German Ambassador Honours Mount Mercy College With Visit

On the 14th October 2016, Mount Mercy College was honoured to receive a visit from the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Mr Matthias Höpfner.

EEXX news 14/10/2016. VIDEO AVAILABLE WITH THIS. German ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner with pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. It was the first visit of a diplomat to the girls secondary school. ( l to r) Jana Reusch, German language assistant; Ellen van Walleghem, Deputy Principal; sixth year pupils Niamh Busby and Emma Sheehan, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner, sixth year pupils Maeve O'Sullivan and Larisa Sabou, German teacher Ms Mary Loftus and cellist Roisin Fleming. Pic; Larry Cummins

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured centre. To his left (L-R) Jana Reusch (Language Assistant), Ms Ellen Van Walleghem (Vice Principal),  Niamh Busby, Emma Sheehan and to his right (L-R) Maeve O Sullivan, Larisa Sabou, Ms Loftus (Teacher) & 2nd year cellist Roisin Fleming.  Picture Credit: Irish Examiner                                                

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The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner, pictured centre. To his left (L-R) Jana Reusch (Language Assistant) , Niamh Busby, Emma Sheehan & to his right (L-R) Maeve O Sullivan, Larisa Sabou, Ms Loftus (Teacher) and 2nd year student Roisin with cello.

Picture credit: Irish Examiner

1st Year class pictured with teacher Ms Loftus say ‘Welcome Mr Ambassador’.                                 Picture credit: Irish Examiner

EEXX news 14/10/2016. VIDEO AVAILABLE WITH THIS. German ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. It was the first visit of a diplomat to the girls secondary school. Pic; Larry Cummins

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner. 

 Ambassador Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork.

The German Ambassador, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner. 

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner visiting Mount Mercy College, Cork. Pupils, past-pupils and staff listen to H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner during his visit to the school. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

Pupils, past-pupils and staff listen to The German Ambassador, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner during his visit to Mount Mercy College. 
Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

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The German Ambassador with Vice Principal Ms Ellen Van Walleghem (left) and German Teacher Ms Loftus  (right)

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1st year students welcome The German Ambassador

1st year students :  ‘Welcome Mr Ambassador’

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The German Ambassador arrived at 10am and was welcomed by Vice Principal Ms Van Walleghem, teacher Ms Loftus, the Head Girl Isabel Coburn and Deputy Head Girl Arisha Muhammed. 1st year students of German welcomed the German Ambassador with the words ‘Willkommen Herr Botschafter’ (Welcome Mr Ambassador) and proudly displayed these words in their sign to deliver a group welcome on behalf of all students of German in MMC.

Mount Mercy College Traditional Irish music group

Mount Mercy College Traditional Irish music group welcomed The German Ambassador

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Past pupils of German returned to MMC to enjoy Ambassador Höpfner’s visit. L-R: Sarah Clifford (Deputy Head Girl 2012-2013), Mary O Driscoll (LC 2014), Jessica Schweizer (LC 2014), Clara Bennett, Lea Bennett, Aisling O Donovan, Julie O Sullivan & Jennifer O Leary (all of whom completed their LC in 2016)

The Ambassador stopped to warmly appreciate the beautiful welcoming music provided by Mount Mercy’s traditional Irish music band, as he was escorted through the corridor en route to the library. He entered the library to rapturous applause provided by the Mount Mercy students of German. Ten past pupils of German were also present and joined in providing the warmest of welcomes.

Proceedings commenced with an eloquent welcome speech given by Vice Principal Ms Van Walleghem which highlighted the strong Mount Mercy ethos as well as the achievements and excellent reputation of the College. She highlighted the College’s excellent record in terms of modern languages and spoke about German in Mount Mercy as a popular choice, with many students having achieved very good grades and a significant proportion having chosen to pursue it in higher education. She expressed delight with the support the College has received from the German Embassy and the Goethe Institut, as this support has created new and inspiring opportunities.

