Tag Archives: exams

An Average Day in the Library

Alarm goes off. I groan, and consider staying in bed. Sleep, after all, is a much-needed investment in productivity. If I’m too tired, I’ll end up doing nothing. I then remember I’ve said this to myself the past three mornings. Surely that’s enough sleep.

I decide to get up. I go to the kitchen. Eggs. Right. What kind? Check bread situation. Bad bread leads to a hard boiled egg, or possibly fried. Good bread leads to a poached egg. Cook and eat egg.

Check time. Shit. Quick shower, which becomes a long shower. No point in not washing your hair properly. It’s another investment, this time in atractiveness, which may be required later. Dry hair. Straighten hair. Find clean clothes. Leave house.

Get to library a little later than planned. Hope the ‘All study places taken’ sign isn’t up. It’s not! Success! Go inside. Realise all decent study places are taken. No window seats left. No people watching today then. Gutted.

Spot a seat at one of the big tables. Well, there’s a chair. No real table space. Awkwardly enquire as to whether there’s someone sitting there. (Eh, yeah, he’s invisible.) Sit down as others move their stuff to accommodate you. Ignore any sighs from fellow students.

Sigh yourself. Realise there’s a long day ahead. Decide which subject you hate least. Notice you don’t have book for said subject. Consider giving up. No, no, must work. Leaving Cert soon. Maths book. Pick topic. Binomial Theorem. ‘What the fuck is this shit?!’ Ah, week I was in Amsterdam. Start teaching yourself maths. Get bored. Look around.

Look at fellow Leaving Cert students. Attempt to judge them based on what subjects they’re studying. Realise all of them are using revision books and exam papers, while you’re learning everything for the first time. Become freaked out. Find something else to look at.

Wonder about the librarians’ lives. ‘He wears such shit clothes. Runners with trousers. I mean come on. Ay! Be nicer to that person. Just because you never got any further in your career than the first floor of the library.’

Old man number one comes in. He’s the nicely-dressed one though, kind of grandfatherly. He takes the paper. Sits down. Clears his throat. Looks around. ‘Hmm, does he have a wife? Why doesn’t he buy the paper and read it at home? Ah, wife dead, craving human interaction.’ He tries to talk to young girl next to him. She laughs nervously. He finishes the Examiner. He goes and gets the Times. He’s in this for the long run.

Smell of piss wafts past you. ‘Ah, it must be old man number two: smelly hobo. He too gets one of the papers. Does he have a wi-. Never mind. He just wants to experience the novelty of actually being inside a building, and what better place than the library.’

Shit. Realise you’ve done nothing. Look at book. Concentrate. Right. So. A binomial is… No, gone. See your set square out of the corner of your eye, and are brought back to first time you met Library Guy. He borrowed your set square. How romantic. What a cutie. How come you only ever saw him here three times? Talked twice. 66.7% of the time, there has been chat. Would be 100% but one time he didn’t see you. Choosing one’s seat is clearly important.  Think again, ‘Where is he?!’

Analyse male-female ratio. Not good. Far too many females. Examine remaining males. Make mental list. Cross off librarian, old men, hobos, foreign men learning English, and slow-looking Leaving Certs. Realise there’s no-one left. Pine after Library Guy. Tweet same.

Look at clock. Count how long you’ve been here. Count how long is left. Accordingly, schedule lunch break and coffee break. An hour to go. Text a friend and try to convince them to come to town. Oh. No. They’re studying at home. Well fine. Just because you don’t have an internet addiction and can actually do that.

Get bored of maths. Check bag. Options are Chemistry and Biology. Hmm. Well I’m not studying the Reproductive System ’cause that would be so ‘awks’ if Library Guy came in, so Chemistry it is. Other advantage being this makes me look smart. Take out book. Curse subject. Question why you are doing it. Open first page of Organic Chemistry for what feels like the millionth time. Sigh. Make some notes, also for what feels like the millionth time.

