Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TY English Evening


Last night the English Department gave their end of year presentation with pupils reading their own and other's work. The guest speaker was Mr Tom Doorley, journalist and former member of staff. He regaled the audience with tales of St Columba's in the 1980s and to the great amusement of the pupils managed a fair impersonation of several members of staff. He urged pupils to continue to read regardless of the format of books - traditional or electronic. The best way to become a writer, he said, is to read and read and read. A full report of the evening appears on

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rome comes to St Columba's

The TY Classical Studies class performed their comic play Plausibilia in the BSR last Thursday night. Written by Mr McCarthy in the Roman comic style it featured a motley collection of stock comic characters - a lovesick young man, a maiden in distress, a muscular soldier and a clever slave who saves the day. Hurrah! Much hilarity and mirth ensued as love contended with lust, money mixed with mania and brains battled brawn.

Dramatis Personae

 But enough of this alliteration. The players:

Ugo Onwurah wept as Lacrimus, Harry Jonhson was cynical as Contemptuous, Ifueko Bello-Asemota stunned as Bustia, Molly Dunne strutted as Madame Poxia, Julianna Huggard was fragrant as Aroma Nastia, Tara McCormick was miserly as Avaricia, Sebastian Hillert leered as Lecherus, Lilian Glennon was indignant as Virtua, Anna v Schintling posed as Biggus Laddus. The heroine of the piece was Helene Peters, as Plausibilia, the clever, plausible slave. As she said at one stage, she has saved Lacrimus' bacon so many times she should slice it off and have it for her supper!

Music was arranged by Dearbhala Gernon and the play also featured an appearance from our three ornamental shrubs. These provided cover for eavesdropping and asides, a particularly Roman comic feature.

Plausibilia cons Avaricia

Well done to all!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Latest TY Events

Last Wednesday we were were visited by Carl Grainger, an Old Columban who works with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. He spoke to the form about his work in the field of human rights and it was an eye-opener for the pupils to see how grossly under-privileged so many people their own age are.

On Thursday and Friday the pupils were in Dundrum Town Centre collecting for the Irish Heart Foundation. Well done to all.

Friday, May 4, 2012

TY Academic Prize

The Transition Year Academic Prize presentations took place last night in the BSR. We were delighted to have as our adjudicator former Senior Master and Head of English Mr John Fanagan. Six candidates made their presentations:   Sadhbh Sheeran spoke about Organ and Tissue Donation in Ireland, Anna Herrero presented Genetic Mutations, Helene Peters illustrated Street Art, Marcia Kettern assessed Martin Luther King, Rebekka Kerhwald gave her thoughts on Factory Farming and Siobhan Brady examined The Life of Jacqueline du Pre

 After each presentation candidates were questioned by the adjudicator and the audience. Mr Fanagan then spoke about each candidate's work before announcing the winner and presenting the TY Academic Prize cup to Rebekka Kehrwald. Well done Rebekka!
Rebekka and John Fanagan

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Transition Year Classical Studies

Mr McCarthy is transported on his time travel machine and writes:

During the course of this academic year our group have studied Greek Drama, reading the two great tragedies of Sophocles, Oedipus Rex  and Antigone. The struggles of human beings against their destiny and against their own instincts and beliefs are clearly and dramatically illustrated in these great works of the theatre.

Our pupils are now also well versed in everyday Latin usage, recognising their alma mater, rising ante meridiem each day, acknowledging their teacher in loco parentis and thinking caveat emptor before spending their money in shops. Most importantly of all they understand magister dixit. All thanks to our Latin for Today module.

Our study of the position of women in the ancient world outlined the huge changes that have taken place over the centuries in terms of the rights of women and it is encouraging to see that all agreed that this was a progressive development. We also looked at some of the major female characters from Greek legend - the ever-loyal Penelope, the child-killer Medea and the husband-killer Clytaemnestra.

Penelope rebuffs her suitors
Marcus Aurelius
Contemplation of the thoughts of the philosopher emperor Marcus Aurelius provided time for reflection and I was very impressed by the manner in which pupils interpreted these each week.

Marcus advises teachers: Teach them better if you can. If not, remember patience was meant for times like these. A very wise man indeed...

Performers in a Roman comedy
Our final module this term is a performance of a play in Roman comic style. Plausibilia is currently being rehearsed and will hopefully be performed for a Form IV audience before the end of term.