Michaelmas Term 2021
Note from the previous editors: From this edition onwards, we are delighted to hand over the Submarine to a new and very bright trio of editors. We know that the school magazine is now in the hands of three very capable people and we also hope they find editing the magazine as an enjoyable experience as we did. Avi and Edna Johnston
Felicitas Boecking Form V
Book Review: All our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue Elena O’Dowd (Form V) reviews the novel chosen for this term’s SCC Book Club. This story follows the bold 16-year-old Maeve, a teen who never fully felt she fit in with her family or with the girls at school. Desperate to climb the social ladder, she ditches her one true friend in favor of popularity, and when she finds a deck of tarot cards in the school basement, Maeve starts a fortune telling business to further this goal. When this ex-best friend, Lily, draws an unsettling card from the deck and disappears, Maee ventures to get her back with the help of her newfound mystical gift. Along the way, she comes to terms with the horrible way she treated Lily, and with the help of her new friends Fiona and Roe, she works to solve the mystery of Lily’s disappearance and to confront the evil that seems to lurk over the city. Maeve is a bold and hilarious protagonist, making the story that extra bit more amusing to read. There is an array of interesting and complex characters who tackle a multitude of issues, including homophobia and the hardships a person of colour experiences. Maeve’s love interest, Roe, is seen struggling with his sexual and gender identity throughout the story, and Fiona, a biracial girl from Ireland and the Philippines, has to deal with stereotyping and family expectations.. This book is chock-full of wonderful representation, bringing justice to the real struggles in our world to those who experience them. The novel is set in a Irish town where the recent civil rights developments have gained a foothold. However, a sinister organisation of young people with a homophobic leader presents an underlying threat. There is also detailed and interesting Irish folklore woven into the story, as well as a paranormal antagonist, known as the Housekeeper. This is a superb young adult fantasy fiction novel with a fantastic cast of characters and an absorbing plot line that's impossible to predict.
First Form Rugby A report on the season so far, by Ethan Robertson. The sport for first form in St. Columba’s has been great this year. From entertaining hockey sessions in the sun, to rugby in the lashing rain, I think all of us have enjoyed sport to a new extent, with the help of the great coaches and facilities. In rugby especially, the boys team has improved massively, giving us a relatively strong team with which to play our matches. We have recently won against De La Salle and Newpark, in a full pitch blitz on the 1st of December. While both matches were very close, we managed to win both games, with David Cron scoring three amazing tries in each game, as well as converting them perfectly nearly every time We had played De La Salle before, for the first match of the year, which we also won. For a week or two, we were training especially hard, in preparation to play Headfort school. We ended up beating them quite easily, scoring lots of great tries. We played Sandford Park a week later, in a good game which we unfortunately lost, though we still worked hard and played well. The week after that, we were on our way to play Headfort away. The line-up for this game was as follows:
1-Zach Kelly 2-Samuel Germaine 3-Jack Francis McKeon 4-Ferdia Murray 5-Bjarne Laudon 6-Gonzalo Gutierrez
9- Ethan Robertson 10-David Cron 11-Daniel Moran 12-Patrick Butler 13-Gilby Monaghan 14-Thomas Finn
This was our starting team for the game, but we were also helped by some people subbing in. The final score was 31-17 to us. This time around Headfort were much stronger, and they played well, only we won the game. Headfort gave us all bags of sweets and drinks for all long journey back, which we all appreciated. In a typical training session, we will arrive at the pitch and start with either a warm-up, or passing drills. We usually do 10 minutes of this before starting side-on tackling in groups of around 8. We do 5 minutes on each shoulder, before doing passive front-on tackling, which is when you wrap your arms around someone’s legs, and use their own momentum against them. We then do offensive front-on tackling, which is the most commonly known tackle, where you smash the ball carrier backwards.
After this we will do a similar drill, but we will incorporate rucking. The ball carrier will go into contact and go to ground, then his teammate will clear people out of the ruck, while someone else secures, letting the scrumhalf take the ball into contact or pass it on. Sometimes we take out the tackling pads and use them instead for a similar drill. After all this is done, us and the second and third years get into teams of about 15, to play a full pitch game. Us first formers always win this match, even when there are only 9 first years, against 15 second and third years, we still manage to win the game. These matches are the highlight of the session and are great practice for real matches against other schools. Next week we are playing our last match before Christmas against Clongowes, and we hope to end our first term on a high note.
