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Daily Journal #2
Here I am back writing journal entry number 2, I have only had two days worth of online school, it is going pretty well so far. At least it is something that will keep me occupied. I think being able to go to school in person is a lot more fun though. I get to see my friends and teachers in person and I have a lot of fun. I miss it. It’s pretty crazy and sad to think that school might be closed for the rest of the year, meaning that one day before spring break I played my final game of spike ball at Fenn with my close friends, and I had my final Fitz english class in person without even knowing it. Pretty sad. I feel especially bad for high school seniors and college seniors who are missing their senior spring, it seems like that would be a very fun time of year for seniors and it was taken away from them. I could kind of say the same thing for myself because I am a senior at fenn, so I will probably miss the end of my final year. It has been a long 6 year journey for me at Fenn. And I will probably miss my final moments there. I am in dance right now for my art, and it’s sad that I will not be able to have a performance in front of the whole school, I will not be able to show you my dance moves Fitz :( although you have probably already seen my moves because of me dancing around your classroom letting out some energy. Good times. On another note, sitting down to write this journal entry I did not even plan to be writing about the sadness of not having school. I just sat down and let my fingers and brain do the work, and this is what it turned out to be. I’m not disappointed though, I think it is a good topic.
This is probably going to be a long next few months, anyways, I think this is all I have to write for this journal entry. See you in the zoom meetings Fitz. Peace
Daily Journal #1
It is hard to know how each day will unfold during these confusing times. Especially because we are now doing online school. Distance learning so far has been a little confusing for me, but I know I will eventually get the hang of it.
I woke up to the sound of my moms voice in my room.
“Good morning, what would you like for breakfast?” She said.
I blinked a few times trying to wake up a little, but every time I would try to open my eyes my eyelids would slowly fall down again. I think this is because of my sleep schedule. Having all this time on my hands during March break caused me to stay up late watching movies and TV shows, because I never had the worry of having to wake up early, but now things are a little different. I spent two weeks relaxing at my house in New Hampshire. I was never really occupied by much, except for the outdoor activities sure as hiking and playing catch. Jumping back into school is an adjustment, instead of waking up late and the only decision I have to make is what movie I want to watch, I have to wake up early ready to think and learn. I’m still making the adjustment back into school mode.
Anyways, eventually I dragged myself out of bed in the morning I sluggishly walked downstairs to a delicious egg sandwich that my mom made for me. I am really glad that I have my mom in my life, she makes things a lot easier for me, but sometimes I think “Am too spoiled? Should I be taking more responsibility then I do?” I think this because I realize how much my parents do for me, and sometimes I wonder if when the day comes that I go off into the world alone, will I be ready to be responsible for myself? Will I be prepared to be able to provide three meals a day for myself? I’m sure I will be, but sometimes I just get curious about what would happen if I had to take care of myself. I know I am still only 14, so I have plenty of time to learn more about the world and how to be independent and successful.
Back to my day...
I finished eating and logged into the advisory zoom meeting. I checked in with Mr. Bradley, said hi to my classmates, and was off to my first class, Global Studies. I am still getting used to distance learning, so I texted the 9th grade group chat asking if we have a Global zoom meeting. Even though there was not one posted on the calendar I still wanted to be sure. It turns out we did not have a meeting, so I got to work on my homework. To make a point on the responsibility topic, I do my work pretty diligently. I do not like to save it all until last minute... usually, so I try to get it done shortly after it is assigned. I think that is a good sign of responsibility, I get right to work and always try to do it well. I hope my teachers would agree. After finishing my Global work I realized I had some time on my hands, about an hour. So I checked in with some friends and a group of us got on Fortnite to play a few games together. I think it is nice that we have time between classes just to relax for a little, it makes the school day seem less stressful, and gives me time to get work done. After playing some video games it was time for my next class. I did not see a scheduled zoom meeting for English, but to be safe I checked in with the class once again. I realized there was no meeting, so I helped my mom with something, and then got right to work doing this, writing a journal entry. Here I am, sitting at my plastic foldable table writing on my iPad about my day.
I feel like since distance learning has started I am living in the present more, I will progress on my work as the day goes on, and not worry about what is ahead of me until it comes. This should be an exciting and unexpected next few weeks.
Theme From Chapters 1-7
Civilization; a key part of survival
Working together is the most efficient way to thrive. In the book, Lord Of The Flies, by William Golding, civilization plays a huge part in the survival of the group of boys stranded on an island. Nothing comes easy while being stranded on an island. There are natural resources to access, but work is necessary to use the resources you can get. Ralph, the leader of the group, decides to call a group meeting. This meeting was different than a usual meeting, it was more serious. Ralph sat on a fallen trunk as everyone gathered around, and he began to tell everyone about the situation they were in and that they needed to become civilized and work together to survive.
