I have always loved English especially writing, and I didn’t think that this year would be any different, boy was I wrong. I came in at the start of the year not knowing what to expect. At this time I knew nothing about eighth grade, or about any of my teachers, especially Fitz, all I had heard was that he was a hard teacher. I came into class the first day with an open mind, the first assignment I believe was to write about our goals for this year, I believe we had to write 400 words. It was a struggle for me to get the 400 words on the paper. I thought that this was a bad sign, but I soon found out that the other kids in my class also struggled. I felt fine now. We then went to Windsor and when we got back we wrote an essay. This was a fun assignment. I now knew that this year was going to be full of writing, this I was excited about. I have always loved writing, so I knew that this year would be the best year I have had in English. A couple of weeks later we started our weekly assignment sheets, those were easy at the start. A couple of weeks after we started working Fitz’s narrative writing plan. This writing plan forever changed my writing. I started to write things with deeper meanings and my writing actually meaning to it and it wasn’t words on the paper. We started to write the power ofs. I especially liked these they captured I wanted in writing. These writing assignments let us capture everything we wanted to on the paper, and it let us write about anything we wanted to. The writing assignments and the weekly assignment sheets started to take off after this, and get harder and harder and longer and longer. I started to get overwhelmed with all of the work, but I stayed calm and did the work. We then started our first book The Call of The Wild. This book had many meanings and it was a great book and the group essay after it was one of the most fun assignments I have done at school. Then came midterms where the assignment sheet went to a whole new level, but I realized that this work was all manageable. This year I figure that the work might look pretty hard and it might look like it will take a while, but it is actually pretty manageable. I took this attitude and applied it to the rest of the year, and the work became much more easy and manageable. In January we did WW Fenn. I chose a piece that nobody else has done. I thought I did well enough to make it to the finals, but I ended up falling short, I was sad at first, but I moved on, and eventually, it did not matter. WE then Of Mice and Men which was not my favorite book, and it was kind of boring to read. I started to write more and more and I started my sports blog, which I thought I would write on every week after patriots games, but then I got busier and busier and I forgot to write. I then started to write more and more words on every post I was assigned and I started to work harder. Before I would write the minimum, but then I started to think harder and write more. Throughout I have grown so much as an English Student, and I have learned so much in your class Fitz, and I wanted to thank you for making me a great writer. I might not have liked all of the work, but It was still great practice.
Thank you so much,
The Power of Family
Time With My Family Is Time Well Spent
There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human, are created, strengthened and maintained.
Never take time with you family for granted. No matter where I go I will always remember the time I spent with my family. I’m lucky that I get to spend a lot of time with my family. I’m also lucky that my family is very close. The experiences I have had with my family are ones that I will never forget. Every year my family goes to Maine for 2 weeks at the end of August. We start in Bar Harbor and then we go to Kennebunk after a stop at the outlets in Freeport. At the end of our vacation in 2016 we bought a house in Kennebunk. Now we go every weekend in the summer. My family gets super competitive. So it is no surprise that our Maine vacation is a lot competition. In one week in Bar Harbor we play 7 rounds of mini golf. One year in Bar Harbor I remember getting suspended for 1 game from mini golf. We all went to the course and the rest of my family played while I sat in the car. I took mini golf very seriously when I was younger and I still take it seriously. My competitiveness is something I’m proud of but also not proud of. I love being competitive with my family. But sometimes I get too competitive and I wish I had those experiences back so I could change my attitude and my competitiveness. Although I might have ruined them with my competitiveness I still think that those experiences were well spent. I wish I hadn’t taken them for granted.
Make time to be with your friends
Happiness is spending time with your friends
Friends are always there to play. Is was dark and cold but, I was still out there playing basketball with my friends. As the video game was getting annoying and my friend was waiting for me. I knew it was time to stop playing by myself and go outside. The daylight was slowly fading but, we were still out there playing in the dark. It was me, my friend Will, and my friend Andreas. It was a dark Sunday night. We were outside in the cold playing basketball in my driveway. We could barely see the hoop. We were playing king of the court. king of the court is one on one basketball and whoever wins is the king. We were playing and I kept shooting and I got blocked a bunch of times. I got blocked because my friend Andreas in 6 foot 5. In my last one v one I got the ball I dribbled up and hesitated and ran by my friend for the basket. I was so happy because I finally scored on my friend. It didn’t matter that It was dark. It didn’t matter that it was cold. It also didn’t matter that I was the worst player playing. It was still fun to be playing basketball with my friends. No matter the weather or the light outside. It will always be fun playing with my friends
The Power of Respect
Respect others so others can respect you
“Respect that is how to treat everyone”
It Always helps to be respectful to other people. In life if you don’t respect most people most people wont have the respect to respect you. There are times in life where respect will lead you to make friends, and also it will make people feel that you are a respectful and kind person. It was sixth grade my friend had been pretty sick. He had been out of school a lot and he also was in most of my classes so I knew that he was not at school a lot. My classmates in math class were making jokes about him skipping school to play video games, and what was popular at the time Fortnite. Kids were also making jokes that they were trying to find a streaming service he used, but he didn't have one. Something was needed to be said. Finally I said how would you feel if you were sick like this. Everybody went silent. I said if you were really sick you would not want kids to make jokes about it. Everybody agreed with me, and so did the teacher. It did not matter that he wasn't there in class, It did not matter that it was me against the class, and it did not matter that the teacher didn't tell me to say anything. All that mattered was I respected the privacy of my friend and my friendship with my friend. After this happened the teacher told my parents in their parent teacher conference. He said stuff that me feel better about myself, but I didn't do this to get a good comment. If you are respectful people will respect you back.
