Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Friday, November 4, 2016

common french phrases

Some french phrases I'm complying from various sources as a reference for myself and other students .
en fait- in fact; used in pretty much every sentence who knows why
ça marche- that works
c'est bon- it’s good
ouais- yeah
bahhhh oui- well yes
bien sûr- of course
c'est comme ça- it’s like that; said after any inconvenience
je prends- i take/am taking; instead of saying “je voudrais” at cafés or restaurants
euh/et oui/alors/donc: basically the french version of “um”
quand même- really; might be used more than en fait if that’s possible 
c'est pas grave- it’s not serious
c'est pas grave quand même- the french say this about everything 
chai pas- i don’t know; the shortened version of “je ne sais pas” 
bonne chance/bon courage- good luck
la vache/vachement- this is an interesting one cause it has a lot of different meanings. “la vache” by itself can just be an exclamation whereas in reference to someone can be an insult. “vachement” is a way to show excitement
vraiment?/c'est vrai?- really?
putain- i assume you know what this means. add to the end of any sentence
t'as raison- you’re right
(quelle) dommage- that sucks; said vaguely sarcastically
qu'est-ce que ça veut dire?- what do you mean/what’s that mean?
relâche-moi- release me; if you yell this at a guy they will never speak to you again
coucou- hello, but in a cute way
bisous- kisses; said when saying goodbye or hello or whenever
pourquoi pas?- why not? mostly just yelled drunkenly by americans 
on y va- let’s go 
vas-y/allez- come on 
tout à fait- absolutely
Bordel - literally means brothel. However, these days bordel is more commonly used to describe a large mess. An example would be: Range ta chambre. C’est le bordel. Clean your room. It’s a mess.
 BCBG- Another popular acronym, which is the French slang for preppy, is BCBG (bien chic bon genre).
Beginners: Common Everyday French
Sentence Fillers/responses/questions: 
En fait… - well/actually
Bah…  - well
J’en sais rien (moi) - no idea
Chai pas (je ne sais pas) - I dunno
Tant pis - never mind/too bad
Tant mieux pour (qqn) - good for (sb) 
N’importe quoi ! - nonsense/rubbish
c’est comme tu veux/vous voulez - it’s up to you/whatever you like
Laisse tomber - drop it (dangerous topic of conversation)
(il n’y a) pas de quoi - no worries/no problem (after you or someone does a favour for someone else)
Enfin - finally/at last
Bref - in short/anyway
Tu t’en sors - are you doing ok?
Tu fais quoi ? - what are you up to?
Ah bon ? - really?
ça va ? ça va. - this is a whole conversation: how are you? Good.
(il) y a - there are

Very important verbs:
être - to be
avoir - to have
savoir - to know
faire - to do/make
pouvoir - can/to be able to
mettre - to put
dire - to say
vouloir - to want
prendre - to take
donner - to give
aller - to go
parler - to speak
venir - to come
voir - to see
demander - to ask
trouver - to find
montrer - to show

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Leaving Cert Results 2016

So on the 17th of August 2016, I finally got my hands on the piece of paper that would determine my life basically.

In out school, each girl had to go in to the principal's office where she had already seen your results and calculated your points on your behalf. Although I had put International Business in UL down as my 1st choice on the CAO,I had known all summer that it would be unlikely for me to actually get it because I dropped down to ordinary level maths 2 weeks before the Leaving. Oh well. So I had been planning all summer for my 2nd choice which was Business Studies in UL. This wasn't any kind of disappointment because I had never been that sure of what I want to do in life and just thought oh I like french. I like economics and business-y subjects. I'll like this course.

So I get my points and lo and behold I have my business studies in UL secured. I was really happy with my results but to be honest it does feel a bit like an anticlimax because I will be deferring until September 2017.

On July 21st I got double jaw surgery (and 3 wisdom teeth taken out) in University Hospital Limerick to fix my overbite. Shout out to Mr Gilbride, my surgeon who I hope will never see this. Although its coming up to 6 weeks since the surgery now, I'm still not eating solids and existing solely on smoothies.I'm skinny in general but have lost almost a stone going down to 6 stone (which at my height, 5 foot 7, is definitely not healthy)
In addition to that I have 6 months of orthodontic treatment left and would have to be travelling up and down from UL to my orthodontist. I can't drive so it would have been an ordeal. 

