A selection of work from students, past and present – Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí.
THE MINOR PLEASURES OF MY LIFE – Kieran Crone 6th year 1990/1991
Life is made up of two specific times, the good times and the bad times, the times we enjoy and the times we don’t enjoy. It’s easy for someone to laugh and smile when the good life is here. However, it is during the hard times of endurance that the true character of a person can be seen. If you can smile and find pleasure during these times in little simple things, then life will be that bit easier and enjoyable.
Studying is a hard enough task at the best of times, so when it is sunny out and you’re reading a book for the fifth time, doesn’t it just bring a smile to your face when you pick up a dictionary to check our some difficult word and you open the dictionary on the exact page? Such an insignificant thing seems almost ridiculous but the pleasure in doing such a thing makes everything seem better somehow. Likewise, when your pen runs out just as you put the last full stop to a night’s hard labour – the relief in not having to go looking for a pen at half past nine just to finish a sentence is so unimaginably great it just warms your heart! To cap it all, you put the pen down and switch on the radio to hear the first bar of your favourite song. A simple pleasure but an oh so important one, it means the difference between being in a good mood or a bad mood for the rest of the night – and these days there’s no time for being in a bad mood!
But you don’t have to be struggling in the depths of a massive workload or enduring a major hardship to be cheered up by the littlest of things. The bus can be a source of many a pleasurable moment. Only last week I was sitting on a bus fidgeting with my ticket, as one does, and you wouldn’t believe the stares and looks attracted by my Cheshire cat grin when, to my satisfaction, I found the ticket machine had cut my ticket that little bit longer so that it wrapped around my finger the complete five times instead of the usual, excruciatingly annoying, four and a half times.
Buses are notorious for the annoyance caused by lateness when people are left standing in the rain with no shelter nearby, only for the bus to be ten minutes late. But on the other hand isn’t it great when you yourself are late, running to the bus stop to find the bus just arriving? You jump on and sit amidst the soaking people, happy as Larry that you took the extra few minutes to finish your breakfast.
I admit these incidents and pleasures are simple and perhaps stupid but in my opinion these incidents can affect a person’s outlook on life and the difference between a happy person and a sad person is his/her ability to take pleasure from the unexpected.
Of all the minor pleasures there is one that borders on the major rating. It only happens once in a blue moon but when it does, the pleasure and memory of it last for ages after. It makes you smile, laugh out loud nearly. And what is it? Did you every put your hand in your pocket to take your last sweet out and find there’s two left? Your favourite sweets and you’ve still got one left after you eat the next one! You just have to smile.
So if you see someone on a bus, standing in a queue or just sitting in class and they suddenly smile for no apparent reason, don’t think the worst, just wonder what minor pleasure they are enjoying.
Kieran Crone 6th year 1990/1991
A DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET – Niamh Maguire, 3rd Year 1987/1988
It was about 11.30 on Saturday, the 15th of November when I got up out of bed and went into the kitchen to get my breakfast. My mother and auntie were crying. I said nothing. Then my mam called me over to where she was standing and she said to me, “You know your dad is much sicker than you know he is”. She told me he might not live until Christmas and I just looked at her and started to cry.
And then I remembered all the things he did for people. I remembered the time I fell off my bike and when I went home he told me I would have to go to hospital. When I got there I was lying on a bed, my mam was at my side and Dad was at my head. I had to get stitches. I thought he was getting them, not me, as his face was going blue. And the time I broke my foot just before my First Communion he arranged for me to sit at the front of the chapel and for Fr. Cotter to come out to me.
Then I went into his room but he was asleep and I just sat there for hours looking and thinking. He did live for Christmas and celebrated his birthday for the last time on the 25th December. But he did not live for much longer. He died on the 27th January, 1988.
Niamh Maguire, 3rd Year 1987/1988
Home is where the heart is
Or so I’ve heard it said
Personally I have to say
My heart is with my bed.
I love to stay in bed late
And ignore the noise outside,
Pull the covers tight around myself
And from those awake I hide.
I dream of knights and castles,
Of lands that are not real.
But when I close my eyes they are,
Or so at least I feel.
Gráinne Forde, Transition Year 1994/1995
GIVE ME A CHANCE
Maybe I don’t have Doc Martens,
Maybe I don’t have permed hair.
Maybe I don’t have a boyfriend,
But do you have to pretend I’m not there?
