B A K E D
The Griffith College Studentsâ€™ Union Magazine Student Writing & Photography plus SU news
G O O D S
March 2020 Issue
College Life.......................4 Climate Revolution...........6 Embracing Adventure.......9 SU President Q&A............10 Cheers & Jeers................11 Inside induction............. 12 Accommodation Blues...14 The Recipie.....................16 SU Trips............................18 Irish Election....................22 Battle for Wellbeing........27 Holiday Tales...................30 Queerbating...................32 Lets Talk Periods.............35 Sports & Societies...........36 Coach Townes.................39 Creative Dublin...............44 Reviews...........................46 Exploding Talent.............49 Story Time........................57
BAKED GOODS Editor: Rose Ugoalah Design: Rose Ugoalah Griffith College Dublin Students’ Union South Circular Road Dublin 8 Ireland BAKED GOODS is a Students’ Union publication at Griffith College Dublin. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect that of the college or the Students’ Union. www.griffithsu.ie
CONTRIBUTERS Adam Thibault Alpona Dutta Aoife O’Mara Aoife Parle Brea Austin Claire Aston Eóin Hurley Freja Blomstrand Giorgia Graf Jason Killeen Joseph Okoh Lea Heming Naveen Kumar Rachel Dignam Robbie Smyth Rose Ugoalah Sajal Mistry Sebastian Farron-Mahon Tom Prior
iSSUE: 1 EDITOR’S MESSAGE Welcome to the new Students’ Union magazine, Baked Goods. In this magazine we celebrate the abundant creative talent here at Griffith College, keep you informed about the happenings here in the SU, and get the low-down on what’s going on within the various sports & societies. In this first issue, we want to give you a taste of what the students at Griffith College are capable of. We have articles that cover diverse topics such as queerbating in the media, holidaying in Vietnam, the Irish General Election, coping with mental health issues, the on-going subject of climate change, the power of optimism, the taboo topic of menstruation, dealing with student life, and so much more. We also feature the brilliant work of students from our photography department in our Exploding Talent feature, including the photographs on the cover by Sebastian Farron-Mahon, who was last year’s winner of the SMEDIA award for photographer of the year. Enjoy the read —and the look— and keep an eye out for the future work of the writers and photographers featured in this issue. -Rose Ugoalah
How to cope with the highs and lows of student life by Aoife Parle So I am 32-years-old and living the dream: great friends, family, husband, and my adorable little dog —Lola. I get to spend my evenings and weekends doing what I love: music and GAA. Sure what else do I need? So in 2017, I decided that what I needed was a degree in marketing, and Griffith College was the place for me. It had it all; I could study in the evening part time and my days were free. Sure, wouldn’t that be grand altogether? The word ‘part-time’ was key here, because this meant that college would only take up part of my time, but little did I realise that so would everything else in my life. Part-time wife/friend/daughter/sister/gym-goer/ healthy-eater/socialiser… and the list goes on. How many parts did I come in? A regular jigsaw for ages 32 and up. Studying part time was not just your evening classes; it meant study, deadlines and missing out on other things. It meant less time doing what you love and more time in the books. But with each assignment and each grade, I felt accomplished and thus hungry for more. This newfound gusto for academic achievement also became part of my life outside of work; hell I would have found ways to market my mother if I thought I would get a good grade for it. Thus began the addiction: “Yes I will meet you for coffee, but only for part of my lunch break as I have an assignment to do during it’’ and, “I can only
come to some of your party as I have stuff to do”. People would say, “How do you do it?” I would respond “Sure I don’t think about it. I just get it done”. This was actually not the case, as I struggled in my final year with illness and was totally run down, missing out on a lot of events outside of college. This was due to pressure I put on myself. But I learned from my mistakes. Fast forward 2 years later, and I decided to do a masters degree —part time of course. Yes, life can be a struggle and working and studying is daunting, but we need to make sure to remind ourselves that we are human. A full-time human. Studying part time is what it is. We need to realise that if we take one thing at a time and make time for ourselves, then we will continue to be successful in all parts of our lives. We are full-timers at life, and each part of our life needs our full attention at each significant time. My advice? Don’t be a part-time lover like Stevie Wonder suggests, love all of your life —full time. To study is a privilege, as is all the good things in life, so treat them as such. Involve your loved ones in your struggles, and I guarantee you will have a life again inside and outside college!
THE FACES OF THE CLIMATE REVOLUTION by Aoife O’Mara Bushfires rage across Eastern Australia, Venice is flooded, the Great Barrier Reef is dying, sea levels are rising, the icecaps are melting, the surface temperature of the Earth is increasing catastrophically, and our Government is failing to act. Every Friday in Dublin, and across the world, young-people walk out of school in protest of the Government’s inaction to climate change. This international movement is known as School Strike for Climate Change, or Fridays For Future, and was founded 2 years ago by then fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden. With the aim of tackling the climate crisis, these young people are determined and driven to achieve thier goal through making world leaders aware of the disastrous effects of global warming. Last year, Friday the 15th of November marked a momentous day for young Irish climate strikers, as 157 young people between the ages of ten and seventeen sat in the Dáil as part of the Youth Assembly on Climate Change. Representatives from across the country took their seats and discussed
what Ireland needs to do to tackle climate change. A number of the young people then presented their recommendations on climate change to the Ceann Comhairle (chairman) and then to Richard Bruton, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment. Some of the recommendations included implementing glass doors on open refrigerators in shops, mandatory “sustainability” education from primary level to the workplace, and introducing a labelling and pricing system that shows the climate impact of food products, among others. Saoi Ó Connor, a seventeen-year-old climate striker from Cork spoke at the Youth Assembly saying, “It is not okay that we had to be here, it is not okay that the Government had to bring children in here,” however, Ó Connor is hopeful that the Government will consider their recommendations and implement their demands. Outside the Dáil while the Assembly was underway, a number of proud parents stood alongside some core members of the Fridays for Future group in Dublin. They held placards and banners sporting witty and
Photography this page and on opposite page: various young people around the world protesting climate change (flickr)
articulate slogans, while also chatting about the movement with passers-by. One parent chatted about how climate change is an issue that is inter-generational and how it affects both the young and the old, but that “It is the responsibility of everyone to support the climate strikers.” While another parent noted that global warming is not a new issue; he mentioned how he has been campaigning
The sense of community that has formed around the movement has been overwhelming, with members describing their fellow strikers as a family of sorts. When asked what their reasoning for continuing to strike week after week, their response is that “everyone can do something — act in some way”. Last year, November 29th, marked the fourth Global School’s Strike for Climate Change, which saw hundreds of thousands of people partake in demonstrations across the country and the world. Fridays for Future strikes will continue outside the Dáil every Friday from 1-2pm for the foreseeable future. According to the Fridays For Future website (www.fridaysforfuture.org), this year the month of April will mark the ‘Global Month of Climate Action’; throughout April, several climate related events will take place, including Global Climate strikes on April 3rd and April 20th in select countries.
“EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING — ACT IN SOME WAY.” for action on climate change for over twenty years. Among the other strikers were second and third level students, teachers and retirees. All passionate and well informed. Members of the Youth Assembly joined in the strike during their lunch break, creating a buzz of energy outside the Dáil. Chants of “The oceans are rising and so are we”, and “2,4,6,8, 2030 is too late?” echoed down Kildare Street attracting the attention of onlookers. Passing buses and cars beeped their horns and observers cheered showing their support for the climate strikers.
Giant’s Causeway & Belfast Day Trip Friday, April 3rd Embracing the Adventure by Brea Austin 8
€30 Per Person Price Includes: Transportation, and site entrance GRIFFITH COLLEGE Students' Union 2019/20
Visit the S U for more info!
www.griffithsu.ie *Over 18s
Earlier this month, I was at home in Hartford, Connecticut with my family. I was a mere two weeks away from going to Shanghai, China to study abroad. My professors approved all my courses, my doctor gave me all the necessary prescriptions I would need, and I was packed and ready to say my goodbyes to my everyone. However, the novel coronavirus spread at a faster rate than I was expecting it to, causing the Chinese government more and more concern over foreigners travelling to the country. But I was holding out hope. I spent months preparing to go to Shanghai, and despite concerns from my family, I was still determined to go. It wasn’t until I was seconds away from spending hundreds for my visa that I received an email from my study abroad program, CAPA, stating that the trip was cancelled. At first I was incredibly disappointed, but reading the email further, I saw that I had the option to choose a different country to study abroad. I often try to look on the positive side of things. Optimism has always allowed me to feel better about even the worst of situations, and getting an opportunity to go abroad is still an amazing opportunity and not one to be wasted by further depressing myself about something that is no longer a possibility.
