Putting up the tree with Svetlana Rodrigues from Mumbai, India.

Christmas in November... shir why not, share the love!

When you are reading this, it will be Christmas day in Limerick. Don’t worry - I haven’t completely lost the plot. Many colleges pick a Christmas day, usually in November, where students celebrate as if it is December 25. This year, Wednesday November 17, ll mark the occasion in Limerick. Considering most students will go home for Christmas for a well-deserved break after exams and assignments, most will miss out on the festivities. So on this day, we all take the day off college (I’m not sure if we can officially do this but oh well), dress up, have a big dinner and then head off to the city for the day. For those of you who say it is too early to have the Christmas tree up, talk to the hand... ours stands in the apartment, glistening and beautiful.

On Friday evening after work, I decided to head over to Woodies to see what all the hype was about. The last time I was in Woodies in Cavan, charcoal and barbecues were flying out the door. This was a totally different experience, the place had transformed into a complete winter wonderland and I am living for it. I can’t wait for Christmas this year. I wanted to buy a Christmas tree and some decorations for the apartment. After walking around various Christmas trees for a good half an hour, I selected a six-foot artificial tree, which had 20% off the price. Those I have told about the tree so far think I’m cracked. “It’s an investment,” is my solid argument to the begrudgers, aka my father.

When I arrived in Limerick on Sunday evening, I went up to the apartment to find my roommate and his friends sitting doing assignments. Tree in hand, I asked who wanted to help me put it up. All hailing from India, I have never saw twenty-somethings’ faces light up so fast. They immediately took out their phones and, within five minutes, there were about 10 students in the apartment, all eager to soak up the Irish Christmas. With festive tunes blaring, their excitement was infectious. One girl was nearly moved to tears at the sight of the Christmas tree; it really was an amazing experience for me too. The apartment feels so much more homely. With four people living in my apartment, it was probably the first time we have all been in the one room together. If I had known that it would take a Christmas tree to do this, I would have gotten it ages ago.

Despite my festive interruption on Sunday evening, assignment deadlines are looming and, the more you ignore them, the thicker they come. Thankfully most of my course is continuous assessment. When doing bits of assignments, I was looking over my mid-term results to see where I went wrong and how I can improve for next time. When I checked, I was enraged to see just my result with no commentary. I mean it wasn’t that bad or anything, but there was certainly room for improvement. I got absolutely no feedback from my lecturer. I asked a few others in my class if they got feedback, however nobody had. I asked other students who are doing a completely different course to me, with the same result. The average salary of a lecturer in Ireland is €56,000 per year.

With this in mind, feedback on work submitted should be given. You can’t learn if you don’t know what mistake you made.

This is one way in which I find some lecturers take the easy route, and it really irritates me. Lecturers also came under scrutiny back in October, when it was discovered that, in some cases, Trinity College Dublin were using year-old lecture material. This could be done because it was pre-recorded from the previous year when we were physically unable to attend college because of the pandemic.

This year, some of the lecturers opted to continue with the online system of learning. I suppose you can’t really argue with this, as Tony Holohan has told us several times over the past few days; Covid is not going anywhere. However, it would make you wonder if the pandemic has given people an excuse to take their foot off the accelerator. In other words, an excuse for laziness? There are students who are campaigning to get in-class exams moved online because of the risk of contracting COVID-19 in an exam hall. Some of these same people are going out every night of the week. Now, obviously we don’t know what lecturers do in their free time, but could it be a similar situation?

It seems to be that some people cry ‘covid’ when it suits them.

Bah humbug!

* Gemma Good is from Killeshandra and a second year journalism student in University of Limerick.


It’s beginning to look a lot like... but not for everybody