Saturday 23 September 2017

Quelle surprise! Finally a day free from drama

It seems all those hours spent reeling off verb endings and stringent grammar rules like a ritualistic chant has finally paid off.

There is nothing quite as satisfying as casually slipping the subjunctive into a French essay and feeling like a linguistic god.

I think it can be universally agreed that French was a welcome diversion from the incessant stream of drama over the past few papers.

No unpleasant surprises lurked in the choice of questions, for which I am exceptionally grateful because dealing with French that early in the morning I can just about handle, but deep and meaningful questions that require profound soul-searching? Je pense que, non.

Thinking back now, I realise that the questions did seek to draw a considerable amount of praise for Ireland from students. Maybe it's a subliminal message to us not to abandon our native isle after college, the grass really isn't much greener on the other side. You're in Ireland, how much greener can it be?

Coming out of the written paper, the pessimist in me decided to pipe up with unpleasant misgivings and doubt: 'don't forget you still have the aural to contend with, you're not safe yet!' I've discovered during this year, especially toward the end, that my subconscious is incredibly sadistic.

Just when I manage to convince myself for the 10 billionth time that yes, I have in fact absorbed some information over the past two years, it decides to stoke the embers of paranoia, adding fuel to the flames with thoughts of total mind-blanks and horrific essay titles. Not to mention the torturous nightmares of missing exams and failing everything.

Luckily, these paranoid thoughts proved fallacious and the listening paper was as amenable as the written.

The French paper was followed by an equally well-received history paper in the afternoon, to the relief of students who are now nursing some serious hand cramps. It was an exam awaited with dread, but the appearance of Hitler's foreign policy and the British retreat from India calmed many a pounding heart. Or so I hear from a reliable source.

With no exams for me today, I think I've deserved a day to indulge myself. NOT. With classics tomorrow, the day will be spent attempting to distinguish Alexander's numerous battles from each other and pray to Zeus I don't mix up Oedipus and Odysseus' names. . . again.

India McGirr is a pupil at Gorey Community School, Co Wexford

Irish Independent

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