The Submarine VOL 8 NO 1 MARCH 2013 _______________________________________________________________________________________
EDITORIAL Self-evaluation is a hot word at the moment. Everyone seems to be doing it, ourselves, as a school, included. Supermarkets have been doing it (why the long face, as the barman said to the burger) and bankers, who have been forced to agree that capping their bonuses at one year’s pay might just help them to hold onto the best people—themselves. The Library has been looking at the way it does things too. And while we know we have a top quality environment in terms of space, comfort, light, warmth and architectural merit— and the great attraction of Leslie von Negenborn silence—we feel there might be a slight under-engagement between pupils and the intellectual content of the Library. Librarians tend to get broody about this, wanting the books they’ve purchased for the Library to be read, and borrowed and to prove generally useful. But of course pupils—people—don’t operate this way. They look for a book when they need it, and sometimes they don’t need it at all, or can’t find it, or don’t know it’s what they want. Still, the librarian is haunted by the idea that good and useful and interesting books are disappearing into the anonymity of the shelves. He’s also been told by former pupils that they wished they’d made more use of the Library while they were here, a post facto consolation. So what exactly do we mean by intellectual engagement? In a nutshell we mean reading, and in this case reading non-fiction. This is not an ancient mariner-librarian harking back to the days when books were books and the internet was but a gleam in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye, but a recognition that pupils—people—anyone—still need to know how to read properly. Some do it excellently already and many do it without knowing they’re doing it, but the fact is that in university or any form of third level institution or in the world of work, the internet, or web, or ipod or laptop or whatever you might want to call it, is a provider of information, not entertainment. In these worlds you need to know how to read, whether on a screen or on a page, which means knowing how to concentrate for more than a few seconds at a time on material that is not designed to entertain you but inform you. The blessing is that information-gathering can soon become a form of entertainment in its own right. Yet an open institution cannot compel anyone to do anything (except in our case, to keep silence), and while public libraries sometimes use entertainment to draw patrons in, we already have our own clowns (relax!—only one or two), and music (coming down from the BSR, sometimes beautiful) and face painting (not a male skill). So how does a library encourage participation in its contents, and particularly its non-fiction contents? Clearly having good content pitched at the right level(s) is a first step. Another is to make connections, and this has been the main outcome of our self-evaluation (or shelf-evaluation as we librarians hilariously call it on our night out). Connections between books and pupils can be made by displaying new books, as we do, when they first come into the Library. A renewed emphasis can be put on ensuring that pupils can find books when they need them through extended induction and 1
refresher skills, and to ensure that staff can help them if the Librarian is not available. And because staff are the great proselytisers we’ll be sending them details of books in their subjects that we feel are worth highlighting and asking them to recommend them to their pupils. We’ll also be doing more on the direct staff-to-pupil connection—for example, Ms Smith was this term’s ‘recommender-in-chief’ with her excellent selection of books that influenced her which the Library put on display. We’ll also be encouraging a research ethic in the junior forms by offering Library prizes independent of the curriculum. And finally we will make connections between fiction and non-fiction. History is a subject that benefits from this most easily, with plenty of good fiction written about particular periods that help bring them alive, but Maths too (our thanks to Mr Coldrick) has a surprisingly large fiction following, as does Science, and most subjects have strong and entertaining biographies of the major personalities associated with them. TMcC, Librarian _________________________________________________________________________________
Welcome to this our first tri-lingual edition of The Submarine. For those of us monoglots, or polyglots, but not in German or Irish, Alina Stiehler and Ally Boyd Crotty have kindly provided translations of their reviews.
Bad Karma, review Alina Stiehler………...3 The Pilgrim’s Progress, review Dr Bannister……………..4 The Roar, review Kyla Jamieson…………5
Thanks also to all our contributors to this edition. Some of our reviewers and ‘creatives’ are becoming regulars and this is very much appreciated. Thanks as always to Mr Girdham for chasing up material, and particularly to Dr Bannister who just has to wave his magic wand and stuff appears, or so it seems. Kezia Wright also applied a little pressure on The Submarine’s behalf, with good results. Our thanks also to the Art Department, particularly Mr Watts and Ms Cullen, who provided photos of the wonderful work that makes this edition so colourful. We are hoping to produce an Art edition of The Submarine in the near future.
Resigned, Iyobasa Bello-Asemota………..5 Art, Self-portrait Sam Clarke……………..5 The Book Thief, review Ali Boyd Crotty....6 IV, Kezia Wright………………………….7 Irish Classrooms and British Empire, review Mr Brett……….………….8 Art, Rachel Rogers, Andrew Holt……...…9 Street light at night, Sofia McConnell…...10 Dr Sowby’s Maths Quiz…………………11 Dean Tom Salmon at 100, Dr Bannister…………………….12
And last but not least a big thank you to Ms Emily Bainton in the Warden’s office who waits patiently for copy from the flustered editor to appear and then calmly produces the requested pages in glorious technicolour.