Wahey! Half past one! Lunch! Happy. Then sad, when you realise you are going to have to eat lunch alone. Miss Library Guy all over again. Contemplate texting that person you know will be around. Realise this is stupid, and go to Tesco. Sandwich or pasta. Hmm. No forks available with the pasta. Sandwich it is. And a Tesco smoothie. 99c. Fuck yes.

Leave Tesco. Try to think where you can eat potentially messy sandwich without anyone seeing you. Eliminate all dodgy alleys. Try to think of somewhere with seating. Ah yes. That sort of street with blocks for sitting. Arrive at said location. Notice you are not the only person who has had this idea. Feel ‘at one’ with your fellow lonely lunch-eaters. Eat sandwich. Begin to enjoy sitting in sun. Contemplate not going back. Freak out when you realise crazy Spanish dude may have stolen something of yours. Rush back.

Return to the death hole. Scan room. No sign of Library Guy. Begin to hate him for doing this to you. Sit back down. More Organic Chemistry. Alkanes, alkenes, and the like. Maybe some calculations. Wait, no, fuck that shit. Begin clock-watching. Make mental plan of what you want to get done and by when. Forget mental plan. Decide you should start making physical plans. Find this to be too much effort.

Notice how much you hate people your own age. No, that’s not true. Well, not really. You just hate these people. ‘Please tell me I’m not like these people? Like, what is that girl wearing? It’s some sort of Adidas sports top. Now I’ve no problem with people exercising, but you’re in the library. The public library, i.e. you are in public. Wearing sports clothing in public should be illegal.’

Then feel sorry for the girl. She obviously doesn’t know any better. I mean, she’s left-handed, isn’t wearing any make-up and looks terrified by the wheezing fat man. Consider taking her under your wing and making her cool. Realise you have no patience and/or tolerance and that this would not end well.

Analyse guy sitting next to you in similar fashion. Speaking of fashion, he clearly doesn’t do it. Again, more of this sportswear thing. Get annoyed by prevalence of sportswear among Irish teenagers. Try to come up with solution to this horrible cultural phenomenon. Consider entering politics in order to combat said problem.

Develop headache. Water is required. Go to Centra for cheap water. 89c. How bad. That’s even cheaper than the smoothie. Decide you should treat yourself as you’ve been working so hard. Spot a bag of white chocolate buttons. G’wan so shur. Buy said items.

Stroll back to library, successfully avoiding certain people with the help of your trusty €1.50 sunglasses. Enter dark cavern of library once again. Wish you could be like all the carefree people outside enjoying the sun. Curse education system.

Take seat once again. Become distracted by woman with startlingly green eyeshadow. She gets herself a magazine and sits at one of the reading tables. She takes out an Alpro Soya Chocolate Milk drink. It’s in one of those little cartons with a straw, like a kid’s OJ would be. As always, notice what she’s wearing. Pale blue shirt with a dreadfully pointy collar. Short sleeved red jumper over it. Camel pants. Red and camel, very chic. But the green eyeshadow negates all this. She gets up. You follow her with your eyes. She picks up a copy of ‘Arthritis Today’. WHAT?! Oh my God. There’s a magazine called Arthritis Today. Tweet same.

Another hour left. Hmm. Hear some movement from behind you. Two girls are vacating a window seat. Success! Move belongings, offending people at your old table. Sigh, this time with relief. Enjoy having more space. Look out window. Become distracted.

Notice two knackers, one with his top off. The tattoo of his lover’s name on his back complements his tight-ended tracksuit pants very well. Not. He and his friend attempt to chat up two girls having a coffee. Try to decide whether or not they’re knackers too. Come to no definite conclusion. Make mental note to never go for coffee where aforementioned girls were having coffee.

Notice fluorescent  jackets. Ah, the Gardaí. Mighty pillars of society. Genuinely. I’m a big fan. Nothing like a man in uniform. On their bicycles and all. They stop the two male knackers, and a friend. Notebook is taken out. This means business. Try to work out what is happening. Knackers walk off. Similar scene takes place with two older, and not as knacker-ish knackers. Cork is such a charming city.