You’ll Always Remember Experiences With Friends
By Rory Kennealy
“Best Friends look forward to shared experience”
Experiences with friends are ones that you will always remember. In my lifetime I've made a lot of memories, but the ones I remember the best we're with my friends. Experiences that I always think back to are always the ones with my friends. No matter where I am I will always remember the experiences I had with them.
Every Year my family goes on a ski trip. The ski trip is with my mom and dad's friends from Harvard Business School. I have been every year since I was six, but the trip has been going on since the nineties. Over the years I have become really good friends with other kids on the ski trip. Every year on this trip we ski, hang out and watch the NBA All-Star game.
Coincidentally the NBA All-Star game is always the same week as the trip. Every year it is me, my brother, my sister, and my friends Alec, Charlie, and Will (me being the youngest). We always sit around the TV on Saturday night watching the dunk contest, 3 point contest, and skills competition. One year we even made our own skills competition we were running around the house, and trying to get the best time. We are always blown away at the amazing dunks, and Steph Curry winning the three point contest every year (maybe not blown away every year). The point is we always bond over our love of sports. The next night we watch the All-Star Game. It is always filled with amazing dunks, and the game is always high scoring. I don't know if this trip would be the same if the NBA All-Star game wasn't on. It doesn't matter that I'm the youngest, it doesn't matter what happens in the contest and games, and it doesn't matter where I am. All that matters Is that I will remember the quality time I spent hanging out with my friends watching sports. I have been lucky to make memories like this with my friends. I have also been lucky to go on trips like this. I have been lucky to be with my friends that are from all over the country. I will always remember the times with my friends,
But especially these experiences.
The Place doesn’t have to be big it just has to make you comfortable
by Rory Kennealy
It is 8:30 in the morning. The sun is shining bright through the shades and on to my bed. I open my eyes and take off the covers. I slowly walk down the stairs and grab a blanket and go to the place I go. I turn on my favorite show ever: Sports Center. All is right; I feel calm and happy; I feel comfortable just sitting there watching tv.
My time is always short lived in this place. Every time I go to sit in this place someone asks me to do something. Whether it is take the dog for a walk, get me some food, or get me some water there is always something. I am always fine with sitting there for a whole morning., but every time my parents will want me to spend my time otherwise.
I am always happy when I am sitting in this place. I sit there for hours sometimes, but not most times. I am either doing homework, watching tv, or watching shows on my iPad.
Most times I walk down the stairs and jump into this place.
This place Is where I yell at the refs on the screen, or yell at my favorite player, even though I know they can’t hear me. This is the place where I watch the Celtics. This is the place where I watch all the Red Sox games I can, and where I saw them win the World Series. This is Where I watch all the Patriots games, where I scream at the tv when they lose or make a bad play, where I watched them win two Super Bowls.
This place represents victory, this place represents happiness for me, this place represents calmness (even though I may yell at the tv.) No matter what is on the tv, no matter what the score is. No matter who is playing No matter what I am doing. No matter who is there with me. I am always happy, comfortable, calm, or content sitting in this place. This is my happy place.
This is the place I go.
It might seem boring at first, but all you have to do is try.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.
It was a chilly Thursday night. The sun was setting over the trees in the woods. I was walking my dog. I don’t usually go for walks, but in this time where there is a lot of extra time, and there is a shortage of things to do I decided to use my time well and go for a walk. It was almost dark and approaching seven o’clock at night. There are not many times where I want to go for a walk, but this time I wanted to. The sun was setting and it was the perfect time to go. I entered the woods and immediately loved the walk. Sometimes you might now like something, but you will never know unless you try it.
