Saturday, 21 December 2013

Happy Holly Days

On Thursday, all of Ty went into town to collect money for the ISPCC for their Christmas appeal: Holly Days

We went off in pairs to different areas of Dublin city and began collecting. Myself and Melissa were outside the Shelbourne hotel. It wasn't long before we had a chant going: 'Holly for the ISPCC'. After a short while we were singing Christmas carols and really getting into the spirit of things. Even if people couldn't give money we at least put a smile on their faces. People were very generous and they said we were the best collectors on the road ;) It felt so good to have collected a fair bit for this wonderful charity. The money will help childline at Christmas so that no child's call goes unanswered. Not only did we have great fun collecting, it was also very character building to talk to strangers and sing (quite loudly) in the street. I would definitely love to do this again next Christmas. Consider me signed up!

Happy Hollydays,


Friday, 20 December 2013

My Sister's Keeper- Book Review.

I recently read 'My sister's Keeper' by Jodi Picoult. What I knew about this book before I read it was that it was about a young girl with leukemia. I found out that it was about so much more than that. This book is about Anna, who was brought into this world to save her sister. She was genetically altered so she would be a perfect match to donate blood and even organs for her sister. The book is told from multiple perspectives but it mostly follows the relationship between Anna and her sister. Her mother, Sara, tells us of the various operations Kate has had to have and the operations involved and how she suffered. Anna's suffering, in Sara's mind, is of little importance when it comes to saving Kate's life.

My opinion of Sara changed multiple times throughout the book. At times I hated her, for never considering how Anna felt or how things would affect her. I hated her for always making Kate the number one priority. However, this opinion was conflicted by the fact that her daughter's life was at risk and I know any mother would do anything to save their child's life. I think she was blinded by the fact that Kate was dying and although the operations were not life threatening for Anna, they could greatly decrease the quality of her life. Anna's father had more of a conscience towards Anna and took an interest in her, but when emergencies strike, it is difficult not to think of the child whose life is at risk.

When Kate enters the end stages of kidney failure, receiving one of Anna's kidneys is her only chance of a prolonged life. Anna refuses to donate. Knowing her parents won't listen to her protests, Anna approaches Campbell Alexander, a prominent lawyer with a service dog named Judge. She seeks medical emancipation,  where she can decide what she wants to do with her body and not what her parents think is best. However, sometimes parents do know best and this is constantly on her mind. Campbell agrees to work without charge because of the publicity the case will generate. However, Anna's determination wavers under intense pressure from her angry mother, who also happens to be a lawyer. When Sara turned on Anna for wanting the right to her own body, I really despised Sara. I thought that it was ridiculous to be fighting with one daughter about trying to save the other. Surely Sara, of all people, should know that life is too short for that. As you can see, at times this book frustrated me, but only because I didn't know who was right or wrong. Also, sometimes morals clashed with ethics. Of course everyone should have a right to their own body, but should we even question donation when it means saving your sister's life?

With regards the way the story was told, from different perspectives, at first I found it quite confusing but once I got into the story, I found it very interesting to see what each person in the family had to say about the court case and the events in the Fitzgerald household. For example, Campbell Alexander could come across as a selfish, bitter man, but when we hear things from his perspective, we see that he really cares about Anna, and I found it reassuring that he, at least, cared about her.

I don't usually cry at books but its very difficult not to get at least upset at this ending, and while I'm not going to give anything away, expect the unexpected. It taught me that life is too short for fighting and you never know what could happen next. I would highly recommend this book for anyone 13 years and older. I would give it an excellent ten out of ten as it kept my attention from start to finish and I really enjoyed it. It really tugs on your heart strings and its a book that will stay with me forever. I never reread books, but I would certainly read this one again as there is so much to it. Picoult really puts across the message that life is short, so don't take it for granted. I think we can all learn a thing or two from the story of Anna Fitzgerald.

By Lauren O'Reilly

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

3... 2... 1.. Launch!

Friday night was the launch of the school musical and to say I was a bit nervous beforehand would be an understatement. The whole cast was at the hotel, so things were a bit hectic with performers and stage managers buzzing around. The choir kicked off the night with a few lovely carols, unfortunately I couldn't take part as I was preparing for performance but they set off the night really well :) also some fifth years did a really cool medley of Christmas songs.

Ms L was the M.C. for the night and introduced everybody and told everyone what the musical was about, then I sang Secret Love, which the ballet dancers did a beautiful dance to. Once I got started the nerves went away. Róisín ( Katie) and I sang 'A Woman's Touch' and then everybody joined in for The Deadwood stage and everyone performed really well. I really enjoyed the night and now I can't wait for the real thing! Well done to everyone involved. Hopefully the show will be just as successful. I'm so excited for it! I hope to see you all at the opening night on the 25th of February :)

Thanks guys,

Lauren :)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Keeping you posted.