Ms Loftus then spoke words of welcome and thanks to the Ambassador, in recognition of the invaluable support provided by the German Embassy for the teaching and learning of German in MMC. She highlighted how the German Embassy, working closely with the Goethe Institut Irland and the German Teachers Association of Ireland, shows us that ‘German connects’ through the provision of wonderful initiatives including:

· The ‘Deutschmobil’, which MMC has been lucky to host annually since its inception in 2013
· Wonderful scholarship opportunities which Mount Mercy students have been lucky to enjoy
· Invaluable support through the provision of the German Language Award – German Teacher of the Year Award which MMC was thrilled and honoured to receive in 2014
· Teacher scholarship opportunities, one of which Ms Loftus was delighted to receive

She highlighted the fact that the German Embassy is simply a magnificent force to be reckoned with and that MMC was most grateful to have this opportunity to thank The German Ambassador in person.

Past pupil and former Deputy Head Girl Alison Devlin then delivered a lovely speech detailing her experience of German during her six years in Mount Mercy and sharing her experience of the German tour to Munich and the Bavarian countryside which took place in October 2015, during her Leaving Cert year. Alison was a member of the first group ever to raise the Mount Mercy flag at the summit of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany at 2,962 metres. She also played a special role as she was responsible for carrying the flag to the peak.

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Alison Devlin, Former Deputy Head Girl

Scholarship winners Larisa Sabou and Niamh Busby spoke warmly of their experiences during their scholarship periods in Germany. These scholarships are awarded to a limited number of students nationally based on Junior Cert results in German and interview performance in German at the Goethe Institut, Dublin. The girls thanked the Ambassador and the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD, Pedagogical Exchange Service) for these scholarships, which have left a lasting positive impact on them, both in terms of German language acquisition and life experience. As Larisa said, from seeing the Brandenburg Gate and Angela Merkel in the Reichstag, to visiting Zugspitze, ‘there’s nothing we haven’t seen’.

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L-R: Niamh Busby and Larisa Sabou

German poems were then performed by all German class groups from 1st year to 6th year. The German Ambassador enjoyed the Mount Mercy rendition of all of the poems which showcased poets from different eras and styles, including Goethe, the world famous German poet laureate.

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1st year German class perform their poem ‘Gute Wünsche’ by Oskar Stock in both German and English

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The 1st year poem ‘Gute Wünsche’ (Good Wishes), by Oskar Stock, was written shortly after World War II and the theme of ‘more peace and friendship, instead of hatred, strife and dispute’ is as relevant today as it was in 1946. This wonderful 1st year class gave a rousing performance of the poem, firstly in German and then in English.

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2nd Year German class perform their poem ‘Auf dem Land’ by Ernst Jandl

The 2nd year poem ‘Auf dem Land’ (In the Countryside), by Ernst Jandl, is an amusing and challenging performance poem where students work with careful repetition of syllables in each word to mimic the sounds made by the animals being described. This was no mean feat and the Mount Mercy students rose to the challenge and performed it wonderfully.

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3rd Year German class perform their Autumnal poem ‘Der Herbstwind’ (The Autumn Wind), Poet unknown

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3rd year students gave a lovely rendition of ‘Der Herbstwind’ (The Autumn Wind), a fitting choice of poem by an unknown poet, to mark the season in which the Ambassador chose to visit MMC. After the poem was performed in German by the class, 3rd year student Sophie Crosbie gave us a charming rendition in English.

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5th Year German students perform their poem ‘Wanderer’s Nachtlied II’ by Goethe, considered by many to be the most beautiful lyrical poem in the German language. Siún Long O Connor holds a poster showing the famous 1787 painting of Goethe by the German artist Tischbein entitled ‘Goethe in the Roman Campagna’

5th year students performed a beautiful version of Goethe’s poem ‘Wanderers Nachtlied II’ (The Wanderer’s Nightsong). This special poem evokes a still and quiet mood as it depicts the wanderer’s thoughts whilst surrounded by the beauty of nature. It is considered by many to be the most perfect lyrical poem in the German language. Following this, 5th year student Katie O Connor performed a lovely version of the poem in English.

