All posts by Anthony Dowling

 

Transition Year Trip To Tanagh

On Monday the 9th of September, Transition Year students went on a camping trip to Tanagh for two days. We arrived at school as normal and boarded the bus at half-nine. The bus ride was long and tedious, some tried to sleep, some chatted and other sang ‘Versatile’ at the top of their lungs, bopping it down the M3. During the drive, the route was very scenic, along the way there were many hills filled with trees and foliage and farmland filled with cattle.

We arrived at the hostel at twelve and we headed off to the dining room to eat our lunch. We were then told the rules, what we would be doing during our stay. When we were told who we were bunking with and where our rooms were, we brought our heavy luggage up to our rooms and we got changed into old clothes to get ready for the activities the workers at Tanagh had prepared for us. We started the activities with orienteering while a second group was sent off kayaking. It was fun and challenging and was a great way to introduce us to the program. 

Before we did kayaking we changed into wetsuits and slid down a mudslide and some people got unnecessarily mucky. After this, we got a bus to the lake.  We began with exercises to get us comfortable with using the paddles and then began to get in the boats. Everyone was falling over each other trying to not topple into the water but sure enough, we were diving in headfirst less than ten minutes later. The instructor set up a diving area on the boats and then we all start doing back and front flips into the water, it was truly an amazing activity. After arriving home and showering we got dinner and relaxed in the common room for a while. 

Once we finished our meal we went on a walk through the forest which we saw Monaghan in its prime with the beautiful greenery and bog. We hiked through woods and muddied our clothes, a few people slipped and stumbled. We were brought to an abandoned building which was creepy. After visiting the building and taking a few photos we began our long walk back to the hostel. When we arrived back the teacher set up karaoke for the night. A few people got up and sang, including Ms Walsh and Ms Kirwan who sang “Working 9 to 5” by Dolly Parton. We had tea and after there was more hilarious karaoke where we enjoyed Mr Cassidy’s beautiful singing before heading to bed.

The next morning, we ate breakfast and then we were brought outside to a ‘Parkour’ course, again it was another great warm-up before the bog. We started off doing group exercises and team-building activities. Then came the time for jumping in the bog. Nobody volunteered to do it but I (Katelyn) said I’d do it if someone else jumped with me, I end up chickening out at the last second sending another student tumbling into the bog. He was completely engulfed into the mud, it was hilarious. it wasn’t long before more people joined him in the bog. They then began chasing teachers around asking for hugs, unfortunately, Ms Connolly got the bog end of the stick. When we returned to the hostel, we showered and got lunch before our trip back to Dublin

 

Katelyn Hillary and Callum Murphy- TY Press

 

 

 

Are You Motivated?

We have been back in school for about three weeks now, and I already sense all the stress everyone is feeling. I think at the beginning of every school year, we are still shaking off the cobwebs and with that comes shaking off the laziness too! To do this we have to have a little thing called motivation. This can be particularly hard to find after coming from a long and relaxing summer to suddenly finding yourself busy with the excitement of the school year.

So, I did a little research on what motivation is and how it helps us not only in school but in general life.

What is motivation?

Well according to Google motivation is “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way”. Motivation is the fuel we need to complete a task, or to finish a project, or to run a mile. It’s a type of energy we feel. If we make a goal, our drive to complete that goal is motivation. However, sometimes our drive or motivation is not there, sometimes we just are not bothered to do some things. Why is that? Is it out of laziness or are we just not in the mood to do most things? This is a lack of motivation and I think at this time of the year people are feeling it. I certainly am, I just want to watch movies and eat chips but I also want to complete my goals. I sometimes feel like I am a bit of a walking contradiction!

 

This is why we need motivation, it is a skill, and it gives every person in this world a purpose. It gives us a purpose to be what we want, to be who we want to be. Without motivation, we would all be walking zombies staring at our phones.

So how do I get motivation, do I buy it off a shady merchant or can I watch a YouTube video and receive it through the USB port, how do I get this magical dust of motivation?