My friend has a saying, “what is for you will come to you”. Just because China didn’t come to me this time doesn’t mean it won’t be an option later down the line. I was presented with three new study abroad options: London, Buenos Aires, and Dublin. I chose Dublin. I had never been to Europe before, and I looked forward to exploring. While Dublin is similar to cities I am familiar with back home, like Boston, Griffith College is an entirely new landscape. In Washington, DC, I attend the illustrious Howard University. As the top HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in the country, Howard University is a cultural and educational epicenter for black citizens in the United States. Whether you were born there or not, once you arrive on campus you are welcomed home. With black administrators, black professors, and black students, it is pool of diversity and culture where everybody wants to see one another succeed. Griffith, too, has a diverse population; although its population and culture are very different from what I’ve become accustomed to, I am looking forward to exploring and finding my place.
“Optimism has always allowed me to feel better about even the worst of situations” Top: Brea and other Howard University students Bottom: Brea outside in Washington, DC
How do you like your role so far? Above photo: Alisa on campus at Griffith College Dublin
Q&A with the Students’ Union President Name:
Students’ Union President
Schwaebish Hall, Germany
2 years in Fashion Management in Germany at LDT Nagold 1 year in Business Studies in Dublin at Griffith College Currently completing a Masters Degree in International Business Management at Griffith College Dublin (Thesis Topic: Work Life Balance in Irish Tech Companies)
Fluent in German, Japanese, and English, with conversational knowledge of French, Spanish, and Mandarin
What are your responsibilities as SU President?
I work with class representatives (class reps); they are the point of contact for your class and they talk to your faculty on your classes’ behalf if there are any issues that arise during the school year.
It gives me a good knowledge of how the college works. The first APC meeting was overwhelming, but it has gotten better. I really like it. It’s a good opportunity to work with native English speakers and improve my own English. It is also a good opportunity to work while studying and show that I can manage my life. Being SU president has also made me more active in college. Last year I was playing sports, but this year I am even more involved.
What can you, as SU President, do for students?
Students can contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they have an issue and I can either help them or connect them with someone who can help them.
How do you handle being SU President, working on a Master’s Degree and playing on the basketball and badminton teams?
A lot of people ask me how I manage my time, and my answer is that I have good time management skills. Also, the SU is very flexible and helps me by working with my schedule. Some people don’t know that if you work at the SU you still have time to study and play sports. I write everything down. I always make myself a time schedule that lists my classes, sports, and breaks. In my time off —between classes and in the evenings— I complete college work. For me, the weekend is my fun time. On Saturday and Sunday I take time for myself and I see my friends.
What do you want to do when you finish college?
That’s a good question... I would like to work in a fashion company or tech company in Dublin for one or two years for work experience.
Cheers: The new Monster Energy Drink Ultra Paradise-
According to Griffith College footballer Conor Keeley, this new flavour tastes like a fat frog cocktail, which is kinda like paradise.
The Netflix series about cheerleaders at Navaro College in Texas. This series will have you in your feels like never before. We’re not crying — you are!
CHEERS & JEERS
I have meetings with them every few months to see what issues there are (if any) and if there are ways the college can improve. Once a month I attend the Academic and Professional Council (APC) meetings. Present at these meetings are heads from every course, and a representative from the International Office. Each month there are different topics that we discuss; examples of past discussions have been graduation, exams, and mental health. I share with the meeting what is happening in the Students’ Union and in the college. It’s nice because the students have a voice. In the end, the students are the most important people in the college, and that is why the college is making an effort to involve them more in decision-making processes.
Yoga done in a heated room where participants get real sweaty. Fun and relaxing and a good way to detox your body. Also a nice way to relieve stress. Perfect for winters in Dublin.
Getting a New Car-
The Freedom to move around. No more bus and LUAS!
Swimming in the Irish Sea-
Great form of recovery after exercise. You just go for it and dive straight in. You feel amazing afterwards. Rejuvenated! Try Bray beach — y ou may even spot some of the lads from the Griffith College Templeogue basketball team (AKA Order of the Healing Water) Many believe the mystic waters give Lorcan Murphy his jumping abilities.
Jeers: Dublin Bus-
The bus stop monitor said the next bus would arrive in 15min. I went to the SPAR to get a bag of crisps and when I got back to the bus stop, the sign board said the bus was not due for 43min.
Zero-3 hour work contracts-
You get a job and then are told that you are guaranteed zero to three hours each week. What the actual fuck?
Too many assignments. Everyday there is something that needs to be done. No time to relax. It is just a lot.
Getting older (closer to 30)-
Social pressure to settle down, have babies, and become a proper adult.
Trump not getting impeached-
The Republican Party is looking out for the interests of one person as opposed to the interests of a nation.
Welcome! The inside scoop on induction day at Griffith College
Photo by: Shantanu Bhar (flickr)
by Robbie Smyth
Nearly six hundred new learners were welcomed to Griffith in 2020 adding to the 1,200 new entrants in September. The stand out moment for me happened this January, when I watched hundreds of students scurry around Griffith’s Dublin campus looking for clues and answers in our online quiz. Students had to download an app, race around the campus to log in answers while also uploading an image of themselves. In the college, we want to make induction fun, worthwhile, and valuable as you move through your first weeks of study. It is here that you will build positive habits and create a learning environment that will help you progress through whatever programme you have entered. Griffith wants to give the best welcome we can to new students. On induction day this means a welcome bag filled with goodies, a complimentary meal in the restaurant, and maybe some outdoor games and fun activities. This January, there was a treasure trail of sorts where each of the four winners got a 100 euro voucher for the Urban Square restaurant and a complimentary Griffith ball ticket. We also decided to turn induction into a Griffith fair. In the auditorium we put you in direct contact with the student services you will need during your time at the college; we had the Students’ Union with three points to sign up for clubs and societies; the library staff were there, as were IT services, learner support, and the careers office; international office staff were on hand, and the local community Gardai were also present.
Induction day is also when you get introduced to your faculty for the first time. This is another distinct but vital part of the induction process. So yes, timetables, programme handbooks, meeting faculty heads and programme directors are important, but the induction process has only begun. It is at the faculty sessions that you meet your classmates for the first time and this presents another challenge. Some of my lifelong friends were made in college, but not all were in the same programmes or courses that I took. These other new entrants are your colleagues and in some cases you could be spending three years together, which is a great starter experience for being in the workplace. Not everyone at work is going to be your friend and we all need to give each other the space to get along. The induction journey doesn’t end on your first day on campus. It continues into the first weeks of college. Module outlines are provided, assignment deadlines are set and exams become more tangible. Moodle resources are made available to you and then you might realise that induction is a two way process. We want to know how those first trips to the library went, how you found the Moodle log on, what resources were helpful, what do you want more of. How did you find the guides on referencing, or Turnitin(the plagiarism prevention service). College study is at a different scale from secondary school. It is a significant step up from what went before, especially if you have travelled to a new country to enter college. As you progress through your course at Griffith you might not think about giving feedback, however, whether it is in the library services, the international office, IT support, or your faculty, we want to know what would make the learning journey more productive. Robbie is the deputy head of the journalism and Media Communications faculty. He also co-ordinates the college inductions at the Dublin campus and can be emailed at email@example.com.
