Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A brief Autobiography: How Irish dancing went from being a hobby into a passion into an obsession. Part 11: Continuation of Bullying in St. Pats from the end of 3rd year and with my crazy GCSE class (11-2), being forced to go to counselling and the start of my Tanorexia.

A brief Autobiography: How Irish dancing went from being a hobby into a passion into an obsession.

Part 11: Continuation of Bullying in St. Pats from the end of 3rd year and with my crazy GCSE class (11-2), being forced to go to counselling and the start of my Tanorexia.

Bullying in my Junior school class was awful and some of the girls and boys were not impressed that I had a girlfriend before most of them or anything like that. One day when I texting Suzanne waiting in line to go into class, Emma took my phone off me and then attempted to send nasty messages off it. She was an Irish dancer from An Comhdhail and she hated festival said it was “ a load of crap”, making fun of my "kick out to the side" in my King of the fairies. I snatched the phone back off her and it all kicked off we were screaming at each other for a good hour throughout our English class.

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Your tutor class changes after junior school depending on your GCSE subjects, and for the compulsory subjects, you are taught together with them. I knew that I didn’t want to be a doctor or anything like that so I choose single-award science and did what I thought would be “fun” subjects like Home Economics and Drama. Most of that class did geeky subjects.

The new class was mental,  it was quite a fun class to be in, but the teachers had a hard time controlling us. It was a bit of shock compared to 8-1, but at least they didn’t shout at me when I didn’t do my homework - nobody did their homework in that class. I can remember when our class had our religion coursework due, none of the class had done it and Ms. Hughes yelled “Take out your homework diaries, you lazy lot”, it was funny because it sounded like a biblical quote, something Jesus would have said to his disciples after that failed because they didn’t have enough faith. Most of that class were nice enough to me, accept from one group of boys a German boy  who had bit of Karma come to him very quickly. He videoed a girl in the year above me having anal sex at a party, without her knowledge and he accidentally shared it with a teacher, then he got suspended. Then his friends, one of them was in my primary school class, but he was also stoned a lot of the time.

Although some of my GCSE teachers hated me, I think they just saw me as being really spoilt and lazy and that frustrated them. It didn’t help that I was left to school in the Chrysler whilst most other people got the bus. My dad worked for two premiership football club and boys in my class said to me how it must be really cool, but I didn’t care - I hated football. I didn’t enjoy any of the sports they taught in PE - which was normally just football or gaelic football - I normally refused to play. It was really frustrating for me because i was one of the fittest in the class, I always finished top 3 in the cross country which we had to do at the start of PE some lessons. Although they didn’t ever allow me on the cross country team because the PE teachers didn’t like me either - “He thinks he’s something special” I can recall Mr O’Neil saying.

My maths teacher at GCSE despised me, Miss Nancarrow. She once shouted at me when i wasn’t in class - “Adam you're annoying me”  - I was at a festival. She marked all my 7s wrong and said they looked like 4s - I corrected her by showing that I put a line through my 7s, the old fashioned way, so you would know the difference, she refused to remark my papers.  She didn’t teach our class the higher paper so myself and two friends had to learn the rest of the syllabus a week in advance of the sitting the exam.  Only 2 people got As in that class from my knowledge, I got a B but close to an A, and I am pretty sure if she had taught the higher paper i would of got one.

I wasn’t exactly “roudy” but I was cheeky, well apparently questioning figures of authority is “cheeky”, i still can’t understand this. So a lot of other teachers like my Home Economics teacher, Miss McGeeney, I didn’t stick to her recipes on what was on the syllabus. and my business studies teacher Miss White - i was told to “put that in your pipe and smoke it” by her.

I had become quite atheist at this stage, I got the highest in the English talking and listening exercise for my "Speech" when i criticised the inconsistencies in the bible and was the first to refuse to receive communion in school mass (recieving lots of dirty looks for doing so) and was asking my religion teacher controversial questions - this resulted in her putting me in counselling. Which is strange because even though i denied that I was depressed in any way, under the surface with family events and bullying i was very depressed. So she was right in a way to do that.  I also had to tell that my friend was self-harming and was suicidal so he had to get counseling too. Evtually they let me out of counselling and I use to sing Amy Winehouse "Rehab" and change "rehab" to "counselling" - "they tried to make me go to counselling but I said no, no no." - my daddy thought I was fine.