Leaving Cert History Essay Harry Truman VS Lyndon B Johnson

The Presidency’s of Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson shared quite a few similarities. They were both Vice-Presidents who came to power because the Presidents preceding them died in office. They both succeeded Presidents who were hugely popular. Truman came after Franklin D Roosevelt who died at the end of WW2.John was sworn in on Air Force in the aftermath of John F Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas. They both decided not to run again at the end of their second term due to declining popularity linked to their foreign affairs. Also a characteristic of both Truman and Johnson’s presidency was that international affairs were to dominate at the expense of domestic matters. They strongly advocated the strategy of communist containment, developed under Truman, and were fully endorsed by Johnson. In effect this meant that America would contain communism where it existed and not allow it to expand any further. The red scare was a genuine concern for Whitehouse officials and military advisors during both Truman and Johnson’s terms as president. Both men believed that unless the proliferation of communism was halted this system of government would spread to other counties and soon dominate world affairs. This would become known as the domino affect during Johnson’s tenure as it was believed to be particularly relevant in relation to south East Asia. “If we quit Vietnam,” Johnson said “tomorrow we’ll be fighting in Hawaii and next week we’ll have to fight in San Francisco.” This very real fear that existed around communism can be seen in the hysteria caused by Senator Joe McCarthy and his personal fixation with routing out communists whom he believed infiltrated all levels of government in the states. The era of McCarthy bridged the Truman and Johnson administrations and illustrated how the menace of communism became so influential in decided US foreign policy after WW2.No American leader during this time wanted to be seen as being too soft on communism.
Both Truman and Johnson had to make difficult decisions in regard to foreign affairs. Although neither flinched in that task, I believe the Truman was more successful. When he became president in April 1945 Truman immediately stepped into a foreign policy maelstrom. The Soviet Union had begun to push for control of Eastern Europe and Stalin wanted to position himself as a leading world statesman .War continued to rage with Japan despite the fact that Europe had been liberated from Nazi control. To complicate matters Truman had learned about the atomic bomb soon after becoming president. He agonized over whether to use the weapon against the Japanese. It would bring hostilities with Japan to a swift end and hopefully negate the need for an invasion on Japanese soil. However he knew that thousands of innocent Japanese people would die. In June a committee appointed by the president recommended using the bomb. Truman concurred and gave the order to use atomic weaponry. As well as forcing the Japanese to surrender through the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he assisted in the founding of the united nations, issued the Truman doctrine to contain communism, provided 13 billion Marshall plan to rebuild Europe, he supported and recognized the state of Israel, oversaw the Berlin airlift in 1948 which forced Stalin to abandon his plan to control all sectors of Berlin ,he was involved in the establishment of NATO and sent US troops into Korea after the communist North invaded the South and gained UN approval for this action.
Johnson on the other hand was shacked with a war that was not of his doing but under his watch American involvement to Vietnam escalated. Johnson  refused to accept that the Vietcong were popular in south Vietnam and so on his orders Operation Rolling Thunder began which expanded the US bombing campaign against the North Vietnamese in an effort to close down the Ho Chi Minh trail. This route was used by the communist controlled North Vietnam to supply their communist counterparts in the south.
The Vietcong in South Vietnam, led by Nyugen Van Thieu, were using guerrilla tactics to overthrown a military Junta propped up by the US. Johnson did not initiate American involvement in Vietnam. Truman, Eisenhower and JFK laid the groundwork for US intervention. Johnson was hampered by the witch hunt led by Joe McCarthy which saw many state department workers in the South fired or resigning. The people advising Johnson had little to no knowledge of the region. Robert McNamara, one of the president’s chief advisors writing in 1996 admitted that he had never been to Indochina and didn’t understand or appreciate its history or culture. But the Vietnam War would come to be seen as Johnson’s war. Besides drastically escalading American involvement in the war following the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1964 from 16000 advisors and soldiers to 550000 combat troops in 1968, Johnson also signed the immigration act of 1965 which substantially liberalized US immigration policy towards non-Europeans.
In July 1945 Truman and Stalin, the two leaders of the emerging superpowers met for the first and only time at Potsdam. Here Truman told Japan to surrender of face “prompt and utter destruction”. Japan refused and Truman, after being advised by this committee, issued the demand to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.130000 people were killed and many died after from radiation. This was a strategic move on Truman’s part .He  was seen as being tough on communism and also sticking to his guns by following through on his threat to Japan. He also had successfully ending ww2 in the East immediately.
Truman believed strongly in the idea of containment. He did not want Turkey and Greece to fall to communism and he ensured 6400 million of military aid to them. In his speech seeking support from Congress he said “I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” This became known as the Truman doctrine which was accompanied by Marshall Plan. This gave economic recovery. These two plans added tension to the already frosty relationship between the USSR and USA and led to the cold war arms race and moon race.
In 1948 Stalin blocked off West Berlin shutting 2 million West Berliners off, in hopes of forcing the US out of Berlin. Truman knew if he let Stalin win he would appear weak and soft both internationally and at home. He said “We are going to stay, period” After nearly a year of airlifting supplies to West Berlin, Stalin lifted the blockade. This was a huge victory for the US and led to the belief that America was unbeatable. It also resulted in the formation of NATO, a peacetime military alliance between the US, Canada and 10 Western European countries.
The policy of containment was also tested by the invasion by North Korea of South Korea. Truman had been called weak by republicans and Senator Joe McCarthy after “losing china” to communism. Truman bypassed congress and intervened in South Korea. He got UN backing for this intervention. After a very public row with General MacArthur, America lost the war and 50000 soldiers.
After inheriting the Vietnam War Lyndon Johnson increased the number of us advisors by 30%.He did not want to be “the first president to lose a war”. Although publically he led people to believe that the US were without doubt going to win, privately he said he didn’t think it was worth fighting for and described it was the biggest damn mess.
In 1964 the USS Maddox was fired on following the turner joy a few days later. This event was known as the gulf of Tonkin. Johnson used this to get the Tonkin resolution passed. He deliberately misled the American public about the event and the resolution gave him unlimited power to wage war. He launched Operation Rolling Thunder which was air assaults on North Vietnam and a huge build up of ground forces. By the end of 1968 the war was costing 20 billion a year.
Johnson fought the war with dirty tactics like dropping napalm and chemicals on forests in the South and using search and destroy missions. He also laid out free fire zones. Anyone is these zones was a target.
The war had been supported by the American people but as the US got more involved, an anti war movement began and took hold with celebrities endorsing it Muhammad Ali was a hugely against the war saying “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.”
American eventually lost the war. It had shown American to be beatable. It had also left Johnson as the only American president to have lost a war.
On paper Truman was more successful than Johnson in the realm of international policies. He brought American involvement in WW2 to a decisive end when he gave the order to drop atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki .In doing this; he avoided the long drawn out costly conflict of sending ground troops to Japan. There is little doubt among historians that this would have been the case as the Japanese had fiercely defended the pacific islands and used kamikaze pilots as a military tactic against the allied naval ships. The monumental decision by Truman to use atomic weaponry had lasting effects on us and foreign policy. It was evident that nuclear weapons had the capacity to wipe out all people especially after the USSR developed its own bomb in 1949.The US-USSR completion led to an arms race with huge political effects .this was supported  a policy of deterrence to maintain a strong nuclear force so that the USSR would be deterred from attacking the US. His success in dealing with the threat posed by Stalin during the Berlin Blockade demonstrated his steely determination to face-off communism telling the American commander in Berlin that “ we are going to stay, period” the money provided by his government as result of the Marshall Plan helped to rebuild Europe and restore stability in the region. He failed to prevent the victory of communists in the Chinese civil war but committed US troops to South Vietnam when it was invaded by the communist North. He later fired General MacArthur for publically challenging him.

