This is ravens’ territory, skulls, bones, The marrow of these boulders supervised From the upper air

8 June 2006

Gott in Himmel, will you look at that. After 4 in the afternoon and I’m only getting online now. Bloody internet connection was down all day. Still I did manage to spend my time in a productive manner and read quite a bit of my book.

Today is the second day of the Leaving[1] and I have only one thing to say you all you students out there taking exams, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah.

Sorry, couldn’t resist. Actually what I really wanted to say is this, wear sunscreen! And don’t get freaked out. You can always repeat. Or just find something else to do.

Still, how sickening must it be for all you students having to study while the Irish summer beams down. By the time the Leaving is over we’ll be back in the rain.

The essay options for Higher Level English were as follows[2]

  1. “Let’s stop all this pretense! Let’s tell each other the unvarnished truth for a change!”
    Write a personal essay in response to the above statement.
  2. “Maintaining this sprinter’s pace at marathon length was painful…”
    Write an article for a magazine for young adult readers in which you give them advice about how o cope with the pressures of modern living.
  3. “It was mad … ridiculous”
    Write a short story suggested by the above title.
  4. “Someday I hope to come up with a get-rich idea…”
    Write a magazine article (serious or light-hearted) in which you outline a get rich idea of your own.
  5. “What seems to be the problem …?”
    Write the speech you would deliver to a group of world leaders in which you persuade them to deal with one or more of the world’s problems.
  6. “Imagine it’s St. Valentine’s Day”
    Write an article for a popular magazine on the importance of romance in our lives.


  1. Irish exams, results determine THE REST OF YOUR LIFE in a scaremongering sort of way. Or, in reality, your college options
  2. stolen from The Irish Times

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11 Responses

  1. Geekmafia says:

    well nyah to you too!
    just got back from doing the irish exam today, nothing inspiring.
    what d'ye think of the essay titles anyway. i wasn't really impressed, there was nothing that really seemed worth doing.

  2. anne says:

    Man, I can't remember what the essay options were in written French for my Baccalauréat, but those look a lot more fun. How old are you when you take your Leaving Cert?

  3. Fence says:

    Geekmafia, you'll be able to laugh at me when I'm still at work in a few weeks while your exams are voer and you can relax for three months. Have to say I prefer the old style essay questions. Where you had a whole load of titles and you could write anything about them, whether it was fiction or fact. But maybe I'm just stuck in the past :)

    Anne, 17 or 18. Final exams before college/working life.

  4. Mal says:

    Anne, you never stop taking the Leaving Cert. I still have nightmares that I have my Art exam in a week and I haven't been in a class all year, and I know other people have similar dreams. Why don't they have some less brutal rite of passage in our society, like having a finger chopped off or having to spend ten days without food in the wild, or something like that?

    Fence, I'm very glad to hear you're stuck in the past. Welcome to my world. Isn't rap music a load of bollocks?

  5. anne says:

    Same as in France then.
    And yes, same thing happens in French dreams too, Mal…

  6. Kelly says:

    I just wanted to point out that we both spoke in German on our blogs, Fence. I do believe this qualifies us to be regarded as "genii" – which is what we've decided the plural for genius is, right? Hopefully we aren't required to wear those midriff-revealing silky scarf numbers, though I wouldn't mind blinking my eyes to conjure stuff, would you? Nein.

  7. Mal says:

    If you can't spin a story out of question four you should trade in your imagination for a good pair of socks.

  8. Fence says:

    Don't be silly Mal. I don't really remember anything about my Leaving, and it has never turned up in any nightmares.
    And I like some rap.

    Genii is a good word Kelly. If only we could change the world by binking the augen, everything would be better..

    But you aren't supposed to spin a story, Mal. You gotta right a magazine article ;)

  9. Mal says:

    I meant question 3.

    Goddamit, no wonder I didn't do as well as I expected on the English paper! I was answering the wrong damned questions!

  10. Alan says:

    Something would be terribly wrong if the weather was acting up when the Leaving Cert was on. It's just the way it is; like night follows day, Sun will shine when the students sit their exams.
    At least we're fairly sure it's a good time to take time off work every year!

  11. Fence says:

    Yeah, you could pretty much right anything about 3. But I still prefer the old style questions.

    That is true Alan, but of course the year we do depend on this good weather it'll turn its back on us.