Reasons

Why I Picked It 

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    “The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”
Blaise Pascal

    There is a reason for most anything that happens in life. The reason I picked the poem The Lanyard by Billy Collins is because it spoke to me. I spent about an hour or two on Thursday while I was sick going through all of the poems on Fitz’s “poem miner” website. There were many poems that were good and that I would be happy doing but once I came across The Lanyard I knew it was the one. Reading it through I noticed its perfect length, with all the necessary detail and a true story told. The message of this poem is really Collins’s regret in not being able to repay his mother yet giving her the lanyard miraculously made them even. He explains all the things his mother had done for him including cooking thousands of meals and an education. And with each example says that all he gave her was a lanyard. He uses the contrast between what she did for him, and what he did for her to make this such a good and sincere poem. Another reason why I picked this poem was that I felt a sort of connection to it. It spoke to me because I see all the things my mother does for me and I take them for granted and don’t do many nice things for her. This is truly a poem that gets you thinking. The ironic part of this poem is that Collins started thinking about this after somehow flipping to the L section of the dictionary where the word lanyard caught his eye. I found this poem so sincere and truthful that I just had to pick it. Many other WW Fenn pieces are great speeches and well regarded poems that tell epic stories but the simplicity of the story this poem tells is truly the reason I picked it.


Reasons

Why I Picked It 

C1248C5F-3D29-47B4-9EB7-CD85EAE5F495

    “The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”
Blaise Pascal

    There is a reason for most anything that happens in life. The reason I chose the poem The Lanyard by Billy Collins is because it spoke to me. I spent about an hour or two on Thursday while I was sick going through all of the poems on Fitz’s “poem miner” website. There were many poems that were good and that I would be happy reciting but once I came across The Lanyard I knew it was the one for me. Reading it through I noticed its perfect length, with all the necessary detail and a true story told. The message of this poem is really Collins’s regret in not being able to repay his mother yet giving her the lanyard miraculously made them even. He explains all the things his mother had done for him including cooking thousands of meals and an giving him an education. And with each example says that all he gave her was a lanyard. He uses the contrast between what she did for him, and what he did for her to make this such a good and sincere poem. Another reason why I picked this poem was that I felt a sort of connection to it. It spoke to me because I see all the things my mother does for me and I take them for granted and don’t do many nice things for her in return. This is truly a poem that gets you thinking. The ironic part of this poem is that Collins started thinking about this after somehow flipping to the L section of the dictionary where the word lanyard caught his eye. I found this poem so sincere and truthful that I just had to select it. Many other WW Fenn pieces are great speeches and well regarded poems that tell epic stories but the simplicity of the story this poem tells is truly the reason I picked it.


New Things

A New Expierence

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

     It takes time to get used to something new. A time when I got used to something new in my life was when I went to sleep away camp for the first time. In the book Moby Dick Herman Melville Ishmael had continuous new and enlightening experiences as he tries to get on a whaling ship. Camp was an entirely new experience for me just like New Bedford was for Ismael. I had never been away from home for an extended period of time without my parents. It was my first day of camp and I had just arrived at drop off. I didn’t know a single person there. A little while after we arrived we got introduced to our counselors. They then took us back to our cabin and we made our beds and everything. Some kids who had been at camp for a while helped me make my bed and I thanked them. I then became friends with these people with which made my day, and camp experience a lot better.Once I had made friends relatively quickly the rest of camp flew by. Making those friends and getting used to something new is probably the reason I still go back to camp today. The people I first made friends with I am still friends with today and they were a big part in helping me love camp. This experience is just like Ishmael’s trying to make friends on The Pequod and in New Bedford. Ishmael needed to get to know people if he was going to be able to survive in New Bedford, Nantucket, and the ocean. New things are always hard but if you can get used to them easily, you can have a much better time


Happiness through ignorance

A reason for choice

 

9218179A-9F4A-4AF2-9D62-46457D5F45DB“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”
— Mark Twain

 

If you had a choice to be happy and ignorant or wise, which would you be? This is a question asked by many people but hardly ever answered. Although being wise is important and gets you somewhere in life, being happy is much more important and is the basis for doing what you want for the rest of your life. If you can have a happy attitude about life then you are set. If you are wise but not necessarily happy then you have a set couple of things you can do and be happy with in your life. Also if I was ignorant, I could ignore things that would make me unhappy if I was wise. If I was wise then these things would trouble me as I pondered them. Also, people might come to me to ask advice about these things what ever they may be, an I would have to answer them out of my wisdom. It is hard to be wise about everything while not necessarily being happy so I would definitely rather be ignorant and happy. 


A Child's Christmas In Wale's

A Child’s Christmas in Wales


“One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.”