 

Well, it starts with you, here are my five tips:

  • Believe in yourself and be committed to your goals and dreams, “you will never always be motivated, so you must be disciplined”.
  • Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself and allow slip-ups and “bad days”. Take a small step every day.
  • Make your motivation; be good to yourself and others. Be proud, “nothing can bring you peace but yourself”.
  • Take advice from people you care about and who care for you. There are motivational speeches on YouTube or you could listen to “Positive Vibes Only” on Spotify.
  • You sew what you reap in life. If you give out motivation, you will receive motivation.

 

Motivation is not something that appears in the night. You have to work for it. You have to believe in yourself enough to complete your goals, to be able to stand up and say you are awesome because of the goals you have completed. You do not need anyone to bring you down and stop you from having the self-belief and confidence you deserve to feel.

You make your motivation by doing what you love. Put your finger to the man and say, “I got motivation on my side and no one is going to stand in my way”.

Emma Nangle – TY Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiderman… Homeless?

Recently the web-slinger seems to have been forced to swing out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This is due to both a failure to agree on a new deal between Disney and Sony on how money should be split and due to Kevin Feige, Marvel’s president and main film producer, being stretched incredibly thin with both the Fantastic Four and X-Men coming to the MCU.

Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra said this at Variety‘s Entertainment & Technology summit: “For the moment, the door is closed.” He also said that there is “no ill will” between Disney and Sony. Vinciquerra then gave a roadmap of what’s to come for Spider Man while fully under Sony’s control. There will be a sequel to Venom and a movie for ‘Morbius the Living Vampire’, starring Jared Leto. He also said there would be “five or six” TV shows based on the Spider-Man franchise.

All this does not change the fact that Marvel will have to change many things in the MCU to make things fit into place as they currently are. Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, had been mentored by Tony Stark during ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. The relationship between Peter and Tony had a heavy effect on the story of the next movie: ‘Avengers: Endgame’. This will probably bring a slew of retcons (contradictory additions to a piece of fiction) to the MCU. Which no one likes.

But there may be hope that Spider-Man can come back to the MCU in the future, as Vinciquerra admitted: “It’s a long life”, after first saying that no more negotiations are going on between Marvel and Sony.

I wouldn’t get my hopes up though, not anytime soon.

Karolis Pocius – TY Press

 

Collinstown Welcomes New First Year Students

As the new academic year begins we bid farewell to the students that have left us and are beginning new adventures. Some have pursued further education and some have joined the workforce immediately. We also bid farewell to staff who have moved further afield or who have reached the end of their working life and can enjoy a happy and long retirement.

It being the early stages of September, we also bid a big welcome to our new First Year students. Guided by their Year Head, Tutors and Gluais Students (mentoring programme), the First Year students are settling in to life at Collinstown Park quickly. We wish our new students happiness, contentment and that they achieve everything they wish in Collinstown.

 

 

 

 

Where To Next For Irish Football? – Kyle Grant

For the Irish football fan the Irish ‘Golden Generation’ is well and truly gone. Major internationals such as Robbie Keane, Glenn Whelan, Damien Duff and John O’Shea are either retired or on the verge of retiring. We were dealt more bad luck recently as Declan Rice, the West Ham superstar, declared England as the country he will represent at international level.

The only hope for our country is the youngsters that are up and coming in the ranks of Premier League clubs. Players such as Troy Parrot (17, Tottenham), Michael Obafemi (18, Southampton), Conor Coventry (18, West Ham) and Lee O’Connor (18, Man United) are players that we hope will spark a turnover in our national team’s fortunes. But are we too dependent on Premier League clubs? After all, there is only a handful of top players playing at this level. Seamus Coleman, Jeff Hendrick and Matt Doherty are playing consistently at first-team level in England’s highest league, but who else can we say is Irish and plays at the top level?

At this point, it is time that Irish youngsters look beyond the English leagues – statistically when a young player goes to England to play football they are destined to fail. Only a very small percentage of Irish teenagers that go to England end up earning a professional contract and getting ‘sent home’ is a massive confidence drop for teenagers. It can lead to many things such as depression and quitting football entirely as they think they are ‘not good enough’. This is why I think teenagers should look beyond England for a career in football. Places such as Holland, Belgium and even the Scandinavian countries have very professional football leagues. Leagues such as these, away from the spotlight, would be perfect for Irish teenagers as it would give them time to grow not just as a player but as a  person.

