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Brendan Kennelly for Leaving Cert English: Begin

"Begin" by Brendan KennellyYou may also like: 2019 Guide to Leaving Cert English. Full notes on Brendan Kennelly will be made available to everyone who has the 2019 guide, free of charge, as soon as they are ready.

Summary: a philosophical reflection on starting something new again and again communicated through the description of a morning walk across the Grand Canal in Dublin.

Style features:
anaphora (1) (highlighted in bold) adds a sense of determination as does the repetition of the word “begin” throughout the poemenjambment highlights the never ending need to begin again imperative tone, “begin again” is an encouraging command to never give up alliteration e.g. “dying in dark / determination” enhances the imageryreference to familiar places, “Pembroke Road” near the Aviva Stadium in Dublin 4, make the poem more accessibleimagery appeals to multiple senses: “summoning birds”, “sight of the light”, “roar of morning traffic”, “crying birds in the sudden rain”, “branches…

From touchdown in Dublin and into Trinity Law in one year: Trinity Feasibility Study

Aisling Cowan arrived in Ireland only a year before her Leaving Cert, achieving a formidable 520 points. She talks about her experience and how she managed to use the Trinity Feasibility Study to help her get into Trinity College Dublin to study Law.

What is the Trinity Feasibility Study?

The Trinity Feasibility Study is a programme through which you can gain a place in Trinity with slightly lower points if you are deemed feasible. There are a total of 25 places available through the study - 10 in History (TR003), 10 in Law (TR004) and 5 in Ancient and Medieval History and Culture (TR028). One must apply and be deemed feasible and then points are considered when results are released. To my understanding, you have to be pretty close to the actual points to get in. 

Did the specific courses offered via the Study influence your course choice?

No, I had decided I wanted to study law before 6th year and Trinity had always been my first choice.

Tell us about the specialised application form involved. What helped you succeed?

There are 3 sections and an essay involved, but all of the character maximums are quite low, so I actually found it difficult to fit in all I wanted to say. 

The first 3 sections are explaining your interest in the course and why you’re suited for it, while the essay is to help the reader get a better sense of you as a person. I think what helped me succeed most was that my genuine interest for the course shone through and that I was truly feasible. The aim of the study is to give students who would do well in the course an opportunity even though the points may not be reachable for them because of certain circumstances. I was feasible because I moved from America to Ireland the summer before 6th year, so I was completing my Leaving Cert in a year rather than two, so I probably would have done better points-wise if not for my circumstances. 

how to apply to Trinity Feasibility Study

How did you find out about the Study?

I found out about the study on the Trinity website, there’s a great pdf there with lots of information on the process. Also, when I entered Trinity Law as a CAO choice, the CAO prompted me to participate in the study. 

Who do you think is the right kind of candidate for the Study?

The right candidate seems to be someone who genuinely wants to study the subject and would be suitable to the course but who the leaving cert points system just might not suit for whatever reason. 

Did you get a first round offer like most of the traditional applicants, or was there another process?

I got a first round offer at the same time as everyone else, but it was not indicated to me that I gained acceptance through the study. (I saw online that the course was 542 in the first round and I got 520 so that’s when I knew)

What would you recommend to potential applicants?

I’d recommend getting started on the application early, so that you don’t have to do it later in 6th year when you’re stretched thin in terms of time. Also, I think that everyone who thinks they could be a possible candidate should apply, even if they think their chances are slim because it's important to give yourself every chance you can. I thought I stood no chance but ended up getting an offer. 

You did the Leaving Cert in one year. How did you do it? What was the hardest part?

I accepted my situation first of all instead of wasting time being upset and frustrated. Despite that, I still didn’t really get to grips with how everything worked until Christmas. I remember sitting my house exams in November and not understanding that experiments were a distinct section of the Physics course. When I finally started to study properly, I was extremely exam-focused. I used exam papers to study from, did grinds, and never let a bad test score upset me - I saw a lot of people around me getting upset at bad scores, but I decided that no tests were anything more than a learning opportunity until the LC itself. The hardest part for me personally may have been that I only had six subjects. With an Irish exemption, I had no room to trip up, so I tried Applied Maths, but in my opinion that is definitely not a one year course! Something I found difficult but which ultimately was key to my success in the end was finding the right people to surround myself with: I started the year at my new school with people who were very exam focused and intense, but eventually ended up spending most of my time with people who wanted to talk about more than exams and have a bit of fun too. I think that taking time to relax every day and be away from all the stress is of utmost importance.

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