I was almost expelled for having my blond highlights done, but I swiftly pointed out to the vice principle (Miss Sullivan) that it was "sexual discrimination" because of plenty if girls had their hair dyed, eventually after debating for some time she just told me to not have it dyed again.

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During this time, from being on holiday I noticed that when i had a tan, my acne looked a lot better. So I began an obsession with being tanned, I would use the sunbeds at least every week, i would tell my parents I was going for a run, then cycle down to my nearest tanning salon, beside Sydenham - over a mile away from suburbia, and use them. Johnsons Holiday Skin lotion came out at this time, I didn’t think it was the same thing as “fake tan” though, I just thought it helped you be tan, and I was using it also and one day, non-school uniform day I was ridiculously tanned and everyone was nasty to me because of it - including Miss Nancarrow - who was always bright orange herself.


When i received my GCSE results 6Bs and 3 CS my parents were really angry. I actually did quite well in the exams, so I was right in some way I could just wing them. I did attempt to revise for some of them, for example Religion but my file was such a mess that I gave up and decided to watch “Carrie” - that was on TV the night before, maybe the whole being possessed by the devil helped.  It was my coursework which let me down a lot. I was too lazy for it, and couldn’t be bothered re-editing it over and over again, for example, my lowest grade was Home Economics 50% coursework. As a solution, I didn’t do any subjects with Coursework in them for A-Level. I got enough points to get back in thank-god. A surprise was my B in french, Madame Caufield said to my mum that “we are  hoping Adam will just pass this subject”, she was a lot nicer to me at GCSE and was really happy I somehow, despite doing some foundation papers, managed to get a B. About a third of that class didn't get back into school, I found out recently that one of them, Sinead, is now a teacher, which is quite surpising, but at the same time you could tell she was very clever, she just wasn't that interested in studying at that time and obviously neither was I.

Monday, 12 June 2017

A brief Autobiography: How Irish dancing went from being a hobby into a passion into an obsession. Part 10 - My first year with Royal Tara, My parent's separation, crazy teenage parties, clubbing at 15 and my sister's suicide attempts.

A brief Autobiography: How Irish dancing went from being a hobby into a passion into an obsession. Part 10 - My first year with Royal Tara, My parent's separation, crazy teenage parties, clubbing at 15 and my sister's suicide attempts. 

Eventually, my mum agreed to collect Suzanne and I, and her mum leave us up. I remember going to the class in Carrickfergus, Suzanne and I had split up but remained friends. It was in Sunnylands Community Center, which is a loyalist estate and was quite scary for me - especially being a Catholic and from quite a privileged background. The school's pupils come from a wide range of socioeconomic background and clashes between myself and some pupils enfolded. Most of the pupils in my own class were nice to me though - Suzanne, Kirsty (Jordan - Doherty-Petri), Ciara, Gillian and I were in the Carrickfergus class together, it was the pupils in the Larne class mostly which created the problems.  Kirsty often taught me steps - she had been dancing since she was a baby as all of her older siblings danced and were very good dancers, in particular, the eldest Kerry.

The teachers put me in “Reel shoes” and completely changed my style to make myself more masculine. Although a lot of festival adjudicators did not like this and saw it as “feis” and that the Royal Tara teachers were maybe being influenced by their son (Curtis Long) dancing for a feis school. They gave me a very technical set dance and it was a bit faster than what I was used to, hence why I struggled with the timing of it the first year, this is probably which I didn’t get many good results in the championships . Though I did do very well in my heavy solos - I was usually 1st or 2nd in that.  

Although I qualified in my first year for the Ulsters, which was quite impressive, I didn’t get placed, though i wasn’t that surprised because my timing in my set was going a bit. Same for the Northern Irelands, however, something kind of dodgy happened to me at the Northern Irelands  - I stopped half a step short in my light round, despite dancing till the end of my second step, which was what I was told to do. I wasn’t sure of what to make of this because some people have side steps etc in festival dancing which makes that more confusing.

