How not to pick a winning horse

Friday May 16th 2014

Dia dhaoibh arís a chairde ! By the time you’re reading this I will be officially done with my lectures and maybe even have started my exams already. It’s mental ! First year completely over and done with when it seems like only yesterday I had my orientation week. I suppose that so much has been happening this year that I haven’t even noticed the time passing me by.

me and J

I’ll start off by telling you that since we last spoke (it’s really more of a monologue than a dialogue) I was at a student race day in Leopardstown. It was absolutely amazing ! All the boys were suited and booted and all the girls had their finest dresses on. It was hard to believe that we were all only in college because we looked good. Really good. (Hey everyone.. Come see how good I look !) The craic was going and the money was rolling in for some but of course, in true Irish weather, it was bucketing. As is the way, the day before the race was gorgeous, as was the day after but the heavens opened up on the one day everyone hoped it would stay dry.

This didn’t put a damper on people’s spirits however and everyone still braced the wind and rain to run down and put their bets on. Now, I don’t know much about horse racing or betting and I certainly wouldn’t know how to pick out a winning horse but luckily for me and my friends, our taxi man seemed to know what he was talking about. We were stuck in traffic when he pulled out his paper, examined all the horses and asked us if we were for putting a bet on. We said aye and he named one horse. “This horse ran this distance in this time and the jockey has won this race and that one”. This horse sounded wonderful.. as far as horses go. Said taxi man gave us a reassuring wink and sent us on our way.
Well of course we bet on this horse immediately, told all our friends to bet on him and we waited. He got into his gate and as soon as the race began, he was off ! That’s really all he did. Not only did he not win, oh no. He came last and by a hefty margin. I tried my luck again a few days later with the Grand National. Three horses and all of them fell.
As I said, I wouldn’t have known how to pick a winning horse and I still don’t.

I loved the time I had at home with my family and friends at Easter. Although I didn’t have Easter Holidays I had a long weekend at home and that worked perfectly for me. Easter Sunday is a day I enjoy particularly because it is usually the one day where the entire family is together. We go to mass together, sit down to dinner together and then lie around watching films on TV all day. At night, I will meet up with my friends and we will go out. It’s fantastic.

Easter Sunday mass has always been a time for me that I feel like I can look back on the past few months or year or my life and see how far I have come and how I have changed. It was particularly eye opening this year because of my new start as a college student. I was able to look back on how much I have matured since September and what has helped me achieve that. As I sat praying and thinking back on my time in college, I realized that one of the factors that was key and that came into my head more often that others was the Michaela Foundation.

Writing the blogs may not seem like much but I thought about how much doing that has helped me to express myself and let go of any tension by focusing and concentrating solely on the blog. The Michaela Foundation team have also been a big help and are always available to talk if you ever need to. I didn’t realize at the time but I saw then how much it helped knowing at the back of your mind, you always had someone to turn to if you needed help or advice. The Michaela Foundation has done a lot for me, and the other scholars, which is why we decided we would try and give a little back to them.

The Belfast Marathon take place on Monday 5th May and the Michaela Scholars are taking part in it as a relay team. Our aim is to raise £1000, a sum that was giving to aid us at the beginning of the year, so that we might be able to help a future Michaela Scholar in the coming academic year. We know how important this scheme is and how much it does help students. Unfortunately I won’t be able to take part in the Marathon due to exams but I will be fundraising and praying for them- especially Killian who has to run two legs of the marathon ( apologies Killian!!)
If he has two legs by the end of it, it’ll be a miracle.

Slán go fóill,