You are more than a good memory!

I have the delight of having two children doing state exams.
One is doing his leaving certificate,
the other the junior (of no real purpose) certificate.
We only have a few more weeks to wait,
until both are questioned and judged.small__4357228667

Luckily they seem to have taken after their Dad.
Both appear happy to slog away,
and learn what they have to,
in order to prove to the world they can remember facts.

No opinions are necessary.
Self expression would be frowned upon.
They must ensure they remember whatever they were taught.

I regularly meet stressed parents, who say to me,
“Have you exams this year?”,
It always amuses me.
“No I did my exams years ago”,
and after my last lot of teaching exams,
I promised myself,
I would not even do a pregnancy test,
ever again!

I do know it is my children they refer to,
and therein lies my difference.
I do not have to do these exams,
my children do.
I understand the pressure,
and I sympathize.
But that is as far as it goes.

For you my two little ones,
These are your exams.
Work for them if you wish.
Study your heart out, if you can.
But please know,
these are a measure of memory.

Exams are created to judge the masses.small__5930181909
But you are my two children.
You have brains, and personality,
and talents which cannot yet be judged.
In front of you is a road,
which at present you see as straight.
University and career.
But those of us who have traveled this road,
know it has many twists.

When you break free,
from us your parents,
and your school routine,
you will see.
There is so much more to you than memory.
Geography, maths and chemistry,
which featured highly in your life,
will cease to be significant.

Life will happen.
I hope you throw away your constraints.
And embrace every minute of it.
Look around,
question, and wonder.
Look in the mirror,
forget what the state has labelled you,
and get to know you.
Because you are so much more,
than that piece of paper in August will ever say you are.

photo credit: English106 via photopin cc
photo credit: AlicePopkorn via photopin cc

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26 thoughts on “You are more than a good memory!

  1. I’d be curious to read these exam questions. I imagine they look something like this?

    So if O’Shaughnessy has drunk 4.3 litres of Guinness and is a 240 pound man (gotta convert pounds to metric system!) and he plans to drink 6.4 more litres of Guinness and .7 litres of Jamison before departing the pub to get home to the missus, how many times will O’Shaughnessy drive onto the sidewalk assuming his home is 12.4 km from the pub?

    1. My lovely from the heart post, And that is the comment you come up with!!! Ha ha..You should hear what we think of Americans! Some day if you ever are lucky enough to visit this wonderful spot, I would advise you to open your mouth with caution. Remember the other trait you think we have is the joy of fighting! We see ourselves as a happy, nation, who enjoy laughter and yes drink, and are great for a song and poetry (especially after the said drink).

      1. I sometimes think that I was meant to have been born in Ireland. I’d have been recently retired from the Irish national soccer team and would have just begun a successful post soccer career as an Irish flip flop, sandals and men’s casual wear model. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be I guess.

  2. Absolutely love this. It brought tears to my eyes to read your post and appreciate how deeply you ‘get it’ and you express it so beautifully. What a gift you have given to your children…they are very blessed indeed.
    Imagine who we would become if we all had parents who understood that we are worth more than any certificate or label or opinion of another.
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment. I must admit I do sometimes feel in the minority as I do not really push them academically. But time will tell, who will really be the winners in life.

  3. The new school my kids are going to next year doesn’t care for state testing. They told us they refuse to teach to the test. The testing is this week for my little ones, and I just told them not to stress about it and that I know they will do well. Lovely post.

  4. Once again you have expressed your thoughts beautifully. I’m sure both of them will do as well as they can which is all any one of us can do. It was the advice I gave and still give to my “baby”

  5. You’re a wise woman !

    Too much of education is filling kids heads with ‘facts’ and asking them to regurgitate them in an exam. If they score high, that demonstrates they are good parrots – not that they are intelligent

    What they ought to be teaching our kids is how to ‘think’. They should be learning ‘logic’. How to think critically, analyse a situation, question what they are being told (especially by politicians and priests), and determine their own truths

    1. Your right. And our education system is so outdated. It totally lacks IT and any form of entrepreneurship, or free thinking. But its what is there and my kids have totally bought into it.

  6. Pretty sure I’d fail if I had to take a test like that now. And I graduated first in my class from high school. You just learn so much more USEFUL stuff after you leave school that pushes the rest out.

    1. Yes I agree. Life is a great teacher. It is what I would really wish them to learn lessons in. I wouldn’t have a hope if I did even the junior cert now.

  7. Beautiful writing that’s full of good sense. I tell my kids that they have to jump through the hoops society puts up for them, but the most important is to know how to think for themselves and follow their gut feeling, which is rarely wrong and so much more reliable….

    1. Yes I do try to get that through to them but I don’t think they really get it. However when they go to Uni they might. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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