New Books in the Library………………13 A Thousand Splendid Suns review Charlotte Cooper….……14 What’s Reading Me…………………......16
BAD KARMA BY DAVID SAFIER REVIEW – ALINA STIEHLER David Safier is a German author who writes novels about situations, which are so great as they deal with things that could happen in our everyday life, but are so crazy that they probably they won't. The topics of his books are, for example, a woman who meets Jesus and falls in love with him or a woman who suddenly finds out that she is actually Shakespeare. Although those books don't seem to be very educational, they are great fun to read.
David Safier ist ein deutscher Autor, der Romane über Situationen schreibt, die so toll geschrieben sind dass es wirkt als könnten sie wirklich in unserem Alltag passieren, was sie aber sehr wahrscheinlich nicht tun werden. Die Themen seiner Bücher sind zum Beispiel eine Frau die Jesus trifft und sich spontan in ihn verliebt oder eine Frau die plötzlich herausfindet dass sie Shakepeare ist. Das Buch das ich vorstellen möchte heißt “Mieses Karma” und ist Safiers erstes und auch berühnmtetestes Buch. Ich persöhnlich habe es durch zufälliges reingreifen ins Bücherregal meiner Mutter gefunden und da ich nichts besseres gefunden habe, habe ich das realtiv dünne Taschenbuch gelesen. Auch wenn die Bücher die David Safier schriebt nicht besonders pädagogisch wertvoll erscheinen, muss ich zugeben dass “Mieses Karma” eines der lustigsten und humorvollsten Bücher ist, dass ich jemals gelesen habe.
The book I would like to tell you about, 'Bad Karma' is the very first novel he ever wrote and also the most famous. I personally found this novel by grabbing a book randomly off my mother's bookshelf and simply started reading it and I have to say it is one of the funniest books I've ever read. It's about a woman called Kim Lange who is a TV presenter and very busy at her work, so busy that she has hardly time for her family. Because of her constant struggle to climb to ever higher positions and because she is not spending enough time with her family, she makes for herself a lot of bad karma. The reckoning follows swiftly. On the very evening when she is awarded the German Television Prize, she is hit by the debris of some Russian space-station and dies. When she is finally in the hereafter she finds herself in the same world, with the only difference that she has six legs and a really fat bump. She is an ant!
Es geht darum dass die Moderatorin Kim Lange sehr beschäftigt mit ihrer Arbeit ist und dadurch kaum Zeit mirt ihrer Familie verbringt. Aber weil sie so sehrfür ihren Job gekämpft hat und ihre Familie so vernachlässigt hat, sammelte sich im Laufe ihres Lebens jede Menge schlechtes Karma an. Die Rechnung folgt sofort: An dem Abend an dem sie den deutschen Fernsehpreis erhält, wird sie von Trümmern einer russischen Raumstation erschlagen. Doch statt im Jenseits findet sie sich in der gleichen Gegend wieder nur mit sechs Beinen und einem unglaublich dicken Po: sie war eine Ameise! Doch Kim wollte nicht ihr kurzes Ameisenleben damit verbringen Kuchenkrümel durch die Gegend zu schleppen und ihrem. Mann dabei zuzusehen sich mit einer neuen Frau zu trösten! Was macht man da? Na klar, gutes Karma besorgen und die Reinkarmationsleiter aufsteigen!
But Kim didn't really feel like carrying crumbs around and watching how her husband is being comforted by another woman. So what's to be done about it?! Of course, she will have to get some better Karma and climb up the reincarnation ladder! 3
THE PILGRIMâ€™S PROGRESS by John Bunyan (1628-1688) REVIEW â€“ DR BANNISTER Last term the Reverend Crossey alluded to The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan in one of his usual challenging and inspiring sermons. The Pilgrim's Progress is one of my favourite books from the deeper vaults of English literature, not just because of the unique beauty of its language but also because of the comprehensive and fascinating journey that the author himself undertakes on his way to salvation at his final destination - the Celestial City of God. This groundbreaking literary masterpiece undermines the whole notion of a normative brand of Christian discipleship or any exclusive path to heaven created by an institutionalised church. The Pilgrim's Progress is a medieval journey of mystery and morality and a tour de force in the classic technique of literary allegory. The author uses almost 'Jungian' archetypal characters or situations to advance his narrative and to explain its meaning. Although the characters and situations symbolize particular qualities and actions that should inform the behaviour of any medieval or, perhaps even, any modern-day Christian puritan, I feel that it is also an unambivalent representation of our human condition as we face a world whose signposts and boundaries have mostly been removed or demolished. As a pilgrim, Christian, the main protagonist of the book, is on his own personal journey to the Celestial City; a journey that will bring about both his own conversion and his eventual death. His progress towards that ultimate destination is measured by his triumphs over distractions, his perilous spiritual battles, many temptations to unbelief and at times, a general weariness. Is this not a similar journey to the one that many young people today take, as they manoeuvre their way towards the perilous steps of their Leaving Certificate examination... and perhaps beyond? On his way, Christian meets Mr Worldly Wiseman and a demonic influence called Apollyon, who, at first, appear to speak authoritatively but then turn out to be nothing more than deluded sirens attempting to waylay him in "the wilderness of the world". The puritan believer that Bunyan depicts in the book is given in terms of his relationship to four important realms of medieval society: selfhood, Scripture, church and the world. Although those