“fáthchiallach” is allegorical/figurative…duh.

Irish is done. And I’d like to say I’ll never have to do it again but there’s a serious threat that I won’t get the points I’d like because of today’s paper.

Today in the exam hall I held it in and focused on the task at hand but when I got home I was furious with the exam commision. My paper doesn’t reflect the effort I’ve put into Irish the past 2 years at all. I knew my notes and I knew those poems. Yet they ask questions that I can’t understand with words there’s only a slim chance I’ve encountered or are so advanced I’m not going to remember them in a hurried, exam situation. When was the last time you were asked about an allegorical/figurative aspect of poetry in an English exam? I’d rather not have the poem on the paper and have to learn quotes if it meant the questions were understandable. Exams are there to test what you know. I had those poems and An Triail down to a tee and got tripped by stupidly complex words designed to trip you up. And what makes me so angry is it isn’t for my lack of effort or not being good enough. I’ve worked bloody hard this year in Irish, along with my class. Yet we come out of today’s exam, supposedly our final encounter with the Irish language and surprise surprise we leave with a bitter taste in our mouths.

Hell, I’m okay with a hard question. Separating the wheat from the chaff and all that, but on a 20 marks question? And 40 marks for An Triail? Seriously? That’s 33% of the total marks for Paper 2. Why couldn’t the harder words be thrown into a 9 marker? That would still separate people out and for God’s sake 33% isn’t separating As from Bs. It’s jeopardising people’s C and Bs alone.

The poems chosen were nice and I knew them well-but the whole situation with questions has annoyed me today and I feel especially sorry for the people at home now seriously worried about failing. I’m confident that I passed so that’s something-but damn, I’m so angry that I could’ve saved a lot of time and effort over the past few weeks if I’d known that after studying notes, revising poetry I could be beaten by the question itself.

I’ve defended the language from all those naysayers over the past few months but right now I’d be quite happy to dance around a fire full of Gaeilge exam papers with their poxy questions. Probably get EU funding for it too.

11 thoughts on ““fáthchiallach” is allegorical/figurative…duh.”

  1. I feel bad now…My teacher is such a self righteous a-hole that he takes great pride in roaring fáthchiallach and what ever pathetic fallacy is at us… I advise you just forget smelly old irish,for as I have often stated when Anything irishy wasn’t going my way ‘Irish isn’t a dying language,it’s long dead and now it’s just a smelly decomposing zombie that’s trying to eat our brains!’ . It seems most people didn’t know what it meant anyway so comparative marking will bring you up so SOURIE, c’était le francais demain et c’est practiculierment certain que ca était plus facile!

    1. You shouldn’t feel bad! And I don’t blame my teacher, she’s one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had, my Irish has come so far these 2 years with her. Just be glad you’ve one of those types of teachers that drill the hard, nitty gritty stuff in! That’s the way it works unfortunately!

  2. i know the feeling….makes you wonder why you bothered improving your irish just to get that thrown at you….also ill admit im one of those “naysayers” you refer to……language is pointless….least its over forever (hopefully) 🙂

  3. here here to mister x’s post… However I disagree with ye’re views on the language in the above comments, there are some serious faults to be seen in the Irish secondary level course though… And in the leaving cert history if I may add!

  4. Ah, it really, REALLy was a cruel move on their part. The questions were worded in a way that confounded the best of students and simply eliminated the middle-sections. I was one of the lucky ones who had glanced over the word last night, I’ll admit, but otherwise…..

    The “An Triail” question was truly appalling. Gaelgoirs had trouble getting to grips with it, let alone us plebs.

    Otherwise, however, one of the nicest exams in years with no “carbon-copy” stair section like last year (although the absense of BOTH fimíneacht and ruraíocht threw me a little!), the beautiful prose section AND ordinary poetry section. “Yay-sayers” unite! 😀

    1. Ha I think you’re like the only person I’ve heard outside our school that feels that way too! It’s completely disgraceful to choose a favourite reader…but damn it Sean and lally, Padraig Pearse is doing 360 tailspins in his grave!

  5. Couldn’t understand the Cearrbhach Mac Caba question in the optional próis. Didn’t know anything at all about Claire sa Spéir. Didn’t do any in the end because if you spend twenty minutes answering but you’ve misinterpreted, zero points for you! Left early 🙂 Pretty annoying at the time though-why did they have to ask something I couldn’t understand? 25m gone. 🙁 Still, over now!

  6. Mr.X I go to an All-Irish school and I didn’t even know what Fáthchiallach meant! What a joke. Still answered that question though, just assumed it meant universal or something?

  7. Well, I went completly blank in that exam… I knew that Fáthchiallach ment allogorical, but I couldn’t remember what allogorical ment 🙁

    1. Point exactly about how they don’t make poetry questions that complicated at Higher Level English! Grrr! But it’s all done now anyway Ruth, no sense worrying about it… there is partying to be done! 😀

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