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Summer

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Eat more, do more, swim more

“Just Play, have fun, enjoy the game.” Michael Jordan

 

It was hot--even for July. It was even hotter inside of the black Ford Explorer, where my dog Coco was sitting and panting. Luckily it was a short drive up to Kennebunk. I’ve been going to Kennebunk all my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. From the wiffle ball field to riding my bike just about everywhere. This summer in Maine gave me experiences with friends and family I’ll never forget. The fun started on the week of the 4th of July

 

We were going up for the week of the 4th of July with all my family and my friend Izzy. He had never been up to Maine so we had to show him everything we did. My mom made an excellent dinner as always. After dinner we went to this ice cream place called Rococo. They have weird flavors such as Salty Sweet Cream and Strawberry Habenero. Izzy got Maine Whoopie pie and I got Salty Sweet Cream. It was Salty, Sweet, and Creamy. We headed home and went to bed. The next day was a big beach day. We got our spike ball, towels, and boogie boards and headed to the beach. We quickly got in the water and stayed in for hours. We developed a technique where we let the waves crash over us while we were in back floats. We would go up and over the waves. It felt so weird but was fun. We came out for one reason only. Food.

 

In Kennebunk there is an excellent sandwich shop called Bennett’s. Bennett’s was owned by the same family for over 20 years until it was bought in 2016. Thankfully the new owners didn’t change anything and the sandwiches are still the same. They make Italians, Hamburger subs, chicken tenders, but mainly, The Philly Cheesesteak. Equal parts steak and cheese. It is gooey and tastes best with bacon and pickles. Izzy loved this place and so do I. After we ate our sandwiches, guess what? We got back in the water with our boogie boards and rode the waves.

 

After swimming, we went to the wiffle ball field. It looks like a baseball field but has a metal strike zone, shorter fence, and no dirt. I spent so much time there this summer. I hit 15 home runs and while that may sound like a lot, my brother Rory hit 30. The teams were Izzy and I against my dad and Rory. The first inning went well and we both got on base and scored runs. Then as my brother got up to bat, I got nervous. I know very well that he is a much better athlete. First pitch was a home run. A long bomb into center field. I smiled because I gave him a great pitch to hit. He was happy but that ended when I bombed one to left in the next inning and when Izzy hit a wall-ball to left as well and got a double. Even though we lost, it was no hard feelings because it was only a game.

Then on the 4th of July, things really got fun. My sister had a bunch of her friends up and we all hung out at the beach. We went swimming and we played spikeball. I’m also insane at spike ball so everyone lost. We played one more wiffleball game before dinner. My sister and her friends are all pretty great athletes so we knew what we were getting into. We lost but we had fun. My sisters friend who isn’t the best athlete hit a big home run that propelled their win which was surprising but awesome. We then hopped in the car to go home to our house. For dinner my mom barbecued burgers and steak and hot dogs. After dinner, we grabbed sparklers and headed to the beach where Izzy and I met our friend Tucker, who also has a house there. We watched the fireworks, ate dessert, then slept

 

It seemed we would be going to the beach, playing Wiffle Ball, and eating sandwiches from Bennett’s. But On this one day, we went up to Portland. In Portland we were trying to go to this incredible diner, called Betsy’s. They have awesome pancakes and corned beef hash. Sadly the wait was too long, so we couldn’t go, but we went to an Irish pub. Izzy got buffalo wings and I got Mac and cheese. They were both incredible. After we went to this awesome comic book store, and then a video game store. It showed me how even if your plan goes wrong, you can still have fun, and that’s exactly what we did.

 

In the end, this week was a perfect model of my summer. It had its ups and downs. It rained a couple of times and the plan didn’t go the way we wanted it to go. We still saw the fireworks and hit long bombs over the fence. Other than going to Italy, this was a perfect way to start my summer. When you’re with family and friends you’ll always have fun and enjoy the times.

 


Dancing in Disney

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It was Mid April and I was so excited. In a couple of weeks I’d be going to Disney World with my sister because she was dancing there. It was great because one of my best friends was going, as well as my grandparents and cousin. We were originally going to leave on a 10:30 pm flight because my sister had a game in Rhode Island, but thankfully it got cancelled, and 10:30 was close to the time of our arrival. When we arrived at our hotel, Port Orleans Riverside, we made a beeline for the food. I just grabbed a soda but my sister got a bowl of pasta. My best friend watched the fireworks then came back to the hotel to see us. Then my Nana and Papa came in with my cousin and her friend. It was getting late, so we walked to our room.

The next morning we woke up early and went to the Magic Kingdom. We headed to Space mountain where we had a Fastpass. We used the Fastpass and then went on it two more times. It’s one of my friend and i’s favorite rides. We then went to buzz lightyear and I lost the game. We then headed to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, another great rollercoaster. I loved it. I always do. After walking around we went to the hotel for a nap.

 

When we woke up we headed over to Disney Springs to see my sisters dance company perform. My sister is an amazing dancer and my inspiration to perform. Seeing her perform at my favorite place in the world was insane. It showed me how hard you have to work to get recognition for your goals. After they finished performing we gave a big standing ovation. A lot of my friends are in that company as well, so after they performed, we headed to the Magic Kingdom for a late night. It made me happy watching my friends do so well.


Leadership at Belknap

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 “Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.”

Harold S. Geneen

The ball came flying and I dove to save it. I missed. We went to the sidelines to watch the next team score in biju ball. No one walked up to me and said, “Nice save Conor!”, in a sarcastic way. They just said: “Nice try, we’ll get them next time”. We were all taking the game seriously but we still came together as a team to celebrate our wins and losses. As we were taught leadership in our classes, I felt we learned more in this game.

