‘School Days’

 Well unfortunately I’m not singing the Limerick hurler’s praises after the weekend which I thought I would be! There was huge support from the County and beyond, all ready to “share in the glory” as was expected – but it was not to be on this occasion – we live in hope for yet another year, enough said on the matter!

We it’s that time of year again when it’s “back to school” talk and thoughts and how things have changed over the years. Today was an all important day for those who were awaiting college places through the CAO, points for most courses were similar to last year – however it’s so difficult for students who may be short just a couple of points for a desired course. One wonders would we be better off to take the American approach where you can be anything you want – it may take you years for example to become a doctor but you can do it at “your own pace” and take so many modules over the years – the same applies to nursing, engineering, indeed every walk of life!

Incidentally I was tidying drawers the other day when I came across my mother’s notes from her days in the “Domestic Economy” school in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. I figure out she had written them about the year 1945/1946 (the year of the bad snow she told us about when they had little to eat!) and I often heard her talk about her teacher Miss Mulhern, and how strict she was. In the school they learned everything to do with poultry, cattle, milk, cheese and all to do with farming and the economics of food etc. To quote the first line in her notes “Cows milk is the food designed by nature for the feeding of the young calf. It is a white liquid with a sweetish palatable taste. It is considered the nearest to perfect food”. I wonder what students in 2013 would think of this type of lecture? This was a poem I found that she made up….

“The days are so short and the nights so long

Thinking of Christmas and holidays coming on

So we sit in the workroom at study you see

Planning the day when we will be “Set Free”

I will never forget that day in November

When Mulhern was in a tare and showed up her temper

She called on the 2nd years and oh what a dose

She opened their bags and examined their clothes.

The first was Mary Agnes whom we thought was the best

But Mulhern was not pleased, she found fault with the rest

Her print and her overall were ironed so grand

That Mull “beat her away with the back of her hand”

Gretta came next with her clothes in a bag

Her print and her overall tied up like a rag

Mull chases her away and giving her a thump

Saying get out of my sight you lazy lump.

What changes in school life – There is no “thumping” now and if there was there would be a law case