Much ado about nothing as repeat paper springs no surprises

EXAM DIARY: WELL, NOW, wasn’t that a lot of fuss about nothing? You’d have to look pretty close to spot the difference between…

EXAM DIARY:WELL, NOW, wasn't that a lot of fuss about nothing? You'd have to look pretty close to spot the difference between those two papers. How did two separate teams of examiners come up with two such peas in a pod? Was there a bit of tweeting going on, I wonder? We may never care. The point is, I got to answer on Bishop and I was happy.

Macbeth was easy, Duncan’s murder and Scotland and all that.

I felt a little like a tragic hero myself last night after we were beaten by Louth at the football. By a miserable four points, too.

After all my talk about how we were going to stick it to them, give them one for the country after the whole sorry English affair. Not only did they beat us, but the paper turned out to be easier than the match. I should have kept my mouth shut. I think they call this hubris. Wish I’d thought of that this morning.

Looking back over the whole fiasco now, I really think they should have left well enough alone. There was so little to choose between the two papers that it wouldn’t have made any odds if they’d just thrown the toxic one at us anyway. Now if it ever happens again, everyone will assume the “contingency” paper is going to be a ringer for the original. I think you need a new plan, exams commission.

But what do I know? I’m only a simple inter-county footballer with a maths exam on Monday. It’s going to be quite a weekend, what with all the sport on telly and the little voice in my head bleating about geometry.

It was a long paper and, after playing football last night and dragging my bones out of bed this morning, I think I have come to the end of the line. The choice now is to go to bed or go to Castlebar Golf Club and have a game with the brother.

The weather is lovely today in Castlebar. There may be waterlogged golf clubs all over the country, but here it’s blue skies and a gentle breeze. Sorry for rubbing that in, but it serves you all right for not living in Connacht.

Or perhaps, in honour of my favourite poem on the Leaving Cert, I should go fishing. Old Liz Bishop didn’t let me down. She showed up on the disgraced paper and then came back for the encore. I’m not a literary man, but if I take one poem with me it will be The Fish.

The image of that battered brown fish with all the hooks in his lip, living to fight another day, is a powerful one. From now on it’s all maths and economics and the clinical side of my brain, so before I leave my artistic side behind, I’ll have one last look at my poetry book. Then I’ll let it go.

Aidan O’Shea is a student at St Gerald’s, Castlebar, and an inter- county footballer with Mayo