Photography on opposite page clockwise from top: Griffith College main entrance, Basketball scholars (Vernisha, Morgan, Darren and Oisin), Auditorim on induction day, Griffith College green, Griffith College president Diarmuid Hegarty
ACCOMMODATION BLUES by the SU team
Let’s be honest, finding accommodation in Dublin is a bitch. You show up for a viewing and are met by fifty other people looking to rent the exact same space. There are properties the size of a bathroom with the asking price of €600 a month. Then there are the adverts by some men who are looking for female roommates only; the rent seems reasonable, but the catch is that there is only one bedroom— and one bed. True story. You may even find a place and the landlord tells you that if you pay the deposit right there in cash, then the place is yours. Be weary of this— the person you are handing your money over to may not even be the landlord. Another true story. Lack of housing options in Dublin is a harsh reality. You log onto daft.ie each day and search for a place that you can afford, is not too far from college, and is not a dump. It can be hard, but be patient because you will eventually find something that suits you. Some things to know: Here in Ireland, it is common for some people who rent out rooms in their homes to only offer accommodation from Monday-Friday. This is because, some Irish students who live in other parts of the country will often only need accommodation in Dublin during the week and will go to their family homes over the weekend. This may not suit you if you do not have somewhere to go come Friday evening. If your rental budget is around €400-500, be prepared to possibly have to share a room. This is very common here in Dublin. But if you are here to study, just keep your eye on the prize because this is all temporary and you will not always have to live like this. As mentioned already, be weary of landlords demanding cash up front before you have even gotten a key. The lack of housing breeds opportunity for unscrupulous fellows, and there have been students duped out of cash by those acting as landlords. It is always best to get rental agreements in writing and written receipts for rent paid. The Students’ Union helps students with their accommodation needs by providing them with a list of rental options provided to the SU by people in the area and farther away. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request this list. It is constantly updated as people continue to contact the
SU with available accommodation. Some good information to know: Griffith College is located in the area of Dublin 8. Nearby neighbourhoods include: Portobello, Blackpitts, Rialto, Terenure, The Liberties, New Market, Kilmainham, Dolphins Barn, Inchicore, The Coombe, Merchant Quay, Island Bridge, and South Circular Road. Alternative Options: If a student would like to live on campus, there are limited spaces available in the Griffith Halls of Residence (GHR) You may contact GHR through these email address: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring them at 01-416-3320 The following are a number of reputable websites in Ireland that provide accommodation options independent of Griffith College: https://www.daft.ie/ https://www.spotahome.com/ www.property.ie https://www.myhome.ie/rentals/dublin/property-torent https://www.airbnb.ie/ https://letbynet.com/ https://findahome.ie/ https://ie.roomgo.net/leinster/dublin-flatshare http://positiveproperty.ie/ https://dublinstudentrooms.com/ https://studenthousing.ie/ http://accommodations2go.com/ https://www.student.com/en-gb/ie/dublin http://www.highlightstudentliving.com/ Information Resources The Following websites provide very useful information on renting in Dublin. Rental rules and regulations are constantly changing, so use these sites below to stay updated on your rights as a tenant: https://www.rtb.ie https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/
Good luck with your search!
Griffith Ball The Conrad Hotel May 1, 2020
Black Tie Event Drinks Reception 3 Course Meal DJ and Live Band (The Renegades) €55 per ticket
The Recipe Easy Spicy Mushrooms by Alpona Dutta Even though I run a food blog, I absolutely had no clue of how to chop vegetables — let alone cook something. It’s true when they say that studying in a different country has its own perks. This is one of the dishes that I experimented with.
15mins (Since I am not great at chopping) Cooking time: 15mins
•Button Mushrooms (170g) whole/chopped (You’ll find them for cheap at Tesco) •Frozen vegetables (Since it’s cumbersome to buy every veggie individually, and frozen goods last longer). I put in carrots, peas, cauliflowers- chopped •Bell peppers chopped- Red, Green, Yellow. The more colour you add, the more vibrant your dish becomes •Ginger-garlic paste/sauce (You can either make it by blending little quantities of both together, or purchase it for cheap from Tesco) •Salt- As per your taste •Turmeric- 3/4th tsp
GRIFFITH COLLEGE Students' Union 2019/20
Visit the SU for more info!
•Chilli flakes/Chilli Powder (if you like spice)
•Olive oil- 1 tbsp
Photo by: Alpona Dutta
The 20th Annual
Wash & chop everything finely. Switch on the hob and keep it on low flame. Add oil and ginger-garlic paste and stir for about two minutes. Put in the vegetables slowly, so you do not burn yourself (I ended up bruising). Be careful to not splash oil or fry anything for long as the smoke detectors might get activated. It is advised to keep the chimney on and the windows open. Add salt, chilli flakes (optional) and turmeric accordingly. Stir well. Add mushrooms a couple of minutes later. Keep mixing until you see it’s blended well. Sometimes, I add a little bit of ketchup to enhance the flavour. This is optional. Cover the pot or pan for about 10mins. The mushrooms will start to release water. Wait until you see some gravy and that the mushrooms and other veggies have softened. Once the veggies are cooked to your satisfaction, you can use a variety of condiments to garnish. Maybe some coriander or sesame seeds would do the trick. Serve piping hot with bread. Enjoy!
KILKENNY DELPHI LAHINCH
Photograhy on this page and opposite page: Discovery trip
STUDENTS’ UNION TRIPS
by Claire Aston
With one semester finished, and the second semester well and truly under way, it is safe to say it has been a fun filled academic year so far. The year kicked off with Freshers’ Week, and it was great to see so many new and returning students getting involved. From clubs & societies sign ups, to all the events: Freshers’ Party, Bowling, Beer Pong and a trip to Johnnie Fox’s. Other nights out that took place over the first semester include the Halloween Party in The Hub in Temple Bar, with two amazing costumes winning best dressed on the night! And of course the Christmas Party that saw the finish up of Semester 1, where the night was danced away in Dtwo Nightclub, and I am sure everyone will remember the well-deserved best dressed elf that was there on the night. Of course, that was just the events. The trips are definitely not something to forget. It all began with a day trip to Glendalough & Kilkenny, giving students the chance to walk around one of Ireland’s most well-known sights and tourist attractions, followed by a visit to Co. Kilkenny where we visited the castle. Our first overnight trip was to Bunratty Castle & Ennis, where we took a trip back in time to a Medieval Banquet filled with live music, banishing to the dungeon, and the appointed Lord & Lady of the Manor to rule the evening. Finally, the trip most people had been waiting for was our Delphi adventure trip in Connemara
to take on the infamous Bog Challenge, kayaking in the beautiful mountainous scenery, and the high ropes and zip line through the tall trees. Of course, no Delphi trip would be complete without a night in Westport to finish it all off. The 2nd Semester may just have begun, but with everyone coming back relaxed and refreshed after Christmas, we were ready to continue the year of fun! We started the semester in Everleigh Gardens with the Refreshers’ Party, with 250 tickets being sold, we knew we were in for a fun second semester! The first trip of the year took place at the end of February when we all headed off on the Discovery Trip, visiting the sights in Tipperary, Cork, Kerry and Clare. It is safe to say we got a good tour of Ireland, and made sure to have loads of fun, and forge new friendships along the way. Not to fear though, this Semester still has loads more to offer with the Surf Trip taking place the weekend of March 13th – 15th and the Giants Causeway & Belfast day-trip on April 3rd. The biggest event of all will finish off the year on the 1st of May with the annual Griffith Ball. Places are limited on all trips and events so make sure to get in early to avoid disappointment! Keep an eye out for posters and social media for any surprise events to come.
What a trip! We chat with Saad Bin Farhat (pictured right) about the Delphi Adventure Trip I study here at Griffith College and am taking the Master’s Degree in Computing. I went on the Delphi trip with the Students’ Union with 28 other students. My favourite part of the trip was ariel trekking because it was fun and adventurous, but all the other activities were also fun. I really enjoyed the bog challenge —oh man— I cannot believe this. I really enjoyed it because it was my first time to get muddy. It was perfectly dirty. I would say that if anyone would miss this trip in the future, they would miss a part of the Griffith experience. You should go to the Students’ Union and sign up for this trip. For sure I will be going on other Students’ Union trips!
