Caffeine Overdoses, A Lack of Stress and too many Risks.

It’s currently June 2nd 2009. It’s also 2.30am, and I technically have a Leaving Cert to sit tomorrow. My second Leaving Cert. Maybe repeating wasn’t the best idea ever, in hindsight.

I’ve never overdosed on caffeine to this extent before in the entirety of my existence (About 4 Red Bulls, 2 cups of tea, a coffee and several bottles of Lucozade Alert in the last few hours) and I’m absolutely wired. I am not, however, stressed. I was hoping the caffeine buzz would make me want to go study but, alas, no.

In many respects, stress is good. Panic’s amazing. Nervous, anyone? That’s great stuff, that.
All that pressure, tension and utter fear works wonders for last minute cramming. That awful feeling of “I’m going to die a Leaving Cert related death unless I stay up all night studying” which I’m currently craving will really get you going, and you’ll learn plenty. You’ll tie yourself to your desk and abandon sleep until absolutely everything you need to know is firmly lodged in your brain.
Me, I ain’t got it.

For the last week, I’ve been incredibly easy going. My mother, who chided me constantly for being too stressed out last year, is actually begging me to stop chilling out so much now. Assorted friends keep describing me as “deadly”, “a legend” and “a total hero” for choosing fun in the sun instead of studying. I hate them for it to be honest, my giant-enough-as-it-is ego is even more inflated than it usually is, and it’s totally overshadowing the niggling little voice in my head (which tends to be in a deep Cork accent, á la the Deputy Head of my school) telling me to “GET AT IT!”.
The only “cramming” I’ve done over the last few days is cramming in hours of fun. From road trips to icecream treks, and from adventures in the great outdoors to climbing freshly stacked bales of silage at night (Oh yes!), I’ve done loads. Why, in fact, I went to the pub this very evening for a while. I found it soothing, and when I pulled my English Key Notes book out of my bag I got slapped. Two days before the Leaving cert is no time to be studying, durhhhhh. I don’t know what I was thinking for that short moment.

The amount of epic risks I’m willing to take regarding nearly all of my subjects is a disaster, and part of me is horrified at myself. The other, louder part, of course, is telling me that I’m pretty deadly. Pretty cool. Pretty amazing.

As regards English, I may either be very happy or absolutely distraught come Thursday afternoon.
I’m part of the “You Can’t Really Study For Paper 1” crowd, so I’ve done pretty much nothing for that. I’m hoping my raw, amazing ability’s just going to shine through. My vocabulary’s beyond extensive, and I know exactly how to woo an examiner.
For English paper 2, well, that is going to be somewhat risky, if by “somewhat risky” I mean “Stupidly daring, and a definite FAIL”. As I’ve had to cover the entire course in one tiny little year, I’ve left out loads. Most of the course, probably.

 For Macbeth (Which I’d like to point out, I’ve never even read) I know the characters fairly well. Well, I don’t really, but I’m lucky enough to have an excellent memory, so rote-learning an essay’s really just as easy as glancing over it once. I’m also somewhat familiar with the theme of Kingship, which I’m now being told will not come up. Great. I’m not really sure about anything else, but I’d probably manage to wing a question on Good vs. Evil or Deception if worst came to worst.

For poetry, I’ve gotten to know Lizzie Bishop quite well over the year. Nice lady- likes fishing, acute detail and other women, apparently. I also encountered one Michael Longley, who’s a fairly nice chap. Neither of them dictate, didn’t you know. They fire loads of random information at us, but we can ultimately draw our own conclusions from their work. Yeah, I’m pretty fond of that particular technique.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get acquainted with any other poets, so if neither of them appear on the Paper, I will probably burst into tears and leave the exam hall straight away. Or not. I did learn Rich, Mahon & Montague last year, so I’m sure I could pull something out on them.

For the Comparative, I’ve prepared a Cultural Context question. That is all. As is the case with Macbeth, I haven’t even read one of my comparative  texts, “My Oedipus Complex” . I looked at the title story, once, but the other PLETHORA of short stories haven’t been so much as glanced at. I memorised points on the stories which make very little sense to me, and I’m fairly happy with that. I might be able to manage a Theme or Issue question, maybe. I’d rather not think about it.

