The Power of Hard Times

What a little bit of failure can teach you

”You're going to go through tough times - that's life. But I say, 'Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” - Joel Osteen

 

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No good trail does not have some rocks along the way. I’ve learned about the importance of hardships over the past few years, after my dog, Izzy, developed a brain tumor and had to have multiple surgeries. You never really know how much you treasure something until it’s a risk. It all started one summer night two years ago, it was just like any other. I was woken up, startled by a shrieking coming from down the hallway, Izzy was sprawled on the floor, arms up and swinging. She clearly had no control over her mind and body. It turned out that wasn’t even the only seizure she had that night, she had had one earlier too. My mom rushed her to the animal hospital where they immediately did hundreds of tests to determine what was causing it. It was a golf ball sized tumor behind her right eye that was pushing on the motor part of her brain and causing seizures. She was put on medication to stop the seizures, but there was a much bigger problem at hand. She needed to have the surgery in just a few weeks if there was even a chance offer surviving. I was heart broken, everything had gone from completely fine to awful, and she was deteriorating faster and faster. The surgery had a 50/50 chance of her going blind and never being the same, everyone in our family said our final goodbyes before she was taken to the animal hospital for the surgery. It ended up going amazingly, everything that could’ve gone right did. I had never felt so much love for Izzy and so much appreciation for being an amazing dog. Hardships are important because they show you what is really important when all else fails. Hardships can teach a lesson that would never be shown if everything went well. Without a few waves a boat would never get to shore

 


Power of Place

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The home outside your home

 

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” - Abraham Lincoln

 

Certain places can have special emotions attached to them. For me, that place is on my porch overlooking Quissett harbor. It doesn’t matter if I’m reading a book, talking to someone, or just lost in my own thoughts, there is no where more comfortable. It’s old creaky boards squeak under the pressure of my rocking chair, but I pay no mind because I’m deep in a book. The wind gently pushes ripples in the harbor, a sailboat drifts by. This place is the perfect place for me to center my mind and to be alone with my thoughts. Sometimes I sit there quietly before I go to a regatta, or before I go out into 20 knot winds, gusting to 35. The power of this place is in its tranquility and calmness, I can lay for hours on the hammock, with nothing but the sound of it rocking, it’s one of my favorite ways to calm down and find myself during the summer.  Everyday I eat my lunch on that porch, letting the sun rays hit me, there’s nothing better. It’s like my hiatus from the rest of the world, it’s my escape during the busy summer days. It’s important to find a place that you truly love, so that you have a hideout and somewhere to gather your thoughts. On that porch is my office, it’s where I make decisions and think. I’ve read countless books and learned so much in that very special place. Other people may not understand the significance to me, but I will never forget those creaky floor boards and the sun-washed wood


The Call Of The Wild Literary Analysis

Luke First

Freshman English

The Call Of The Wild Literary Analysis

11/01/2018

Domestication to Devolution

Releasing the inner beast 

 

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“...a man with a club was a lawgiver, a master to be obeyed, though not necessarily conciliated.” (London, 13)

 

Buck has been waiting for days on an express car for this moment, his time of revenge on the first person he saw. He launched his 140 pound body at the man, jaws open, ready to snatch his unready prey. Just before he reached the man he was knocked down in a swift blow from a club. He launched himself again at the man and again he was knocked down. Each blow was stronger than the last and eventually he lost his strength. As he sat dazed, the strongest blow of all hit him in the snout, hammering the point to never challenge a man with a club. This was when Buck first realized the wild law and order, and he knew he would have to adapt. In The Call of The Wild by Jack London, Buck adjusted from a pampered life as a house dog, to the grueling work of a work dog in Alaska. In that time, Buck realized stuff worked differently in the wild, and he would have to become a primordial beast to survive. Buck first realized of the wild law and order when he was hit with a club. That lead him on the trail to becoming a primordial beast that would steal food, fight dogs, and answer the call of the wild.

Death, for a sled dog, lurks around the corner. Buck only understood this after his first encounter with a man with a club. No matter how hard he would try, he would be beaten nonetheless and it was important that he understood that. If he hadn’t realized it, by the time he would have, his fate would’ve been sealed. Throughout the book, Buck knew how to keep himself alive and thriving. The first time we really saw this was when he fought Spitz. He bided his time as the tension built, and he only ended up fighting him when he needed to. Even in the actual fight Buck used the chaos of the other dogs to finish off Spitz after he had broken his leg.

He was beaten (he knew that); but he was not broken. He saw, once for all, that he stood no chance against a man with a club. He had learned the lesson, and in all his after life he never forgot it. That club was a revelation. It was his introduction to the reign of primitive law, and he met the introduction halfway. (London, 13)

Buck survived because he was able to quickly adapt to his surroundings and understand the wild law and order. His acute ability and the ferocious need to survive. Throughout the book the call of the wild became more and more prevalent to Buck, allowing him to become an alpha dog. The wild called for Buck, and he answered.

