Two down…

What a relief. I don’t know about you, but for me, English Paper 2 represents all the worst that the Leaving Certificate has to offer: an incredibly short amount of time to examine a massive amount of material

First things first. No Eavan Boland, and if you were caught out by it, truly, I’m sorry. But try not to let it bother you- it’s done, dusted, finito, kaput. Focus on tomorrow- don’t let it trip you up on other subjects.

Personally, I’m just glad it’s all over and done with. The vertebra-slipping, cartilage-irritating behemoth that is my English folder has been banished to the nether regions beneath my bed. Today, coming home in the car, I couldn’t be sure if I will be happy to never study English again. Yes, there’s a lot to learn… but I sort-of secretly like it. Comparative aside (which I suck at) I like the course. I think it has a lot to offer and (as Valerie mentioned before I think) you can read up on poets yourself in your own time, whether its notes or the background biographies to poems. Yeah, some are crushingly boring. Learning quotes is also about as fun as watching paint dry. There’s problems with the course, undeniably- but I enjoyed doing English homework (as much as you can enjoy doing homework anyway). Am I sad I’ll never study English ever again? Probably, just a little bit.

But back to the paper: I thought that the King Lear questions were quite nice. I went for the first one, honour and loyalty triumphing over brutality and viciousness and I was happy enough with how it went- I’d learned Goneril and Regan pretty well and I’d focused on Justice in the play so that served me well for that one. Anyone else find quotes you’d learned the night before would float off… but ones from months ago in the mocks would randomly creep back in? Perhaps I won’t be so eager with the ethanol when all’s said and done on June 22nd.

The Comparative Study is my weakest area on the paper- I can only hope that I secured 6-7% of the 12.5% it composes of the overall grade. I can’t really hope for much better. I’d WB Yeats prepared well so I was happy with today’s question. Again, my timing wasn’t perfect but hey, better than the mocks. I thought that the Unseen Poem was a little kooky but I went for the second question on personal response, seeing as the first about mood was a bit funny (was she happy? sad? wtf was going on?!). Overall though, I’m happy with the Paper.

Geography tomorrow. Ugh, I’m off to get freaky with India. Best of luck with Maths everyone, especially the Honours crowd- I don’t envy you one bit.

Mister X.

8 thoughts on “Two down…”

  1. Ok, I’m aware that the entire country had their hearts set on Boland but how could anybody study just one poet. I have no idea where the idea that Boland was coming up stemmed from, but there are absolutely no guarantees. It is the job of the examiner to set an exam that goes against the predictions – otherwise where would the challenge lie? Yes, people were thrown when Boland didn’t appear and those people who made the predictions are now insisting that they never said it was guaranteed (but I’m pretty sure they did). The point is, there is absolutely no way of knowing and what’s the use of complaining when there were other poets that we could have learned? The fact of the matter is the examiner can do as she likes. It isn’t even guaranteed that they will put a woman on. There is only one rule. Learn your poets.

  2. Agree with you on the comparative, it is one nasty mofo.

    I had never even done General Vision and Viewpoint in class so I was stuck with the flippin’ vague, nebulous questions that they actually seemed to have picked out from the sky in Literary Genre.
    To sum it up in an abstract noun – Mankness.
    Pure and utter.

  3. It’s true Sarah, you SHOULD learn all the poets I agree. But in all honesty, I focused only on Yeats with a dash of Kavannagh, Boland and Rich. Of those back-up three I could’ve probably scraped a pass, but had Yeats NOT come up I would have been endangering a high grade. It’s as much luck as anything. I’m glad that I was lucky but part of this is being clever with your study and trying to follow predictions. Unfortunately that’s the way it goes now..

    I’d thought of Rich coming up though and covered her just in case. I mentioned her in the last post… sort of freaky… Come on primary Mezzogiorno tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Talking to my teacher after if you followed the general literary genre answer you were fine! The key moments and “narrative technique” really threw me and I prefer Literary Genre- it was what I focused on, so I feel your pain Orla. But hey it’s all done and over with now ๐Ÿ™‚ Roll on… Irish?! =S

  5. Indeed, I agree Sarah. There was some guy on RTE 1 earlier giving out because Boland didn’t come up and people were gutted. Had I not learned Eliot quite well I might be in the same complaining boat, but still. There’s six poets to learn for a reason. (Not that I did learn all six).

    I found the paper to be fine. It is far too long and drawn out though. I had to get up to go to the bathroom half way through just for a breather.

  6. I did the narration one, just mixed it all up even worse than mouldy clothes in a jumble sale ๐Ÿ™
    Ah well, absolutely nada I can do about it now.

    Maths next. Less rushing, less stress ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Ah good. My whole year is up in an absolute heap over Boland, and I’m just after writing a terribly morose blog cos I managed to pull a nice Yeats question out of the bag (I feel guilty, for some reason.) The worst thing is Yeats was the only one I could have done, for everything else I would have been absolutely fuuucked. Pure fluke.

  8. I purposely DIDN’T study Boland because I figured if she came up everyone would write an essay on her poetry and mine would stand out less! People are really going mad over Boland not coming up, it’s something of a phenomenon!
    Yeats and Rich were the only two on the paper I had fully revised, so chose Rich-was ecstatic when I saw her there, and the question was just perfect! However, ran out of time and had a very scribbly last paragraph on a fourth poem, but no closing paragraph! Hope I’m not penalised, I was devastated!

    Loved Lear, did the first question, too.

    Hated the Comparitive, didn’t really know what to say about Vision and Viewpoint through fulfillment, just mumbled about texts being optimistic/pessimistic….and why.

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