Dulce et Decorum Est Literary Reflection

Choosing My W.W. Fenn Piece


“For centuries, the horrors of war have been sculpted by artists so people would never forget.” — Jerry Speyer


    A poem cannot be a classic without a powerful message. I chose the poem Dulce et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen, because it has an incredibly powerful message. Memorizing Dulce et Decorum Est will be a challenge, but I will be able to manage it because it interests me. It has a powerful message that is meaningful, and that I can relate to. I was searching for the perfect poem to recite for W.W. Fenn, one better than the poem that I recited last year which was very meaningful to me. I decided to read through Dulce et Decorum Est because it had a Latin title. As I read the poem, I found the message powerful and the poem well-written; so, I decided to select it as my poem for W.W. Fenn. Dulce et Decorum Est is about the horrors of war and the deceitful propaganda used to promote joining the army: dulce et decorum est pro patria mori ( It is sweet and proper to die for one's country). I was able to relate to this message because there have been many times in my short life thus far that I have been deceived by someone embellishing the truth. Dulce et Decorum Est is a short, unforgettable poem, so it should be easy for me to memorize and recite. Its powerful message makes me excited to memorize it which can’t be said for past W.W. Fenn recitations. I hope to remember this poem, Dulce et Decorum Est, and its powerful message for the rest of my life. 

Varsity Soccer

A Great Season Ends in Disappointment 


“When you have expectations, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.” — Ryan Reynolds


    The varsity soccer season was a series of unforeseen vicissitudes. I made the varsity soccer team which had been a goal of mine ever since I was snubbed the prior year. At the beginning of the season, I hit the crossbar on a penalty kick. I had been perfect in practice, but when it came to the game, I choked and hit the bar. I was gravely disappointing because it was the only realistic chance of a goal that I’d had all season. However, towards the end of the season, I got another opportunity, but not a great one. After a failed corner kick, the ball was cleared out to me, about 40 yards from the goal. I struck the rolling ball and it flew towards the net. There shouldn’t have been any chance of it going in, since the keeper was in perfect position, but the ball snuck past him in the top-right corner for the game-winning goal, and my first goal of the season. We finished the season with a great record of 9-2-1 and our year was remarkably successful. The varsity soccer season consistently concludes with the most highly anticipated tournament that Fenn participates in, the Eaglebrook Tournament. It was probably going to be the highlight of my Fenn tenure; however, it was canceled at the last second for the first time in over 50 years because the fields were unplayable. It was a terrible way to end the season because we had been looking forward to it all season. We even had a chance to win. It was an amazing season and a great experience, but it ended abruptly with disappointment. 

Wisdom or Ignorance and Happiness

Which is Better?


“Where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise.” — Thomas Gray

    There is a question that has been asked for years. Is it better to be wise or ignorant and happy? In other words: what is the ultimate goal of life? Happiness or wisdom? I believe that it is better to be ignorant and happy than wise. Being wise is both a blessing and a curse. Wisdom is a great thing to have because it makes you well-respected; however, it brings sadness along with it. Wisdom is important because wise decisions often prevent heartache. They can prevent difficult situations from developing or getting worse. Someone can be very smart, but no amount of intellect can prevent a bad decision. The downside to wisdom is that it brings sadness. Knowing that something terrible can’t be prevented is a sickening feeling. Having to make a wise decision that requires sacrifice is tragic. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge; however, it brings happiness. Happiness is most people’s goal of life. Everyone tries to find sustainable happiness in their life. Lacking knowledge is undesirable because intellect is essential for success. Being unknowledgeable is a substantial disadvantage in life. On the other hand, ignorance is bliss. If you do not know about something, you do not worry about it. Therefore, if you are ignorant, you will find perpetual happiness; hence, I believe that it is better to be ignorant and happy than wise.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales

A Child’s Christmas in Wales Literary Analysis

By Rylan Chandler


“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.”Winston Churchill

    Life quickly becomes boring without imagination. In the book, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas, Dylan and Jim let their imaginations run wild. They began by discussing Christmas, but then they started to get sidetracked by their imagination. 

