Finals: Ireland Style (Katie Riesterer)

On 12 December 2011, I will be taking three exams.  The first, Set Dancing, will be quite pleasant as this exam is taken with the help of fifteen other classmates.  I dance the lady component alongside my dance partner and together we dance with three other pairs.  Four pairs together make up one set and we have two sets in our class.  Throughout the past twelve weeks we have learned two set dances, The North Kerry Set and the Sliabh Luachra Set.  The North Kerry has five figures and Sliabh Luachra has six figures.  For Monday’s examination our dance instructor, the head of UCC’s Music department, and additional dance examiners will watch us dance these sets.  However, there is a twist.  We are not dancing these sets in order from figure one to figure five or figure six, but the examiners will call out a figure and we are to immediately start dancing that figure.  I am not too worried for this exam, as I am fond of Set Dancing and have a pretty solid grasp on what dance steps go with which figure.   In fact, I think this exam will be quite fun and I am sad that it is my last opportunity to dance these sets.  Although, I do have seven people in my immediate family and adding me to the mix would make one full set.  Perhaps, I will be teaching Set Dancing when I get home!

My next exam on Monday is singing two Sean Nós songs in front of my Sean Nós instructor and the head of UCC’s Music Department.  Sean Nós is unaccompanied old style Irish singing.  One song is an Irish lullaby and will be sung in Irish.  The second song is in English and is about a young man leaving his fair Irish maid to immigrate to America.  Besides getting incredibly nervous and my voice shaking when I have to sing alone in front of Music instructors, I should be fine!

Environmental Public Health winds up my exams for Monday.  The final is an in class essay on two questions from everything that I have learned in that class.  I have never written an essay for a science class before, so that should be an experience.  My lecturer also said that we would not receive top marks if we only use the information from her slides.  We must do outside research to achieve that.  Tuesday brings a similar exam for my Irish Folklore class.  The lecturer has given us the essay titles ahead of time, so I have a good direction of what to study and she said that we do not have to do outside research, which I am thankful for!

I also have a 4,000-word essay due on 16 December 2011.  This class, Pagans to Christianity is ranked as a third or fourth year class.  For final long essays at UCC, each year means another 1,000 words.  As a first year a long essay would be 1,000 words, as a second year a long essay is 2,000, etc.  It’s my first year at UCC, but my third year at SNC.  I should not be surprised that I had 4,000-word essay in store for me.

I am a bit anxious for these exams as I have no idea what my current standing in these classes are.  I have only received one grade back from a quiz that I took in Environmental Public Health; otherwise I have not heard a thing from my lecturers.  I do feel fortunate though, my Irish classmates have to take their Environmental Public Health final in May.  I get to take that exam with the information is fresh in my head.  So, back to the studying and essay writing I must go!

Katie Riesterer is studying abroad at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland.

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