1961-2011     Fifty years ‘with wisdom and courage’

TY Media

ARTICLES POSTED BELOW HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY MEMBERS OF THE TRANSITION YEAR 2016-17 MEDIA CLASS

Chief editor: Lára Thornhill

 

My Work Experience

I did my work experience at Time of Wonder Montessori mid-February. The reason we had to do work experience was to find out if what we thought our career path we think we want to go down is truly what we would love and enjoy to do.

The first day of my work experience I was extremely nervous. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised –  I loved it! It did take a few minutes to adjust to the situation initially –  to get to know the children and how they are individually so different. To realise how each child needs a different type of learning system and how each child taught the same information experienced it on a different level individually.

Throughout the week I found myself loving working with the kids and teaching them as well as playing and enjoying their company. The most amazing thing was seeing how welcoming they were and that they never thought twice about giving me a hug or immediately accepting me into the their school.

At the end of the week I didn’t want to leave, I loved the school and I developed such an amazing bond with the kids it was hard to say goodbye. This experience changed my thoughts completely about my career choice. I now know that I want to be a Montessori and play therapy teacher.

 

by: Cassidy Johnstone

 

Tuffi the Elephant

In Germany I live in a city named Wuppertal. This city has a very special kind of public transport, the suspension railway (in German: Schwebebahn). It is like a flying train above the river Wupper. I want to tell you a story, which has something to do with the suspension railway. It is a very famous story in Wuppertal.

The story starts in India, where Tuffi, a little elephant, is born. A German circus bought Tuffi, and because she was the only elephant which was not afraid of foreign people and cities, she was used for advertising. For example, she was in a tram and did an harbour tour. Then in Wuppertal she could be in the suspension railway. Her owner bought five tickets, one for him and four for Tuffi. The wagon was really full. Tuffi tried to turn round but she couldn’t. As a result, everyone panicked. Tuffi panicked as well and in her panic she jumped out of a window down in the river. There were many journalists but nobody took a picture.

Like a wonder nothing happened to Tuffi and she had her next appearance on the same day in the evening show of the Circus.

 

by Mirja Garbe

 

Simon Community

A lady from the Simon Community came into 4th years to talk about the homeless crisis and what the Simon Community does in Cork and around the country. She talked to us about their services they offer people who are on the streets of Cork City. At night time they try and get most of the people off the streets and give them a bed for a night. They will also have facilities such as showers that can be used to freshen up.

The shelter in Cork is located at Andersons Quay. During 2016, 54 people every night relied on a bed  in Cork Simon. Most nights people had to be turned away as the shelter was overflowing. They wanted everyone to be safe while they were staying in the shelter. The shelter supports men and women over 18 years of age. Many people who stay in emergency shelter may have poor mental and physical health. They may not trust a lot of people and are very vulnerable.

Unemployment, leaving school early, drug and alcohol addiction, broken families and difficult life circumstances can be a reasons as to why people become homeless. Every person is assigned a  key worker who will help them out with their circumstances and a plan will be drawn up for them.

With the prices of rent rising more and more families have to turn to emergency accommodation. These houses can be crowded and their are waiting lists for the houses.

Medical professionals work specifically with people sleeping in emergency accommodation and sleeping rough.

Cork Simon do excellent work and help a lot of people daily.

 

Christmas Concert 2016

On the 22nd December, we had the annual Christmas concert. We also had a non uniform day so we were all dressed up in Christmas clothes. Lots of preparation went into getting ready for the concert by each class. Each class did something to show the rest of the school. People performed many different Christmas songs such as Mistletoe by Justin Bieber, Feliz Navidad, Mary’s Boy Child and All I Want For Christmas, as well plays and also made videos with the teachers. We all really enjoyed these and we also saw a number of mannequin challenges and also a message from Makeupbyhazel1.

The Student Council made sure that each class was ready for the concert and made sure all the backing tracks were ready for the performances. The teachers went on stage and performed a Christmas song. All classes put a lot of effort into their performances and we all really enjoyed the day. The sixth years combined all three classes and made a video involving all of them and also included some of the teachers.

At the end of the concert, a raffle took place. A name was drawn from each class and they were brought on stage to get their prize. We then went back to our base classrooms to clean away the decorations.

By Laura Nagle

 

Christmas in Germany

I don’t really know how Christmas in Ireland is, but I will tell you how it is at my home in Germany. At the end of November, we buy a advent wreath. I mean, not every year we buy it, sometimes we make it ourselves. Our advent wreath has four candles on it. All of them have the same colour. Often it is red, but every family decides on its own, what colour the candles on their advents wreath have. On each Sunday in advent one more candle is lit up.

Then the kids (and sometimes also the adults) get an advent calendar. On each day of the December until the 24th they get a small present. Often it is a bit chocolate, but it could be everything. Some families buy an advent calendar, some make it themselves. There are many Christmas markets in Germany, sometimes I visit them, sometimes not. You can buy nearly everything in a Christmas market: Warm socks, self made decoration, lots of things you can eat.

On the third or fourth Sunday in advent we buy a Christmas tree, put it into our living room and decorate it. Some families do it earlier, others later. On the 24th of December the adults put presents under it. On the 24th of December many people go to church. After that, we start opening the presents. Somehow in the middle of it we make a break for dinner. The most people eat turkey, goose, or potato salad. After that we continue opening the presents.

On the 25th of December we visit my  grandparents, spend time with them and get some more presents. On the 26th of December we visit my other grandparents. This is not like Christmas for us, because it is the birthday of my grandmother, but many other people continue want they did on the 25th, only with the other grandparents. Then Christmas and the time of cookies and other sweets is over and many people try to reduce their weight again.

by Mirja Garbe

 

The Ocean Cleanup Project

The Ocean Cleanup Project is being deemed “the worlds biggest cleanup” in history. The Earth is one big machine constantly catering towards billions of consumers. It is then no surprise that even the ocean cannot avoid our litter. With an estimated 14 billion pounds worth of plastic (among other things) floating around in our seas it was more than time for a cleanup.

Plastic in our oceans affects the health of marine life and in turn, us. Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, seagulls think plastic pellets are fish eggs. In some cases being caught in a net or eating a questionable piece of plastic is lethal, restricting movement or stopping the animal from eating.

A more common fate however is that the chemicals in Styrofoam and substances alike are absorbed by fish. These are the very same fish we as humans catch and eat. Results? Not very good. So what is being done about it?

The Ocean Cleanup Project was founded in 2013 by  CEO Boyan Slat then aged only 17. He is the youngest-ever recipient of the UN’s highest environment award. The Ocean Cleanup Project strives to make a  more hygienic, unspoiled ocean a reality for everyone. Using inexpensive technology that acts as an artificial coastline, composed mostly of nets and powered completely by ocean currents the project is expected to eliminate half of all Pacific Ocean garbage in 10 years.

The project is currently funded by corporate partnerships and public donations. The Ocean Cleanup Project aims to be self sustainable by selling and recycling the debris collected once returned to land.

You can follow the project on instagram, twitter and facebook at theoceancleanup. The project is also appealing to companies or individuals interested in making a large donation to contribute via their website www.theoceancleanup.com/fund/ to secure future sucess in what is a very important issue of worldwide concern.

By Abigail Leslie-Coughlan

 

Hairspray

Transition year students and the 2nd year music class travelled to the Firkin Crane to see Hairspray The Musical. It was staged by Cork Arts Studio Stage works.

We took our seats and the musical began. I knew most of the songs as it was my favourite movie when I was younger. The cast was very talented with their acting, singing and dancing. There was a band on the stage who played the music rather than having a track playing. I thought this was a very good idea and also I had never seen a band playing live at a musical. Your attention also wasn’t all on the stage as they also had a couch in front of the stage which was used as a sitting room. During the musical some of the cast also came up the stairs so you had a lot going on. I thought Hairspray was better than most musicals that I have seen as your eyes were not just set on the stage.

Hairspray was directed by Philip Mc Teggart Walsh and choreographed by Aileen Coffey. They put on a great show!

Philip Mc Teggart Walsh will also be directing the musical in our school this year. He has directed musicals in our school for a few years now. Philip has been a dance, drama and musical teacher for 34 years. He has appeared in a lot of productions himself. He has performed in pantomimes, musicals, plays variety shows and Cabarets. He is a co-founder of Cork Arts Studio Stageworks which he operates with his wife Rebecca. He has directed and choreographed shows in the Cork Opera House and the Everyman Palace.

We found out when we were in the Firkin Crane that we will be doing Sister Act as our musical this year. We were all very happy when we heard this and also it is a all girl cast. Sister Act is a musical on Broadway. It has music by 8 time Oscar winner Alan Menken. It is a story about a girl who witnesses a crime and the police hide her in a convent with a nun. It is a very popular musical and we are very excited to be doing it.

by Stephanie Barrett

 

Lord Mayor visit 2016

On Tuesday the 18th of October Lord Mayor, Des Cahill visited the school. We sang ‘On the banks of my own lovely Lee’, while the Lord Mayor made his way towards the stage. Students were given Cork flags to wave around and the well was decorated with red and white decorations. We sat and listened to what the Lord Mayor had to say. We learned about how he lost his family catering business but continued to stay positive.

We all thought he was very friendly and we really enjoyed the visit. He told us he is arranging a competition for all Transition Year students. The competition was based on a debate, the winners will be four TY students and one teacher. They will be brought to the European Parliament in Brussels. He talked about how much of a great school Regina Mundi College is, and how grateful we should be to attend the school.

He took questions and answered them in detail. He talked about what is happening with Cork Airport but talked in a way that made it easy for the students to understand. He also informed us that he’ll be giving a small business an award for their hard work. We all found the Lord Mayor to be very friendly and genuine.

As he began to make his way out of the school we sang ‘Beautiful City’ and waved the flags. When he left to go to the next school, the teachers collected all the flags and we returned to class in our year groups. We all found the visit very interesting and we enjoyed listening to what the Lord Mayor had to say.

by Laura Nagle

 

New to Regina Mundi College

I have been at Regina Mundi College for about 2 weeks now, I started at Regina Mundi because I moved to Ireland 6 months ago from South Africa Cape town, and as soon as I got here I had only heard good things about the school, so as I needed to start a new school I picked Regina Mundi College as the school I wanted to go too.

As soon as I walked into the school, I knew I wanted to come here. The principal was lovely and everyone seemed so happy and so friendly, my first day went great I met the people in my class and everyone was lovely and kind, I also met some teachers and they were also extremely welcoming to me. I was so nervous about coming to school and starting all over again but they immediately calmed my nerves down. Once I met some girls at the school and some teachers I knew I would fit in really well here, and I have!

Every day I learn something new, either from spending time with some girls in my classes or from my teachers. I learn more about the school and its history as well as I learn a lot about Ireland.

I know I will miss Cape Town and the people, knowing where to go and having people with the same accent as me. I know I will be Happy here and I want to thank Regina Mundi College for that.

By: Cassidy Johnstone

 

School Bank Interviews

Over the last few weeks transition year students were preparing their applications for the school bank. We were given two weeks to prepare a CV tailored to appeal to the bank manager of the Bank Of Ireland. Key aspects they were looking for included leadership skills, good cooperation, encouraging traits, optimism, tranquillity and many more.

There are five positions on the school bank team. A bank manager, a sales and marketing manager, an audit specialist (accountant) and two digital advisors. On Tuesday the 4th of October 2016, a total of twenty-eight students went for their interview. For most, this was there first time doing a formal interview.

There were two gentlemen carrying out the interviews. Each was from the Bank Of Ireland, one of whom was in fact the manager of the bank.I carried out my interview during my lunch break. I was greeted by the bank manager with a handshake. I then sat across from him as he questioned me about different aspects on my CV. He began with the achievements I had listed. The majority of the interview was a general chat, which gave you the ability to portray your best traits in an effort to hint at the role you feel you are best suited for.

One or two questions were phrased in a misleading way, in an attempt to trick the applicant into revealing any weaker characteristics they may have. Fortunately it was clear which questions were there to trick me. A great way to flip the situation so that your response actually impresses the interviewer is to pick up on the fact he\she is testing you and then reveal the way you would react. The trick is to sell yourself by highlighting your leadership skills and best traits.

Each interview had a duration with an average of ten minutes. Every student came out satisfied with how it went and eager to hear the result. On Tuesday, the 11th of October all applicants will be informed of the people who have succeeded in earning the five positions. It is a tight competition with just under thirty very capable students in the running.

To conclude, it was a very beneficial experience for all.

By Andrea Mitchell

 

Confidence Workshop

Transition Year students attended a confidence workshop that was held in the school for us. The aim of the workshop was to be more confident in yourself.

We talked about how people view each other in today’s society. For example how people think they should look like and they way people should act. We also discussed how mobile phones are affecting people in both positive and negative ways. Mobile phones can affect people in a negative way as you are looking at other peoples lives. It can also be a negative in your life as when you are out with friends or family you could be on your phone instead of talking to them. A positive thing about phones is the way that you can contact anyone, anywhere in the world.

Another topic that came up was bullying. We discussed how bullying can affect people in different ways. Mental health issues can arise as a result of bullying. People may be bullied because of the way they look and they might try and change it. By trying to change the way they look people can end up with anorexia, depression or self harming themselves.

Healthy eating was also discussed. Healthy eating is very important as it can make you feel good and you will have more energy for longer periods of time. This can boost confidence as you will feel good in yourself.

If  you feel angry there are different ways of controlling it. You should close your eyes and listen out for three things that will take your mind off the topic that you are angry about. You can also take deep breaths that will calm you down.

Overall the confidence workshop was helpful as it brought my attention to things such as healthy eating and the positive and negative impacts of mobile phones.

By Stephanie Barrett

 

School Bank

This transition years school bank team is made up of ten superb members.