As I said, this subject could go extraordinarily well. Or absolutely disastrously.
I’m hoping for an A1 in any case. Yes, an A1.
If I do get it, it’ll be a complete farce, an embarrassment to the dedicated masses who come out with Cs and Ds after spending months reading and re-reading the material. The whole system’s horribly flawed, and I’m embracing that for my own benefit. I don’t really have morals- I just want an A1, and if I need to memorize other people’s work and spit it back out on a page to get it, then so be it.

Also, this week, I’m going to be battling Higher Level Maths & Geography. I assume Geography’s going to be a stroll in the park- I got an A1 in it last year with very little work. Maths, however, might not be so fun.

I’ll let you all know- stay tuned. Looks like it’ll be a bumpy ride!
Now though, I’m thinking of doing a few laps of my house whilst listening to Bon Iver’s album for the 100th time this week. I’d really love to sleep, but it doesn’t seem likely with all this pseudo-energy floating around my poor,  relaxed head.

20 thoughts on “Caffeine Overdoses, A Lack of Stress and too many Risks.”

  1. I didn’t bother reading My Oedipus Complex either, but there’s lots of stories in there so maybe they won’t notice if I make one or two up. Fingers crossed.

  2. I found out yesterday I have an inferior edition of MOC that’s missing quite a few short stories – missing some of the “kiddie” ones, which we all know are the best ones. FFS.

  3. I might not have a super cool memory, but I slept from 9pm-9am today! I’m such a fucking badass. I mean, a memory can’t save you if you’re all tired and shit…

  4. A South African on TodayFM just said the caffeine has a half-life of 7 hours in the body. People who drink it at breakfast can have trouble sleeping.

  5. If wikipedia’s right Jennie, you took over 5 times the recommended dosage. The side-effects are pretty brutal too. Hallucinations, mania, paranoia, uncontrollable mumbling, muscle spasms, et cetera.

    Huh, that might actually explain things…

  6. LeavingCertBert

    I appreciate the honesty of this blog.

    Like the masses, I too have adopted the mindset that everything will be alright no matter what. And being an artsy, good-at-English type of guy, I’m also tempted to cruise through paper one.

    However, the path I’m following has many backdoors (drama). After securing a place in DIT’s acting course, which in itself gives 100 points, I now need to obtain less than 300 in the exams. So all I’m trying to say is to remember that so, so many people are in the same boat, “worried because I’m not worried” type of thing.

    I couldn’t agree more that the system is flawed. Take English, for example – the most ambiguous subject that lacks any real rhyme or reason with regard to grade prediction. Here’s a suggestion for improvement; it may sound odd, but why isn’t there an English Oral exam? It would consist of you sitting down with an examiner and talking about the poets/texts you’ve read. You would be marked using the same criteria used in the current exam, and you would be using the English language in its most natural form. There is a wicked assumption that most people are “good at exams”.

  7. well this is what happens me da day before the quite confident at english, one of my best subjects.yet im still on da internet da day before trying to find something to ease my nerves.i dno what that something is, r y i thought i’d find it on the internet…? yep, this was a productive morning!

  8. Those caffeine dosages are nothing. I remember you having something like 12 cups of coffee or something before the leaving in one day last year? I was genuinely worried about your health!! Also, still have that funny coffee moment on my camera from the cafeteria 😉 Best of luck tomorrow (again) 🙂 And best of luck to everyone on the site, it’ll be grand 😉

  9. I’ve been reading this blog since the mocks and I’m only replying now on the eve of….ya you get the picture

    Just want to say thanks…don’t know if it’s customary to thank people for writing blogs but whatever….it’s been pretty reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who is leaving stuff to the last minute,what with an entire history coarse to get through:)

    So yup.. thank you!


    Parting gift: Oh Mandy-Spinto Band…its pretty fucking cool

  10. d00ds im well fucked for this entire leaving cert i have done no study need 300 points
    or perhaps a bit below

    and am hoping that everything will just go really really well

  11. Remember that really strong coffee we made during study last year, (yes, all in the interests of dossing) with like 6 spoons of coffee in it?
    And then the icicle?
    Oh, I miss study…

  12. doesn’t look like your risks are all that risky Jennie! your poets are the most likely to come up, you may have a choice in the morning! also cultural context also looks likely too!

  13. I really enjoyed reading this blog!!
    Aha you seem like quite the character!

    Christine! Bon Iver= oh my word!
    Fabulous isn’t her?
    I love For Emma

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