Every weekend my dad goes for a week with my dog. I never really wanted to go, in these times where my dad is working hard and not having a lot of free time he likes to take our dog for a walk. He asked if I wanted to go and this time I decided to go with him. I have only gone on walks with him a couple of times, and I have liked the walks a lot. I just never really thought of going on these walks again. This time I had nothing to do, and I wanted to. It started with me walking into the woods that is right down the street from my house. There is a cool loop that my family and I go through. It starts at my house and then, as you might guess because it is a loop it ends at my house. When we entered the woods the sun was setting right over the trees and I took a picture that is the image above. It was a perfect picture of all the surroundings. I went through the whole woods and the loop was almost done when we reached the middle school the sun was still setting and I took a picture of it right over the middle school. The walk ended and I reflected upon it. I really liked it and I realized that I should do it more.
I might not have liked it at first, but when I was done I realized how fun it really was. This shows you never know about something until you try.
Getting cut stinks but it doesn't matter in the long run
If somebody says no to you, or if you get cut, Michael Jordan was cut his first year, but he came back and he was the greatest ever. That is what you have to have. The Attitude that I'm going to show everybody in going to work hard to get better and better.
Not getting what you want might seem bad at the time, but it will not matter in a couple of years. Although I have not been faced with this problem a lot, I was faced with it this year. I didn’t get what I want this year when I tried out for varsity and junior varsity basketball. I went in expecting something, but I came out with nothing.
It was the first week back from Thanksgiving break. Basketball, one of favorite sports, was starting its season. I have loved basketball for a while now, and I have dreamed since fourth grade about making JV or varsity basketball. Now it was time for this dream to come true. On Wednesday, December 4th the tryouts started. I was nervous about this, but excited for the opportunity.
I walked into the new gym, and I knew I had a chance to make this team. Most of those players were better than me though. The first day of tryouts started. We started with some running and touching seven end lines. I was already out of breath, and the tryout hadn’t even started—this was not a good sign. It showed that I wasn’t prepared. This didn’t stop me from playing my best though. The tryouts started and I was not playing well, and I never got the ball passed to me, but when I did I made it count. At the end of the day I had three points and a really good pass. I came back the next hoping my performance the day prior would translate to today. That was not the case on the court I just look tired and out of place. I then knew that I was going to get cut. The next day that is what happened. I got cut from varsity. I didn’t mind this though, I knew that making varsity would be a long-shot. My real goal was to make JV. I knew I had a great chance to do this. I went into JV tryouts confident that I would make the team. The first tryout I felt really good about. I felt like I was in control of the court. I scored some baskets, but I also made some good passes to my teammates for buckets. I was thinking that I was in a great place to make the team. The next day was just about the same. I was really confident that I would make the team. On Wednesday they said they were going to meet with us. I was so nervous my bad was shaking, but I thought that my performance showed that I would be a good fit on the team. They did one by one meetings which was really suspenseful. Every kid before me in line made the team except for one kid. It was now my turn to meet with the coach. I walked in nervous as could be.
Then it happened. I still remember the words from the coach “let’s just cut right to the chase: you’re not going to make the team.” I immediately started to cry. I thought I played well in the tryouts, but I guess it was not enough. When I walked out I immediately saw my friends Dereck and Gabriel run out of the library. They immediately picked me up. I felt a lot better knowing my friends were there to pick me up. I was now onto Thirds Basketball. Although it might not have showed I had a lot of fun playing thirds. I’m just glad I got to play basketball with my friends.
It didn’t matter that I got cut; it didn’t matter that I didn’t reach my goal, and it didn’t matter that I wasn’t good enough. All that mattered is that I got to play basketball, a sport that I love, with my friends.
Right when it happens getting cut stinks, but in a couple weeks or months you start to think less and less about, and you feel better. In the end getting cut wasn’t that bad and I am glad my friends were there to pick me up.
Windsor Mountain Essay
Face your fears and help your friends out
What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
-Vincent Van Gogh
Here I am 12 feet up in the air. Looking down at the dark brown water. There is only one way to get down. Jump. The bruise on my leg is throbbing in pain. My body shaking I look down at the kids waiting to go after me on the dive tower. I tell them to count down from 5 and then I’ll jump. 5...4...3...2...1. Being at Windsor Mountain taught me that I can overcome my fears and my advisor group works well with each other and they help each other out
When you succeed there is always there is always a team or a group that helped you out. At Windsor Mountain I learned that my advisor group helps each other out. The point of the Windsor mountain trip for the eighth grade to bond and for your advisor group to bond. It was at Windsor mountain where I got the biggest, grossest bruise I have ever seen. I got it when I was playing broomball with my advisor group (broomball is floor hockey played with brooms.) and I was running down the floor going for the goal when I fell right over on my knee. The day that I got that bruise my leg was throbbing in pain. It really hurt to walk or to bend over. So that day my advisor group helped by picking stuff up for me while we were cleaning up. But more specifically I remember when my group was writing with markers and I dropped mine Sam Kahn picked it up for me because it was hard for me to bend down and pick it up. I will always remember the way my advisor group helped me out.