Gillian won the Ulsters that year and I was very happy for her, despite that she had started to be a bit strange to me in class. She refused to do a three-hand with Suzanne and I was one example.

The result was 16-17 1st Gillian, 2nd Ashleigh 3rd Holly (she was given Lauren Smyths set dance “The Whirlpool”) & Catherine Lamont 4th Nicola Mitchell, Alice Nickell and Victoria McNamee 5th Conor Smyth. Natalie McAlister wasn’t placed which was a big shock.

Northern Ireland's: 15-17 : 1st Juliet Stirling 2nd Gillian 3rd Niamh Hunt 4th Conor Smyth 5th Suzanne Gray 6th Holy Sweeney and Megan Mccullough 7th Victoria Mcnamee 8th Natalie McAlister. I actually thought Niamh deserved to win that day. We got along okay after junior school - we had matured.

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During this period of time my parents separated, it wasn’t that much of a shock to me, after my dad's mum died the things that my parents had been fighting about came to an eclipse. They separated temporarily for a while and got back together, my mum left on christmas day a year or two prior to this. The next year would prove to be crazy.  

I was allowed to have a party for my sixteenth - I could invite 50 people. It turned out to be 100s. Fireworks going off, lots of promiscuous behavior amongst teenagers, people crowd serving in my living room, one of my friends drank a whole bottle of aftershock and asked people to kill him. It was like something in a movie, it was like a “Skins” party. It was strange because people who I hadn’t seen in years had came and changed so much, it seemed like yesterday when i knew them as children and this seems like yesterday to me. It wasn’t a “sweet sixteenth” it was the sixteenth party from hell, but it was  a great party. I had lots of parties like this during this year and so did my sisters - none as crazy as that one though.

However my younger sister went a bit off the rails for someone her age. I think she found my parents splitting up harder than me and she acted out as  a result, she had been self-harming and then she tried to commit suicide twice. Even though she was "acting out", she was also being influenced by a movie she watched called "thirteen" - acting really silly and self-harming because she thought it was "cool". I didn't tell anyone about it at the time though.. She retained her title, and was very lucky she did. I think due to their being concerns over her well being at the time, it might of helped. My youngest sister got placed that year also - she was still in primary school.




This was all ongoing during my GCSE year of school. I hardly put pen to paper I was either on bebo, partying and going out clubbing - I actually went to "Skye" (an old nightclub in Belfast) the night before one of my exams. I use to be able to get served and get into clubs despite not usually having an ID and probably due to a mixture of reasons I was more interested in this than my GCSES - I was more interested in how many girls I could pull and how many shots I could take than how many As I could get. I was quite the "playa" and my v plates had definitely gone at this stage, between the ages of 15-17 I had been to virtually every club in Belfast. I somehow managed to still pass them all though, despite not even applying for extenuating circumstances. Though I was angry I didn't get all As, because I thought could just wing them.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

A brief Autobiography: How Irish dancing went from being a hobby into a passion into an obsession. Part 7, 8 & 9.

A brief Autobiography: How Irish dancing went from being a hobby into a passion into an obsession. 

Part 7, 8 & 9.

N.B this is all written from my perspective, everybody sees things differently and I don't claim my opinion to be fact. 
  
There were two festivals prior to summer after that - I missed my Piano theory exam because it classhed with the first one - Belfast Lagan. It was Alice Turner (Ollar) adjduciating and I got nothing all day again. Ashleigh won the championship, Gillian was 4th, then I remember Natalie did well with her two other Newcastle Dominic Graham friends, some of the solos were a double age group and some weren't. Daithi Fisher was there and he was winning with Hannah from Bentra - Hannah was a great technical dancer, good placement of feet and good at hitting her beats/clicks. I think Daithi then moved to CLRG after this to Doherty-Reid.