Helma Worringen, Form V
If dark could die Nightshade bloomed around her Like the blood bloomed on her chest For she had not seen him coming, Hadn’t felt the shiver of his breath Lost amongst the shadows she had lost her sense of time Undisturbed in her eternal slumber By this arrow of the night And though his knife stood poised and ready, Glinting at her throat Still she snored and snuffled, Unaware of this new ghost He stood there for a second, As if waiting for some godly sign Before he butchered this poor maiden And stole her yet undying life Finally he plunged it in and skewered her false heart Little did he realise, he’d just tried to kill the dark. Marianne Lee, Form I
Paul Schilling Form V
The Calliope It's still there. It's in the mirror now. I've tried breaking the mirrors. That's what? 7 years of bad luck? I don't know. I don't know. There's glass on the floor. I didn't mean to, you didn’t mean too. It's still there. A single eye looking at me. I need to get rid of it. How? What does someone do in this situation? What did you do in this situation? Open your eyes. Brush off your hands. The dance is over. The Calliope has stopped. You're just singing the tune in your head. It's just in your head. Wake up. Look in the mirror. Stare close until your eyes become one. One eye, always staring. Make a choice. Do you dance anymore? We can keep doing the steps if you want. But you need to know that you're singing off tune to a circus that is no longer there. Do you dance? Do you open your eye? Do you look at your palms and dirty fingers? Choose. Delia Brady, Form II
Victorian London The beating heart of an empire resided in that city: the centre of influence for countless countries. That power radiated from the main buildings like a pulse of some giant wrist. There, the wealthy did as they pleased and flaunted their wealth like a giant banner, the poor died in doorsteps or slaved away at the great machines that kept the empire ticking like clockwork. Anger one of these machines and your life or limbs would be ripped from you like a small child playing god with ants. Magical contraptions of clockwork ticked and tocked in the great clock Big Ben. It was an era of scientific discovery, but treading into the science of reanimation was dissuaded by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Her husband Percy Shelley also produced many masterpieces as well as their friend and companion Lord Byron. Bram Stoker's bloody masterpiece would also be of this time - a creative cornucopia. Charles Dickens’s fog drifted about “up the river down the river and in the eyes and throats”. The author was of course describing Victorian London’s infamous smog which burned with the foul breath of a thousand churning machines and oozed a pale ethereal yellow. The dark underbelly of the city heaved with pickpockets and ne’er-do-wells. The Oliver twists of London. The cockney speaking sly fingered youths that slipped their hands into the gentry’s pockets as quickly and as slippery as a hungry eel. On the docks, were the dock hands swearing as a particularly heavy package crushed one of their toes and the ships of explorers returned from distant lands with strange and mysterious cargo from the depths of Africa to the plains of America. Each find to be displayed in the museums and zoos for the entertainment of the public. On the roosts and eaves you would hear the deep coughs of the chimney sweeps clearing a round of soot-stained phlegm from their throats. And last but certainly not least, the red coats and tall hats of the guards at the gates of Buckingham palace where Queen Victoria, ruler of Britain and Ireland Empress of India resides in her black mourning garb.
James Breatnach, Form 1
Alice Letort Form VI
Calvin She Form IV
Grades Grades mean nothing to me. If you told me that the objective of my education were the grades I'd get at the end of the year, if you told me that all this learning is so that I can complete eight two-hour exams next year to receive some list of grades, well I think I would pack up and leave and give up on school altogether. The idea that all the effort and time I put into schooling is so that I can get a list of percentages scares me. An educational system based solely on grades is frightening. I still need to find a way to make peace with the system I was born into. Find a way around it, above it, under it, any way to not feel the unsettling fear it provokes in me. Grades are cold and cruel. Perhaps the true meaning of school has been lost. I myself don't know what school means, but I'm reminded that schools, academies and universities existed centuries before grades did. The first grading system is thought to have been invented in 1785 by a president of Yale College called Ezra Stiles. After examining 58 senior pupils he recorded in his diary that there were "twenty Optimi, sixteen Second Optimi, twelve Inferiores, ten Pejores". Yale later converted these latin adjectives into numbers on a 4 point scale which is thought to be the origin of the modern American GPA scale. And yet the first universities were founded long before that. The University of Bologna, (which my sister attended) was founded in 1088. Oxford University was established in 1200. For more than 600 years, students were taught without the use of grades.
