Writing like Herman Melville

How I Interpret Moby Dick

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''I think of myself as an actor. The duty of an actor is to be able to impersonate anything - a child, an old man, a tree, a chair, a woman.''

Barry Humphries

Alas, as my 9th grade journey is departing with, and I am going to be moving on next year, Ye would think it would be time for me to write a reflection eh? Well, as I continue down this twisting road of challenges in my 9th grade year at Fenn, it is becoming more relevant that what I have learned this year will help a lad in the future. Indeed there are many examples of story’s that I could enchant Ye with, but there is one that really explains how ninth grade has been for me, and was how I came back from being sick to take my midterm exams. During the first two weeks of December, whilst my classmates were engaged in work academically, I was stuck in bed very ill. I wasn’t able to keep up with my work, and with Midterm exams right around the corner, I was overwhelmed. I knew that these were going to be a rough experience, and that perseverance through these, was the only answer. I had to work twice as hard as my comrades, and I knew I was going to flunk. Spite I did not think like that. Rather I worked hard and put in countless hours of studying. And when the hour came for me to slip my exams into my teachers hands, It was dauntless. As it turned out I did well on most of my exams. It didn’t matter that I was ill and stuck in bed for numerous days, I was able to succeed because I tried my hardest. And that is what I have comprehended in my ninth grade experience so far. It’s not so much been the freedom that we are given, or the smaller classes, but it’s the obstacles that we are administered and then it’s up to us to overcome them. That’s more or less what I hav learned. So when ye is looking back from the midpoint of my ninth grade year at Fenn, alas, I am saddened it’s halfway over, but the challenges that have been served to me will help me more than I think they will. Herman melville could not have said it any better than he did in his Novela, Moby Dick: “I try all things, I achieve what I can,” and in my last year at Fenn, that is precisely what I am doing.


Dealing with Change

How Change Affects Me

 

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''It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation''

-Herman Melville

 

How do you respond to new experiences and meeting new people who are very different from you? 

 

            When I am introduced to new experiences or new people that seem to differ from myself, I don’t meet them with caution or anxiety, I meet them with excitement. For me, greeting new experiences can sometimes be a little nerve racking. For example, in 4th grade, we as a grade were forced to act in a play. I had always feared speaking in public and in front of a crowd. This was not an option to participate in, and many people feared this experience. This was a very new experience to me, but instead of greeting this with anger and sadness because I didn’t want to participate, I met it with optimism and hopefulness. I had to put in a lot of work to get ready for this play, I found it to be a lot like a sports game. You practice a long time for a overarching goal, having a successful performance. When it was time for the show, I had practiced my lines enough that when it came time for the show to take place, I was ready. We had a great performance, and any hesitation that I had before the show, was gone. Now, looking back onto the experience I shouldn’t have had and suspicions that a play wasn’t going to be fun.  I think that the only reason I had suspicion was because I was doing something new. Although at first I was nervous, I now have the ability to take on new experiences with optimism and hope that it will, be fun. That on little play in 4th grade has helped me more than I can imagine. It wasn’t just that experience though, after that experience every new experience I had helped me build confidence, and now as a 9th grader at Fenn, I can meet new people and take on new experiences without hesitation, and I am so happy that I pushed myself that first time.

 


Happy and Ignornat or Wise?

After pondering about this topic, I have decided that I would rather be wise, than happy and ignorant. When one is wise they can pass of their knowledge to others. They can spread thier word of good judgement to people that need advice. If you are happy and ignorant you will miss many things in life. Being happy isn’t the only thing that people should aim for. If you are ignorant, than you will miss a lot of good things in life. I have a friend that is happy and ignorant, and I also have a friend that is wise. I would much rather listen to the person that is wise because they are very knowledgeable and I know I could trust them. If someone is ignorant than I would have a hard time trusting them because there knowledge would be all over the place. I also know that if a person is super wise, their personality may be different. I know that the happy and ignorant person would be really fun and that I could enjoy spending time with them. At the end of the day though, I want to be around people that I can trust and I can Enjoy, and I know that if those are the kind of people I like, than that is what I want to be like.


