The Power of a Place

 The place that saves me year round 

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Let the waves carry you where the light cannot.

~Mohit Kaushik

    When you're feeling stressed, worried, or anxious, everyone has a place that calms them down. It is in the long, winding, creeks of Cape Cod that I find myself drawn to the primal force that is nature. After a long school year filled with stress and anxiety, my salvation lies in the rivulets of Cape Cod. It is there in the infinite peace and tranquility that I search for crabs, eels, and maybe a striper or two.

    The exasperation melts away like a snowflake on a window as I wait for my prey beside the riverbed. When it’s just myself, I can truly focus and concentrate on the rippling water. As the piercing noon sun beat down on my back, I could only hope that I could forget my problems for the time being. As I held my net, the thrill of the hunt rushed through me. I almost gasped in shock as one of the biggest crabs I had ever seen walked right by my feet. To be more specific, it was a blue crab, and blue crabs can vanish in the blink of an eye if you don’t time your swipe perfectly. If I had made my move then, I surely would’ve missed. But after over ten  years of catching this crab’s brethren, I had enough experience to catch this monster. “Splash” I made my move, and an overwhelming sense of joy coursed through me as I peered into my net. I caught it!

    It didn’t matter that in a few weeks, my problems would resume again. It didn’t matter that I was only there once a year, and it didn’t matter that I would be leaving in a few days. It only mattered that I had distracted myself from my stress and anxiety long enough to have some fun.

    When it comes down to it, I will forever treasure that beach and hope that everyone finds a place where they can be happy.


The Power of a Place

When you're feeling stressed, worried, or anxious, everyone has a place that calms them down. It is in the long, winding, creeks of Cape Cod that I find myself drawn to the primal force that is nature. After a long school year filled with stress and anxiety, my salvation lies in the rivulets of Cape Cod. It is there in the infinite peace and tranquility that I search for crabs, eels, and maybe a striper or two. The exasperation melts away like a snowflake on a window as I wait for my prey beside the riverbed. When it’s just myself, I can truly focus and concentrate on the rippling water. As the piercing noon sun beat down on my back, I could only hope that I could forget my problems for the time being. As I held my net, the thrill of the hunt rushed through me. I almost gasped in shock as one of the biggest crabs I had ever seen walked right by my feet. To be more specific, it was a blue crab, and blue crabs can vanish in the blink of an eye if you don’t time your swipe perfectly. If I had made my move then, I surely would’ve missed. But after over ten years of catching this crab’s brethren, I had enough experience to catch this monster. “Splash” I made my move, and an overwhelming sense of joy coursed through me as I peered into my net. I caught it! It didn’t matter that in a few weeks, my problems would resume again. It didn’t matter that I was only there once a year, and it didn’t matter that I would be leaving in a few days. It only mattered that I had distracted myself from my stress and anxiety long enough to have some fun. When it comes down to it, I will forever treasure that beach and hope that everyone finds a place where they can be happy.

The Power of Friendship

    What a true friend can do

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Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

 

    Happiness and friendship need each other to thrive. When I was feeling down, hurt, or even a little broken, I always had a friend to support me. When I wasn’t feeling myself, couldn't concentrate at my new school, lost interest in all things I loved, and felt as if I would never be healed. When I felt alone in the world. When I had nowhere left to go; He brought me back from the pits of despair and repaired me.

Continue reading "The Power of Friendship" »


Narrative Paragraph 1 - The Power of Family


How my aunt saved me from myself

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Even when times are tough, family is always there. It was family, but more specifically my aunt whom I turned to when despair struck me like lightning to a tree. When I had pounds of stress upon my back; when I went days without using my voice at school; many times, my aunt stepped up and gave me a shoulder to lean on without hesitation or reservations. A time when this rang truest was when I was headed to my aunt and her wife's house for a sleepover. (my parents were out of town) It was late Friday night, and we were both feeling stressed; from my school, and her work. After a long and painful week, we thought that some quality time, candy, and a movie or two would help us both. Exhausted, pained, and with mountains of stress on my back, I uncertainly rang the doorbell on my aunt's doorstep. For a moment, time stood still. Then, with open arms and a smile so wide it looked as if it would tear her face, she welcomed me into her warm house. As soon as I stepped into that building, the awkwardness and uncertainty disappeared like foggy breath on a cold winter day, and we were free to be ourselves. She didn’t care that I had given her the burden of my problems. She didn’t care that more often than not, I forgot to call, and she didn’t care that I wasn’t always the best nephew. She only cared that I was there; that I was present. She only cared about spending quality time, and whether that was watching movies or getting a good burger, we enjoyed ourselves. I truly appreciate what she did for me and I never realized that quality time, a loving aunt, and a candy bar or two would free me of my stress and worry. For me, I will never again forget to call because when times are tough, family is all that really matters.


