Exam diary: ‘A brutal day. I’m relieved the worst is over’

Tom Crumlish is tired – but happy – after a gruelling week of exams

‘Irish Times’ Leaving Cert diarists from Coláiste Éinde, Galway. From left, Muireann O’Reilly, Evan Murphy, Ciara Kilbane, Lauren Conway, Osas Aghabueze-Ayo and Tom Crumlish. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

‘Irish Times’ Leaving Cert diarists from Coláiste Éinde, Galway. From left, Muireann O’Reilly, Evan Murphy, Ciara Kilbane, Lauren Conway, Osas Aghabueze-Ayo and Tom Crumlish. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

 

The sixth day of the exams was the longest. It was brutal. I had French in the morning and history in the afternoon, so there was a lot of writing.

It’s been tough, both physically and mentally. One day, we’re learning Irish poetry and the next, trying to familiarise ourselves with the French vocabulary around Brexit.

That said, I’m quite relieved the worst of it is over and I’m happy with the tests so far.

French had a lot of questions about our opinions, and our teacher warned us that the examiners try to discourage us from rote learning off a number of essays and instead get us to critically engage with the question by putting a spin on it.

So, Brexit was expected, but the spin of the consequences for Ireland may not have been. Luckily, our teacher had prepared us.

Brexit is to Leaving Cert 2017 what the 1916 Rising was to Leaving Cert 2016. It has come up on the Irish, French and geography papers, and it even formed the basis of a question on the maths paper.

That might not be for everyone but it has suited me.

I’ve accounting and economics next week, and would be very surprised if Brexit isn’t at least on the economics paper, because there’s usually an attempt to link current affairs in the “c” part of each question. There may also be a question on Iarnród Éireann being nearly insolvent.

I think my generation are realising that Brexit will have consequences for us, and it’s something I am interested in because I’m hoping to study global commerce in NUI Galway and it will have reverberations for business.

Interesting times

We’re living through an interesting time in history, and the history exam did show us that history repeats itself.

It’s really interesting to look back at Ireland 100 years ago and compare the situation to today: back then, we couldn’t get away from Britain fast enough, now we’re worried about losing those links.

Six days down, seven – including the weekend – to go. I haven’t felt either nostalgic or excited about the future, it’s all tunnel vision for the exams.

The brain is a bit fuzzy at this stage, so I’ll be taking an evening off and then getting back to it.

It’s only a few more days and it will be worth the effort, so I’m going to avoid distractions and plough on through.

Nearly there.

I honestly don’t know how we will feel when it is all finished.