Hey guys! Just an update on what we have been up to in school, besides the trips etc. So every week we get an hour and twenty minutes of ZUMBA which I absolutely love. Its great exercise and it doesn't even feel like it. Its a great alternative to heading to the gym!


Lately we have all been really busy preparing for the musical, with rehearsals three times a week. Its been super busy but I'm really enjoying it. We are also preparing for the launch on Friday night, hope to see you all there for a taster of what to expect. Here's another of the songs from the musical :)


I have just finished my fantastic time at the Chemistry Department in NUIM. I am really going to miss going there every Wednesday as I learnt so much and enjoyed every week. The people there were so kind and friendly and made me feel part of the team. Myself and Sophie did our work experience there together and we both enjoyed it so much. We got to do plenty of experiments and helped out at the science night also which was fun. Anyone with an interest in chemistry, like myself, would absolutely love work experience there and I would highly recommend it.

Anyway, hopefully those of you in the school can come to the launch tomorrow night at 8! Thanks guys!


Friday, 15 November 2013

Art Attack

On Thursday, the whole of TY hopped on a bus to Dublin City and went to three different museums there. First we went to the National Gallery of Ireland and saw some really interesting paintings by Jack Yeats, Picasso and some other artists. My favourite painting that we saw was  'The Liffey Swim' by Jack B Yeats. The tour at the gallery was excellent and I would highly recommend a visit.


Next we went to the National History Museum, and viewed the Bronze Age exhibition and saw some the lunulas and other celtic jewellery. After this, we went to the Bog Bodies exhibition, which I found absolutely fascinating. It's hard to believe that bodies over 4000 years old can still exist. I was also amazed by how much scientists can tell about the person just from half of their body or even just a torso. 
Next we had lunch in McDonald's on Grafton Street and then had a lovely little wander on Ireland's most famous street. We took a LOT of pictures, which will follow shortly. After this we went to the National Library, and went to the W.B. Yeats exhibit there, which was really interesting also. 


Thanks so much to Mrs B for organising this lovely trip and thanks to all the teachers who came with us :)

Slán go fóill,

Lauren :) 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Monday morning began with a bus journey to I.T. Tallaght. Our renditions of songs by the Spice Girls, Britney Spears and Rihanna, to name but a few, were all fabulous, as I'm sure the teachers who came with us would agree. ;)

When we arrived we were brought into the biotechnology lab which was really cool although there was a strong smell of the various gases and it was really warm with us all in there, but I took no notice. As the lady explained what the machinery did, I began to feel very unwell and started to black out and then I fainted, but thankfully, some of the girls caught me, so I didn't hurt myself. Ms O'C and Claire kindly stayed with me and after a while, I regained the colour in my face (I'm pale anyway, but still) and my Mam came to collect me there. I missed going to Liffey Valley but at least I feel better now. I think I was a bit dehydrated and then with the heat of the room and everything.

Hopefully the next trip will be a more pleasant experience :)

Friday, 8 November 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

Yesterday we recorded the first Calamity Jane episode of Radio TY. I had to sing a bit of the windy city and Roisín, who is playing Katie, sang a bit of 'Tis Harry I'm planning to marry' which was lovely. There are acting rehearsals tomorrow, so I am looking forward to that. We had our first singing rehearsals on Tuesday which went well and I am enjoying learning the songs. 

Today we had Zumba and I loved it! It was great fun and I think its fair to say we all felt tired afterwards! I can't wait to do it next week!

Thats all the news I have for now, but as you can see we have been so busy! Stay tuned for more updates on TY Life and Calamity Jane!

Thanks guys,

Lauren :)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Radio TY

I am so excited to say that I am a member of the St. Wolstan's Media Team. Over the past few weeks, we have interviewed guest speakers and also our fellow students at various events in our school. We plan to go to many events throughout the year and interview some very interesting people, like the Youth Media Team have been doing. Conor came in to talk to us about this project which was very helpful and he gave us some very useful tips.This week, Mrs. L taught some of us how to edit the podcasts, and it was so interesting and its a really useful skill. We also learnt that 'emm...'s can be really annoying to edit out! We have a lot planned for RTY and we will regularly post interviews, so check out the  RTY blog for more. Here is a link to our Development Education podcast, which I recorded last week. Our question is 'Is the world child friendly?' which Mrs. L was very enthusiastic about when I suggested it as a question. We also have a blog for this project:

On an unrelated note, we're on midterm, so Happy Halloween everyone!