The roles include:

– Bank Manager

– Assistant Manager

– 3 Marketing Managers

– 2 Customer Services Managers

– 3 Audit Specialists

The team are currently working towards their grand opening. A celebrity guest is being organised as well as multiple raffle prizes, such as restaurant and shopping vouchers as well as a Cork jersey signed by the team.

During the course of the school year the bank team will be fundraising for a chosen charity. The charity we have chosen this year is called ‘Meals on Wheels’. This charity works all around the Cork area delivering cooked meals to people who are unable to prepare their own.

As a result of us fundraising for this charity, we will be holding various events throughout the course of the year. We are working towards a movie day for first year students prior to the Christmas holidays. There are also plans for a non uniform day and multiple cake sales.

This years team is incredibly enthusiastic as they are continuously arranging meetings so we can brainstorm all of our latest ideas. Our aim is to encourage as many students to join the bank as possible this year. We are promoting the benefits of saving and bonuses of being a part of the bank. These bonuses include free raffle tickets when you create a bank account.

We are also marketing the bank with the aid of social media, we currently have an up and running Twitter, Facebook and Instagram account. These accounts will help to convey the day to day running of the bank and all the hard work that goes into making it successful.

By: Andrea Mitchell

 

School Mass

We attended the whole school mass which was held in Rochestown Church. The choir and the school orchestra headed down to the church early to play and sing for the 9:30 mass. At 11 o’clock the rest of the school followed.

Father O’Mahony  lead the mass. We sang the school anthem “Evergreen Our Hope” before the mass started. The choir then opened the mass with a song which was called “This Little Light of Mine”.

Many people participated in the mass. Principal John Maxwell and Aoife O’ Mahony gave two readings. Mr Finn sang the response to Psalm. Students and staff read the Prayers of the Faithful and brought up the Offertory. The choir sang and the orchestra played songs while we went up to get Holy Communion. The mass ended with a upbeat song called “Gonna Rise Up Singing”.

A lot of hard work was put in by the Religion Department. It was a great success.

by Stephanie Barrett

Junior Cert Results 2016

On the 14th of September all students in 4th year got their Junior Cert results. Mr Maxwell handed out our results. Our Year head Ms Lane, our Class teachers and Ms Johnson also gathered in the class room with us. People were excited and nervous when we were waiting for the results to be handed out.

We had to wait for everyone to be handed their results before we could open them. Some people decided to open their results in school, outside with their parents or at home. Overall I think most people were happy with their results.

People went out to celebrate their achievements with their friends at events at City Hall and people also decided to go out and celebrate with their family or decided to stay at home. People who went to events got to go dancing and have a great time with their friends. I had a brilliant night. The DJ was fantastic. We all had a amazing night and were delighted with our results.

By Stephanie Barrett

 

ARTICLES POSTED BELOW HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY MEMBERS OF THE TRANSITION YEAR 2015-16 MEDIA CLASS

Editors: Niamh Burns, Sophie Tuffy and Lola Cejudo.

Chief editor: Jani Vermaak.

 

School Tour

On the 8th of April, 52 TY students and 6 teachers set off for Andalucia in the south of Spain at 4am.  After nearly getting diverted to a different airport in Spain we finally arrived at the sunny paradise.  We first went for a guided tour of Malaga where we got to see some of  the rich history the city posses.  We were given the opportunity  to walk around and get ice-cream before we headed back to our hotel.  Once we had settled in, we were allowed to go to the pool or chill out in our rooms.  That night we got dinner in Granada and we went the The Alahambra Palace and got to see its beautiful architecture.  After being up for nearly 24hours we were all wrecked and fell asleep as soon as we got home.

The next day we headed off to Gibraltar where we got to see the Rock of Gibraltar, the caves and most importantly the monkeys.  After taking many photos of the breathtaking view, we went shopping at the Plaza Mayor shopping centre.  We went to shops such as Kiko, Bershka and Stradivarius.  After dinner we went down to the port where we went shopping for souvenirs and some of the girls got their hair braided.

On Sunday, we went to Peurto Banus and Marbella where we got to see the rich and famous and got to shop in Sephora.  Then we headed for Amazonia Park where we got put in very uncomfortable harnesses and got a most confusing explanation on how to work the ropes.   After a trial run of the tight ropes and zip wire, Mr. Finn gave up, but the rest of us powered through and went on the very high courses and climbed through various obstacles in the trees. We were then treated to very delicious pizza.  We then travelled back to the hotel and had dinner. We then went down to the port once again that night and did lots of haggling with the notorious lucky-lucky men.

On our last day, we got up very early and reluctantly went to the Airport.  Luckily there was a Victoria Secret in Malaga airport so we got to go shopping one last time before heading home.  I think we all agree that it was an absolutley amazing weekend and definitely one of the highlights of fourth year. We were all devastated to be home.

 

Art gallery review

 

Last Tuesday, I visited the Glucksman Gallery with my Art class. The name of the current exhibition is ‘Forecast of the next century’, curated by Chris Clarke, Caitlin Doherty and Fiona Kearney. The exhibition was a group exhibition and the theme was an imagined future.

 

I enjoyed the exhibition very much as the ideals for 2116 were quite different to each other whether it was the media used or the aspect the artist focused on. It was worth visiting and I found myself being quite curious about wanting to see more.

 

Some artworks caught my attention more than others, for example Darn Thorns ‘Aggiornamento # 1’. This was a solvent print on PVC banner. I believe that Darn took a picture of a natural Irish landscape showing the base of a circular, rocky hillside with sheep roaming casually. He then photo-shopped a pyramid-shaped building and changed it a bit to add a circular entrance and a religious cross at the very top. The artist must have experimented with different filters to give a greyish effect in some places as well as a greenish effect in others. The picture on a whole looked bizarre and unsettling. It felt like the building was completely out of place suggesting that in the future many things may feel out of place and maybe globalism will have some effect in that some things aren’t maybe supposed to be in other places.

 

                                                                  by Sophie Tuffy

 

 

Junk Kouture and History Walking Tour

On 14th of April, the Fourth Year students went on a trip to Dublin in order to support the team from our school. The team included Ciara O’ Neill, Cathy O’ Mahony and Aoife Donovan.

The day began with a visit to Collins Barracks. Students enjoyed the exhibitions of artefacts. We experienced a guided tour of Dublin. The tour began at Trinity College and finished at the General Post Office on O’ Connell Street. Along the way there was various stopping points to learn about the history of the city, such as the statue of Jim Larkin.

At the Three Arena, students participated in game show style games, a silent disco  and many more. Seo Línn, a popular Irish band, opened the show. Xpose star Glenda Gilson hosted the show. Judges included television star Louis Walsh, fashion stylist Lorna McGee and freelance fashion stylist Rob Condon. Gaia made it to the top twelve in the competition. The overall winner was Jewel of the Nylon.

Everybody who went on the trip thoroughly enjoyed it despite the late return on Friday morning and we wish to congratulate team Gaia on their placement in the competition.  

                                                              By Alice Macilwraith

 

French Exchange

In October 2015, twelve French girls, along with two of their teachers, made the journey from Lycee Notre Dame Du Voeu, in Hennebont, to Regina Mundi College.  Each was hosted by a family from our school, and whilst attending various classes in an Irish school setting, also went on day trips around Ireland, bonded with their partners and went bowling twice to fill the long days after school.  After a tiring, but successful week, tears were shed as they boarded their ferry back to France.

On Saturday 23rd of April, we began our journey to Hennebont.  We flew from Cork to Paris, took a bus through the centre of Paris, including a few short glimpses of the sights, to a train station, boarded a train to Lorient, where we met our host families, and finally arrived at our partners homes at around 11:30pm.  Despite the length of the journey, it flew, and we kept ourselves entertained by imagining futures for ourselves and the teachers ( watch out for the Ms.Daly and Drake wedding).

Sunday was a day designated to spend with our host families, although some of our partners did arrange to meet up, so we weren’t left completely alone.  Some of us went to Carnac and ate churros bigger than our face, others went for a picnic, and found Tofu flavoured ice-cream, although we weren’t brave enough to try it! We also found enough time to spy on French boys playing volleyball on the beach, and take some artsy Polaroid’s.

On Monday, after a traumatising six am start, we made our way in to a French school for the first time. After a welcome breakfast, with a speech from the principal in French, most of which was not understood, we headed to class for the morning. The only class we seemed to understand was English, but there were plenty of boys to stare at during the other 50 minute lessons. In the afternoon, we headed up to the horse stud in Hennebont, and got a behind the scenes tour of the facility, and even got to rub the donkey.

Tuesday we headed to Rennes, where we were allowed six hours of shopping, which we all appreciated. We even had enough time to buy fake septum piercings on sale in Claire’s Accessories, and managed to convince the teachers they were real, which, although a highlight of our trip, was most certainly not a highlight of theirs! We then went back on the train to Hennebont, overloaded with shopping bags from shops such as Pimkie, Kiko, Sephora and Zara, although seeing as we got searched in Zara, we held a grudge for the rest of the trip

On Wednesday, all of our partners timetables varied widely, so we all took part in different activities. Some went to Lorient with their families, others went ice-skating together, others went to the cinema. Overall, we all enjoyed the day, but were appalled by the fact they are finished school before we even start on Wednesdays.

On Thursday, we visited Quimper and Concarneau. Whilst I am sure both cities are lovely, the rain and freezing temperatures meant all we wanted to do was return to our mini bus. The weather conditions probably hit peak when it started hail stoning on top of the walls in Concarneau. This led to our decision to eat lunch in a cave by the sewer pipes, which, although not particularly pleasant, was one of the most amusing moments of the trip. Some of us even practiced yoga while we were down there.

On Friday, we had class again in the morning, and we all were determined to make the most of our last day. We attended class, and savoured our time in the Foyer, a large room for students to hang out in between classes. We also made sure to add all our new French friends on Snapchat, and get some selfies with their signature French poses in. None of us have ever wanted to leave school less. We were all going to miss the cafeteria, the boys and general relaxed atmosphere of French school compared to Ireland.

On Saturday morning, we made our return journey, sad, but excited to sleep in our own beds.  The trip was a learning experience for us. On top of improving our French, we experienced a new culture, made new friends and bonded with girls from our school we may have never spoken to otherwise. From ending up in a lift with no buttons that only went down in the train station, to getting searched in Rennes, to getting fake septum piercings, to eating raw duck, to learning about French rappers, and having teachers marry Mr.Blanchfield, we all had the time our lives, laughed a lot, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

                                                                   By Julia Sheehan

 

Bilingualism

Back in the dark ages known as the late eighties, my mother took part in an Erasmus programme in the university of Padua , and for reasons still unbeknown to me, decided on UCC as the campus where she would spend one year of her university life.  During that year, she met my father, and despite the lack of a language in common, eight years later they would get married. All very romantic.  After living in Italy for a few years, my parents returned to Ireland, my father with fluent Italian attached, and they haven’t left since.

Since then, my house has always been an Italian speaking house, and therefore, right from being a baby, I had the extreme advantage of fluency in two languages (Italian and English); because of this, I take an extreme interest in the differences between monolingual brain and a bilingual brain, and the advantages being bilingual provides, even if it is something I am never fully conscious of because   I’ve never known anything different.

A 2004 study found that people who were bilingual  had better cognitive function, and were generally better at problem solving, planning and other such tasks.  This is because the brain is exercised at a greater level when forced to switch between languages quickly on a regular basis, making the brain quicker, more effective at problem solving and ‘smarter’ overall. Bilingual people also have better memory, and studies have shown that bilingual people always score higher than those who can only speak one language when assigned tasks or challenges relating to memory.  Being bilingual has also shown to reduce the likelihood of having Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  

Scientifically proven benefits aside however, the advantages of being bilingual extend far further than brain function. For me in particular, Italian is a romance language, meaning I can understand other romance languages with relative ease.  I can eavesdrop on Italians conversations when they think I can’t understand, which is most likely my favourite part.  I always have a fun fact about me at the ready, and it looks great on a C.V.  I have doubled my chances of someone speaking the same language as me when in a country where I don’t speak the language, and can interact with people from two completely different countries and cultures with zero qualms. I’ve met people from various European countries because of Italian, as the Italians introduce you to the Germans and so forth. Whenever I’m in Ireland and meet an Italian, there’s always a conversation in store. The social benefits of being bilingual may be superior to the scientific advantages.

Personally, however, by far the best advantage is the utter confusion my family causes strangers in public settings. Both my parents will speak in fluent Italian, but my sisters and I   will always answer back in perfect English. If you ever wish to feel famous, just wander around Italy in particular with my family for an afternoon. People stare, stop to ask us what the situation is, and practice their English on you. It’s great for interacting with strangers, and feeling important even if you aren’t; and who wouldn’t want to feel that?

                                                                By Julia Sheehan

 

An Ghaelbhratach

This year is the first year Regina Mundi is working to obtain the “Bratach Gaeilge” (Irish flag)  for our school.  The aim of this project is to encourage the use of Irish, both inside and outside of the classroom.  This will entail our school taking part in various activities which incorporate Irish throughout the school year.  An Irish committee consisting of students will be organizing activities. We will receive checkups at regular intervals throughout the year to ensure we are having regular meetings and are keeping up with the work involved.

Some students went to a training seminar on Friday the 2nd of October to learn more about this Irish flag project. We learned more information about the project and received tips on carrying out the activities. We were joined on the day by students from other schools in the area who are also working towards obtaining the flag. This year over sixty schools will be taking part.  Hopefully at the end of the year our hard work will pay off and we will receive our flag at a special ceremony in Dublin with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in attendance. This year over sixty schools will be taking part. There is a lot of interest amongst the students for Irish and so students are eager to join the committee and get involved. Is féidir linn!
                                                                 

                                                                        By Emma Fitzgibbon

 

Transition Year History and Art Trip

On the fourteenth of April, the transition year students went on a trip to Dublin in order to support the Gaia Junk Kouture team, Ciara O Neill, Cathy O Mahony and Aoife O Donovan.

