Sun smiles as exams set in
Exams. The very word alone is enough to send shivers down the spine of anyone who has ever been sat down in an examination hall watching the seconds tick by until they are told to 'turn over your papers'.
For thousands of Junior and Leaving Cert students across Cork the long wait came to an end on Wednesday morning as the first day of their state exams finally rolled around and they sat down to tackle English paper 1.
While there was no doubt that there was some tension felt, soon to be retiring principal of the Patrician Academy in Mallow, Catherine Fitzpatrick, said there was little sign of anxiety among her students.
"Leaving Certificate, in particular, can be quite a stressful time and we always say that the first day of exams is the worst day. While there was a quiet atmosphere around the school on Wednesday morning I would not say that it was overly subdued," said Catherine.
"It was more of calmness, with the vast majority of the pupils seeming to be happy with their preparations over the past weeks and months. Certainly, talking to some of the students after they had come out of the first exam, they seemed to be quite happy with how it went."
She said that great credit must go to the students for the manner in which they approached the exams.
"They have all worked extremely hard and hopefully that has paid off. Great credit must also go to the staff for their work in preparing the students and, of course, to the parents for the great support they have given along the way," she added.
Millstreet's Joanne O'Riordan (No Limbs No Limits) took centre stage in the English ordinary level paper 1.
A text based on edited extracts from a speech delivered by Joanne at the United Nations in New York when she was 16 was included in the comprehension section of the paper, with students tasked with answering questions on it.
Meanwhile, The Corkman caught up with some of the young scholars exiting their first exam, and they seemed happy with the paper and relieved to be over the first hurdle.
At the Patrician Academy, Mallow:
James Roche - “It was easier than I thought it would be”.
Sean Woulfe - “Grand, very doable”.
Casey Smyth - “Wicket, innit!”.
James Grant - “I was delighted with the Essay choices”.
Calum Smith - “I’m hopeful that I might not fail!”.
Darragh Williams - “I probably won’t have to repeat!”.
Lorcan O’Donovan - “I was very happy with the paper overall”.
Callum O’Brien - “It’s great to get the first one over, we were well prepared so it went well I think”.
At Coláiste Treasa in Kanturk:
Amanda Dunne - “It was easy, I’m very happy with it”.
Chloe Curtin - “Easier than we expected, everyone thought the same”.