— Dylan Thomas 1

    Tales of our past are told and written out of nostalgia. Reflecting on our most memorable times is how many great stories are written. Nostalgia allows a writer to interpret a story in their own way that pull in readers. In the short story A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, Nostalgia is an important theme in this book as the narrator is looking back to the amazing christmas he had when he was young.

Nostalgia is an important theme in ones life. In the short story A Child’s Christmas in Wales, nostalgia is an important theme as the entire story is a man remembering back to this special time for him. The narrator in this story is remembering back to a Christmas where strange things happened. In a whirl of different experiences all during the same time the author describes how special and unordinary this Christmas was. At the very beginning of the story the narrator and his friend Jim are at Mrs. Prothero’s house who is the friends aunt. They threw snowballs at the cats on the back fence until they heard Mrs. Prothero scream. Once they heard her, they knew they needed to check it out.

“Fire!" cried Mrs. Prothero, and she beat the dinner-gong. And we ran down the garden, with the snowballs in our arms, toward the house; and smoke, indeed, was pouring out of the dining-room, and the gong was bombilating, and Mrs. Prothero was announcing ruin like a town crier in Pompeii.” (Thomas 2)

In this moment of intensity the boys threw their snowballs at the fire. Seeing that their snowballs were failing they quickly called the fire department. The narrator then said that this was a much louder Christmas than usual. I thought that this was important because it served the boys more adventure and put danger into the mix of themes as well. This seemed like a moment that the narrator cherished and thought was funny and so this shows the theme of nostalgia strongly as well. When a person grows old and lets their mind wander off into their glory days they find peace. It is always important to be able to remember something in your past that is important to you.

    Writing techniques are the key to make a more descriptive and interesting story. In this story many sentence building techniques are used; however, I think that parallel structure, and similes and metaphors are two of the most important. Throughout the book these two techniques are used frequently and grace paragraphs with their addition of detail. These techniques are used very well in this short story. This excerpt from the book emphasizes both of these two writing techniques in a beautiful and powerful sentence that just pulled me in. Once I got a feel for what the story was really about, I started to pay attention to the detail put in and this quote really caught my eye.

“Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared.” (Thomas 2)


This entire quote is just a giant piece of parallel structure. Within that parallel structure are a few examples of similes and metaphors as well. I loved how the author was able to integrate multiple writing techniques into small pieces of the short story. It really gave me something very interesting to read and it will help me with my writing in the future. Sentence building techniques are some of the most important parts of writing and this story was a prime example of how the sentence building techniques the right way.

   A Child’s Christmas is Wales is stuck in my head with all of the great themes and sentence building techniques the author used to write it.


The power of Collective Tradition

Tradition

2AE5599A-D529-4A58-8D92-E4E840805E6D“It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.”

—Henry James

    Tradition is something carried on by those who find it important. An important tradition for my family is going to New Hampshire. Even though this is quite broad and it dosent happen annually, my family on my mothers side have always loved going up to New Hampshire. We have rented houses, visited friends, and stayed at camps together in New Hampshire. These trips have been great bonding moments for my family and help bring us closer together. I have gone up to New Hampshire since I was only months old, I have gone to camp there and I have been there with my family on multiple occasions so it has been a part of my life for a while. This tradition started with my grandfather as he loved going to New Hampshire and even bought a beautiful house there. A few years ago my family rented a large house on squam lake in New Hampshire. A large portion of my family drove up to the house and we stayed together for ten days. One of the most memorable parts of this trip for me was the night where we were eating Ghost pepper with meatloaf for dinner. A bunch of the boys were eating Ghost pepper grown by my uncle with their meatloaf. Dininar my brother decided to try it. He took a very large piece of pepper and ate it with a small piece of meatloaf. Immediately after he had chewed and swallowed his mouthful he started crying in pain from the heat of the pepper. He then cried for the next half an hour while my parents tried to make the heat go away with milk, beer, and ice cream. This night was extremely funny and we still laugh about it today. Although this experience wasn’t funny in the moment, it has been a great memory told almost every time we are in New Hampshire. It’s so funny even my Grandmother laughs at it. This is just one of the great moments we have experienced in New Hampshire. Our tradition brings us joy and things to laugh about so I enjoy it greatly. Tradition is so important because of the obligation to continue something started by someone important to you. My family has many great traditions and this is just one of them.


A Waste of Time

Arguments


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For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.

