Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Junior Cert Celebrations

A few weeks ago, our Transition Year pupils received their much anticipated Junior Cert results. Luckily for them, their results were exceptional so we left them escape that evening for some (organised) fun! Sofia McConnell reports.

On Wednesday, 12 September all 52 of us received our Junior Certificate results. There were tears, smiles, frowns and laughs but by 1.30, all that was pushed to the back of our minds as we set out on our trip!

We reached Dublin and all got off the bus, excited for what was ahead of us. Randomly split into groups of about 23 we each set off for our separate adventures. My group’s first trip was a Viking Splash Tour, we all got on an open roofed bus with Viking helmets on our heads and, driven by our tour guide Paddy and his almost funny jokes we made our way into Dublin City Centre. He showed us the main Irish offices for Google, Facebook, the Boland’s mills, houses and apartments of Bono, Jedward, Colin Farrell, admired some pretty ‘Celts’ that passed by our bus and finally we arrived at the canal. After putting on life-jackets and readying ourselves for the change from land to water, our bus became a boat and we continued our tour by canal.

Our next activity was a visit to the Jeanie Johnston, a beautiful, old boat that had been used to transport emigrants from Ireland to Canada during the Famine in 1840, she was famous for having a kind, caring captain and an accomplished doctor. We learnt about how difficult life had been for them, how rarely they found who they were looking for once they arrived at their destination and the small percentage that actually made it there alive (however on this particular boat everyone was taken care of and survived the journey, sadly this wasn’t always the case with other boats.)

Our final group expedition was a sea safari around Dublin bay. We went in an open boat, rode the wake, got thrown about, completely soaked and overall had a brilliant time. Delicious, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside chips, hamburgers and hot dogs followed as dinner. 

Finally all 73 of us walked to the Odeon Cinema. With popcorn and cokes in hand we watched a gruesome and exciting movie about prohibition in the USA, in Virginia. At 10 PM we arrived back in school feeling content, comfortable and not nearly so worried about our results. We would all like to say a big thank you to Mr. Sherwood, Ms. Kilfeather, Mr. Clarke and Alannah for coming with us and organizing such a brilliant day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

TY Hike Season Kicks Off

Last Saturday, the 15th of September, was the first of our Transition Year hikes with Mr. Coldrick. Ally Boyd Crotty tells all.

All the girls from Hollypark house, along with a few boys from Glen house hiked together with Mr. Coldrick and his daughter up Kilmashogue, behind our school gates. The hike took us about two and a half hours up, and we stopped at the top to admire the beautiful views of the countryside and Dublin city. The weather wasn't great but the rain thankfully held off until we got back to school. 

As we began our descent, we received a call telling us that three of our hikers had "taken the road less travelled" on their way up. While Mr. Coldrick went to redirect the unfortunate three, the rest of us began the much more enjoyable walk (or for some run) downwards, taking about an hour. The hike was great fun and I think we will all definitely take part in another one very soon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Getting Set For Zambia 2013 With Habitat for Humanity

The 2011 SCC Habitat for Humanity Team

Want to hear something really exciting? Next year, a group 20 Transition Year and 5th Form students are travelling to Zambia, writes Bethany Shiell.

I bet you don’t even know where that is (truthfully neither did we until a little while ago!) We will be going with the charity Habitat For Humanity Ireland, which takes teams to foreign countries to help the locals build houses for themselves. (“Habitat for Humanity does not build houses for people, it builds with them”) And on this expedition we will be flying to Zambia; Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa which has 64% of its population under the poverty line, and almost 85% living on under €2 a day. We will spend two weeks there, living in conditions the same as the houses we will help build; with no running water or indoor toilets. The trip will be an incredible experience which all of us will carry with us forever. Each member of the team must fundraise €3,000 and every candidate is working hard, coming up with original and imaginative ideas to bring in the cash. Barbeques, Family Fun days, Concerts, Comedy Nights .... the effort is endless and ongoing until we reach our target. 

The team will be led by Mr. Swift (unfortunately Mr. Jones won’t be able to join us - as he will have a new arrival by then) and will also include four more teachers, whose identify seems to be a closely guarded secret. While in Zambia, we will be working from the early hours in the morning and continue the hard labour throughout the day. We will be building two houses alongside the people who will be living there. We will be carrying out all kinds of construction work from laying bricks to painting walls, and we will also be participating in cultural activities off-site. Habitat For Humanity offers “not only the chance to build much needed homes, but the opportunity to build real relationships with communities in need and develop an understanding of the problems they face”. We head off in late June 2013, so Zambia here we come! 

For more information on the St. Columba's College Habitat for Humanity project, visit http://scchabitat.blogspot.com. You'll find loads of information and photos about this and previous HFH trips.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

And We're Back!!!

Hello and welcome to Serpents & Doves - the Transition Year blog of St. Columba's College. We are back for a second year, ready to inform you about all the comings and goings of the TY class of 2013. We are currently forming our blog team - a group of core TY journalists that will write maintain the blog and our Twitter account. We plan on publishing loads of posts, photos, videos, podcasts and more over the coming months so stay tuned. Coming up this week - we will have posts on the first TY HIKES, our JUNIOR CERT CELEBRATION DAY, a visit to the opening day of Science Gallery's MAGICAL MATERIALS EXHIBITION, an update on the HABITAT FOR HUMANITY  trip and info on our TEAM HOPE SHOEBOX APPEAL. Stay tuned!

Picture: Last year's trip to Italy for TY's and V years. Guess where?