Down on the Farm

Tinson2 is now in Transition Year, the year students spend between finishing the Junior Cycle and starting the Senior Cycle at school. They do projects, get work experience and go on outings. It’s like Blue Peter, except it’s not on telly, you don’t get a badge and you don’t get to name an endless succession of remarkably short-lived dogs.

Apparently Transition Year students refer to it as “doss year”. I was unaware of this when I asked Tinson2 “is it not just a doss year?”, which shows that I have the mentality of a 15-year old. I was also unaware that Mrs Tin had forbidden Tinson2 from using this phrase. This forbiddenness has now been extended to me.

I am also forbidden from referring to Tinson2 as a Tranny.

Anyway, he’s a couple of weeks into it now. He still goes off to school each morning in his uniform, and oddly still gets homework, which I presume is just being told to sit in his room for an hour and do nothing. Already, though, he has collected for charity, done courses on journalism and computers and visited a stables.

And this week they went on a two-day team building programme on a farm. They were given a list of things to bring (warm clothes, raingear) and things not to bring. Among the things they cannot bring are aerosols, and knowing the boys in Tinson2’s class as I do this will cause Lynx’s profits to fall by about 40 per cent.

He left on Thursday, and on Thursday night his loving mum, dad, brother and sister sat in our warm house watching the torrential rain outside the window, thought of him on his wet, muddy farm and, well, fell about giggling. Perhaps we could do with some Team Building ourselves. The trip involved mud – lots and lots of mud. It’s like Oxygen without the music.

And he had a great time. He did an assault course, he chased a piglet, he milked a cow, the cow milked him, i.e., sprayed him with milk. He arrived home last night glowing with fresh air, happiness and excitement, and very, very tired.

This is my first experience of Transition Year. They didn’t have it back in the last millennium when I was at school (indeed, younger readers won’t believe this, but we didn’t even get driven to school in an SUV). Tinson1’s headlong rush to be a grown-up as quickly as possible meant that he opted not to do it. But it seems to be a great idea, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the year turns out.

3 thoughts on “Down on the Farm

  1. Jo

    Sounds great. I have seen some bored and pissed off fourth years in my day – no reason for it, it’s a great idea. I hope the energy continues fresh in the school.

  2. K8

    I have one of those!!!

    A transition year student visits us once a week as part of her Communtiy Service yoke to help me with mah kids 🙂 Last week I got her to hold LB’s head still while I cut his hair, her back must’ve been broke. This week I’m dragging her to an Aviation day in Newcastle… she shall hold my sandwiches… heehee!


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