What about the game in our own country?  Irish football will not improve until a huge investment gets put into the League of Ireland. At the moment the League is barely semi-professional, most Irish football supporters don’t even support the LOI as the product is inferior to the English leagues. The quality of football is so poor that only finals and big title games are shown on TV. This coupled with controversy over former C.E.O. John Delaney and other financial irregularities mean the product is not very attractive.

The average salary of a League of Ireland player is €16,000 a year or €400 a week before tax over a forty-week season. The average salary of a League Two player in England is about €58,000 when converted from pounds. The average salary of a player in the fourth tier of English football is almost quadruple the average of the League of Ireland. This highlights the gap in earnings and quality between the two leagues.

As a football fan, I would love to support a League of Ireland team as I would be able to go watch them play every week. However, the quality on offer just does not compare to any of the English leagues, even the fourth tier in English football is head and shoulders above the Irish league. We need to invest in our league and through this process, our national team will thrive once again.

 

TY Trip To Richmond Barracks

On the 16th of May, some of the TY students went to Richmond Barracks for the day. They left the school on the bus at half nine. They arrived at the Barracks at about quarter past ten, they sat on a bench and enjoyed the view until eleven o’clock when their tour started.

They were then split into two groups because there were too many people. Eight of these students were mixed in with a group of Americans who were getting the same tour. They were brought to see the main layout of the Barracks and told a little bit about the history of it. Next students were brought into some rooms that were laid out the same way as they would’ve been many years ago. They were shown how their bedrooms and classrooms were laid out. They were allowed to try on the clothes that they would’ve worn back then and they were told about the punishments the children would’ve gotten if they didn’t behave. There was a big blackboard that they were allowed to write their names or a little message on.

In the bedrooms was a very simple layout with just a bed and their basic needs. The sitting rooms also had a simple layout with some chairs and a very small telly where they had to get up and press a button to change the station. The classrooms had a big blackboard and a very simple layout of seats of two all facing the teacher’s desk. On the teacher’s desk was a cane for hitting the children’s hands and for the boys there was also a strap of leather. The tour guide then informed the tour about how different the boys’ education was to the girls’, the girls were basically taught how to be a wife and the boys were taught about history and how to go out and work.

Next, they were brought over to the graveyard. This graveyard was the first graveyard where a Christian priest could say the rights over the grave. This graveyard was not only made for Christians but for all religions and none. The first person to be buried here was an eighteen-year-old girl whose body was kept thirteen days so she could be buried here as soon as it opened. They were then also told that when a baby died the mothers would throw the babies over the wall and the graveyard worker would bury them but they wouldn’t get a headstone.

After the graveyard tour, the students were brought back to the bus where the two groups met back up and the bus dropped them back to Liffey Valley. From there they could either go into Liffey Valley for food or go home. Most students went into Liffey Valley for food and then walked home. Overall the students had a good day out.

Ciara Delaney and Keith Carass – TY Pess

 

 

Targeted Advertisement – Victory Luke

The average human is consuming around 4,000-5,000 ads a day. This depends on what job they have and their daily lifestyle, according to an article written on Stop Ad; and with the rise of social media, this trend is bound to continue.

Have you ever noticed the number of ads that have cropped up on our timelines? The advertisements on our smart-phones are very well-tailored. They seem to know what we want; they get it right almost every time. It’s almost as if they can read your mind. However, this is not magic; this is because of ‘Targeted advertisement’.

Companies have spent more on digital advertising than on television advertisements for the first time; globally. ‘Targeted Advertisement’ is a mainly online way of marketing. It focuses on the consumer’s previous purchases, traits and interest; the information can also be demographic and behavioural. Advertisers can take this information straight from your search engines, through cookies and your browsing. It seems that there is no such thing as privacy when it comes to advertising anymore. The big wide web offered an attractive opportunity to invade your private spaces.

