I felt completey ready for French, there was nothing that could be thrown my way that I couldn’t speak about. I strode confidently into the exam, document clutched between my hands. I laid the envelope of photos on the desk when go tobann, I realised that what I had so happily carried with me was not in fact my well-prepared document, but a collection of pictures of me when I was 6 and going through my ugly-duckling phase (I’m told that some day I’ll turn into a swan…). I had to go through each one and explain it in excruciating detail to the merciless examiner, getting more and more flustered as each word of French escaped my tongue “like a butterfly, unable to alight” (thanks for that Mr. Longley). Eventually I broke down, bawling my eyes out as the merciless examiner watched me coldly.
…then I woke up and it was all a dream.
Yeah I just said that. That ending to every story that you think is the best twist since Bruce Willis Was Dead at the End of the Sixth Sense, until you’re told by your Junior Cert English teacher to never, ever use it to end a story.
It’s true though, on Wednesday night, two days before my exam I had that horrible horrible nightmare. Luckily for the real thing I brought along the right document, didn’t burst into tears and had the nicest examiner I could have hoped for. No nasty questions were asked, the strangest one I got was to talk about the Basque region which was fine as my parents do tend to go on about it to me somewhat. I was so grateful that the examiner managed to seem interested and enthusiastic even though I must have been the 110th person to speak about a music festival. There was no economy, no politics, no international relations, no health system, no environment, Just Me, Myself and I (and the Basque Region)
I even managed to throw in a cheeky little off-the-cuff subjunctive despite my nerves!
German didn’t go quite so well. The general questions were alright, though I got stuck on the question “what sort of music do you like?” which really just requires naming a load of bands, but I completely blanked and couldn’t rememver any music I liked, which was silly seeing as my Projekt was on a music festival!
The rest of the questions were fine though and I managed to stick in my little piece on how hard German is compared to French. The Projekt was fine, I remembered my big long spiel thankfully, though I did get asked “what do the girls have in their mouths?”. They had whistles, I hadn’t a clue what whistles were in German so I just admitted I didn’t know the word and tried to smile (but probably ended up grimacing)
For the roleplay I got the Fish one, the one I really really didn’t want. It was ok though, even if I forgot one of the tasks and stuck it in a minute later making the conversation go like:
“well would you like a hamburger then?”
“…besides, this fish is cold! The sauce wasn’t bad but is now also cold!”
“I understand…how ’bout that hamburger?”
I’m happy with how both orals went though and it’s such a relief to think that 25% of each exam is over and done with. I had no idea how exhausting they’d be as I’ve slept for 22 hours in total since Friday night. From now until Tuesday will be spent watching TG4 and calling it study.
To everyone else doing the orals next week- Go n-eirí an t-adh libh!/Bonne Chance!/Viel Gluck!