realms today may have changed, their mutated descendants are still significant players in our daily lives: Ego, Morality, Faith and the mulifaceted forms of our modern-day realities - be they natural or virtual. The characters that Christian meets on his pilgrimage all relate to very universal and everpresent companions or experiences in our own lives today. Characters such as Pliant and Obstinate who make us deviate from any meaningful endeavour and who so often drag us down into "the Slough of Despond" - which we today might call 'depression'. The Dundrum Shopping Centre with all its bright shops selling trinkets, clothes and jewellery could possibly be seen as a modern-day reflection of Bunyan's "Vanity Fair" where all the vanities of the world are for sale and where there is only one crime - the failure to purchase these items. Both Christian and his companion, Faithful, are arrested for their failure to purchase. Consequently, Christian is imprisoned and Faithful - burnt to death. In modern society 'the poor' can often feel isolated by the blandishments of glittering materialism, becoming prisoners of our contemporary excessive material indulgence. The poor can also find themselves, perhaps not 'burnt to death' but burnt by debt and slipping relentlessly towards Bunyan's Doubting Castle - where in its black vaults of 'Despair' we begin to doubt ourselves, our abilities, even our value as a human being; a dark fearful place where we can so easily become persuaded to give up on our dreams altogether. But The Pilgrim's Progress is, above all, a book of Hope and Faith and it is these two very powerful human attributes that eventually bring Christian safely across the River of Death to the gates of heaven itself. It is truly an exiting read - a wonderful journey of mystery, intrigue, adventure, tremendous sorrow and unbelievable joy; a book of deep tribulations but also one with a magnificent final triumph. It is quite an extraordinary book, well worth reading more than once and it is presently to be seen at the display window of the College Library. 4
THE ROAR by EMMA CLAYTON REVIEW – NYLA JAMIESON “The Roar” is a new take on sci-fi. It is fast moving and a real pageturner. It is easy to get stuck into and once I started to read it I simply couldn’t put it down. About forty years before the start of the story, a mouse escapes from a laboratory and gives an incurable plague to all the animals on Earth. As a result all humans are forced behind a wall which surrounds only a third of the world. This ensures that they aren’t anywhere near the infected animals. Everything outside the wall is poisoned…or so they are told. The main characters are twins Mika and Ellie. The story starts way into the future when Ellie has been kidnapped and everyone believes what they have been told, that she is dead…everyone except Mika. He has some kind of telepathic connection with her. He feels happy when she feels happy, sometimes smiling for no reason just because Ellie is overjoyed. He even automatically knows some of what she knows. For example, after being kidnapped Ellie learns how to fly a Pod-Fighter, a flying vehicle of the future. As soon as Mika sits behind the controls he knows what to do. Their close connection is still intact, even though they are far apart. Their separation leads to the discovery that their world, as they know it, is built on lies. Desperate to find his kidnapped sister, Mika is soon caught up in a sinister game. He soon finds that this ‘game’ is actually a test, a test to see who to recruit for an army, an army made of children. I enjoyed this book as it has a great plot. It is very imaginative and full of suspense. It is action-packed and any dull bits are few and far between. I liked the fact that the reader is kept guessing right up to the last few chapters whether the twins would be reunited and what the big secret was. At some points the plot can be quite hard to follow as the story keeps switching between Mika’s and Ellie’s stories. Also, two of the main characters’ names sound very alike which caused me some confusion. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading action, filled with suspense and mystery. Overall I think that “The Roar” is a very enjoyable book and is well worth reading. ______________________________________________________________________________
RESIGNED by Iyobosa Bello-Asemota
Who am I? Misunderstood For in your eyes I can do no good The marionette string, I try to break But from your disapproval, there is no escape The reins were pulled in It chafed my skin I was forced to rely on strength within I lashed out in self-defence Loving you, my only offence I made mistakes as humans do But you’d never admit that you did too So this is me letting go Just thought it right to let you know When you need me To save the day Realise, you pushed me away.
Sam Clarke – Self-portrait
THE BOOK THIEF BY MARCUS ZUSAK REVIEW - ALI BOYD CROTTY Le déanaí léigh mé an leabhar ‘The Book Thief’ le Marcus Zusak. Is é an bás a insíonn scéal an leabhair. hair. Nuair a thosaigh mé ag léamh ar dtús chonacthas dom go raibh sé aisteach go leor gurbh é an bás a bhí ag insint an scéil ach de réir mar a chuaigh mé ar aghaidh sa leabhar d’éirigh sé níos suimiúla in ionad bheith aisteach.
Recently I read the book ‘The Book Thief’ by Marcus Zusak. The book is narrated by Death. On reading the book I thought that this sounded strange but it turned out to be more interesting rather than strange.
The book is set in Nazi Germany, a time where the narrator is extremely busy. It follows the life of a girl called Liesel Meminger who lives with her foster parents. During the war, the family end up hiding a Jewish man in their basement. The danger of this at first scares Liesel, but she becomes close to Max, the Jewish man, having to keep their friendship endship secret to all but her parents.
