The feminist poetry of Adrienne Rich brought plenty of smiles to the students of St Gerald's College in Castlebar. English paper two was largely well-received with some exceptions but the consensus was positive. Teachers Regina Duffy and Siobhan Derrig waited anxiously in the carpark of St Gerald's for their students to spill out of the exam hall. And it was smiles and relief when they finally emerged after a three hour and twenty-minute slog. A beaming Ruairi Cronin (18) from Ballyvary was thrilled to say to his friend afterwards that it was the last English essay he would ever have to write. "When I opened the paper and saw Adrienne Rich, I was very happy. "I don't want to say I had all my eggs in her basket, but she was the main one I was praying for. "The first Othello question was a bit rotten; I didn't like it. It was about Emelia, I didn't know much about her, but I was delighted with the second question. "It was about Othello and his role as an outsider. "English wouldn't be my strongest subject, but I'm ok with it. "I was telling one of the guys as I came out that it was the last English essay I will ever do, so I feel great thinking about that. "It was a long exam, three hours twenty minutes, so it's great to get it ticked off the list." Cathal O'Boyle (18), from Castlebar town, said he couldn't find much to complain about either. "It's a subject you have to have to put a lot of work into because it can be a tricky subject. "But It was definitely a nice paper, especially with the accommodations we were given," he said. This year Higher level English Leaving Cert students only had to answer two questions as opposed to three in previous years, owing to the amount of time lost in their fifth year due to Covid, "It's great to get the paper over and done with and get through it. "I am feeling good. I was happy with how the questions fell, and I'd be confident it went my way. Michael Waldron (18) from Castlebar said overall, "it wasn't too bad." "It was tough enough in places. Some of the questions would have been hard to prepare for. They were different from the past questions, I thought. But it wasn't too bad, though." Conor Golden (18) from Breaffy felt the paper was a fair one. "I thought it was alright. We could choose one question to leave out, and I left out the comparative and when I looked at the question, I was happy I did- it was quite a hard question. "The poet I had studied came up, Adrienne Rich; even though the question was tricky, I got down what I could. "I was happy to see Adrienne Rich come up; she's straightforward to write about because she has so many different themes. "So I got a good bit of mileage out of that. "Shakespearean dramas can be hard to write about, and the question was tough enough, but I got a lot down." Tiernan Byrne (18) from Breaffy felt the strain of the three hours but was glad to be on the other side. "I was happy. The single text was a nice question. The comparative kind of threw me, but I got through it. I kept reading it over for a few minutes and understood it more. "I didn't do the poetry question, but it did look nice; I saw Adrienne Rich was on it, and it was a good question. "It was a long exam, so I'm glad to have it behind me. Their beaming teacher Regina Duffy said the accommodations made for the time lost in school helped this year's students, "The boys are happy, and that's all that matters. They were delighted with paper one. Paper two threw up a couple of questions they maybe weren't expecting, but we got them through it really well. "There were great options available to them. "They are such good boys; they were a lovely year to teach, so I'm delighted they are happy," she said.