Personal Essays Feed

A Funny Moment

A Funny Moment By Isaac Ostrow Comedy isn't pretty. “I don’t get no respect, no respect at all, I tell ya.” ~Rodney Dangerfield Humor’s power in interactions is incalculable. It was humor that taught me the importance of friendship. When my friendships were tentative, when all of my friends were tense, I knew that humor would always liberate the lubricating oils of friendship. This was never more clear to me than when at a LAN party with three of my closest friends. We were unsure of what we were doing next, and CS:GO 2v2s had been growing old. Luckily, humor was there to free up the flow of the night. I had tossed a flash bang at Rowan, for no other purpose than to enrage him. Our poor host threw up his hands, threw out his headset, and bellowed: “One more god dammed flash bang, and I’m leaving!” We appeased him and gently lulled him into silence, which was induced by the false sense of security. Brad and I wore down Cam and Rowan, and the next round dawned. Seizing the opportunity, I bought a flashbang. I called a time out and pulled up the song “Handclap”, by Fitz and the Tantrums on my phone. You see, Rowan has a habit, in extreme rage, of clapping his hands. The song’s chorus, which I skipped to, says: “I can make your hands clap”. The round started with one last fleeting lie, that I had sworn off stun grenades. Little did Rowan... Read more →


Mike Demsher: Thinking Man's Ramble

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... Read more →


Reid Shilling: What Fenn has done for me

As I watch the calendar pages flip, I see my days at Fenn are limited. Three and a half weeks is the count. This time is quite bittersweet to be honest, I am happy to be harvested in high school, but I am sad to leave this place that has helped me blossom. In these last few weeks, I will be reflecting a lot about how Fenn has helped me become the person I am today. My success as a student, athlete, and extracurricular participant are because of Fenn. Since my earliest days in fourth grade, Fenn has fostered me and helped mold who I am today, and here are the reasons how. When I came in fourth grade, I was a little bit scared to move on to “the big leagues,” as I thought about it then. Moving from third to fourth grade and switching school seemed like graduating college for me, but Fenn helped me through this time and comforted my fears. There is one person in particular who really reached out to me and her name was Ms. Finney. Ms. Finney comforted me into the school as a young and scared fourth grader, but she also wasn’t so light on me and made sure to tell me when I was out of control. Of course as a fourth grader I thought she was mean for putting me back in line when I was breaking the “ground rules” of class, but now I look back at it as... Read more →


E.J. Fitzsimmons: A Drop in the Ocean

We start off timid, A drop of rain in the ocean. A grain of sand on the beach. A single cloud in the sky. By the fifth grade we seem old, We are the great kings, We are the powerful presidents, But only of the lower school. Middle school as a whole new journey. All new buildings, all new classes. Stuck in the middle Of a sea of people. In the eighth grade you’re almost there. Within reaching distance of supreme. You are the Elders, but you’re not fully there. Almost at the top. Seniors seem all powerful, In their fancy senior seats. But we’re still just one of you, A raindrop in the ocean. I wrote this poem using the Microsoft speech recognition software. I had to do a little bit of editing after writing all of this, but it was fun to give it a try. It is my first time using this so it didn’t turn out too great in the beginning but it got a little better as I progressed. Read more →


Nate Winneg: Move On

For some moving on is a skill, something that takes practice. Some people have trouble moving on, however not always is it an issue. When you have been doing something, for a large portion of life, some may feel sad when it ends. They are weak. If something happens that you don’t like, but you realize that you can’t change it, You must learn to let it go. It can be done. You can’t change how tall you will grow, or how long your arms become. Brush it off, let it go. Forget. If you have made a mistake, you will not feel better until you forget. Let go. Forget. However there is a problem, with forgetting the mistakes of the past. For if we forget what has happened, we are destined to repeat it. If something is getting to you, and you know you can’t change it. Let it go. But remember not to repeat the past. Read more →


Bob Dylan's powerful song has stayed relevant nearly fifty years later. The Civil Rights Movement is no longer an issue like it was in the sixties, although the ideas still remain prevalent. This track has so much further meaning though. It is not only the title track of one of his albums but the title track of our country and world today. This song was written in protest of civil rights and in 2008 a black president was inaugurated into the oval office. That sounds like change. Bob Dylan did predict change but I doubt it was anything this drastic. This song represents the revolution all around the world. It no longer matters if a gay couple wants to marry. They have the same rights that a straight couple would. It no longer matters whether someone is black or white, the water fountains, the buses, the bathrooms, and the restaurants--they are all for everyone. It no longer matters if a family is wealthy or poor, everyone can survive in America. No more dwelling on the past; the times have changed. It is time to look towards the future. Bob Dylan urged our parents and our grandparents and even our great grandparents to realize all this and step forward. Change comes with action and music can be that action. Protest comes in many different forms and Bob Dylan saw it in a new album. As long as the harmonica is pumping out melodious tunes, the times are still changing and they... Read more →