Try and make a stab at learning something before you leave. Do some pH calculations. Decide to never do this question in the Leaving Cert. Yawn. Stretch. Notice flickering light. They better fix that. Notice place is getting quieter. People are leaving. Tables are emptying. Half an hour til closing time, but whatever. You’ve been here hours.

Pack up stuff. Leave. Decide the day is worthy of a blog.

The End.

(This is a true story. And if anyone actually got this far, then fair fucks.)

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Oral Fever

I promised myself I’d go to bed early tonight. I swore I’d be in bed by nine and asleep by ten. Yet here I am, once again, going back and forth between Twitter and Facebook, watching rubbish on RTE Player, before finally deciding a blog post is a good idea.

I’m wrecked. Exhausted. Drained. I could go on, but I’m sure you get my drift. Oral fever has hit the school and it’s spreading faster than the swine flu did, only it’s worse, because those hand gel dispensers around the building have no power over this epidemic.

On Monday morning we met Eibhlín, the examiner. She seemed nice, putting us all at ease and making us think that all we need to learn is ‘Mo Theaghlach agus Mo Chaithimh Aimsire’. That may be the case, but knowing me I’ll end up digging myself into various holes and going off on multiple tangents because, stupidly, I’d rather force my opinions down someone’s throat instead of twisting every topic and relating it back to the economy which I could talk about forever. God forbid I should actually utilise some effective exam technique.

You can feel it, though. You can feel the air of slight panic blended together with a nice touch of tension that is so unique to the fortnight of the orals. The signs are up near the rooms where they’re on, instructing students to take a different route, avoid going to the office, and to just shut up in general. Leaving Cert students wander around aimlessly, Irish notes in hand, obsessively consulting The List in order to see how long is left until D-Day. Some teachers attempt to get a bit of work done, while others resign themselves to the fact that it’s Irish and Irish only on the brain and allow us chat away to practice the cúpla focal.

Each day I say to myself that today’s the day I’ll learn the Irish stuff properly. That day has yet to arrive though. I have the notes written out and all put together with one of those nice binder clip things – y’know the black ones that look like they’d be used to keep a manuscript for a book together. I attempt to talk to myself. I blab on about country vs city living, school, my family, last summer, next summer, last weekend, next weekend, music, what I’d do if I won the lotto, if I was Taoiseach, if I didn’t get the points… the list goes on.

Now it’s half eleven, and my eyes probably want me to stop looking at this stupid screen and allow them to close. So I think I’ll probably grant them, and myself, that luxury. Tomorrow’s my last day of learning how to talk in Irish about hypothetical situations. Thursday’s D-Day for me. I might come back and let y’all know how I got on. Hopefully reports will be positive, although if you don’t see another post here between now an June, feel free to assume the worst.

Slán go fóill agus oíche mhaith..

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Sin É!

Well it’s not really ‘Sin é’ because I do have to go back next year. But for now, it’s over..

None of this for 3 months!

‘Twas Chemistry today, which is probably the worst I’ve done so far out of all of them. I hadn’t studied because it felt so like summer on Wednesday that it was impossible to concentrate and I just said to hell with it. There was an unbelievable amount of stuff to cover anyway, and I’d never have gotten it done in a day. I don’t think I failed though, but we’ll wait and see..

I went to town after school with Aisling and we went for coffee to our favourite haunt. I was introduced to a fellow blogger, Aimee, there and she very kindly complimented my blog which made me very happy indeed! 🙂 We met up with a few others, but I got sick of doing nothing after a little while so I headed off to buy a card for a friend and went to the post office to write it. E-mails are great, but there’s nothing like a handwritten letter or card. One of my many new resolutions is to write thank you notes where they’re due.. This card was a start though!

