Friday, December 2, 2011

That’s not how I remember it!!!

As I stood at the gate of the place where I was to do my fourth year work experience, I couldn’t help thinking…. Am I in the right place? I was looking at Our Lady Of Mercy N.S, after all the construction was finished, and I was a bit shocked to say the least!!
When I had gone to school here years ago, (yes, I know I sound like an old lady!!) it had been totally different. We had just seen the start of the safety precautions. All we had had was luminous tape and a rough idea of what a roundabout looked like!! We had none of the railings or the zebra crossing or any of the expensive looking spongy ground stuff that they have in the playground. All we had was the gate to keep us in, and luck that the mad dash across the playground at home time didn’t end in a hospital trip!!
Pupils now have safety gates, special parking places for cars and, in all, a much safer playground. It’s the same inside. You may remember when the school was being done up. I thought it might mean slightly bigger rooms and a new paint job, but no!! They now have a new entry way, a new office, the bathrooms are in totally different places and the teachers have a staffroom that’s actually a room!!!! It's no longer the space at the end of the older girls classroom where they only had a sink and a kettle that was getting a bit tired looking that had been there in my day (yes, more of the old lady ranting)!! It was an actual room with its own walls!!!! And a door that actually stops people coming in, not just the understanding that you should never go down there unless it was important.
The only really sad thing is that Mrs. Flynn, the infants teacher, was no longer there. This meant that Mrs. Crowley was now in her room teaching from junior infants to second class and Mr. de Burca now had from third class up. They both had interactive boards, not just the one that we had had, and they now had a spare room to do extra activities in, a luxury we didn’t even think could exist, let alone dream of one!! These include drama and gymnastics. Now, these gymnastics aren’t the normal “gymnastics” where they teach you a normal roll with a fancy name and how to use your arms to look like your doing stuff. This was Gymnastics, where they teach you how to do headstands, handstands and the occasional cartwheel!!
Not only do they have better activities, they have seven computers in the older girls room with internet that moves faster than an ice cream melts in the summer!!(not our summer obviously, in our summers, the ice cream usually freezes!!) All we had was four blocks that barely passed as computers and enough patience to wait for the glacial internet to load!! 
Now, I am not blaming the teachers for this. They worked with what they had, and it just happens that we didn’t have the stuff they have now. I would also like to thank them for having me for work experience, I really enjoyed it, and I will be sad to go.
By Sheila, 4th Year, Saint Declan's, Kilmacthomas. Uploaded by TF (Webmaster)


  1. This is fantastic Sheila. You paint a really vivid picture of Our Lady of Mercy as it is now compared to how it was in your time (old lady!)
    I love the idea of the invisible door on the 'staff room' at the end of the classroom where you were only welcome if your leg was hanging off! Keep blogging.

  2. Sheila, many thanks for this account! You have a lovely turn of phrase, and you write with interest of your time with us.

    You are right....we worked with what we had; but now that things have improved, we move on, and we keep wanting to keep moving on... (Teacher)

  3. Thats brilliant Sheila !!!

  4. Haha! Excellent Sheila , it just comes to show.. Wait for another few years & will all be changed again!


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