Friday 6 December 2019

Wolverine and the CAO form horror

Three reasons to hope Wolverine has begun her re-entry to the human race:

• She rings her grandmother to wish her a happy birthday after being reminded only once.

• After early-morning hysterics in which she calls you a dysfunctional control freak for suggesting she eat breakfast, she arrives home from school with a small bag of bath bombs for you.

• She gets through an entire Saturday without screaming at anyone.

But then you sit down at the computer to do her CAO choices. Newsflash: Wolverine has left her CAO handbook in school.

"Well, that's okay," you say brightly.

You log on to the website. "First choice," you say cheerfully.

"Medicine," she says sullenly.

You check the points requirement and gulp.

"But it's 600 points!" you protest.

"I want to be a paediatrician," she elucidates briefly, "I like kids."

Well, if she wanted medicine, perhaps she should have worked a bit bloody harder, you think – Wolverine's chronic laziness saw her score less than expected in her end of term exams.

Nevertheless, down it goes. As do law, and some courses in psychology, speech therapy and occupational therapy – all of which hover close to or above the 500-point mark.

Your husband attempts to gently ease her towards more realistic options. If she likes children, he says, why doesn't she become a Montessori teacher?

"No," Wolverine says expressionlessly.

"Or what about primary teacher, then?"

She's not sure, she says gloomily.

"You've had nearly three years to sort all this out," you say briskly.

"I thought you said you were going through your career options every week in career guidance?"

No answer.

Sighing, you grab the Irish Independent Going to College supplement, which – anticipating such an eventuality – you'd quietly stored in your office drawer.

You start grinding through the categories. Wolverine's not interested in architecture, business, IT, construction studies, hotel management, engineering or music.

"I might slip away out to the shed," your husband offers.

"You won't," you tell him tersely.

Wolverine mentions that she might consider early childhood care, arts and education or primary teaching.

You add an early childhood course, plus a degree in primary teaching to the list.

"What else?" you ask, itching to slap.

"You're supposed to fill up as many of the options as possible."

But that's it.

With less than half of the 20 spaces filled, your daughter's all out of ideas.

Wolverine, you realise, might well be on the point of re-entering the human race, but she's still a long way from reality.

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