Wednesday 14 November 2018

Exam success: clever people are not always the intelligent ones

Some of our greatest minds have been found badly wanting in the real world, writes Con Houlihan

IT'S that time again: you cannot put on the radio for half an hour without hearing September Song or Autumn Leaves or some such lyric lamenting the fading of the year.

And yet for students and their unfortunate teachers, the year is only beginning. All teachers know the horrors of the first few days back: the students are mentally asleep after the long holiday -- you may spend an hour talking passionately about Keats and Shelley and at the end, someone asks you "What is poetry for?"

Perhaps you may have spent an hour explaining the function of the apostrophe -- and next day you get an essay that begins: "Jessie and Frank James are American heroes but the brother's deeds weren't always heroic." And you say to yourself, not for the first time: "Anybody who misuses the apostrophe is capable of anything."

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