By the hue of the sky and the chime of the off-licence door-bell, it must be that time of year again: The Leaving Cert.

I would love to impart some sage words of advice to you youngsters not reading this, fleshed out with a combination of nostalgia and a few keen insights unleashed with age; perhaps a wise quote thrown in for good tradition.

Truth is, I just wanted to say the word photosynthesis; it’s one of my favourite words of all time. It might even make the top 5. Up there with zupy (Polish for soup), possibly. Like most topics contained in my Leaving Cert exams (complex numbers, Peig, lifecycle of the liver fluke, oxbow lakes, Irish), I’ve never had to apply it to life, so I’m forced to engineer opportunities to slip in a few favourites here and there to impress my peers. Or rely on it to get me out of a few hairy corners, or dig me into a deeper hole.

Take that bloke I was mad keen on a few years back. We’re strolling through a city park with an allotment scheme. Unbeknownst to him, we’re romantically involved. I’m giving him the full Thunderbirds-on-speed treatment with my head-nodding in response to his thoughtful opinion on bio-cultures. He hits a crescendo with his Mary Robinson Claw™, then it’s over to me. And out it bursts without a second’s hesitation…”photosynthesis!!!”.

Thanks to my old alma mater, and MrsG specifically, for preparing me for survival of the weakest.

“When you’re not concerned with succeeding, you can work with complete freedom”

Larry David

9 thoughts on “Photosynthesis

  1. For a long time after school my anxiety dream was named History Exam. I’d be sitting outside the exam hall trying to revise the hefty tome I had never looked at. Bizarrely, even though I could never be properly bothered with history, I continued to take it long after it was compulsory, right the way through to sixth year. By then we were on our own. I opted for Russian History 1917 to 1953. I got really into the mythology of Rasputin, but he was bumped off by 1915 so didn’t count as course work. I was also really into the feud of Lenin and Trotsky; fascinated by how one man could write another out of history. That took me up to the mid twenties. I had lost complete interest by the time I got to the thirties and Stalin’s purges. Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot to draw on for the exam.

  2. Have those nightmares too… about to sit my maths exam but haven’t opened a book in twenty odd years… *shudder. Photosynthesis is definitely a word worth slipping into any conversation 😉

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