I am still hanging on hopefully to the third level goal of achieving at a professional study target.
But what is the target, or goal. The doctor told my mother that– — — — -“Study is out from now on– -“
So– — — — — — — -what , instead? Something meaningful. The Beatles seemed to have an answer.
“We can work it out”.
I am still as confused as ever.– — — — — — — Third level? — — — -Yes/No?
My scenario in Flannan’s College, when I was doing well, and doing Latin/ Greek, for my
Inter. Cert., was in the Church at night. The Lonely student at night, I called it.
At sixteen, I applied myself to Latin,– — — -Gallic War(Caesar), and did well.
Then, I began to go off the rails.
I began to become less perfectionistic with the Latin professor, a priest, in my fourth year.
Transition year, that is. I eased up on the perfection, with the priest who taught us History
and Geography, for the Leaving. I began to take my foot off the pedal, very much, in History
and Geography. The Maths. And Physics were way too much for me. I began to let things slide.
My previous very good goals began to become less important, and my achievements became
less, and less. I just let things go. A guilty conscience began to raise its ugly head. My previous
brilliant student role became less, and less.
If only! I began to compare myself unfavourably with others. I generally lost interest in achieving
academically. There was nothing I could do to arrest the downward slide.
I began to compare myself unfavorably with my brother, who, at this stage, had gone on to
University. I was , meantime, in the teacher training college, in Drumcondra, and not doing so well.
At this stage, I had been diagnosed, labelled, and incarcerated, not to mention the medication.
I began to lower my expectations in life, and moderated my goals. I began to change my thinking.
I never got on well with third level professors in the Irish Universities. I began to look across the
water, at the U.K. I found the syllabus of International Correspondence Schools, London, and
completed a course in Storekeeping. I succeeded in obtaining a job, as a library assistant, in
Newbridge, Co. Kildare. My late father (God rest him) put it very well, when he said,”The
library is a kind of store”.
But, I did not value the job well enough, and abandoned a promising career with Kildare Co.
Council. I left the library without telling the boss, and hopped on a bus to Dublin. It must have
looked like I was irresponsible , and I paid the price. I thought it was easy to get a job
but I found , to my cost, that such was not the case. My boss in the library refused to
take me back. I spent a few days in Gardiner Street, in a bed and breakfast , in Dublin,
and searched around the locality, hoping to find anything in the nature of a job.
But, all to no avail!
I travelled back home to West Clare to my parents’ house. My mother
was disappointed to see me back home again. This was compounded by the fact that I had
purchased a yellow satin bellbottoms trousers, and a loud yellow jacket. The hit records of the
time were Gilbert O Sullivan’s “Nothing Rhymed”, and George Harrison’s, “My sweet Lord”.
Also , another hit record was Tony Kenny, singing,”Hey girl, what you doing down there”?
And, Neil Diamond, singing,”I am, I said”.
I remember songs from Red Hurley, such as,”Bring back the good times”, and I loved to hear
Red on the radio. Neil Sedaka hit the charts with his,”Happy Birthday, sweet sixteen”.
I was a regular purchaser of the “New Spotlight” magazine, with all the very latest news
on the Showbands.
Being at home, once again, kind of eased the pressure on me, but I still was ambitious to get
a job. My father offered me a job as a meter-reader, with the E.S.B. He was the local E.S. B.
Boss. It suited me better, as I was at home, and felt better. I was on medication. And could
go to all the local dances, and lived with my parents. My brother was doing accountancy
at this time, in Dublin. I settled into the role of the local meter-reader. I also became involved
with the local Fianna Fail cumann. We held church gate collections, and fundraised with socials
in the local hall. I also attended Ard Fheishes, and Youth Conferences. We also canvassed for local
politicians, at election time. The year was 1971/2.