Individual Sonnet

Mother’s Day


“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


“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


“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

A Walk in the Woods4255ED3B-4CB7-4DC2-A42F-F600601E5591

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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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.