Monday, 10 August 2015

CTYI 2015: Highlights

Yes, I am currently at Outbox and not CTYI. I am nevertheless writing this overdue CTYI highlights post. Fight me.

Also, this is my first blog post in at least a month written on a laptop. So hopefully it'll be formatted better. It's back to Verdana, anyway.

So let's see how much of CTYI I can remember. As usual, these highlights are not numerically ranked. Or ranked at all, really. Vaguely chronological.

Study (Messing)

First of all, I want to say that I did do some work in study, primarily when there was an essay or debate due the next day. But there was a lot of banter in study, particularly between Jason and I. Being left helplessly giggling is a lot of fun, let's be real here. There were some terrible puns that left Jason prostrate in shame (this whole paragraph is so weird), and lots of really valuable conversations that I'm so glad we had. 

Even at times other than study, we had lots of shenanigans. For example, this really weird picture happened. 

It was just so much fun. Shoutout to Jason, Cian, Aaron, Eve and Kat. I had good craic with Arianna and Jason in class too, especially watching 2001: A Space Odyssey. I'm specifically putting craic in here because it makes me laugh since last night my English roommate got very confused thinking Gabi and I were saying our friend PJ has great crack. "Your friend is a drug dealer?"

Best Friend + Mature Friendships

It's really nice having a best friend, even a seasonal one. Panagiotopouloughran for the win. The group of friends was amazing too, plus the constant hugs from friends and acquaintances alike. That's not just something from this year, though.

What is new this year is that - I think - these friendships are a bit more mature, since we're Nevermores and generally older. As I said in a recent blog post, CTYI friendships are fast and intense, but the friend group is more mature this year. As in, the nature of the friendship is - not the things they say.

We're a lot more open with each other too, which is lovely and freeing. .

Also, the gatherings in corridors, being creative fire hazards, and oh the windowsill. Aaron emailing Mam pretending to be my boyfriend was hilarious.  

Violin Concerts

I got Jason to play private or semi-private violin concerts for me a lot, and I absolutely loved it. He always made fun of the rapturous look on my face but I just love seeing competence. Also, at the end of one of the sessions I burst out "How do you not have a girlfriend?!" and two surprising things happened.

(a) Jason burst out laughing and said there are so many people in his school better than him (he has triple grade 8s, which makes me wonder just what kind of school he goes to).

(b) Someone heard me say that, or Jason spread it around, because after that people just kept shouting "How do you not have a girlfriend?!" at Jason.

I can't say I minded. 

Speaking of Jason, on the last day, without telling me, he wrote 'I am beautiful' on my head and that was a huge highlight. Aww. 


I remember my very first CTYI disco being one of the most amazing experiences of my life. They didn't play great music at the first disco this year and there was some awkwardness because of an incident earlier that day, but it was still amazing and just got better from there. The sense of connectedness during Street Spirit is honestly just euphoric. I'm annoyed I missed Gay Bar both times it played. 

Highlights of the discos would have to be Street Spirit every time, shoutout to Jason for his hand the last time; Bohemian Rhapsody and American Pie at the second disco, even though everyone's so tall it always strained my arms; slow-dancing with Jason to Iris at the last disco (ultimate fave); Cotton Eyed Joe (again with the connectedness); dancing ridiculously, often with Jason and/or Cian; dancing to Bad Touch, especially that time with poor Conal; Mr. Brightside ... CTY discos are incredible and will always hold a special place in my heart. I've made Jason promise that we'll slowdance again to Iris at some point despite being separated by national borders, and I trust you guys to keep us accountable. Within reason.

The hugs after the discos were always really emotionally charged too.

Talent Show Rehearsals

This was my second year performing in the talent show. While the show itself was great and all, the rehearsals were a lot of fun. I heard Kevin Foley tell his horrific jokes three times in a row, watched as Conal and Philip's MCing evolved dramatically, and after our run-through disappeared for ages down to the lobby of the theatre, which has way better acoustics than the theatre itself (assuming you like hard surfaces and echoing). He then practised violin (a bit of the piece he was doing for the show, then (at my insistence) my favourite, Resignation) while I interpretive-danced around the place. We also had a cool chat with an RA as we left the theatre and got so involved in it that we were about twenty minutes late for dinner. 