Tá an t-úrscéal seo suite sa Ghearmáin Nai Naitsíoch, tráth nuair a bhíonn an scealaí an-ghnóthach an ar fad. fad Leanann an scéal beatha girsí óige darb ainm Liesel Meminger a chónaíonn lena tuismitheoirí altrama. Titeann sé ar an teaghlach aire a thabhairt do Ghiúdach fir ina n-íoslach n faoina ina dteach i gcaitheamh an Chogaidh. Cuireann an chontúirt sin eagla ar Liesel ar dtús, ach de réir a chéile éiríonn Liesel anan mhór le Max, an Giúdach fir. Faraor, ní féidir léi an cairdeas seo a nochtadh do dhuine ar bith eile seachas dá tuismitheoirí féin. féi
Altogether I thought ‘The Book Thief’ was a very tragic novel and the storyline really caught my attention. It is quite long so it took me a while to get through it but this turned out to be a good thing because I couldn’t ouldn’t put it down. I would definitely recommend it to anybody my age or even older, especially people who like books written from an unusual perspective.
Is leabhar measartha mór é agus thug sé tamall maith fada dom lena len chríochnú ach de réir mar a tharla níorbh olc an rud é sin mar ní raibh mé ábalta an leabhar a chur síos. Mholfainn an leabhar seo do dhuine ar bith ar chomhaois liomsa nó fiú do léitheoirí léithe a bheadh níos sine ná mé, go háirithe do dhaoine aoine a mbeadh suim acu i leabhair atá scríofa ar bhealaí neamhghnácha. neamhghnách
IV by KEZIA WRIGHT The sun was raging in the cloudless sky, with no breath of wind to atone for its cruel heat. The field in which the family reclined was burnt, the grass brown and rough. Summer had devoured its lush green former-self. Great blue flies, shiny, loud and bulging hung about the food, landing their spindly legs on the honey-cured ham, tasting the moist, pink meat, they longed for its flesh. Alongside the sweet, sticky ham lay a bowl of grey salad, wilted by the sun, drenched in warm oil. Cream buns topped with melting white frosting and sweet cherries, now became warped lumps of shining sugar and a pungent smell lingered about the egg mayonnaise. Small bugs found themselves trapped within the glistening jelly trifle and they squirmed and writhed to free their putrid bodies. Around this delightful array of food, there sat a family, a son and his two parents. They were grotesque. The man, sprawled across the picnic Group work - Daisy McKeever, Kirsten Higgins, rug, breathed heavily and unevenly as sweat Michael Kennedy and Freddie de Montfort globules dripped from his pink, raw chest. This man didn't have a hair on his head and his scalp shined as the rancid cream bun did, that was clenched in his meaty fist. The mother sat slouched beside her husband, consuming a thick ham sandwich, ketchup oozing from the sides. Her thin cotton, spotted dress clung to her body in the heat and her face sweltered beneath her mop of thick, black greasy hair. The son, busy with his feast, sat contently on the far side of the rug. In one hand he held the remains of a jelly trifle, in the other a tepid bottle of Coca-Cola. The sun-cream that his mother had smeared upon his face now dripped into his eyes, stinging them and leaving salty taste of sweat in his mouth, surrounded with ketchup and meat juice. I watched them for hours, I watched them. I watched them perspiring, I watched the gleaming food melt and surrender to the sun and I smelt the odour of sweet, creamy icing, of salty meats and of rotting eggs. Yet it was neither the family nor the food that I was interested in. What I wanted was on the rug. It lay on crumpled, brown waxen paper, and like all other things was softened by the sun. A rich creamy odour lingered in the clammy afternoon air and it shined with a warm colour under the rays, like a beacon, untouched by the sweaty hands of the family. I was hungry. I hadn't eaten in days. I had watched it, now it was time to claim my prize. I started out, my heart racing, my eyes on this target. I ran faster now, my legs pacing softly but fast, very fast. The smell was becoming ever stronger, arousing my senses, leaving me longing. I now ventured onto the picnic rug. I could hear the crunch and squash as the humans devoured onion crisps and custard tarts, their voices booming as they spoke, revealing the food, halfchurned in their colossal mouths. I was almost there now, just a few paces awayâ€Ś "AAAAAaaaaaahhhhhhh!, the woman shrieked, a shrill, piercing yell that resounded in my head, deafening me. She bounced up, her dress peeling away from her moist skin as she struggled to stand up. She frantically thudded on the ground causing the earth beneath me to shake and tremble. The large man stood, eclipsing the sun, and in his fury he desperately tried to fumble a glass over me. I was nervous, scared, my tail was trapped, oh if only I could just taste it. Darkness now surrounds me, I look up to see nothing but the foot of the monster. 7.
