22nd- 26th September 2014.
On Monday, each TY class group spent a double class with Eimear Doyle, from the Student Enterprise. She came to talk to us about our mini companies. She gave us some pointers on how to price our product, how to promote our products, how to package our products and where to sell them.
She went around to each mini company, in turn, looking at our sample products. She asked us questions on our products and we gave her the answers. She gave each of us her honest opinion on our products, telling us to do more research, if needed and also telling us who we should contact in order to find places to sell our products. Eimear gave us her honest opinion on whether or not she thought our idea was a good one and also how we can improve our products.
On Tuesday, we went to the National Ploughing Championship in Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co. Laois. We had to meet at the prom at 8:30 am to get the buses up to Laois. When we arrived, we waited for the tractor and trailer to come along and drop us to the entrance. Once the trailer arrived, we packed into it and we were then dropped a short distance from the ticket office. There, Ms. Whelan gave us our tickets. We decided to meet again at 4:00pm under the purple blimp. Then, we swapped our tickets for wrist bands at the ticket office.
We all went our separate ways for the day, although we often saw each other at different tents and stalls. Some of us met up again for lunch and a drink. We had great fun. We may have been tired afterwards but it was definitely worth it.
We got lots of freebies from tents such as Lidl, Aldi, Supervalu, Eircom, Done Deal, RTÉ and many more. Some of us were even lucky enough to meet and get photo-opportunities with people such as Dave Kearney, Rob Kearney, Sean O’Brien, Isaac Boss, Marty Morrissey, Anne Doyle and Donal Skehan.
The weather stayed dry and even though it was a bit cold, we didn’t mind. It was a great day all in all. We had fun, bonded, learned even more about Ag-Science and we also got some mini company ideas for packaging, promoting and displaying our products.
The at 4:00pm we all met back at the purple blimp, where we had a roll call to make sure everyone was there. Then we headed back to the bus. Some people took the tractor and trailer back and some walked. Then on the bus we laughed and chatted. It was the perfect end to a great day.
On Wednesday afternoon, we had the school mass. Ms. Jeffords made a short speech at the beginning of mass on behalf of Ms. O’Sullivan and herself. She welcomed all students back and she also extended her welcome to the first years and all new students in the school. Then, Fr. Byrne invited the first years into the sports hall. They walked into the sports hall, led by their Meitheal leaders. The first years received heather shrubs as a symbol of their initiation into the school, these came in multiple colours, from turquoise to purple. The choir sang beautifully as always and everyone loved their performances. There were beautiful readings by some transition years. The offertory procession was carried out by 6th year students. Ms. Larkin’s 4B class did a “Liturgical Dance” during reflection. They used sign language to dance to “You Raise Me Up” which was sung by some choir members. All in all, it was a beautiful mass.
On Thursday, Niamh, a woman from Ráidio Rí Rá came in for an Irish workshop. We were divided into groups and while some were with Niamh. The rest were in class. When she arrived, she asked how we were. Most people answered with “go maith” but a few people said things like “go hiontach” and “go hálainn”. Those people got wristbands for being different. We then got into groups and had to come with why Irish is important and why it’s “cool”. We were then asked our opinions on certain matters and had to go and stand in different corners of the room to depict these opinions. All opinions were shown with different memes. Then, Niamh spoke to us about RRR and about all that they do. She then played some songs in Irish and then we had to guess the band. If we got it correct then we got the RRR CD for this year with famous Irish bands singing their songs in Irish. This was great fun.
On Friday, we spent the morning in school. We were heading off to Wicklow Gaol and the Leinster Match. At 12:30, we were walked to the grotto to get the buses. We had lots of fun on the way up on the bus. When we got to The Wicklow Gaol, we were split up and we started the tour. The man doing the tour was creepy but it was cool. The gaol itself was surprisingly cold, even though it was warm outside. We learned a lot about life in prisons from 1700s to 1900s. The wax figures showed and helped us to imagine what life was like for the prisoners.
Then, when we were finished at the gaol, we went to Stillorgan where we had dinner, some of us went to McDonald’s, some of us to Eddie Rockets and others elsewhere. We had so much fun, just chatting, bonding and eating together. We played games and just had fun in general. Then, the majority of us went to either Tescos or Deals to buy some snacks and drinks for during the match and for the bus home. Some of the girls bought face paint in Deals and so we painted each other’s faces with blue and white dots.
We met back at the buses at 18:30 and we were off again. We were all so excited about the match. When we got there, we were singing the Irish National Anthem and we were waving at everyone we saw. We then got a group photo and took lots of selfies.
We then headed in towards the stadium. We were buzzing. We then walked around the stadium and headed towards our stand. When we got there, we all chose our seats and sat down. We were so excited. Once the match started we were all bonding so much that we were all really close friends. We were all celebrating together and screaming our heads off. When the “trys were scored we were beyond delighted. By half-time I was hoarse. Then at the end when Leinster won, we were ecstatic. We also saw the man who had been in charge of our 2nd year parade and we all got high-fives and we gave him a massive cheer. Then we left and headed home. We were absolutely exhausted but it was so worth it. We had an amazing time together. It was brilliant.