Friday 20 October 2017

Exam diary: No rest for the wicked -- but end is finally in sight

ANOTHER exam-free day but no rest for the wicked. I eventually got to go for a marathon applied-maths revision session and a quick catch up with some friends. Between nattering about Monday's exam fiasco in Dublin and figuring out differential equation questions for this Friday's exam, it was a morning well spent.

The most recent exam fiasco has made me a bit wary of sitting Friday's paper. Don't get me wrong, I'd love if I was handed only one question (preferably one I could do) or that there was a major error and each candidate would get an A1, but it is more likely New Zealand will win the World Cup than both of them happening. However, one lives in hope.

The Leaving Cert weather, although slow to take off, is now here and, hopefully it will stay long after the exam boxes have been closed and the scripts are being corrected. Knowing my luck, it will rain at exactly 12:01 on Friday and it won't cease until September. I intend to spend most of the month of August visiting the beach in Carna, Co Galway, for long afternoons by the Atlantic.

But enough of my summer plans and wishful thinking, back to the daily round-up of the exams. As I don't (in the immortal words of Crystal Swing) drink tequila or talk dirty in Spanish, it was from Ballincollig, Co Cork, where I got some views on the Spanish paper.

Aisling, a friend I met when debating in the European Parliament last year, sat her last language exam yesterday morning. After English, Irish, French and Spanish, she was relieved to be finished. Overall, the reaction from Cork was very positive.

It was then off to talk to my cousin, James, who was sitting the last of his science subjects -- chemistry. The hotly tipped bleach experiment failed to show and the overall consensus was that it was "manageable but hard". This view was also reflected by my friend, Colm, in my own school. Experiments on soap and water hardness were on the paper, as was the mechanism of a bomb calorimeter (whatever that is).

So with the end in sight, I am intrigued to hear about the Waterford teacher and also an exam candidate who is taking 30 subjects this year. I will spare a thought for him when I finish at noon on Friday -- as he will not finish until midnight due to subject clashes.

Peadar Ó Lamhna is a student at St Macartan's College, Monaghan

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