Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Music of Chance

Another book recommendation from Department staff :-

"I stumbled across this novel in the Library, along with all the other wonderful titles by Paul Auster. He is one of those rare novelists who writes books you can read in a day and be haunted by them for far longer. The Music of Chance is no different.

Jim Nashe, a Boston ex-firefighter, comes to inherit money and decides to leave his job and keep on driving. Thirteen months later, on his way to New York, he meets Jack Pozzi, a professional card player. Anxious to replenish his now almost depleted funds, he strikes a bargain with Pozzi, which proves to be disastrous, culminating in the loss of his money and his freedom.

The Music of Chance, like all of Auster's novels, deals with the terror of isolation, of a man being completely thrown back upon himself, and having to face himself within the confines of loneliness and self-reflection. It is a dark, deeply sinister novel, and highly enjoyable."

Deirdre Gannon

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Creative Writing course

One of the local public libraries, Ballyroan, is starting a Creative Writing course on Wednesday afternoons for anyone ages 14-18. Six Columbans hope to take part: Rowland Cooper (VI), Sophie Haslett, Dylan Stewart, Jessica Young (V), Philip Kidd (III) and Michael Shea (II). We look forward to reading what they write of their experiences, and hope to publish some of their material eventually.

Monday, September 25, 2006

European Day of Languages

Tuesday 26th September is designated European Day of Languages by the Council of Europe. Our French colleague Sandrine Pac has organised the SCC event (here)- staff will be wearing stickers with 'Speak to me' in the different European languages (including English and Irish), and pupils have to track them down over the day...

House Speeches

This week, the Transition Year are preparing their House Speeches for the annual competition in the BSR on Sunday evening. Each year two people are selected from each House, and the whole form helps them in selecting, composing and polishing their 4/5-minute speeches on a topic of their own choice. The winner, and a review, will appear here next week.

The speakers are Allen Crampton and Gary Lawler (Glen); Hal Downer and Ollie Smith (Gwynn); Serge Bauvet and John Hargan (Stackallan); Katie Murphy and Rebecca Roe (Hollypark); Rebecca Feeney-Barry and Sarah Wilson (Iona). Patrick Owens will be the presenter.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Féile Filíochta International Poetry

We are encouraging our pupils to enter the 18th Féile Filíochta International Poetry competition. In 2003 Alannah Cryer won the under-17 category with her poem Peregrine (here), and last year Rowland Cooper was shortlisted in the same category for his Sestina (here). Full details on the Féile Filíochta website.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Submarine

The College Library now has its own magazine, 'The Submarine' (named after the Librarian's office). Two editions have been brought out, and the latest can be read on the College site, under Miscellaneous News - including articles about the Sharpe novels, Evie Hone, Samuel Beckett and Brokeback Mountain, and a front cover featuring a picture of the Head of English.

Beware of Pity

Our Librarian, Tom McConville, recommends a book in our Library :-

"JMF spotted Beware of Pity languishing in the Library office—you must read it, he said, pouncing on it, it’s a wonderful book. And wonderful it is. An Austrian officer from the First World War, the much-decorated Captain Hofmiller, holder of the Order of Maria Theresa, the highest award for gallantry the Emperor can bestow, claims to a new-found writer acquaintance that he ‘escaped’ into the war and that his heroism stemmed not from courage but from emotional cowardice. And now, cynical of the adulation he receives and aware of the probability of a new war—it is 1937—Captain Hofmiller tells his story to the author; not of his courage in the trenches, but of the events of 1913."

Read Tom's full article here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Angela's Ashes

Emily Plunket, IV form, writes about her current reading for the Extended Essay :
As part of my Transition Year course I have to write an extended essay of a topic of my choice. The topic I have chosen is An Irish Childhood, and the main book in my choice is Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. I am nearly half way through this book which so far is the story of a poor Irish Catholic family moving from America to return to Ireland, where they were originally from, in order to have a better life and a better environment in which to raise their children. The story is told by one of the children, Francis, and it describes vividly the reality of growing up in Ireland at that time. So far I think the book is very interesting, real and shows a very good example of a child's perspective on life and growing up."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Transition Year course

Transition Year pupils have now embarked on their English course, firstly by making choices for their major project this term, the Extended Essay. More on this shortly. Our course has been underway for some years, and a summary can be seen here.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

William Trevor festival

Next weekend Leitrim Cinemobile and the Irish Film Institute are presenting a short festival of films from the works of the most distinguished Old Columban writer, William Trevor. He was at the College from 1944 to 1946 (his real name being William Trevor Cox), and the school features in some of his writing.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Twelfth Night cast

45 VI and V formers recently auditioned for speaking parts in our forthcoming production of Twelfth Night - far more than the parts available, especially for girls. For the cast list, click here. We will also be using plenty of musicians, singers, dancers, and back-stage workers in due course. Rehearsals begin straight away.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Importance of Being Earnest

As part of their Transition Year course, IV form pupils see drama productions during the year, and then write on them as part of their Work Portfolios. On Monday next, all the form will go to the current all-male Abbey Theatre production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. Later, we will have a review here by one of the form.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Extended Essays

Our Transition Year are currently choosing the topics for their Extended Essays - long projects on literary topics of their own choice, which are due in on November 15th. They are about 3,000 words in length. Over the last 12 years, we have received hundreds of really excellent pieces. As they read, research and write, every now and then we will have brief reports here from individual pupils. They get plenty of advice before they set off on a long journey ...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Aidan Dooley

One of the real highlights of last year's drama at SCC was the fine performance of Aidan Dooley's Tom Crean - Antarctic Explorer in the BSR in January, a one-man piece about the famous Irish explorer. Now comes news that Aidan has been awarded one of the prestigious Fringe First awards at the recent Edinburgh Festival. More here ...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Reading novels ...

Another reason to read fiction. According to the National Memory Test in the Australian Science Week, people who do so have better memories than those who don't. Read more ...