IRISH CLASSROOMS AND BRITISH EMPIRE: Imperial contexts in the origins of modern education D.Dickson, J. Pyz and C. Shepard editors REVIEW – MR BRETT Columbans have many reasons for interest in this volume in that one of the editors, David Dickson, Associate Professor of History in TCD, is an alumnus of this College, while another, Justyna Pyz, is a member of staff. A broad range of Irish educational providers (from hedge schools to universities) falls beneath the purview of the eighteen contributors, but it is Ms Pyz’s article, “St Columba’s College: an Irish school in the age of empire,” itself a most valuable addition to Columban self-understanding, to which readers of The Submarine will inevitably turn. She has here provided a useful overview of the imperial careers of Old Columbans and a just estimate of the context out of which they emerged: “The Irish and British dimensions were interlinked and were never seen in opposition to each other.” Having carried out a great deal of original research on past issues of The Columban, Justyna Pyz has interesting aperçus on the rôle of letters to the editor from such places as Ceylon, Guyana and Burma in creating an allure to draw pupils to imperial careers. The ultimate contribution of Columban lives to the empire was paid in the disastrous conflagration which overtook European civilization in 1914. Ms Pyz has enumerated them thus: “Between 1870 and 1919 a total of 880 pupils entered the College: of these no less than 385 served in the Great War of whom 67 were killed…42 of those who died were young, having only entered the school between 1900 and 1913. This indeed was to be St Columba’s ‘lost generation’”. It does not lie within the remit of Ms Pyz’s essay to examine the motivation which led so many to enlist in the conflict to which the opposing military-industrial complexes had brought Europe’s distracted peoples. Of course traditional loyalty to the Crown was in itself compelling: magnam habet vim rei publicae disciplina. But for what did they believe they were fighting? The Southern Unionist world, battered over the previous forty years by Liberal administrations, was clearly coming to an end. Even as the century of comparative peace, which that great Irishman, Castlereagh, in 1815 bequeathed to Europe, had run its course, so the Union settlement which fifteen years earlier he had implemented for the governance of his homeland was effectively destroyed when the third reading of the Home Rule Bill passed the Commons on January 16, 1913. It had of course been long threatened and must have led to self-redefinition in Unionist thought. The words of the Warden as reported in July 1908 extolling “Union with a mighty Empire, like England’s” seem a curious diminution of the British dimension, and to offer the Columban but a cold recompense “for the uncertainty of his setting forth.” Those who peruse issues of The Columban from those years will find evidence of the increasing militarization. In July 1901 the editor mused “How it is that so many O.Cs, trained in this peaceful school…take up the profession of arms it is hard to say.” Little did he know what was to come! In July 1904 the College was congratulating itself that “boys secured on average one place a year over the past six/seven at Woolwich” military academy. In April 1903 “there is some talk about starting a ‘Rifle Corps’ here next term (for non-Cricketers)”: but it was not until July 1908 that The Columban announced the opening of the Rifle Range. The July 1908 issue also carried the Warden’s ominous words that it was “well that each boy should prepare himself for what might happen in the future”. Then in July 1911 we learn that there had been an effort to ascertain the feelings of parents about the setting up of an OTC (Officer Training Corps): the response was said to be “not so far encouraging”. Interestingly, despite this, The Columban of April 1912 reports the formation of an OTC and the foundation of an Armoury as well as lauding the attractions of the Aldershot camp which Columbans attended. April 1913: “soon it will be the exception not to belong to the Corps; which is as it should be”. One wonders if a new type of less self-confident Columban found himself more exposed to this hectoring tone. The April 1907 issue is suggestive of an awareness of a new 8
“type” of boy now that the College could no longer rely for its enrolment on the landed interest: but that is a subject which needs further investigation. According to The Columban of July 1914 an Army Class had been established and there had been an increase in numbers. Militarization may have brought this success but G.K.White opined that the larger numbers in the following years were the result of parental fears about sending boys into England due to the submarine menace. Ms Pyz’s essay also provides a masterly summary of Columban history. Only on one point would I beg to differ: “Sewell was an active member of the Oxford Movement.” Sewell was too much an Oxford man to be an Oxford Movement man and his highchurchmanship was much more deeply rooted. As in the parable of the Sower he observed their luxuriant growth: he remained untempted. What the Oxford Movement brought to Sewell were wealthy backers such as Adare but the alliance was temporary. Assuming Sewell to be part of the Movement misses the subtlety of that chain of events which brought the College into existence and created its abiding character. Before coming to Stackallan, Sewell had signalled his independence from the Movement and given vent to his abhorrence of Tract 90. When he returned to England to found Radley he had to overcome the suspicions arising from what S.A. Skinner in his D.N.B. entry calls “his albeit ephemeral association with Tractarianism.” As Auden tells us, “The words of a dead man Are modified in the guts of the living.” Sewell would not have understood the terms “Catholic” and “Protestant” as they are distressingly employed throughout this volume. There are many essays here that will repay careful study. I especially enjoyed David Dickson’s scholarly exposition in “1857 and 1908: two moments in the transformation of Irish Universities.” Ciaran O’Neill has written revealingly of the education and imperial careers of Ireland’s Roman Catholic elite. In particular those who sought their education at the great English Roman Catholic schools have until now been largely ignored by Irish history. Truly our modern historians are providing us with a more nuanced account of the past than the republican teleology that was so long dominant. __________________________________________________________________________________
A STREET LIGHT AT NIGHT by SOFIA MCCONNELL Twinkle. All through the night I twinkle and sparkle, shining down on the cold, wet, grey tarmac. The night is when I come to life. When we come to life. The sorrowful streetlights that give light to the dark city’s night. But we go on, unnoticed.. No thanks to us for lighting your way home. Alone. We are all alone. During the day we watch, hidden, as people live their lives, families laughing, young couples kissing. Buskers singing and street performers, performing, and yet we play no part in it. Young girls twirl around us as they laugh and shout. For a brief moment we feel their happiness and love run through us, but then they let go, leaving behind a sorry emptiness that cannot be filled. Late at night we stand, shining on the street, solid and steady, reliable and always ready. Drunkards pass beneath us, shouting and singing. They have found a way to block out the misery. They stumble, fall and break down, wailing out their sorrows. There’s no hiding from it: youths on a night out going home, laughing la and full of love. Christmas is the only time when we are noticed. No surprise for we are truly beautiful. The entire street is. Sparkling lights hanging overhead, twisted round us, over shop doors, everywhere. For a brief month we are loved, admired, admired, but then the lights go and we are forgotten again for one more year. The rain comes and the people flee. The street stands empty and we surround it, equally alone. As the night rolls in the street is quiet. Tonight will be a calm one. Fewer people leaving the restaurants making a racket, fewer teenagers running around in skimpy clothes. Even the sorry drunkards are quiet tonight. We stand alone. The sun rises, slowly, and the world comes to life again. People go to work in business suits and ties, clippety-cloppety cloppety heels, coffee in hands, bakeries and cafés wake up, shops open, buskers and beggars start busking and begging. They have all left and returned but the street has stayed the same. The streetlights go out and the street life goes on. Kaila Korschen OC 10.
