Saturday 19 August 2017

Hurray, I'm free! Now to get rid of every last textbook

ON Thursday, June 20, at 4.45pm, I was freed from the Leaving Cert. This was a much later finish than most of my peers. Candidates who sat the more popular exams were finished earlier than the rest of us.

Now I don't know if any exam could be classified as 'popular'. But when I say popular, I mean the amount of students taking the subject. Because I did less-studied subjects like physics, my exams dragged on until yesterday. Nonetheless, it left me with enough free time that I could study (and keep a column in the Irish Independent!)

Along with study, there was a lot of luck, too. For example, I had a huge stroke of good fortune in my music paper. Of the 20 essay topics, I only studied one. Namely, the harping tradition. I withheld my victory dance until after the exam.

The moral of the story? I don't know if there is one. Perhaps future Leaving Cert students could try making offerings to Tyche, the Greek goddess of luck.

Of all else, the main thing that struck me about the Leaving Cert was how normal it was. In the weeks before June, the airwaves were overtaken by exam features. Even Jason Derulo felt the need to weigh in on the hot topic. Yet, it didn't live up to the hype at all.

The top trend in Dublin on June 5 wasn't #exams – it was #BeGrand! They were like any other end-of-year exams. The only difference being that I had to conceal my identity with an exam number.

This summer will be the first time I've ever been able to throw out my schoolbooks. Yes, I don't think I will feel that I've truly finished school until every last textbook is in the second-hand shop, out of sight and out of mind.

Once I've done that, I'll have to clean my brother's room. My room was so messy that instead, I opted to study next door. It was everything my room is not. Clean, ordered, carpeted, a much better alternative. I'll have to get him a present, too. It will probably be a 'Beano' magazine and a Wham bar (or whatever it is that kids like these days).

After an intensive two weeks, I am now a free student! Hurray!

Right now, I'm in Galway with my brother for a gig with BriBry. One thing that will continue for the rest of the summer is that there will be no uniforms, homework – or any of that craic.

Laura Gaynor was a student at Ursuline College, Sligo

Irish Independent

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