Maybe I don’t have a best friend,
Maybe I’m just too shy.
Maybe things aren’t great at home,
But why do you laugh when I cry?
Maybe I’m quiet in lessons,
Maybe I always read books.
Maybe at lunch I’m on my own,
But do you have to give me a funny look?
Maybe I don’t know the chart songs,
Maybe I don’t know a dance.
Maybe my clothes aren’t in fashion,
But won’t you just give me chance?
Elaine Kiernan, Transition Year 1994/1995
AN ELEGY TO MY GRANDFATHER
Sitting at the kitchen table
Myself and Jim would play cards,
He was a great card player but always let me win.
When we would finish he would tell me to put away the cards and get the paper.
There he would study the horses for hours
With a knowing look on his face.
He would light a cigarette when he finished picking his winners
He always smelled of smoke.
In the morning he would wake me and I would go to work with him.
He treated me like a man, introducing me to his friends,
And after work buying me a glass of Guinness in the pub.
Then one night he was complaining of a cold and went to bed early.
He said goodnight as if he knew he was going to die.
The next morning white, waxen face smiling
The paper beside him,
I knew he must have picked a winner.
By Alan Timmins Transition Year 1994 – 1995.
Variations on Le Corbeau et le Renard by Jean De La Fontaine
Le Corbeau et le Renard
Maître Corbeau sur un arbre perché,
Tenait en son bec un fromage.
Maître Renard par l’odeur alléché,
Lui tint à peu près ce language:
“Et bonjour, Monsieur du Corbeau.
Que vous êtes joli! Que vous me semblez beau!
Sans mentir, si votre ramage
Se rapporte à votre plumage,
Vous êtes le Phénix des hôtes de ces Bois.”
A ces mots le Corbeau ne se sent pas de joie:
Et pour montrer sa belle voix,
Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie.
Le Renard s’en saisit, et dit: “Mon bon Monsieur,
Apprenez que tout flatteur
Vit aux dépens de celui qui l’écoute.
Cette leçon vaut bien un fromage sans doute.”
Le Corbeau honteux et confus
Jura, mais un peu tard, qu’on ne l’y prendrait plus!
Jean De La Fontaine
La Girafe et la Vache
Mademoiselle Girafe sur un arbre perché
Tenait en sa gueule un broccoli.
Madame vache, par l’odeur alléchée,
Lui tint à peu près ce meuglement:
“Et bonjour Mademoiselle giraffe,
Que vous êtes belle! Que vous me semblez grande!
Sans mentir, si vos dents
Se rapportent à vos tâches,
Vous êtes la reine du Zoo!”
A ce meuglement, la giraffe ne se sent pas de joie
Et pour montrer ses belles dents blanches,
Elle ouvre sa gueule et laisse tomber le broccoli.
La vache s’en saisit, et dit: “Ma belle Mademoiselle,
Apprenez que tout flatteur
Vit aux dépens de celui qui l’écoute.
Cette leçon vaut bien un Broccoli.”
La giraffe honteuse et perplexe
Jura, mais un peu tard, qu’elle ne parlerait
Jamais à un autre animal fermier.
La Fillette et le Garçon
Jeune fillette sur une balançoire se balançait
Tenait en sa main une glace.
Pauvre garςon par la vue alléché,
Lui tint à peu près ce language:
“Et bonjour, jolie fillette.
Que votre robe est belle!
Sans mentir, si votre glace est aussi bonne
Que vous semblez belle,
Cela doit être la meilleure glace du monde.”
A ces mots, la fillette se penche vers le garςon
Pour lui faire goûter la glace.
Il s’en saisit et l’avale d’un coup.
Le garςon part, mais s’arrête et dit: “Ma jolie fille,
Apprenez à ne jamais faire confiance à un étranger.
Cette morale vaut bien une glace!”
La fillette, contrariée et ayant toujours faim,
Jura, mais un peu tard, ne jamais donner sa glace.
Niamh O’Connor et Victoria Clynch Transition Year, 2006. (Merci, Monsieur Bogomoletz)
Holy Family Community School is a place where young people are respected and there is a great sense of freedom. I find this very liberating as it makes you feel that you are trusted. There is not so much freedom as to be chaotic though, as we have a light but firm disciplinary code.
