End of Year Metacognition

    This year I have grown a writer more than any other year. I have gotten much more efficient when writing my essays and paragraphs. I used to take a lot of time to think about what to say. I wanted everything to be perfect. I have learned this year that I can write it quicker, but still at a high quality. I have gotten much better at it over the year and now I can write a good 500 word essay in 30 minutes. This skill has been very useful to me this year because I procrastinate a lot. It will also be very useful for high school, so that I can balance my workload with ease and avoid anxiety. 

    I have also had a lot of growth over the course of the year as a reader. Reading “Moby Dick” has helped me a lot as a reader. It is by far the hardest book I have ever read, harder than “The Odyssey”. It helped me grow a lot because of the language. It was old English which is very hard to read. I learned many new words. I’ve read quite a few books that were written in old English, but “Moby Dick” was by far the hardest. I learned a lot from reading “Moby Dick”.

    The End-of-Year Video project taught me a lot. It was unlike anything I had ever done before. I was surprised. I had always associated English class with reading and writing. But I learned that there is much more to it. It can be whatever you want it to be. Anything can be turned into an English assignment. 

    In the spring term, we focused on poetry. I have never liked writing poetry, but I got through it. I learned why I don’t like it. It takes more effort. Unlike writing essays and paragraphs, I subconsciously have an urge to make my poems perfect. It’s very unusual for me because I am never a perfectionist, but poetry is different. I had a lot of fun messing with rhyme schemes, they made the poems harder, yet easier. It was harder to write with a rhyme scheme, because I was limited in my selection of words to use. It was also easier at the same time. Rhyme schemes gave me structure. They made me know what to do and how to do it. Regular poems are hard for me to write because I know what I want to say, but I don’t know how to say it poetically. I didn’t have to worry about that with a rhyme scheme. By the time we finished our poetry unit, I learned a lot about myself, and I changed my opinion on poetry. Now, I love writing poems, but they take a lot out of me. It’s normally hard for me to balance writing poetry and my other classes, so doing this unit in the spring term with little stress in other classes allowed me to focus. 

    I have learned a lot in English class this year. I have grown as a reader and a writer, I’ve been able to explore different aspects of English class, and I have found a hidden love for poetry. 


Final Exam Narrative Paragraph

The Weirdest Interaction of My Life

BE66CC60-331F-43D1-9D20-3027C8C8D99CIf no one hears you, and no one listens to you, it doesn't matter how good you are because no one cares about you.” — Stephan A. Smith

    Everyone is on their own in life. I’ve learned that no one actually cares about me. A teacher that I thought knew me and cared about me didn’t even know my name. It was an average fall day, at the end of recess. I had been playing basketball and I was leaving the gym. Then I had one of the weirdest interactions of my life. I was one of the last people to leave the gym. There were basketballs littering the floor and nobody was attempting to pick them up. As walked through the double doors, I heard Mr. Rude call out: “Charlie! Charlie, come pick up the balls.” I continued to walk to class because I had no reason to stop. Mr. Rude kept calling for Charlie to help and when no one responded, he went up to me, grabbed my shoulder, and said, “Charlie, come grab some basketballs.” I was in shock, flustered. I didn’t know how to respond. A teacher that had just coached me in JV baseball didn’t even know my name. It stung. It hurt. I thought that after coaching me for over two months that he would know who I am. I learned a valuable lesson that day. As Fitz says, “No one cares about you.” I’d always just brushed that off as untrue, but I realize now the truth behind it. I, just like everyone else, am alone in life. There are people who care enough to help me, but in truth, life is every man for himself. Despite everything you hear otherwise, people only truly care about themselves. It’s a sobering thought, but an enlightening one. Put yourself first, because if you don’t, no one will.


Through the Tunnel Literary Analysis

Hard Work Pays Off

43CBF49C-4A5F-47DE-9FC8-5943D4E910E4“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” — Pele

    Nothing good in life comes easy. In the story, “Through the Tunnel”, by Doris Lessing, Jerry desires to swim through the tunnel, just like all the older boys. But Jerry knew he could not make it. So he trained as hard and as long as he could to make the swim. “He was incredulous and then proud to find he could hold his breath without strain for two minutes.“

    Jerry is on vacation at the beach with his mom. One day, he is allowed to go to another beach, with rocks, on his own. He meets some older, foreign boys who begin diving into the sea off of tall rocks. “All of them were burned smooth dark brown and speaking a language he did not understand.” The older boys dive through a tunnel at the bottom of the sea, and they abandon Jerry as soon as they realize he can’t do it. “They were leaving to get away from him.” So Jerry decided to train as hard as he could to make it through the tunnel, or die trying. 