Domestication does not survive in the wild. Buck loses his innocent outlook on the world and others very quickly. It is not something that survives in the wild, so he adapts to have no mercy and to do anything to survive, no matter the collateral. Buck was not a thief, but after his already meager food portion was stolen multiple times, he had to go on the propel himself to find sustenance. Throughout his time in the wild his conditions became worse and worse, but he became more strong, tough, and cold hearted.

When he saw Pike, one of the new dogs, a clever malingerer and thief, slyly steal a slice of bacon when Perrault's back was turned, he duplicated the performance the following day, getting away with the whole chunk. A great uproar was raised, but he was unsuspected... (London, 15)

This is what leads Buck to eventually break off from the group and join the wolves. The death of everyone he cared about was the straw that broke the camels back, releasing the wild within Buck. This is an important theme because it truly represents a greater message in the book. Buck’s slow change from domesticated house dog to a primordial beast on the prowl shows how we must adapt to our surroundings, even if it means changing.

A good book is defined by what it represents in the real world. The Call Of The Wild by Jack London is a great example of how a book can make you reflect on the world and yourself. The book required me to be attentive to the themes, as the subtlety and nuance could easily be missed. I think that The Call Of The Wild was a book that was way ahead of its time, and its a classic because people still seem to resonate with it today. I entered reading The Call Of The Wild with excitement and nervousness. My brother had told me about how much he enjoyed reading it, and how he still talks about themes in his English classes. The book immediately captured me as I started reading, it had extreme detail while preserving the action. It honestly felt like I could’ve been Buck, which is such a hard thing for authors to do. Sometimes it was challenging to be able to respond and talk about the book effectively, but I found my way to the correct answers. Overall the book’s themes still stick in my mind since when I first read them. The overall themes of the domestication of devolution and the wild law and order were extremely relevant throughout the book. I related to Buck in his longing to join the wild and his ability to adapt to his surroundings. Jack London creates an unfamiliar environment and filled it with unfamiliar characters; Buck has to adapt to survive


The Power Of Passion

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Passion is where your heart is

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

Sailing is one of those things where you get it or you don’t. I am one of this few people who gets it. Sailing is a unique aspect of my life that only a few people truly understand. Sailing is just as normal to me as soccer might be to someone else, a tack is like a pass, a starboard boat a defender, and a mark is a goal. My entire family has been sailing ever since I can remember, so when I first started sailing as a seven year-old, I had a lot to live up to. I can vividly remember the first time I was in full control of a sailboat. 

I stepped off of the dock into the small Optimist, the water was flat, but a strong north west wind (which is uncommon for Buzzards Bay) was whipping into the sail. My sister slowly lowered herself in the boat, as if unsure if it was a good decision. With a strong push I was sent off the dock, instantly mayhem ensued, a gust of wind from the west sent the sail to the other side of the boat, jibing us straight towards a patch of rocks. I was completely out of control of the boat at that point, the wind was going to decide where it would go. Thankfully Optimists are built like tanks and the boat just bounced off the rock and kept sailing. We decided to go in, but the power that I felt at the helm influenced me to want to continue sailing. There is something about being on the water all alone, completely in control. All the pressure is on you to make the right decisions, to fight the wind and the waves. The wind whistles by your head, a constant reminder of it’s power. Sailing is my passion because it is completely personal to me. No one understands sailing in the exact way I do, and that’s why it’s so enjoyable to me


Family Narrative Paragrap

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The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.” - Richard Bach

You mustn’t be related through blood to be family. I have many close friends I consider family, even If I’m not technically related to them. Sometimes those friends are the closest family you can have, and sometimes they’re the best at comforting you. A great example of that would be the trip I take every spring with some of my best friends. Every spring the Steinert family and my family take a trip together. We’ve been to Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, and Costa Rica. We’ve been doing this ever since I can remember, and it’s created a bond like family.I remember a game we used to play constantly on the beach called “The Sacred Cheeseball.” It was a game played as the tide rose, frantically building walls and moats, or canals to protect the sacred cheeseball. Memories like that can only really be shared with people that are family, something that may not make sense to others, but is beautiful to the people that understand. The Steinert’s are just as close to me as my own brother and sister. I’ve spent so much time with them, thousands of inside jokes, similar interests, nostalgic memories and just the genuine connection of family. I hope to continue to stay in contact with the Steinert’s as I get older. Some things change, but family does not, I will stay close to my family even if everything else changes. Family is not an artificial thing, It is something that is created over years of trust and love. The Steinert’s are people I could really trust with anything in the world. I’ve known them since I was so little. Family is built on mutual trust though, so I hope that the Steinert’s trust me as much as I trust them, and think of me as family in the same way. My family is a loving one, but sometimes it’s nice to know that you have others out there in the world that are just as close as your actual family. The definition of family is not based who you live with, but by who you love and trust.


The Wild

 

When It’s Calling...

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Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time.” ― Jack London, The Call Of The Wild

True freedom is not something that many get to experience.

In The Call of the Wild by Jack London, we see Buck as he is first given that feeling.

The author uses Buck as a metaphor for how we, as humans, are still drawn to be without responsibility, stress, or second thoughts. The author is trying to convey how that longing still exists as the world becomes more and more advanced.

