It is that time of year again when unfortunate kids the length
and breadth of the country are plunged into despair over the
prospects of taking their exams.The fact that these exams will
have a huge bearing on their careers and lives make them al-
most unbearably stressful.
It will probably come as a shock to most of you that I reached
Leaving Cert. standard many years ago,but we have all passed
a lot of water under the bridge since then.I have sometimes told
this story to a particularly forlorn student if the mood took me,
and because I'm in an uncharacteristically good mood this after-
noon,have decided to share it with you although I do not advoc-
ate the following of my example as not everyone can carry the
burden of guilt as easily as myself.
As generations of students before me and plenty after were told,
"Don't attempt to cheat,under any circumstance,or you will be
caught and you'll bring disgrace on yourself,your family and
the school,you'll never get away with it.Well I ploughed my way
through most of my exams in a mostly honest manner,all the time
being aware that the Supervisors,who were our soon to be ex-
teachers,had little or no interest in the proceedings and seemed
more intent on the perusal of the daily newspapers.
On the last day of the exams I decided to go for it and armed my-
self with all the notes,text-books and answer-books that might
prove useful and took my place with the rest of the students. I
suppose if this was a fable,I would say that I got caught cheating,
decided to mend my ways and become a better person, but I
didn't,which is how,much to the surprise of my teacher, I man-
aged to achieve Honours in Latin.
Quod erat demonstrandum.
(or whatever it should be.)