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Monday 15 September 2014

Exam Diary: Summer will have to wait as I must study

Ellie Walsh

Published 14/06/2014 | 02:30

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Leaving Cert diarist Ellie Walsh
Leaving Cert diarist Ellie Walsh

Yesterday I got the Nana treatment. Instead of facing fiscal policy and the banking system to prepare for economics, I went up to visit my Nana Bridget in Kilkenny for the day.

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There, I was suitably fed on tea, Crunchies and cake before heading home adequately molly-coddled and under-prepared for my last exams.

But Crunchies are no substitute for the study that had become unavoidable. My motivation tank is at an all-time low. No amount of trash television or comfort food could spur on my incentive to hit the books.

Drastic action had to be taken. I locked myself in my room yesterday evening with curtains drawn to prevent the weather enticing me outside.

With my phone off and my laptop put away, I gave myself no choice but to absorb the knowledge in front of me. Believe it or not, self-forced imprisonment is a very effective way to study.

I lasted a good two hours before I was fit to scream. There was only so long I could last in my greenhouse of a bedroom. I then turned to music, my final exam, and managed to listen to half of 'Seachanges' before my ears started bleeding from the shrill violins. Not a bad day's work indeed if you ask me.

From what I heard, the Germans had a nice run of it. The paper itself was satisfactory, but they were thrown a bit of a curve ball with a tricky but manageable letter. In the wake of the German and construction studies exams yesterday, even more of us have checked out for good.

Us Leaving Cert students are a dying breed. Like Derek Mahon's mushrooms in 'A Disused Shed In County Wexford', we remaining are the lonely and forgotten.

Crowded together in a sweaty sea of uniforms, we wait patiently for our salvation. We watch, under our pile of past exam papers and revision books, as our peers become carefree and sun-kissed.

Instead of ice creams and T-shirts, we have the exam supervisors all-seeing eye watching over us. Perhaps this is a bit dramatic – but Leaving Cert fever has me delirious.

Today is the start of the last exam weekend, however, which us remaining soldiers are welcoming with open arms.

By this time next week, the Leaving Cert will seem like a distant memory, with summer enveloping all our attention.

For those who face physics and accounting on Monday, this weekend is a chance to cram – but for me, it's one last battle with my study demons before the journey's end.

Ellie Walsh is a pupil at Ard Scoil na nDeise, Dungarvan, Co Waterford

Irish Independent

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