All post-primary schools in Tyrone were united today in their support for the new GSCE English Literature exam which will see traditional texts such as Shakespeare, O’Casey, Hemmingway and WB Yeats replaced with the writings of Ronan McSherry, Alan Rodgers, Kevin Hughes and Catherine Wylie amongst others.
President of the Tyrone Schools United Committee, Master McGrath, explained the reasoning behind their stance:
“To be honest, we’re sick of reading that Romeo prancey nonsense. Who in their right mind talks like that now, apart from a lock of families in Donaghmore? Then you’ve Yeats waffling on about swans or Easter. Give me a critical analysis of the writings of Ronan’s Rant in the Herald any day: “taunting the Man U fans was like poking a rottweiler with a stick” is lyrically magical and far better than anything Wilfred Owen ever attempted.”
McGrath added that he’s very much looking forward to seeing his students get their teeth into Alan Rodgers’ match reports, Catherine Wylie’s account of the Nigella Lawson case or Sheena McStravick’s take on the botox addiction in Mid-Ulster. He added:
“We need to get people reading for enjoyment. We have a wealth of literary talent in the county, instead of analysing the Macbeth codswallop. Ciaran Woods wrote an article last year on the pain of playing with in-grown toenails and it had me in tears. Such emotion. Our children need to be brought up on this stuff, not the pure balls William Wordsworth was spouting.”
Students will be allowed to choose two of their own modules alongside a compulsory module on Owen Mulligan’s latest book.
Stephen O’Brien, an astronomy enthusiast and budding rocket scientist, has gone underground after achieving three ‘A star’ grades in his A Levels – the first pupil to do so in the greater Loughmacrory area. His father John, an unemployed handyman, says it’s no wonder:
“Typical of our Stephen. I’d have been at him for years to go out and be like the other lads, kicking tyres and clodding the police, but there was no talking to him. He’d always have his nose stuck in some oul stupid book about NASA or Aristotle. He was a complete embarrassment and we’d keep him locked away in the attic when the priest or other important person came around in case he let us down a barrowful with his big words and worldwide knowledge of current affairs. Some puke.”
Stephen achieved the highest grade possible in three subjects – Physics, Mathematics and Engineering – and was suspended for two months by Loughmacrory Integrated College earlier in the year for suggesting he took on another couple of A Levels. Headmaster Mr Leo Kelly, added:
“A real wee buckin smart arse. He had the teachers’ heads wrecked by knowing stuff before they taught it. We hate that. And he did all his homework, the stew. Well, he got what he deserved. He’ll have to carry those grades around his neck like a living purgatory for the rest of his life if he stays. I feel sorry for the parents.”
Stephen is talking about moving to Donaghmore where he feels he’ll fit right in:
“Loughmacrory isn’t ready for a boy like me. Over the last few decades we’ve seen local cross-dressers, bisexuals, Derry supporters and Muslims all come out in the area and not an eyelid batted. I just like reading but can’t come out about it. I’m off to Donaghmore where I can freely run about with a Hemmingway epic under my arm like the other youngsters.”
There’ll be a celebration party thrown tonight for all those deciding to stay in the area after failing the whole lot.