Grades aren't certain. They are based on a measly 2 hour performance. To stake my academic performance on grades would be to establish it on nothing at all. They can be a pleasant and at times fulfilling accompaniment to learning, a testament to understanding. But they cannot satisfy me. They are empty numbers. Art, books and poetry can uplift me. Love satisfies. Running with the wind in my hair exhilarates me. Even solving a good maths problem in prep can be fulfilling. Grades, never. They are cold empty fractions which never bring anything good. We judge each other by them. So many of us have risked enormous consequences and have cheated if only to escape the shame of a lower number. We fear these numbers so much that we would rather risk the embarrassment of being caught by a teacher in a room of 60 people with notes in our jacket than to have to face a low grade. I cannot fight the system of grades, and quite honestly, I can't think of a better alternative. If this is the system I was born into, well then I have no choice but to bow down to it. But somehow, I maintain my freedom in my general contempt for grades. I eclipse them when I can and choose to see the culture, beauty and utility in what we do. Alexia Fantacci, Form V
Antonia Ladanyi, Form V
Raising Awareness Every day people are faced with serious disorders in response to their weight, appearance, and body image. Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia, BED and COE are some (out of many) bodily mental disorders nearly everyone has heard of, and more than likely has known someone who has been directly affected by. A common trend among these individuals is a mild or severe misconception of what they really look like. In essence, when they look in the mirror they see something no one else sees. What they are seeing becomes real to them. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is one of the most commonly misunderstood mental health disorders, and that's what makes having it so isolating. Many times it is swept under the rug, forgotten about and not treated as a “real” mental illness. Body dysmorphia isn't merely a phase that emerges in the insecure years of puberty. It's a lifelong disorder that can have very real consequences. Picture your worst fear or the most shameful experience you've ever had becoming associated with an area of your body,then magnify this image many times over. Within the construct of body dysmorphic disorder, a body part takes on an identity of its own. This specific body area (or part) becomes profoundly associated with the individual's sense of self. Rather than seeing many different body parts that together shape their outward appearance, their despised physical feature becomes the focal point of their existence. It can easily become the singular element within the person's life and a gauge that determines the entirety of the individual's self-worth. BDD can develop within any age group at any given time. However, the most common age group that develops (or experiences) BDD is adolescents and teens. Two-thirds of people with BDD experience an onset of the disorder before the age of 18. Around 1 in 50 people have been affected by a form of BDD (both men and women). Sadly, this has (in recent years) become less of a surprise. Many factors of an individual's life can affect their BDD and can also vary for each person (as not every individual who experiences or has BDD will have the same form of the disorder, it can also be mild or more aggressive). Some of the factors that affect or help to worsen a person's BDD are bullying, social media, the environment an individual is in, biological and psychological factors as well as many other components.
Many teenagers/adolescents can set unrealistic standards for themselves based on how they think others see them and how they see themselves. Individuals who suffer from any form of BDD may feel uncomfortable or out of touch in social situations. This is because BDD and Anxiety disorders are very closely linked together. Anxiety disorders (such as phobias and social anxiety) can be triggered by BDD, particularly because of the many fears and worries pertaining to body image that are associated with this mental illness. Many times in social situations, people can unknowingly say harmful things (even though they may have been unintentional, which can further affect the person's BDD). For an example, big social situations (such as parties) can place a lot of stress and anxiety on an individual by deciding what to wear and the anxiety of having to eat in front of others or not eating enough or eating too much (BED). It is very important that we are all aware of the symptoms and causes of BDD as well as BED (Binge Eating Disorder) so that we can help support individuals with what they are going through. It is also very important to remember that if you have any form of BDD or BED that you are not alone, and there is always help. Isabella Treacy, Form IV Further information is available from: National Eating Disorders Association Helpline: 1-800-931-2237. BDDF (Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation) https://bddfoundation.org/about/contact/
Elle Bevan Form V
A Note from the editors: We hope you enjoyed this edition, first of hopefully many to come. We are glad to have a more normal term than the last few years. After having such a disruptive few years, thank you to those who contributed to this edition of The Submarine. Thank you to Mr Jameson for his continued support and guidance. Thank you again to the Art Department for their help. The pieces published in this edition cover a wide range of areas, and are a real representation of the student body. We look forward to continue publishing your work in future editions and we hope everyone has a good break.
Isabella Treacy, Elizabeth Hart and Phoebe Landseer