It doesn’t take a while for a group to come together as one. In this case it only took one for my advisor group to come together. At Windsor mountain, I learned that my advisor group works well together. As Curtis, the assistant director camp calls out the activities that the different advisor groups will do for their 6th activity period. He calls out Mr. Romero’s advisory will be doing initiatives. As I heard from my classmates, initiatives was a team-building exercises. I knew from the low ropes course that my advisor group can work well together. When we get to initiatives we do our 6th different name game. With Gab the counselor from Australia saying her name the name game ends and initiatives begins. The counselors start explaining that Gab had to go through a long process to get her visa to come to America. The activities that we were going to do were supposedly to get us to the get our visa for a place we wanted to go to. Our advisor was going to work together to get through these different challenges to get our “visa”. As we made our way through the different challenges our pace kept getting higher and our advisor group was moving through the challenges with ease. As we were finishing the activities I realized that our advisor group works really together and we really go after a challenge and we really work well together.
In life you always have to face your fears. At Windsor Mountain I learned that I can face my fears. On Wednesday I went down to the waterfront to face my fear and jump off the tower. Down at the waterfront there are many things to do there is a rope swing a water trampoline and the dive tower. The dive tower has two places to jump off of one is like 4-5 feet and the other is a 12 foot jump. When I am walking on the dock I hear kids saying that the water is freezing. Now I’m contemplating going in because I don't know how cold the water is. I decide to jump in. When I jump in my body is shocked from the cold and I immediately swim back to the dock. I walk back up to the main part of camp. The next day it was pouring rain and I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to do the dive tower. At the end of the day the suns comes out and I walk back down to the waterfront. This time I jump right in and swim right to the dive tower. It takes a minute for me to climb up. And There I am 12 feet up in the air. Looking down at the dark brown water. There is only one way to get down. Jump. The bruise on my leg is throbbing in pain. My body shaking I look down at the kids waiting to go after me on the dive tower. I tell them to count down from 5 and then I’ll jump. 5...4...3...2...1. I jump down my body crashes on the water and I race back up to the surface. I jump out of the water and yell “that was awesome!” Fears can be broken and that was I learned from the dive tower.
In the end Windsor mountain was a great experience and I will remember it for a long time.
Trying Something New
Try Something new even if it might be scary
"learn something new try something different convince yourself that you have no limits"
It is always good to try something new. For me, this trying something new was cooking and baking. I have always liked cooking, but I never actually tried it. This year I really started baking and started making new things and trying new things. I have really started to good at baking over this past year.
Every time I bake I either do it with my mom or my sister. I do it to have fun, also to eat good food. I have not tried many things in the kitchen, but I hope too soon. In these times where there is a lot of time to fill I hope I can try something new in the kitchen. Every time there is some free time I try to bake. The only thing I don't like about baking is cleaning up. I love everything else about it.
It all started a couple of years ago when I would start to watch this series called worth it on youtube. It was these guys who would go to try one food at three different restaurants. One restaurant was cheap, one was medium, and the other was super expensive. I would watch these and think, I wish I could cook like that, or I want to go make that food, but I never would be able to make these things they were always too advanced. The food would always look amazing. I never dared to try something new like baking, cooking, or something like that. I would keep watching them though. This year I started to watch more videos. This time I would watch recipes for food that looked fun to bake, or good to eat. This time I got more motivated to try these things and try to make them. I would try to watch as many videos as possible. I finally got motivated to bake something. I started with chocolate chip cookies. I found this recipe that I had wanted to try for a while. It required me to make the dough and put it in the fridge to set and rest for a day or two. They came out and they didn't give me that satisfying feeling when you have a warm chocolate chip cookie, but they were really good, and I wanted to try to make them better. In January I tried again, this time I put them in the fridge for two days, and used a different recipe. When they came out they were perfectly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside This time they were a lot better than the first time. This made me feel like I could try anything in the kitchen.
Last week I got motivated when I saw that Mr. Irwin posted a cooking challenge. I knew exactly what I wanted to make: steak. This was something that I had not tried before, but I knew I could do it. Last Saturday I started in the afternoon by making herb butter which was herbs mixed with a stick of butter and lemon juice. Later that night I put it in the griddle and grilled it on the griddle. I loved the sizzling noise coming off the piping hot griddle. I made it perfectly medium-rare. I cut it and tasted it. At that moment I realized I could cook anything I wanted to.
It doesn't matter what you try to do, it doesn't matter how scary it might be, and it doesn't matter how difficult the thing you try maybe. All that matters is that you face your fears, try something new, and if it is hard you persevere. That is what I did I tried something new and when it didn't work out I tried again. That is what you have to do try something new and keep trying even if it doesn't work out the way you want it to.