In our school, happiness and knowledge are valued. I think school is a great social environment with lots of different kinds of interesting people. Getting to make new friends brings great happiness. This is also true of knowledge. I find knowledge an amazingly precious gift. It brings me great joy in learning new and interesting things. School is the key which helps to unlock all these amazing things.
School can be exciting whether it’s getting involved in a musical performance or a particularly interesting science experiment. It’s not just exciting to do the thing itself but to know you are being rewarded in the process. In H.F.C.S. they have a way of making subjects practical and fun in order to motivate people to do well. All of these things make our school a happy and positive environment to work in.
Eithne Fitzsimons (Joyce, 2nd Year)
My Match Making Feet Engaged
My match making feet engaged
the grass and ground, on the football
field of torture. For me, anyway; incompetent
last to be picked for the team.
Lusting after idleness, I blasphemed the
Bored and frozen, I longed for a polar
Bear to crush me into Heaven.
The boys were on the high field.
The girls, below on the tennis tarmacadam.
A football supersoniced past me in goal;
I didn’t see it, I was watching my love.
The rubber duck falling in love with the Swan.
August 24th – October 15th 1987. Revised: December – January 1990 – 91.
Thomas Hoxey, 6th Year 1987
THE SADDEST DAY IN MY LIFE
The first time I heard of my mother’s illness was when I was on holiday in Galway, around June. She had gone into the hospice at Harold’s Cross. When I came back from my summer holidays I went to see her. She was glad to see me and so was I. Every night I went to see her. She would come out of the hospice once or twice a week but would go back after a day or two.
On the 29th of August 1989, my dad and my sisters went in to see her. I said I would stay at home that night and that I would go to see her tomorrow. At about half past twelve my dad and sisters came home and they were all crying. My sister came over and sat down beside me and said that my mam had died that night. Loads of friends and relations came in. I wasn’t really crying – it was sort of stuck down inside me.
That night I went in with the family to see her in her garment. She looked beautiful and I loved her forever.
Trevor Rice, 3rd Year 1989/1990
ODE TO MY BANK MANAGER
Frank Byrne, Transition Year 1994/1995
Is maith liom cáca milis
Agus milseáin tar éis sin
Ach an rud ab fhearr le Seánín
Ná an cailín Éilín Finn
Tá siad i ngrá lena chéile
Ag smaoineamh ar phósadh atádár beirt
Agus clann a thógáil trí Ghaeilge
Agus iad ag ceannach goirt
Chuaigh siad go dioscó
Agus damhsaí agus partaí
Nuair a bhí siad ina seacht mbliana déag
Chuaigh siad go Corcaí
Ach lá amháin bhí cailín eile
A h-ainm Bríd Ní Bhroin!
Bhí brón go dian ar Éilín bhocht
Ach áthas ar Sheánín!
Brendan Sheehan, First Year 1982-1983
NO NOAH’S ARK
The boys lay down against the prickly stubble of the field of straw, pulling lazily on their cigarettes. “If it wasn’t for those stupid girls our camp wouldn’t be wrecked. Whose idea was it anyway to leave them in charge of the camp while we attacked the others? Now we have to build the camp again from scratch.” In reality it was the girls who were building the camp again, in fact it was they who rebuilt the camp every time. They piled bale of straw on to bale of straw until they created a bewildering maze of tunnels. It was tough work for eight-year-old girls and it took four of them to lift each bale, except for Big Bertha who could lift the lighter bales all on her own. When the camp was finished they all climbed through the only unblocked tunnel and made their way through twists and turns until they relaxed and inhaled the exhilarating feeling of mystery and excitement. They always got this feeling from the dark eerie tunnels, especially at night.
The girls though were not so happy. They did all the work and the boys wouldn’t let them smoke with them. Nobody was willing to help either. The other gangs agreed that the girls were treated unfairly but the only way they could stop them was to stop having battles. They would bore them into giving the girls cigarettes and sharing the work load but the other gangs wouldn’t do this because they also would be bored for a few days and having battles was so much fun.
