As one journey ends another begins.

I am living in a nightmare,
surrounded by schoolbooks.
Irish, English, French, Maths.
Folders lying open,
notes everywhere.

There is a timetable up on the wall.
A date on the calendar clearly marked,
June 5th. Leaving Certificate begins.
Just in case anyone could forget.
This is it.

Tomorrow at 9.30 am,
Fourteen years of education will be tested.
What valuable lessons have been learned?small__359572656 (1)
Rock formation, quadratic equations,
questions on Shakespeare and poetry.
Who has listened, who has studied, who has the best memory?

The check list is complete.
Pens, pencils, rulers and set squares,
all present and correct.
The tools required to complete the task.

There is talk of failing,
of calculators running out of battery,
of trick questions.
The sun has decided to shine,
raising the temperatures,
adding to the heat already felt.

Watching the build up,
is like reliving a past memory,
which I very carefully buried.
The recurring nightmare, where I rush to a classroom late and in a panic,
to discover I am in the wrong exam, totally unprepared.
A nightmare my child has yet to dream.

As a parent I am pushing my children on,
so they too can have the horror of this nightmare,
come back to haunt them in their dreams for the rest of their lives.

Usually a parent would do anything to spare their child pain.
Well here I must confess.
I love my children dearly but,
nothing would ever make me repeat my Leaving Certificate exams.

I have bought my son various treats,
and tomorrow I will wave him off and wish him well.
But when I close the door after him,small__5351979175
my over riding feeling will be massive relief.
“Thank Goodness it is him and not me!”

Many speak as if these exams are the end.
In reality they are just the beginning,
the first step on the road to independence.
There will be much more learning ahead for my son.
and hopefully a lifetime of new and exciting experiences.
Contrary to what is often said,
I do not think schooldays are the best days of your life.
For my son I know he still has those days to look forward to.
Just the matter or a few exams to get out of the way first!

photo credit: ccarlstead via photopin cc
photo credit: lunamom58 via photopin cc

22 thoughts on “As one journey ends another begins.

  1. I have no problem with the whole thank god it’s him and not me notion! Been there done that! I’m fascinated by this exam since you’ve written of it several times. Is it a national thing? Is this where the government decides who gets to be an Irish doctor and who has to be the town drunk?

    1. Yes its a state exam. The kids do seven subjects at pass or honors level. 100 points for an A1 downwards. To get into medicine you need 600 points!
      The results come out in August and depending on the points you get you will know if you can get into the college of your choice to do the course you want. Its a crazy system, but there is no other way over here. If I was doing it now I don’t think I would even get enough points to be the town drunk!!!

        1. Thanks a million The unlucky feckers ha ha! I forgot to say you can only count six of the seven subjects. Come to Ireland land of the genius doctors!

  2. I never went to college but will a high school diploma get me a shot at the town drunk position? I wish your son luck..I’m sure all the worrying is for naught.

    I must say that your Scholastic Point system is so complicated that you would have to be a genius to know what you need to get into college. Wow…they should give points just for being able to recite the rules!

    1. He’s great. Calm as can be. As for myself I don’t think too much about it as I strongly believe “what’s meant for you wont go by you”. Thank you for your good wishes.

  3. It sounds similar to the system in New Zealand my Dady used to tell me about. He said you had to sit National exams and they determine your educational fate. Pretty Scary and a lot of pressure for a teenager if you ask me!

    1. Madness. I loved nursing but in todays system, I would not be able to get enough points to get into it! It is all they know though so they are way more accepting.

  4. Good luck to your son! I fully understand your nightmare – I’ve the same occurring dream when I’m stressed! And to add: I did forget to bring my stationery during my exams, and turn up late. I managed to survive though 🙂

  5. Positive Mummy vibes being sent your way. Is this the equivalent of A levels? I agree that school exams were probably the most stressful period of my education; university was strangely more relaxed. Bigfoot’s got his first Baccalauréat exams coming up in ten days, and he so stressed out that his blood pressure is close to zero…. Ignorance is maybe the best policy….

    1. Thank you. I have two doing the exams but one is only doing the junior cert. They were both good this morning but just at the last minute both came back for an extra hug!

    1. Sorry I just found this comment. I thought I had replied to you. Thank you! I’m afraid all my repressed memories bubbled up as they began to talk of them more and more. Still lucky me, my exam days are over. Sorry again for the delay.

        1. Certainly not. I don’t recognize myself as I have not told my kids the actual truth behind my own exams. In my new reality I was very studious, arrived early to all exams and got great results! 🙂

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