The day began with a visit to Collins Barracks museum.  Students enjoyed various exhibitions of Asian art, coins and many other things.  Next we had nearly two hours to ourselves in Dublin City Centre before the 1916 walking tour commenced.  The tour began at Trinity College and finished at the General Post Office on O Connell Street.  Along the way there were various stopping points to learn about the history of the city, such as the statue of Jim Larkin.

At the Three Arena students participated in game show style games, a silent disco  and many more.  To open the show there was a performance from Seo Línn, an Irish band who sing current pop songs translated into Irish.  The show was presented by Xpose host Glenda Gilson and judges including television star Louis Walsh, fashion stylist Lorna McGee and freelance fashion stylist Rob Condon.  Gaia made it to the top twelve in the country and the competition was won by Jewel of the Nylon.

Everybody who went on the trip thoroughly enjoyed it despite the late return on Friday morning and we wish to congratulate team Gaia on their placement in the competition.

                                                                          by Alice Macilwraith

 

Transition Year Graduation

On Wednesday the 4th of May the transition year students attended their graduation ceremony in the school. Stalls were set up for all the subjects and modules we offer for transition years including for the school bank, Chinese and Japanese and first aid. Refreshments were held before the event with tea for the parents and fizzy drinks for us. The transition year music class performed some songs with Paul Linehan from the Frank and Walters. Our fourth year boxes were also on display, decorated with pictures and memories from the year.

Some students also gave brief speeches outlining the various events that were held during the year for example, German and French exchange, the school tour, trips to China and India and many little trips that took place to Dublin for Junk Kouture, Ty Expo and more. Dr. Donovan then gave a speech and helped with giving out our certificates for first aid, leadership, drive for life and more. Mr. Maxwell and Mr. Finn also spoke which was appropriate as they have both been amazing and given us every opportunity to have an amazing fourth year. Everyone participated in the ceremony and it was a great experience to end our fantastic year.

                                              by Emma Fitzgibbon

 

My Week at UCC BEE’s

 

What a week!  From interacting with birds, to learning about rocks, this week at UCC’s School of Biological Earth and Environmental Science was full of learning and fun, and was a great experience, led by Simona Paolacci, a current student working towards her PHD in invasive species.

We learned about different aspects of what goes on behind the scenes of the BEE’s school, situated 15 minutes off the main UCC campus. We were presented many different PowerPoints by a variety of lecturers and researchers, each giving us a little taste of their area of expertise. They clearly conveyed their love and passion for the work they do and really got us enthusiastic about their subject and science in general. I feel that this was quite beneficial to me and really help open my mind to all the different areas of science which are available out there. Furthermore we received an enjoyable tour of the main UCC campus and Library which was very interesting and showed us some UCCs of rich history.  

Throughout this week I also met lots of funny and warm-hearted people from both inside and outside of CorkCity, and we all agreed as Transition Year students that this week was quite a valuable experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the week and would highly recommend people to apply whether they think a career in science is for them or not!
                                                                    by Sophie Tuffy

 

Podcasts

The definition of a podcast is  “a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player”.  I have found myself regularly tuning into a number of different podcasts recently.  My enjoyment has grown over the past year although previous to this I didn’t know what they were.  I was curious to see if my hobby was common to other girls my age.  Of the twenty one of my class mates in the room five replied positively to the question “Do you listen to podcasts?” was met with a “What are those?” more than once.

There is something strangely relaxing to listening to people have a conversation about both serious and silly topics.  “Ear Biscuits” by Rhett McLaughlin and Lincoln Charles, more commonly known simply as Rhett and Link, is a serious podcast (no longer being recorded) with some eighty six episodes spreading over two seasons.  Each week a celebrity guest came on and was interviewed for an hour by the duo.  

Its parody “Not Too Deep” by Grace Helbig, has a similar set up but with one key difference: the questions are ridiculous.  Both are enjoyable listens but are quite different experiences.  “Not too Deep” has the ability to make me laugh hysterically as both Helbig and the week’s guest recount funny anecdotes and answer questions such as “Who do you most want to throw cold spaghetti  at?” and recently a review of the Christmas horror movie “Krampus”.

“Psychobabble” by Tyler Oakley and Korey Kohl is a weekly thirty minute gossip session between the pair.  It never fails to make me laugh as they talk about their dislike for the Kardashians and Cafe Gratitude, the awkwardness of uber and what they’ve been up to during the week.

In my opinion podcasts are an excellent way of relaxing and are growing in popularity among young and old generations alike.  Radio may be compared to podcasts by some and some radio programs are converted into podcast form for consumption on the internet which may be more convenient for some people as they are available at all times.

By Alice Macilwraith

 

We Were Liars Book Review

         I give the book  “we were liars” by E.L Lockhart 4 stars out of 5. This book is in the genre of teenage fiction and I recommend it for teens between the ages of 12 and 20.  I found this book very interesting as it doesn’t follow the plot of a regular book in this genre.  This book is intriguing and a has surprising twist at the end which will leave you speechless.

          The book follows the life of Cadence Sinclair Eastman and the rest of the Sinclairs during their summers on their private island.  As the Sinclair family is quite wealthy the book provides an insight into the lives of the rich which inevitably includes fighting over inheritance and pitting children against each other in order to win the affections of the wealthy grandfather.  The plot is largely focused on the life of Cadence as she looks back on her summers before she suffered a deadly accident.  There is of course an element of forbidden romance at the core of the book between Cadence and Gat. The relationship between the four “liars” is central to the plot.  The book is essentially focused on the impact of wealth on the children of the rich and the things they are driven to do as a result of it.

         I found this book both thoughtful and intriguing.  Once I began reading it I couldn’t put it down. In my opinion it is well worth the read and the end will leave you screaming for more.  I also recommend “The Disreputable History Of Frankie Landau Banks” from the same author.

 

                                                               By Emma Fitzgibbon

 

 

100 Years Later and Einstein’s Theory is Proved

The Fourth Year physics class have been learning about cosmology and exploring Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity.  On September 14th 2015, physicists researching the final pieces of Einstein’s Theory, detected the first signs of gravitational waves which proves Einstein right.  Einstein said that instead of gravity being just a force, he said it was a type of wave.

13.8 billion years ago the whole universe was just a tiny, extremely dense dot that lasted for less that a fraction of a second before it exploded causing all the matter and energy to blast out creating space.  Regina Mundi College physics teacher Mr Murphy explained to us that  time and space are linked together and without one, the universe would not exist. Einstein believed that time was more then just a ticking of a clock.  

When two stars died in the centre of the Milky Way  they formed black holes which had a huge gravitational pull.  When two black holes get close to each other the force of gravity is so strong that they start spinning around each other so fast that eventually they merge and make a binary black hole.  When this happened gravitational waves shot out from the binary black hole and rippled (just like a pebble in a lake) outwards along the milky way 1.7 billion years ago.

Only last September was the first gravitational wave detected on earth.  These gravitational waves have the potential to warp Earth’s time.  This proves that the theory Einstein proposed regarding the existence of gravitational waves was proved 100 years after it was predicted.

                                                                            by Shauna Hurley

 

 

Political Debate

On Tuesday the 23rd of February we held an in school political debate here at Regina Mundi College. The speakers who attended were Lorna Bogue from the Green Party, Jerry Buttimer and Simon Coveney from Fine Gael, Joe Harris an independent candidate, Ciaran Lynch from the Labour Party, Jim O’Connell from the Anti Austerity Alliance People Before Profit Party and Terry Shannon on behalf of Michael Martin and Michael McGrath representing Fianna Fáil. Each candidate gave a brief 3 minute speech outlining their political views and why they should be elected to the four seats our constituency, Cork South Central, followed by a question and answer session and a brief conclusion speech. Our principal Dr. O’Donovan, Head Girl Lucy McGuire and deputy Head Girl Rion Corkery were overseeing the discussion on the stage and keeping everything running on time.

The debate opened with Lorna Bogue from the green part which focuses on the environment. Bogue outlined the uniqueness of  her party concerning the environment and their ecological policies. Bogue spoke about global warming and the efforts the Green Party would take to reduce this. One of the plans she mentioned was to have areas designated to posters of candidates as the litter left behind after the elections is damaging to the environment. Bogue also showed her dedication to her campaign as she would donate €25000 of her yearly income to community projects.

Jerry Buttimer was next to take the stage and his speech mainly consisted of the importance of voting and how everyone that has a vote should vote no matter who they choose to vote for, particularly young people as they are notorious for abstaining from voting in elections. Buttimer also spoke about emigration and  how everyone should be able to get an education, a job and marry whoever they want without having to leave the country. He mentioned that for the first time people are coming back to Ireland for work and how emigration has reduced with Fine Gael in government.

Simon Coveney discussed the recovery and the major economic development and improvements in the last five years the country has experienced that Fine Gael have been in government. He compared the economy to a bruised body that is undergoing a recovery as Ireland is over the worst of the economic disaster but is still recovering and how the country should stand by Fine Gael to see the country through the hard times. Coveney spoke about how there is still loads to be done in terms of the recovery and how we should stand by who we can trust to ensure this recovery continues to flourish.

Joe Harris spoke about why he entered politics as an independent. He discussed his anger at how the country is run and how he wants to see real change in the economy and how he wants everyone to experience the recovery equally and how currently not everyone is reaping the benefits of the recovery. Harris also spoke about mental health and how he feels more should be done regarding this issue.

Ciaran Lynch spoke mainly about education and the high importance the development of educational facilities is to the Labour Party and the improvements that have been achieved by the Party during their time in government. He spoke about his own experience in education and the reforms he wishes to see in the future. He discussed that during the recovery one thing the party did exceptionally well was putting expenditure towards the building of schools and how so many new schools have been built and planned during his term in office. He spoke about how the next step was to improve classrooms across the country and how he will focus on this if re-elected.

Jim O’Connell spoke about inequality and how that is the main issue the AAA PBP Party is concerned with and how he wishes to solve inequality particularly with regards to  areas such as homelessness and education. He discussed his own education and how he left education early due to the rough treatment at his school and how he has only recently returned to education and gotten a degree. O’Connell outlined that the party was for the people and how they also want everyone to see the benefits of the recovery the country has undergone.

Terry Shannon attended our debate on behalf of Micheal Martin and Micheal McGrath who were unable to attend. Shannon outlined the importance of voting and how everyone with a vote should definitely exercise that right in the general election. He also spoke about the Fianna Fáil Party and what they wish to do if they are elected. He discussed the party’s ideals and the Republican beliefs they share.

 

After the politicians gave their opening speeches the floor was open for questions from the students and teaches. One of the most notable questions was in regards to the homeless crisis. A student asked what was to be done to solve the issue which evoked a few interesting responses from the politicians. Terry Shannon stated that when Fianna Fáil were in government there were no homeless people on the streets of Cork which caused quite a stir among the audience. Lorna Bogue mentioned that it was a major issue and that there are so many empty houses in the area which could be used for housing and that that her party would focus on housing the homeless in these residences. She also stated that 40% of TDs are landlords which would explain why they are not willing to address the problem as it may result in a loss of profit for them. Jim O’Connell mentioned that his party was planning a lot in terms of housing the homeless and dealing with the crisis and Simon Coveney also stated that plans were to be put in place to handle the situation. Overall there was a mixed response to the answers given by the politicians as none answered the question fully or gave any indication of what their plans actually were to combat homelessness.

One of the questions asked by a student was how each individual candidate would feel about repealing the eighth amendment. The eighth immendmendment is a national ban on abortion hat was signed into law in 1983. Both Lorna Bogue and Jim O’ Connell were in favour of repealing the amendment, both saying that a woman should be in charge of her own body. Jim O’ Connell stated that he would be in favour of abortions being available to those who want one for free. Simon Coveney spoke about how repealing the eighth amendment isn’t as easy as it seems. He said that there would be difficulty over knowing what to replace it with if it was repealed. H e also said that it is a sensitive issue and that this isn’t the right place to debate the topic. Overall, Coveney was against repealing the eighth amendment. Joe Harris’s answer to the question was that he wholly agreed with Coveney and that he’s morally against abortion and thinks it should stay illegal. Harris said that everyone he knows who’s had an abortion regrets it. Jerry Buttimer’s answer was very similar to Coveney’s, he is also against repealing  the amendment. Terry Shannon’s answer was more controversial. He said that he is completely abortion and said in his speech that he believes that everyone is ‘pro-life’ when talking about people being pro-life and pro-choice. He also said when discussing abortion in special circumstances that lots of people on the street are a product of rape and there’s nothing wrong with them. Overall, there were mixed feelings from all the candidates towards appealing the eighth amendment, varying from being quite positive to quite negative.

After interviewing some of the students who watched the debate we have compiled some of the comments to show the overall view of the student body toward the debate. The majority of the students we spoke to felt negatively about Terry Shannon and Fianna Fáil. One student said that Fianna Fáil treated rape too casually, referencing Terry Shannon’s comment about nothing being wrong with products of rape when discussing abortion. A lot of students were unhappy with the outcome of the vote, and said that it was biased towards the seven politicians who were there for the debate, therefore it was biased against the candidates who weren’t at the debate. Also, another student commented that most people were only voting for the names they recognised and this is why Jerry Buttimer was elected. another comment about Jerry Buttimer was that he was avoiding answering all of the questions he was asked. There was also some negative opinions towards Simon Coveney, with people saying that he was dodging animal welfare questions by instead highlighting basic measures he had taken in government, not what he planned to do. Overall, the majority of the people we spoke to said they enjoyed the debate and found it interesting, and some commented saying they would have preferred if it were longer.