However it was in the shadow and with the legacy of the Truman doctrine that LBJ had to operate his foreign policy. It had grave consequences for Johnson and the American people. The war in Vietnam was a massive failure which distracted both time and resources from Johnson’s Great Society. Martin Luther King jr said “The promises of the great society have been shot down in the battlefield of Vietnam! It cost 112 billion dollars and the human cost was even more appaling, 2.5 million Vietnamese died, 58000 US soldiers died and 300000 wounded. It was the first defeat for Truman’s policy of containment because in April 1975 Saigon and parts of Indochina, Laos and Cambodia establish communist regimes. Ironically Ho Chi Minh was a great admirer of American politics and preferred the US to the soviets as allies. Unfortunately as far as foreign policy was concerned you couldn’t b e the leader of a communist country and be a friend to the US. A communist state was viewed as only a satellite of the Soviet Union.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

13 days until the mocks !

So my mocks begin on the 3rd of February and I'm really feeling the pressure to up my study. I've been really complacent about studying this year. I keep up to date with class tests and revision plans that teachers have given me but haven't realized that the exams are looming. I go to supervised study on Saturdays from 9am til 1pm but I find towards the end I am constantly looking up at the clock waiting for it to end.
So I'm going to use this blog to track my study.

English - I have made notes of each poet,my single text Wuthering Heights and my comparative texts Juno, Othello and Foster . I need to crack down on them as English paper 2 is my first mock exam.

Irish - I have been keeping up to date with my revision plan and Irish is my only ordinary subject so I won't be counting it for the real Leaving Cert. Overall I'm honestly not too pushed about Irish, I just want to do well mainly for my teacher and parents and also myself as I know I can do well in it.

Maths - Urgh maths is the bane of my life. I failed in my 5th Year Christmas report card and got 50% in my summer tests due to my grinds.I was quite happy with that but still want more than 60% in my Leaving. My teacher told my parents at a meeting that she was worried about me at the start of 5th year ! Awks ! But now she's happy with my progress and thinks I'm good enough to pass the Leaving Cert.