The next day when the boys arrived at the camp they were greeted by the eight girls all wielding hurley sticks. Big Bertha shouted “Geronimo” and this was the signal for all the girls to chase and clatter the boys with the hurley sticks. The boys were in such a hurry that they dropped cigarettes and matches in their flight to other camps. They didn’t approve of the other camps because they had to help the girls with the work but at least they could seek refuge until they planned a way of recovering their own camp. The girls recovered the cigarettes and matches and returned to the camp in a state of high excitement. Now they had their own camp and they had cigarettes to smoke. They all tunneled their way into the camp and shared the cigarettes between them. At first they coughed and spluttered but they persisted because they wanted to emulate the boys. After the sweet taste of power had subsided slightly, Big Bertha called them all aside. “We must have a battle with the other camps, now that we own our own camp” she told them. Would they just go and topple the bales down, like the boys used to do, asked one of the smaller girls? “No, “said Big Bertha, they would use the hurley sticks like they had done against the boys because they were only one camp against at least eight others.
The next day they attacked a camp that was a few hundred yards away. After a few minutes this camp gave up as there were only four of them. They asked could they join the girls against a camp that had attacked them earlier that day. Thus Big Bertha, her girls and her newfound allies attacked three more camps until they had swelled their ranks to fifty children, mostly girls. There were still four undefeated camps to which the boys had fled after the girls had revolted. They also numbered about fifty members. This had been done so that each side could protect its own camp, each side considering safety in unified numbers as the best way to do this. Several inconclusive battles followed after this new strategy and it seemed that no one was ever going to win.
One evening Big Bertha was dragging on a cigarette when the idea struck her. At once her lips curved into a malicious smile. Later that evening she crept up to the other camp without the sentries noticing her. She lit up a cigarette partly for enjoyment and partly to see what she was doing. She carefully kept the match alight and then placed it under one of the bales of straw. The flame stuttered at first but soon gained momentum until the whole camp was ablaze, lighting up the surrounding area. Unfortunately Big Bertha had paid no attention to the direction of the wind and by the time she had crawled into the labyrinthine tunnel of her own camp it was too late.
Within seconds the camp was engulfed by fire!
The farmer had been startled by the light of the fire, which he could see already from the height his farmhouse afforded him. The fire got no further than the stream, five hundred yards down from the farmhouse and after a few hours it died down. But there was nothing left to show that human beings had played here. All that was left was black charcoally ground. The farmer looked down at what remained of the field and said to the charred remains of the straw that lay fifty yards apart from each other. “It took me seven years to make this field what it was and it took my children less than a minute to destroy it. No there shall not be any Noah’s Ark”.
By Colm Purcell, Sixth Year 1985-1986
My Years at Holy Family Community School.
Where do you begin summing up five years at Holy Family? There are so many stories to be told and lots of memories to be cherished. Who will forget the familiar voice of Ms. Hynes over the intercom or the ringing of Mr. Walsh’s famous bell! All of us have had different experiences throughout our five years here. Here are some of my best bits.
Most of us can recall our first day here. A lot of us were nervous but it wasn’t long before we familiarised ourselves with our new surroundings and with the teachers and staff.
In my junior cycle I joined the school choir led by the talented Ms. Ryan. Our multiple trips to Ardee and our repeated renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody will not be forgotten. I also joined the basketball team and shared with my fellow players laughs, cheers, knocks and bumps and of course, our fair share of fantastic referees!
In our first year we even managed to fit in a weekend trip to Clare. Everyone was restless the first night, much to the teachers’ disappointment. The next day we were subjected to a few hours of torture (also known as walking), in a bid to “tire us out”. They didn’t succeed! And of course, who can forget the crazy bog-hopping trip! Who knew you would enjoy a day swimming around in mud and losing your shoes in the process!
In fifth year, our next trip was further afield. We went to Venice and Lake Garda in Italy. Most of us survived on pizzas for the five days! The best night was when we took a walk along the beach. Many students ended up in the sea along with an art teacher who shall remain nameless! The funniest part of the trip (though not at the time) was when one of the students got his arm stuck through steel bars; luckily some of the girls had vaseline on hand!
I also joined the school’s Concern debating team. Our most memorable debate was when we prepared the wrong motion! Through a mixture of tears and fits of laughter the team made a heartfelt attempt to try to salvage any attempt of winning. But in the end our side lost.
I am fortunate enough to be a part of the Mentoring System in the school. We try to help the first years settle in. They can look forward to the memorable journey that awaits them, just like we did.
Now we’re the Sixth Years! It is hard to believe that in a few months’ time we will be leaving behind us five years at H.F.C.S. Another chapter finished and a new one about to begin. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers, students and my friends for some of the best years of my life.
Niamh Ní Mháirtín, Sixth Year, 2006.