English Paper 2: Good Riddance

I don’t think any Leaving Cert paper has garnered as much media attention as this year’s English 2, it has made quite a name for itself. Although many considered the original paper to be a ‘dream paper’, I think it’s fair to say that the contingency model lived up to the hype. There was a collective sigh of relief in my exam center this morning as we each sped read the questions, then sat back content for all of thirty seconds before lashing into it.

The Macbeth questions were delightfully vague, hopefully they suited just about everyone. I wrote on Macbeth having all the ingredients of a compelling drama, taking Macbeth’s own character as the key ingredient. I tried my very best to saturate the answer with personal response as my last Macbeth essay was lacking in this. The Comparative Study was all too pleasing, with both Theme and Cultural Context making an appearance. I did part A question 2, and wrote a long rambling piece of prose about how the theme of identity held my interest in Jane Eyre, only to go back and substitute the word ‘identity’ for ‘independence’ for all eight or so pages of my answer. Way to be prepared!

Then to the big finale: poetry. The prescribed poetry section of the paper is usually the most talked about, which may be due to the fact that there’s so much choice involved, or perhaps the sheer amount of time it takes to analyse the work of up to eight poets. Bishop and Walcott featured, which was the main cause of the collective sigh of relief. I had planned on writing on Keats, but I disliked his question and opted for Walcott instead. I’m hoping my answer was coherent, but I do remember quoting Journey and so that remains to be seen.

Although the poets that turned up should have pleased just about everyone, (except those of you who stayed up all night learning Rich) I couldn’t help but think that the questions were the tiniest bit tricky. Usually there’s a “state what you like or dislike about the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop” style question, but this year they were a little more specific. It wasn’t too difficult to discuss Walcott’s inventive way of exploring conflict, but writing on Keat’s presentation of ‘abstract ideas in a style that is clear and direct’ or Bishop posing ‘interesting questions delivered by means of a unique style’ was a convoluted way to ask some simple questions.

Oh well, it’s all over now and the horror that was attending school on a Saturday is no more. It’s all about Irish 1 and maths 2 now. I’m seriously banking on a recession essay for Irish, if it doesn’t feature then I’ll have to be very creative. As for maths, if the paper is anything like the first then it should be pretty okay. Here’s hoping, anyway.

What were everyone else’s experiences with the infamous English paper 2? Hopefully a little less idiotic than mine: for some reason I peeled the backing off the sticky strip on my answer book before starting the exam, and wrote a full 24 pages with the answer book stuck to the desk. WHY? Good question. My poor superintendent had to peel it off the desk, sellotape, sign and stamp it. Not one of my finer moments.

The site received more Times coverage today ๐Ÿ™‚

153 thoughts on “English Paper 2: Good Riddance”

  1. LOVED macbeth.I did the question about Duncan’s death affecting Macbeth and Scotland and it was very nice altogether, quite general. Thrilled Theme and issue came up as well, that was really unexpected! As for the poetry… ew! The questions were deliberately yocky! I know i rambled on a bit but sher, at least it’s over!! Definitely liked this paper more than i would have liked the original – yiggidy yes! Anyone else feel the same?

  2. Shit.

    Submitted comments about my paper without the details TWICE. Meaning I have to write it again for a third time.

    Thought it was a good paper.

    Answered on: Ingredients of drama in Macbeth, CC Conflict and Montague.

    Methinks I heard a voice cry, “A1 Matthew, A1. You rock”.

  3. Yay so positive reports all round!

    Did anyone actually study General Vision and Viewpoint?!

    Congrats on the A1 there Matthew ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. rite now im loving that guy that messed up the original paper!.. this was a much nicer paper… very general.. loved it…..but i got a bit too carried away with my comparative.. and then bishop suffered…

  5. Loved it. Click my name if you want the wanky breakdown.

    [is it bad form to plug like that? meh, I’m too lazy to form my opinion on the paper all over again]

  6. That is all that’s needed Aoife ๐Ÿ™‚

    Not at all Liam, I mercilessly plug this blog everywhere. It’s what we do! -goes to read it-

  7. It is pretty big, about 6 or 7 words per line…maybe 5 when I get tired and writing gets messy ๐Ÿ˜€

    I do tend to write an awful lot in English, it’s not necessarily a good thing though. A concise, accurate, 4 page essay could pretty easily score higher than one of my 8 page ones.

