Who would have known 2-3 weeks of Christmas holidays from “offline” school would compound for 13 weeks more! After a big spike in Covid-19 cases during Christmas, the Irish Government decided to extend the dates of school reopening. Extend of school reopening meant online school.
During the online schooling period it was very stressful, like I and Trishas being 3rd year in Junior Certificate(Aka “Junior Cert”) with state examinations coming up in summer it was a big deal. However, the Irish Government cancelled JC Examinations. This was a big relief for every 3rd-year student across the nation.
I slept quite late I guess around 3 am. Just binge-watching videos on youtube and primarily pondering about my favorite YouTuber’s thoughts on creating a website.
Regardless, surprisingly, I woke up at 7 am by myself! Usually, I never wake up before 9 am, if I did then hats off to Trisha – she wakes me up. I guess this long anticipation for returning to school revoked my laziness.
The first surprise struck me when I felt my uniform has shrunk! My sleeves were a tad longer than my arm, now it had shrunk till it reached my palm. Furthermore, after I wore my pants, I asked my mom, did you give me Trisha’s pants? She said “no”. Well, you probably guessed by now I gained weight.
Entering the school…
The vibrancy of people talking, walking, and greeting was an absolute pleasure. From entering the school gate to reaching the classroom I saw and greeted several teachers who had complaints about me (not so serious ones thou!) and appreciation as well on my work during online school – my emotions were very volatile.
The first session was French. The rest was self-explanatory.
2nd Session – Tech Graph
The next session was Technical Graphics aka ” Tech Graph”. For those who haven’t heard Tech Graph, well let me tell you that is another word for technical drawing. I hadn’t a clue what this when I choosed this, imagine not knowing but opting for it.
In class, Mr. Kenny (my tech graph teacher) discussed the work during online school, exam structure, etc., After the discussion, we were told to solve a basic development problem with finding the true shape of the plan.
3rd Session - 📜History
After fifteen minutes of small break, I and my classmates headed off to the History class. Same as Mr. Kenny my history teacher Mr. O’Neil briefed the exams jazz too. Things escalated from normal to interesting when Mr. O’Neil asked few Irish history questions to the class:
The Home Rule Party. Nobody recollected, if not never knew it before.
Unionist party. That was a joke, funnily we were scratching our head to answer.
4th Session - 🌌Science
Science class was arguably the most productive class of the day. Ms. Kelly quickly started the revision of the topic celestial bodies. Ms. Kelly listed keywords and assign each student a particular keyword to present 3 points relating to that. The interesting ones for me were:
5th Session - 👨💻Coding/Design
Coding class was very interesting, our task was to code to detect toy car’s speed and velocity using microbit. I will write a separate article on that!
Last Session - English
The least awaited class – English. I was slightly nervous going into the class because I didn’t quite complete writing my speech. My English teacher Mr. Travers is very strict and genuinely tries to remove us from our comfort zone so that we as students improve our English as much as possible. As they say “Improvement lies beyond your comfort zone“. Basically, you wouldn’t want to mess with him.
It goes without saying Mr. Travers gave a remarkable “speech” on the negative impacts of not writing a speech and in general the required work to put in for the upcoming challenges in Leaving Cert Higher Level English. Personally, I was amazed at how honest and straightforward he was. Here are the highlights of his speech:
1. You can’t just say “I want a Job”.
Just stating is not enough to convince, in this case convincing the employer. You must have the ability to articulate, furthermore use the language of persuasion and argument.
Sir illustrated this, by sharing his own experience when applied for a job at Portlaoise College as an English and History teacher. He told us they were 250+ applicants for that job and only 20 of them were interviewed. The sense of competitiveness.
2. How many books/novels did you read this summer?
Mr. Travers told us “I and other English teachers ask 5th years about how many books they read during summer holidays. For those who said less than 5 books, they advise them not to study Higher Level English. An indication of what it takes to be at a Higher Level.
Sir further explains that there is a massive difference between Ordinary English and Higher Level English in Leaving Cert. In the ordinary level, you wouldn’t study Shakespeare’s literature, memorize 80+ quotes, etc. For the Higher level, your answers would be 7 pages long to grab full points for the question.
I will conclude this article by congratulating my friend Shehab for getting an appreciation from Mr. Travers regarding his speech topic. Appreciation from Mr. Travers is like once in a blue moon. Shehab’s topic was about the difference between American president’s salary and American sports professionals’ salaries, if I am not wrong basketball coaches in specfic.[Edited 13/04] Shehab later told me that he compared income of”College athletics vs American President and why atheletics earn 7 time more than the president”!