Photograhy on this page: Delphi Adventure trip Opposite page: Glendalough/Kilkenny trip, Bunratty Castle trip, Discovery trip
Photo by: Joseph Okoh
G N I R E V O
#GE2020 Journalism & Media Communications student, Joseph Okoh, shares his experience covering the Irish General Election at the Wexford count centre by Joseph Okoh
Photo by: Joseph Okoh
After months of media buzz and intensive campaigning by both political parties and independents, the day to decide which candidates would form the 33rd parliament (Dáil) was finally held on the 8th of February, 2020. I recall, it was only last February, I took part in the Nigerian General Election but who would have thought I would be covering a General Election in another continent exactly a year after. Before now, the closest event to an election I had witnessed outside my country was the Scottish Referendum in 2014 but I wasn’t directly involved. Things have changed now and this was only made possible by one of Ireland’s top broadcasters, Newstalk who specifically chose Griffith College (where I’m currently doing a programme) to source for interns. That speak volumes. I had always wanted this kind of exposure to learn and enhance my CV, so I applied and was picked. Being chosen to partake in the Irish General Election excited me. The opportunity meant I would be covering a major news event and preparing content for live broadcasts in a European country for the first time. Irish politics is different and so too is its voting system. I worked with media organisations in Nigeria during election but was keen to have a feel of how election coverage is done in a different country. Knowing the peculiarity of Irish politics and its
Above photo: Joseph Okoh on his Instagram page @joe_okoh
complicated voting system, I started immersing myself in political news, keeping tabs with developments and researching as any good journalist would. For example, unlike in Nigeria where we practice the Presidential system of government, Ireland is a parliamentary, representative democratic republic. Also, when you vote in an election in Ireland, you are asked to give your vote in order of preference. This 23 is because Ireland uses an electoral system called proportional representation with a single transferrable vote (PR–STV, or PR for short). So, it is not as simple as the candidate with the highest number of votes winning and others losing. If a candidate reaches a certain quota, his/her vote is shared among other contestants yet to reach theirs. That way, others have a chance too. If a candidate is eliminated after the first round by virtue of scoring the lowest vote, his/her vote is redistributed among other candidates still in the race. I had to understand how the process works to be prepared and productive to Newstalk. I had applied to be in one of the Dublin constituencies because I thought that was where the action would be but I was also happy to go anywhere really. So, when Sinéad Spain, the head of News, Communicorp Media; the company in charge of Newstalk and other radio stations asked if I mind changing my coverage area to Wexford, I said yes. Newstalk had promised to handle travel expenses and I love to travel anyway, so it was perfect for me.
Trip to Wexford I booked a train, departed Dublin for Wexford on election day, Saturday the 8th February at 6: 38pm because my deployment was to the count centre which was to open next day at 9am. I arrived in Wexford at
Photography on opposite page clockwise from top: Count ongoing at St. Josephs Community Centre in Wexford, Map of Ireland, Tally sheets of some party supporters
My Takeaways If you want to make it far in this industry as an upcoming journalist, you should take note of the underlisted and this is applicable to any country in the world.
Photo by: Joseph Okoh
1. Never be over confident: I learned that no matter how prepared you think you are, you still don’t know everything. Personally, I had pictures of key political figures saved on my phone but still struggled to recognise them. I had to ask people, especially journalists from other organisations, who I deliberately made friends with to show me who was what.
Above photo: Tallymen recording votes of candidates Bottom: Labour candidate, Brendan Howlin, and students of CBS Primary, Wexford
lives of millions. I didn’t have any bad experience. I wore the Newstalk badg at all times and confidently approached politicians and requested interviews, which they granted. I really felt welcomed by the people of Wexford. Many of them kept approaching me for chats. They kept asking where I’m from. At first, I felt disconcerted but later figured out it was because of my unique skin colour. Their questions were polite and innocuous so I took no offence whatsoever. The whole experience renewed my confidence that despite my background and all the odds, I can make it as a journalist in this country.
2. Ask questions: This is related to the first. I observed how Adrian communicated with colleagues from other organisations to cross-check facts. They basically helped themselves. The job is not always a competition and no one knows everything. If you don’t know anything, ask. Asking doesn’t mean you’re dull. 3. Teamwork: I can’t emphasize this enough. I can’t imagine how the work would have been if there was no teamwork. That was the foundation of all that we achieved. If you ever have issues with you colleagues that you can’t resolve immediately, for the sake of the job, put that aside and get the job done first. Trust me, you don’t want to be the weak link. 4. Deadlines: When you work as a news reporter, you have to think on your feet and be sharp because everything is fast-paced. While interviewing, your ability to identify a clear top line and edit accordingly is a good skill to have. It would save you a lot of time.
Photo by: Joseph Okoh
9:15pm on Saturday. It was very windy and rainy. I boarded a taxi to my hotel and retired for the night. On the day of the count, I arrived at the count centre 15 minutes before time and joined Adrian Harmon, the Newstalk reporter I was to work with. We clicked from the first minute (First lesson: having a rapport with your colleague can be very helpful. It makes the job way easier). I had asked Adrian the tasks he wanted me to do. He said I would need to do interviews using Newstalk’s recording device (he showed me how). Others were supplying information from tallymen and key party figures for use in on-air reports, recording relevant videos, taking pictures and lining up political figures for interviews. I didn’t fret because Griffith College had prepared me. I did a module called Radio Production and I could relate to many of the things done during production. My experience working as a journalist in my home country (Nigeria) was also very helpful. After a brief chat, Adrian and I exchanged numbers. That was very helpful as 90 per cent of our communication at the count centre was done through the phone, either through WhatsApp or calls. Adrian was mostly in the journalists’ section upstairs handling the technical aspect and communicating with the newsroom while I was downstairs doing the ‘field’ work. I enjoyed working with Adrian because he was quite level-headed and maintained calm even when we were under pressure. The whole experience was demanding but also interesting. The election turned out to be a historic one for the Irish people with Sinn Féin breaking the total dominance of the country’s two biggest political parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gáel. I feel proud to be part of history and more so, to have been part of an exercise that determines the course of direction of the
I went to Wexford with an open mind and I have learned a lot from the experience. However, if I would be staying in Europe for a long time, there are still things about the system I need to get used to. Like I mentioned, elections are quite different in this region compared to what is obtainable in Nigeria. Firstly, I found it strange that a major sporting event like the Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales would be holding on the same day as the polls and both events would be hugely successful. This would never happen in Nigeria. On election days, the country is literally on lockdown. There is massive restriction of movement and commercial activities cripple. Secondly, I found Irish candidates to be unassuming and accessible within the count area. They were also thankful for whatever number of votes they got without challenging the process. In Nigeria, politicians are only humble before election and arrogant after victory. They are not accessible and mostly have fierce looking security details around them. Thirdly, contrary to what many people think,
Above photo : Newstalk reporter Adrian Harmon with Joseph Okoh
electronic voting doesn’t always guarantee the success of elections because it has its own problems. We’ve had this debate many times in Nigeria and some still insist manual voting/counting should be scrapped as it encourages malpractice. I found it interesting that there have also been debates on the use of technology in Irish elections in the past. Suffice to say that the Irish General Election was a huge success despite the voting and count done manually. The jury is still out on the use of electronic voting system in many European countries but whatever form the next election in this region would take in the future, I feel confident in my abilities to take on the challenge that comes with it.
THE BATTLE FOR WELLBEING Can Ireland’s mental health services keep up with the demand? by Tom Prior
Each year, October 10th marks the celebration of World Mental Health Day. Beginning in 1992, events take place around the globe that help spotlight the often silent struggle of those living with mental health issues. Last year’s theme was suicide prevention, and here at home, Mental Health Ireland organised a Mental Health Week where various events and activities pertaining to mental health awarness were carried out throughout the country. It would appear that everything is being done now to break the stigma of mental health and make sure that nobody ever has to suffer in silence. However, whilst there is a new culture surrounding mental health in Ireland, there is also a lack of ability by the Irish government to tackle a largely growing problem. I’m a student here at Griffith College who suffers from anxiety and depression, and oftentimes the stresses of college can become a breaking point for me. With so much negativity in the world, pressure, expectancy and perfectionism, it can be too much for people like me who struggle day in and day out. Earlier last year, things got so bad that I tried taking my own life. I ended up in St. James’s Hospital where the wait to see the doctor was over two hours, plus there was an additional two more hours spent waiting in order to be seen by a professional psychiatrist. Already in a fragile state, and being made to wait for nearly five hours, it felt like it was going to take me forever to get the help I came for. This is the reality of the mental health services in this country: long hours for specialists and long waiting hours for patients. An Irish Times article from 2018 reported that the OECD Health at a Glance report from the same year found that poor mental health is costing the state €8.2 billion a year. The same article also stated that the European average for mental health issues is every one out of six persons, and in a survey on mental health illness in Europe, Ireland ranked a joint third out of 36 countries, meaning that Ireland has one of the highest rates of mental illness in Europe. In a report published last year by the Union of Students Ireland (USI), it was stated that one third of third level students go through or suffer from a mental health issues. These facts and figures are quite alarming.