  8. English is over! Oh thank you God. Did the CC-good, Macbeth Scotland consequences thingy-average, and Keats-good cus he was the only one i studied, if he didnt come up i was going to rip on bishop like a madman! Bet no one here did the same combo as me!

  9. I studied Vision and Viewpoint ๐Ÿ™

    I knew the others too but I woulda loved to write about feminist viewpoints!

    Ah well…did the reliable old relationships theme…never fails!

  10. Ya, took a peak at your blog, nice. Very few people did Keats! WTF, he is the best poet on our course! 2 thirds of the country did bishop id say, so the examiner might be nicer to you if you did either Keats or Montague, not Walcott though cus most of the other third did him. Did any1 else do PHIC, CP and MOC for comparative?

  11. I wanted to do Keats PJ…didn’t though…

    Sucks Fiona! As you can tell I kinda made up my theme on the spot ๐Ÿ˜€ Fair bit of BSing involved

    I did Von, that’s why I didn’t do it. If her question was really easy I would have been tempted.

  12. i did the same. The consequences of Duncan’s murder was a fantastic question. Loved the Keats question but thought cultural context was a bit trickier. I had to ask for more paper, is that unusual? My writing’s fairly average..

  13. also i did philadelphia here i come, cinema paradiso but purple hibiscus instead of whatever MOC is lol

  14. to be fair i started each question on a new page and took a full page for a plan in the poetry and macbeth.

  15. MOC= my Oedipus complex ( a series of short storys by Frank o Conner(yawn (i love putting brackets within brackets))). Almost the same except for one of the texts Christine, but im guessing that if you needed more paper then they were still miles apart.

  16. knowing me i prob skipped about 5 pages in the middle without realising and the examiner wont see the rest of it and i’ll get a D..

  17. gud gud paper!
    macbeth was a bit….meh i waffled! theme and issue and bishop!:d all is gud
    thank gawd its al over!:D

  18. Ah Dont say that, you have A1 written all over you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Does anyone want to try and get in contact with some Jewish kids. That would be funny. They would have to take a contingency contingency exam!

  19. ha my friend seriously considered claiming she was Jewish so she could do it on Sunday. Who would dispute it? Everyone is so touchy about religion.
    And Liam i was going to read your blog.. but now… Nah

  20. Thats what i was thinking. But isnt feminist like for womans rights and stuff, yet they dont allow there to be an opposite for dudes. Its like feminists dont want men and woman to be equal, they want to be better

  21. oh rite, i thought u were thick r sumat!!!!but like in all fairness they are laughin they get a nite away

  22. (whoever edited my post, apologies, that wasn’t supposed to be offensive, just a play on how feminists are all lesbians… pretty much)

  23. No fuck Feminists and Masculinists , Im started a new movement called The neutralists movement, its the REAL movement for equal right for men and woman, because its stupid naming it after one gender

  24. The Neutralist party doesnt want to do or change anything, we just want to be in government. Oh wait, that sounds exactly like every other party, Drat. Do over- The Neutralists party just wants to PARTY!!! WOOHOO!

  25. Oh no! Some Chinese dude already came up with the whol Neutralist thing, Ah fuck it. Lets just be The Party Party

  26. I’m liking The Party Party

    It was initially, Aisling, but seeing as nobody uses the forums on this site the blog responses eventually turn into random musings/procrastination.

  27. I’ll have to cancel my subscription to The Pyjama Party (for a better future) to join the Party Party… but hell, so worth it.

  28. Party Party stands for good music, good alcohol, legaliseation of recreational cannabis use(why not), and whole load of other shit that you peeps need to think of!

