Circumspection, introspection and a bitta tofu

First of all, I really need to get better at this ‘blogging regularly’ stuff. It’s not that I don’t want to, so much as that I’ve got nothing to say that isn’t extremely annoying to hear. “Yeah, not really studying yet, though I am fully cognisant of the need to do so; I’m not mad about this Leaving Cert tomfoolery, and nor is my self-esteem particularly linked to my performance in it; tofu, tofu, literary reference, tofu; oh, look, a friend request, which I will accept in order to abuse my new-found ability to go through a creepy number of this person’s pictures” would be about the gist of it if I were in a stream-of-consciousness mood. Virginia Woolf for vegan Facebook addicts, basically.

My school doesn’t really buy into this pre-mocks lark. I’ve only got a few tests next week, and even that’s mainly to have something to put on my report. The worst that can happen is that I’ll fail everything and my parents will be mildly concerned. Pffffft. By the way, I love that aspect of 6th year: how your teachers’ and parents’ opinions on how you’re doing completely cease to matter to you. That’s probably not true for everyone, but I certainly try to think of it that way. It lets me kill two birds with one stone: I can fail the Leaving and alienate every authority figure in my life in one fell swoop. Productivity ftw.

On another seasonal note, can anyone else feel a CAO-induced stomach ulcer coming on? Allow me to explain my difficulty: I am to reading as the banks used to be to lending irresponsibly. Now, it’s pretty hard to read voraciously and not end up slightly interested in everything. Most days, it seems so obvious that English is for me and I just want to create drama in my life by even considering anything else, but then I think about all the subjects I’ve not even been properly exposed to.

Who’s to say I wouldn’t be better at Philosophy, Sociology, Law, Political Science? They’re all things I’d have picked up on a bit from the aforesaid compulsive reading habit, enough to know that I’d be happy studying any of them for three or four years, but I have no idea how I’d rank them on an interest ladder, or whatever it is the kids are using nowadays. I suppose the libertarian argument would be that if I were that interested in them, I’d have researched them more without even thinking about it, but that would be based on the assumption that a) I have the time to develop an in-depth knowledge of several disciplines on top of the Leaving and b) that the inquisitive, fact-finding part of my brain isn’t already over-tired from school.

So then I get bogged down wondering about the road not taken and where I’ll be in ten years, and whether any arts degree will put me in with a chance of a job when I graduate, and then it spirals into this vortex of uncertainty and I try to calm it by telling myself, “Relax, you’ve always wanted English, stop thinking about it, you’ll break your brain”, which is anti-intellectual and vaguely disgusting, and anyway, I’d prefer to end up doing English having tossed and turned and wondered about it endlessly. Even if something’s the right decision, it doesn’t feel the same when you just amble into it. You have to arrive at it after looking at every possible alternative and answering every possible objection in order to be able to claim any sort of ownership over it. At least, you do if you’re like me and you enjoy Hamlet-ing up the gaff with excessive deliberation at every turn.

Well, the Trinity open day’s in December, so I hope that’ll clear things up a bit. Where I go doesn’t matter nearly as much to me as what I do, but whatever I choose, they’re going first on my CAO for three very valid, well-thought-out reasons. Reason the first: there’s a bus that goes from my house to very near the entrance to the arts block. Reason the second: they have a pretty library. Reason the third: they do more pure arts subjects than anywhere else, including pure English, and I’m almost certain that whatever I study, I want to study it on its own. Actually, that last one is slightly valid and well-thought-out. How the self-deprecating tables have turned.

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