We’re on an island. We’ve been on the mountaintop and seen water all round. We saw no houses, no smoke, no footprints, no boats, no people. We’re on an uninhabited island with no other people on it. [Lord Of The Flies, pg. 32]
Civilization is important in the book because it is needed in order for the boys to survive. “Nobody knows where we are. We may be here a long time.” When Ralph said this during the meeting, they all come to the realization that they need to buckle down and work to survive by hunting for food and building shelters. The meeting from the quote above is the moment in the book when the boys realize that they are alone, and need to try their hardest to survive. Civilization is important in all of life, without the hard work and assistance of others we would make very little progress in life.
Writing this literary analysis was good for me, it helped me reflect on the chapters I have read. I came up with civilization for my theme, I think that civilization is crucial in the book and for the survival of the boys in Lord Of The Flies. Writing the piece took the majority of the class time, but it was worth it because it got me to rethink what I had read. Overall, good and helpful writing assignment.
My Experience Reading The Odyssey
The Odyssey was an action packed, adventure filled journey that always kept me interested and intrigued — for the most part. The book started in the town of Ithaca, home of Odysseus, but Odysseus was not home. Instead we started by getting familiar with Telemachus, the son of Odysseus. Telemachus is who we as readers journey with for most of the beginning of the book. We discover more about Telemachus as the beginning of the story progresses, and we learn his background and purpose. Telemachus decides he has had enough of not being able to be with his father Odysseus. With the guidance of Athena, Telemachus makes the journey to find Odysseus, and we are with him throughout the journey. The book kept me interested most of the time. There was always something unexpected that could happen, and usually something did happen. To me, The Odyssey seemed as if it was a two sided story for the majority of the middle of the book. By that I mean it switches between Odysseus trying to survive on his epic and dangerous journey and Telemachus venturing to find his father. Sometimes there was a lot of anticipation and anxiousness involved in the book because they can never quite seem to find each other. It was almost like a sign of relief when they did and when Odysseus returned home. Some aspects of the story got somewhat left in its tracks, and only picked up even once and a while. To me that is the suitors. They were introduced as evil and nasty men who are trying to get Penelope to fall in love with them, but towards the middle of the book they are quieted a little bit and do not get fully back into the story until towards the end when the whole finale goes down. It kind of bothered me a little that Odysseus stayed disguised as a beggar for so long, not revealing himself to his wife, son, or killing the suitors. It was a sigh of relief when he did though. Although I found that a little bit annoying, it is what made me want to keep reading to discover what happens. Overall I enjoyed reading The Odyssey, it was interesting, eventful, adventurous, and meaningful. A lot of the meaning from the book has to be dug out from the reader though, it was our job to really find out what this is trying to say about our lives.
Words Of Advice
5 things to help you while writing a story
Recently our class split off into groups of one or two in order to make our own Heroic Cycle Stories. I wrote a story along with my classmate Finley. It is called Stranded. After writing this story which ended up being about 7000 words long, I learned a lot about what tools I need to use and what I should be doing to make the writing experience easier and more efficient. Here are five things, from my experience, that help while writing a story.
- Plan it out: When writing a story I have discovered that it is smart and effective if you write out somewhat of a plan of what your writing will be like in each chapter or paragraph. In the recent project I did in my class we had 10 different chapters. On each chapter heading, my partner and I wrote out a few words on what the main idea of the story was. This was really helpful for us. As we would progress in the story and eventually come to the end of a chapter, sometimes we would forget what we planned to write about in the next chapter. That is why it was really helpful when we decided to write out the main point we were trying to get across in each chapter, above the writing.
- Try not to jump around in the plot too much: While writing my story sometimes I found myself jumping too quickly between ideas in the story. Sometimes the writing seems fine because it makes sense what it happening in the story to you, but to be safe go back and read it, and read it from the perspective of someone who has never heard anything about to book so far. I say this because sometimes I found myself going too quick from idea to idea, so that I do not expand enough on what I am saying, making it unclear to the reader what is happening.
- Try not to get behind: This is something I could have done much better. Right when I was assigned the Heroic story project we had something like two weeks to complete it, so at the time it felt like forever to me. The first few days, and throughout the first week I took it very slow on the story. After a couple days of having the opportunity to write I had only just finished writing the 1st chapter. As we got towards the end of the project I had multiple chapters to write and limited time to do it. That is why you should always carve some time out of your days to do it, it is important that you have enough time to work on it that you do not have to cram it all for the ending, making your writing sloppier.
