"You only do good work when you're taking risks and pushing yourself."- Sally Hawkins
Final Words, Short and Sweet
"You only do good work when you're taking risks and pushing yourself."- Sally Hawkins
Over my years at Fenn I have come to know the school very well and have had many experiences that have taught me a lot over the years. One lesson that I have learned from my experiences is to feel free to take risks. Fenn is a environment that is very safe and I wish I could have taken advantage of that more. I remember that the one experience that I passed up that I really wish I had done was the chance to get up in front of the school and recite my WW Fenn speech in sixth grade. I decided that I didn't want to do it but it was only till after I passed it up that I realized I had passed up such a great opportunity. If I were to carry on one lesson to someone who is coming to Fenn or even who is currently at Fenn, it would be to feel free to take risks. Whether it be public speaking, or showing off a piece of art, it is always a good idea at Fenn, to take a risk.
Experiences That Shaped Me "People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built."- Eleanor Roosevelt
There are so many experiences that I have had over my years at Fenn that have shaped into the person that I am today. Although I have had so many experiences of the yeas that have affected me, the one experience that has affected me the most was my time at camp Caribou at the beginning of this year. My time there was not only a bonding experience with my peers, but it was a time where I was pushed out of my comfort zone and learned a lot about myself. Going out of ones comfort zone and trying something new can never hurt. When I went out of my comfort zone at Camp Caribou, the last thing that was on my mind was regret. When I looked up at the towering tree and saw the small footholds that wound up it, and the two thin cables that were strung across to a near tree, I was reluctant to scramble up. I am a rock climber, my comfort zone was on the rock wall, dangling 60 feet above the ground from two thin cables wasn't exactly my thing. I knew though, that I had to do it, and to overcome my fears. As I was repelling down from my 6th climb up on the rock wall, the staff member who was belaying me decided that I had climbed the wall enough. He called over to the guy running the high ropes course and said as he was about to close up shop, "we have one more who hasn't gone!" I quickly looked away as if the person who hadn't gone wasn't me, but I knew that it was inevitable. I walked through the high ropes course and clipped in. Knees shaking, I pulled myself up onto the two cables, I shimmied across them as they wiggled violently under my feat due to my profuse shaking. This was a odd moment for me that I certainty did not expect. Rather than being regretful that I went out of my comfort zone, I was happy and actually greatly enjoyed it. As I got to the end point at which we dropped off the cables and repelled down, I was happy I had done it. Although I had at first loathed the staff member who had pushed me to do something different. The second my feet touched solid ground I thanked him. Because if he hadn't made me, I would have never broken my comfort zone. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge. I have been changed by this experience such that if I am ever given an opportunity to go out of my comfort zone and try something new again, I will embrace it as oppose to avoid it.
The Word Home Cannot Be Singular
"Where thou art, that is home."- Emily Dickinson
Over the years, Fenn has been a huge part of my life. Fenn has truly gone from being just a school to being a second home for me. Over my time at Fenn I have come to feel more at home in certain places on the campus. These are places where I just feel comfortable, and places that I love to spend time in. One spot that I have truly come to love is Fitz's room. I have spent a lot of time in those cheap fake leather arm chairs over in the corner of the room, and during that time I have had some of my fondest memories of Fenn. In eight grade I was in Fitz's advisory, and I remember coming in every morning and relaxing in those chairs before heading of to my day at school. At the time they were a brief escape from the stresses of the day, and it was a place to relax and have a moment to myself. Even this year I spend a lot of time in those chairs as I have English with Fitz this year. Hell, even as I write this reflection I am sitting in those cheap leather arm chairs. Fitz always makes remarks about how whenever I walk in the room I always make a B-line for those chairs, but I do it because it is where I feel at home. It is hard to put into words as to why, but when I sit in those comfy chairs and look out across the room it feels like home. Another spot that has become special to me is Ms. Libby's room. There is something about that room that always makes me want to relax. Although I have not spent nearly as much time in it as I have in Fitz's room, it is still one of my favorite places in the school. I think I have such a strong affection for the room because of its sheer goofiness. There are random trinkets scattered throughout the room, all of which add to the homely ambiance of the room. This year I have had my Latin class, and advisory in that room, and no matter which class I look forward to spending time in that room. The word home has different meanings, it could mean a place that is your home, or a place that feels like home, but to me, if a place feels like home it is my home, and those spots at Fenn, feel like my home.