    It is Christmas Eve, and Dylan is discussing how he wants to go out into the snow with his new boots and leave huge footprints. Then Jim says, “I bet people will think there's been hippos.” 

‘What would you do if you saw a hippo coming down our street?’

‘I'd go like this, bang! I'd throw him over the railings and roll him down the hill and then I'd tickle him under the ear and he'd wag his tail.’

Imagination is a key theme in A Child’s Christmas in Wales because most of the book is about Dylan and Jim’s imagination. Their imagination kept the conversation exciting; moreover, their imagination made the book exciting, and their imagination saved the book from being boring. Imagination gave A Child’s Christmas in Wales life, but a book can’t solely survive on imagination.

    People respond to what they see and feel. In the book, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas uses similes and muscular verbs to create a vivid image in the reader’s head. They not only make the scene interesting, but they make the book exciting

    Thomas is describing the things that they had done on past Christmases. He mentions the tall tales that they used to tell by the fire.

Bring out the tall tales now that we told by the fire as the gaslight bubbled like a diver. Ghosts whooed like owls in the long nights when I dared not look over my shoulder; animals lurked in the cubbyhole under the stairs and the gas meter ticked.

Thomas uses two similes and three muscular verbs in just two sentences. He opens the door for the reader to immerse themselves in the scene. He makes the scene exciting by using his imagination to produce words from the furthest corners of his vocabulary. Dylan Thomas uses similes and muscular verbs very effectively in this book to add detail and make the book, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, engaging.

    Imagination gave this book life, and Thomas’ use of similes and muscular verbs made it great.

The Power of Collective Tradition

The Power of Collective Tradition

By Rylan Chandler1A8F974F-AD0A-4EB3-99CE-BCCE35F50D97

“It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.” — Henry James

    An essential element to religion is tradition. Every year, in mid-April, my family comes together for Passover. We all travel to my grandparents’ house, which is my mom’s childhood home, and we are able to catch up with our cousins who live far away. It is the only time of the year that we get to see them because they live in North Carolina. After catching up for an hour, we sit down for dinner. That’s the best part. We eat tons of great, traditional food. My favorites are matzah ball soup and kugel. I generally hate soup, but my grandmother’s matzah ball soup is to die for. Kugel is my favorite Jewish food, and Passover is the only time that I am able to enjoy it. Kugel is like a baked pudding or casserole. After dinner, we go through the story of Passover. We read from the Haggadah (the book read on Passover). One of the most important parts of the book is the four questions. It is traditional for the youngest member of the family to read them, so for years I had this task. After the four questions, we read about the story of Passover. It is the most exciting story behind a holiday there is. The best part is when God sent ten gruesome plagues upon the Egyptians. The Passover story concludes the night and we all go home excited for next year. In a religion, holidays and traditions are important because they bring people together to celebrate. My favorite tradition is the celebration of Passover. It brings my whole family together to connect and provides delicious foods. It is something to look forward to for months and is always a highlight of my year. Traditions are important; moreover, traditions are exciting, and traditions create memories to last a lifetime.


 A Day of Thanks 


For thirteen long years without fail, 

she’s delivered me where I need to go, taken on the burden of a child, answered to my beck and call, just for me. 

Waking in the late hours of the night, to me, screaming, depending on her to help me, feeding me, providing me a life, just for me.

 For ten years, she’s done the thing that frustrates her the most, that causes her pain, that has already consumed 75 days of her life, just for me. 

Waking up before the early bird, she has to change from her “comfy clothes”, and face a new day before it begins, just for me.  

She diligently delivers me to school, taking an hour out of her day, driving her to inexplicable frustration, just for me.

Thank you, mom, for sacrificing your time, waking up too early, driving me to school every day, just for me. 

You have provided me with an amazing life, you have supported me during my low points and celebrated my successes with me, you have given my life meaning, and supplied me with a path to follow. 



