I woke up blearily on a cold Tuesday morning at 6:30 to get in to school early. We were making our way to Punchestown as early as possible for the TY Expo in the race course, an exhibition of many activities and businesses for Transition Year. We were at the school so early not even the principal was in and a not-insignificant amount of us ended up waiting a solid 10 minutes, just for the gates to open. After someone finally showed at the gates we waited outside making idle chat until the bus arrived at 7:30, once we were on the bus, time flew and before we knew it, we’d arrived in Punchestown.
Once we were there we all scanned over the exhibition floor. There was a peculiar man giving out fake 50 euro notes to everyone who walked past, which I’m not entirely sure was legal. Look out for him on the news over the next few weeks. Other strange stands included a booth for Ógra Fianna Fail with a number of very unsettling Ghostbusters themed posters, as well as a weirdly militant Star Wars one with Michéal Martin photoshopped in place of Luke Skywalker. My “friend” signed me up against my will, but I stealthily crossed it off the form some time later. A highlight for me was a somewhat terrible pun, the “Vocal Coach”, a bus with a small recording studio in it. They had us read a Supermac’s ad and I shocked the attendants, as well as my classmates, with my delivery. I was, however, somewhat too slow and ended up being cut short.
The only speaker we sat in on was Eoin Corbett, vlogger and film-maker. He talked about his time in TY and how he uses the internet. At the same time as this was a Teenline show where they claimed to be talking about “Harambe, seshes and hash”, which is clearly the holy trinity of teenage life in this modern time. The last thing I did was get genuinely somewhat starstruck, when I met 2FM presenter Chris Greene, who has also worked with Channel 4, someone I’ve been a fan of for many years, since he was doing regional radio in the dead of night.
Overall it was a great day I’m very happy to have had. It gave me a few ideas of what I want to do, in TY and in life, as well as letting me meet a minor inspiration along the way.