  29. All members who show considerable lack of Hearty (for the Party Hearty) shall be removed from the Party Party, Aoife. You know the rules as well as I do.

  30. im soooo glad that man gav out the wrong paper on thur!! the paper 2day was so much better. i only studied keats bishop cultural context and lik 2essays about macbeth, and so so luckily thats all that came up:):) i thought that keats and bishops questions were really tricky tho, i just used my own essay and tried to throw in the words in the question a few times! ah well never have to do english EVER again:):) WOO!!

  31. Hearty for every1, except Liam cus thats like gay.
    Hearty 4 Grace <3
    Hearty 4 Aoife <3
    Hearty 4 Francesca <3
    Hearty 4 Aisling <3

  32. Random musings are far more entertaining than Maths/Irish.

    Really there’s only so much you can say about english anyway! ๐Ÿ™‚

    So, The Party Party, eh?

  33. Anything on 2fm today about the Leaving? Listening to it now, music, “Space Odyssey” by David Bowie, very psychedelic, kinda like early Pink floyd. Now fleetwoodmac with tell me lies, nice song. nothing about leaving yet though. I can say whatevers in my head cus theres no one else on this site woohoo!

  34. I thought we weren’t standing for anything?

    Beginning to sound like it involves effort! ๐Ÿ˜›

  35. Well everytime someone comments I get an email so I know in like .25 seconds. It’s easier to reply than it is to study ๐Ÿ˜€

  36. Never mind. Well i have to go Ramble on, so Babe im gonna leave you. Remember that your not just Another brick in the wall. Oh and im feeling a Whole lotta love right now so, <3

  37. keats came up yay, then comes the realisation irish paper 2 could be a real kick in the balls on tuesday and maths paper 2 on monday

    oh well:)

  38. not really, the amount of work needed in other subjects is sick cos im retarded at all of them ๐Ÿ˜€

  39. “Educational”

    It’s gotten a bit silly

    But so much easier than conjuring up any form of motivation

  40. I don’t mean the stupid stuff we say, just that this blog has like 100 comments full of us being weird ๐Ÿ˜€

  41. thats what it needs i guess, i find doing the exams in a pair of boardshorts, flip flops and a wife beater to be the best approach ๐Ÿ˜€

  42. Orla Hates the LC!

    wow Grace you are popular i’m your 136th comment!!!!CONGRATS!

    I was overall very relieved about the paper i learned both comparative modes so i chose theme/issue q1…twas very nice!
    Macbeth was okish,i done the compelling drama Q!
    i think i done a good bishop essay,loved the Q!
    and while i do adore cardigans esp blue ones….i didnt care too much for the poem!

    Journey………….as in the greatest anthem EVER “dont stop believing…..”???????i do a great rendition!ha ha i bet the examiner will LOVE it you legend!
    Best of Luck in the rest of your exams Grace!Long live gossip girl!=)

    btw i’m hoping and praying for some mention of the recession in irish too!:P

  43. Thanks ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’m glad it went well! Nice paper overall! Journey fo lyf….hopefully the examiner will get it ๐Ÿ˜€

    I can’t wait for Gossip Girl season three actually…hmm…

  44. Was ours the only exam centre where we were tempted to write English Paper 3 on the front?
    Oh god. Maths and Irish….great

  45. Haha, English Paper 3. Should have done that. Probably would have if I’d thought of it… they couldn’t get away with cancelling my test just for a wee joke like that…

    Anyway, debating whether to do a blog myself.
    Don’t really have anything to add. Did well. Made an amusing mistake confusing Bishop’s poetry and realising half-way through, but I don’t wanna base a post off that…

  46. It may have seemed witty when you thought of doing that, but it’s been done so many times now it’s basically the Family Guy of things you can do at Emerald’s expense

    (i.e. it’s a cheap laugh that gets less funny the more it’s done)

  47. do any of u no da name of the poet of the poem sentimental moment that wos on da eng, likd da poem, tryin 2 find it online! xxxxxxx

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