilbur Smith novel called “A Sparrow Falls.” This book was equally as good as “The Burning Shore” and so was its follow up “Power of the Sword.”
Smith has proved over and over again that he is a master story teller and “The Burning Shore” is a perfect example of some of his finest works. Wether the subject is love, war or wether he is describing the brutal conditions of world war 1 and how horrific the trenches actually were or if he's describing how it was a battle of man versus machine, Smith describes it in the most perfect way possible. Smith writes with such authority and exquisite attention to detail that it just leaves the reader in awe and excitement on what the next page might hold.
I found this book extremely interesting and Smith had me hooked to the book from the beginning. The book is based in 1917 during World War One, A South African fighter pilot Michael Courtney falls in love with Centaine, a French woman. On their wedding day, prior to their wedding, Courtney is killed in action, and following the destruction of her home by a German bombardment, the pregnant Centaine enrols as a nurse and embarks on a hospital ship for South Africa. The ship is torpedoed by a German U-Boat and Centaine lands on the Skeleton Coast. She attempts to make her way south to South Africa but is adopted by two San who teach her how to survive in the desert.
From the beginning of the novel, Smith creates an atmosphere like no other author can do. He has the best sense of place of any other author who is an adventurer writer. The Novel is absolutely magnificent because of its strong sense of passion, and due to it being filled with its vivid amount of action. It is most certainly one of the best books of the twentieth and twenty first century. The Burning shore is one of the richest and most entertaining books to date and is a must read. However, although I found it a very interesting book from the first page, some of the other people who have read this book have said to me they found it quite difficult to keep interest in the book in the first few pages. But I hope that doesn't deter people from reading this book because Smith is truly an expert in keeping the readers interested and making thrilling scenes throughout the novel.
(Written by Ben Newman)
At the start of this year the whole year was asked to choose three subjects they would like to be in. We had a choice of around eight subjects to choose from, these included: yoga, biology, physics, chemistry, and DCG. We were told that we might not get the subjects we wanted but that it would be in Mrs Groome's best interest. After a while, the classes were posted in both the 4th year cloak rooms. I was put into yoga for the first term, chemistry for the second term, and physics for the third term. I was happy with this but I was hoping that I could get into biology. I was excited to start yoga as I had never tried it before and had heard it was very relaxing and helpful.
We had yoga on a Tuesday before lunch time with Mrs Spilan in the sacred space. The sacred space was a really good venue to have yoga as it was quiet and tranquil and helped me to concentrate. Every yoga class we would start off with being in a semi supine pose and would then do some stretches to get ready for the yoga poses we would be learning. The yoga poses we learned were very interesting and helpful for sore muscles. One yoga pose I really enjoyed was the Warrior Pose. To end the class we could have a body scan, then a relaxation and then a peace and love talk. For the body scan, Mrs Spilan would talk us through breathing and imagining a light being pushed through your body, body part by body part. This was done so that any tension in our body was released and so that we could relax easier. When that was done, Mrs Spilan let us lie in silence so that we could relax and cool down. After we had finished our relaxation, we sat cross legged on our yoga mats and Mrs Spilan would ask us to think of someone we associate with peace, love and happiness. When we had thought of someone we had to imagine ourselves breathing in that peace, love and happiness from them and say, "May I be well, may I be happy, may I be at peace". After we had done that, we were asked to think of someone who would need some peace, love and happiness and to say in our mind, "May they be well, may they be happy, may they be at peace". This was one of my favourite parts of yoga as i found it very helpful.
Yoga was not something I would have tried outside of school but after taking part in it I found that i really enjoyed it. Everyone in the yoga class really had a great time and I would recommend for everyone to try it at least once!
(Written by Rhiannon Kelly, Photography also by Rhiannon Kelly)
Did you know that we are all made of stardust? At one stage or another, the molecules that make us up originally came from hydrogen atoms clashing in the sun, creating helium. This is just one of the many facts discussed at the recent Astronomy Lecture for Transition Year students, held at Carlow Institute of Technology on the 11th of November.
