Monday, January 28, 2013


An acquaintance of mine has a four-and-a-half year old son who started school in September. Over the Christmas holidays his routine went out the window and he was staying up way past his bedtime. A few nights before school reopened, she decided to get him back on track. She planned to send him to bed at 9.00pm the first night, 8.45pm the next and so on until he was going at a resonable time.
The first night he was put to bed at 9.
After 20 minutes, she heard a voice wailing from the top of the stairs.
"What did I tell you? You have to go to sleep!"
There was a moment's silence. Then she heard a plaintive cry.
"But Mam. I've forgotten how to!"

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hands on approach to education

Notices appear into school regularly, asking for teachers to sign up for various courses and seminars. After a hard day's graft, it's often very difficult to get yourself motivated to set off again in the evening and engage in "professional development".
Very unprofessional of me, I know.
This letter appeared in the staffroom today.
For those who can't read it
and we all know what made you go blind!
it reads

The focus of the course will be primarily on teaching the sex education elements of RSE from Senior Infants to Sixth class, in the context of Social, Personal and Health Education. The course will be experiential and practical in its approach.

There was a stampede of teachers trying to sign up!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Food for thought.

In order to stay alive, a language has to be ready to adapt to all changes in society. So recent years have seen me frantically looking up the dictionary to find the Irish words for DVD, surfing the internet and social networks.
Gone are the days of
Bhí Mamaí ag déanamh caca milis sa chistin.
Today we were covering the strand unit of
Ag siopadóireacht/shopping. The children were putting their new vocabulary into sentences.

Chuaigh mé= I went.
One of my bright sparks came up with
Chuaigh mé go dtí Tesco's agus cheannaigh mé burgair capaill!

As the class burst out laughing I took out my yearly scheme and I ticked off
  • Competence and Confidence in using Language
Well I figure if you can take a current topic, use whatever vocabulary you have to come up with a smart-assed quip to make your peers laugh, then the Irish language is not dead yet.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Extreme Makeover

One of my many guilty pleasure is rubbish TV! I especially love those makeover programmes where they take some poor devil and put her in a glass cage to let the public guess her age.
Then they whisk her off, give her glycolic peels, liposuction and porceline veneers and hey presto! She looks A-MAZ-ING!
Well this is what happens when Leixlip Musical and Variety Group get their little paws on you.
Me in December 2012.
Me in January 2013.
Eh lads, I think you're doing it wrong!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Life's Little Lessons.

Despite being a teacher, I do not believe that education begins and ends in school. Every day springs an important life lesson upon us, regardless of our age. Today's lesson was
Never book a feckin' waxing appointment for the same evening as your dress rehearsal!
4.00pm: I was lying prone on a salon bed, having hot wax applied to various regions and then ripped off.
8.00pm: I was dressed in full witch costume, popping up from behind cauldrons and gallows, attempting to garrote poor Robin Hood and engaging in a bitter struggle of good versus evil against the good fairy.
Oh, and throw in a bit of Gangham style for good measure.
Just let's say that my screams, shreiks and roars sounded very authentic because they damn well were!
Method acting at its best.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

#1 Things that should be BANNED!

I am calling for emergency legislation to be rushed through the Dáil, making it
Yes I'm talking to you, inconsiderate person, who sat behind me in the cinema theatre last night and went
Munch, munch, fucking munch
while poor Anne Hathaway was wrenching a gut, wringing every drop of emotion out of I dreamed a dream.
I bet you wouldn't have done it to Susan Boyle!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Soap Operas

Today we were discussing various types of TV programmes. The term "the soaps" came up.
"Miss, why are they called "soaps"?
"Why do you think?"
Now I did know the answer but I always love hearing what they come up with!
"Is it because a lot of the action takes place in the kitchen where you would use soap?"
"No, I think it's because if you get soap in your eye you will cry, and they're ALWAYS crying in the soaps!"
or, very cleverly,
"Is it because "the soaps" are full of slippery characters?"
God, the real reason of them first being sponsored by the soap companies is SOOO boring compared to those!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Luck of the Irish

The league table from the Economist Intelligence Unit made for very interesting reading.
“Noeleen, you need to get out more often”, I hear you cry.
Eighty countries were ranked against 11 statistical indicators from national wealth, life expectancy, crime rates, weather, family ties and political freedom to what today's newborns can hope to earn in 2030 to compile a where-to-be-born index.
As one would expect, chocolate-loving, watch-making Switzerland came top of the league, to be followed closely by Australia.
Lucky to live in Australia??? I’ve seen enough episodes of Home and Away to disagree with that. As far as I can see, you can’t have a gathering of more than five Australians without a bomb, gas explosion or plane crash ruining the event.
Of course I wanted to see where our little ol’ Emerald Isle appeared on this league. Having listened to a plethora of grumblings and complaints over the holiday season about how we are on the road of no return I actually started at number 80 in order to find us, and worked my way up.

Up, up and up I went, til I came to NUMBER 12! Yes there we were, just behind the aforementioned countries and all the Nordic ones.
Ah ha, Brian Ború put manners on that crowd years ago!
What really surprised me, was that we ranked above United States , Britain and China.
But the most surprising one was Germany, in behind us at number 16!

I mean, they OWN us. We sold our soul to the Troika back in the day and now we are paying for it in blood sweat and tears, and probably will be for the next, oh 100 years.
But according to the experts we are still luckier to be born in Ireland, to be the servant as opposed to the master.
 I think that says it all about our “ignore it and it’ll go away” mentality!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Very a-peeling.

It being the New Year I decided that I needed a new face! I booked in for a glycolic peel. Before she started, my beautician said
"This may sting a bit. Tell me on a scale of 1 to 10 how it feels. 2 to 3 is okay. 6 upwards means GET IT OFF!"
I immediately got worried.
A couple of years ago I was coming around on the hospital table after surgery. A wave of pain wracked through me. I heard a caring voice in the distance asking
"Tell me on a scale of 1 to 5 what your pain level is?"
"5!", I moaned, expecting a surge of drugs. Nothing.
There was a moment silence and then the question was repeated.
"5", I shrieked again.
"I can see you're in distress, but I can't administer any drugs unless your pain level is over 5", came the reply.
"But you said on a level of 1 to 5!" I managed to get out.
"No. I said 1 to 10."
"10, 10 10!" I screamed.
"That's more like it,"
And then the sweet nectar of morphine surged through my veins, followed by sheer bliss.
Back to the present
Naturally I was concerned. I had visions of ending up looking like Samantha in Sex and the City after her disastrous chemical peel.
I double checked the numbers. Definitely a 1 to 10 situation.
I am happy to report it was only a 2. So I am now glowing for the New Year.