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Combined group of Transition Year and Leaving Cert students perform the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy’ poem for Ambassador Höpfner

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Transition Year students Aleks Janowich and Harsimran Ahluwalia perform a poem in German along with their class. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

Transition Year students Aleks Janowicz and Harsimran Ahluwalia perform the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy‘ poem in German along with their class.
Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

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Transition Year and Leaving Cert students combined to recite the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy’ (German in Mount Mercy) poem. This poem conveys the spirit of German in Mount Mercy and these students did a fantastic job of conveying that particular spirit through their enthusiastic and fun approach in the performance.

At this point a special presentation of Cork Crystal was made to the Ambassador, to mark the occasion of his visit to Mount Mercy College. This vase carries the special ‘Winged Starlight’ design by Master Craftsman George Duggan. No two pieces are ever the same. This quintessential piece of Cork Crystal was specially engraved to mark the occasion of The German Ambassador’s visit to Mount Mercy College.

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Presentation of Cork Crystal vase with Winged Starlight design to The German Ambassador

Ambassador Höpfner made a presentation of a beautiful book entitled ‘Deutschland’ to Mount Mercy to be housed in our school library.

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Ambassador Höpfner presented a beautiful book about Germany as a gift to Mount Mercy College

The German Ambassador then rose to address the students. He spoke eloquently about his life growing up in Germany, his early career path in law and the German Diplomatic Service, his family and how he had worked in the German Embassy in Indonesia and later as Deputy Head of Mission in the Germany Embassy in Tripoli in Libya. He later went on to serve as German Ambassador in Ottawa, Canada and Sofia, Bulgaria prior to coming to serve as the German Ambassador to Ireland in 2014.

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After his speech, Ambassador Höpfner went on to further give very generously of his time in providing thoughtful answers during the student question and answer session following his speech. He provided wonderful answers to a diverse range of questions from students in all year groups.

Samples of questions asked included the following:
What does your job involve?
Did you always want to be Ambassador?
What’s the best thing about your job?
If you could name one place to visit in Germany, what would it be?
What is your favourite German historical monument and why?
What do you think Ireland can learn from Germany?
How do you think Brexit will affect the EU?’
Of the many famous dignitaries you have met, who impressed you the most?
What do you think are the strengths of both nations (Ireland and Germany)?
Do you think Ireland and Germany work well in partnership together, in business, technology or simply in friendship?
Are you enjoying your visit to Cork?

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5th Year student Fiona O Sullivan stands to ask The German Ambassador her question: Is Goethe still considered to be relevant in modern day Germany?

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1st Year student Kate O Riordan stands to ask Ambassador Höpfner her question: “What can Ireland learn from Germany?”

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Leaving Cert student Larisa Sabou stands to ask her question

Students certainly provided the Ambassador with a challenging task in answering many questions and he answered all with great aplomb and generosity.

‘Kaffee und Kipferl’ followed this Q & A session . All present enjoyed the delicious Kipferl German cookies baked by the Mount Mercy Home Economics Department and a special word of thanks must be given to Ms Evelyn Coughlan, Home Economics teacher.

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Ambassador Höpfner and Vice Principal Ms Ellen Van Walleghem enjoy ‘Kaffee und Kipferl’ whilst chatting with MMC past pupils of German

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Alison and Jana enjoy the delicious traditional German ‘Kipferl’ cookies

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Past pupils of German chat with Ambassador Höpfner whilst enjoying Kipferl: L-R – Clara Bennett, Lea Bennett, Aisling O Donovan, Julie O Sullivan, Jennifer O Leary

A beautiful Bach instrumental piece was expertly performed on cello by 2nd year student Roisin.

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The Ambassador further gave of his time to shake many hands and to speak with individual students.

