Dear Saul,

I am Irish. You probably already knew that, but given that others don’t have the advantage of living in my head, I figured it would make sense to explain everything before talking about it.

As stated, I am Irish. At any age before 26 an Irish citizen is entitled to run for an award known as ‘Gaisce’ (meaning ‘a journey’ in Irish). This is also known as ‘The President’s Award’, and, at its highest level (gold) is very prestigious.

And I’m going to go for it, at least on bronze first. Perhaps after that, I may go for silver or gold, and despite the fact that only 70 received the gold award last year, expectations are cheerily high.

So, what does it entail? Well, each level is split up the same (What makes the levels different is the amount of time spent, as well as the scale). There are 4 categories: personal skill, community skill, physical recreation skill, and the journey. For the bronze, 13 weeks must be spent on the first 3 categories, plus another 13 in one if those 3. Each category requires you to learn or improve in a new skill in those 13 weeks, and to prove that you have learnt those skills. The journey requires you to venture off your laptop and spend 2 days and 1 night hiking or camping or anything that gets you out into the world.

Still awake? What about you Saul? Okay, good.

This, to me, will be fun. Very fun. My lazy proctinating personality needs a boot up the rear to get back into the swing of things. This is perfect.

But that’s not what worries me. What worries me is the future: gold, should I ever get to that point, required you to not only perform a major skill for 52 weeks, but also requires a 4 day 3 night journey. I would be doing all this approximately during the time of a major exam for me and if I do it I ca…

STOP, is what I tell myself. What you, Saul, would suggest to me.

This is ridiculously stupid of me. I’m not a fortune teller, so I’m not even going to try and predict the future. Nothing is certain. I’m certainly not getting bronze won by thing of gold.

This may be my ultimate downfall for the chance at this award. I have my skills chosen, but in my mind, I’ve already won. I’ve gone too far ahead, and that’s going too make me cocky and lazy. And I would likes to win this award. It’s an achievement that I would be proud to accomplish.

So hopefully, Saul, you’ll understand why I seem so nervous. I guess I’ll need to try and take things as they come.

Regards,

-Fiachra

P.S: If you are curious about my chosen skills, I am writing short stories for a personal, being part of a Youth Theatre for the community, and signing up for a martial arts club in personal recreation. I start this week, and with luck, in 13 weeks I’ll have an award.

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