Headed home after that, and weirdly enough I’m kind of at a loss as what to do. School’s finished but every time I go into my room there are books everywhere so there’s still that reminder.. I should seriously sort that out.

Planning on staying at home tomorrow and uploading a load of photographs I’ve been meaning to post here for ages. The Internet connection’s fairly dodge at the moment though do it’ll probably take me all day and drive me insane in the process. But if it’s for the welfare of my blog, I’ll do it!

Cafe Mexicana by Monica Jones

There’s a group of us going out for dinner tomorrow evening then. Big groups in town aren’t my thing. I’d rather go for coffee and have a catch-up with one or two friends than do that whole wandering around aimlessly thing. I’ve better things to do with my time, despite what everyone may believe. But dinner’s fine because it’s a good big-group activity.

It’s kind of an end-of-school start-of-summer thing because everyone seems to be going away next week to Irish or French college or whatever. Suits me down to the ground. The peace and quiet will be complete bliss, and I’ve plenty to be doing between Kinsale Arts Week and my week with the Irish Times the following week.

Regarding that, eeeeeeep! After the magazine competition, one or two from each of the winning schools were given the opportunity to do a week’s work experience in the Times. So this blogger’s heading off to the big shmoke of the world of Dublin journalism. Exciting stuff dontcha think? And my lovely, lovely cousins have said I can stay with them for the week.

The only downside to all this is that I had applied for the Young Curators Programme as part of Cork Midsummer Festival, but I’ll have to withdraw my application as the dates clash, but working in the Irish Times is too good an opportunity to turn down.

So that’s the story. Now that I’m on holidays I plan on posting here far more regularly than I’ve been doing recently. I’ve lots of photos to put up too that I’ve taken over the past month or so, but bear with me on that one.

And hope ye all enjoy the long weekend!

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Exams

On Wednesday I started my summer exams. I had Monday and Tuesday off, so like any weekday I have off I listened to the radio for hours on end. It’s a little luxury in life that I rarely get to enjoy due to my being at school everyday, so listening to morning and afternoon radio is something of a rare treat for me. Oh the simple things..

So if I’m awake, I usually start with Ryan Tubridy at 9am, although very rarely am I up that early. As soon as he finishes up it’s over to TodayFM for 2 hours of Ray D’Arcy, followed by another Ray (of the Foley variety) until I realise that I really need to start studying and I eventually turn it off.

This is what we look like from above. Just we're wearing blue.

On both Wednesday and Thursday I finished up at 11:15. It’s the one thing I actually like about exams I guess. You’re in and out of school before the morning’s over, so there’s plenty of time for lounging around at home while everyone else is out. Whenever I have to feed myself, I never settle for a simple sandwich either. It always has to be something far more complicated, and must involve some from of heat energy. Our house isn’t the best for food supplies though, so I was relegated to the dry food stores press on two occasions, and had baked beans and a potato waffle. It was nice though. I hate the thought of beans, but together with a waffle they bring back memories of when I was four years old and it made me a tad nostalgic for the good ol’ days..

So eventually after all the cooking’s finished I’d start on a bit of study, interspersed with sessions on the Internet. Funnily enough though, I never got a chance to update the blog. Writing blogposts seems to be a big task, whereas I always say to myself I’m only going to check Facebook, Twitter and my email, and then head back to the books. But we all know that never happens.

Maths was on Wednesday. Wasn’t too bad. (c) parts were ok, but a good few tricky (b) parts.

English wasn’t the worst either. Timing was ok for me, but I hadn’t learned any quotes from Hamlet so my English teacher’s going to freak at me over that one. But I’d rather use my time to keep writing analysis instead of wasting time trying to recall some ridiculously nonsensical quote.. (Love you Shakespeare babes!)

Biology was alright, but way too many questions on bacteria, which I’d only briefly glanced over just before the exam. About an hour left at the end too, so I tried to sleep, but that’s surprisingly difficult in an exam hall I found..

