My Year at Ard Scoil na nDéise
by Tamara Ohly
|2014 - European visiting students Anna Sojcic, Martha Burkhardt, Tamara Ohly, Carly Fenudi and Anna Belen Mareno who have just completed Fifth Year at Ard Scoil na nDéise and were presented with their certificates by Principal Mrs Dorothy Hughes and Year Head Mrs Norma O’Driscoll.
I still remember my first day in Ard Scoil na nDeise, last year in August. For the first time in my life I got to wear a school uniform and to be honest, I found it very uncomfortable. It took me a few days to get used to it, but in the end, it is very handy indeed! When school started we all gathered in the hall to be assigned to our courses and then went off to our classrooms. The girls were all so nice and took me and the other exchange students to lunch, even though they were very busy with their new courses themselves.
At the beginning, school was very hard because I had difficulties understanding the teachers, and I got so terribly tired from listening and speaking English all day long. Some of the classes were challenging, but luckily the teachers were all very understanding and I think I actually mastered it all quite well. There are many little differences between German and Irish schools: The biggest is, of course, that I have never been in an all-girls school before. I was actually very surprised how few fights there are when girls spent the whole day together. However, I still prefer attending a mixed school; probably I have just spent too much of my life learning with boys.
I feel my English skills have improved so much through listening and talking to my Irish friends. Besides impressive English words I learned in school, I have also picked up the classic Irish phrases. Quite often when I come home from school my host father asks me, “How’s she cuttin’?”
There were so many events all throughout the year: Pink day, where we all wore pink clothes for Breast-Cancer fundraising; or the day when we went ice-skating, where my whole year went off to Waterford by bus to go ice-skating, shopping and having hot chocolate together. It was so great to get closer with the girls.
In November we had a “Cinderella” Pantomime in school. I didn’t take part in it, but I went to watch the show and it was just great! It was so creative and funny to watch, so that later I really regretted not having taken part!
A very good day was our trip to the All Ireland Ploughing Match with the Transition-Year students. It was not as muddy as we had been warned, but we had a great time walking through the huge exhibition full of food, cow, tractors and other farming related items.
There are now only two weeks left before I fly back to Germany. At the moment I am very busy studying for the summer exams. I will be sad to leave my home here in Ireland, where so many of my friends live, and of course, my second family. However, I am sure I will come back soon, even though I will hardly wear my blue uniform again.