People Who Effected Me
So many people have effected me in so many ways. Many of those people have been related to Fenn. Interestingly many people have affected me greatly by accident. It is actually quite funny to me because people at Fenn have effected me without teaching me anything. It was the actions that they did that I took away my own lessons from. But that does not mean there hasn't been a person who has effected me with their teachings. the one person who has probably effected me the most was Mr. Star, but he did it by accident. In my eight grade year he cut me from varsity baseball. All this did was make me angry and more motivated to get better and prove him wrong. I knew I deserved a spot on that team. During the summer I worked hard, and had the most successful season of my life. This was all because Star gave me the motivation I needed. This motivation is still with me today and whenever I come home from practice, or a long day at school, I can always find the strength in myself to go on and work out, or practice even harder. The next person who has influenced me greatly was Mr. Fitz. He taught me a very important lesson in life, and that was, as he puts it, to give a damn. This lesson only makes sense in the context of me if you know my history as a student at Fenn. In sixth grade, I did not care about my grades. I did not try hard at all, if I got a "C", I would just roll my eyes and then move on with my life of prioritizing so many things over school work. This attitude carried on until the eights grade, where Mr. Fitz was my advisor and my English teacher. I still remember the first English class I had with him, he said that to succeed in his class you had to give a damn. For my eight grade year what he said never really resonated with me. But by my ninth grade year I knew what he meant, and well, I started giving a damn. Now that I have proved to myself what I can do as a student I have realized that it's really not that hard to be a great student, all it takes is a little bit of effort. Over my years at Fenn, the teachers here have effected me in so many different ways, wether they effected me by accident, or on purpose, I can definitely say that they have effected for the better.
The Hub of my Childhood
To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity. "William Arthur Ward"
6 years is a long time. That is the amount of time I have spent at Fenn. Over that time Fenn has become a home for me, but I can not describe Fenn as just a home. It has become a spot in my life that is a given, it is hard to imagine life without Fenn as it has become such a large part of my life. It is hard to come up with words to describe Fenn for there are so many. If I were to narrow it down though, I would say that for me, Fenn is a home, a place of good memories, a place where I developed from a boy to a young adult, a place of learning in not just academic ways. Over the years, Fenn has become beloved in my life, a truly special place for me. It is really hard to narrow down what Fenn means to me into just a few statements, but if I was to narrow it down even further in to one statement, I would say that Fenn has been a place where I have developed into a young adult. Fenn has been a place that has taught me so many life lessons that I will cherish and always remember. Most of these lessons were taught to me in my lower school years, when quite honestly I was a bad kid. I would run around getting in trouble and not caring about the consequences. I remember sitting in Mr. Scott's office more than five times. Although each time I thought I didn't care, I did, and by the time I graduated the lower school I had learned so much about how to treat other people. But, at the time I did not realize all of the lessons that I learned. It took a couple years of thinking and looking back on my lower school years but eventually I looked back and understood what it all meant. My middle school years taught me so much about friendships. As I had a falling out with a few of my friends. Although it was a tough experience, I finally realized how important the lessons were that I learned from this experience. The lessons that I was taught were lessons that are hard to come by in any other way. Over my 6 years at Fenn I have matured so much, I have gone from a hyper little kid to a mature thoughtful person. Fenn has been the location of so many of my good memories; a place where I have learned lessons that will stick with me for the rest of my life, and now that I think of it, Fenn for me is a second home.
Spring time is on its way
The snow melts day by day
I still await the noise
Of the first birds gaining their poise
Spring is the start of new
In spring doves sing and coo
The spring is a fresh light
That shines and melts the white
A poem can make you feel so many emotions. Whether they be sad or happy, reading a poem is always a good way to reflect on your life. A poem can bring up so many things that are not often though about. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost is a beautifully written poem. The title of it does a pretty good job of summing up what is talked about in the poem.
"Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep."
This poem can be interpreted in many ways, it can be interpreted as if it was about suicide, it can be interpreted as if it was about the beauty of nature, but I believe it is about beauty of life. I believe it is about staying true to yourself, and persevering through any doubt
Fits gives a task
Upon to us
I question him aghast
In the form of a cus
My night ahead
Will not be fun
Instead of bed
I'll write a ton
Sometimes you are delt a crappy hand in life, but making something out of the hand that you are delt is what defines you. Every writer writes for a reason, and when doing so he or she tries to get the reader to feel or think in a certain way. Sherman Alexie writes this book as a portal for people across the world to see what his life is like as a part time Indian. He explains that because he was born an Indian he is poor, and because he is Indian he has no chance of escape from poverty.
"It sucks to be poor, and it sucks to feel that you somehow deserve to be poor. You start believing that you're poor because you're stupid and ugly. And then you start believing that you're stupid and ugly because you're Indian. And because you're Indian you start believing you're destined to be poor. It's an ugly circle and there's nothing you can do about it."