DR DAVID SOWBY MATHS QUIZ ____________________ Dr David Sowby has very kindly offered a prize of €25 for the first correct answers to these two puzzles. All answers should be placed in the sealed box on the Supervisor’s Desk in the Library. The quiz will be open for the first week of next term. Remember to put your name on your answer sheet. 1.The vicar and the curate The vicar and the curate were chatting outside the church. Suddenly, the vicar said to the curate, “That’s interesting. Do you see those three people approaching? The sum of their ages is exactly twice yours and the product of their ages is 2450. Can you tell me how old they all are?” The curate, who was a clever chap, thought for a minute or two and then said: “You haven’t given me enough information.” “Right,” replied the vicar, “then I’ll give you one more piece of information, and this will be sufficient: I am older than any of them.” “Oh, I see,” said the curate. “In that case their ages are X, Y and Z.” What are the ages of each of the five persons? 2. Black or white?
A manager wished to make an appointment to an important position. He narrowed the field of candidates to three clever individuals but couldn’t decide which of them to appoint. So he decided to submit them to a test. He had them all into his office and told them the following: “In my right hand here I have three black discs, and in my left there are three white ones.” He showed them the discs. “I’m going to blindfold all of you, and then I’m going to stick either a black or a white disc on each of your foreheads. When I tell you to, remove your own blindfold, look around; if you see a white disc, put up your hand. The first one to tell me the colour of the disc on his or her own head gets the job.” He blindfolded them all and stuck a white disc on each of their heads. He hid the black discs in his pocket. On his command they took off the blindfolds, looked around and, of course, each of them put up a hand. After a short pause one of the candidates said: “I see – I must have a white disc.” How did the candidate work that out? 11.
DEAN TOM SALMON AT 100
Ms Linda Evans (in pink) and Ms Linda Dunne (in blue) with Dean Tom Salmon as he celebrates his 100th birthday at Brabazon House, Dublin on 5th February 2013.
One of the most distinguished scholars and teachers of the Church of Ireland, Thomas Noel Desmond Cornwall Salmon, celebrated his 100th birthday on the 5th of February this year. An incredibly gifted man who, as a teacher, had the remarkable ability to make what seemed extraordinarily complicated plain, simple and clear. I first, as a student, met the Dean in the early 1970's where he was teaching Hebrew with Professor Weingreen's greatly celebrated textbook: A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew which would have been an almost impossible undertaking for most ordinary mortals like myself, without the immaculately hand-written notes which he, the Dean had produced. In later years, I put together a printed version of these notes but the Dean felt that Professor Weingreen had indicated in comments earlier to him that he would not have approved of any keys or commentaries to his textbook and so ultimately, the Dean decided not to publish his very helpful explanatory notes. I do hope, however, that these valuable manuscripts will be carefully preserved and may, at some later date, be made accessible to future generations studying Biblical Hebrew. If there was one word to describe Dean Tom Salmon, it would be 'gentleness'. I have never met anyone who ever heard the Dean ever becoming angry, losing his temper or being unkind to others. An incident which occurred in Trinity College exemplifies this gentle caring nature that is so innate in the man. The Dean stayed late one evening to write up a very long and detailed passage in Hebrew on the blackboard for an early morning seminar he had the following day. He wrote at the top of the board in his usual magnificently clear handwriting: please do not remove! However, when the Dean arrived the following day for his first seminar, he found the cleaning lady in a dreadfully distraught state as she had not noticed his request not to clean the board until it was too late. However, the Dean just smiled broadly and placed his hands gently around hers saying in his usual soft kindly voice words to the effect: "I am the one who is indebted to you, dear lady, for keeping the room always so clean and tidy for me. Please do not fret! It is of no importance whatsoever." This incident, I think exemplifies the man we all knew, know and love so dearly. Dean Salmon taught Ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew here at St Columba's College during the eighties and early nineties. He had many keen students, amongst whom were members of staff, such as: Mr Brett, Miss Maybury, Ms. Elston (then College secretary) and myself. A small number senior pupils during this time studied Classical Greek guided by his immense scholarship and everpatient tutorship; many of these pupils achieved excellent grades in their leaving Certificate. Today the Dean is being well cared for at Brabazon House Dublin, a spotlessly clean and well-run Church of Ireland nursing home for the elderly. His niece, Mrs Iris Sherwood (mother of Mr David Sherwood) cares for him with the same wonderful compassion that the Dean has consistently shown to others all his life. Garry Bannister February 15th 2013 12
