Not all that Keane to be Roy

Thank goodness inspirational educational campaigner Malala Yousafzai also turned up on the Leaving Cert ordinary level English Paper 1

 Unlike Roy Keane I don’t even like football so it’s hard to see how I could inspire a roomful of men in shorts to play better. Photograph: Inpho/Donall Farmer

Unlike Roy Keane I don’t even like football so it’s hard to see how I could inspire a roomful of men in shorts to play better. Photograph: Inpho/Donall Farmer

Thu, Jun 5, 2014, 01:00

‘It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, it’s the taking part that matters!” Roy Keane did not say, ever. Still, they asked for my half-time pep talk on behalf of Keano on yesterday’s ordinary English Paper 1. If it was Orla in that changing room, that’s what she’d say (in between blushing and not knowing where to look). I don’t even like football so it’s hard to see how I could inspire a roomful of men in shorts to play better. It would be more of a pep talk for a improved life, rather than a better second half.

A better life was all that Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was looking for when she got on that bus two years ago and was shot in the face for trying to get an education. It’s good to think about that when we’re in the middle of these exams – tough as it is, there are teenagers fighting to go to school. When Malala came up in the comprehension I was delighted because my English teacher told us about her. I found her inspirational so I’ve been following her story ever since. Thanks Mr Diamond!

Today will be much harder. All that writing scares me – I really would be quicker with a laptop or a tablet as some Minister said in the paper yesterday. Not much use to us! Perhaps my little sister will get to do her exams in the 21st century.

Luckily, when I came out of the exam yesterday it was raining – may this be the only week in my life when I’m pleased to see dark clouds. I couldn’t handle any distraction because last night I had my final poets session and I find poetry really, really boring. One ray of sunshine would have turned my head. Today I’m hoping for Emily Dickinson or Sylvia Plath but I’ll be happy with ABY (Anyone But Yeats).

We may have nearly the same name but that ‘e’ makes the difference. We are not related.

My most stressful decision last night was not choosing Plath or Dickinson, but whether to take a break for Fair City or Coronation Street. Watching soaps with Mum has been keeping me going.

Orla Yeates is a student at Coláiste Chill Mhaintáin, Wicklow

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