The Poet X Poem Podcast

Hello, my name is Max Burgess and I will be reading a poem from the book “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo. I will be reading the poem “After the Buzz Dies Down” . The main theme of the poem is control, or lack of it, because the main character Xiomara’s religious mom controls her life.

I crumple the flyer in my backpack.
Balled and zipped up tight.
Tuesdays I have confirmation class.

Not a chance Mami’s gonna let me out of that.
Not a chance I want anyone hearing my work.

Something in my chest flutters like a bird
Whose wings are being gripped still

By the firmest of fingers.

The theme of control comes to light mainly in the ending stanza. In the ending stanza, Xiomara describes herself as feeling like a trapped bird. We know that Mami is the one trapping the bird because Mami is the one who makes her go to the confirmation class, and there is no way she can get out of confirmation class. Mami is the one controlling/stopping Xiomara from spreading her wings.


The Poet X Letter

Dear Maria Peeters,

     I hope life is going well for you. For me, life’s been good although I've been feeling pretty stressed lately. I think it boils down to the amount of work I have been getting. My school ends at five o’clock, and I have activities after school everyday except friday. Those activities end at around 7, so I won’t start my homework until 7:15. I just can’t get a break. After my little spiel, How are you?  Are you stressed? How’s your school going?

     In the book “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo, the main character's name is Xiomara. She has a brother she calls Twin, her mother Mami, and her father Papi. She has a friend named Caridad and her pastor is named Father Sean. So far, the book has been mainly set in her church and her house. The book is written all in poetry, and the writer really explores Xiomara’s feelings. The book emphasizes Xiomara’s relationship with her mother, her relationship with the church, and her relationship with her body. Her mother is extremely christian, and sometimes doesn’t understand what Xiomara is going through. Xiomara is curvy, and the book explores the way people treat because of her looks.

     So far, the book has been interesting to say the least, but I mainly feel indifferent to the book. I think this stems from the fact that my teacher is making me read it, but I can see how some people would enjoy it. I can also appreciate how this poetry is art, but it just isn’t for me. I enjoy books of different genres, so I just didn’t connect with this book. If you like poetry and want to hear a good story, this book is for you.

     I think a poem that best describes Xiomara’s relationship with her mother is “Rough Draft of Assignment 1 - Write about the most impactful day of your life.” This poem is about Xiomara getting her first period and her mothers reaction. A block quote the brings this relationship to light is:

Threw away the box of tampons, saying they were for cueros. That she would buy me pads. Said eleven was too young. That she would pray on my behalf.

This is what her mother says and does after slapping Xiomara. It shows how her mothers belief in her religion is clouding her judgment. It makes me sick to think how Xiomara is feeling. A line quote from the poem is: But I stopped crying. I licked at my split lip. I prayed for the bleeding to stop. This is what Xiomara does in response to her mother hitting her. Two phrase quotes that also bring this relationship to light are: the ending of a childhood sentence and I didn’t know how to answer her.“ These quotes explore her experience through the period and how her mothers actions truly took her by surprise.

     I really enjoyed reading “The Poet X” and I hope you read it someday. It really is a moving book that will have you crying at one poem and laughing at another. I hope you’re doing well and hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Max Burgess


Max Burgess
Fitz English
Windsor Mountain Essay
9/27/2021
Windsor Mountain Essay
Fear and exhaustion isn’t fun
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Everything you have ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear
~ George Addair

    I felt as if I was going to vomit as the bus bumped down the highway. My classmates and I were headed to some sleepaway camp in the middle of nowhere called Windsor Mountain, where we would spend three days and two nights. You could practically taste the excitement and anticipation in the air as we wondered what was in store for us. I had done sleepaway camps before, but this was a whole new experience. Little did I know, I would face whole new levels of exhaustion and fear at a mere sleepaway camp

    At the end of each day, I was more and more tired. Throughout the evening activity, all I could think about was my bed. When I got back to my bunk, I expected to go to sleep, but my classmates had other ideas. It was too late for them to be this loud. Three times teachers came to our bunk preaching quietness, but they ultimately failed. As I tried to sleep through the infuriating yelling, I felt as if I would never sleep. My bunk wouldn’t quiet down. I tried shouting “Be quiet!”, but they wouldn’t listen. The smell of 16 boys was overpowering my nostrils and the sleeping bag chafing against my skin wasn’t helping my mood. I took a deep breath and attempted to compose myself. I tasted minty toothpaste in my mouth as I roared again “BE QUIET!” My attempt was unsuccessful. The infernal yelling was making me go insane. I only wished to be asleep after a long day of vigorous activities. The continuous cycle of the activities had resulted in me being bone tired. Whether you're working a job, a student, or even unemployed, everyone gets exhausted from time to time.