A Christmas in Wales

                                 

Growing Up in Wales

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“All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find.”

- Dylan Thomas

Anybody can use their imagination. Just like the words plunged or bundling, this reading is complex and muscular, but the memories made in the authors childhood had a long lasting affect on his later life. In the short story, A child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas, the narrator reflects back on to simpler times, his childhood. 

 

While imagining these perfect times of playing with his best friends Jim and Dan, he remembers times where snow was enjoyable, and everything was so simple. He is able to imagine the massive snowball fights he had with his friends, getting presents on Christmas day, and sharing lots of love with his family. He remembers playing with his best friends Jim an Dan, the countless play dates and gatherings,   And he vividly pictures Christmas dinner, a giant turkey, and his favorite thing, blazing pudding.  All of these little things may seem small to one, but to the narrator it brought back nostalgia,

 

“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.”

 

Dylan Thomas uses Muscular verbs and imagery and actions to help make this book a better read. The more this reading gets into depth, the more sentence building techniques come out. The narrator does a great job of painting a picture in the readers mind, “Uncles sat in front of the fire, loosened all buttons, put their large moist hands over their watch chains, groaned a little and slept.” This is a really good example of a way that this author uses imagery and actions. The best kind of things to read are things that can be imagined clearly in your head. Muscular verbs are also super relevant in this short story. Some of the verbs consist of blazing, scuttled, whimpered, nibble and bellowed. But, there is one phrase that uses both of these techniques masterfully: 

 

“Sometimes two hale young men, with big pipes blazing, no overcoats and wind blown scarfs, would trudge, unspeaking, down to the forlorn sea, to work up an appetite, to blow away the fumes, who knows, to walk into the waves until nothing of them was left but the two furling smoke clouds of their inextinguishable briars”

 

Don’t forget your past; better yet, learn from the amazing stories Dylan Thomas taught us in this short story.


Family Traditions

                               

What Christmas is Really About

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''Traditions are our roots and a profile of who we are as individuals and who we are as a family. They are our roots, which give us stability and a sense of belonging - they ground us.''

- Lidia Bastianich

 

            Traditions are celebrated by all family’s. For my family, getting together with our extended family, sharing gifts, sharing love and sharing laughter is the best tradition we have. Ever since I can remember my family and our extended family have always gotten together on a Sunday in December and had a yankee swap, gift exchange, and an overall great time. Every year a different family hosts. On my dads side of the family, my grandparents had four children, there were two girls and two boys. Last year we attended the party at my Aunts house. This party is one of the most anticipated family’s gatherings we have all year. It is so special, because we don’t get to see each other that much during the school year since we are all so busy. Every year we have a yankee swap. This yankee swap is tons of fun because everyone brings a unique gift. The gifts are never expensive or valuable, they are more joke gifts that everybody’s can get a good laugh out of. The yankee swap usually happens from around 11:30 to 12:30, which is perfect because then we all grab lunch, sit around a tv, and watch the Patriots game. We specifically plan this party on a Sunday so that we can watch the Patriots game as a giant family. Football, and specifically the Patriots is something that my extended family and I are super passionate about. After the game we have one last thing on the agenda, dessert. Dessert is everybody’s favorite because my Aunt makes so many baked goods. As you look at the table, there are crumbles, cookies, brownies, and best of all, the homemade pies. But this gathering is more than a dessert. It’s about seeing the most important people in your life, and celebrating them. It’s not often you get to see your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and your cousins. The opportunities you get to see them must be taken advantage of. Christmas is never about you, its about those around you.


A Waste of Time

How Math Class Affects Me

 

 

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There's no good way to waste your time. Wasting time is just wasting time.”