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Slice of Life

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve been at fenn for a good five years full of experiences. From playing in the gym or hitting in baseball it’s been great. But my favorite experience was the CHP. The CHP or Cultural Heritage Project is a project where you write about a family member who had done something meaningful. I wrote about my Papa who is the hardest worker I know. During the duration of working on it, I learned so much about him. He got his first job at 13 in a supermarket. After that he worked on a paper route. He then made enough money to go to college. It was an amazing story.

 

On the day when we presented for the first time, my parents and brother came. I was excited to show what I’d done. It was my best work. They came to see me present and I have the presentation to them normally. They saw how hard I worked and were proud of me and that felt great. What felt even better was when my Papa came the next day. My Papa is my greatest inspiration and life and I felt very nervous to show him my work. What if I perceived things wrong or showed wrong information. I hoped he would like it and hoped other people would as well.

As he entered the door I knew I had to do it perfectly even with the person I did my project on, right in front of me. He came to my board and asked: “Who’s this?” I laughed which made it much easier. I realized that in learning about him I got to know him better. I then delved into his life story and his lessons. He listened intently throughout the presentation and then when I finished, he was silent. Then he gave me a hug and told me I did incredibly and how thankful he was that I did this. I wore a giant smile for the rest of the day. I was thankful as well that fenn had given me the opportunity to do this because that what fenn does. They put you on the right track for success. They always help students out whenever we have questions. Being a senior feels great now because I’ve had teachers support me all the way through and I feel ready to graduate in June.


Lessons of Travel

The Lessons of Travel

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“To Travel is to Live” – Hans Christian Andersen

Through traveling we immerse ourselves into different cultures. This summer I hopped onto a plane and went to Italy. I experienced the sights the sounds and the tastes. I went to Florence, Rome, and Venice. In Rome we went to the Vatican City and the Coliseum. The plane ride was very long but It was worth the wait because we got to have incredible food and experiences like visiting the glass blowers in Venice or the Basilica in the Vatican

 

We got to Logan airport around 7 for our 10:30 flight to London and then on to Italy. We went to legal sea foods for a quick dinner. I ordered a salmon burger which was great. I had no idea that burgers without meat could be so good. We eventually hopped on our late night flight to London. I fell asleep fairly soon after takeoff. 7 hours later, we landed in London, England at Heathrow airport. After a quick breakfast and a couple hours we took off towards Rome. I put my headphones in and listened to music. I fell asleep while listening which would prove to be a bad decision. When we landed we headed straight to the hotel. The hotel was very nice and had a great view of the city. We headed to dinner at a place down the street. They had great pasta there. I had a dish called Cacio e Pepe, which directly translates to cheese and pepper. The dish had equal parts pepper and cheese and was excellent. After dessert we went to the Spanish steps basically a glorified set of giant stairs. Although that sounded cynical it was quite beautiful. We went to the hotel after and went to bed. I was awaken at 12 am by my little brother who went to sleep in my parents room. I couldn’t get to sleep. I tried everything. Netflix, music, reading. In listening to music I woke up my sister who couldn’t sleep either. She tried everything as well. We eventually fell asleep because the next day we were going to the Vatican City and I needed to see that with full energy.

 

The Vatican City was as expected beautiful . It was a spiritual experience with all the paintings and the artifacts. When we went into the Sistine chapel everything was silent. You could hear a pin drop. All the paintings on the ceilings and walls were intensely intricate. We climbed up a giant ramp and saw the view. It was amazing and a perfect way to start our week in Italy. That night after leaving the Vatican, we met up with one of Rory’s friend’s family for pizza. They were on a two week trip through Italy. After all that food I slept easy. The next day we checked out the Coliseum. It was an intense feat of architecture then and still today. We learned about the performances there and the queueing system there. They had tickets back then.

 

The next day we took a train ride to Florence. While Florence has a lot of historical sights, I liked the food a lot more there. On the first day we went to a restaurant that had pear pasta. It was ravioli with pear and pecorino cheese. Our hotel that we stayed in reminded me of the Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney World. While it was really beautiful it felt like it was haunted. At the top of the hotel there was a seating area where we could order drinks and they were really great. There was also a great view of Florence. The next day we took a tour of Florence’s streets. After the tour we went to an Italian food market which had insane food. I had Italian fried chicken and a pizza cone. That night went to a restaurant with fried bread. It was like salty fried dough. I ate too much of it. But it was great. In our final day in Florence we went to see The David, which is the first intricately human sculpture in the world. That night we took a cooking class. We made pasta with carbonara sauce which was great. We also made grilled cheese with anchovies and a giant steak which was salty and tender. To top it off we made excellent chocolate sorbet.

We then went on to Venice. Our hotel was so nice and had a great view of the water. In Venice we were supposed to take a tour but our guided didn’t come. Instead we explored Venice ourselves. We went to a restaurant and got pizza. My sister got a pizza that had French fries on it while I had a meat lovers pizza. After we went to get gelato as we did every day. We walked and ate. While we were walking Rory saw a friend of his and we stayed with them for the rest of the day. The next day was our last day and we went on a tour with our Lexington friends. Together we went to these two islands, Murano and Burano. On Murano they blew intricate designs and sculptures out of glass. It was made by locals but the place felt touristy. On Burano they made lace which they have done in the family for over a century. The buildings there looked like something out of a fairytale as they were all colorful. Just hanging out there was the perfect end of the trip.

 

In traveling to Italy I tried new foods and experienced new things. My trip showed me how respectful people were. In Italy they held the doors open and were very good with directions. This is definitely a place I would visit again.