 

                                                                                              By Emma Fitzgibbon and Ciara Morrissey

 

 

Regina Mundi’s School Survival Guide

 

Avoid making eye contact with 6th years unless you are one

If something bad happens, blame the school ghost

If you think teachers are talking about you, they probably are

If you want to walk through the well, make sure your legs are long enough to get out the other side

Don’t ever tell any English teacher that you don’t like to read

Try not to snore too loud during meditation

Before going to the staff room, make sure you only have one set of earrings in the lobe

If someone has a plastic cup, they are sick

If your teacher forgets to come to class, push out the door so there is still a crack. That way no one can hear your party, but you wont get in trouble for having the door shut

Always wear a watch, you’ll become the most popular person in the room

While in the bathroom, read the conversations people have on the door

When the bell rings for lunch, run like you’ve never run before to get a roll or a pain au chocolat from the tuck shop

In the morning before you get let inside, give every teacher that walks past puppy eyes and mutter ‘its so cold’ so they let you in faster

In summer never sit near the window to avoid going blank, but in winter sit by the rad so you don’t freeze to death

Everyday be thankful we don’t have to wear the old pinafore or  tie.
By Shauna Hurley and Anna Harrington

 

A prank too far?

Recently, British Youtuber Sam Pepper released another one of his infamous prank videos.  Sam Pepper, who has over 2 million subscribers on his Youtube channel, initially gained large scale attention for one of his prank videos in 2014, in which he seemed to be promoting sexual harassment for the sake of ‘humour’.  Following the release of this prank video, which sparked mass outrage on social media, multiple women came forward with claims of sexual assault towards Sam Pepper.  Petition after petition was made to have Sam Pepper removed from Youtube, none of which came through.  Not only that, Sam Pepper never formally addressed any of the women’s claims, and made a flimsy excuse masking the distasteful video as a social experiment.  Put bluntly, he never apologised for the offence he caused, and hid behind his dropping but still loyal remaining followers.

Over a year later, it seems, Sam Pepper has not learned anything, and is just as bad as he was in 2014.  His most recent prank, entitled ‘Killing Best Friend Prank’ has, as of writing received over five million views.  In this video, fellow Youtuber Sam is seen driving with best friend and Youtube partner Colby ( channel Sam and Colby).  The car ‘ breaks down’ before the two are attacked, and Sam is tied up before being thrown in a boot, and driven to a location twenty minutes away.  In this location, Sam is tied to a chair, before he witnesses the apparent ‘murder’ of best friend Colby.  Throughout the entire video, Sam is clearly distressed, and at the end, neither Colby nor Sam Pepper seem to show regret for the hurt their ‘prank’ caused their friend.

For obvious reasons, the internet, yet again, has exploded over Sam Pepper.  The latest petition to have Sam Pepper removed from Youtube has amassed over 100,000 signatures, and it is continuously rising.   It is obvious, that even a year on, the internet still hates Sam Pepper; and yet, his loyal legion of fans appear to protect him from any repercussions for his ignorant and, frankly, disgusting, actions.  No sexual assault case was ever brought to him, and this video has yet to be removed from Youtube.

This video, yet again, raises the question of when does a prank stop being funny?  The popularity of these so called prank channels on Youtube is rising. and as they do, the boundaries of their videos is remarkably unclear.  Sam Pepper could argue that, a prank, by definition is a ‘practical joke or mischievous act’ and that, as Sam appeared to be fine, there was nothing wrong with his video, technically speaking.

Sam, focus of the video, did in fact tweet saying he was fine and this prank had actually strengthened their friendship.  However, it goes beyond that.  Twenty minutes in the boot of a car, genuinely believing you were being kidnapped, could be considered mental torture. Sam was clearly in anguish  during the video, so much so in fact, it makes the video painful and scary to watch.  The video makes a mockery of anyone who has ever been held up at gunpoint or suffered from PTSD.  The final line is the debate, regardless of whether one believes the world has become ‘too soft’, or that this was a vile act, is that people were genuinely hurt, offended and scared by this prank.  Whether the Youtubers involved found it funny or not, is quite frankly, irrelevant.  They, as decent people, should acknowledge the hurt they caused, admit they were wrong, and move on.  Instead, yet again, Sam Pepper has refused to apologise, and is continuing to make videos.  While sexual assault charges can never quite be forgiven, this was Sam Peppers opportunity to show how he was at a minimum, matured as a person when it comes to making mistakes.  Instead, all Sam Pepper has done is reinforced the idea people already had of him, that he had little regard for other human beings, and an inability to accept responsibility for what he had done.

While I’m unaware of what power Youtube actually has as a platform in this situation, I hope they exercise whatever power they have, and make Sam Pepper own up for his appalling actions.  He is already banned from large youtube conventions such as VidCon, Youtube is the next step to make the community a more positive and encouraging environment for the young people who are influenced by it.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         By Julia Sheehan

 

Vegetarianism

From a young age, I have always had a particular attachment to animals, and the viewing of animals as equals with equal feeling and emotion.  I also, as a child, had an extreme love for chicken, particularly when barbequed.  With two meat-eating parents, I never made the connection between the living, breathing creature and the nicely packaged meals in the supermarket.  To me, love of animals and diet was completely unrelated.

Around the age of thirteen, I joined social media, and as is the case for a large portion of vegetarians or vegans, my views were changed.  On social media, I found an abundance of   bloggers and Youtubers who, just like me, and plenty of others, had a love for animals and also viewed them on the same level as humans.  They, however, had one critical difference from me, they were vegetarian or vegan.  They had, as commonly said by these individuals on the internet, ‘made the connection’ between the food on their plate and the animals they so claimed to adore.

Following that,  my mindset was never the same.  I struggled to properly enjoy meat, as it just screamed ‘animal’, not food.  I delved into research on the topic, and discovered the ethical side of vegetarian or veganism, beyond what I had known before.  I will not overload this article with details, as I think to change a diet that you have been fed since birth, one needs to truly research and discover the atrocities of the reality of animal agriculture for themselves, and forcing information on people never helped anybody.  For me, once I discovered the realities, I could never go back, and I asked twice to go vegetarian ( both times my parents declining), before I finally went vegetarian in April 2015.  As a vegetarian, I avoid all meat ( including fish), and vegans avoid all animal products , including dairy, eggs, leather etc.

So, clearly, I went vegetarian for ethical reasons and if you are interested in the ethical side of vegetarian and veganism, the internet has hundreds, if not thousands, of blog posts and documentaries on the topic.  Don’t shy away from watching the more graphic of the documentaries.  I acknowledge that it isn’t pleasant, but it is the only way to properly understand vegetarians or vegans, and stick to the diet through the countless questions and attempts to steer you off track.  Through talking to other vegetarians and vegans, I have learned that the majority do make the switch for ethical reasons, and to finally have a sense of purpose and passion about the food you are eating would be one of the best things about being vegetarian for me.

I feel as though a large number of people feel an underlying guilt about the food they eat, and when that guilt is lifted, a new sense of purpose takes it place, and I can truly say, as an individual, I felt happier with myself.  You truly are what you eat, and when you eat the carcass of animals who were tortured or died a painful death, that feeling is passed on.  Even if that animal lived the happiest life possible in a field, a forced death is not pleasant, and not a feeling or emotion I want to consume.

It does, however, have to be acknowledged, that there is also a large number of individuals  who turn to veganism in particular for health reasons.  Contrary to popular belief, a well balanced vegan diet is far superior to the standard western diet, not vice versa.  It has been shown in countless studies done by actual health professionals, and not just hippies, that a vegan diet improves human health dramatically, as it cuts out animal proteins, which are loaded in bad saturated fats, cuts out carcinogenic meats, as even chicken has been shown to cause cancer, and, even with little effort, greatly increases the number of plant foods consumed by an individual.  On average, vegans weigh 5-20% less than the rest of the population, and live ten years longer. That is no coincidence.  Not all vegans are skinny weaklings deficient in all vitamins and minerals though, do not mistake it.  All nutrients essential for human life are found in plant products (yes even protein, look up vegan bodybuilders), and minus the cancer and heart disease!  The only vitamin not found in plant products is vitamin B12, and most nut  milks are usually fortified with B12, or supplements are easily accessible.  If you are interested in the health side of veganism (or vegetarianism, however since dairy is just as bad if not worse than meat, vegan is the way to go for health.), I recommend looking at the book ‘The China Study’, or looking at Youtubers such as ‘Bonny Rebecca’ or ‘Freelee the Banana Girl’.   I accept not all vegans are healthy vegans, and yes, your grandmother did eat meat and lived to 100,  however, it is important to keep in mind, most vegans are still healthier than you as long as you continue to pack in the meat and dairy, along with other processed western foods and not only did your grandmother eat significantly less, not just meat and dairy, but overall than you, her meat was also most likely not as pumped full of hormones and chemicals.  Vegan is still seen as radical, however, once one opens their mind to veganism, it is an obvious choice for health.  Most vegans report better skin, brighter eyes, feeling noticeably better inside and out, having more energy, sleeping better and reversed diseases even, on top of better mental feeling.  The only thing that changes when you become vegan is you need to consume more carbohydrates, which can hardly be seen as a downside.

The final reason for going vegetarian or vegan which is perhaps the most universally appealing, is the environmental aspect to veganism.  In 2006, the UN calculated that the combined climate change emissions of animals bred for their meat were about 18%   of the global total, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport.  So you can walk to the shop every day for the rest of your life, but none of it will change more than going vegetarian or vegan.  It is now thought animal agriculture could be contributing to up to 50% of global warming.  1 calorie of animal protein requires 11 times as much fuel as one calorie of plant protein.  Nearly half of all our water goes to raising animals for food, you save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you would by not showering for six months.  Raising animals for food uses 30% of the worlds land, the equivalent of seven football fields is bulldozed every minute to create more room for farmed animals.  70% of the grain we grow is fed to animals.  I have to admit, this is a side to vegetarian or veganism I had no idea existed, but when I did learn about it, it blew my mind.  If you ever wanted an example of bias or governments trying to simply please people, use the fact that the entire Paris Climate Summit passed without even a mention of REDUCING animal products.  The outrage of forty year old men who like sausages to much to admit the truth would have been simply too much for anyone to handle.  You can donate to Concern, go to every climate march under the sun or swim the Atlantic instead of flying to the U.S, but you will never make more of an impact as one person than the one you can by changing your diet.  You can make a difference, you just need to open your mind: and that is what I aim people to take away from this article.  These diets are not about teenage girls claiming that ” animals are just too cute to kill”, it’s about changing the world, and that is important, and deserves to be talked about more.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               by Julia Sheehan

 

Mna Feasa

Today two speakers came into our school to talk to us about Mna Feasa, an organisation for women suffering from domestic abuse.  The first thing they explained was that there are seven different types of domestic abuse including physical, emotional/mental, financial, spiritual, verbal, technological and sexual abuse.  Mna Feasa mostly deals with people over the phone, and there to offer support to anyone experiencing or who knows someone experiencing domestic abuse.

The main point of the talk was to explain to us that not all domestic abuse is physical abuse.  Emotional/mental abuse can be explained as ‘messing with someone’s head’.  It happens through small subtle actions that gradually result in the victim thinking they’re not mentally well.  Financial abuse is controlling somebody’s money and occurs most between a married couple, where one person is in charge of what the other person spends and where they spend it.  Verbal abuse can be explained as insulting someone and gradually chipping away at their self esteem.  Spiritual abuse is using someone’s religion against them, such as forcing them to do something against their religion.  Technological abuse is similar to financial abuse, except instead of controlling someone’s money, you’re controlling someone’s technology and internet usage. Sexual abuse is forcing undesired sexual behaviour onto another.

At the end of talk we all came away much more knowledgeable on the topic of domestic abuse and what to do if experiencing it. We were also given bookmarks with both the phone number of the organisation and a quick explanation of what was healthy relationship and what wasn’t.

                                                                                                                                                                                                     By Ciara Morrissey  

 

Applied  History Module

      This is the first year students at  Regina Mundi College have been offered an Applied History Module. This involves working with the Thomas Meagher Foundation on a project which works to bring more awareness to the tricolour and its true meaning which is a symbol of peace between Catholics and Protestants.  The foundation is named after Thomas Meagher who introduced the tricolour to Ireland on the 7th of March 1848 at the Wolfe Tone club in Waterford City.

       Fourth year students will be taking part in the project this year which has particular significance as this year is the 100 year anniversary of the 1916 rising.  The project includes encouraging businesses  to replace their old tattered Irish flags with new ones for this special anniversary.  Some of our other ideas include promoting the Irish flag on social media and spreading flags throughout the school.  We will also be selling Irish flags as part of our efforts.  There are various prizes to be won with this competition with the first prize being a full scholarship to the student’s school of choice.

       Another part of applied history is learning about historical monuments and how effective they are.  We intend to go on numerous trips throughout the year including a trip to Glasnevin Cemetery and a 1916 walking tour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                         by Emma Fitzgibbon

24 Hours

If the world was going to end in 24 hours, how would you spend your last few hours?  Here are 24 things the fourth year media class would do:

Skydive

Fly to Spain

Have a food fight

Go to see a Broadway show

Get a tattoo

Go see the Northern lights

Go to Dingle

Bungee jump

Dance in the rain

Eat a McMór

Hug a penguin

Drive a car really fast

Dive to the bottom of the ocean

Dye my hair a crazy colour

Flood a lush store

Have a bath of food colouring

Swing from a chandelier

Go to the Caribbean

Tell people what you really think of them

Go to Disneyland

Get chased by a lion

Swim with dolphins

Sleep under the stars

Tell your family and friends that you love them

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                      By Shauna Hurley

 

 

Beauty Standards in Today’s Society

With the rising popularity of social media beauty standards have become nearly impossible to achieve.  Young people compare themselves to airbrushed models which leads to poor self image and self deprecation.

