My life has been influenced by some of the greatest people who will never be famous. I was never instructed by Shakespeare or Thoreau directly, but great authors like them have taught me throughout my life. I don't claim to be a well-read person. I don't even claim to be a well-read 15 year old; however my English teachers throughout my Fenn career have introduced me to some amazing literature. Fitz, you have become Thoreau, Sherman Alexie, and other great authors by simply handing me a book. Without this English class, I would never have picked up Walden and said, "He's wrong." I have become a good writer through your guidance along with the guidance of my other teachers at Fen; however, you have taught me more about writing than I could ever imagine. When I was younger, I went to English class to learn how to use punctuation and to learn the meanings of different words, but your class has taught me how to reflect on life, how to become a better thinker, and how to heave my feelings and emotions onto a page, even if I am writing a short paragraph that has nothing to do with anything. You have sculpted me into a great writer, and I thank you for it. I am a Fenn student, and Fenn has shaped me more than I could ever imagine.
I look back on the bombings this week at the Boston Marathon. You may be wondering why I brought this up. There is one simple reason: It shows that all of my teachers are still human beings. We like to think of people as one-dimensional, and it's easier to picture someone in one place instead of in many. We either think of someone as a teacher, or a friend, or a headmaster, or a little brother. We do not think of our teachers being our friends, or our little brother's teaching us something. But they do. I look back on the bombing, and I saw this clearly. My teachers were scared. They were supposed to be role models and the people that students look to for guidance. But they were as scared as I was. I realized then, more than ever, that I was becoming more and more like my teachers. I was growing up to become like them. They were trying to lead our school through an awful tragedy, but they were still terrified by the attacks. They were our friends during the bombing, and teaching didn't matter for a while. Fenn is a place that can do that. It has teachers who can be afraid. It has teachers who can be our friends. It has teachers who can teach better than anyone else. Many people say that a school is defined by its students, but there is one question: Who shapes the students?
I have grown at Fenn as not only a student, but as an athlete too. I have grown stronger and bigger throughout my years at Fenn, and I will never be the same kid as I was in fourth grade. Now, I am able to almost touch the rim of a ten foot basketball hoop. I consider myself to be pretty big; however, Fenn did not teach me that. Fenn taught me how to be a good person. The first thing that my coaches tell me when things on the field get heated is to show good sportsmanship. The Fenn coaches know what happens on a field. They know what kids can say and how they can sometimes cross a line. All the Fenn coaches say the same things. They say to be polite to the referees, and to be respectful to the other players. It doesn't matter what happens, I am told to calm down and not do anything stupid. And I may be a Fenn boy, but I can do some stupid things. My coaches have shaped who I am. They do shape my body, but, even more so, they shape my soul.
Fenn is an environment where kids can learn. They learn not just the academics or the arts, but social behaviors as well. Fenn has given me many opportunities to make friends, and I have. The largest class I have had was 15 kids. I knew everybody in my grade and I knew them pretty well. I would never be able to say that at a different school. The ninth grade this year has been amazing also. I have a family of 24 other kids that I go to school with every day. That does not even include the teachers that have always been there for me. Fenn is a home away from home for me, and although I am leaving it after this year, it will never leave me. I have grown a great deal at Fenn, in all aspects of my life. I will never forget the people who have touched my life. I thank everyone who has shaped me into the amazing person I am today.