Budget 2020, announced by the Irish government in October of last year, was the final blow to everyday people in this country who suffer from mental health problems. Mental Health Reform (the national coalition on mental health) pointed out that Budget 2020 failed to address the mental health crisis by offering extra services for those in need. The OECD report mentioned earlier on in this article also stated that 18.5 per cent of people in Ireland suffer from a bipolar disorder or from schizophrenia. It was even mentioned by Jim Daly, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the services of this country. He obviously didn’t read 27 the statistics provided by healthcare professionals who issued them to the Department. Mental health is the most important thing in our society that ensures the wellbeing of our citizens. Without it, there is a breakdown of the social order, which will eventually lead to further chaos, especially if there are more cutbacks to services. Mental health is also paramount to the success of students on campus. Some of the biggest challenges that students face are social media, high standards one has for themselves, outside pressures and even unhealthy substances like alcohol, smoking and drugs. I know all of these things because I have experienced them and trust me, they are not great. One must remind oneself that sometimes it is ok to not be ok. So, as we continue to fight for better mental health reform, we have to challenge those from above and not those from below. Because the ones below are not just patients; they are doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health professions who may not be receiving due credit for helping those who need it, because sometimes, it’s those who are helping people that need help themselves.
Note: If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, the Students’ Union connects students with a free confidential counselling service. Students can avail of this service by sending an email to email@example.com, or contacting the service by phone at: 085 152 1511.
Griffith College Wellness Series Workshops
Griffith College Wellness Series:
Exam Time/Stress Management
Above photo : James J Claffey facilitating a workshop at Griffith College
Date: April 7th â€˘ Time: 1:10pm Location: Room AF101
Our topic is on Exam Time/Stress Management All are welcome! GRIFFITH COLLEGE Students' Union 2019/20
Visit the S U for more info!
This school year, the SU have been running a series of Wellness Workshops facilitated by sports psychologist James J Claffey of P.R.I.D.E Psychology. Topics covered so far have been: Sleep & Mental Health, Exercise and Well-being, Food & the Brain, and Resilience for Students. Our final workshop of the year will take place in April and will cover Exam Time/Stress Management. The Studentsâ€™ Union also provides students with contact information for a confidential off-campus counselling service. Students can email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment, or call 085 152 1511.
The SU spoke with Radio and TV Journalism student, Lea Heming following her attendance of the Exersise and Well-being workshop: SU What did you think about the workshop on Exercise and Well-being? LH I am really impressed. I have previously looked into exercise and depression just because I am interested in it, and it was really nice to hear someone talk about it with more insight. I found it interesting to hear about the background of stress as a student. SU What was your primary take away from the workshop? LH Actually, that I might start exercising in the moring instead of the evening. He [James J Claffey] told us that could actually benefit you in your quality everyday life. SU Will you be at the next workshops? LH Definitely
Eóin Hurley interviews
Eóin Hurley Who are you?
My name is Eóin Hurley and I am the Griffith Halls RA Residents Advisor). Some students may know me from working in the SU office part time.
Where did you go? I flew into Ho Chi Minh City where I spent most my trip, however I also spent some time in Phnom Penh in Cambodia and also to Mūn né which is a beach town on the east coast of Vietnam.
How long was the flight? 22 hours with two stop overs in London and Doha. However I was flying with Qatar Airlines so I got free drinks the entire flight!!!
What was the reason for your trip? 30
Well I really wanted to get away after my exams and I have a friend who I met while working in Griffith who lives in Ho Chi Minh teaching English. So it made sense to go there as I’d have somewhere to stay and someone who knew what they were doing over there. Also, who wouldn’t want to go to Vietnam???
How would you describe the city you were in? While being the biggest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is not the capital. Think of it as the Glasgow of Vietnam! Ho Chi Minh really surprised me with how beautiful everything is —lots of flowers everywhere, restaurants and bars were just gorgeous! The city is very French influenced and you see it from the architecture to the food they eat. Best Pastries Ever!!!!!
How did Cambodia compare? Cambodia was very cool to see however it was much dirtier and lass developed than Vietnam. You got to see alot more poverty which might kill some people’s buzz. On the bright side however, pints were 45 cent!!!! Take that Diceys!!!!!
I heard you ran into a little trouble while getting back from Cambodia? Ughhhh, yes. We woke up there one morning to the news that the border was closing for the Chinese New Year for 5 days. We were told that if we didn’t get back to Vietnam that day we’d be trapped! All busses were full and flying wasn’t an option, however there was a man who said he Photograhy on this page: Eóin and his friend in Vietnam and Cambodia
would take us across the border by boat and even back to Ho Chi Minh! However, after about 10 hours on the boat it was revealed that he wasn’t taking us to Ho Chi Minh but rather some other random city we never heard of. Once we got off the boat, we were a bit worried about what we were going to do. Luckily, we found a bus that would take us back to Ho Chi Minh. Eight hours on a bus later, and it was home sweet home!
Surely this was the worst part of your trip? Actually not quite, and don’t call me Surely! On my last day we visited Saigon Zoo which is supposed to be one of the best zoos in Vietnam. However, while it was cool to see the animals, their living conditions were pretty bleak. The animals were stuffed into small spaces and seemed pretty distressed. That was probably the worst part.
What about the best part? The best part was definitely Mūi né! It had nothing but long gorgeous beaches, cheap hostels and even cheaper bars. Hostels would usually charge about 3 USD a night but they were all amazing. They would almost all have their own bar and swimming pool while only being a few feet from the beach. We got pretty lazy while staying there, spend most the time asleep on a hammock or just walking along the never ending beach.
Is there any tours or excursions you went on that you’d recommend? Oh lots. War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh was amazing, however I’d advise you mentally prepare yourself. Some of the things you’ll see can’t be unseen! We also visited the Cu Chi Tunnels which was in the jungles were alot of the war took place. The tunnels were tiny and used by the locals to hide from American soldiers. We also got to see the traps that were made and hidden in the jungle floor which made me paranoid the whole time I was walking around. I also recommend while in Vietnam to rent a motorcycle and just explore yourself, even if you’ve never rode one before it’s easier than it looks.
Any tips to people thinking of traveling to Vietnam? Mosquito repellent!!!! I got bit 40 times and that’s only on my right leg!! I definitely recommend traveling with someone, it definitely makes things a lot easier and you’ll feel a lot more safe. The currency is kind of insane, so make sure to bring a big wallet that it will fit in. 100,000 dong is worth about 5 euro. There is a phone app called Grab which is extremely useful for getting taxi’s and is very cheap. If you just climb into a random taxi don’t be surprised when the driver tries to rip you off. And finally, don’t get on boats with strangers!
Queerbating: the difference between actual representation and capitalizing on it
into a series or movie franchise, is finding out about popular fan theories people come up with. And those theories might interpret something into a piece of dialogue or a close on-screen friendship that was never actually considered a thing in the script and series itself. And still, some then get annoyed with writers and producers and accuse them of capitalizing on the representation. Now, we do not need an LGBT character in every movie, music video or series, but representation is critical for all minorities. And while we’re at it: Being gay does not need to be a plot twist and making all villains queer is not great representation either. If you want the full story of queercoding and queerbaiting and the reason why so many of our childhood movie villains seem queer, check out Rowan Ellis’ The Evolution Of Queerbaiting: From Queercoding to Queercatching , on YouTube.