NEW BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY These are some of the books we added to our shelves this term. JUNIOR FICTION Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter Crossed by Ally Condie Duty Calls: Battle of Britain by James Holland The Fear by Charlie Higson One Shot Kill: Henderson’s Boys 6 by Robert Muchamore Starclimber by Ken Oppel SENIOR FICTION The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach The Bat by Jo Nesbo Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling HHhH by Laurent Binet The Lighthouse by Alison Moore Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss The Paris Wife by Paula McLain Penpal by Dathan Auerbach Post Office by Charles Bukowski Tell No One by Harlan Coben Traitor (John Shakespeare 4) by Rory Clements The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers NON-FICTION SCIENCE 50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know by Joanne Baker Bad Pharma: how drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients by Ben Goldacre The Naturalized Animals of Britain and Ireland by Christopher Lever Treasures of the Natural History Museum by Vicky Paterson
HISTORY Abandoned Mansions of Ireland by Tarquin Blake The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler by Laurence Rees Enigma: the battle for the code by Simon Sebag-Montefiore Hitler Youth by Michael H. Kater Irish Country Houses: a chronicle of change by David Hicks Iron Curtain: the crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum Not Me: memoirs of a German childhood by Joachim Fest Restless Empire: China and the world since 1750 by Odd Arne Westad A Train in winter: a story of resistance, friendship and survival in Auschwitz by Caroline Moorehead ART A Grand Design: the Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum by Malcolm Baker and Brenda Richardson (editors) Hollywood Costume by Deborah Landis Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King Treasures of the British Museum by Marjorie Caygill
SPORT John Daly: my life in and out of the rough by John Daly and Glen Waggoner An Open Book: my biography by Darren Clarke and Martin Hardy The Real McCaw: Richie McCaw, the autobiography by Richie McCaw and Greg McGee Seve: the official biography by Seve Ballesteros and Peter Bush (translator) Seven Deadly Sins: my pursuit of Lance Armstrong by David Walsh Unplayable: an inside account of Tiger’s most tumultuous season by Robert Lusetich
DONORS As always, the Library is extremely grateful to those who have donated books to us. Donated books give the Library’s resources a greater scope and colour than they might otherwise have. Dr G Bannister, Mr J R Brett, Mr R Swift, Mrs M Haslett, Mr P McCarthy, Dr M Singleton, The Drama Department, The London Tour 2013, Ms Susan Parkes on behalf of her late brother Wilfred Duncan Parkes (OC), David Neligan (OC). 13.
A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini REVIEW – CHARLOTTE COOPER ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’, by Khaled Hosseini is set in Afghanistan from the 1960s to the 2000s. It’s about two women, Mariam and Laila, who get stuck in a marriage to Rasheed, a harsh Afghani, and it tells the story of their escape. In a way it is biographical, because Hosseini is writing about the mood and general atmosphere of Afghanistan when he lived there, but it is not about any people in particular that he knew. The fact that he is from Afghanistan is good though, because when you are reading the book you can really tell that he knows what he is talking about and has experience of living in this culture. The themes of the book are War, Love, Friendship and Violence. The book covers everything. But at the same time, as well as the harsh scenes, there are beautiful scenes in the book too, with phenomenal descriptions. As well as the violence in the private home of Rasheed, the book describes the violence of the enforcement of the Taliban in vivid and moving detail. It is not only a book for leisure reading but also for learning because (and maybe this is just me) I didn’t know anything about Afghanistan and the Taliban before I read it. After reading it though, and his first novel, ‘The Kite Runner’, I definitely want to visit Afghanistan one day. He does not describe Afghanistan as a scary place full of violence, as most Europeans would think, but draws our attention to the lovely culture and religious views of the people who live there. In the book he has created the characters very well. Each character is entirely different. Even Laila’s children are so unique. For example: Laila has blonde hair, but is Afghan. Hosseini planned the book cleverly, because he starts writing about the two girls' individual lives but then they conjoin and end up living in the same house, which is a very different approach to most authors. This made me interested because I was very curious about what was going to happen. Also, he had hidden secrets in the book which are revealed later on. This is a very clever touch and is deeply interconnected with the developing plot. The beginning of the book has an ‘idyllic’ mood as if everything is perfect and nothing could ever go wrong. This actually makes it very unpredictable because so much can go wrong no matter how good things seem to be. The middle of the book seems long but it all joins up in the end when the secrets are revealed, and is anything but slow. In this section, there is a contrast between happiness for Laila, and sorrow for Mariam, so you are never stuck with one theme. These unresolved tensions throughout make the book a lot more tolerable in the long sections and entertaining to read. It is not a book with a happy ending though—it is not a ‘Cinderella story‘. To be honest, my least favourite part of the book is the end, because it dragged a bit, but it is still good. We are taught about sacrifice and about having confidence in ourselves and knowing what we are capable of when we are desperate. I think the moral of the story is that nothing in life is predictable, everything could be perfect in your life, but do not take it for granted. Or else, you might be in for a few unpleasant surprises. Whatever happens, it may be best to just wait it out. The book proves both of those points with Laila, though not so much with Mariam. I would definitely recommend ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’. It is exciting, moving and informative as well as having a really clever plot. I normally get bored reading ‘big’ books but this one was well worth it. 14