- If you are writing with a partner, make sure you are not he same page as them: By this I do not mean literally same page in the writing. What is mean is that it is important that you talk to them a lot about what is going on in the story, how it will begin, how the middle will go, and how it all will end. It is important that both of you are writing towards the same ending, because otherwise it might make everything a mess. Make sure you both know what is going to happen in your book, enough so that you can both write at separate times and have the story still be in order and good.
- Finally, have fun with your writing: Be creative. All of this writing is coming straight from your imagination, meaning there are endless possibilities. Make your story exciting and always throw in some twists and turns in there. Personally, I think a story with twists and a very imaginative plot would keep me more interested than a bland story always staying in line... If that makes any sense.
Those 5 things, from my experience, are very important to creating a good, interesting story. Always have fun with your writing. Writing is not supposed to be boring and something to just get on with in your day, it is your story, so make it interesting to you.
9th Grade English
A Childs Christmas In Wales Literary Analysis
Reliving a Childs Christmas In Wales
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear
~Buddy The Elf
A man’s recollection of his childhood Christmas’s in Wales, sums up A Childs Christmas In Wales, by: Dylan Thomas well. He ponders back to his childhood as a mischievous boy in Wales, remembering the good, and the crazy parts of Christmas. He brings the Christmas feel from Wales to life using his imagination, and also many of the sentence building structures we have learned in Fitz’s class. He describes in depth what he recalls of witnessing Christmas through the imaginative eyes of a child in Wales.
Imagination is like the muscular verbs of our real world. It creates images for us and helps us see further than what just our eye can see. The boy in Wales experiences Christmas as any normal person would, except he uses his young imagination to enhance the special feel of Christmas for himself, and for the reader. The boy from Wales is experiencing playing outside in the snow, and recalling what it was like in the past years playing with his brother. Except something is different, “that was not the same snow” he exclaims, hinting that he is now using his imagination to see things different, and seeing past what is just in front of his eyes.
Snow grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely ivied the walls and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards.
The boy uses muscular verbs, like minutely and ivied, to strengthen this scene, making it captivating and interesting. He also used similes, comparing snow settling on a postman to a thunderstorm of Christmas cards, adding detail to this description.
Within the good times, unexpected things are bound to happen. During a jolly and peaceful part of the year in Wales, something interesting happens which adds a little spice to the story. “We bounded into the house, laden with snowballs, and stopped at the open door of the smoke-filled room.” The boy was carrying on with his mischievous, fun day when something unexpected happened to Mrs. Prothero, a local in Wales. The boy and his friend were running through a garden carrying mounds of snowballs, which they planned to throw at the neighborhood cats for some excitement, when suddenly Mrs. Prothero shouted, and the boys could smell the smoke from a fire.
“Fire!” cried Mrs. Prothero, and she beat the dinner-gong. And we ran down the garden, with the snowballs in our arms, toward the house; and smoke, indeed, was pouring out of the dining-room, and the gong was bombilating, and Mrs. Prothero was announcing ruin like a town crier in Pompeii.
The boy had described this crazy, unexpected scene using muscular verbs and similes. “Bombilating” a word the boy uses to describe a dinner-gong as it set fire, is a small detail that added emphasis and excitement to the wild scene. Also, he used a simile to compare Mrs. Prothero’s yelling to a town crier in Pompeii.
What’s a childhood without mischief? During a time of the year where everyone is supposed to be all jolly and kind, The boy from Wales and his friend Jim are out causing mischief. Everyone loves to throw snowballs, whether your hurling them at your friends or aiming for trees, it is always fun. However, The two boys found a new way to use snowballs. The two boys set up station in Mrs. Prothero’s garden as they lined up snowballs to hurl at mean, nasty creatures... cats. They patiently waited for the chance to hurl a snowball at the cats as they hop over the garden walls, fortunately for the cats they do not get the chance.
Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared.
The boy makes his simple acts of mischief sound like a deadly hunting scene from a movie with his metaphors and muscular verbs. He described the regular sized house cats as “sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling. Although it was a slight exaggeration, it completely intensified the scene.