- Helen Mirren

 

Time is something everyone is given. Math isn’t something that should be used during that time. Math class shouldn’t be a part of the curriculum at The Fenn school. All the time we spend solving math problems and working through hours of homework isn’t worth it at the end of the day. We could be spending our time doing great things in Spanish class or arts class instead of wasting it during math. Math class doesn’t teach kids anything about life. Math doesn’t teach anyone how to get a job they want, or how to interact and be social with other humans, and it certainly doesn’t teach anyone how to have fun. Math is a part of school that all kids dread, and since it makes school very miserable for kids, it shouldn’t be a part of the curriculum. Math impacts kids negatively. It gives kids stress that is unnecessary. I truly believe that math doesn’t  belong at school, math belongs as a class that kids can take outside of school if they wish to. For me personally though, math is the low point in my day, and the hours on hours of dreadful homework doesn’t make it any better. The homework that we receive every night, makes math even worse. Math is like a New York Yankees game, nobody likes it!

 

 



Power of Hard Times

 

 Handling Disappointment

 

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''If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.''

Maya Angelou

 

            It’s hard to cope with a loss. When I lost my grandmother to breast cancer, I was devastated and didn’t think I would ever get over it. My recovery from losing my grandmother was a long road. This was the first time in my life, that I have felt real, devastation.When my grandmother was in the hospital, my whole family got to go visit her. This moment was super special, because I hadn’t been able to see my grandmother in months. Everyone was in the car, and nobody was speaking. We all just wanted to get to the hospital and see “Nana”. As we walked into the hospital, I was super nervous. As we walked on the gravel path leading up to the hospital, I found a striped rock, a Lucky rock. I was only 9 at the time, but I believed that the rock would give her the luck she needed to survive. As I peered over the hospital bed and saw my grandmother my face and her face both lit up. I handed over the rough and rigid rock with a white stripe going through it. She reached her weary hand out and accepted the gift. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world that she accepted it. As I sat down after talking to her for a little while, I thought about the good times, making ginger bread cookies with her on Christmas, helping her cook the turkey on thanksgiving, having her bake a giant cake for me on my birthday, or even just sitting on her lap watching movie, I loved everything I did with my grandmother, and as I left the hospital room, I told Nana that I loved her. I didn’t know it then, but that was the last time I would see my grandmothers  face, with her rosy red cheeks and short black hair. I loved my grandmother more than anything, and when I received the news of her passing, I just balled my eyes out. I had never, ever, ever, felt devastation like this before. Dealing with this devastation helped me more than I think it did. I was bale how to keep going and persevere with out one of the most important people in my life, and that’s a skill that will never leave me. My grandmother wouldn’t want me to be sad and never get over it. She was one of those happiest people I know, and I know that she would have wanted me to be happy as well. While I was coping with the loss of my grandmother, it was like I ran into a big brick wall, but with everything I learned from my grandmother, she showed me where the door was.


Power of Place

My Comfort Zone

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'The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.''
Karen Salmansohn

 

            Your bed is different than all furniture. My bed is my favorite place to do anything, sleep, rest, eat, watch TV, play video games, anything. It would be a rare day if you didn’t see me in my bed. My soft, warm and luxurious mattress make it hard to get out of bed. My bed is one of my favorite places in the world, and it is my go to spot to relax. Whenever I am in deep thought, or feeling stressed, and I really need to think, I go to my bed. Whenever I need to work and study, my bed is inviting and I will always go there. When I’m in my bed my thoughts flow, and I work effectively. The day before I had to hand in my final literary analysis essay, I needed to write a one sentence conclusion. This is much harder than it may seem. I needed to think, because this was the most important essay of my entire 8th grade year. The first thing I did was go to my room, close my door and hop onto my bed. When I am comfortable and in silence I am able to think and do my best work. I was able to find the perfect sentence and get an A on the paper. It was because of the comfort of my bed, that I was able to do my best thinking. My bed is always inviting, and it’s by far the place where I do my best work and thinking. I do everything in my bed, and that’s why it is one of my favorite places to hang out. That is why whenever I am need to grind out a couple hours of homework, or study for an upcoming test tat I am stressed about, or even use think about life, I will resort to my bed. My bed calms me down, but it also wakes me up.