If you can remember back to 2018, there was an infamous Facebook scandal. Facebook was the first social media platform to surpass 1 billion registered accounts, according to ‘Global Social Media Ranking 2018’ statistics. It was no wonder, when it became known that the company had been giving its users’ information to third parties; why it became huge in the media.

“…According to The New York Times, Facebook gave technology companies like Microsoft, Netflix and Spotify special access to users’ data without anyone else knowing.”-    The U.S.A. Today

However, companies are not just surveying you and stealing your information; psychological methods are also used to control your spending.

For example, ‘The left digit effect’. Using €4.99 instead of €5.00 will more than likely persuade you to buy a product if you came across it in the shops, even if it’s only one cent less.

Restaurants are starting to eliminate the currency symbols on menus, making you feel as though you are not spending any real money. The use of colour is also prevalent in advertising. The colour red has been suggested to make us more hungry. A few examples are the logos of McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut.

There is an endless list of marketing and psychological techniques used, from Reverse Psychology, Social Poof and using insecurities to get us to buy products.

It needs to stop. Companies are tapping into the most sacred part of our body, our brain and even our privacy. Advertisements influence the way society thinks. Remember that the average human intakes about 4000-5000 ads a day; it is unhealthy to be exposed to so much of this. We have these ads coming from companies; they tell us that somehow we are living wrong or unfulfilled lives by not buying their products. We are subconsciously told how to dress, eat and what to buy; where is the free will in all of this?

As a society, we don’t even question the high consumption of advertisements, neither the subtle ways companies such as Facebook, Burger King or H&M manipulate and use their influence over us.

This whole issue boils down to the area of free will. Free will is precious and it should be protected. Before ‘Targeted advertising’, people were very capable of shopping themselves for things they needed.

There needs to be more awareness of the methods that companies are using to infiltrate our day-to-day lives. Blocking ads and paying attention to the way things are being advertised can be effective.

Are companies using fear to gain my attention? What about my insecurities? Is this ‘Targeting advertisement’?

I know we cannot separate ourselves from the materialistic world that we have built. However we can try to gain some kind of control.

Victory Luke – TY Press

Since September The Transition Year Journalism group has been working on a variety of different projects. They keep the website regularly updated with reports on events that are happening in Collinstown Park. 

To showcase the talent and diversity of their writing, an article will be uploaded on a weekly basis from a member of this module until May. We hope you enjoy the creative, diverse and well thought out articles the TY Press group have written.  

 

Transition Year Trip To Barcelona

From the 14th of April to the 17th of April, a group of Collinstown Park Transition Year students went on a four day trip to Spain. The group consisted of twenty-four students and four teachers. The teachers that went were Ms Mohan, Ms Rooney, Mr ‘Higgo’ Higgins and Ms Mulholland.

On the morning of the 14th, everyone met up in Terminal Two of Dublin Airport at 4am. We were all in need of some sleep, which we luckily got on the plane. When we arrived in Barcelona after our two and a half hour flight, we went straight from the airport to our bus. Not long after, we met the tour guide who was going to give us a tour around Barcelona. We stopped off at the famous Sagrada Familia Basilica where we were given a brief overview of its history. We were also brought to a high point of the city, where we were able to see the entire city. After the tour, we had a couple of hours to ourselves to go shopping in Maremagnum and get some food. Later, everyone met back up at the bus and we travelled for two hours to Salou to our accommodation, Hotel Calypso. Once everyone was checked in and settled down in their rooms, we went to have dinner. There was a buffet waiting and after we were done eating, we had some free time. Most of us went to the game room in the hotel. It had games like bowling, air hockey and basketball. Everyone was back in their rooms by 11 pm.

On the second day, everyone got up early to have breakfast at 8am. Later, we had another two-hour trip on the bus. We drove to the Mountains of Montserrat. The scenery was amazing. When we got to the top, we went on a tram that travelled up the side of a mountain. Once we got off, we went on a hike to the peak of the mountain. It was a long and steep hike. After we came back down on the tram, we had some free time to look around the few shops that were there and have some lunch. Everyone met back up and we had another long drive that took us to the Barcelona Aquarium.