Belfast Mulholland was adjudicated by Donna Hamilton/Reid - she danced for Lilas Reilly/English.  The lights were separated into Champions and non-champions and the heavies were both togther then championship boys and girls. Chloe from Bangor, won the Champions dances and Charlotte from McKay (she had moved from Ollar), won the reel in the non-champions and I won the cup for any light jig for my single jig. Then when the champions and non-champions were into together I got second in my hornpipe - you see how with the champions together I was beating most of them and how frustrating this was. The Girls Championship was won by Liza from Kathy O’Connor, who was a non-champion for her Blackbird was very interpretive and I won the boys. I watched Zoe's section at this festival, her friend Jessica Carity won the under 10 championships and Zoe got 4th, I think Fiona won everything.

I became a bit of recluse socially for a year or two. I stopped going to my youth club and most of my other hobbies except Irish dancing, piano and scouts and was being very bullied in school. I started to play “The Sims” a lot and “Roller Coaster” tycoon. I was frustrated with everything: school, socially, Irish dancing, family. And I became very miserable and lazy. I started to get very bad acne and my dad would call me “Zit Face”. My dad did everything to try and stop my zits, he thought it was all diet related from eating too much sugar, which yes it definitely can help, but it was not considered that acne can also come on through stress or one’s diet can be affected by stress and that is what i believe it was mostly related to.


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Hollywood festival was back on that year, Sylvia Rice was adjudicating. Again it was separated from Champions and Non-Champions. Laura Norris won most of the champions dances, Gillian won her hornpipe. I can’t remember who was winning the non-champions, but I wasn’t doing great. I remember Lai Yan, from Kath O’Connor was back dancing again and she did well. I remember Jacqueline Jones danced and I hadn’t seen her dance in a good while.  I think Chloe Fraser won the championship, and a few of the McKay girls got placed. I think I got something in the single jig and second in the hornpipe.

That was the year we went to Australia, it was a great holiday, though of course plenty of arguments. We went to Sydney, Tasmania and Melbourne and a surfing town. When I got back that was the first time people accused me of wearing fake tan - i wasn’t, I was just very tan since it was summer in Australia.  I bought all my friends presents from the quiksilver shop in the surfing town. I remember my dad shouting at me for having spray on deodorant - I wasn’t allowed to wear it because he informed me it might give me cancer.  

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The next festival was Bangor Confined, Haley Graham was adjudicating. I didn’t do that well in my light dancing but I won the hornpipe. Conor Smyth won the championship, Suzanne Gray was second Chloe was 3rd and I was 4th.  I was sitting beside Suzanne that day and we were getting along. She went to school with Rhiannon to get her my number for me. At this stage I was finally allowed to share a mobile phone with my big sister - my dad had not allowed us to have them due to being bad for you. I think this was a further reason for contributing to my bullying.


Suzanne and I went on a date to Newtownards cinema and McDonald's, very glamorous. Two of her friends stalked us. During our initial date I said that Niamh was in my class and she was very angry at us going out “You're not going out with her - you're a fruit!” and I told her that she was an “Ulster Champion” after asking about the FDTA, she told me she wasn’t and that she had won the Ulsters 3 times and that Lee use to win it if she didn’t - he was a boy from Seven Towers who had quit. I was quite surprised by this after the bullying I felt I had endured from her.


 Part 8: My Granny Magee's funeral and some questionably biased results at the 2005 festival Northern Irelands



Around this time, my Granny Magee past away. She had a bad fall a couple of years previous. She was taken into care and we use to visit her in Newry, she would tell us she’d been out and about and we knew she hadn’t - she had a bit of dementia. She was a very funny character, very bossy, and use to give me sweets and tell me not to tell my dad.  I remember her wake like yesterday I sat in my Uncle Seamus kitchen and I mainly talked to Una, who I really liked and her youngest daughter Mary-Jayne. My dad was angry with me for what I was wearing - I wore a black shirt and dark jeans. He was annoyed I wasn’t wearing a suit - I hadn’t been bought one to wear.  He always seemed to find something to criticize me regardless if it was my fault or not.
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I attended Knockagh festival after and did very well in it - there was not a championship but a set dance competition. I got top 3 all day - from what I remember Claire (from Knockagh) and myself were winning. I was still doing the “King of the Fairies”, so Denise got me to do my heavy jig set dance for a change for a while “The Pipers Dream”  - it was really quirky choreography with fast boxes and I liked it but very short.  I wanted “The Reaper” but she kept on saying that she didn’t like the set and it was too long and too mature for someone my age. Zoe and Tulla both did well in their sections also.