       Some of these beauty standards include the infamous thigh gap.  This came about through social media such as Tumblr and Instagram and of course magazines featuring unnaturally skinny models who are often airbrushed to look even thinner.  This particular concept is one that causes a significant amount of harm as young girls starve themselves in attempt to get the thigh gap even if it is not their body type or within the realms of possibility.  Recently a huge trend has been to have wide hips and a slim waist which is achieved by waist trainers endorsed by celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Pia Mia.  These waist trainers have been proven to have damaging effects, yet they are still endorsed by these celebrities whose demographic is largely made up of young impressionable girls.  Of course, the boys are not totally exempt from these beauty standard as they are all expected to be 6 foot tall with a toned body which also isn’t always possible, particularly their height is impossible to alter.

      As a direct result of these beauty standards, young people, girls in particular are affected by eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, binge eating and purging.  A lot of these disorders could have been avoided, had the people affected not seen and been compared to unrealistic ideas of beauty they feel the need to live up to and so take the means they consider necessary to achieve this standard of beauty or “perfection”.

      The idea of perfection is hugely detrimental to the mental and physical well being of all of us as individual inherently imperfect human beings.  We  see in all forms of media varying definitions of perfection in regards to hair, body, clothes etc. and it causes lasting negative effects as we are constantly striving for this mythical “perfection” that is effectively unachievable.

        In conclusion I believe social media is the main culprit in creating and spreading these beauty standards which cause so much widespread harm throughout the world’s youthful population.  It is also my opinion that magazines and social media should adopt a policy where they show unaltered  real people with natural bodies to promote body positivity.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                       By Emma Fitzgibbon

 

Transition Year EXPO 

On Thursday 17th September the fourth years attended the TY Expo in Kilkenny.  This was the first year the event has been held with the sponsorship of Bank of Ireland.  The aim of the Expo is to provide information to Transition Year students that we may not have found by ourselves.  Often fourth years do not realise the magnitude of the opportunities available to them during this year and may not get involved as much as we could to achieve our full potential in this unique year.

On arrival, we saw the many stalls set up by organisations who have wonderful opportunities for fourth years.  Among the stalls were language courses such as Stein Study, sports organisations such as Delphi, political groups such as Labour youth, volunteering organisations such as St. Vincent de Paul and many more.  There were also fun activities to take part in at the event itself including a simulation of a rollercoaster and outer space, music demonstrations and mock sports matches provided entertainment for the students.  There was also many sweets and stationery at numerous stalls and by the end of the day we were all covered from head to toe in stickers.

We enjoyed our day and we all left with new ideas on how to spend our year.  We received many leaflets from the event along with a TY Expo handbook which contains information on all the stands that were at the expo.  The great day was concluded with a trip to Kilkenny Castle and a fun bus ride home.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                by Emma Fitzgibbon

 

Yoga In Regina Mundi College

Transition year students are afforded the chance of participating in three modules: Yoga, Dance, Contact Sports.  For many people it was their first time trying yoga.

Yoga means ‘union’ in Sanskrit.  Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India around 5,000 years ago.  Practicing yoga regularly can improve posture, flexibility, strength and balance.

Most local gyms offer yoga classes that are open to all ages.  Yoga is open to young  teens, athletes, middle-aged men and women, older people and even body builders.  Everyone can enjoy yoga and feel included unlike other sports that focus on one particular group of people.  Whether you are 10, 50 or 100 years old you can enjoy yoga.

Yoga can be very beneficial to students as we spend many hours a day sitting hunched over in our chairs.  In exam years yoga can be used for relaxation reasons.  It can also incorporate meditation and mindfulness.  Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.

Ms Mac Carthy is currently practicing mindfulness with her sixth year class group.  This is aiding the students in preparation for their Leaving Cert.  She recommends ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle for anyone who’s interested in mindfulness.  We are enjoying our weekly yoga classes and hope to improve in the coming weeks.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       by Ellen Griffin

 

Ploughing Championship

On the 22nd of September, 50 transition year students set off to the 84th National Ploughing Championship hosted in Laois.  This is the largest outdoor event in all of Europe and this year 281,000 people attended.

The drive took over 3 hours, due to traffic from the thousands of others making their way to the Championships.  

On arrival we listened to the President’s opening speech.  Once the speech was finished, Ms O’ Brien sent us off with worksheets to complete, and told us to be back by three.  With hundreds of stalls spread out over the 800 acre site, there was no shortage of things to do and see.  There was a nice mix of stalls covering all sorts of interests.  There was farming, food, fashion, and jewellery, so something for everyone.

One of the highlights of the day was the mini amusement park.  Consisting a dozen or so rides, it was one of the most crowded spots in the area.  The queues weren’t long, so many of us went on a few of the rides there.

The ploughing itself took place on the edge of the area, and wasn’t as busy as the funfair rides.  There were dozens of tractors entered in all different categories, all trying to create the straightest line.  We were delighted to hear that Ms O’ Brien’s brother, John O’ Brien, came fifth in his category.

We all arrived back at the meeting point at three, all of us a lot muddier than when we set off.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        By Ciara Morrissey

 

Lord Mayor Visit 2015

On the 24th of September we received a visit from the newly elected lord mayor of Cork, Chris O’ Leary and the Lady Mayoress Angela O’ Leary.  As we welcomed the lord mayor and his wife, we sung “Beautiful City” and waved our red and white cork flags to show our schools enthusiastic spirit.  Our student council greeted the lord mayor and his wife as they arrived on the lord mayors first school visit since he came in to office.

Our principal Dr O’ Donovan and our head girl Lucy Mc Guire welcomed the lord mayor on behalf of the student body.  The lord mayor then began his informative speech.  Cork city has elected its first Sinn Fein mayor in 90 years with Chris O’Leary becoming the first party member to receive the honor since Sean French in 1925 and the lord mayor explained to us his duties and how he has made it to where he is today.

The Lord Mayor expressed his support for young people as future leaders of Cork City and outlined his opinion on the importance of making a difference in today’s society.  The lord mayor spoke about the housing and the refugee crisis which he was passionate about along with other community work he has been involved in.  At the end of the Lord Mayor’s speech our inquisitive students had many questions for Mr Chris O’ Leary which he answered attentively.  As the Lord Mayor’s visit ended we sang the Lord Mayor out as he attended the next school with a chorus of  the well known  “Shandon Bells”.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              by Kate Lynch

 

The Construction of the School Library

The building  works for the new school library have begun!  The old balcony, visible from the library and the chemistry room, will be enclosed and roofed to be made as an additional space to the library.  The entire cost of the project is  €80,000 and has to be entirely funded by the school.  All school pupils took part in  the sponsored walk on Friday 18th September, all of which proceeds will go to the library works.

It is hoped that the project will be finished by the end of October.  Upon completion the library will be open to students to come and relax at break time and it will facilitate access to the wide array of books to borrow.  Students will also be taken to the library during English and literacy classes to encourage reading for pleasure as this will have positive effects on students across an array of subjects.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     by Alice Macilwraith

 

 

The Obscure Dictionary

Eunoia- Beautiful thinking; a well mind

Solivagant- Wandering alone

Juggersnot– a huge impending sneeze you cant prevent

Aurora- dawn

Phosphenes- the light & colours produced by rubbing your eyes

Sonder- the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own

Vellichor- the strange wistfulness of an old bookshop

Abditory- a place in which you can disappear

Petrichor- the smell of rain

Nyctophilia- love of darkness or night

Nefilibata- cloud walker who lives in their imagination

Chrysalism- the tranquillity of being indoors during a thunderstorm

Komorei– sunlight filtering through trees

Yugen- a profound awareness of the unviverse that triggers a deep emotional response

Sophronsyne- a healthy state of mind

Lisztomania- A need to listen to music all the time

Amaranthine– eternally beautiful

Pluviophile- a lover of rain

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious- good, wonderful

Floccinaucinihilipilification- having little or no value

Honorificabilitudinitatibus- honourableness

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                          by Shauna Hurley

 

Japanese Module

Over the course of transition year most 4th year students will get a chance to study Japanese for nine weeks.  During these lessons students are immersed in both the Japanese language and culture.  By the end of the course everyone will be able to write their own names as well as recognise many words in katakana, one of the four alphabets used in the Japanese language.  So far we have learnt to count, introduce ourselves, to write many words in both kanji and katakana and about popular Japanese cuisine such as sushi and practiced using chopsticks.   Our teacher Sensei Lambe hopes to take us to the Home Ec room for a class to make our own Japanese food.  Also coming up in future classes is the ancient art of paper folding, origami, Japanese fashion and traditional dress, Japanese festivals, Anime and Manga, traditional music and J-Pop.  Japanese can be taken to leaving cert level if a student wishes to do so.  It is spoken by 125 million people world wide.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         by Alice Macilwraith

 

School Walk 2015

On September 18th, the entire school set off on the annual school walk.  Most students were quite enthusiastic to take part.

After an early lunch, every student and teacher set off at one o’ clock to begin the walk.  We walked our usual route: down the well road, to  Atlantic  Pond, and back again.  It was great exercise, and the brisk pace we were walking at kept our heart rates up.

The walk may have been tiring, but it was well worth it.  The money raised by all the students is to go towards the refurbishment of the library, which is scheduled to be completed by mid-October.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           By Ciara Morrissey

 

Numeracy

In a new effort to promote the use of numbers in classes that aren’t maths, the school has created  the module Numeracy and made it compulsory for all 4th years.  We have been sorted into four different class groups, and we all have the class last thing Wednesday afternoon and first thing Thursday morning.

On the first day, we were put into groups and asked to discuss ‘What is Numeracy?’.  The activities we have been doing so far mostly consist of correcting and grading first year tests.  We also have had to take a first year tests ourselves, so we’d understand the marking system.  Most of the classes aren’t taught by our own maths teacher and groups are mixed.  All looking forward to our next numeracy class.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          by Ciara Morrissey

 

An Ghaelbhratach

             This year is the first year Regina Mundi is working to obtain the “Bratach Gaeilge” (Irish flag)  for our school.  The aim of this project is to encourage the use of Irish, both inside and outside of the classroom.  This will entail our school taking part in various activities which incorporate Irish throughout the school year.  An Irish committee consisting of students will be organizing activities. We will receive checkups at regular intervals throughout the year to ensure we are having regular meetings and are keeping up with the work involved.

Some students went to a training seminar on Friday the 2nd of October to learn more about this Irish flag project. We learned more information about the project and received tips on carrying out the activities. We were joined on the day by students from other schools in the area who are also working towards obtaining the flag. This year over sixty schools will be taking part.  Hopefully at the end of the year our hard work will pay off and we will receive our flag at a special ceremony in Dublin with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in attendance. This year over sixty schools will be taking part. There is a lot of interest amongst the students for Irish and so students are eager to join the committee and get involved. Is féidir linn!

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         By Emma Fitzgibbon

 

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is a novel in the genre of teenage fiction.  It is set in America and is told through the eyes of eighteen year old Cath who is just beginning her first year of college.  Her twin sister, Wren has requested not to be her room mate with the vision of them both making new friends and being independent.  Cath, however is much more introverted than her twin and spends much of her time in her dorm writing fan fiction.  She soon develops a friendship with her roommate Reagan and her friend Levi.  Each chapter in Cath’s life is accompanied by a page of the fanfiction she writes for her thousands of online fans.

I enjoyed the book because it is very relevant to current times with constant references to the pop culture of today.  It also gives a taste of college life in America and how Cath adjusts to it.  This interests me as I have yet to experience college and being away from home for long periods of time.

I would recommend this book to shy teenage girls as they would best relate to Cath. Similar books include those by Sarah Dessen and John Gree                      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                By Alice Macilwraith

 

Tuck Shop

The tuck shop is a place where students in our school can purchase  treats during break-time and lunch. It was set up by one of the home economics teacher’s, Mrs Lane, in order to bring extra profit into the school.  Students from all year groups go to the tuck shop at lunch times where they can buy food and drinks such as chocolate bars, sandwiches, water and various other items.

Fourth year students run the tuck shop with the help of Mrs Lane.  They have two managers and four workers.  The managers have to take the stock at the end of each lunch except Wednesdays as we have a half day.  Each class group is given three to four weeks where every student in the class is given a week to work.

I worked in the tuck shop at the start of the year.  It was very hectic as we were counting money and trying to remember orders.  I can’t wait to work in the tuck shop again, as it was so much fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               By Hannah Depuis

 

The Benefits Of Dogs In Our Lives

 People have had pets for thousands of years and dogs have always been a popular choice. Dogs provide us with entertainment and happiness along with numerous other benefits.  Its been proven that having a dog decreases stress levels dramatically.

As a dog owner I have experienced many of these benefits in my life. Walking my dogs calms me down and helps me to de-stress.   If I spend just a few minutes rubbing or playing with my dogs it makes my day and puts me in a positive mood.  Studies have proven that having a dog makes you less likely to suffer from depression.  People also have been proven to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride which cause heart attacks, as well as having elevated levels of serotonin and dopamine which help to calm and relax the mind.

Specifically for children and teenagers having a dog evokes a sense of responsibility as a lot of time and effort has to be put in to care for a pet including walking, washing, feeding, playing etc.  This helps children become more responsible and aware of their actions and helps to prepare for the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                By Emma Fitzgibbon

 

 

 

 

ARTICLES POSTED BELOW HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY MEMBERS OF THE TRANSITION YEAR 2014-15 MEDIA CLASS

Editors: Aoife James, Abbie Cashman, Aoife O’Mahony and Emma Nagle

PARIS

At half past eight Saturday morning, the 14th of March, all Regina Mundi students travelling to Paris gathered at the airport. We met with the six teachers who accompanied us on the trip, they included Mr Maxwell, Mr Finn, Mrs Lane, Ms Desmond, Ms Spencer and Ms Campion. They gave us a brief summary of what would be happening throughout the day. After we had checked our bags in and got through security we had some time to lounge around the duty free and eat. The atmosphere was filled with excitement.

