Read? Study? Shop? How are teenagers spending strike day?

If we all lower our expectations, no one has to get hurt

Politicians and media pundits are straining their Botox worrying about the impact of the school strike on students. The students themselves fall into one of two categories – Not Too Bothered or Doing The Dab (a la Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard).

All around the country parents are, right this minute, trying out the language their parents used on them. “This is not a doss day, you know. Just because the teachers are on strike doesn’t mean you’re on strike. You’re going to do something productive my dear, make no mistake. You’re not sitting on that couch all day, mark my words.”

Trouble is, parents don’t want to police any of these productive activities (and neither, it transpires, do gardaí just at the moment). So, while parents will hope that children will spend Strike Day 1 selecting from our Option A list, they are far more likely to make their selections from Option B. If we all lower our expectations, no one gets hurt.

Option A: Spend three hours in the study creating flash cards summarising Irish economic policy from 1950 to 1970.
Option B: Spend three hours in the study pimping Sean Lemass with highlighters and glitter pens.


Option A: Check Asti's website all day waiting for strike updates, reading up on their equal pay policy and, just for context, doing some background research on the history of the labour movement in Ireland. Get radicalised, join the USS.
Option B: Check Instagram every forty seconds. Follow a kissing dog called Brute. So cute.

Game time
Option A: Gambol through the autumn leaves in the park, looking for conkers and taking pictures of incredible trees for your Glory of Nature Pinterest page.
Option B: Lurk around the industrial estate looking for Pokemon until Mum goes out and you can get back to the couch.

Option A: Catch up on all those TED talks – the TEDWoman conference opens in San Francisco today, timing couldn't be better.
Option B: Link up with Luke and Dan online for the mother of all Battlefield 4 sessions. Not even gonna open the curtains today.

Option A: This is a great time of year for foraging and a chance to use that Wild Food Adventure book. Then home to rustle up a dandelion and elderflower pesto for Mum and Dad when they get in from work.
Option B: This a great time to eat all the ice cream in the freezer and all the regifted boxes of chocolates in the front room because Mum and Dad are at work. When finished, make 'mini pizza' with cream crackers and ketchup.

Option A: Practise piano, learn how to code, perfect a handstand and start reading Ulysses.
Option B: Take 490 photos of the left side of the face, the side without the TurboSpot on it. Post best shot on Snapchat. Start again.

Option A: Watch TG4 all day with masking tape over the subtitles. Generate a New Vocab list.
Option B: Watch 17 episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Pick Turbospot.

Option A: Gather with friends on the beach to get a head start on the marine life project you've planned for the science fair. It's not for months, but this is a great opportunity to get some fieldwork done.
Option B: Gather with friends in Dundrum Town Centre to agitate security guards and flirt with people you plan to ask to your pre-debs. It's not for months but this is a great opportunity to get some field work done.

Mind now
Option A: Practise mindfulness.
Option B: Do something mindless.