Dillon Cronin: Leaving It All Behind

I guess it’s just hard to say goodbye. Especially when you’re leaving behind such a huge part of your life. Six years I spent at this school, six years of growth and development. And thats all about to come to an end, the friends I met along the way, the memories, and the mentors all made history. It’s gonna be tough, no doubt about that, but I guess it’s time to move on, and I’m ready, ready for a change, ready to start the next chapter of my life. The toughest part about this is leaving my friends behind, the friends I spend virtually all my time with. It’s all about to change, my friends, my school, my life, it’s a new chapter, a new beginning. Coming into Fenn as a timid four foot tall fourth grader, not knowing a soul at the school, six years later I will walk out those doors on June Seventh knowing the school like the back of my hand. Fenn and I have had our ups and downs, but all in all, through the years we’ve stuck it out ‘till the end. Only a couple more weeks here, but I’m gonna make them count, because it the last impressions that are the lasting impressions. Read more →


Odom Sam: Then and Now

I do not know if I’m the only one, but I abhor horror movies. Horror movies interest and grab my attention because of the anticipation that the whole idea is based on. I feel drawn to them, but then I quickly regret the decision that I stayed and watched the whole movie. Since technology has advanced greatly in the industry of entertainment, all the graphics seem so real. The vivid images of the gory scenes or the sounds of the screams always replay in my mind. The worst kind of horror movie, are ones that are about exorcists and hauntings. In my culture we believe in spirits and how the spirits of our loved ones watch over us, so call me superstitious, but I tend to believe in the unexplainable. I recall a time when I was about seven years old. My family and I visited my grandparents’ house for a little family get together. While we were all in the living room watching TV, my grandfather put in a new movie that he rented which was called “The Grudge” As a small child I did not pay much attention to the TV because of my inability to focus. I was always running around and jumping on the couch and playing with my Power Rangers. Time passed and while I took a break of defeating the all-time enemy of the red ranger—I looked up at the TV. There I saw bluish, grey women with dark and dirty short hair. Her... Read more →


Two thought-provoking situations--What is the correct choice? Here is the situation: You are leaning against a street light in San Francisco when you observe a trolley cascading uncontrollably downhill. It has escaped its track and is on target to collide with five people standing in its way. These five people do not notice the trolley and would almost certaintly be killed if it remained on the current trajectory. At this point you discover a switch above your head on the lamp post with a sign above it that says this, "if pulled, trolley will alter its current direction." If at this time you were to pull the switch the trolley would hit one person who also would not see it coming. Either way someone will die. Should you act and pull the switch saving five people but kill another, or should you do nothing and witness five people killed? Similar situation with a new twist: Now you are on a bridge and below you are train tracks. A train is speeding down its track without slowing and will not be able to if there is an obstruction. You spy five people not far in front of it and see that they can not act--they are completely trapped in front of the train. Next to you, looking over the bridge as well, is a fat man. If you were to pick him up and physically throw him in front of the train, you would save the five people and kill the... Read more →


I have never written anything about the summer camp I go to every summer, Birch Rock Camp, for two reasons: Firs, because I have seen many people write things about their summer camps and the writing always came out cheesy and they are all so similar, but I felt that Birch Rock deserved more than that half effort piece of writing. The second reason is because I could never find the words to fully describe Birch Rock. It is nothing short of the best community I have ever been a part of and it is truly my second home. It the only place where I have ever played my guitar and sung in front of others, where I have fully expressed my religious beliefs to other people, and where a freshmen in college told me that I was the closest thing that he had to a brother. For a 15 year old kid who is constantly surrounded by his sister, it was one of, if not the best thing, that anyone has ever told me. Birch Rock is better than a sunset. When I say sunset I’m talking about that cliché moment in a movie where you see a person staring at a sunset and they look completely happy. When I say that Birch Rock is better than a sunset, I mean that when I am at Birch Rock I feel better than what that person must feel like in the movie, and at Birch Rock I have seen way... Read more →