When the clock struck half past ten we began to board the plane. Everyone took their seats all ready to began our journey. We took to the skies at ten past eleven and landed in the city of love at two o clock. We waited for our bags to come and gave the teachers our passports. After everyone received their luggage we were ready to go. Our bus was waiting for us outside the airport and we were lucky enough to get a very kind bus driver called Christophe. Our trip had officially began.

First we stopped at a supermarket outside Paris for a quick lunch break before hitting the city. Everyone was extremely hungry and excited to see the main tourist attractions of Paris. After we were filled with food to keep us going, we hopped back on the bus and started to make our way towards Paris. We saw our first glimpse of this beautiful city after we turned off the motor way. We all were in shock as it looked incredible. As we began to move through the city we got more and more amazed. We fell in love with everything! The buildings structures were outstanding, they all were the same but magically unique. We noticed how the structure of the  roads were so unusually wide and straight  which made the city look so neat and tidy. The shops all looked incredible and the fashion of the people was out of this world. The more shops we passed, the more eager we grew to shop.

The first tourist attraction we visited was the Arc De Triumph. Out of everything we saw, the monument was one of my favourites. We parked the bus opposite the building but unusually no one is allowed to cross the road to get to it, everyone has to walk underground as the traffic bustled on above us. We all had to walk up a series of two hundred and eighty four steps which all rounded upwards. This itself was some climb. After we reached the top the amazement began. This was the first proper view of Paris we got from a height and everyone was in awe. The Arc De Triumph is in the middle of a round about and there are twelve vertically straight roads leading away from it. It looked like a clock. The Eiffel Tower could be seen and the beautiful river known as the Seine. Everyone spent some time taking lovely photographs of the scenery and each other. To add to the beauty of it all, the weather was spectacular.

To put an end to a great day we got an opportunity to take a boat trip down the river Seine.  It’s Latin name is Sequana and there are 32 bridges. All the historical buildings along the Seine were lit up which was beautiful along with the intricate designs under each bride.

We then made the long awaited journey back to the hotel.

Day Two, after leaving at 9.30, our eyes barely open, we got a fantastic guided bus tour. We toured a lot of the city and it was very funny and informative. It also turned out that our tour guide was from Galway, but we would have never guessed it because his French was so impeccable! He told us facts about many buildings and monuments, from Place de la Bastille to L’Hotel national des Invalides.

Then, we arrived at the monumental Eiffel Tower. For those who haven’t seen it before, it is completely overwhelming just by it’s size. We got an overcrowded lift to the 2nd floor. The view was incredible. We were able to look over the whole city, and it made us realise just what a beautiful city we were in. We had a direct view of the Champs-Elysees which now putting it to scale, was easily the busiest street by far.

Sacré-Cœur was next but unfortunately, we had to stay outside and only got to see the external architecture. We then finished our night off in Pizza Hut, which was well deserved after this busy day!

Our final touring day was one that we had all been looking forward to for months. Disneyland and Universal Studios! I can guarantee you, there was no complaints whatsoever after getting up at the crack of dawn. The amount of detail put into these amusement parks is mind-blowing. As it’s worth over $57 billion, it would want to be. The most scream-worthy rides were definitely the Tower of Terror, Rocking Rollercoaster and Indiana Jones, which you can see from this picture, was terrifyingly brilliant

We then stopped briefly for an hour of shopping which as you can imagine, was total mayhem.

We departed our hotel the next day at 10:30. No one was happy about this even though the sun was beaming. We had an almost silent ride to the Charles de Gaulles Airport, where we said our last goodbyes to the beautiful and majestic city of Paris.

Article by Clodagh Keely and Issey Hargaden

My Ski Trip Experience

Regina Mundi College went to Sierra Nevada, Spain, on a ski trip during the February mid-term break this year.  Twenty-eight students comprised of fourth and fifth years went.  We flew from Cork to Malaga where we then got a two hour bus to the mountains.  Though the journey was long everyone sang and laughed the whole way.  We arrived at the resort late at night, and because of the snowy and icy conditions the bus was only able to drop us to the ground level of the resort.  We hauled all our luggage to Hotel Nevasur which was incredibly strenuous and at the time did not seem worth the effort as everyone was exhausted.  We reached the hotel at around 12am.  We received our room keys and were allocated our rooms, everyone was put with their friends and there was no hassle.  Dinner was slightly cold as we got the left-over’s  from the evening meal that.

Breakfast was served most days at 7.30am.  It was buffet style with chocolate croissants, bacon, scrambled eggs, toast, doughnuts, ham, cheese, cereal, rolls  and, fresh oranges from Granada (which were the most delicious oranges I had ever tasted).   I woke up at 7.10am every morning as getting  dressed in salopettes and ski clothing was quick and easy.   My friend would do a French plait in my hair, almost everyone had plaits in their hair, it was the style of the week!

We left the hotel at 8am and walked five minutes to the village which was the hub of the resort.  The snow was deep even walking around the village.  We took a gondola from the village to the ski base.  You could squeeze ten people into these.  It was fun riding in them because you were so high off the ground and the view was breath taking.  When the gondola passed a pylon it wobbled a bit and everyone got a fright.  We always got to the ski base very early around 9am.  At this time the slopes were empty.  The first morning we arrived everyone was amazed by the beauty of the area.  I started making a snow angel immediately!  The snow was fresh and deep.  The amount of snowball fights that took place on the ski trip was  hilarious.  We went down to the ground floor of the ski base, to the shop where we got our skiing gear.  Our boots were sized and the skis were then fitted to them and we all got a green helmet.  I got to pick my own ski poles.  Everyone had a number and this number was placed on our poles, ski boots, skis and helmet so they did not get mixed up.  Officially our ski lessons did not start until 10am so we would gather in an area beside the ski base and relax.  The weather the first morning was unbelievable, it was roasting. I saw a lady skiing down the slopes in her sports bra!  I took off my ski gloves because it was just uncomfortably hot.

There were three ski instructors, Raphael, Alberto and Antonio. We spilt ourselves into groups, I went with my friends to Raphael.  There were two tunnels at the resort that were inclined.  Inside the tunnels was ‘a moving carpet’ which was an escalator on the floor which you stood on.  At the top of the tunnel we all carefully put on our skis.  It was an odd feeling and the position of the boots forced you to bend forward.  We practised the basics such as the snow plough, a stopping technique – very difficult to master.  You could tell quite fast who was a natural and who needed the extra help . The first lesson finished at 12pm.  We had a cage where we put all our skis and ski poles during lunch.  Lunch was a pasta bake, roll, yoghurt and fruit. We got an hour for lunch. The atmosphere at the resort was warm and there was always a buzz.   Sorting out the ski equipment was hectic after lunch but by creating an essembly line we were all ready for the  evening ski lesson in no time.   After lunch our instructor felt that all of us were confident enough to take the first chair lift. It was fantastic!  There were four seats on the lift and you could relax and take in the view while you were brought to the top of that slope.  At the end of the day we would put our boots, skis and ski poles in the cage but bring our helmets home.

That night most people were tired and had pains in muscles they did not know they had.  Dinner was served at 8pm and was buffet style with tasty options such as pasta, pork, salad, rolls, chips and soup – the meals changed daily.  Everyone dragged themselves off to bed, exhausted and wanting to go to sleep before the official lights out!

The routine was the same everyday, breakfast at 7:30am, leave the hotel at 8am.  On Tuesday the weather was atrocious! There was a blizzard and it was lashing rain. It was a rare sight to see the rain droplets freezing instantly when they fell on you. The chairlifts were closed after lunch and we were the only ones on  the slopes after lunch. We were confined to the tunnels where we practised the ski basics.  There were icicles on the bottom of my salopettes and  it was very hard to ski as my goggles had a layer of ice covering them and it would form again the moment I cleared my goggles.

Tuesday evening we went to the ski village where most of us went for a hot chocolate.  We spoke  near to no Spanish and therefore ordering a crepe and hot chocolate was a challenge.  Eventually the waiter understood us and we were served the most delicious and yummiest crepes ever.  However the hot chocolate was literally a melted chocolate bar served in a cup and tasted sickly sweet – no one was a fan of this foreign drink.

On Wednesday we were split into groups depending on our ski abilities, we were asked were we ‘comfortable’ or ‘very comfortable skiing’.  I felt very confident skiing and was placed in the top group with Antonio. He would take us on the fourth chair lift which went high into the clouds and one day we skied all the way to the village. He had faith in us and took us down very hard red slopes. As an extra bonus he was an ex-photographer and was all up for taking pictures!   In the afternoon we went to the village again where we all bought t-shirts that said ‘Sierra Nevada’ on them.

On Thursday we went to a snow park which was a minute walk  from the centre of the ski village. We wore our salopettes and ski clothes as it was freezing. The snow park was so much fun! There was a tunnel which you would go through in a doughnut and bounce against the sides of the walls. There were bicycle looking  things which had skis as wheels which you rode down a slope on – they were incredibly unstable. The best thing of all was the bob sled machine. You sat in with a friend, whoever was taller sat at the back, you strapped yourself in with a seatbelt. The rules were very strict as it was quite dangerous, hands and feet inside at all times, you must be thirty metres apart from each sled. The person at the back of the sled was in control of the speed as they had a lever which when pushed down accelerated the sled. It started off slow and I thought it was going to be boring but when you turned the first corner it shot of like a rocket! I was screaming, everyone screamed! Taking the corners at high speed was exhilarating but terrifying, you had to be careful the wheels did not lift off the tracks.
Thursday evening was great craic we played heads up with teachers.

On Friday after skiing we went straight to the hotel, gathered our bags and took our coach to Granada, we had to move hotel as the prices in the resort went up on the weekend. The journey from the mountains was less than an hour and most people slept. The hotel in Granada was stunning, it was a converted monastery and the architecture was magnificent. The hotel was a square with an open courtyard in the middle – where the monks would walk and pray. It was very fancy for a converted monastery and was a big treat as it was most luxurious.  Dinner was served at 8pm and it was served to us by waiters. I remember vividly how after finishing  my spaghetti Bolognese I saw the waiters wheeling  plates of chicken, rice and chips towards us! We had two meals and a dessert. Everyone was stuffed.

The next morning we left the hotel at 8am and got the bus to Sierra Nevada for our last skiing lessons, the weather was awful, you could not see five metres in front of you. It was crazy. We did not go skiing after lunch as it was too windy to take the chair lifts and it was bitterly cold, tears were forming in my eyes over how cold I was. There was always music playing in the village and we spent the ski lesson dancing along to the music and having snowball fights, we then returned all our ski equipment to the shop. It was very sad. We took the gondola to the ski village and had free time to go shopping and grab a hot chocolate. There was a surprise for us, we were brought into a big room with a stage and lots of chairs. All our instructors were there with certificates for us. It was really sweet as they called our names one by one and we all got a photo with our instructor, I was bawling. I think I was upset because I knew the experience was over and I had had the time of my life. I think everyone was feeling a little emotional as we left with our certificates. Fortunately there was a big parade marching through the streets of the village which cheered us all up as we danced along to the music.. We then took the bus back to the hotel in Granada.

After we got back to the hotel, we all changed into our evening wear  and we walked to the centre of Granada. The town was beautiful, the buildings architecture was gorgeous and the streets were like paintings out of classic movies.  We had a few hours free time which we used to explore the various different shops. We returned to our hotel, had a tasty meal and hauled  ourselves to bed, satisfied.

On Sunday morning, my bedroom woke up early in order to pack our suitcases. After our delicious and last breakfast, we all brought our luggage to reception. It was still early in the morning and therefore we had time to go Granada and do some shopping. All my friends and I went to a classic restaurant and had one last meal together. We returned to the hotel for three o’clock and placed our luggage on the coach and left Granada soon after.

The atmosphere on the bus was melancholy, and I was feeling upset about leaving the place where I had the best experience of my life!

Article by Alice Hickey

Debating Society

Regina Mundi College offers a wide range of clubs and after school activities, including an active debating society.  It is open to any student from first to sixth year.

Our debating society meets every second Thursday at big lunch in the Library.  They discuss new topics and talk about what they’re going to debate.  They have walking debates where they split into two groups: the proposition and the opposition. Each debater must choose which side they agree with.  They must come up with points to support their side. If they then decide after listening to the other teams points that they want to change sides, they can do so.

At the meetings they debate current topics and discuss upcoming competitions.  In the past few years the debating society have participated in many competitions, friendly debates with other schools and some members have even been asked to adjudicate other competitions in other schools.  Recently two debaters, Aoife James (4th year) and Ally Keegan (3rd year) participated in the UCC Philosophical Society’s Munster Schools Competition. The girls got to the quarter-finals as a team and Aoife succeeded to the semi-finals.

Article by Hanna O’ Nolan

Literacy Studies

One module offered during the Transition year course is the Literacy Studies module with Mrs Garvey, a teacher within the school. We have had this module for a double class every Monday for the past nine weeks. The aim of this module is to improve our literacy and reading skills.

At the start of our class we discuss the main events that have been happening in the news over the past week. The aim of this exercise is to get us to try listen or watch the news at any point during the week to improve our knowledge of what is going on in our country and the world.  We discuss briefly the main topics and then Mrs Garvey gives us two articles on anything that has been happening recently in the news. We quietly read these pieces and then we will openly discuss our points and opinions on the articles. I think this also helps with our confidence and speech.

When discussing these articles we look for the main points of what the author has written and what her opinion is. We look to see if their is any propaganda being put across and is the writer being biased. All  these exercises will help us in reading passages in our English Leaving Certificate Examination and how to answer in the best way possible.