A man puts himself into his own shoes, but as a child; he reconnects with the imagination of a child, bringing him back to old Christmases in Wales; he uses descriptions, essential details, muscular verbs, similes and metaphors to bring the reader into his childhood with him, and to capture the mischief, unexpectedness, and joy of a child's Christmas in Wales
Christmas Party Poppers
A Family Tradition
Christmas isn’t a season, it’s a feeling
Every year my moms side of the family would have a Christmas dinner where there would be piles of food, piles of people, and piles of fun. I would get to play with my cousins and have a delicious dinner. Despite the usual conversations and chit chat at parties, there was one unique tradition we always had at our Christmas party. Party poppers. “Time to hand out the poppers” my aunt would say as she handed a basket of dozens of poppers to my youngest cousins. My little cousins would go around the whole house looking for people to hand out these poppers to. The poppers were basically things that you would pull on each end, break open, and then take out what was inside. The special thing about these poppers is that they all had a crown in them made from parchment paper, everyone in my family would be having fun at the party for the rest of the night while wearing a purple or gold crown. Those were always funny to see in pictures. There was also another surprise in the poppers which made the evening a little more fun for us kids. There was always a little toy or game in the popper, usually they were not very interesting games, but enough to keep us busy. We would then go around asking what games other people got and sometimes trading them. While everyone was finishing dessert and winding down, many of us kids would be playing flick football, or using a tiny bowling set we got form the poppers. Although it is not too exciting of a tradition, it was something my family has been doing for a long time, it helped keep me and my cousins occupied and is always a fun part of the year.
The Odyssey Essay
Fitz Freshman English
Tuesday November 19th, 2019
The Odyssey: Books I~XII
Odysseus and Telemachus, separate journeys, same destination
Classic′ - a book which people praise and don't read.
One might perceive The Odyssey as just a story about the hard times and difficult travels of Odysseus, but it has much deeper meaning than that. It is an experience with many different themes, it is almost as if every book has something new to teach us. I am only on Book 12 out of 24 books, and I have been exposed to a lot of different themes and lessons. I am certain that there is much more for me to learn from this book, yet I am still curious and unsure of what awaits. The Odyssey, Books 1-12 has exposed me to three major themes: The impact of gods, personality traits of the characters, and the power of a family.
Throughout time people have believed, and some continue to believe, that our lives are guided by gods. 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. A negative influence a god had on a mortal was Poseidon punishing 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]
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. Up to book 6, The Odyssey has been like a play directed by the Gods, they are not the main actors, but they affect how it all plays out.
Another theme I took away was about the personality traits of Gods and Mortals. Throughout different situations, both gods and mortals show many different character traits. The characters are forced to show their true personalities as the story unfolds. Many characters go through difficult situations throughout the book that make it hard for them to be their best selfs. That’s why through these situations we find out who they truly are. Many of the character traits shown include Telemachus showing determination. Even in the toughest of all times he keeps persevering to find his father, Odysseus. Athena disguises herself as Mentes, king of the Taphians throughout the first few books. She watches over Telemachus, guiding his way so he won’t fail. Athena shows her true personality as a caring god, although she is the god of war, she protects Telemachus and cares about his well being. She even makes him look good, almost like a god, because of her true character and her care for Telemachus.
Telemachus strode in too, a bronze spear in his grip and not alone: two sleek hounds went trotting at his heels. And Athena lavished a marvelous splendor on the prince so the people all gazed in wonder as he came forward, [The Odyssey, Book 2]
As we read more and more books in The Odyssey we build a bigger connection to the characters. We get to know each one better and we see who they really are based on the decisions they make as the story unfolds. Some gods help the mortals, such as Athena, and others do not help them, such as Poseidon. Every character we have met so far has an impact on the storyline of the book, and it depends on what their true personality is to determine wether the impact is positive or negative. With all things considered, the god’s actions, decisions and dealing of different situations were revealed throughout the story just like characters are in a movie. This not only progressed the story however, it also showed us who they truly are.
Never underestimate the power of family. The first twelve books of The Odyssey demonstrate the true power and connection of a family. Telemachus defies the suitors and embarks on a search for his long lost father, Odysseus. Meanwhile, Odysseus is trying to make his way back home to Ithaca to be with Penelope, who is trying to keep the suitors at bay. At his house in Ithaca, a lonely and unhappy Telemachus is overwhelmed by suitors. He does not have his father, and his house is being filled with suitors drinking his wine and trying to get with hit mother. Things are not going well for Telemachus, and he wants this to change. No one walks into his house, flirting with his mother, and stealing his drinks without him having something to say about it. In this moment, Telemachus realizes it is time to become a man, and he uses this drive to push out the suitors and set out to find Odysseus.