 

 

 


The Call of the Wild

               Buck Lewis

 Section 2

Call of the Wild essay

Wednesday October 23rd

 

Devolution and Companionship 

 

 

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“The solution to alone-ness is not more solitude, but companionship and community”  

(Rober Fulgham)

            Buck, a young St.Bernard Shepard mix, is beaten and almost killed for stopping at a sled rest stop. He is exhausted and has no will to go forward. Buck is beaten by his master, Hal, and Buck would have had every last organ beaten out of him if it wasn’t for John Thornton. John Thornton is a middle aged man from Canada. He saved Bucks life by tackling Hal as Hal was about to take Bucks life. In the book, The Call of the wild, by Jack London, Companionship is what ended up saving Bucks life. Bucks will to survive and Devaluate is what kept him going and got him to the point of finding his forever long companion, John Thornton. While reading and annotating this piece of literature, I may have struggled with the wording of lots of things, but at the end of the day, this Novela has further extended my knowledge of sled dogs in the late 1800’s.

     All dogs aren’t what they may seem. In the book, The Call of the Wild, by Jack London, Buck has to show his true primordial beast when he is faced with adversity. Buck goes through thick and thin, and the thing that keeps him alive is his inner animal, and his will to fight and even kill other dogs. If Buck was not able to find an urge to kill other dogs and fight for survival, he would have died early on after leaving Judge Miller’s home. In Chapter three of The Call of the Wild, Buck and Spitz circle each other, both of them waiting to make a move. The hate and bitterness between the two has built up, and they are ready to fight. As they twist and tumble, a pack of six bony and scrawny huskies attack the camp looking for anything edible. He and Spitz are forced to defend their camp, and kill the huskies:

“Once, his teeth closed on the fore leg of a husky, and he crunched down through the bone. Pike, the malingerer, leaped upon the crippled animal, breaking its neck with a quick flash of teeth and a jerk, Buck got a frothing adversary by the throat, and was sprayed with blood when his teeth sank through the jugular. The warm taste of it in his mouth goaded him to greater fierceness. He flung himself upon another, and at the same time felt teeth sink into his own throat. It was Spitz, treacherously attacking from the side”[Chapter 3]

All dogs have a true primordial beast inside of them, it’s just matter of when they let it out. Buck let his out a lot, but he did it in the right moments. When Buck needed to fight for himself or needed food desperately, he showed everybody what he had on the inside, and that’s a huge reason why he was able to survive for so long. With out it, Buck wouldn’t have made it far, and that’s why he owes his luck of survival to his primordial beast. All animals can release their primordial beast, it’s just a matter of wether they need to or not, and that is what the book, The Call of the Wild, has taught me.

      Companionship works when nothing else does. In the book, Call of the Wild, by Jack London, Buck and John Thornton grow  very close overtime and the unlikely companions grow a bond that benefits both of them. The relationship between the two companions only gets better and stronger. Their relationship has ups and downs, near death experiences and overall fun, but the two are able too see through it all and sustain a close man dog relationship. The relationship between Buck and John Thornton grows the moment that Hal whips Buck with a stick and Thornton saves Buck. Buck was weary and almost unconscious. As Thornton scoops Buck of the ground and carry’s him into his warm and inviting home. As the relationship between the to grow, Buck saves John Thornton’s life. After that moment, Buck felt certain that John Thornton was the person for  hi

“Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time. This he had never experienced at Judge Miller's.With the Judge's sons, hunting and tramping, it had been a working partnership; with the Judge's grandsons, a pompous guardianship. With the Judge himself, a stately dignified friendship. But love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness, it had taken John Thornton to arouse.”[ Chapter 6]

Throughout the book, Bucks relationship with John Thornton grew and grew until they were inseparable mates. Without John Thornton by Bucks side, I don’t believe that Buck would have survived much longer. Although Buck is one of the toughest dogs ever, hd might not be able to make it on his own. That is why when John Thornton joined Bucks side, things took a turn for the best for Buck. Everything goes better with someone by your side, and the book The Call of the Wild, proves that. 

Buck is faced with adversity and answers with companionship; he is faced with death and answers the call of the wild, and if you can learn from this book, you will have learned good lessons.