Ballyclare was next I think, Leslie Baird was adjudicating. He was a Mulholland and he adjudicates in WIDA now also. His adjudication is quite fair he likes clean cut, smooth dancing rather than wild dancing. Juliet Stirling was winning and Carly Thompson and Suzanne were doing well - is was a double age group then split for the championship. Chloe and I use to go to school together and sometimes we would share lifts to festivals so we would have been quite friendly and we weren't getting anything that day. Though we both got 6th in the championship.  Natalie McAlister won. I can remember this was the first time Gillian did “Carrickfergus” or the first time I watched it - she was 4th In think and didn’t do very well other than that. I think Juliet won the younger championship and Suzanne was 2nd. I watched Zoe's section also, she didn’t get anything. Fiona Gleeson I think was winning and Sharon McGurk was doing well. Jenna Hamil mostly got 2nds.

Portadown Festival was next. Jackie White was adjudicating again I was angry about the Champions/Non-Champions split there were dancers in the Champions who I normally would have done better than. But I did well, I got something in all my solos, but not in the championship. I remember I had to stop in the hornpipe and asked for my music to be a bit faster as did Suzanne in hers. Victoria McNamee won everything. Niamh didn’t get anything as far as I can remember.

I can remember Jackie saying something along the lines of “I don’t know if I really like this or not” in regards to Gillians “Carrickfergus”. Denise would make comments like this often: “I don’t think Aoibelle the fairy women is very interpretive”, “Haunting the Castle is just a copy of the spell - something witchy”, “Deirdre's Lament is more like Deidre’s tantrums”. These are just a few things I can remember her stating in regards to these set dances Royal Tara and some other schools were doing.

She also made comments frequently about Stephanie and Fiona who were Zoe's competition, stating that she hated watching them as their dances weren't interpretive and were because it was “All about winning the Ulsters”. I can remember around this time Fiona had started to do the Slip Jig and I really liked it and she stated that was because I was “feisy”. I believe this was all said behind their teachers back. It use to annoy me also that she hardly ever watched my section despite being her first prize winner, first champion (with just boys in it) and I was help teaching in her class for a couple of years and wasn’t paid for it.

Julie Graham adjudicated Bangor open, I didn’t do very well - she didn’t ever go for me. I think Amy Lambe might of won the reel and Juliet won the championship - Niamh came second. The musicians messed up Gillians music and Julie thought she made a mistake. Suzanne and I would sometimes talk at the festival but i was very shy at this stage. We didn’t get to go on that many dates as she was always busy due to having so many hobbies. As far as I was aware the girls in school didn’t like her because she was good at so many things and was a bit of a swot. I watched Zoes section also, she got 6th in the championship, I think Jenna Armstrong won - she had just won the Ulsters and was dancing "Haunting the Castle".
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The Northern Irelands that year was a bit of a “farce” in my view. Even though i was dancing for a mulholland school I thought it was really unfair on the other schools. The adjudicators were Donna Revie (Muholland/Bangor),  Donne Reid/Hamilton (Muholland/Bangor) and Patricia English (I’m not sure). This was Tullas first Northern Irelands and there was maybe 50 under 9s.  I can remember who placed who which will probably shock you.