In the beginning of the story Arnold says that he is a Indian and therefore he is poor. Then he introduces his good friend Rowdy. Arnold decides that he wants to transfer to a new school, this does not sit well with Rowdy and Rowdy punches him in the face, making them more enemy's than friends. At his new school he meets this girl named Penelope, they become good friends. In the end of the book, Arnold leaves the Indian reservation and reconciles with Rowdy. This book was very exciting and truly a pleasure to read. The sarcastic, pithy form of writing hooked me in and didn't let go. The book made me feel like I was a part of the story, and it was relatable on many levels. Arnold was a character who personality-wise, was a breath of fresh air in the context of the books that I have been reading lately. This book made me realize that America certainty isn't a perfect place. There are so many areas in the United States where people are living in poverty areas that are often overlooked by many people. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie shows that tough times can always be overcome if you stick true to yourself and persevere.
9th Grade English
Walden Literary Essay
Theory's for a Better Life
The pursuit of wiseness.
"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives." - Henry David Thoreau
The book Walden by Henry David Thoreau is an oasis of wisdom. One can learn more from reading Walden than from years of school. His values which he holds his life to are wise, practical, and meaningful. In todays world many of his beliefs are overlooked and contradicted. Today's day and age never stops to think about how they could improve the living their life, whether it be through living a simpler life, thinking on a deeper level about philanthropy, or making every day you are on this earth a thoughtful, meaningful day. Reading Walden makes you think deeply about these concepts, and it grants you a clear outlook on living a better life.
Life can be lived more fully if it is striped down to the bear essentials. In Walden, Henry David Thoreau's "theology" on simplicity is that it is a necessity in life. He believes that simplicity should not be a concept to be kept in mind, but a concept that should be lived and incorporated into daily life. Ignorant men who pursue items are men who pursue senselessly for things which in the end are meaningless. Thoreau's search for simplicity trumped all other concepts that he lived by; and it was the foremost value the he held himself to. Simplicity was reflected in his every day life. The small cabin which he inhabited, living a solitary life by Walden pond, amongst his own thoughts, writing in his diary about his day to day thoughts and experiences, all are examples of him living out his core values. He explains in Walden that living a simple life doesn't mean living a poor life. He believes that living simply can gift upon you a life richer than kings. "Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau. This quote is almost a summary of Thoreau's theology of simplicity, and at no other point in the book is it made more clear by Thoreau. This phrase encapsulates his beliefs in a short and sweet way, truly hammering home his points. Thoreau challenges the modern worlds idea how to live a good life. Simplicity is something that is a necessity in everyone's life, it is a gateway to wiseness, and wiseness, is a gateway to happiness.
Thoreau's views on philanthropy and his views on simplicity have the same general vibe. In his mind they are both about necessities.
The illusion which is philanthropy is a concept that is worked into today's society. In Walden, Thoreau frowns upon philanthropy, he believes it is foolish to lend a helping hand in the form of money, or items. To Thoreau, it is not about the amount of money that you shovel off to charity; it is not about the number of coats you buy for an underprivileged school; it is not about the number of people you hire to help a cause, but it is about the amount of time you put into your cause. It is far to easy for a wealthy person to donate money to a cause and then be granted the false impression of actually helping the cause. The temptation of taking the easy way out and still being recognized as someone who cares about helping less fortunate people is a temptation that is easily succumbed to. “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root” - Henry David Thoreau. This quotes message is that there are so many people trying to prevent poverty or hunger by donating food, or sending money by the millions to be spent on coats and jackets to keep them warm, but so few people who actually are trying to stop the cause of the problem. "Striking at the root" is so often overlooked by those who are looking to offer their hand in a cause, that is because, it is not easy. Philanthropy is a action that is overdone in the incorrect way, and Thoreau was a pioneer in that belief.
Philanthropy is a way to live deliberately, but there are so many more ways to live with a purpose.
Having a purpose in life is one of mans greatest desires. Thoreau believes that life should be lived in a deliberate fashion, and he believes that you should have a conscientious purpose in your day to day life. It is Thoreau's theory that life should not be lived wandering aimlessly upon the plain of life's professions and values. Life should be lived deliberately, and with a noble purpose. He believes that you should live for something that matters to yourself. This "rule" of living deliberately is a rule that he took to heart, and that is how he lived, wrote, and thought, deliberately. One way he did that is by living in the woods, he states in Walden that when he went to the woods he had discovered that he had not lived until then, he had discovered that he had lived meaninglessly like so many other people. "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau could not have summarized his beliefs on living a deliberate meaningful life any better than in this quote. It is my belief that all to often people go out in search of a full and rich life without truly knowing what they are looking for; in an aimless search to achieve their own wants. Unfortunately they do not understand that they are missing a component from their life that illuminates the only path to satisfaction. Thoreau put as much emphasis on living simply as he did on living deliberately, and to him it was a virtue that was looked over by to many men.
Thoreau urges us to live simply; Thoreau urges us to live deliberately; and Thoreau urges us to think twice about how you can really help a cause.
The only thing that crosses my mind after reading Walden, is what the world would be like if everyone held themselves to his values.