CTYI was very meme-themed this year, and there were more chants than ever before. It was a lot of fun and great for community. Chants included "Body of Christ!" "√Čamonn!", "Sports Sports Sports!", "SOME" followed by All Star, "MARX MARX MARX" (good little Communists), "Law!" "Fam!" (the law class was so obnoxious. I feel justified in saying this because Gabi sanctions it). These all featured prominently in the chaotic but hilarious Closing Ceremony. 

I also became a meme. It's not a career ambition I had, but I'm pretty happy with it. The meme penetrated so much that they put it up during my Talent Show performance. That was definitely a high point. Another somewhat unrelated high point was when my/Odgen's/Mark's labcoat made it into the official traditions book. It's also cool that two of my friends were handed down Traditions - PJ got Pirate and Gabi got the book. They suit it so well, it's fab.

Bots (Sunday)

On the first Sunday lots of my friend group didn't get into Bots, the activity we wanted, so we just signed out and went anyway. We just sat there and played Paranoia pretty much the whole day, then went for pizza having met up with Fez and Josh. A particularly fun bit was making Aaron attempt to find "the tree" in the Botanic Gardens. "We're beside a tree", we said in perhaps the leafiest place in Ireland. 

Ukulele Sunday Activity

Even before the ukulele thing, the Sunday Activity the first week was great craic. The first activity we did was Sad RA, where we had to cheer up two "crying" residential assistants. Sandy, Gillespie and I took charge and sang them songs. Gillespie was hilarious doing rebel songs and songs about being high I can't believe he got away with. Also, for another part we had to do a dance so we just followed Gillespie as he did what he liked.

Anyway, at the Closing Ceremony I was up in my seat carrying my ukulele around as usual when the RAs asked if anyone had one. I ran down with mine, thinking they wanted to play it, but nope, they wanted me to play it in front of everyone in the Larkin.

I have a policy of not saying no to this sort of thing, so I did it and it was a lot of fun. Someone in the front row shouted "Riptide!" so I did that, and after a few lines everyone started clapping and singing along. It's an amazing sort of energy. I bopped a lot. Euphoria.

I love how much my ukulele traveled around campus. Everyone had it. 

Language Club & Other Activities

Language Club was one of the 3-5 Activities and it was just totally hilarious thanks to RA Andrew. Check out the CTY Quotes page 2015 for some of what he said, it was just amazing. Another thing I liked, which might've been during this or some other activity (something about Musicals), was doing Time Warp up on the stage. Also, Potter Puppet Pals.

Book Club

This Activity gets its own section because even though it was quiet and pretty uneventful, it was amazing. Jason lent me a book of his called The Price of Inequality, which increased my respect for him, and he read some textbook-looking thing. We sat beside each other in Book Club and got really comfy towards the end. I'm not explaining this very well (look, I'm sitting with people in Outbox and using Internet Explorer because Microsoft gave us these computers and Chrome is refusing to download) but it was beautiful. 


Maybe a weird point, but I found the group chat really helpful, especially during CTY and in its immediate aftermath. It was great for staying connected and having the bants. It does get a ridiculous amount of messages nowadays though.


Some of CTYI has carried on, and of that I am very glad. Getting coffee with Daniel on the Friday it ended, then Niamh's 18th becoming a reunion, then my birthday the next day seeing Cian, Joe, Chloe and Amy again (I'd seen Katie already at the party). So all hope is not lost, except for those people who live overseas or in Cork and who should, as I said in my Nevermore speech, just move.

Also, Gabi and I are basically each other's summers, since we did CTYI together and now I'm sitting beside her in the Outbox house writing this post as we watch Coco Before Chanel in French.


I took quotes again this year and there are some amazing ones. Just check out although if you're not from CTYI I can't guarantee it'll make any sense to you.

Miscellaneous highlights include hanging with Cian at social time, being carried places, having deep conversations, Jason getting everyone involved in his indignant interventions, and all the typical CTY goodness.

Probably my last CTY post for a while, especially with Outbox and all. So my posts might be a bit more comprehensible after this summer camp stuff is over.

If you're feeling left out, I recommend checking my archives - there's a lot of less group-mentality material in there. Or head over to my book blog But I recommend the archives more - they're pretty cool.


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