Why advertising inclusivity isn’t always a good thing by Lea Heming
For someone who is part of a minority group like LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender), seeing themselves being represented in big movie franchises, popular TV series or even music is a great thing. However, often enough we see trailers with hints to queer couples or storylines, just to be disappointed when finally watching the thing. Take the latest Star Wars movie for example. There have been teasers to a same-sex couple in the movie and hints on a possible relationship between main male characters Finn and Poe by Director JJ Abrams himself. All of that turned out as a kiss in the background between two resistance fighters, which nearly everyone missed. For some, this might seem like a minor issue, we all get our hopes up with storylines or character developments sometimes —don’t we? But this is about capitalizing on representation without actually representing. And there is a term for that: Queerbaiting: When a television series, book or movie makes statements on there being LGBT representation for views, when canonlogically, there is none or less than they hinted at. The practise has been criticized by queer outlets, bloggers and LGBT representatives alike. PinkNews, an online newspaper reporting for and on the community, explains that by adding homoerotic subtext or tension between characters, writers and producers lead LGBT audiences in. Viewers will obviously be disappointed as there was never any intention to pursue the relationship that was hinted at. So, while this advertising aims to appeal to queer folk, producers avoid risking anything with their main audience, who presumably wouldn’t relate to a queer character. So now, why exactly is this a problem? Well, queer characters and identities are not widely represented in popular media. If you are part of the community yourself, this might not need an example, but for everyone else, imagine this: Everything you liked
Above photo: Neptune and sailor Uranus from “Sailor Moon”
Above photo: Finn and Poe from ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’
about a character and their storyline is resolved in the first five minutes of the series —or not mentioned at all over three seasons. Sounds frustrating doesn’t it? Now, you could argue that having hints to an LGBT character or relationship in big franchises like Star Wars, is actually a good thing. Some representation is better than none, right? In an interview with the BBC, Professor of media and women and gender studies at Ohio University, Eve Ng, claims that only due to the increased representation today, people accuse producers of queerbaiting and falsely leading people on. She explains that a decade ago, many would have celebrated every queer hint. There have been series before with queer hints and characters in them. The 1995 fantasy TV series ‘Xena’, for example, pointed strongly at a same-sex relationship between the main female characters Xena and Gabrielle, and this was celebrated in the community. However, this was queercoding rather than queerbaiting. At the time, there was no way a series or movie could take the risk and go all out with representation. The characters of Neptune and Uranus in the popular Japanese Anime Sailor Moon are another example of queercoding. The relationship between these two female characters relied heavily on hints, drawn camera angles and suggestions and was completely written out of the series in other countries
—including the US. Queerbaiting, in contrast to queercoding, is a safe way to make more money without offending an already existing audience. Again, this is about capitalising on representation, not actually representing. A popular example would be the relationship between the two female leads in the 2010 crime series ‘Rizzoli and Isles’. Angie Harmon, the actress playing Rizzoli actually admitted years ago in a TV Guide interview to playing up the lesbian subtext between the characters. So what would actual representation look like? The
Queerbaiting, in contrast to queercoding, is a safe way to make more money without offending an already existing audience. Netflix series “Orange Is The New Black” managed to give a great look at queer characters, treating the love stories as what they are: just love stories. A particularly interesting example would be the new ‘She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’, which is a children’s cartoon and does a great job at normalizing queer identities. It does not make their identities and orientations part of the storyline but integrates them as normal characters. The new season of Star Trek “Star Trek Discovery” does the same to an extent. There is one big “but” that has to be mentioned in the context of this topic: Fandoms queerbaiting themselves. One of the fun things of really getting
Above photo: Characters from Netflix series “Orange is the New Black”
Note: Queer in this context is used as a term that many individuals within the LGBTQ community relate to, as it is not specific to any orientation or identity. We are aware the term was and is used by some in a demeaning manner. The term is being “reclaimed” by the community in the past years.
DON’T SPEAK! How the entertainment and creative communities are leading necessary conversations surrounding menstruation and periods by Rose Ugoalah
Photo by: Freja Blomstrand
There is a scene in the Netflix docuseries Cheer, where stunter and ‘mat talk’ pro Jeremiah (Jerry) Harris, gets an unexpected kick in the face from a teammate he is trying to catch, which results in a nosebleed. The team physiotherapist/medic who attends to him inserts a tampon up his nose to stop the bleeding. As Jerry walks around with a tampon half inserted up his left nostril, I thought to myself, now that’s not something you see everyday —not the tampon up the nose— but a tampon out in the open and displayed so boldly with no embarrassment or shame attached to the situation. As Michelle Wolf said in her 2017 HBO special, Nice Lady, “Women trade tampons stealthier than drug dealers trade heroin”. In hushed voices, we ask each other for sanitary products and conceal them in tight waded fists as we scurry to the toilet. So, that scene in Cheer intrigued me; to see a strong male athlete completely unbothered by a tampon dangling from his nose. It got me thinking: perhaps it’s possible to disassociate the sense of shame that surrounds the topic of menstruation? The world’s population is 50 per cent female, which means that nearly 4 billion people will experience, are experiencing, or have experienced a period. So how is something that affects half the population able to remain so hushed, and what is being done to change this? Well, I could get into how most institutions responsible for information dissemination and socialisation are controlled by men, and I could use phrases like “smashing historical patriarchy”, but I’d rather use my word count to highlight what is being done around the world to end the stigma that surrounds menstruation. In 2013, the non-profit initiative, The Pad Project, was created by a group of Oakland, California students and their teacher. Their aim was to raise awareness surrounding the education gap in developing
countries. Their Netflix documentary, Period.End of Sentence, shines a spotlight on the women of Hapur, India who often drop out of school at the onset of their periods, effectively ending their educational pursuits. As if losing out on education due to a natural biological occurrence isn’t enough, these women also have limited access to sanitary products. The film subsequently won an Academy Award in 2019 for Best Documentary short film and continues to educate and tackle the stigma surrounding menstruation. So what more can be done to increase the conversation around periods? Well with any subject that can be deemed taboo, it often helps to talk about it. This strategy worked for a group of eighth-graders from a middle school in New York. The seven girls aged 13-14 created the podcast Ssssh! Periods, where they openly talk about menstruation. The podcast has won listeners over and even picked up an NPR Student Podcast Challenge award. Hearing jokes about periods in a stand up routine, watching a documentary about the topic, or listening to a podcast on the subject all helps to remove the stigma surrounding the subject, and Griffith College photography student, Freja Blomstrand is joining the conversation by way of her graduate photography project titled ‘She Shall Be Pure’ (working title).
“WOMEN TRADE TAMPONS STEALTHIER THAN DRUG DEALERS TRADE HEROIN” The image on the preceeding page is titled ‘Unclean’ and is part of Blomstrand’s work-in-progress. Blomstrand says that ‘She Shall Be Pure’ aims to challenge the taboo surrounding menstruation. The photographer goes on to say that the menstrual taboo has been affecting women and menstruators lives for a very long time and they often may not be aware of these effects because the taboo is so deeply rooted in our society. She says that this taboo has led to women and menstruators having to hide not just their menstruation, but in some situations, their physical self. Blomstrand says that ‘She Shall Be Pure’ questions the common perception of the female as a pure, perfect figure and aims to normalise menstruation and the menstrual blood. The photograph ‘Unclean’ is a response to a segment in The Old Testament where it is stated: Anything on which she lies or sits during her impurity shall be unclean (Leviticus 15:20). Blomstrand further explained her topic choice: “Taboo subjects like sex, sexuality and menstruation attracts me in my photographic practice because I believe that they need to be seen, that people need to be challenged by being exposed to them in order to normalise and minimize the taboo around them. In my work, I aim to make challenging statements and raise awareness upon subjects that I believe are important and that society tries to hide or ignore”.
Photo by: Carol Cummins Photograhy on this page: Griffith College Templeogue men’s basketball scholars (and players) with college directors, Reg Callanan and Ronan Fenlom Opposite page clockwise from top: Women’s volleyball, Cricket team, Women’s basketball, Men’s basketball, Badminton, Football team
with Mr. Jason Killeen 36
•Men’s Basketball The men’s basketball team competes in the College Division One North Conference. The team has topped their conference after convincing wins against Dublin Business School, Sligo IT, Letterkenny IT and DCU. The men have qualified for this year’s varsities and will play a league home semi-final against NUIG. The men’s team consists of players from Ireland, America, Spain, Nigeria, Mongolia and Sweden which represents the unique diversity that Griffith College enjoys. The 2019-2020 season marked the first year of the Griffith College Templeogue Basketball Club partnership. This amalgamation means that Griffith College Templeogue fields teams in the Men’s Irish Super League and the Women’s Division One National League. A total of nine Griffith College scholars athletes compete in these leagues while also earning undergrad or masters degrees in the college. Four scholars along with Sports & Societies officer Jason Killeen were part of the Men’s squad that captured the Hula Hoops Pat Duffy Cup in front of a packed crown in the National Basketball Arena on January 25th.