After we finish discussing these articles we are asked to bring them home and write a summary on them and to highlight any words we do not understand. We then find the meaning of the words, write the definition and show them to Mrs Garvey in the next class. This task improves our vocabulary range and our spelling.

For the last thirty minutes of our class we are allowed read a book. We can bring the book from home or borrow from the school library. I love this time in our class as I get to do something I love and it’s a nice, quiet and relaxing period at the end of class.

I think Literacy Studies is a very beneficial module as you learn various skills and you get to practise others. It will be a great help for next year in our English class for answering questions in passages and reading different material.

Article by Clodagh Keely

Choir Tour of the Titanic Centre

To follow on our tour of Stormont Castle, the we were invited on the famous tour of the Titanic Centre in Belfast. This tour lasted about an hour. We arrived in the front door and were immediately led down the escalator to the heart of the tour. The tour began in the Grand hall filled with stories of the past on the walls. There were various projections on the walls portraying blueprints of the ship. Speakers demonstrated the sounds that the passengers heard as they moved through the rooms in the ship. life-sized models of the three classes bedroom. Both the third and second class bedroom were pretty similar; rectangular in shape, 1 bunk bed leaning against  the wall, a small chair and a chest of drawers. These bedrooms were in a big glass case and as you walked to the other side of this glass box the model of the first class bedroom was there. This bedroom was the size of the second and third class bedrooms combined. There was a massive double bed decorated with hanging silk drapes and massive cushions in the centre of the room. There was an elegant comfortable looking chair placed in the corner of the room with an ensuite and a chest of drawers on the other. These models were great as it gave us an insight into the severity of the division of classes in this time.

We then made our way to the next level of the tour which was reached through a replica of a lift that the workers on the ship would’ve used, this was a little scary. We were then met by scaffolding which we had to walk across in order to get to the final stage of the tour. Although we were walking on four planks of wood side by side we were informed that the workers would only have been walking on one and wouldn’t have been as safe as us. We then finally reached the final stage of the tour we were instructed to sit in a mechanical chair, quite similar to the chair you’d sit on in a rollercoaster ride. We were then taken around in a long circle by this chair which had inbuilt speakers speaking to us as we were carried around. These speakers told us the view of the people who built the titanic through the voice of one of these builders. Through visuals on the walls we could see the hardships faced by these men as they worked so hard to build the ship.

The final stage of the tour took place in a massive cinema-like room. We were shown a documentary of the remains found of the ship under the sea this took about ten minutes and then we were led down to the glass floor where an image of the ships remains under the sea was projected under our feet giving us the impression that we were standing in the water and seeing these remains in real 3D life. This concluded our tour. The whole tour lived up to its expectations and was truly amazing. The great day was concluded with a massive lunch in the restaurant before we began our 6 hour bus journey from Belfast back to Cork after a great weekend.

Article by Vicki Purcell

Choir Tour of Stormont Castle

After the choir competition  on the 16th of November the entire 40 members of the choir along with the principal and vice principal and the choir director Mrs. Beecher went back to Jury’s Inn and stayed the night in Belfast. The next day the choir became  tourists as we went to two big tourist attractions in Belfast; The Titanic centre (where the competition was held the night before) and Stormont Castle (the Parliament building).

At about 10 o’clock, the Martin Twomey bus filled with the Regina Mundi school choir drove along ‘The Mile’ leading up to the Parliament building itself. After various pictures on the steps of the building we finally went inside and commenced our tour. We started off in the Grand Hall where we were told the history of the building by the tour guide and were greeted by various MP’s. We learned interesting facts about the Stormont Building like the History of the paint on the ceiling which was a new formula and can only be seen on this ceiling as the inventor died before he knew whether or not it worked. The paint is extremely durable; it survived the massive fire in the building a few years ago and is still as good as new.  After some more pictures on the famous symmetric staircase of the Grand hall we continued our tour into one of the many chambers of the Parliament building.

Once again we got told some history of the building,  such as Stormont being used as a Air Force Headquarters during WW1 and in order to disguise it from bombs it was covered in a mixture of tar and cow manure turning the building from white to black. Although this form of disguise worked, after the War it took 5 years to get the tar and manure off. It was done by hand and it still it did not come off completely.

After an hour at Stormont the tour was finished and we left the building and drove towards our next tour in the Titanic Centre.

Article by Vicki Purcell

What Transition Year is all about…

Transition Year in Regina Mundi College is not like any other year.  In Transition Year, students have the opportunity to embrace many different experiences.  In fact, it is designed to be the bridge linking the Junior Cycle with the Senior Cycle.

The goals envisaged for students of the transition year programme give them the opportunity to develop their talents; creating the link between the academic, the personal and the social – promoting autonomous learning and much more.

The timetable is bursting with options and the most demanding subjects are well organised during the day, alternating with a variety of interesting modules.  The opportunity to experience these modules challenges students and presents them with possibilities for the future perhaps never previously explored.

Here is the list of modules on offer:

  • Leadership

  • Development in Third World Countries

  • Maths Enrichment

  • Chinese

  • Japanese

  • First Aid

  • Choir

  • Media

  • Craft

  • Psychology

  • Cookery

  • Health Education

  • Literacy Studies

As you can see, a large range of modules is available for the Transition year students, but the Transition year plan also offers many activities outside of the school environment. The weekend to Cappanalea, the French exchange, the school tour to Paris, the Fashion Show,  the Musical, Junk Kouture, and the ski tour to Sierra Nevada are but just a few to name.

Transition Year promotes the essence of experiences and guides students towards a more independent school life with the school community. I believe, as a transition year student, it gives you the opportunity to make new friends; to innovate and improve one’s creativity and  psychologically prepares you for the final two years of secondary school, for college, for work, and for future life.

Article by Francesca Proietto

SCALA (Meitheal)

On the 27th of January 2015 speakers from SCALA visited our school to talk to the fourth year classes about the Meitheal programme. Meitheal is a leadership programme organised by SCALA. The aim of Meitheal is to make  first year students, that are new to secondary school to feel secure and know they have help or guidance by a selected number of fifth year students. These fifth year students are interviewed for their place on the team while in fourth year and would have attended a training week in SCALA. In this week the fourth years learn different  team building skills and how to organise games and events for the incoming first years. They learn how to interact with the first years and the SCALA team will show them all the ways to make a first year feel welcome and to show them how to enjoy their time in secondary school.

Meitheal is also about making new friendships and building confidence in presenting projects in front of groups. You learn how to participate in teams while playing games and having fun. Personally I would love to be part of the Meitheal team as I love interacting with people and making new friends. Also I think it is so important for the first years to feel they have friends and know that they have help because it can be a scary time for some. I would like to be the person that first years can feel that they can come to if they ever feel like they need help.

During our talk with the speaker from the SCALA team, we also heard the current Meitheal team talk to us about their experience with the training and how they’re getting on this year. Every month they organise an event for the first years, last month it was bowling. All these outings are to help first years get to know each other and to build new friendships. The Meitheal team also go up to the first years a few times a week during lunch time and play a few games and ask how they are getting on. I think its a wonderful thing to be part of.

Next year I hope to be on the Meitheal team and to continue on the good work that the current Meitheal team do.

Article  by Clodagh Keely

Junk Kouture

Junk Kouture is a national competition for secondary level students which challenges teenagers to create high-end wearable fashion from everyday junk that would normally find its way into the bin. Junk Kouture aims to inspire passion in these teenagers while at the same time educate them about the importance of recycling and reusing waste.  Over the last four years, Junk Kouture has established itself as the premier recycled fashion competition for teenagers throughout Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

In Regina Mundi College we have two teams that have made it to the South Regional Final in Junk Kouture 2015.  Transition year students Caoimhe Sheehan, Ciara Gallagher and Louise Coombes combined forces to style and create a piece called Manasa.

They have worked tirelessly for six months to complete the piece.  It is made of burnt book pages, ends of cans, thumb tacks, chains, black plastic bags, broken jewelry and wire.  The shoes are made from cardboard with gold chains running through them. Caoimhe is modeling their piece, accompanied by the song “YALA” by Mia.

Iseult Hargaden, Claire Healy and Tori Fitzharris have also been working hard on their outfit since September. Their creation is called Rock Around the World. It is made with school maps, Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate art plastic bags, wax paper, packing peanuts and green bubble wrap packaging. Iseult is modeling this creation, with the song “You and Me” by Disclosure.

On Friday the 13th of March, the two teams are travelling to Limerick, to compete in the South Regional’s. They will leave school at 7.45am and return from Limerick very late that night. On  behalf of the school best of luck to  Manasa and Rock Around the World!

Article by Clodagh Keely and Clodagh Deady.

SHARE

Students Harness Aid for Relief of Elderly, or SHARE, is a charitable organization based in Cork, dedicated to providing housing and other support for the vulnerable elderly. One newspaper summed up that: “SHARE has brought help and hope, homes and happiness to the lonely old people who have been forgotten by society”.

The organization was founded in 1970 by Brother Jerome Kelly and students of Presentation Brothers College, Cork, to deal with the social issues of the time. As it gathered momentum, other schools in Cork joined, and today students from 18 secondary schools collaborate in organizing every aspect of the charity. Since its founding, over 200 custom-built homes have been provided by the organization.

Work by the members of SHARE is year-round, but its most active period is the Christmas Fast & Fundraising Campaign, when over 1800 students collect money in Cork City Centre. The charity’s sole collection period lasts only ten days, which has made it a recognizable part of the Cork Christmas season. It has received recognition from the media, important Irish political figures, and the people of Cork; but it is the involvement of students from all of Cork city’s secondary schools has made SHARE “a truly unique and effective organization” in Ireland today.

In every school that is involved with SHARE their are two main representatives which organize the volunteers who collect for Share in the city centre. These representatives also collect every day for SHARE all day and help organize the volunteers in town and help them in anyway they can. Its a very worthwhile charity to support and help. Funds go directly to SHARE and are collected and organized  by only school pupils. I was very glad to help this charity this year and I hope to be involved again next year.

Article  by Clodagh Keely

Transition Year Radio #tyfm

TY FM is a sub group run within the media module in Transition Year, it is a voluntary group run by students each year with some help from teachers with the technical stuff. There’s a TY FM session every Thursday at the 1:00 lunch. The TY FM team play current popular music for all the years to enjoy. I did an interview with Jane Buckley, one of the TY FM members.

Why did you form TY FM?

I’ve always had a strong interest in music, I wanted to broadcast my taste to the entire school. Also I wanted to take part and make it an enjoyable lunch-time.

What is your role in TY FM?

My job is to check the soundboard before every TY FM broadcast making sure sound pitch and level is correct.

How do you come about this role?

I got a quick lesson from Ms. Cassidy about the controls of the soundboard and from there I gradually became familiar with all the controls.

What other roles are there in TY FM?

There’s many roles in TY FM, such as radio host. The radio host job is to control the songs throughout the TY FM session and take requests from students. They also make announcements to the students about the upcoming events. Another role is public relations. Their job is to find an act from one of our own students to perform during TY FM.

What do you like most about TY FM?

What I enjoy most about TY FM is how the crowd reacts when we  play a new popular song. It makes me giggle and puts a smile on my face.

What advice would you give to next years TY FM group?

Have fun, and make sure to interact with the students of the school but also make sure that the content is school appropriate.

Interview by Abbie Cashman

TY Work Experience

As part of our transition year programme we are required to do two weeks of either work experience or community service, you can also do one week of each, it’s up to the student. This took place from Monday the 2nd of February to Friday the 14th of February this year. Some students chose to do the same job for the whole two weeks, others did one job for each week and others did three or four jobs throughout the 2 weeks. There was a great variety in the places people went for work experience; some people went to law firms and sat in on court cases, whilst others helped out in places like meals on wheels or Penny Dinners. Personally I love anything to do with kids and teaching kids, so for my two weeks of work experience I went to Eglantine primary school in Douglas and Kangakare playschool in Rochestown.

In the Primary school I worked 8.50-2.30 and in the Playschool I worked 9-3.30. Although these hours weren’t extremely long they were still tiring as you’re working non-stop. Other students worked 9-5 such as Louise Coombes who worked in 96 Fm. The majority of students liked what they did but other students did not like it as they were not utilized by the person in charge of them during the week. I, however, was working non-stop. Always called by teacher to teacher in Eglantine to help them with certain tasks. The different teachers gave me their views on the life of a teacher and the qualifications and guidelines you need to stick to in order to become a primary school teacher. This helped me so much and has encouraged me to pursue this career when I finish school.

Although I enjoyed the first week so much I feel it necessary to have two weeks of work experience as it lets you try out different things. Some girls went from being in a law firm one week to a hospital the next. For me the second week confirmed my thought on pursuing the career of a Primary School teacher. Overall, I enjoyed the two weeks and found them very helpful in the decision of what to do when I go onto College. I think every TY student is thankful and made the most of these two weeks.

Article by Vicki Purcell

Je suis Charlie

“Je suis Charlie” is a slogan created  by supporters of freedom of speech after the massacre that took place on 7th January 2015, in which twelve people were killed at the offices of French publication “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris. It identifies a speaker or supporter with those who were killed during the shooting. Some journalists embraced the expression as a rallying cry for the freedom of self-expression.

The slogan was first used on twitter and soon spread across the internet. After the shooting, the “Charlie Hebdo” website was shut down, but swiftly returned with the slogan “Je suis Charlie”. This was portrayed on a black background and translated in seven different languages. The hashtag #jesuischarlie went viral on Twitter. Soon after it was printed in newspapers, on media sites, placards, posters, stickers and billboards.

Within two days of the attack, the slogan became one of the most popular hashtags ever used on Twitter. Je suis Charlie was embraced worldwide, being used in music, displayed in print and in animated cartoons and became the new name of a town square in France.

