Earlier this week we were delighted to be able to welcome two past pupils back to DCP to speak to our students and to offer them career guidance.
Firstly ,our Sixth Year History students had the chance to meet with Jordan Bertucelli. Jordan left us in 2015 to study History at University of Ulster and has recently completed his Masters. Jordan has recently begun lecturing in History at U.U as a PhD Researcher in Early Modern Italian History and hopes to be able to spend more time doing this over the coming Years.
Jordan is pictured here with his siblings Cara and Stefan and with the AS Level History class.
Secondly, our Year 12 Business students had the opportunity to meet with former Dominican student, Patrick Trolan, who is currently a web designer based in California. Patrick left here in 1997 and graduated in 2007 in Media Arts before following a range of careers in the media sector.
The students found the talk extremely informative as they are creating websites as part of their GCSE coursework. Patrick also talked to students about his life, from leaving DCP and the various paths he pursued, before his career in media.
Mrs McTaggart was delighted that Patrick was able to share his knowledge with the students, whilst also give them inspiration and encouragement to fulfil their own passion.
Jordan’s younger sister Cara completed this interview with him on his time at DCP.
What school did you go to?
I went to Dominican Collage Portstewart between 2008-2015.
Who was your favourite teacher?
To be honest I can’t say I had a favourite. I have a lot of fond memories of all my teachers although I will admit a few definitely left a lasting impression on me and helped me develop as a person. Mr Bannon was arguably the teacher I spent the most time with as between Eco Club and class I am sure he was sick of seeing me! Ms. Stafford, the science technician while I was there, is currently studying a PhD at Ulster University while I am conducting my own research and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to reconnect with both her and Mr B. in the past few months!
Obviously, while Eco was a big part of my Dominican journey it was not the entirety of it. Mr Ramsay will forever be one of, if not secretly, my favourite teacher as his love and enthusiasm for history mirrors my own! He really helped me come out of my shell and helped me become the historian I am today.
I will forever have the greatest respect for Miss Moody as she helped me understand maths. No one has managed that before or since and I have very fond memories of my time in her class.
Mr Doone and Mr Crutchley also hold a special place in my memory as both jokers and excellent geography teachers. They helped me find a love for geography and laughs were never too far away in their classes. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to keep in touch with Mr Doone through university and I wish them both the very best whatever they may be up to.
I also want to give a shout out to Mr Brolly, whose words echo in my head to this day and I often find myself quoting him when I am teaching my own students. His wisdom is beyond measure and I hope that someday I will have even a small fraction of his wisdom!
Oh goodness, I have just realised how long I have been talking for! I could literally sit and talk about my teachers all day as they all had such a large impact on my life.
Oh, one final thing before we move on, if I may? I was not really a fan of languages when I was a school, Mrs O’Connor and Mrs Ni Mhaolain can attest to that, but since going to university I have passionately defended languages as essential. The funny thing is despite getting a C in GCSE French both my undergraduate and Masters’ dissertations focused on French history and used French sources. Now I am learning Italian for the PhD and I have taken to it like a duck to water, apparently. Never in all my days did I think that would happen and the fact I remember so much French and Spanish is a credit to the language department at DCP so thank you!
Do you remember what class you were in?
Yes I most certainly do. I was in Mr Cloughley’s group three up until lower sixth when I moved to Mr Buick’s group two. I moved into Mr Brolly and Mrs Park’s group four in upper sixth so you could say I moved around a fair bit. Not as much as pupils today though. Back then there were only three form groups up until upper when a fourth was added. I don’t think I could have coped with the linear/form system you have now.
The fact we were in the same group for everything meant we all got to know each other really well and the fact our year was small by today’s standards meant that most of us, if not all, knew everyone else in the year.
I have great memories of our form class and I am so glad that you are keeping up the group three trend!
Who were your friends?
I would like to say I was friendly with everyone. Of course, we had our own wee group too, consisting of James, James, Mateusz, Hannah, Megan and later Aimee. We got up to all sorts back in the day. I probably sound like an old man saying that and in truth it both feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.
What did you do at break/lunch time? What games did you play?
Ahah, that’s an interesting one. Uh… well we ate, and then Mateusz and I walked laps of the school. Not sure if it was a fitness thing, an energy thing or just for the fresh air. That’s just what we did.
I don’t think we ever really played games. I remember Peter and Shay, who I was friends with from primary school, inviting me to break-time football on a couple of occasions in first year but otherwise it was just our wee group talking about current affairs and politics. Not really the most exciting answer but that’s what we did from the age of eleven and we still do today.
Are you still in touch with any of your friends from school?
I alluded to this by accident in the previous question but yes, I am. I am still in contact with James, James, Hannah, Mateusz and Aimee. We have a group chat on Facebook and we usually meet up twice a year or so for a meal to get caught up. Recently, James, James and I have been talking a lot more over the computer as, thanks to our current situation (Covid-19), we have had the chance to play some games again for the first time in nine or so years. It’s like being a teenager again albeit with loads more work!
What is your favourite memory from school?
Oh… that’s a tough one. I would like to say Lauren and a few of the teachers, who shall remain nameless, crying at the leavers presentation Aoife and I worked so hard on. I don’t think either of us were expecting that reaction nor were we expecting that kind of emotional connection to the presentation but it remains one of my favourite memories not for the sadness but because it was one of the last times we were all together as a group and one big DCP family.
That being said I have a lot of favourite memories. Going to Stormont in second year with the GCSE history students is definitely a highlight.
It sounds strange I know! I have always liked archaeology and when Eco was installing raised beds on the slope leading down to St. Joseph’s hall we discovered a pit full of material thrown out from the school when it was a convent. While it was essentially a big underground bin, it was my first, and as it turns out only foray into archaeology. There were some great finds, bits of pots, some beautiful plates and, of course, several discarded bottles of communion wine. I think I was allowed three days out of class at the end of the year to go and dig away and it was absolutely fantastic! I have no idea what happened to the finds that I pulled out of that hole as when I left they were cleaned up and Mr Bannon had them in his room. I hope they are still around somewhere and I would love to look into their history some more as it’s also the history of the school that means so much to me.