WHAT’S READING ME continued ELIZA WILLISCH - Before I die by Jenny Downham - I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it always. It is about a sixteen year old girl who has cancer and knows that she will die soon. But before she dies she wants to do everything on her list and live her life until the end. RACHEL SULLIVAN adds, It was a really good book. It’s about a girl who finds out she has cancer, and makes a list. I’d say you would like it ROWLAND FITZGERALD BARRON - The Road by Cormac McCarthy - A very gripping book, unique writing style. Better than the film. RICHARD GAO - War Horse by Michael Morpurgo - It was very sad and emotional. It shows the horror of war and the hardships. HECTOR WRIGHT - Alone on a wide, wide sea by Michael Morpurgo It’s a very touching book about a boy who is an orphan and then he goes to war and has a child and then he dies of a brain tumour. JAMIE UKAGBA - Beast Quest - I love the book because it has lots of adventure and action and can be funny sometimes. SEBASTIAN FITZGIBBON – Cherub: The Recruit by Robert Muchamore - I thought this book was excellent. It’s about a secret organization who hire kids to be spies because MI5 agents can’t do things kids can. FELIX ALYN MORGAN - The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - This is my favourite book and it has a lot of imagination and adventure. The hobbit goes on an adventure with twelve dwarves and a wizard to the Misty Mountains to claim back their gold from a dragon called Smaug. ALEXANDER LAWRENCE – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling - I really like the Harry Potter books because they are filled with imagination and adventure. I haven’t read them till now because I listened to them as audiobooks. I am really enjoying reading them so far and would recommend them to anyone interested in fantasy or adventure. IVAN MOFFITT - The 100-Year-Old Man who Cimbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson - I thought it was quite weird at first. But then I started to enjoy it and then I got addicted. It is quite humorous and also quite violent. HOPE ZOE OKIKI - Zom-B by Darren Shan - I thought that it would be very scary but it was quite interesting. But gruesome. SORCHA MCcOOEY - Born to Run by Michael Morpurgo - I loved this book and think anyone who likes animals should read it.
WHAT’S READING ME ELEANOR MOFFITT - The Life of Pi by Yann Martel - It has a very religious theme at the start which is very tedious but I hope it will improve and develop into more of a story. Having said that, it has a very different view where the child is practising four religions. JOSIE POLLOCK says, It’s an amazing book. It’s about an Indian boy whose father owns a zoo. Then they have to move and go on a ship with all the animals. The boy, Pi, gets shipwrecked and is left with a tiger on a small boat. MARK CRAMPTON - The Help by Kathryn Stockett - I thought it was an eye-opener of a book. It really displays the harsh segregation in southern USA with opinions of the black maids themselves. It was very interesting to see Miss Skeeter, the white lady, help to change things. It was also very funny and enjoyable to read. KATE BEWLEY agrees – It’s a great book, it’s about the difference between black and white people. I really liked it and would tell anybody to read it. JAE SUNG KIM - Warriors series by Erin Hunter - I thought when I saw the book that it was a good book because I’d read one of that kind of book before, but it wasn’t the same. I was right though, it was good. In the first book the cats used magic and fight like that, but in this book they just fight like real life. I think both books are good. NEVIN McCONE particularly liked Warriors: Rising Storm – I thought this book was really interesting. The tension was unreal. I felt like I was in the book. The author made the world really realistic. It left the end of the book with a cliff-hanger which made it really good. TESSA HARLEY - Mockingjay: Hunger Games 3 by Suzanne Collins - It was good but a bit of a disappointment because the first two books were so amazing. Still good though, just not as good as I thought it would be. SASHA COLE agrees: I thought this trilogy was really action-packed, there was always something going on. I didn’t like the last book as much as the first two. KITTY MORRIS liked The Hunger Games, the first in the series – I thought it was very interesting and well-written, she says. ODRAN LAWLESS-QUINN - Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain Great book to read! It’s all about adventure, all through it Tom and his friends are on adventures. I would recommend this book to anyone from eight to 100.
DARCY MAULE - L. A. CANDY by Lauren Conrad - It wasn’t good because the characters were unrealistic and annoying. It’s about two girls who move to Los Angeles and star on a reality TV show. I randomly picked it up while bored recently and I never read the back of the book – usually I go for a book with a little more depth. PAULA MORA REAL - Doña Inés by Azorín - I read this in Spanish, it is a classic of Spanish literature. When I chose it I thought it would be very boring, the ‘typical’ love story of the past. But I started to read it and it became really interesting. MARK RUSSELL - The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - It was kind of wacky but made me want to keep reading. I really enjoyed it. ...continued inside back page
March 2013 edition