Throughout the aquarium there were many incredible sea animals in massive tanks. There were sharks, eels, lobsters, rays – everything you would find in the vast ocean. Everyone was tired after a long day of travelling around. Unfortunately, we had to endure another two-hour bus journey back to our hotel. Once we got back, we had dinner and we were told that we were getting a surprise. We left the hotel and walked for about twenty minutes. The teachers brought us to a mini-golf course. Everyone split up into teams of five or six people to play. There were twelve different areas. Each one was more difficult than the last. While most of us walked back to the hotel some people went to the shop to buy food. Back at the hotel, we had some free time before going back to our rooms.

The next day, we went to PortAventura. Surprisingly, the bus ride was really short. We got to the park and we were told a time and place to meet up for lunch. We never got lunch though as not only were the queues extremely long (some took over two hours) but Mr Higgins told us the wrong time as well! As was just mentioned, the queues were extremely long which ended up in people not getting on that many rides. Overall, PortAventura seems like a more two or three-day experience. Definitely too much for just one day.

Later that day, we walked to a place called the ‘House of Illusion’. We were greeted with a short magic show from two magicians. Everyone was amazed but also sceptical. After the brief show of magic, we were brought into the main room, where the actual acts would take place. Within the acts, there was comedy, magic and, surprisingly, shadow puppets. Everyone enjoyed the show. It was a truly memorable experience. Since we didn’t get lunch at PortAventura, the teachers decided to treat us with a trip to Burger King, where they paid for everyone’s food. Along the way, we saw familiar restaurants such as McDoner’s – pizza and kebabs. When we were done eating, we went back to our hotel to get some sleep for our last day in Spain.

On the last day, we packed our stuff because our flight was in the evening. We all cleaned our rooms and checked out of the hotel early enough. We left the hotel for the last time to go to Camp Nou. When we arrived we were given a couple of hours to look around the massive stadium by ourselves. There was a section under the stadium where we could go into the changing rooms of the Barcelona team. After we met up, we got back on the bus to go to CosmoCaixa, a science museum in Barcelona. There were a lot of experiments taken from famous scientists on display throughout the whole museum. There was a room dedicated just to mirror illusions which was cool.

After we left the museum we met back up and got the bus to Arenas de Barcelona, a huge shopping center where we could shop. A lot of us went last-minute souvenir shopping for our family and friends. We all met up and for the last time, we got on the bus to the airport. Everyone checked in and got through security. After a long two and a half hour flight, we landed in Dublin Airport at around 11 pm. Everyone left the airport that night with some amazing memories that won’t be forgotten.

Hannah Ingram and Rokas Galinauskas – TY Press

 

 

Toxic Masculinity – Is This The Best A Man Can Get? – Jessica Dunne

It is 2019 and we constantly hear about feminism and inequality for women. But do we talk about men enough? One area of concern is toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity is the exaggerated image of masculinity. It is media and society telling men that they have to follow certain guidelines. Men have to look and act a certain way with big muscles and violence, that they can’t express their feelings and that they should maintain an appearance of hardness constantly.

My adolescence consists of lots of fun things but a big part of it is gaming. In today’s world, it is way more accessible to play games whether it’s on a mobile phone or gaming console. Games such as Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row are played by young boys and girls all over the world, even though they are both rated eighteen. They can still get their hands on it. Grand Theft Auto contains scenes showing stolen cars, prostitutes, dealing drugs and killing pedestrians and police officers. There are many negative aspects that surround playing violent video games. These video games can increase aggressive behaviours and thoughts in young children and adolescents. They can make young children think they can do whatever they see happen in these video games in real life such as steal a car, do drugs and treat women badly. Why can’t teenagers play action games without losing their sense of morality?

The suicide rates in Ireland for men are very high. In fact, suicide rates are three times higher in men than in women according to The HSE. Why is the number of suicides in men so high? Well, one reason is that young men are afraid to talk about their feelings or find the help that they need. Men are more likely to avoid their problems, allowing emotions to build up in them. This reinforces the idea of how men can’t talk about their feelings. There are lots of wonderful services that can help prevent suicides and self-harm such as Pieta House.