He must go on into the blackness ahead, or he would drown. His head was swelling, his lungs cracking. A hundred and fifteen, a hundred and fifteen pounded through his head, and he feebly clutched at rocks in the dark, pulling himself forward, leaving the brief space of sunlit water behind. He felt he was dying. He was no longer conscious. He struggled on in the darkness between lapses into unconsciousness. An immense, swelling pain filled his head, and then darkness cracked with an explosion of green light. His hands, groping forward, met nothing; and his feet, kicking back, propelled him out into the open sea. 

“Supposing he turned dizzy in the tunnel? Supposing he died there, trapped?” Jerry knew the stakes that were high. He knew that he may die in the tunnel. He knew that he needed to push his body to the absolute limit. So he did. And he came out of the tunnel victorious. No worthy achievement in life is effortless.


Individual Sonnet

Mother’s Day

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“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” — Abraham Lincoln

 

You drive me to school every morning

And “cook” me dinner every night,

You look to help me without my warning,

You structured my life and made everything right.

 

You are the perfect example of a mom

Despite your countless imperfections,

You manage us with ease and still stay calm,

And you find your way without directions.

 

Now we take a moment to celebrate you,

For all that you have done this year for us,

Because you always manage to come through,

And that is not something to be discussed.

 

To an amazing mom, Happy Mother’s Day,

Enjoy your day to relax, and don’t delay.


The Fallacy of Philanthropy Literary Analysis

Thoreau’s Views & Charity

By Rylan Chandler and Andy Barton

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“If you should ever be betrayed into any of these philanthropies, do not let your left hand know what your right hand does, for it is not worth knowing” — Henry David Thoreau

    Supporting philanthropy does not make a good person unless you give yourself with your money. In the chapter The Fallacy of Philanthropy, by Henry David Thoreau, Thoreau argues that “If you give money, spend yourself with it, and do not merely abandon it to them.” 

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The Power of Place #2

Helping Me Through a Stressful Morning

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“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” — Maya Angelou

 

    A place can change the way you feel. It can calm you down if you’re stressed. When I enter the gym, I feel at home and relaxed. It calms my nerves and puts me in the right mindset. On a young Thursday morning and I had a math test that I had been stressing over. I had studied hard throughout the week, but I was still nervous for the test. When I arrived at school I was overly worried because I had my test in less than an hour. I didn’t want to cram in some last minute studying because I knew the material, but I was still stressed. I knew that I had to calm down, in order to focus during the test. I knew that talking with friends wouldn’t help calm me down, so I decided to go to the gym and play basketball in hope that it might distract me. The moment I entered the gym I felt at peace. The gym is a distinctly familiar place to me which I  associate with comfort and fun. Playing basketball in the gym calmed my nerves and made it so that I could focus during the test and perform well. Having a place that I can rely on to cheer me up or calm me down has been extremely helpful during my time at Fenn. I have counted on it several time and it has always helped me in some sort of way. It is important to find a place that can do different things for you. For me, the gym is a source of fun, but also relaxation. It’s comforting and makes me feel at home. It can completely change my day in seconds. Places are much more powerful than you might imagine.


A Moment of Reflection

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein

 

This weekend I set aside some time to walk alone in the woods behind my house, for the sole purpose of reflection. Being in nature is relaxing to me. I can just sit down and listen to the birds. Being in a calming environment helps me think. I love watching for animals, especially gophers, that walk by. It’s always entertaining to see squirrels chasing each other, jumping from tree to tree. I sat and reflected on my life. I thought about the wrongs and right of this year. What I should strive to fix or improve in the future. I was by myself, just me and nature, thinking about me. It was nice to get away from my busy life. I have been going and going for months on end. It was amazing to be able to truly relax, by myself, yet surrounded by nature.


Three Poems

Who is this kid in the mirror

 

Dressed in Under Armor 

From head to toe,

Who wears shorts all year round

Because he isn’t bothered

By the crazy New England weather,

Who is this kid in the mirror

That wakes up early,

Every morning, 

To go to school,

Just like everybody else.

 

This poem wasn’t terribly hard to write, but I made it harder on myself by trying to find the perfect words. By the end I realized that if I strive for perfection in each and every poem I write, I will never be able to feel good about my writing. I decided to stick with my gut and just write, not worrying about having a perfect sentence.  

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