Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Hols

Mocks and end of term exams are well and truly over, revision schedules have been published for Form VI and III and the (working) holidays have arrived. No more posts here for a bit but for next term we have lined up some book reviews by the Transition Year set of works of fiction in our college library which are set in the classical world or at least use it as their inspiration. 

We notice that Seamus Heaney's take on Sophocles' Antigone, 'The Burial at Thebes' is being produced, once again, (its premier was only perhaps four years ago) by the Abbey, our national theatre and if there is a desire to go to it, particularly among members of the Junior play cast and the TY set who have studied it we will certainly organise a booking. I wonder why Seamus thought it a good ides to change the play's name? Anyone? Anyone?

In 'Other News & Developments' our Form III trip to the Bay of Naples is coming along nicely, it seems. This trip will leave on the 30th April and return with everyone else at the end of the May Exodus on May 5th. 18 pupils and 4 members of the teaching staff are travelling. Don't forget your passports on return from the Easter break, especially those Irish residents among you who generally don't need them in the normal run of the school term. The itinerary will include all the classic sites: Pompeii (twice), Herculaneum, the Archaeological Museum and more, for instance we will visit one of the islands in the bay, either the famous Capri or perhaps the cute island of Procida and there may be time for a tourist trap like Sorrento. Superb.  

Finally before signing off for the remainder of these wonderful three weeks confirmation just in that one of our Classical Studies teachers, Mr. Swift has been accepted as one of only 30 foreigners to compete in the annual swimmimg race across that iconic strait of water the Hellespont. Rich in tales from myth and history the first Hellespont swimmer was lovestruck Leander. His feats were matched by Lord Byron and now our very own 'Swifty' is all signed up and not yet ready to go...but he's got till August 28th!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Junior Play 2008

Here is long overdue review of the Junior Play 2008, Sophocles' Antigone.

Directed by Peter McCarthy and performed in the BSR this production had a cast drawn from Forms II, III and IV. In modern costume and with a starkly black and bare set, the drama posed a real challenge for the cast. The classic tale of the struggle between Creon (Robin Fitzpatrick) and Antigone (Anna Traill) provided a great sense of tension as evidenced by the silence of the audience.

Accompanied by a reproduction of ancient Greek music, the Chorus (Opeline Kellett and Gina Mirow) introduced the play and then commented on the action throughout. The individual scenes involving Creon, the Citizen (Kate Haslett), the Soldier (Fred Mann), Ismene (Alannah Howie) and Haemon (Jasper Pickersgill) all built towards one of the highlights, Antigone's final speech. Here Anna Traill certainly held the audience with a compelling and emotional performance as Antigone bade farewell to life .

The conversation between Creon and Teresias (Sebastian Stephenson) provided some hope of a happy ending as Creon decided to take the prophet's advice and free Antigone, but it was too late.

The news of the double suicide of Antigone and Haemon was related to the Queen (Sophie Kyd-Rebenburg) by the Messenger (Patrick Tice), who gave a masterly account of the tragedy. The return of a broken Creon was further blighted by news of the Queen's death, leaving Robin Fitzpatrick to contemplate, in a powerfully emotional finale, the folly of his ways and the worthlessness of misguided kingship.

It was left to the Chorus to remind us that:

The greatest gifts a man can have
Are Wisdom and the fear of Heaven.
Man's pride will always be punished
And all his boastfulness brought low.

This was a magnificent performance from all the cast and is testimony to the tremendous talent in the college.

Due to gremlins in the system, the photographs are not yet available but they are on the way!

All Back to Augustus'!

After painstaking restoration the house of Augustus in Rome is now open for visits. Read more here in a Guardian article.

Inter-Schools Table Quiz

Last night saw three Columban teams of mixed ages compete in the annual table quiz organised by the Classical Association of Ireland- Teachers. The event was hosted by St. Andrew's College and many thanks to them for their hospitality. All three teams came out with creditable scores after the 60 questions were asked, with A. Crampton (V), C. Guinness(V), A. Brooke(IV) & I. Verkhovskiy(III) scoring 45 placing them somewhere in top ten - a great total since there were questions on topics we only cover in Sixth form .

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thought for the week

Our final reflection from Marcus Aurelius this term concerns the importance of teamwork:

'What is no good for the hive is no good for the bee.'

Until next term,

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Transition Year Prize

This is the first time there has been a dedicated prize for pupils taking Classical Studies in the T.Y. Programme. We've decided to make the prize as open as possible in terms of submissions by pupils. Basically you have an hour to write (under exam conditions) a prepared piece of work on any aspect of the Classical world. How's that? It could be something you take a special interest in, something you studied in depth in Junior Cert. Latin or Classical Studies, something you've swotted up on in the last week. It could be a review of some work of art, a travel piece recounting a trip to a site of classical interest, an opinion piece on the Parthenon marbles. Anything.

The prize will tke place in the Library today, Monday 11th from 6.45, for an hour. Here at the Clog we'd encourage as many of you as possible to enter, and who knows it might form the basis of a successful entry into the Transition Year Academic Prize

Inter-Schools Table Quiz

We've been mentioning to many of you informally that the above event is taking place in St. Andrew's College this coming Tuesday evening. Who's up for this? A table quiz of purely Classical Studies questions, come on...perfect, no?

We're provisionally down to enter 3 teams of 4. 12 heads. Entry is €2.50 per quizzer and most of you seemed keen to have a pop. We'll be approaching you to firm up the details in the next few days.

Here's one to get you in the mood - What name was Paris given at birth by Hecabe and Priam?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Thought for the week

This week Marcus Aurelius advises us to keep calm and not allow 'things' to get to us:

'Our anger and annoyance are more detrimental to us than the things themselves which anger or annoy us.'