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with former Deputy Head Girl Alison Devlin

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Niamh Busby, PAD scholarship winner

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Larisa Sabou. Larisa’s 4 week scholarship placed her amongst the top 5 scholarship winners nationwide in 2015

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Ann Keohane, 2nd year student & member of MMC Student Council

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Alex Jancowicz, TY student, speaks in German telling the Ambassador it is an honour to meet him: ‘Es ist mir eine große Ehre Sie zu treffen’

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Ambassador Höpfner together with Ms Van Walleghem (right) , Ms Loftus (left) and all present in the room, stood to listen to the beautiful rendition of the European Anthem, Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ , played by Mr Whelan on piano and 2nd year student Roisin Fleming on cello.

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Ambassador Höpfner greatly admired the 2nd year student’s ability on the cello and told us his father had been a music teacher and had played cello in the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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Ambassador Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch to his left and Ms Loftus to his right

Many photos were taken and a special word of thanks must be given to Ms Vanessa Gardiner, Art Department, for her lovely photography. Finally, the time to say ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ came. All rose to stand and respectfully listen to a beautiful rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the European Anthem, expertly played on piano by Mr Vincent Whelan, Music Teacher and student Roisin on cello. A special word of thanks must be given to Mr Whelan and the Music Department for the choreography of all music throughout the Ambassador’s visit, which helped to add to the great sense of celebration on this special day. A standing ovation was given to the Ambassador as he took his final leave of the students. He was most impressed with our Mount Mercy students of German and expressed this in his final moments at the school. This brought to an end a most special and memorable visit.

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L-R back row: Jana Reusch, Ms Loftus, Past pupils attending the Ambassador’s visit: Mary O Driscoll, Aisling O Donovan, Lea Bennett, Julie O Sullivan, Jennifer O Leary, Sarah Clifford, Front row L-R: Jessica Schweizer, Alison Devlin and Clara Bennett.

In conclusion, Mount Mercy German Department wishes to express most sincere thanks to the German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner and his team at the German Embassy in Dublin for choosing to honour us with this very special visit. We also deeply appreciate the generous amount of time the Ambassador made available for our students, spending over an hour and a half with them. A special word of thanks must go to Mr Peter Adams, First Secretary and Nelly Reske, P.A. to the Ambassador, who work very hard behind the scenes to coordinate events like this. It was a great honour to receive the German Ambassador at our College and we are most grateful for the opportunity. As well as being the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Höpfner has now set a new record – first ambassador ever to visit Mount Mercy College!

Sincere thanks also must be given to our School Principal Pádraigín Uí Riordáin and Vice Principal Ellen Van Walleghem who greatly supported this special occasion. A special word of thanks must go to our office administrators Vivienne O Shea, Susan Archbold and Debbie Brennan and to Joe Larkin, our caretaker, and Barbara Smolenska, for their great help and support at all times throughout the organisation of this event. A huge thank you to the Home Economics, Music and Art Departments for their invaluable assistance in this event as each department’s participation helped to ensure the event was a great success. Sincere thanks to Ms Mary O Sullivan, Transition Year Coordinator, who kindly organised  the creation of beautiful posters for the event by talented TY students. Last but certainly not least, congratulations to all the Mount Mercy students of German, who really participated wonderfully in this event and with great finesse. The Ambassador came to Mount Mercy specifically to see these students and they certainly did not disappoint. Well done to all our students of German! Our Mount Mercy students of German epitomise the sentiment expressed in the final lines of our ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy Poem’…..

Wir besteigen den höchsten Berg Deutschlands
In Schnee und Sonnenschein
Und dort hissen wir die Mount Mercy Fahne
(Das hat Niemand vor uns getan),
………denn es ist wichtig ein Ziel zu erreichen

We climb the highest mountain in Germany
In snow and sunshine
And there we raise the Mount Mercy flag
(Nobody did that before us)
Because it is important to reach a goal

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Mount Mercy welcomes German Language Assistant

Mount Mercy German Department is delighted to welcome Jana Reusch from Kiel in Northern Germany who joins us as German Language Assistant for the 2016-2017 school year. Céad míle Fáilte Jana! Herzlich Willkommen in Irland!

