#15 11th August 2011 Midnight + 2 immodium
Absolutely exhausted on Friday and think my 2 games of golf this week and 2 days spend at last week’s Irish Ladies Open have finally caught up with me. That evening I got severe pains in my joints. Not flu pains these are more what I imagine arthritis to be like. My bad leg is pure agony, pain started in the knee joint and moved up to the hip, eating paracetamol to help me sleep, cannot be good for me
#16 Sunday 14th August 1am
Well my plan worked, Sunday was a good day so obviously leaving the couple of days break from Thursday night is helping. Took 2 Imodium again but thankfully they are working, pains in joints seem to be a new side effect plus another new one – dreadful nightmares. One was the Maguire twins chasing me around a course with their drivers determined to murder me. Sounds funny now but I woke up terrified. My friend laughed and told me that they were too focused on their golf to consider me!
#17 Tuesday 16th August
Midnight again with 2 Imodium. End up taking paracetamol during the day.
Tomorrow the dreaded leaving cert results come out. Bob and I are very concerned. He is a very hard worker who always goes down in exams. He said today that he thought he’d got 350 but would be over the moon at 380. Bob reckons he’ll do well I’m not as optimistic. He deserves to do well; he has put the work in so if hard work stands for anything he should be happy. Then on the other hand I remember his previous end of year results and know how badly he performs in exams and the worry starts again. Bob asks how he did in the junior cert, Guys do you remember nothing? He did ok, yes he got some very good honours but I decided not to tell Bob that the best honours he got were subjects he either dropped or were junior cert specific. Oh finding it hard to sleep now.
Wednesday 18th August
Well Bob and I tossed and turned all night and eventually 7amfinds me up with coffee in hand watching the news and listening to the results trend. Maths failures are up again as are the sciences and business results also down. I am now feeling totally sick. Get up and log on to see what the social media sites are saying in particular boards.ie. The Same! The Boy arrives down early and has decided he is going to drive into school on his own, he knows a few of his pals are heading down at the same time, however, his decision is not to speak to anyone until he opens the envelope. The parents sit at home and wait for the phone call.
OMG he finally rings and with a lot of emotion in his voice tells us he has honours in everything. I am so happy for him;tears have been in my eyes since 7am and are now freely running down my face. He hasn’t calculated the points yet so we decide I’ll do it on my iPhone app, he will do it in school on his calculator and it will be a double check. 420, couldn’t be, I go again, stop talking to me family, yes he has bloody well ended up with 420 points. These results are honestly the best he has received in secondary school. The principal and his teachers must be delighted and stunned and as for the career guidance teacher he’ll be on the floor as told me last October that his expectations were completely unrealistic. I/ we are so proud of him. Finally he arrives home grinning from ear to ear and I can hug him so hard I near hug the breath out of him – well no he’s 6ft 4 so I’m happy just to attempt to give him a hug! The day passes in a whirl of calls of congratulations, fair play to his pals’ parents; the majority of them have been onto me equally stunned. Of his group he has done the best by far and I think it is incredible considering the stress in this house since January that he has managed to hold it together.
So how did he do it and how did we encourage him?
He never put a foot wrong in school and the teachers knew his homework would always be done and that he would always have his books, so much that in 2nd year parent/teacher meeting they agreed with me that he was so good and quiet that they were inclined to forget he was in the class. In my opinion the turning point came when he went to school in Australia for a month during transition year. The boy had already been here in September but when our lad went back it was the following April/May and they were half way through the 1st year of their 2 final years in school. The visiting Australians to Ireland were are very academic and focused and our Boy really loved the educational system when he went back. When he returned home he was suddenly talking about college and study and I could really see a change in him from an academic point of view. In 5th year he just went back and knuckled down. He never crammed but worked steadily for the past 2 years. Entering 6th year we told him that he was the total focus in the house and whatever we could do to support him and make his study space easier was going to be our job and then I got sick! Best laid plans etc. It cannot have been easy for him! His school also give the option of taking an extra, 8th subject at the start of 5th year. This is studied outside of school hours usually before school begins. This was something we, as parents, didn’t encourage, as felt he would find it hard enough to get through 7 subjects even with maths and Irish at ordinary level. A few weeks into 5th year, Frank approached him about doing Religion as an extra, he explained that there was a project involved and with his support felt it could improve the overall points situation. We left the decision to him and he decided to take it.
At 5th end of year exams I think he failed it, or just about passed it. I had a look at the paper and I couldn’t do it. It is difficult. At 6th year xmas tests he came home and said he’d failed it again and was giving it up. I persuaded him to wait until the report came, he passed D1, again I persuaded him to hang in there as he could possible get a C. At the parent/teacher meeting Frank dithered, answers way too brief, needed to work harder, he’ll probably pass. Mocks come,another D1 and I feel he is now going to give it up. I feel that it is only an extra subject and he is struggling with it, explain again he’s not far off a C but leave it up to him. Weeks pass, I ask has he given it up, can’t I need a letter from you is the reply, I say nothing!
The bloody project – I discover he hasn’t done it. Flip I offer to help him am told not to bother and a week later it’s handed up. I’m told it wasn’t very good and it is just left at that. His exam timetable is such that he had a week before the religion exam. At this stage I am now wondering if he is even going to sit it and he admitted to me today that he very nearly didn’t. So in he goes for the exam and Lady Luck shines on him – a section he had read for the first time, wasn’t studied in class, has come up. So what did he get? A B2 which is what really got his points up, he cannot believe it and is wondering should he have a look at his paper just to see how he actually managed it.
He now waits for the offers to come in on Monday from the CAO. I’m confident he will get what he wants but he is worried, a lot of his friends are borderline for courses and I feel the negativity has fed into him too. He has 70 points more than was needed for his course last year, however, last year was the first year of the course so it is possible the points will increase but I think he’d be very unlucky if he doesn’t get it.
Hard steady consistent work does pay off and he now knows it and it will be an ethic that will stand to him during life.