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Calamity Jane Excitement

I am so excited to get working on Calamity Jane, and was absolutely delighted when I found out I had been cast as Calamity today at break time. I know it will be a LOT of work, ( I have been warned) but I'm up for the challenge and really can't wait to get started. Well done to everyone who's getting involved, its brilliant that there's so much interest.

I've started learning some of the songs (there's some really great music in it) and I'll get the script soon! Watch this space for all things Calamity Jane and also like the fb page for updates: search St. Wolstan's Community School - Calamity Jane.

I'm going to leave you with a song from the musical: The Deadwood Stage:

Lauren :)

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Fresh Prince, the press, and saving lives.

"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing."

So Friday was the fun walk! When I went into school Mrs. L asked me to interview the 6th years about how they were feeling about their last funwalk, so off I went and I really enjoyed interviewing, I felt like I was the press or something. Here's a link to the Radio TY page, where you'll find interviews all about what we get up to and topics that interest us: I am so excited about being part of the TY media team so watch this space for more updates and interviews. I also did an interview with Aoife about the singing auditions for Calamity Jane, which was is up there aswell.

The fun walk was brilliant, and we had a really good dance for it. TY's were yellow so we entered in a Taxi to collect Will Smith and Carlton (that's right- from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) and then danced to 'It's not unusual' followed by the brilliant tune: 'Jump on it. The dances were inspired by this very famous YouTube video:


I had so much fun doing this dance. After, we set out to man the crossings and were even told by Mr. L that he felt very safe that we were there, at a very busy junction, might I add (a total of two cars drove by). Astounding that we got everyone there safely. No need to thank us. Well actually there is, so go ahead.

Overall the fun walk was a blast, and although we didn't win, we had a lot of fun and had the craic. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Let's Talk Business...

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."
Last Thursday we went to the Moat Theatre in Naas for a talk on mini company. I'm really excited to start our mini company now as it gave us inspiration and informed us as to how to organise our company. We had to come up with various ways to use a paper clip to get us thinking creatively, and some of the ideas we came up with were:

a cherry pipper,
an attachment to christmas tree baubles,
and a dog lead.

Afterwards we got to go to McDonalds, which was a lovely treat :)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Wearing heels, masks and.. books?

"Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine."

On Wednesday, we had three workshops: laughter yoga, etiquette and massage therapy, all of which were very enjoyable. We were exhausted after our trip to Carlingford (find out more about that on my last post: "Tunnel Vision"), and were in good need of some relaxation, so it was great that we had Massage therapy first, and gave each other neck and head massages, although at one point I was so relaxed I found it hard to keep my eyes open... (I did though, I promise ;) ). 


After that, we had an etiquette workshop and learnt about deportment (basically walking in heels with books on our heads!), what to wear for work experience and what suits our various body shapes. They showed us the new dove campaign, which shows that all body shapes are perfect, and I think its really important that people know that. It must have been funny for Brenda and Kate to watch us all with books on our heads!
The last workshop was laughter yoga with denise, which was good for relieving stress. We had to put on masks and laugh at each other basically. She told us that when you laugh, all you focus on is laughing and you forget whatever is on your mind for that brief moment, which I think is amazing. That is the psychology behind laughter yoga. Dr. Kataria discovered that if you laugh for no reason, it then turns into real laughter and can relieve stress. A study has shown that adults laugh about 17 times in a day, whereas children laugh about 400 times a day. I'd say I'd laugh nearly as often as a child, which is a good thing I think.

Until next time,


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Tunnel Vision.

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."

I have a lot to tell you guys so bear with me. On Monday and Tuesday we went on our TY trip to Carlingford which was brilliant (Hope the rest of Woollies didn't miss us too much!) We met at seven in the morning on Monday. When we got there we were greeted with this beautiful, quaint little stone village:

Our first activity was.. LASER the FOREST! We got to wear camouflage onesies! It was such fun running and jumping and shooting around the forest (GO BLUE TEAM!). I really enjoyed that activity. After that we had team work games where we had to figure out out-door puzzles and how to find our way through a ' spider's web' without touching it and things like that. They were really strategical activities, which I thoroughly enjoyed solving with my team-mates. Everyone got on really well and we had great craic.