About fifty TY students from CPC, along with Ms Higgins and Ms McDonnell, travelled to Carlow I.T. to attend the lecture, and really enjoyed the experience. Dr Gary Cahill (a former science teacher at CPC) hosted the interesting and captivating lecture. He talked about the wonders of the universe, and how tiny the earth, the sun and the moon is, on the larger scale of things. He promised that not one of us would leave the lecture without at least one thing we’d find fascinating, and he certainly lived up to his promise. Each one of us left the lecture, with heads full of wonder about what is really out there.
The lecture was certainly very inspiring to those who are interested in developing their knowledge of science and the universe surrounding them. For those who didn’t quite enjoy the lecture, it was still a very beneficial visit.
We had the opportunity to explore the Carlow I.T. campus, and catch a glimpse of what college life is like. We were pleasantly surprised with the level of cleanliness and modernity maintained throughout the campus. Although we’re now senior-cycle students, we suddenly felt very young walking around the massive buildings in our royal-blue school uniforms!
We’d like to thank Carlow I.T. for organising the event and to Ms Twomey and Ms Groome for arranging for us to go. Here’s hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to go on similar trips in the future.
(Written by Cathal McMahon, Photography by Ben Newman)
The book I have chosen to review is "The True Lives Of My Chemical Romance - The Definitive Biography". It was written by music journalist, Tom Bryant. Written in 2014, it was published by Sidgwick and Jackson.
Tom Bryant lives in Sussex and has written for various music magazines such as Kerrang!, Q and MOJO. He has not lived a quiet life; having a sleepover at Marilyn Manson's house, getting attacked by Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist and being accused of starting a riot with The Prodigy.
Though the biography is not an authorized one, Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance allowed himself to be the centre of two extremely long and extensive interviews carried out by Bryan himself. The members of My Chem also gave Tom full permission to write the book and Gerard Way even wrote him an email telling Tom Bryant to "go for it" and said that he "was one of the few that could pull it off."
In this book, Tom Bryant tells of My Chemical Romance's insane and wild history. He tells of how they cane to be one of the most significant alternative rock bands of the last decade. Bryant not only tells of the band's history but of the member's histories too; how Gerard Way (lead singer) and Mikey Way (bassist) grew up together, how Ray Toro (lead guitarist) didn't originally plan on being a musician and how Frank Iero (rhythm guitarist) was basically born into music.
If you are a fan of My Chemical Romance, or even just a fan of music, this book is a must read. Being both informative and humorous, it's hard to put down. Tom Bryant makes you feel like you're part of the history of My Chemical Romance, that you're living it with them.
(Written by Rhiannon Kelly)
Shortly before the Halloween mid-term break, Transition Year students welcomed local Guard Tom O'Donoghue at their usual Wednesday morning assembly.
We all knew what to expect: the usual talk about being safe at Halloween, the same-old same-old we've been getting since when we were in primary school. Of course, this annual safety talk is important, but years after hearing the seemingly same script year-in year-out, the talk begins to get boring and, more dangerously, its message gets lost. This is a problem that Tom clearly knows about and clearly wants to solve.
Garda Tom spoke in a very personal and human way: although the usual message stayed the same, Tom delivered it with much more concern and stepped away from the usual monotonous script.
Once the message was delivered however, Tom wasn't finished. He went on to describe his life as a Guard, how he came to Kilcullen as well as some tales of his days in training. He showed us his gear and we even got to try some on!
I know too well the respect problem that exists between teenagers and adults -- and this works both ways. It's frustrating as a teenager when you're told to leave a shop, for the simple reason of "you can't stand around" when all your intentions were to browse around. This approach is very negative, I believe, on teenagers and does the opposite of what it hopes to achieve. Garda Tom's approach, however, is refreshing.
Tom assured us that we're all humans; we all make mistakes, even him. He told us that whatever trouble we were in, we could come to him, and he'd try his best to help him. He assured us that as our local Guard, Tom would be there for us. He reminded us about respect, and how we have to give some to get some. He didn't lecture us though, but rather encouraged us. Something I feel will go very far and should be spread more.
We would like to thank Garda Tom for his visit. He delivered an interesting and entertaining talk, and of course, educational!
It's certainly reassuring to know that we all have a local Guard to rely on.
(Written by Cathal McMahon)