—Margaret Heffernan

    Time is of the essence, there is never enough of it. Everyone wastes time and one of the biggest wastes of time for me is arguing with my parents. It happens almost everyday and there is no way to get around it. Although these arguments can be about many topics the seem to always revolve around devices. Whenever I spend more time then the want me to on my phone or computer they always have to lecture me. A big reason why these arguments are such a waste of time is because they never get anywhere. Whenever I win the conversation and get the answer I want, the dislike of their decision just carries over to the next argument. I wish I could get away from these arguments but I cant. One Wednesday night I had finished my homework early and wanted to go play some “Fortnite” on my computer. I went to my parents and asked them. Their immediate answer was “no go study some vocabulary words!” I then said “but I just finished my homework and it is the end of a long day!” This argument continued for another fifteen or twenty minuets. When I finally got what I wanted I didn’t have nearly as much time. I got off a few minuets late because I finished my game. Immediately after I walked out of the room my mom called me over to talk to me about not getting off. This was another feuding conversation and she threatened to take away my computer. These arguments never help me or my family. All it does is gets my family into bad emotions. I hope that I can fix this in the future and not have as many arguments. Overall this has to stop now!


Thanksgiving

A Time for All    

53140585-B936-46EB-ADF8-19E41B444E2DBe thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

— Oprah Winfrey

    Thanksgiving is a time for family to come together and celebrate thanks. Thanksgiving has been important to my family throughout my whole life. For as long as I can remember my family and close relatives have always come together to eat and celebrate on thanksgiving night. Something that I picture when I think of thanksgiving is happiness. Whenever we have family over or go to a relatives house there is nothing but happiness and thanks. Always thinking of each other and not starting feuds are definitely traits that are consistent throughout all of my thanksgivings. 

    Looking back to the first thanksgiving, it is the one time where the pilgrims and native Americans truly get along. It was the one point in time where these two completely different groups of people actually got along. People who mostly didn’t even speak the same language got together and celebrated peace. This is actually very similar to the thanksgiving we have today. When we celebrate thanksgiving together we stop our busy lives and celebrate peace and thanks. With everything that goes on in our lives today sometimes it is good to take a little hiatus and gather around the table and give thanks together. 

    I believe that thanks is something that we all should be able to give. No matter what it’s for and no matter how you live you should at least be thankful for the gift of life. Some of the things I am thankful for are my dogs, my parents, my brother, my friends and everyone who has supported me throughout my whole life. My family means so much to me and I am very happy that I will be spending time with my grandmother, two of my aunts, my uncle and my two cousins. Thanksgiving truly is a great holiday and I hope to continue to celebrate it throughout the rest of my life. 


The Power of Hard Times

A recurring action

D0648A93-9968-4AE0-822A-F9A4BA3DDFD9“Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense.”

—Mingon McLaughlin

 

    Experiencing hardship shows someone’s character. There have been many times where I have faced hardship in my life. If I hadn’t faced these hardships I am not sure I would be the person I am today. It was early on a Wednesday night and I had just gotten home. I sat down to do homework but didn’t want to so I hopped into a game of “Fortnite.” This was not one of my greatest ideas. I was in my first game of Fortnite expecting to get right off after that game. I got to top ten then was eliminated by a noob and I was really mad. In my anger I started another game. This similar process kept repeating until my Mom asked how I was doing on home and I answered “good”, this was a lie of course and I felt guilty but kept playing. I didn’t notice until it became nine thirty and I had homework to do. I stayed up late to get my homework done. The next day I was tired, I didn’t get good grades on the assignments and I was loosing my Mom’s trust. Not doing well on my homework and being tired the next day didn’t help me at all. If I had just started my homework earlier then I would have had it done well and maybe my parents would have let me play “Fortnite” later. If only I had thought about getting my homework done earlier maybe I would have had a better year. This was a hard experience for me and I am happy I was able to get over it this year.


The Power of Place

My Favorite Place

C5771AB1-7801-4E7D-8856-2FFE2EE1C626“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.”

— Joan Didon

 

    There must always be a place you love. Personally I love my bedroom. My bedroom is important to me because it is somewhere that I feel at home. When I am sad or stressed out sometimes it helps to just go lay down on my comfortable temperpedic mattress. It was the night after I had found out that I had broken my foot during the first scrimmage of varsity soccer season. I was so upset that I had to miss the whole season so when I got home I decided to go right to my bed after saying hi to my brother and father. “Why did this have to happen to me?”, I kept asking myself. Another injury had happened the baseball season before and two in a row just was incredibly unlucky. As I laid on my bed and asked myself these questions I slowly got sleepy and nodded off. I am actually happy that this happened because I woke up later in a better mood. Because of my better mood I was able to finish out the rest of the day and my homework well. If I hadn’t drifted off to sleep in this moment I don’t think I would have had a good rest of the night. Homework would not have been productive and I would not have treated my family well. My bed is always there for me when I am home and has helped me get through some tough things. Even though this wasn’t a huge challenge it helped me get a clear mind set and an idea of what I could do to make the rest of the fall a good one.