•Women’s Basketball The women’s basketball team competes in the Colleges Division Two North Conference. The team has showed steady growth and improvement throughout the year, which has resulted in a 3 wins, 1 loss record. A top place finish ensures a home semi-final fixture against Waterford Institute of Technology. •Cricket The Griffith College cricket team travelled to Belfast on January 31st to compete in the intervarsity tournament hosted by the University of Ulster. An intense weekend of action saw the team finish with 2 win, 2 loss record. The tournament was attended by colleges and universities from all over the island of Ireland. •Football The Griffith College football team started the season off on a strong note with a positive run of results before the Christmas break. Some terrific performances saw the team top their group and earn a home draw against Bray Institute of FE. Unfortunately with a weakened squad due to injuries to key performers, Griffith College once again lost out to Bray Institute of FE in the league quarter finals. The team was disappointed in the lack of consistency throughout the year and are already hard at work preparing for next season.
•Women’s Volleyball This was the most successful season so far for the Griffith College Volleyball team. Increased numbers and preparation ensured that a strong squad made it all the way to a cup quarter final. Narrowly losing out to a strongly favoured Athlone IT the players will be proud of their accomplishments and now look forward to next season.
•Men’s Volleyball The participation numbers for the men’s team saw a significant jump during the 2019/20 season. This is a positive development that will excite Coach Brendan O’Toole and bode well for future competition.
•Badminton Badminton continues to be a positive for Griffith College. Participation levels have steadily grown with options to play in a competitive or noncompetitive environment. As in previous seasons the college team competed in the Student Sport Ireland mixed team league. This year the team performed well just missing out on the final playoffs. James Clerc was the lone Griffith College student that competed in the Ireland Open Singles hosted by Waterford Institute of Technology. An early start and challenging day saw James represent the college well with an 8th place overall finish. •Table Tennis The Griffith College Table Tennis represented the college in the Irish College Table Tennis event hosted by UCD in December. With stiff competition throughout the day, the team took valuable lessons and have been preparing for the next competition on March 14th.
Above photo: Members of the Indian Society Below: Members of the Dance society
All societies in Griffith College are student led and run. Students decide on the direction of the society and with the help of the Students Union, plan events throughout the year. It is not unusual to visit the Students’ Union and be welcomed by an intense beer pong tournament or an impromptu jam session performed by the music society. Spontaneous meetings and matches are a regular among the Table Tennis society. Yoga and dance classes are held weekly on campus and cater for those students who want to get away from the stresses of assignments and exams. All are welcomed to take part in the LGBTQIA society which provides an open minded environment. The African and Indian societies provide a home away from home feel for students who have travelled to Ireland to further their education and career prospects. Signing up for societies is easy, simple pop into the Students’ Union for a chat or more information.
Above photo: Darren Townes
COACH TOWNES by Rose Ugoalah Darren Townes’ love and talent for basketball has taken him on many adventures. Hailing from across the Atlantic Ocean —Harlem, New York to be exact— the 33-year-old’s talent has recently landed him in Griffith College Dublin, where he is completing a Masters Degree in TV and Radio Journalism while also playing and coaching basketball. Since last year, Townes has been coaching basketball every Monday evening at The Holy Family School for the Deaf Cabra. Students at the school range in ages from 3-18 and they all have varying degrees of hearing impairment. Communication methods include speech, Irish sign language, and signed English. Townes has been coaching young people for several years. “I started coaching when I started playing professionally,” he said. “I started coaching for clubs when I started playing for them and they wanted me to coach the younger players.” He said he plans to continue coaching when his career as a player is over. He just needs to decide wheather it’ll be at a professional, college or highschool level. Townes first started playing basketball at age 11 and became serious about the sport a few years later. Playing in the position of forward, Townes has played in several countries, including Portugal, Chile, Ireland, Cyprus, Germany and Finland. He is currently a scholarship athlete here at Griffith College Dublin, and he also plays for the Griffith College Templeogue Basketball Club’s Super League men’s team. He was an integrel part of their championship win in this year’s Hula Hoops Pat Duffy National Cup. Townes discovered his current coaching opportunity through his fellow Griffith College Templeogue Basketball club teammate and Griffith College basketball coach, Jason Killeen. “Once he told me they [the students] were deaf, I knew it was going to be a challenge, but the supervisors there [at
the school] help me out. ” This is Townes first time coaching young people with disabilities, but he is not one to shy away from a challenge and has even learned some sign language along the way. “The first thing I did when I got there was I asked one of the kids that could speak to me how to spell my name.” Townes started with the basics: he learned the signs for please, thank you, and happy birthday. Communication can get a bit more complicated when trying to convey certain drills, so Townes demonstrates what he would like the students to do, and then he has one of the students with speech skills sign for the other students. For skills such as shooting the ball, Townes will point to a student and visually demonstrate what he would like them to do. “I’m kinda comfortable doing that now, but sometimes I catch myself saying ‘wait they can’t hear me —they don’t know what I’m saying. So I have to stop and be patient and I watch them talk to each other.” Townes says that most of the students sign to one another by first waving to get the other persons attention and then moving closer to communicate. While the game is in play, Townes says that another way to get the students attention is by stomping on the ground, but this proves difficult as there are a lot of vibrations occuring on the court during play from students running back and forth.
“I just want the kids to have fun —just because they have a disability doesn’t mean that they can’t have fun.” The experience has been an enriching one for Townes, and even the challenges have proven enlightening. He has found that his limited means of communication with the students can infringe on his desire to pass on his experience. “It’s really interesting —It makes you appreciate that you can hear and talk to people.” However, Townes points out that communication can be a challenge in any coaching endeavor, and he finds that the deaf students tend to be more focused than the non-deaf students. When his teammate (Killeen) first presented the opportunity, he imparted some wise advice. “He just said that it’s gonna be a challenge, and you just have to be patient and just try to learn as much as you can, and at the end of the day just make sure the kids have fun.” And Townes has taken this advice to heart. “I just want the kids to have fun —just because they have a disability doesn’t mean that they can’t have fun.” But it’s not all fun and games. Townes is not easier on the students because they have a disability. “Oh no. Definetly not!” He says. Townes gaurds hard and is no stranger to blocking shots from students half his size. “Listen, I don’t care. If you’re on the basketball court and you can play and you can run and everything —you are gonna get the same treatment that I get when I play.” He says that the students also appreciate this mentality. “They’re very competative.”
CREATIVE DUBLIN: ACTRESS AND PLAYWRIGHT GEMMA KANE agreed to direct my play, for profit share, if I finished writing it. That really pushed me to write the play.
How did you make the transition to playwright?
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
When I studied at The Gaiety School of Acting, in a module called Manifesto, you have to write a new piece of theatre every week. Claire Maguire came to see one of mine called 48. She
To be kind to each other- it’s a very harsh industry and the powers above have a lot of control over you. You are constantly auditioning and rejection can weigh
heavy on your mind. The competition of it can turn nasty. Ask for the best - Go to the people who you dream of working with and ask them. Why not? The worst they can say is no. Try to create your own work, so you’re never waiting for the phone to ring and you have purpose. Once you are a writer in theatre, you are constantly making work for yourself. It’s not always paid work, but it pays off in the end. Gemma’s upcoming play, “KATS: The Green Room Musical” directed by Eoghan Collins, is running in the main space of the Smock Alley Theatre as part of the Scene & Heard Festival from the 28th-29th of February 2020. by Rachel Dignam
Photo by: Lorna Fitzsimmons
I have always been interested in storytelling. When I was younger, I would always write stories and perform them. When I was thirteen, there was an ad on the radio for The Irish Film academy. It was a ten-week course and there was a lot of theatre involved. Every 6-8 weeks we would put a show on in the New
Theatre, that we had written ourselves. I loved it; I knew I didn’t want to do anything else.
Photo by: Sadhbh mc Loughlin
Tell me about how you first got into acting?
