I have fought my way through the Odyssey; I have fought my own suitors; I have stabbed a cyclops; I have made it home at last. Have I really made it home though? How can I call leaving Fenn returning home? I am leaving the place I feel most comfortable in. I am leaving my friends; moreover, I have leaving what my life has become. I have become a new person here, and every moment I spend here refines and betters me as a person. So now as I write this final words, I feel like I am dying in a way.
The gold is leavingthe motto rings true.
As the school year winds down, there was no better project for a final essay than this reflection. Throughout the year we have not had time to just think about our memories and what we have learned; this project allowed us to truly reflect on the year, but more importantly on ourselves. Below is my final draft of the essay, and the video will come once I record the podcast. Thank you all for an amazing year, and an amazing Fenn career.
As soon as Fitz introduced the songwriting project, I thought, "Oh crap, this isn't going to be fun..." I was completely right. The song writing project was tiring, frustrating, and annoying. However, while doing this project I learned not only how to write a song, but how to rhyme, how to think. Coming up with lyrics was the hardest part, but we struggled through and leaned how. This project was hard and frustrating, and part of me wishes we didn't have it. But part of me realizes how edifying it was, and am glad that we were assigned it.
Well my focus is actually good today so why not try to eat a bit of my cow. I though I would try to outline each paragraph for my essay and give myself my own rubric to write by, so during class I could remain focused and productive. This is intended to also help anyone who may be having trouble with structure, as I found it difficult at the beginning. Following the Fitz rubric usually works, but with a second theme I wished to include, I found it impossible to follow the idea of broad, narrow, one two punch, set up, smoking gun. It became to narrow, as I found this to be a more abstract thought.
Much more in the Read More section!
As I take a step back and look more broadly at my 8th grade year, I think to my memories, and to how those are the happy times, the good times I had. From those days in the science storeroom, recording a video essay about All Quiet on the Western front, to the endless time in ASM spent on the fourth grade animals, they all make me think back and smile. They created jokes, inspired stories, and are what kept me going through the year. The theme of the year was literally, "It's more good than bad" and I couldn't have made it through without it. There were nights when I was up at 11, with a journal post to write after serious procrastination, and there were times when I couldn't stop laughing after someone (Alan) screamed during math class. Over this year I've realized just how boring school can be, mainly during endless science classes, but I've also realized how fun school is, and that's what gets me out of bed the morning. As I look to write my essay, I have to think back and wonder, "Why?" That question ran through my mind all year. "Write a song!" Why? Our latin test doesn't return for months. "Why?" I'm still happy and ready for school each morning. "Why?" It amazes me. When I first heard "Video essay!" all I could think was "Why? WHY?" But now I know why. And it astounds me. This project has made me think like nothing else, and I haven't even started the essay. Before I started to write this, my thought was that all I learned this year was how to write within a Fitz rubric, and how to bang out 500 word journal posts on sunday afternoons, but after this, I realize I've learned how to analyze. Books, poems, ballads, my own thoughts, all can be analyzed, and that's what Fitz taught us. Without us knowing, he has made us think and think and think. How, I have no idea, but my god, it worked. This post started one way, and by the end, is completely in a different spot. Think I figured out what the word ramble means.
Yesterday was one of the most crazy days of my life. The entire was full of fun and non-stop excitement, and it was a day I desperately needed. This got me thinking about Saturdays, and how awesome they are.
Saturdays are that one day when I can do stuff. Fridays, I get home at 5:30 and I'm tired, so I can't do much then. Sundays I have to do work all day, which is what has happened to me today. But Saturdays I can do anything. I'm free. It's my one moment of freedom during the week. Each week I look forward to my 24 hours of freedom, and when they're gone, I think about the next time they'll come.
So as you progress through your week, think of your Saturday, and how you want to spend it. Because if you mess it up, you'll have to wait a week before trying again...
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James
As we reach towards the end of the school year, we all have the same thing on our minds: Summer. Summer is that one time in the year where you have freedom. We are always controlled by school, like we are dogs on a leash. However on that Friday in June, after graduation finally is over, we become free. The first thing I do when I get on summer break is lay down on my bed, and take a nap. It sounds simple, because it is. That's what summer is about: Simplicity.
We all have things we do over the summer, but for me they boil down to one thing, just being fun. If over the summer you are doing something that isn't fun, or you aren't being payed for, you're doing summer wrong. Sure there are summer reading lists, and those remind you that school is coming. But if you aren't having fun, why do it? Summer is our time. We control our summer because we can't control anything else in our lives.
Take your summers and cherish them, because they are the best moments of the year, and of our lives. So go outside, lay down, read a book, have a drink, and just relax. God knows we deserve it.
This Thursday at 6:30, I jumped into the car to take the 2 hour ride down to Deep River Connecticut. Wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and with my phone in my pocket I stared out the window, trying not to get carsick. My family was on our way to New York City, but first we were going to stop in Deep River, where my grandparents live.
Because we live 2 hours away from each other, I only get to see my grandparents on special occasions. We go down to see them at Christmas, and sometimes over the summer, but it is usually only once or twice a year. So whenever we are able to see them we try. So after the ride down, which was uneventful, we settled into my grandparents small, one story house. Each time I visit my grandparents I convince myself that my allergies won't act up in their cat-infested house, and I am always wrong. Once again my nose was running within an hour of entering the house. I had also taken my allergy medication that morning too, so it was obvious that I was allergic to the house. But I got through the sneezing and went to sleep, knowing that the next morning we would be on a train to New York.
Sometimes the horrors of war can change people's view of the world, and never for the better. In All Quiet on the Western Front, we see each character slowly being changed from young men into war machines, pawns for the leaders to use and exploit. In this novel, Erich Maria Remarque displays the awful moments that these soldiers have to experience and how each one effects them and slowly morphs them. However, Remarque also contrasts this change with the protagonist, Paul, who is able to keep some humanity throughout the story. While others are changed, Paul is able to hold some of his old self.
Throughout the book, we see soldiers experience horrible moments. These moments, like where Paul witnesses Kemmerich dying, is where these young men are changed forever. After Kemmerich dies, Paul thinks about how in war you have to disconnect yourself from emotions like grief. They slowly are becoming machines for killing instead of men. They become programmed only to think of the war. When the Russian soldiers are captured, other soldiers spit on them, and think that they are just the enemy. However Paul sees them just like himself, and gives them food that his mother gave him. This shows that Paul is somehow hanging onto part of the old him.
Every time war breaks out, it is the rich and powerful that declare it. However the people who are fighting and dying are the masses. The people creating the problem aren't being effected by it. This is hard to fix, because war is inevitable, and people will have to fight in it. In fact, it is almost impossible to fix. But people should be aware how many lives they will end, how many minds they will warp, before they declare war. Paul and his friends are perfect examples of people who have been molded into soldiers, and their life before the war ceases to exist.