Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Transition Year English Evening, 2011

Last night in the Big Schoolroom our Transition Year completed their course with the annual English Evening. Our guest was Mr Trevor White, Old Columban, founder of The Dubliner magazine, author of Kitchen Con and The Dubliner Diaries, and currently establishing The Little Museum of Dublin.

Seven pupils read pieces from their Work Portfolios, and afterwards Trevor White commented on each. Eleanor Dolphin's 'A New Dawn' was a memory of her primary school, and she "captured particularly well that phenomenon" of how our schools become smaller and different places as we move on in life. Catie McGonagle's rhythmic 'The Earthquake', about her Californian school had "terrific descriptions, with humour and colour." Jasmine Blenkins O'Callaghan came next with her evocative piece 'Being Underwater': she read particularly well "with a beautiful speaking voice, a rare gift."

Hamish Law followed, with a story set in Africa, 'A New Dawn', showing "great imagination and descriptions." Aifric Tracey's 'The Day of the Funeral' was "brave, touching and sensitive." Kezia Wright's story 'The Watcher' was "outstanding - you should take your writing very seriously." Finally, Zach Stephenson read his discomfiting and sharply told story 'The Kenyan Tortoise', which Trevor said was his favourite of all, "a cross between Will Self and Quentin Tarantino" and the result of a great talent. He added that he was tremendously impressed by the "humbling quality" of what he had heard, and his main advice was: keep writing.

He then talked to us about his own career, from leaving SCC to do Theatre Studies at TCD, and then his various ventures and jobs as a journalist, including Food and Wine magazine and The Dubliner, now moving onto The Little Museum. He said to the pupils that they should be aware that they were very privileged to be at SCC, benefitting from its teaching, small size and general culture.

Premier Awards (more than 80%) were awarded to Jasmine, Eleanor, Hamish and Kezia.

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