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A Child’s Christmas in Whales Literary Analysis
A child’s Christmas in Whales was a memorable piece of literature, although there was no real plot to it, the kids imagination made it interesting to read. The imagination of an author is key in writing a good piece of literature. A Child’s Christmas in Whales expresses Dylan Thomas’s imagination to put himself in the shoes of a kid and write the piece from the point of view as one.
Dylan Thomas as a kid shows a different mindset than a regular teenager or adult would have. Dylan made it seem in his writing that all of his memories were exaggerated or because he forgot, partially made up. The child couldn’t remember Christmas without snow, in his imagination, December was just all white. There was a fire during the story at the house and the kids were trying to throw snowballs at it almost as if it was fun for them. The kid is also found many times correcting himself about a memory and getting of topic as if he forgot what point he was trying to make.
“It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers.” This was his memory of what December weather was like. “Do something he said. And we threw all our snowballs into the smoke - I think we missed Mr. Prothero - and ran out of the house to the telephone box.” This is when he mentioned there was a fire in the house and the kids threw snowballs to try and stop it. "You mean that the postman went rat-a-tat-tat and the doors rang? I mean that the bells the children could hear were inside them. I only hear thunder sometimes, never bells. There were church bells, too. Inside them? No, no, no, in the bat-black, snow-white belfries, tugged by bishops and storks.” This is a conversation he has with himself about what actually happened in the memory. These are example that this story was different than most because there was only some truth in it and not every memory was detailed.
Dylan Thomas has a unique imagination that made the story interesting and fun to read. It also made it easy to write about since there were a lot of examples
The Power of Tradition
My family has Christmas Eve traditions that make our Christmas different and like no other family’s. For example, we always open one of our Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve, and we always wear matching onesies that night to bed. (The onesie tradition was when my brother and I were younger so it’s not part of our Christmas Eve tradition anymore.) Our family tradition is important to me because it makes Christmas much more fun and enjoyable. Its something I want to carry in the future with my family. The earliest Christmas I could remember is when I was around 8 or 9, we were so happy just at the fact that we got matching onesies. And there were about double the amount of presents I get nowadays under the tree. It was late at night, and my brother and I were jumping with joy as we were about to open a gift on Christmas Eve. My mom was tired but was still there in the living room where the tree was as we opened our gifts. It was probably one of the most joyful moments of my life I can remember. That Christmas and all of the Christmas’s years after that will always mean a lot to me. I can always think back to that time and remember how happy I was and make me feel good. It’s a highlight of my life and I’ll always appreciate my family for those unforgettable moments. Tradition is important, it brings a sense of purpose to living moments to the fullest. It’s important to me specifically as it’s always something I’m excited about and looking forward to.
Science class, it’s my one-eyed monster, it’s kept me off the honor roll for the last two years and I’ve never seemed to see eye to eye with the teacher. Science is a class I struggle in mostly because it’s a lecture class, we’re sitting there and listening to the teacher talk to us for an hour straight and try to drill information into our brains about stuff that won’t really help us in the long run. And on every C day we have it for two hours straight. When it’s a class where it’s hard to focus in and it’s long I’m naturally going to get distracted and when I get distracted I won’t know what going on in class. So when I get home and take a look at the homework, I have no idea who to do it, so I don’t submit it and it’s a zero in the grade book. This was a constant cycle which ended in me not having a good grade in that class. This year is different though, I overcame all of those problems, biology is an interesting class, the curriculum is different and I’m organized. It’s still my hardest subject and my lowest grade but I’m engaged in classes and understanding what we’re leaning. All in all science is now a class I enjoy and look forward to being in.
Book 7 Writing Literacy Reflection Paragraph
In this paragraph I hope to express how I felt when reading this book and show that I learned the theme of hospitality. It’s not the size of your house that matters, it’s the size of your heart. Alcinous feeds Odysseus and convenes to the god’s that they will provide safe passage for Odysseus’s journey home. Alcinous let Odysseus into his home and fed him and frank with him. She also tells the god to protect Odysseus on his journey home. This shows that he is caring. Reading book seven and knowing it was about hospitality felt like déjà vu because in a previous book Menelaus was welcoming to Telemachus and let him into his kingdom. This book was more or less the same because in this book Alcinous fed Odysseus and prepared him for a safe travels. When reading this book it made me imagine if I was rich and famous would I be as caring and considerate as I am now, assuming I am now. If Alcinous could so willingly open his arms to Odysseus and feed him and provide a save travel home, is it as easy for anyone to do it. The Odyssey isn’t really a book I enjoy reading, but this chapter I liked because I enjoy a happy ending and it seemed as if Odysseus was being cared for in the moment. Yes, it was worth it. The Odysseus teaches you lessons, but in particular this book. It teaches you one of the most important values, consideration.