Buck starts out as a house dog for a wealthy family, he has no worries and everything is taken care of. His world is more or less perfect. That is until he is sold and shipped away to Alaska as part of the gold rush. He quickly realizes that the law of the baton is much more powerful than the law of reason. He adapts to the awful climate quickly, and makes an effort to become the best and strongest. All throughout this time he has a reoccurring dream of men dancing around a fire, he has a sense of longing. “He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time.” Eventually he faces his enemy, Spitz, and defeats him in combat. He gains a lot of respect from the other dogs and he is not messed with. He is sold to a mailing company, where he gets even stronger. He is eventually sold to John Thornton, who loves and cares for him. While Buck is hunting John Thornton and all the dogs are murdered by Yeehats, he kills every last one of them. He is brought into a wolf pack where is he respected, this is when he has finally answered the call of the wild. 

This book was challenging for me to fully understand at first because there are so many underlying themes that I had to pay attention to. Throughout the book multiple themes popped out to me: relationship between man and animal, the law of the wild, and the call of the wild. Some of those themes really resonated with me, I have two dogs, and if anyone has dogs you would understand how sometimes they act humanlike, it feels like they understand and care. The relationship between man and animal has been strong since when we were first on the earth. That brings me to another theme, which is the call of the wild. It’s natural for me to wish to return to simpler times and to be in the wilderness. I could never answer the call of the wild, I have too many hopes and dreams that would be interrupted, I want to stay with the advanced world. Though I still imagine myself giving up on the real world and engulfing myself deep in nature, one of the animals.

 The book wasn’t about a dog, it was about how the dog portrayed our own wishes. To be one with nature and animals. This book isn’t a classic because it’s a story, it’s a classic because of how the story could so easily show the themes and get a point across. Jack London is a genius of metaphors. He only leaves one question, will you answer your call?

 

 


Risks Of Sailing

The Troubles Of Decision Making...

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When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” Roy E. Disney

I shot over the sea at 20 knots, straight through the clear water, shattered by the rays of sunlight that was quickly disappearing. Usually, at my age and weight, I would still be sailing Optimists, but this year I decided to switch straight to C420s. I decided that if I’m going to be spending the next 4 years of my life racing them, I might as well spend all my time getting to know them in the summer

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Izzy

The Best Dog

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”If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want go where they go.” - Will Rogers

My dog Izzy has been around basically as long as I can remember. I remember her as a puppy when I was just about 4, she and my old dog Pete were best pals. At the time Pete was blind and needed Izzy as a friend, but also Izzy was a crazy pup who needed an older dog to teach her how to be calm. When I was around 6 years old Pete passed away. Izzy had learned to be a nice, calm, and attached dog. She never left our property, never got into food, and was overall so nice and calm.

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Camp Belknap Reflextion

 

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What Camp Belknap Taught Me

”I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” -Thomas Edison

 

The cold dark raindrops fell like beads of silver on our heads, rolling across our foreheads, and finally hitting the earthy mud that we stood on. Twenty-six boys standing, filled with anticipation, waiting to see what all their work would come to. The day prior they had been given one hour to construct a boat out of cardboard, but when they put it into the water to test it, it fell apart immediately. Somehow, there wasn’t sadness but laughter and high hearts, no head hung low that day.

      Last week the ninth-grade went to Camp Belknap in New Hampshire. It was a leadership trip to become closer to our ninth-grade buddies, but I think one theme rang true throughout the trip. Dealing with failure, and using your friends to help you get through it, and still have fun. The first time we experienced that at Camp Belknap was during Beejuball, a soccer like sport that everyone loved. It didn’t matter who was winning because everyone had a smile on their face. It was a bonding experience not only between your cabin and your teammates, but also with the tone teams and cabins. Even if my team was losing, I would be rooting for another, because I know my failures are only another’s success. The second time I felt that theme was on the rock wall. Some people were naturally amazing and scurried up the wall, while others could barely make it up the first few rocks. You may think of that as a failure, but then every little success is twice as rewarding and people will cheer you on no matter what. When we built our cardboard boats everyone poured their hearts and souls into it, testing and building to see if it would work. I am a spontaneous motivator, which means that I get attached dot objects that I pour a lot of time into. Though, when our boats touched the water they sank, no one was sad. People laughed and cheered from the waterfront, seeing who could beat who in the race of dragging cardboard. Though some people may look at it as a failure, I look at it as a success.

There’s nothing good about ease, the fun only starts when something goes wrong.

       


Slice Of Life

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The Most Important Part of Fenn

“The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage.” Thucydides

One slice of Fenn that has stuck with me throughout my Fenn experience has been the freedom, and the responsibility that comes with that freedom, at the Fenn School. Even since I was in fourth grade we were given so much freedom to our recess, sports, academics, and the responsibility to make the right choices. This doesn’t mean that I suddenly started making the right choices, but I learned that what I do effects me and others. The opportunity that comes with freedom is endless, it is a gift that keeps on giving thought my Fenn experience.

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