French - My oral is so bad although my teacher says that its not as bad as I think.He says its a question of confidence for me which is something that I can change. Apart from that I'm a solid B1/A2 student. I need to go over my tenses and learn some topics for the mocks. I will be focusing on the homeless which is topical and also the health service and the environment.I'm also trying to learn phrases that can be just inserted into any random piece

History - I love the class and find it so interesting but I can't work up the energy to study it and remember it. My teacher is the best and says my essays have improved greatly since 5th . I'm going to have to be strategic for the mocks and only learn a few essays and pray for the best.

Economics - So far I have been keeping up to date with the revision plan and I really like economics. It is definitely something I am considering for 3rd level but the short questions are something I need at lot of practice at before the mocks.

Biology - I got around 70% in my summer test and in my last big revision test on about 12 chapters, I got 75% which I was delighted with.My experiments are where I fell down so I need to focus on them for the mocks

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Teenager

Today's teenagers have a lot to cope with. The usual storm and stress of adolescence has doubled due to new technologies and a range of must-have products. As the body struggles to cope with an influx of new hormones, our minds dart from emotion to emotion. Alas, fear not. I have the answers.
Let’s start with the biggest problem of all: parents. They are people who tell you that they would do anything for you and then, a second later, deny you the chance to go out with your friends.
”They’ve forgotten what it’s like to be young.” You complain to your friends. In your mind they hate you.
“I’m not a baby anymore!” You scream through the bedroom door.
For this problem, remember that desperate times call for desperate measures. Step one: open your bedroom window as wide as possible. You’re going to need all the space you can get when you escape. Thanks to puberty, you’ve grown too tall to climb out the window like you used to. Thank God the trampoline is right outside your bedroom.

Step two: turn on the TV. Switch the channel onto MTV and turn the volume up as loud as possible, this way, when mom comes to the door with biscuits and tea to apologize, she’ll hear the 16 and Pregnant girls fighting with their baby daddies. She thinks you’re plotting your revenge and knowing your fragile state of mind, will leave you to cool down

Step three: having planned to run away to the tropics, where Mammy and Daddy will never find you, you end up at your friend’s house down the road. It’s tense because just yesterday you told the girls at school that she’s a moody cow. She doesn’t know this but it’s true, you reason with yourself.
And finally after a night spent tossing and turning in a sleeping bag on the cold floor, you return. An important tip to remember is always make a dramatic entrance. Strut through the kitchen. Again the world is against you. The parents have gone to Dublin.
“Without me?!” you cry to your brother. Go back to your bedroom. This process is exhausting and you’ll have to repeat it tonight.

Another obstacle in teenage life is school. That grey prison that you’re forced to trek to at dawn.  Every. Single. Day. You would rather roll in fire than go there again but your friends are there and misery loves company. On the bright-side, you can all be sleep deprived together.
To rid yourself of this barrier, I always remember the IRA prisoners in the H-blocks. You’re just like them; all you want to do is wear your own clothes. Start a protest in the school but remember your target audience. Sixth years and third years are always up for a protest. Those pesky state exams have maddened them. Their hair is falling out with stress and so there are eager to join the protest. Transition years are unreliable. Here one day and gone the next – they are just too busy

The principal will ignore your marches through the hall. Don’t fret. Start singing rebel songs at the office or streak through hockey matches. Never give up. We teenagers are unbreakable. Eventually, the adults will crack. How could they not? They need us. Who will turn on their computers and iPads without us? Plus the media is on our side. We have shown initiative and resilience.

Unfortunately our biggest enemy is not as easily-fought as teachers are. When even your own body betrays you, it’s easy to feel alone in this world. Spits and mood swings are the order of the day for us. After a lot of Googling, you realize that all your favourite celebrities say that drinking water every day is how they stay so perfect. Unfortunately drinking 2 litres of water every day is unsustainable for you. You can’t live life peeing every twenty minutes. Force your mom to buy you every super food going and live off these for seven hours before your spirit is broken and you eat some Cadburys. 

Remember each new day is a new beginning and start to feel a little better. It could always to worse.

Following that train of thought, even on your worst days, just think about your future to cheer yourself up. No parents, no school and no worries. Recovered drug addicts always talk about how they changed after hitting rock-bottom. Teenagers and drug addicts are very similar. We’re both at rock-bottom. It can only get better from here. Adulthood is a breeze compared to this torturous experience. Focus on making it through this and then life will be easy. Spread positive energy through your friends by telling them about your epiphany. Just don’t let your parents hear you talking about drug addicts.