Monday 23 October 2017

Exam Diary: The big day has finally arrived – and what I am hoping for most is a monsoon

I HAVE to say it was funny last night, just knowing that these three weeks will appraise 14 years of work. Finishing school was strange too. In fact, there have been lots of strange things over the past few weeks. We've talked to strangers in continental languages and learned tear-jerking ballads for our grad Mass.

Even though I'm sure I will miss certain aspects of school, I'm very much looking forward to when I can jump out of my Dubarry shoes, and trade my tartan skirt for something designed in this century.

English Paper One is the first exam.

This involves lots of reading paired with lots and lots of writing. The amount of writing that might give the fittest of hands repetitive strain injury.

Lucky for me, I will not be one of them. I am one of those people who have illegible writing, unless I write at a speed too slow for an exam.

To cut to the chase, I'm doing all of my written exams on a computer with the spell check turned off. I'm very glad of this (those colossal halls with scores of candidates filed by surnames were always a bit of a put-off for me).

The other upside is that my invigilator is a teacher from my school, which makes it a little bit easier to relax into the exam.

As the exams loomed closer, I was counting on the grannies who were lighting candles for a workable English paper.

I'm no good at guessing the size of crowds; but I'd say there's at least 17 million of them out there.

This paper is mainly a test of your actual ability to write, so I'll probably not benefit from what I tried to memorise in the short drive to my school today. That's not to say I didn't try.

I'm counting on Ireland right now, not the people, but the country itself.

It has managed to deliver perfectly abysmal weather almost all year with the exception of the last week.

Yesterday was a cause for alarm when I found myself putting on sun cream. If I see one more sliver of sunlight, I'll be commissioning rain dancers. I don't know what the going rate is, or if I can get them on the JobBridge, but if the weather persists, they'll be in high demand.

So what do you want of me, English Paper One? A short story, a fictional radio talk on RTE One, an imaginary column in the Irish Independent? I'll be hoping for a spark of genius and a month of monsoon showers.

Laura Gaynor is a student at Ursuline College, Sligo

Irish Independent

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