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Thursday 2 October 2014

Exam Diary: BOD jokes and rosary beads the order of the day

Elllie Walsh

Published 05/06/2014 | 08:50

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Leaving Cert diarist , Ellie Walsh.Clonkeen, Ballyguiry,
Dungarvan, Co Waterford. Photo: John Power
Leaving Cert diarist , Ellie Walsh.Clonkeen, Ballyguiry, Dungarvan, Co Waterford. Photo: John Power

AS I walked towards my school yesterday morning I felt the eyes of passing motorists deducing where I was going.

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With my school uniform and pale face on the first Wednesday of June it could only be the Leaving Cert.

I received glances that resembled the look you might give a truckload of cattle on their final journey: pity, but I'm glad it's not me.

On arriving, spirits were high with jokes about my face stuck beside Brian O'Driscoll in yesterday’s Irish Independent taking away much of the nerves. We piled into the exam hall, laden down with rosary beads, St Christopher's medals and any other religious apparatus to gain some divine help.

They must have worked because English Paper I was quite fair. Many of us were a bit miffed by the comprehension on Seamus Heaney, which surely eliminates him as one of the poets that will come up today.

Question B is certainly not my favourite part of the English course, especially since they decided to leave out everyone's favourite option of diary entries this year.

Instead, I focused on writing a speech to my class about the influences on the youth of today. The essay choices were a little obscure, ranging from ghostly presences of the past to moments of uncertainty in our lives. I opted for, believe it or not, a light-hearted article on Irish people's obsession with the weather. I realised half-way through that appeared a lot easier than it actually was but alas, I persevered. I owe it all to the rosary beads.

Today, we dive into English Paper II. The poets are a contentious issue among us students with many of us putting all our eggs in the Heaney basket. Apart from that, I'd be pleased to see Plath or Mahon but I'd sooner eat the exam paper before writing an essay on Philip Larkin. Of course there will be the laborious comparative studies essays too, as if there wasn't already enough to scribble down in 3 hours and 20 minutes. If I lose the use of my arm by tonight, you'll know why.

 

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