After dinner we went out to the best activity of the day: the night activities (thanks to Mrs L for booking us in for that!) we walked through the forest blindfolded and even got squirted in the face with sports drink and hadn't got a clue what the orangey liquid was on my face. We all trusted each other but there was a lot of screaming going on! ;) we also played forest ninjas and lighthouse with a torch and that was so fun! afterwards we climbed through a 1m x 1m pitch black tunnel outside - it was a stone drain and when I was in it I didn't know if my eyes were open or closed because it was so dark! We made it out though and I was glad i did it.

The next day we did water sports: kayaking, water trampolining and we even stuck our heads under a waterfall in a cave, because there is a myth that if you do so you live for an extra 24 hours! Whoo!
That's all for now,

Stay tuned to find out why we were laughing like maniacs,

Lauren :)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Tears, Ballet and Climbing.

Tuesday was a long day of anticipation, waiting for the day of the results to follow. I didn't know what to expect. I had ballet that night so that took my mind off things and I actually forgot about the exciting day that was to follow. We had a lie in on Wednesday, the day of the results, which was nice. I was very excited to find out how I had done, to find out if my hard work over the last three years paid off.

The hall was ecstatic with nerves and excitement. I found my friends, some of whom were panicking (unnecessarily, because they did brilliantly). We stood in our class groups for the last time, and after our principal and deputy principal each gave us lovely words of encouragement, the results were handed out. I got my brown envelope containing my results, and went straight out of the hall, and drove home with my Mam. I ran in, opened them and I cried tears of joy. I had done all higher level subjects and got ten A's and a B and was absolutely delighted (and shocked!). I literally could not believe it as I had never expected to do so well and my family were so happy for me. We went out for lunch to celebrate and then I went over to my friend's to get ready to go out for a nice night of celebration in Time disco. Well done to everyone on their excellent results! And thanks all of   the great teachers at St Wolstan's.

On Thursday we went to Castletown House which was lovely and really interesting. It was fascinating to see how the wealthy lived at that time. We got to see the servants quarters also and climbed the many stairs that they once had to climb while carrying dishes and barrels and it really gave me an insight into how hard they worked every day. I would definitely recommend taking a visit there if you can!


On Friday we had a short assembly about Carlingford, which I am really excited about! I'm all packed and ready to go! I believe there will be rope climbing, kayaking and midnight walks in the forest..... I can't wait! You'll hear all about that soon,

Talk Soon,

Lauren x

Friday, 6 September 2013

Workshops, Wigs and Minions

Since I posted on Tuesday, I have been really busy. We have come up with Junk Kouture ideas, planned our Mini Company, done our fitness test and three workshops. Phew! Every Wednesday that we don't have work experience, we have workshops or we go on a trip. This Wednesday, we had three workshops and the first was about social development. We were taught how to behave in a confident manner, even when we feel a bit nervous. These skills should help in the coming weeks when we begin work experience and need to step outside our comfort zones and into the world of work. 

The second workshop was about reflexology, massage therapy and relaxation. It involved a lot of pair work and I think we got the hang of the massage after a while. Although this would not be everyone's cup of tea, it was a worthwhile experience and I think its fair to say we were all rather relaxed afterwards

We had great fun a the positive party, with sweets, dancing, joking and having a really good time. I think it was a really good icebreaker for our class to get to know each other. Some of the girls dressed up in wigs and acted as a famous band! It was great craic and left everyone in a great mood. In the spirit of the positive party, here's a feel good song Mrs L showed us, and it gave us all a great laugh so enjoy!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Climbing Mountains and Wearing Trash.

We went in on the first day, not really knowing where to go. Everyone else had settled in already as TY's are the last to go back after summer. We had an assembly and I waited nervously to find out who was in my class and thankfully, I am really happy with my class group, Tabei. It also helped that it was the slightly easier class to pronounce... I still don't think I'm pronouncing Tereshkova right. Our classes were named after famous women who have made great accomplishments, for example, Junko Tabei is a Japanese mountain climber who became the first woman to climb Mount Everest in 1975.

Once the classes were sorted, it was like we had never left!
We then went to TY design and have started planning our Junk Kouture project which I am really excited about. For those of you who haven't heard of junk Kouture before, its a competition where TY's create an item of clothing made completely of recycled materials, including at least one recycled electrical item. I'm finding it really fun coming up with ideas for it because nothing is too outrageous for this competition, so it should be interesting to see what we come up with. Watch this space!

What's coming up? Well, tomorrow we have a workshop, which I will tell you about soon. In a few weeks, I will be starting work experience in a chemistry department  which I am really looking forward to because I find chemistry really interesting. I shall keep you posted. In the nearer future, I have double P.E. now, which will be great fun. 

I look forward to continuing my blog and making it better and better, so stay tuned.