Donna Hamilton
Donna Revie
Patricia English
1st
Ellen (DG)
Christy (RT)
Rachel C (RT)
2nd
Lara (KOC)
Ellen (DG)
Ellen (DG)
3rd
Lai yin (KOC)
Lara (KOC)
Courtney (DG)
4th
Jude (RT)
Coturney (DG)
Jude (RT)
5th
Shannon (LR)
Ballnefiegh ?
Deborah (Ais)
6th
Niamh (Ais)
Laura (Bangor)
Paige (RT)



The result was 1st Ellen 2nd Christy, Rachel C, Lara, 3rd Courtney 4th Jude 5th Lai Yin 6th Shannon, Ballnefeigh, Deborah 7th Laura, Niamh, Paige

This is when they are young and there isn’t much interpretation or style going on to be subjective with and i couldn’t make sense of it. I watched the whole section and I thought Jude Murphy was amazing - she had won the Ulsters in her section and did Aoibhelle the Fairy Women which was easily the hardest set dance in the competition, she lost her timing a bit, however, due to her set dance being so much harder I would of let her away with it - She came 4th.  Judith Keyes should of been placed in my eyes that day. Denise thought Niamh should of been higher but she only was doing a begginers Pipers Dream compared to Jude who was doing a senior set dance.

My section was after I danced really well and thought i should have recalled and was told many other people said was robbed but i didn’t, but neither did Gillian, Chloe Fraser, Megan McCullough and i can remember Dominic was annoyed Victoria McNammee didn’t either - we gave Dominic a lift home because he didn't drive. I don’t think Catherine Lamont got one either.

The result was



Donna Hamilton
Donna Revie
Patricia English
1st
Niamh (KOC)
Juliet (IM)
Hannah (BNF)
2nd
Juliet (IM)
Conor (LR)
Juliet (IM)
3rd
Hannah (DG)
Nat(DG)
Ashleigh (BNF)
4th
Ashleigh (BNF)
Ashleigh (BNF)
Nat (DG)
5th
Conor (LR)
Niamh (KOC)
Hannah (DG)
6th
Nat (DG)




1st Juliet 2nd Niamh 3rd Hannah and Ashleigh (BNF) 4t Conor and Natatlie 5th Hannah Todd then after than: Sophie (IMC), Amy (IMC),  Sheilagh  (Bangor) and Suzanne (RT) got a recall but some were placed and some weren't. In the two blanks. Suzanne definitely wasn’t placed, they played her music wrong for her "Walk though the Glenn" - she was really angry. I remember going to get my comments and Donna Revie didn't have any and I said something like "No comment. Great!" and Gillian laughed at this.

I can remember the musicans played Hannah (BNF) “The Fisher Man’s Creel” wrong but played it fine for Juliet.Hannah was the Ulster champion in her age group and that is a very strange coinicide.  I really didn’t agree with the adjudication that day - I think part of the problem was there was about 15 of us on a similar level but I think it was biased in my opinion.


The  Zoes age group.



Donna Hamilton
Donna Revie
Patricia Enlish
1
Stephanie (LR)
Stephanie (LR)
Aisha (DG)
2
Katie (KOC)
Fiona (LR)
Fiona (LR)
3
Chris (McK)
Zoe (Ais)
Jenna (RT)
4
Zoe (Ais)
Emily (DA)
Twin (ST)
5
Kerrie (Bangor)
Katie (KOC)
Chris (McK)
6
Twin (ST)
Jenna RT
Luke (RT)


The result was : 1st Stephanie 2nd Fiona 3rd Aisha 4th Katie 5th Zoe 6th Chris 7th jenna 8th Twin 9th Emily 10th Kerrie 11th luke 12th Jenna (ballnefeigh), Sarah (ST) Twin 2(ST), Kerrie (KOC), Shannon (LR)



I was really happy that Zoe got placed and Stephanies recall "The Princess Royal" was fantastic but other than that some of the results were questionable in my eyes. Jenna Armstrong had just won the Ulsters and to not be placed and Jenna Hamill definitely should not of came 7th, I don’t believe she necessarily deserved to win that day but she shouldn’t of been any lower than 3rd or 4th. Donna Hamilton didn't place her and her adjudication between all three age groups it seemed apparent that she was favouring the mulhollands and their friends.  Denise though made a bit of fuss over Kaite beating Zoe because she made a mistake in her Deep Green Pool - I knew she had also because I knew the Mulholland choreography as my big sister Jade did it. But my thought was, you wouldn't necessarily of known if the other girls had due to this.


Part 9: My last year of competition with the Aisling school of dance and my decision to transfer to Royal Tara.


