And so thousands of students have begun the ordeal that is the Leaving Cert today. And in three weeks’ time, all will be forgotten: the soliloquies of Shakespeare’s doomed lovers, the stages of the Krebs cycle, the formula for the standard error of the mean, the process of oxbow lake formation. All gone, forever, to be replaced with more meaningful stuff that people can actually use in life. Like the price of a pint, how to walk in a straight line and Klingon.
The fact that I still remember the above things after twelve years should not be astonishing, given that I studied like a bastard for months on end in order to get that university place I wanted.
And when I got it (by adding up my Points scores like a member of Weight Watchers gone mad) I propelled myself with glee around the main school entrance (no online facilities in those days, kids), waving my piece of paper in all available faces, singing and generally being annoying. For I had won a place on an Arts degree course in one of the finest universities in the land, an idyll with an ivy-covered quadrangle, an honour that would bestow upon me the adoration of thousands, a high-powered career among literary giants, a giant fucking house and, most importantly of all, an ability to make my farts always smell like marshmallows.
Did it fucking arse.