Think hard, reach down deep in your heart and soul for a way to kill these suitors in your house, by stealth or in open combat. You must not cling to your boyhood any longer — it’s time you were a man. [The Odyssey, book 1]
Things weren’t looking good for Telemachus at the moment, but he used his drive and determination to change that. No one messes with his family, and he made sure of that. He truly changed from a boy to a man, and defended his mom and set out to find his father. Telemachus’ actions in book one shows why you truly should never underestimate the power of family
My final takeaway from the books we have read so far is that everyone deserves kindness, and a place where they feel welcome. Book 7 of The Odyssey showed me the power of kindness and welcoming, and how it can affect someone greatly. Odysseus was immediately welcomed into Arete’s and Alcinous’s palace. What if everyone welcomed people in this way. I sat down to read book seven in a certain mindset. I was thinking “I just want to get through the book and be done with it”. After reading most of book seven, my mindset started to change. A specific part I remember is when Athena disguised Odysseus in mist and led him to the castle disguised as a little girl. What got me really thinking is when he walked in and was quickly welcomed to eat and drink. I notice how compared to The Odyssey, things are much different today. There are also many similarities, but right now I am focusing on the differences. When someone walks into our house nowadays, we usually do not feed them or give them drinks, we usually see it as some sort of threat to our safety. Rather than finishing book seven and moving straight on to something else, book seven really make me think and reflect. As times have changed, people have too. Book 7, similar the other books, had a theme that connected to me. Life may have been totally different for Odysseus than it is for us, nevertheless, The Odyssey explored and brought out the connections and similarities
There is so much for us to learn from The Odyssey; you may be thinking “how can a book about gods and a mortal struggling to make his way home relate to me”; it’s not about the experiences Odysseus goes through that we can connect to, it is how he deals with these obstacles which is what we can truly learn from and apply to our lives.
Halloween Night: A Scary Story
Halloween Night 1995
Every day is Halloween isn’t it? For some of us...
The night of Halloween, 1995. Four boys, Johnny, Ronny, Donny, and Lonny were preparing for a long night of trick or treating. They were at Johnny's house as his street was one of the best spots to trick or treat in town. They were dressed as a gang of zombies, they had ripped shirts with red face paint. Johnny pulled out four pillowcases for their candy, for they were almost ready to trick or treat. 6:30pm.
The Eaglebrook Soccer Tournament
One of my favorite Fenn experiences
Eleven teenage boys in white Jerseys stood on the damp, muddy soccer field, waiting for the high pitch tweet of the whistle. They stood there as if they were preparing to take on a big one eyed monster, not just another soccer team. The fire inside them burned hotter than ever, hot enough that the cold, wet air, and the muddy fields seemed as if they stood no chance at stopping them from their goal: an Eaglebrook tournament win.
The referee clomped out on the field ready to kick off the Eaglebrook championship, the only thing that stood between us and the other teams goal was was the loud tweet of the whistle. Oh, and did I mention the monstrous Fay soccer team with athletes from around the country. It appears that this would have to be a David vs Goliath story for the small, frail Fenn boys to defeat the giant Fay soccer team. The referee blew the whistle to signify the start to out 20 minute soccer game. The Fay team started off with power, easily bodying and outplaying the Fenn kids as if they were nothing. It looked like Fay was playing this game with ease so far.
Fast forward 10 minutes into the game, Fay 1 Fenn 0. One of the Fay soccer players, probably one of the best ninth graders in New England rocketed the soccer ball into the net. Things were not looking to good for Fenn. The ball was in Fenn’s half of the field. On of the defenders for Fenn, Sam Dean, launched the ball up the field like it had been shot out of a cannon. Luca Raffa, a midfielder for Fenn who probably has the best shot on the team, controlled the ball and blasted it into the bottom right corner. GOOOOALLLLL. Fay 1 Fenn 1, the game was tied up. Fast forward 8 minutes. Somehow the Fenn defense has man marked so hard that Fay never got a good opportunity to score. 1 minute left, all tied up. Fay has possession and dribbled the ball up the field. 3o seconds, Jack Doherty stole the ball with a slide tackle and passed it to Wade, another defender. 20 seconds, Wade dribbled the ball up and made a pass to the middle of the field. 10 seconds, the ball got deflected by a Fay player, and it went up into the air heading towards Fenn’s side of the field. 5 seconds, Sam Dean controlled the ball and took one dribble, he was wide open about 15 feet above the 18 yard box. 2 seconds left, he knew he had to shoot, he had no time left. He shot the ball and it went soaring into the air. It hit bar down and bounced into the net. The Fenn team had done the unbelievable and won a crazy underdog game. The Eaglebrook trophy was handed to the coach, Star, and the Fenn team celebrated for what must have been 20 minutes.
That’s when I woke up.