Article by Clodagh Keely

4th Year Musical 2015

For our 4th Year Musical, we performed an adaptation of the Broadway show ‘ The Lion King’.  We called our version ‘Shadowland: An African Journey’. We held the play over two nights on the 21st and 22nd of January in the Rochestown Park Hotel. We sold tickets in our school a few weeks in advance and tickets were also sold at the door on both nights. On the first night of the play, the audience totalled to an amount of 350 people. When we heard this, the nerves really stated to kick in, because the room was set out to hold an audience of 300. Surprisingly, the night after all held 400 people, all students and members the public watching our play that took months of practice and commitment.

Leading up to the show, we spent many weeks rehearsing to the best of our ability in Ardfallen, Nemo Rangers and our school. We sometimes came in on weekends to run through the script, dances and songs. We also missed many classes due to rehearsals, but no one was complaining about that! Not only was it just our students involved, but we were lucky to have Ronan Daly and Cian Denn from Rochestown College feature in the Regina Mundi musical as Scar and older Simba. Everyone had a part in the musical that was such a success. In order to make the play work, not only were principle role’s, dancers and the ensemble the reason it did, but the work that went in behind the scenes. We had stage managers who made sure everything ran smoothly throughout the show and stood on the side wings of the stage making last minute alterations to make up and costumes. All of our costumes and props were handmade by the art department. The costumes looked as professional as Broadway from big, artistic head pieces to unique grass skirts. Not only did the art department make all of our costumes to perfection, but they also did everybody’s make up and face paint. Thanks to Mr Eamonn Cagney, we had a few students take part in African drumming lessons to add to the African effect. We really could not have pulled off such an amazing show without Philip McTeggart Walsh, giving us the best of his knowledge in drama, time and advice.  Also, Ms Beecher, Mr Finn and many more teachers were a great help throughout the show, helping and supporting us in any way possible.

Personally, I enjoyed Shadowland: An African Journey immensely. The long weeks of the build up, rehearsals and creating the set really paid off when we saw the show come together. I felt very proud of everyone who was involved in the making of it all and loved every single minute of it.  It really was an amazing experience overall and it will always be in my great memories of Transition Year.

Article by Clodagh Deady

Uniforms

In the morning, groups of children and teenagers, dressed in the same clothes but different colours, are seen passing in front of houses, cars, schools and shops with one goal: getting to school.

While uniforms vary slightly in composition from one school to the next, they usually consist of a shirt, a skirt or trousers, socks, a sweater and a jacket. For some schools the uniform can include blazers.

Uniforms are expensive and parents can spend up to three hundred euro on uniforms but students will use them for many school years if taken care of and if they are high-quality. Every school has a unique uniform, they can be purchased in shops dedicated entirely to their trade, such as Laura’s Schoolwear.

Each school has a crest on the uniform to distinguish it from other schools with a similar colour of uniform. This helps to create the atmosphere of being part of a group, team and community. You can always identify someone who in the same school and so you can rely on them without knowing them personally.

Some people could think that uniforms restrict us from expressing our own personality, which you could show through the style of clothes you prefer. But at school we can show our personality in what we do, our skills, our talents and not only in how we look.

Article by Francesca Proietto

Vegan, Vegetarian or Omnivores??

Diets today have become much more complicated. Necessity is no longer valid, we are influenced by our culture our religion, our appearance and our beliefs.

Many Irish people are vegans or vegetarians, but this does not diminish the large number of meat lovers.

What is the lead up to someone to becoming vegan or vegetarian, when the nature of humans is eating both vegetables and meat?

I found four reasons why people decide to be vegetarians or vegans:

Health

Many people choose to go vegetarian or vegan for the health benefits the lifestyle has to offer .It is impossible to get fiber through meat or dairy products, but vegetarians usually eat lots more fiber than their meat-eating counterparts. Furthermore, cholesterol comes from eating animal products, and people who eat less or no animal-based foods will benefit from this diet.

Environment

There are several ways in which a vegetarian and a vegan diet protects the environment. Excessive amounts of water are used in raising cattle and other livestock. Water that could be used for other purposes, especially with the new water charges. Furthermore, cattle that are raised for consumption produce large amounts of methane in their waste. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Meat-eating diets also indirectly contribute to deforestation: land is cleared and trees cut down for either the purpose of raising livestock or for growing grain to feed said livestock.

Ethical Reasons

Still other vegetarians and vegans choose to adopt a meatless lifestyle because they care for animals. Many people don’t want to eat something that had to die just so they could be fed, and often feel guilt. In addition, vegans don’t want any animal exploited for any reason, and they often equate eating animal products to enslavement.

Global Food Shortage

As was mentioned earlier, raising livestock requires massive amounts of water that could be used elsewhere; more than that, though, the amount of grain grown to feed livestock could be used to feed starving nations. According to The Vegan Society, more than one-third of the grain grown worldwide is fed to animals!

In lots of countries, an excess of meat is giving people lots of health problems, such as obesity in America. In our  modern age, there are many new ways to get proteins from plants, from products with soya, quinoa. Powder proteins are also on the market, which consist of smoothies with a wide range of flavours (pistachio, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cappuccino, coconut etc.). However meat and fish have different types of proteins that cannot be replaced with other products .

Our lifestyle in 2014 and in the future years will change a lot and thanks to science we could change our diet without the lack of our principal needs and with more selection for what we would like to eat.

Article by Francesca Proietto

Our Favourite Module

On Wednesday mornings we  have a double media class.  We love our media class because we love to express our opinions on topics such as school events and issues in the wider world.  During media class when we complete our article we send them to the assistant editors who then forward the articles to the chief editor.  Finally, the articles are uploaded to the school website by another editor. We have so many articles to write that we wish we had more class time as we are very time constricted.  Our articles range from what we did in geography class yesterday to more serious international topics.  We also do other modules including Chinese,  Japanese, health education, leadership, maths enrichment, psychology and choir but media would be by far our favourite. It helps to develop our English skills such as creative writing. We are broadening our imagination and learning new words every week. We thoroughly enjoy media class and we would advise everyone to get involved.

Article by Clodagh Keely and Clodagh Deady

Gaisce

Gaisce is the President’s award for students who complete a series of self improving tasks. Pupils are required to partake in 13 weeks of community service, 13 weeks of a personal skill and 13 weeks of a physical activity. On top of this, you must complete an extra 13 weeks in one of these three areas. To complete the award, students are required to partake in a physical action adventure. This year, Mrs Louadah and Jennifer Chadwick will guide us through the process, helping us to achieve our tasks.

When the tasks are completed, one is presented with a bronze medal, recognised by the president.  After achieving this, you can  work towards receiving a silver and gold award as well. Gaisce is a very rewarding thing to do, as it helps develop a personal skill and allows you to interact with people and benefits the community. You might only be visiting a neighbour, or spending an hour a week at a nursing home, but these small acts of kindness can have a big impact on peoples lives. Sometimes all someone might need is someone to talk to.

I have started my own tasks, and I can already see the benefits of disciplining myself. I would encourage everybody to do Gaisce as it is evidently beneficial to not only yourself, but to the people around you.

Article  by Clodagh Keely

Cappanalea

From the 1st to the 5th of September, 4th year students took an exciting trip to Cappanalea outdoor pursuits  adventure centre in Kerry. Half of the 4th year students went from Monday to Wednesday and the other half went from Wednesday to Friday. Ms Mac Carthy and Ms Ní Dhuinnín were the supervisors for the Monday to Wednesday group and the second group were accompanied by Ms Mac Carthy and Ms Johnson. We arrived in Killarney at 12 o’clock and went straight to the youth hostel. The rooms ranged from a 4 to a 10 person room.  We found the rooms were very small and cramped but this made it all the more fun.  The food was enjoyable and we ate at really  long tables, which was cool.  We had to get up at 8 o’clock every morning and our activities began at 9.  We were split into groups A, B and C.  In each group we did different activities like rock climbing, abseiling and hill walking.  In the actual centre we did all sorts of activities such as canoeing, orienteering and swimming. At night time we played man hunt in a massive forest, which was so much fun. Cappanalea was such an enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend it to everyone. You make new friends and become closer with other people in your year. I think the experience was definitely one of my highlights of Fourth Year so far.

Article by Clodagh Keely

After School Hockey

As many students and parents know, hockey is a very important aspect of life in Regina Mundi College. From the first week of First Year, students are told to go and equip themselves with a hockey stick and gum shield, as they will be learning hockey for their first term of P.E. As well as learning hockey in P.E, students are encouraged to train after school with the school teams. We have the use of two pitches for after school hockey training: Garryduff and Harlequins. Training takes  place nearly every day after school for different age groups with some of the best coaches in Cork such as Alan Good, Dave Egner, Veronica O’ Mara, Katie O’Mara, Barbara  Johnson and Deirdre Mills to name a few.

We enter at least 5 Teams into the Munster cup and league competitions from First Year to Seniors each year. Although no league or cup matches have been played yet this year, all teams have been working training hard for the upcoming season. Our First Year teams train on Tuesdays in Garryduff. Our Second Year teams train on Mondays in Garryduff. Our Junior teams, which consist of some Second Years, Third Years and Fourth Years, train on Thursdays in Garryduff also. Finally, our Senior Teams, which consists of Fourth to Sixth Years, train on  Tuesdays in Harlequins. With every training session, the students are growing and maturing as players and preparing themselves for their upcoming matches.

As being apart of the after school hockey training myself, I find it very important for students to get involved as you form great relationships and are able to take a break from your school work whilst getting exercise and improving your fitness.  I would  recommend hockey to any students thinking of joining.

Article by Vicki Purcell

2014 Open Night

On Tuesday the 7th of October this year, we once again opened our school doors to the hopeful future students of Regina Mundi College. Throughout the previous week our principal, Dr O’ Donovan, rounded up students from 2nd year to 6th year to help take the guests around the school and help them gain a greater understanding of our school and its community. These tours began at five o’clock sharp and continued until the principal and the chairperson of the Parents Council, Tom Purcell’s, speech at 6.30. In every classroom that was being shown on the tour there were beautiful presentations and activities taking place to entertain the people on the tour. For example in the Sewing Room the 2014 Junior Cert students craft work was on display.

Whilst the tours were going on, Ms Beecher conducted beautiful music in the well, sung by the School Choir and the music classes which entertained  the people after their tours were finished.  It made the night thoroughly enjoyable.

At 6.30, the principal delivered a speech giving the prospective students and their parents information on the school and the subjects available for the first years. She also discussed extracurricular activities within the school.  To conclude, she answered everyone’s questions and finished on schedule as always.

Article by Vicki Purcell

Cllr. Mary Shields, Lord Mayor of Cork

On Tuesday the 16th of September we were honoured to have another annual visit from the newly elected Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Mary Shields.  She was welcomed, as always, with traditional Cork songs such as: ‘Beautiful City’, ‘The Bells of Shandon’ and the well known song ‘The Banks of my own Lovely Lee’.  These songs were played beautifully by our junior members of the orchestra, conducted by Mr. Corbett.  The student body sang along led by three transition year students.

After the songs had finished Dr O’ Donovan started off the speeches in our native tongue, followed by the head girl Jennifer Chadwick who made a brilliant speech in both Irish and English.  Lord Mayor, Mary Shields then followed by telling us about her life and work leading up to her role as Lord Mayor of Cork.  She informed us that she has been involved in politics for fifteen years and before she was elected to her party Fianna Fáil.  She was a stay-at-home mum, taking care of her seven children; a job which she loved greatly.

A number of messages were interwoven into the Councillor’s speech.  The most important message being to never leave someone out and that a smile costs nothing.  Her messages were heartfelt and I believe that every student took them on board.

The lord mayor was presented with a gift by the Deputy Head Girl, Sophie Collins, on behalf of the entire school.  We closed the ceremony with another round of songs. Overall it was a very interesting and inspiring visit; one which everyone enjoyed.

Article by Vicki Purcell

School Walk

On Wednesday the 17th of September, students of Regina Mundi College walked a total of 5 kilometers to raise funds to go towards the refurbishment of our school library, which is much needed.   We began our walk at eleven  o’clock and returned at a quarter to one.

All year groups, from First Year to Sixth Year, participated in the walk.  It was a very enjoyable experience and was also an excellent form of exercise.  We began at the school, walked down the well road, out to the Atlantic  Pond and back again.

We were all tired by the end but it was worth it.  The library should be refurbished by next year .  We raised a total of over €4,000 and the school is very thankful for it.  Our sponsored walk is always an enjoyable experience  and we look forward to it every year.

Article by Clodagh Keely

What Defines Attractive People  In Our Society?

Most people aren’t vain despite spending hours looking at themselves in the mirror.  The definition of vanity is excessive pride in one’s appearance.  However looking in the mirror and being concerned with one’s appearance is quite normal.

Symmetry has been scientifically proven to be attractive to the human eye.  Scientists say that the preference for symmetry is a highly evolved trait seen in many different animals.  Female swallows, for example, prefer males with longer and symmetrical tails, while female zebra finches mate with the males with more symmetrically coloured leg bands.

Psychological research suggests that humans generally choose mates with a similar level of attractiveness.

Quite often women with a small jaw, a small nose, large eyes and defined cheekbones are described as attractive. Men who look more mature, with small-chinned faces with full lips and fair skin are generally found attractive. However, John Manning of the University of Liverpool in England cautions against overgeneralization, especially by western scientists. “Darwin thought that there were few universals of physical beauty because there was much variance in appearance and preference across human groups,” Manning explained during an email interview. For example, Chinese men used to prefer women with small feet. In Shakespearean England, ankles were the rage. In some African tribal cultures, men like women who insert large discs in their lips.

I believe beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. I agree with Douglas Yu of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, “It’s true by definition, Beauty is always judged by the receiver.

Article by Alice Hickey