Wednesday 22 November 2017

The end is in sight -- I just have to avoid Facebook

Scientists have proved that yesterday, June 17, is the happiest day of the year. A boffin at Cardiff University has proved it, using a formula that incorporates the length of the day, the temperature, the proximity of a holiday and even drawing on a person's childhood memories. I am sure the students who finished their Leaving Cert yesterday, or earlier this week, will agree.

A highly qualified scientist was needed to work out this formula. However, any Irish student who has finished their exams need only look at the pile of redundant school books or take their uniform off for the last time to prove that yesterday was a joyous occasion. For those of us who still have our shoulder to the Leaving Cert wheel, our monumental day awaits.

The bells of freedom will not toll for me until next week, which means that I spent yesterday buried in the books. However, knowing that this was the final stretch meant I studied with (reasonably) good humour.

I am finding it easier to study these days; my stress levels are dwindling with each glorious moment that I complete a paper. Also, I am not as easily distracted as I have been avoiding Facebook at all costs. Reading of how some of my friends are finished for good just depresses me.

I spent yesterday immersed in the most fickle of Leaving Cert subjects, chemistry, which is coming up on Tuesday. The subject demands a dazzling repertoire of knowledge of the course.

It is unbelievably precise, as specific words are needed for marks. It is one of few subjects where there are more marks going for an answer than syllables in said answer.

Meanwhile, the German exam was yesterday. It was apparently straightforward, with the aural and written sections lovely, while the grammar section threw up a couple of challenges.

Meanwhile, design and communications graphics -- the subject formerly known as technical graphics -- was also on yesterday. This is another subject that requires inch-like precision.

Not being the most exact of people, I gave it up post-Junior Cert after experiencing serious difficulties drawing straight lines.

For my Junior Cert exam, I had to apply various rules to draw what should have been a shark. Due to my ineptitude, I took artistic licence and drew something that could have graced art galleries for years, as critics tried to figure out what it was supposed to be.

In fifth year, I decided to spare the teacher's nerves by doing geography instead.

But yesterday's exam apparently went well, with friends Peter, Ryan and Louise finding the paper straightforward.

Now I face into my final weekend of being a slave to an exam paper. I finish with chemistry on June 21. My happiest day of the year will also be the longest.

Gavin Cooney is a student at Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon, Co Longford

Irish Independent

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