Earlier this year the razor company Gillette released an advertisement referencing the #MeToo movement and it attracted a lot of backlash and controversy. The ad plays on changing its 30-year-old slogan “The Best A Man Can Get” to “Is This The Best A Man Can Get?”. The nearly two-minute long video with 30 million views features lots of major problems such as bullying, sexual harassment, assault, sexism, catcalling and violence. It encourages men of today’s world to be cautious in their behaviour and to be good role models for the young children of today “because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow”. This ad was an excellent example of how men are portrayed in today’s society and how it can spread awareness of this matter. Despite the backlash from several groups maybe the core message is that men can get better, just like women can too.

There are a lot of problems in today’s world such as toxic masculinity. Hopefully, people begin to understand more about this matter and some of the problems that men face too. Mental health and wellbeing are buzz words at this moment in time, but are we really caring for men’s health? Are we creating this perfect image of men that they have to live up to? Do we all have to examine the way we do things and try to eliminate the stereotypes that exist today?

 

Jessica Dunne -TY Press

 

 

Are Women Taxed More Than Men For Being Female? – Alicia Loftus

Part of growing up is going through puberty and for females that includes getting your period. This is something women get naturally, some women don’t get their periods because of a medical reason. So if women get their period naturally, why should we be taxed on feminine products?

I believe that the government should give out free tampons to underfunded families and young girls/ women. This is what Scotland is doing. The Scottish government announced on 24th August 2018 that they have a plan to provide students, schools and universities free period products.

From my calculations, women will spend over €300 just on tampons. This doesn’t include painkillers, new underwear, new bed sheet, new trousers/jeans, hot water bottle, panty liners and birth control. All these factors will add a lot more to the cost.

The government has a tax named VAT; this stands for Value Added Tax. VAT is charged at different rates on products and services, the standard rate is 23%. Feminine products fit into this rate of tax. Along with other items that are not deemed a necessity. A lot of people say that feminine products are taxed as a luxury which is true yet false at the same time. Like I said before the government doesn’t have VAT on what they deem a necessity (bread, milk, tea) so in a way, they’re making a statement that everything else that is taxed with VAT is a luxury.

Another name for this is ‘pink tax’ – this is not anything actually pink or a tax, but it is a gender-based price that consumers face when purchasing products aimed towards girls or women. This name came by consumers who observed that products affected by this were pink. The problem is that over a lifetime the ‘pink tax’ can cost consumers, mainly females, thousands. A 2015 study by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs entitled ‘From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer’ found that women’s products cost 7% more on average than items for men.

Men’s and women’s razors have a difference in price. I went onto the Boots pharmacy website and got the prices of some of the razors. A Gillette Venus & Olay Sugarberry razor is €14.50 and three refills are €15.99 (women’s product). A Gillette Skingaurd sensitive razor is €7.99 and a refill of three is €11.99 (men’s product). There is a €6.51 price difference between the razors, not including the refills. Other than the price difference there’s an obvious colour contrast but the effect of this on price is questionable. This points to the ‘pink tax’ that I mention in my last paragraph being projected on the razors commercialised to women.

With all the information that I have given, I think that I have shown women are taxed on feminine products and other products on the sole fact that they are women. There are no big differences between men and women for there to be the price gap that there is. There are countless reasons why this may be the case. There is no shock in saying women have been oppressed by society and men for centuries. Society has countless beauty standards for women, which have changed throughout the years. Women keep up with these beauty standards because this what has been told and expected from them, which makes them spend money on whatever it may be to achieve this. Since women already spend money, why not tax them more on goods geared towards them since the government already have a high tax on goods that are not ‘necessities’.?  Women need to stand up for themselves and demand equality in taxation and costing of feminine products.

Alicia Loftus

 

 

Since September The Transition Year Journalism group has been working on a variety of different projects. They keep the website regularly updated with reports on events that are happening in Collinstown Park. 

To showcase the talent and diversity of their writing, an article will be uploaded on a weekly basis from a member of this module until May. We hope you enjoy the creative, diverse and well thought out articles the TY Press group have written.