Irish was probably my best so far. I predicted the poetry and prose perfectly, but that doesn’t mean I actually learned it. Still though, I managed to ramble on and make stuff up and probably wrote alot more than I would have had I learned something off by heart. Timing fairly tight though..

So I’m sure you found that lowdown on my exams utterly riveting, but there’s not a whole lot else going on right now, so you’re going to have to put up with my ‘exam diary’ so to speak. Only three left now though, so freedom is near!

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It’s Christmas!

And so after a terribly long week, the exams end, and freedom is finally here. What a relief. After a ridiculously short French exam a lengthy sit ensued as I waited for the two hours to be up. Eventually, after what seemed like three years, seven months, two weeks, five hours and thirty-four minutes, we were allowed leave. And that was it! It was over!

I went to the office to retrieve a memory card that a teacher has had for a very long time, but alas, it was not there as promised. So this means either no photos for me over Christmas, or go out and buy a new memory card. I think I should claim for this disruption. Or send the bill for a huge memory card to the school.

So we got the bus into town at 11 and went for a coffee. It was so feckin’ nice to be in there without the dreaded thought of having to go home and study. When we sat down Caroline opened The Cork News, a local freesheet, that was there next to her. It was a sentimental moment for us as we looked at a little picture of Jim from Plugd standing outside the shop, under which there was a quote taken from the PRoC from a local gig poster printer.

Then we turned to the back of the paper and there was a two page spread on Plugd’s impending closure. There, in red lettering among all the other black print was a quote from a certain user on the PRoC. Me. Oh jeez. I went up to order my Americano and chocolate tart, as my friends pored over my amazing words. And I heard them kind of scream and laugh, and immediately I knew which of my posts they had chosen to print. It was a personal anecdote about my mornings in Plugd when Albert used to wash the floor. How bad. At least my love for the place has been published in a newspaper.

I don’t really know what we did for the rest of the day. I ended up being in town for six hours and I can’t exactly remember where those six hours went. But it was still nice. The freedom of having nothing to do. Apart from Christmas shopping, and that doesn’t matter.

Forty-five minute wait for the bus, but I’ll get over it. Eventually.

I’m a tad wrecked now though. Lovely surprise for me when I came in the door in the form of a few birthday cards, one containing 50 yoyos from my lovely grandmother. Between that, and the twenty my daddy gave me this morning, I’m well chuffed. I should save it for an Oxegen ticket, but hopefully Plugd will be seeing a fair share of it.

Bought The Dudley Corporation – In Love With The Dudley Corporation yesterday in there. And a quote from Albert’s old man said to The Corpo themselves over dinner: “What kind of corporation are ye running here at all lads?”

The Dudley Corporation – What a Human Does (Taken from In Love With The Dudley Corporation)

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It’s (almost) over.

Only one more exam left, and then freedom. And it’s only French tomorrow anyway which, to be honest, I couldn’t give two fecks about, so ‘sall good!

I had Irish today. Wasn’t in until 11 so instead of doing the responsible, diligent thing and studying last night, I spent yesterday on the mighty Internet, and half-learned an essay on ‘Jack’ in bed this morning. Had a quick glance over ‘An Bhean Óg’ and ‘Clare sa Spéir’ too, and the latter came up. Exam went fine in the end, considering the fact that I really thought I was heading for a D when I went in.

After school I went to town. Went into Plugd (more about this in a post where I have more time and energy) had a weep, and bought a CD. Also went for coffee in my favourite coffee shop, and made a very constructive list of possible articles for the school magazine.

Christ I only had a bowl of Fruit’n’Fibre, a bar of Áine chocolate, and an Americano all day. I should be starving.

I wish I could be happier, but I’m not.

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Times are a-changing

I have Irish tomorrow. Plenty of various poems and stories to be learning, and at 7 o’clock I still haven’t started.

Really need to go study, so this is a super short post.

Got some really bad news yesterday. I’ll go into it more on Friday when I have the time.

Until then.

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