    Everyone faces fear in their lives. I happened to face my fear of heights on the dive tower of Windsor Mountain. My heart skipped a beat as I climbed the slimey ladder to the top. My friend yelled at me to hurry up because it was almost lunch. He had convinced me to come up, but I was still really nervous. I was preparing myself to jump by taking in my surroundings. The splashing of kids wrestling on the blue mat. The sun sparkling off the water like millions of little diamonds. I took a deep breath of the smelly pond water and felt ready. I plugged my nose and jumped. Those few seconds felt like eternity to me. I had never felt exhilaration of that magnitude before that moment. The cold water rushed around me as I plunged deep into the water. As I came back up, my friend helped me back onto the dock. We went again and again until it was time for us to go to lunch. Fear was the only thing I felt going up that dreadful ladder. All I could think about was how my stomach would drop as I jumped from that tower. I thought that it was going to be horrible, but when I jumped, I was pleasantly surprised. Fear permeates everyones being. Whether you're sixty-years or four-years-old, everyone faces fear in their life.

     I overcame my exhaustion and my fear. Could you?


My Passion

~Max Burgess

Passion, 

10/12/2021

My Passion

Why I Like Reading

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Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.
~Mark Haddon

    Some people like to read. A lot of people don’t. Personally, I enjoy reading because I like to get lost in a story. I consider it one of my passions because of how intimate I can get in a book. When I really get invested in a story, I can read for hours on end. I would even say I enjoy reading more than being on my phone. 

    I think most of my love for reading stems from enjoying stories as a child. When I was younger, my favorite part of the day was storytime. At night, my mom would come into my room, tuck me up, and read a bedtime story. We flew through my bookshelf and soon, I was on my way to reading far more advanced books than many of my friends. She instilled in me a love for books that words can’t describe. I would feel emotions ranging from intense joy to dark sadness as I began to explore these characters. 

    As I grew older, I began to investigate some more complex and complicated characters. These characters included Frodo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins, Harry Potter, and some members of the Stark family. As you may be able to tell, I enjoyed fantasy books far more than any other genre of writing. I enjoyed fantasy because it was something different than our world. I was fascinated by the idea of secret wizards, a time when dwarves and half people walked the earth, and a far darker medieval time than what my knowledge of the subject had been before. As time progressed, I began to grow weary of the subject and started to drift towards another genre. 

    After my fantasy phase, I took a break from reading. For a while, I didn’t read at all. Then, a book about WW2 was recommended to me. That book opened up a whole new genre of stories and once again, I couldn’t stop reading. I enjoyed non-fiction war books the most. I liked to know that these were true stories because that gave them more meaning. Some of these stories include Blawk Hawk Down, We Were Soldiers Once…And Young, and Unbroken. These books opened my eyes to the horrific things war brought and the struggle American soldiers endured. Whether you were trying to save fellow soldiers, fighting against impossible odds, or captured and sent to a prison camp, these soldiers stood strong. They embodied a kind of bravery that we should all strive to reach. These books were something special. 

    I think all of these books taught me something that no thing on earth ever could. They taught me what true despair and impossible odds look like. What true success and happiness looks like. In the end, I hope to read more and I hope more people will open themselves up to reading. 


Unrealistic School Standards

Max Burgess

 

Unrealistic school standards
 
Unrealistic school standards make me go insane. 
 
Why should I have to endure the stress, the tension, the anxiety of impossible expectations?
It’s like someone is holding your head underwater, drowning you, only letting you up until you write your essay, turn in your paper, and study for your test.
And if you don’t write that essay, without remorse, sorrow, or guilt, they will cast you aside
The competition is like a pack of wolves scrabbling for the last morsel of food, trying without hope to reach the top

 

And all you want to do is stand up on your desk and shout “I’M DONE”
 
But the desk is a toture chamber
And even when you do feel prepared, you still get the occasional bright red F that makes you want to scream
 
You have to fight the urge to run out of the classroom yelling “I’M GOING HOME”
 
School is a never ending hallway, only letting you see the way out when you complete your assignment
The homework eats at you, fills you with dread, and never lets you take a break

 

And when you get the big A, you run to tell everybody of your accomplishment
The feeling of getting an A is like your parents telling you you’re getting a puppy

 

But in the end, it doesn’t matter because you’ll never be free.