Schools Beyond Regions and Borders

Little ode to a view

Hi, I’m Freyja, and I’m 15 years old. I go to school in Loreto Abbey Dalkey in County Dublin in Ireland. My classes start at 8:45 am and end at 3:40 pm every day except Wednesdays, when we end classes at 1:00 pm. We have a half day on Wednesdays in order to break up the week and give us more time after school to catch up on homework, assignments, projects, etc. I’m in what’s known as Transition Year (TY). It’s the fourth year of secondary school, and it takes place right after you’ve completed your Junior Cycle exams the previous year. In a way it acts as a ‘gap’ year or ‘break’ year from studying. Instead of academic achievement, the year is more centred around real world experiences; personal development; exploration of talents, skills, career paths, relationships in your life; as well as maturing into a more sure and confident person. So far we’ve done some incredible things already, including learning how to sail, rock climb, and perform CPR.

One of the things I love most about coming into school every day is the view that greets you on your way in. Your senses are arrested and you just have to stop and look. There’s a vast expanse of ocean stretching out before you; small, light waves lapping gently against the rocks, carried by a soft breeze; an island jutting out into the waves, with an ancient tower resting proudly atop, looking up to the sun which has risen above it time and time again for countless millennia; the light dancing across the small waves that are way out at sea. The whole scene is just beautiful. And I get to see it every day. It’s right there outside the window of my classroom. I think I’m the luckiest person alive to be able to look at it so often. And while there are an abundance of reasons to love my school, including the wonderful people there, the atmosphere, the lovely teachers, and all the facilities we have available to us, I often find that people overlook the view, take it for granted, and underappreciate it. So I thought I’d give my little ode to it here, seeing as it often tends to be forgotten.

By Freyja Cleary