Is it any wonder that the school desks I remember as a teenager were made of the finest and most durable of native Irish timber with the abuse they received from the generations of youths who sat in them listening intently to teachers rant on about theorems reckoned by mathematicians that died thousands of years ago! It never made any sense to me. I spent a lot of time drawing in the margins of my books or whittling away with a pen or compass on the desktops of Muredach's College when I was supposed to be listening to the teachers. God bless them, they done their best but I was bored to tears most of the time. That said, I guess even then we were conscious of the passing of time. We knew our time at school was short and we were anxious that while we were there, we would make our mark as many had done before us. Isn't it the human thing to do after all ... and weren't our arses red if we were ever caught! We developed a code so they wouldn't know, "not me Sir" ... but the mark was made and some day, like the deciphering of hieroglyphics, we'd be identified and remembered for ever.