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Biology 2018 Solutions for Leaving Cert Higher Level

You can access the paper via the examinations.ie website. No marking scheme is available at the time of writing. You may also like: Leaving Cert Biology.
Q1. (a) 1. To receive energy for cellular reactions to occur 2. For growth and repair  (b) Many sugar units joined together  (c) Cellulose  (d) Contains glycerol and three fatty acids  (e) Phospholipids are found in cell membranes  (f) Biuret test 
Q2. (a) Living factor  (b) The place where an organism lives  (c) All of the different populations living in an area  (d) All members of the same species living in an area  (e) The functional role of an organism in an ecosystem  (f) The part of the Earth that sustains life  (g) Checking for the presence or absence of an organism in an ecosystem 
Q3. (a) Interphase  (b) Cell division in which one cell becomes two cells and the number of chromosomes is retained. The genetic material of the daughter cell is identical to the mother cell.  (c)1. The chromosome number is halved in meiosis  2. Meiosis involves 2 c…

A short story / descriptive essay about loss for Leaving Cert English #625Lab

This is one of the finest examples of descriptive language I have seen in a long time. Spectacular use of symbolism. (Well done L.!) This was sent into #625Lab as a short story written "in the hope that it will fit many titles." I looked over the recent titles and, frankly, it doesn't fit any of them :( But it would make a phenomenal descriptive essay. Just like another recent submission, this story doesn't have a very strong plot. Elements from this piece could be used in a descriptive essay or a personal essay. You may also like: Complete Guide to Leaving Cert English (€). 

The sea is still moving, the sun rises like it always does and the seagulls fight on the sandy beach. They must not know. They must not remember.

I open the curtains that have kept the morning sun from my bed as I step out onto the sandy deck of our villa. We were lucky to find such a nice spot so close to Christmas, so far away from the gaudy windows and the carol singing. Senor Margulies said it would be sunny and warm. He promised quietness and privacy and, as I slid the door open, I inhaled the sea breeze and the tangy saltiness that fell on my tongue. Two children were playing on the beach and I could catch their laughter on the soft wind that blew from Africa.

I want a cigarette, but Sam doesn’t know that I have started again. He would be so disappointed and would say nothing, just that disapproving look and a gentle squeeze of his hand on my shoulder. I fumble in my bag and find the packet of Marlboro, unopened and as I peel the plastic wrapping from the red and white box I feel a sudden pang of guilt and the crinkly plastic is caught by the breeze. I watch as it tumbles aimlessly. Grace would give out to me and I replace the packet into my purse, for safe keeping. I know they are there if I need them.

A short story/descriptive essay to fit many titles for Leaving Cert English

My eyes squint as I lift my chin to watch the Atlantic waves somersault and break onto the sand. I swam in the sea with Gracie and Sam over the summer. We went to Tramore for her birthday, that’s when we gave her the sweetest terrier pup, Cracker. They played and laughed on the yellow sand that caressed our bare feet as we sank into it. Sam and I sat on our faded beach towel, the one we had taken from the hotel on our honeymoon. We watched as she opened her pale thin arms, spread wide to embrace the pup that was running to her. We watched as her feet made impressions on the sand and we waved to her when they ran to the sea, the small imprints of her feet disappearing when the tide moved in.

As I close my eyes I can hear her squeals of joy, the yapping of the puppy. I see her face and her smiling eyes; I hear her soft voice and remember the smells from the wards in Temple Street, the kind faces of the nurses and the doctors. They all knew what we feared. They all knew what lay ahead and I suddenly felt cold as I sat on the deck. The children had vanished, leaving behind a wrecked sand castle and the tide was stealthily creeping up the shoreline, the blue water turning dark as it filled with dissolvable sand. She would have loved all the colours, all the sounds.

I hear Sam inside and smell coffee. I hear the first movement of Debussy and I know it is his way of keeping her close, the notes spilling like photographs from his memory as she played the white and black keys, never stumbling. Her hands became so thin, skeletal. Her head seemed so big and when we shaved her hair off we cried together, gathering her brown curls into our fists as we placed each strand into the open bag. It smelled of shampoo, and loveliness - and Grace.

He was being strong for me. He was broken and alone in his thoughts, his world. I heard his heavy shuffle on the wooden floor inside and I imagined him pause as he looked out the long windows towards the sloping hills that framed the villa. They would have climbed them, lost in conversation about the names of plants and rocks, wandering along the trails made by other fathers and daughters. They told each other stories and her hand always fit perfectly into his, like a glove inside a glove.
He held her hand when she died. He held her gently as if he was holding delicate china, marked with blue veins and softness that would never be fulfilled. We were shopping for her Communion dress when I first noticed the bruises, large, round and fat. There were two on the backs of her legs and one on her back. She hadn’t noticed. A seagull perched on the balustrade, staring intently at me. Did he know? Was he carrying some message from the morning? He flew explosively into the air when Sam opened the door, wings flurrying urgently at the sound.

The coffee tasted strong and comforting, bitter mellowness. Sam sat beside me, and we watched the gulls dive into the sea, beneath the gentle waves. We didn’t speak. There was no place for words and the strains of Gollywog’s Cakewalk escaped through the half open door, tumbling along the wooden patio into the flowerbeds and from there they lifted into the morning. He sat beside me, touching my right arm as he sat into the wooden chair.

There were no clouds in the sky. There were no sails on the horizon. No cars could be heard from the road. No tears fell as we sat there and remembered her words, her voice and how we smuggled Cracker into the ward, hidden beneath Sam’s coat. He lay beside her in the bed and stared into her face. He knew she was leaving and sat there, quietly saying goodbye. His tail didn’t wag. We gave the dog to Sam’s niece to mind. They were friends and Grace would approve.

I didn’t cry at the funeral. Sam held back all his emotion as we had promised. It rained so hard as we stood there long after the others retreated into their cars, watching the brown clay dissolve as we waited for some sign, some recognition. Nothing came, only rain and a chill silence that still makes me shudder. Sam visits the grave each morning before he goes to work, and I bring her news of her friends when I can.

The beach begins to fill with people, first little dots in the distance and then they all come into focus. Sam reaches into my bag and takes the box of cigarettes in his hand and taking two out the lights them, one by one. The tobacco tastes sweet and bitter as the blue smoke disappears. His hand holds mine as we watch the boys return to the sand, just the two of them. They are dressed as before; shorts and Barcelona shirts and they are trying to make a red kite fly, but it keeps bumping and dragging off the ground. I whisper a prayer for it to work and it suddenly rises, filling with air as the older boy feeds the long line out and the kite hangs there.

I feel cold. Sam shudders beside me. 

The sea is still moving, the sun has risen like it always does and the seagulls fight on the sandy beach. They must not know. They must not remember.

Photo by Tarpit Grover on Unsplash

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