The next year of Irish dancing festivals did not go well. Denise couldn’t get a set dance to suit me and wasn’t teaching me any new material. I eventually learned a "Youghal Harbour" but I think it was mainly choreographed for Joanna Neilly, and I helped choreograph my own lead around in the reel.  I only seemed to do well at competitions that were not adjudicated by Denise’s friends, for example, I did well in the following Belfast Lagan, adjudicated by a feis adjudicator and Bangor open by an adjudicator from Larne - I placed top 3 in most of my dances in these competitions. All of Denise's friends stopped placing me on and on the contrary, the opposite happened for Zoe - they starting giving her championships and the following year she won the festival Northern Ireland's -  She danced brilliantly though and deserved to win, from a muholland festival irish dancers perspective.

It seemed like no coincidence and very unfair that they made all the age groups into single age groups, Zoes was (12-13) up to mine which was a double 15-17 then over 17s was senior. I didn’t get a recall and I should have done. The result in my age group was 1st Robyn Friel 2nd Deborah Gwynee 3rd Rachel Smyth 4th Natalie McAlister & Gillian Hodge 5th Vitoria McNamee 6th Catherine Lamont 7th Emma Dines. I know I should have maybe been between 4th-6th. I beat Gillian in Bangor and Belfast Lagan and prior to this would have done similarly to Victoria and Catherine, the girl in 7th would of not of beat me, from my recollection anyway - her "Little Heather Hill" had nice intepretation, but she wouldn't of been of the same sort of technical standard as myself. The top 3 all danced very well and were in the older age group.  I remember at my last Belfast Mulholland festival, Patricia Mulholland niece was in watching and said I should have been winning. Margo (the piano player) made a real snarky remark about it and said she thought she owned festival (talk about the pott calling the kettle balck) and was an alcoholic.



I soon decided after this to move to Royal Tara.My mum wasn’t very happy about this and said that she wouldn’t have anything to do with my dancing and I would have to get myself there and back. Suzanne said she could give me a lift since she was from Comber and literally drove past my house - the class was in Carrickfergus, which for a festival Irish dancer seemed like quite a distance to travel to class.  Denise actually spoke to June (the original teacher - the granny) about me moving. I remember I was really excited and was practicing doing the bicycle jumps on holiday which I saw Gillian do at Belfast Lagan and Suzanne showed me when she was a bit drunk at one of my small house parties. It was a really hard move for me but I knew it was the right one.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Inida Knight is right - the school exam system does punish creative free thinkers - the mark systems are too stringent and don't reward innovative thinking.

Inida Knight is right - the school exam system does punish creative free thinkers - the mark systems are too stringent and don't reward innovative thinking.


Fantastic article by Inida Knight in yesterday's Sunday Times magazinehttps://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/india-knight-why-i-hate-exam-season-rm6xbzbfs . I corrorabte her opinion and have written about struggling with ennui whilst at secondary/grammar school here: http://adamhenry16.blogspot.co.uk/…/angst-ennui-weltschmerz…

Part of the reason I didn't want to study or do my homework till A-level was that I found what we were learning was boring (or at least the way it was taught) and it frustrated me that  the mark systems didn't tolerate creative thinking - in order to gain marks you had to stick to what was on the mark system. My Home Economics GCSE teacher explained this to me - but I thought this was silly when there was so much more other research available on the topics we were studying. Learning facts in a "Parrot" like fashion is necessary to become a GP for example, law or medicine is often what parents of academic children aspire for them - my parents both going to medical school along with my grandad and uncle (who all studied at Queens Univetsity Belfast), and two cousins in law (both studied at Trimity College Dublin) made these options seem unappealing to me or to be brutally honest it didn't seem like "that big of a deal" to me. But unless we are commended for creative thinking how are new discoveries in medicine (or any other profession) ever meant to come about? We never move forward or evolve by sticking to what we are taught to it is the people who think outside the box, the inventors and the innovators that inspire us and help society evolve and move civilization forwards.


P.S I am still continuing with my “Dance Story” and am working on my opinion regarding Islam etc.