Memorable Sports Moment
“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.”
A memorable athletic experience in my life was my first ever touchdown I scored. It was my first game as a starter on Varsity Football and the first game of the season. It was a home game against Fay on the turf with a huge crowd. I was nervous, but I didn’t show it, not one bit, instead I showed up to play, and that’s exactly what I did. Long before the game I knew that I would be getting the ball a lot during the game, this was different to me because just the year before I only received that ball once during the first game. Come game day I was feeling excited but also nervous, excited to start and get the ball a lot, but nervous to mess up. The first offensive play of the game was a handoff to me, I ran, broke a tackle, and then ran for some more yards to get a first down, and from that point on I knew it’d be a good game. We ended up driving the ball down the field with authority and ended up scoring with a pass from Ty to Tom. Next offensive drive I told myself it was my turn to score, and that’s exactly what I did. We were at about the twenty yard line when I was handed off the ball and that’s when I saw the open hole and I ran right to it and next thing I knew, i was in the end zone. I didn’t celebrate, nor did I act surprised, because I knew that that was I went out there to do, and what I planned on doing in the future. I ended the game with another touchdown soon after that and a win in the record books. After my two touchdowns I felt a sense of normalcy, just like it should be.
Without the Gods, mortals would not have guidance. In the book, The Odyssey, by Homer, The gods direct the way for the wellbeing of the mortals. In the first six books of The Odyssey there are many events which the gods have influenced in both the positive and negative. There are many gods that have an influence on the events that occur in the book. Athena, disguised as Mentes, helps Telemachus along his journeys. Another example of a God having an influence on the events in a negative way was when Poseidon punished Odysseus by throwing a storm to make his travels hard.
“And this enables Polyphemus to invoke the wrath of his father, the sea god Poseidon, and ensure that Odysseus will come home late and come a broken man —all shipmates lost, alone in a stranger’s ship, to find a world of pain at home.” [The Odyssey, Book II]
In the book, Poseidon makes life hard for Odysseus by always being a road block in his journeys. By Poseidon creating a storm to cause him to go off track of his journey, it lead Odysseus to end up on an island with Calypso, where he stays for a long time trapped on this island. Throughout the books that we’ve read so far, the Gods have greatly impacted the storyline. Telemachus is aided in his difficult journey to find his father, Odysseus. Meanwhile, Odysseus is being targeted by Poseidon, who does not want him to succeed. So far, The Odyssey has been like a play directed by the Gods, they are not the main actors, but the effect how it all plays out.
Guest Speaker Reflection
”Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”
Adam Aronovitz came to speak to the ninth grade about his travels around the world and share with us his knowledge. He did an activity with us and after the activity we debriefed and discussed the activity. Adam coming to talk to us was fun bu also confusing at the same time. It was fun becuase we didn’t have to really do much actual work and nothing was being graded, but most of it was just sitting around and reading, which got boring. The activity we did was also pretty confusing. But I still appreciate that we had the opportunity to speak with him.
A takeaway from this class was that traveling gives you knowledge. Adam had traveled to many different remote places, he knows a lot about different places on earth. By him teaching us he was sharing his knowledge about the world and and how other cultures work and what they do. Especially because the fact that America is very different from other cultures, it was an informative. That class also encouraged us to travel too so we can learn about other cultures also. This can connect to the Odyssey because from what we’ve read Odysseus is far from home, and although his family thinks he’s dead and there devastated, Odysseus has learned a lot on his travels.
Another takeaway is that the activity that we did during the class helps us learn about opinions and point of views. When we were meeting with the other made up country, we didn’t know anything about them. Not knowing anything about the other group made it easy to think negatively of them, when we were describing them all of the traits weren’t positive and vice versa. But when we read our papers to each other, we rethought about how we would describe the other country. He asked us again and our point of view kind of changed now that we knew the full story of the other side and what there goal was.
A third takeaway is communication. During the activity we had to communicate with the other countries and help them, although we didn’t do good at it. Executing the activity correctly would require communication and would also teach us it as a skill. Communication is also a very important thing when traveling; because in other places they speak other languages that we can’t understand. Attempting to learn that language and understand a culture that is foreign to you is an example of communication. When you can understand them and they can understand you, it makes for an more fun experience.