Above photo: Headshot of Gemma Kane Opposite page: Gemma Kane performing on stage in her play “48”
“ASK FOR THE BEST - GO TO THE PEOPLE WHO YOU DREAM OF WORKING WITH AND ASK THEM”
MUSIC AND FILM REVIEWS Film: Jumanji: The next level Director: Jake Kasdan by Sajal Mistry
Artist: KEATON HENSON Album: EPILOGUE by Naveen Kumar @Thatoldfashionedguy He is a poet, an illustrator and a singer-songwriter. He has anxiety so he started recording music in his room. He gave one of his recordings as a gift to his best friend who figured this material ought to be on the web. His friend encouraged Keaton to put his music online. In 2011, his first album, Dear got released. During the same year he got to play his track ‘Sweet heart, what have you done?’ on BBC Radio 1. It was his big breakthrough as a singer, but he denied conducting concerts due to his anxiety. He released a song called ‘Epilogue’ a year ago. In the music video, Keaton Henson is sitting on the backseat in a moving car. The eyes of Keaton Henson will reveal to you a story which appears to pound your spirit while tuning in to his verses. He sings: “Here’s to my soul Here’s to the weight of my gold Here’s to the words that I’ve sold Here’s to the cold deep in my bones” Communicating the feelings through his consuming voice, toward the end of the song he showed “EH NLQG” through a cipher, which signifies “BE KIND”.
Film: 1917 Director: Sam Mendes by Adam Thibault Set in the trenches of WWI, 1917 opens with a group of British soldiers whiling away the time in a field, awaiting orders from the front line. Two of the men are given a mission to contact another Battalion that is closer to the front, who unbeknownst to the viewer, later become the main characters. As the viewer follows the lives of the young men, it is as if the viewer is running alongside the soldiers, feeling the same anxiety that they had to endure. The strong British cast, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Colin Firth —to name but a few— only serves to elevate the high standard of cinematography that can be seen continuously throughout the film. The movie portrays the true rawness felt by the soldiers of WWI and at times this can become quite difficult to digest, especially in times of detailed violence and laid out trickery by the Germans. The movie lived up to its Oscar hype and then some. It was a solid display of true wartime situations, which was further aided by strong special effects.
The odd posse is back, yet this time the game has changed. Like most famous spin-offs, ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ endeavors to take advantage of the establishment’s prominence with certain changes in the characters and an indistinguishable plot. It, despite everything, figures out how to hold the crowd’s consideration with its power and diversion. Several years after the undertakings of ‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’, the group of companions have proceeded onward in reality. While Martha, Bethany and Fridge have discovered their own personalities, Spencer is battling with his life and relationship. At the point when the companions find that Spencer, who kept the messed up Jumanji game, had returned in, they come back to the perilous world to spare their companion. This time, Spencer’s granddad and his companion, Milo, are additionally sucked into the game. In the erratically hazardous universe of Jumanji, actors Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart make an incredible pair. Danny DeVito and Danny Glover include another subplot and profundity to the story. ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ is generally charming for its mix of characters, alongside the succession of occasions that toss them to extraordinary spots and conditions. The players must overcome the obscure coming their way while navigating deserts, mountains, and backwoods, to go through the world’s most hazardous game.
Giorgia Graf From Curitiba, Brazil Shoots with a Fuji X pro II 50 mm lens (equivalent) 1.4
I came across photography about ten years ago when I decided to take a 1-year photography course back in Brazil. I like to think that Iâ€™m capturing stills of a movie and consequently telling a short story in each photo. First, Iâ€™m drawn to scenes that could be seen as timeless. When I walk past these places, I usually get a nostalgic feeling and I try to capture that straight away without thinking too much about it.
From Dublin, Ireland Shoots with a Canon 6D 50mm lens
This work came from a summer trip I took after my first year in college. I decided to camp out west and explore areas of Ireland I knew nothing about. Donegal has always interested me because it’s a more isolated region of the country. I arrived in Bundoran and really enjoyed the atmosphere. For me, the west of Ireland is one of the most beautiful and interesting places I’ve ever been. The rough terrain, the endless horizon of the Atlantic and the way the light (and weather) changes so often really makes it an intense and inspiring place. It’s a totally elemental environment that heightens your senses and tests your resolve. I feed off images all day, so I’m constantly researching and cataloguing different styles and techniques that I’d like to eventually try out. My process is quite instinctual though, I’ll start with an idea, concept or location that interests me and I’ll go right for it. I tend to have a clear idea of what I want the final product to be like, but it’s important for me to allow lots of space for that to change —that’s where I think the magic happens.
Freja Blomstrand 52
From Stockholm, Sweden Shoots with a Canon 1100D with 3 different lenses: 18-55mm lens, a fixed 50mm lens and a 70-300mm lens. Also shoots with a Canon 5D mark 4 with a 24-70mm lens
When working on a photographic project, I would say that I focus on both the concept and the visual —but in different stages of the process. In the beginning, I am definitely more about the concept, and when I have fine tuned that concept or idea, I can move on to work on the visual ‘Alone’, ‘Gangbang’, ‘Orgy’ and ‘Threesome’ [pictured on the following page from top left to bottom right] are all included in a photographic series titled ‘Fantasy’. The 4 images got accepted into HALFTONE Print Fair by Photo Ireland and were on display in November 2019 at The Library Project in Temple Bar. ‘Fantasy’ focuses on perceptions relating to female identity and sexual desire. Instead of presuming that sexual encounters must be ‘special’ or ‘romantic’ , I conducted an anonymous survey that gave women the freedom to express their fantasies and desires. The findings and results are open for interpretation and do not have to have a fixed conclusion. Through photography, I attempt to communicate an alternative to the mainstream perceptions of female identity and sexual desire. One woman may imagine pleasure in isolation while another may fantasise about being desired by multiple suitors.
STORY TIME –OnebyOne– by Rose Ugoalah
Photo by: Rose Ugoalah
Lashes upon lashes upon lashes upon lashes spare nothing spoil all tears pour down upon my lashes forty boys to a dorm separated by four-foot-high timber cubicles no bathroom on the floor those dreaded stairs I will not go down lest I be taken in the night I hold it in. The piss the pain all of it. I keep a cup nearby and empty it in the morning. Lights out say my prayers rest my head sleep with one eye open Lord shine a light on me but not the light that shines from the rooms of the priests with their doors ajar the lurid sounds from their televisions like a sirens call inviting innocents to watch the match a sour invitation I know what nefarious acts go on between the shadows and the light. Here against my will previously suspended from the Christian Brothers for fighting a fight with a boy —the heir to throne of a mini funfair. Fights all the time you had to land your best punch and hope he wouldn’t come back fights last one minute this one lasted ten the uniformed boys cheer on us Catholic gladiators blood all over the giant tennis court Mr. Murphy steps into the arena to pull us apart. Removed from familiar comforts its not what happened to me its what I witnessed. A Catholic boarding school in the early ‘90s a stream of young boys aged 11 to 17 mostly the children of farmers harvested and sent away watched over by eight priests, four teachers and a brainwashed prefect he does what he has to do to survive I don’t blame him for I was once a first year student fresh and weak preyed on by boys several years ahead the cycle spins the victims become the vicious I would have remained cloaked in innocence had it not been for this foul education the seed is a precious thing left untended and too-soon exposed to the elements its bound to perish. My memory still triggered by the stench of
urine off a kid named Eoin he’d piss himself with the fear taken to the top of the staircase to sick bay ran by the nuns who did the cooking generous portions of dread on offer sick bay adjacent to the priest’s room welcomed by a party first week was brilliant balls loped back and forth across the tennis table adjusting the dial on the Yoko transistor radio late night revelry ends with several boys escorted to sick bay long after the nuns had been discharged. Angels sigh broken boys emerge insult upon injury bullied by their peers for their perceived weakness bullied again by the teachers who’d scorn them for their lack of attention ignorant to their nighttime plights. Pins and needles and pangs always cold always hungry heavy boots on hardwood floors the priest enters the room lights switch on and off and on and off. Light from a torch scatters the room we all hide under covers “I heard you talking! —Come with me to say a few Our Fathers” away they go to sick bay. Caleb tried to escape but was brought right back. Decades later so many are still trying to get away. Petrol hash booze coke and a few pills help but I doubt anything can block out the recall of those sights, sounds and smells. Despite knowledge of my powerlessness I self-reproach for the screams can still be heard amongst the prayers amongst the play amongst the melodies of singing priests. Through the second-floor window of this black granite block beyond the beauty and beyond the pale all I can see are dead pigeons in the courtyard the walls close in inch by inch —My fingers dig into the cushion.
*This story and image appear in the short story collection “Black Bile”
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