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch during his visit to MMC on 14th October 2016

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch during his visit to MMC on 14th October 2016

Wir sind froh Jana im Mount Mercy zu haben und wir wünschen ihr alles Gute für die Zeit im Mount Mercy Team!

Who Wants To Be A Thousandaire?

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Mount Mercy College is proud to present ‘Who Wants To Be A Thousandaire’

Taking place in The Oriel House Ballincollig on Thursday 27th of October this is your chance to win some fantastic prizes and help raise money for our schools Sports Hall Development Fund.

The show is fully computerised with 50/50, Ask the Audience and a brilliant video-linked Phone a Friend. The questions and four possible answers are displayed on two 8ft x 6ft screens, one at each side of the stage.

lucky contestants will be drawn from the audience and will have the unique opportunity to play for €1,000 on the night.

With ‘Thousandaire’ tickets priced at only €15 each, there are lots of reasons to phone a friend or a few, and invite them to join in the fun at Mount Mercy’s inaugural Thousandaire event.

Tickets €15 each or €50 for a book of four

Cake Sale!

A little bliss in every bite. The TY Librarians proudly hosted a cake sale on the 29th of September  2016 in the 6th Year social area JUST FOR YOU! It’s was just 50c!  IMG_20160929_125932 IMG_20160929_130010 IMG_20160929_130023 IMG_20160929_130105 IMG_20160929_130106

IMG_20160929_142134 Our money being re-checked by the Cake Sale Finance team.

A Very Big Thank You form the Mount Mercy College Library Team! All of you raised  €200.56! This money will go back to YOU. This means that it will be used to buy prizes for colouring competitions, library raffles (Christmas/Easter), lollipops and it will pay for the development of the library camera to take photographs pf library events that YOU will be involved in this year.

Meet this year’s TY Librarians- Our Circle of Trust.

 

 

received_290639714655508Back Row: Helena Crowley, Aoife McNamara, Aoife Feehan, Katie Healy, Ms.O’Mahony, Maria Anna Junysek, Eabha O’Leary, Magadelna , Princiya Machado, Sharan Shaju, Marium Baig.

Sitting Down: Elanna Hawe Levy, Ebba Allan , Jessica Syfullaeva , Saarah Shah, Aleksandra Janowicz, Zainab Baker, Dia Harry Thomas, Zaarah Dhameed.

Very Front: Sara Ann Biju and Moira Brennan.

Upcoming Events in 2016/2017 in the Library.

September:

  • Training for new T.Y Librarians.
  • School Library Opens.
  • All First Year English classes will receive a guide.

October:

  • Halloween Theme – Gothic fiction, horror fiction are promoted in the library.
  • Second Year competition – compose a spooky poem or a very short story.
  • Fifth Year competition – Colour in a pumpkin .( to be displayed in library).
  • One of the Fridays in October , Halloween face painting at small break. (Proceeds to go towards MMC Sports Hall).

November:

  • Senior Students – 100 word short story competition – a bi-yearly event which takes place every November and January.

December:

  • Library decorated for Christmas.
  • 1st Year Competition – Create an angel which will be displayed in the library.

January:

  • ” New Writers and New Books” displayed in the library to celebrate the New Year.

February:

  • Whole school competition – vote for your favourite literary couples as a Valentines day special!
  • Library decorated for St. Valentine’s Day.
  • 1st Year Competition- Colour in heart which is to be displayed in the Library.
  • Oscars – The library rolls out the red carpet to promote books that have been transferred to the big screen.

March:

  • Celebrate Irish Writers with a display of their great work in our new “recommended” section.
  • Library decorated to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day.
  • 2nd Year ompetition – colour in shamrock. ( ALL entries will be displayed in library).
  • MMC Library celebrates National Book Week.
  • Whole School fancy dress competition- dress as your favourite character(s) from a book.
  • 1st Year Book Quiz. – Prizes Galore
  • 2nd Year Book Quiz – ‘NEW’ ( Mount Mercy College Prsents this to you all for the first time. BE READY!
  • Transition Year Book Quiz – read a lot, know a lot , win a lot!