The class with Adam was boring for most, as it was sitting around for and hour listening to someone speak to us, just as if it was a regular class. But it could’ve been an important and entertaining class for anyone who was genuinely interested about travel and communication between countries.
Sun Oct 20
Book 4 Reflection
Book 4 was the most entertaining to read so far in my opinion. I fully understood it and enjoyed it. The themes in this book were memory and hospitality. When Telemachus and Nestor’s son were in Menelaus’s house, Menelaus was reminiscing on Odysseus who was Telemachus’s father, but he didn’t know it at the time. Then Telemachus started crying, back then in that time a male crying showed that he had strong feelings on the topic. Menelaus’s wife then realized that Telemachus was the son of Odysseus and brought it to the attention of her husband Menelaus. The theme of memory played a big roll in this book. Another theme in this book was hospitality, when Telemachus and Nestor’s son were in Menelaus house, he treated them like they were of royalty or they lived there. He was very welcoming to them. He fed them and talked to them. And that’s how they came up on the topic of Odysseus and figured out that Telemachus was the son of him.
A Better 9th Grade Experience
Turning the ninth grade year around
Fenn could do a few things to make ninth grade at Fenn more enjoyable. From making senior time more of a group activity and bonding free time and less of a get out of study hall for thirty minutes and do nothing, to making the academic part of school easier to manage.
Fenn is great at giving us free time, but not as great at helping us truly enjoy it. Although the last thing we want at this age is to be told what to do, it would help tremendously if we did a fun activity as a ninth grade during senior time instead of what we do now, which is sitting in one place and not being allowed to be on our phones for half an hour. When you think about it, this doesn’t really sound like an ideal free time for a teenage boy. For example, they could organize one big game of touch football, soccer, kickball, or maybe just have everyone go outside if the weather is good enough. Anything really that would help us bond and not set us up to have enough freedom to get ourselves in trouble.
Fenn could also help out the ninth grade boys with managing there life’s. Student life does a really great job on that already, but that’s only an hour class once every seven school days. We need an optional ungraded class that helps with management. Not just time management, but with homework, sports, and SSAT practice, since most of us are applying out to secondary schools this year. This class would be a great opportunity for us boys to get together and receive help with the struggles we all have. This class could replace a study hall on a certain letter day, it shouldn’t be mandatory but highly recommended, and it should genuinely help everyone who chooses to attend it. This means that although we all have the same general struggles, they’re in different areas of the same thing, so everyone should be satisfied. This class would also obviously be ungraded just like student life, but be an important key to success in ninth grade at Fenn, also just like student life.
With these changes, although a lot to ask for, would help make the ninth grade at Fenn better for boys. This would take a lot of effort and planning which I’m not sure Fenn is actually capable of doing and making it a standing tradition, but I hope they can pull it off.
The first wrong choice I made lead to another, then another, then nothing but hard times followed, picking my entertainment over my priorities was a huge mistake. When I chose enjoyment over homework the first time, it began the hole. Me continuing to make bad decisions dug it deeper. Not realizing how my mistakes would affect me, in the long run, made it inescapable. I’m in my room alone, doing my homework, it’s about 9:00 pm and I’m not even halfway done. I’m getting bored and losing the energy to keep going, after daydreaming for a good while I abruptly double tap, swipe up, and open up YouTube. I’ve already come up with an excuse that I can remind myself of every time I regret making the choice I did. I thought to myself, “I can finish it on the bus ride tomorrow morning,” or “I can do the rest during recess.” I say this to myself knowing that I won’t actually complete it. I arrive at school with my homework incomplete. During class while the teacher is collecting homework I make up and excuse as to why I don’t have it done, he’s generous enough to extend the due date for me and I can receive partial credit for it. Instead of taking this opportunity to my advantage I see it as a free token to do the same thing over again and again. The same thing for every class. My mindset is in the total opposite position it should be in, especially because I’m trying to get into schools and not have to stay for ninth. I think to myself “this is wrong,” but I never genuinely change. It’s easy to know when something’s wrong but harder to do something about it. At the end of this cycle, after I’ve shot myself in the foot too many times to recover, I finish the term without an honors card in my hand and an acceptance letter in my mail. Me not completing my homework on time from the beginning was the first mistake, me not taking advantage of the many second chances and opportunities I received was the second mistake, the big one. It leads to disappointment in me from not only myself but all the people who believed in me, including my family. At the end of the day, everyone has to ask themselves an important question “will this help or hurt me in the future?” Once you truly answer it and fix what’s wrong you are destined to succeed. I just wish I knew this earlier.