The Power of Hard Times

An Unfortunate Speech Delay

36214CFD-7E57-46FB-88F8-5BCF27920201“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”Robert H. Schuller

    A person is defined by their reaction to hard times. When I was younger, I had a problem with speech that affected my life tremendously. Until I was seven, I couldn’t pronounce my R’s, I pronounced them as W’s. It affected me greatly because my name begins with an R, so I couldn’t introduce myself. It was incredibly frustrating. On the first day of first grade, I had to introduce myself to my teacher. At the time, it was difficult for me to introduce myself because I had a speech delay. When she asked my name, I told her it was “Wylan”, but I thought that I said “Rylan“, so when she clarified by repeating “Wylan”, I got very upset. We went back and forth like this a few more times and I got incredibly frustrated. It was as if I was speaking in a foreign language that she didn’t understand. Finally, she had the clever idea to ask me how to spell it. For about a year, until I learned how to pronounce my R’s, I introduced myself by saying my name to the best of my abilities, and then pronouncing it. With the help of my teacher, I overcame my speech delay which was causing me a great deal of frustration. If my teacher hadn’t helped me, I would’ve been frustrated every time that I needed to introduce myself. This was the hardest thing that I have ever gone through, and it happened when I was too young to think of a solution on my own. But, I overcame it, with some help, and my life was much better because of it. Hard times are tough to overcome, but they are made easier by asking for help.

The Power of Place

My Deck in Stowe, Vermont


“Occasionally, I just need to escape from my work”David Macaulay

    Everyone needs a place where time stops. Stowe, Vermont is a place where I can relax and escape from reality. I travel there as often as I can so that I may lie in a lounge chair on my deck, staring at the open field ahead of me and the most vibrant fall foliage in New England. I travel to Stowe every month with my family, and occasionally friends. Despite the three hour drive, I look forward to going every time because I get to relax and escape my busy life. My favorite pastime up there is lying in a lounge chair on our deck, drinking a soda and savoring the view. I am able to take my mind off homework and school. I feel comfortable and free. I also hang out with my family often on the deck. We eat meals, play games and read books on the deck. I jump at every opportunity I get to be on the deck because it’s my special place. Having a place where I can relax has made my life much better. I am able to remove myself from business and problems. I am able to feel comfortable and relax. I am able to enjoy the moment and the beauty of my backyard in Stowe, Vermont. It is essential to have a special place where you can go to take a break and escape your busy life.

Call of the Wild Literary Analysis Essay

Rylan Chandler

Fitzsimmons Freshman English

The Call of the Wild Literary Analysis Essay

October 23rd, 2018


The Law of the Wild and The Man-Dog Relationship 


“Dog is man's best friend.” — King Frederick of Prussia

    Buck and Spitz circle each other, waiting for an opening. Spitz strikes, which takes Buck off-guard. Buck can’t stop Spitz’s quick attacks and is incapable of penetrating Spitz’s strong defense. After taking numerous, small hits from Spitz, like a body punch in boxing, Buck finds an opening and attacks, breaking both of Spitz’s legs. The tides have turned and Spitz knows he is done for, then Buck delivers the knockout punch. In The Call of the Wild, by Jack London, Buck has to learn the law of the wild, but can’t survive without the help of a man. This is One of my favorite books because it has strong, enticing themes and a great story. 

Continue reading "Call of the Wild Literary Analysis Essay" »

The Power of Passion

The Greatest Sport on Earth

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” — Oprah Winfrey

    Passion keeps life exciting. I have enjoyed my passion since I was three years old. In my first two years, my dad was sorely disappointed because I wanted nothing to do with sports. When I was three, he introduced me to soccer and everything changed. It was a U4 (four years or younger) soccer game and I had never touched a soccer ball before. Everyone was clumping around the ball, kicking at it like their life depended on it. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing, so I was daydreaming at midfield. In a flash, the ball was accidentally kicked to me. I knew enough to know that I should kick the ball at the minuscule PUG nets, but that was my entire knowledge of the game of soccer. The ball rolled into me and stopped, giving me a perfect opportunity to kick the ball. I swung my leg at the ball and made good contact. The ball rolled into the net for a goal. That was the moment when I found my passion. I have continued to play soccer avidly and I intend to play in the future, even as an adult. I have strived to become better through hard work and practice because it’s exciting. Soccer has challenged me to become better, physically and mentally. Not only do you have to better your skillset, you have to make intelligent, split-second decisions. A passion should entertain and excite you, but also make you strive to become better. This is what soccer has become for me.