Reflection on My Eighth Grade Year

    For me (and I think for most eighth graders as well), I will always remember eighth grade as the year that we had to do distance learning due to the coronavirus. However, I feel like I have grown as a person because of that. I now know what it feels like to not be around anybody except for your family, so from now on, I will always like to be around other people. I definitely would not have said that at the beginning of the year. On a different note, I am looking forward to moving on from Fenn, and going to a high school ; however, I will still miss Fenn, and all of the joy that it, its faculty, its staff, and its students brought to me. Fenn has taught me so much throughout the last five years. It has done a good job in getting me ready for high school, and I will miss it a lot.


Senses

When ever you go outside,

You should pay attention to your senses,

Obviously you can not do anything about taste

But you should still ask yourself these questions:

 

What did I see?

 

I saw cars as they roam by

I saw a cracked turtle shell that did not make it across the street

I saw the wind make ripples on the pond

I saw the flowers as they start to bloom

I saw the leaves finally coming to life

 

What did I hear?

 

I heard the wind blowing everywhere

I heard the cars as the drivers drive on the street

I heard the birds chirping to each other

I heard the branches hit together each other due to the wind

I heard a hawk as it crowed from the sky.

 

What did I smell and feel?

 

I smelt the flowers as they bloom, and finally come back

I smelt the gasoline from the cars

I smelt the smoke from a fire 

I smelt the sap from the trees

I felt the wind blow by our faces

 

If you do not pay attention to these things when you are outside,

Then you are missing out.


Spring (Second Nature Poem)

You wake up and feel the morning brisk

Right then and there, you know, that spring is in the air

 

Another harsh winter gone forever

And you can not wait,

 

To see how much joy you will have this season

As the days get warmer, and longer, starting this March 21

 

Now we are into April

We see the rain fall from the clouds every day

 

You keep on saying to yourself,

April showers brings May flowers,

 

As you can not wait for the rain to end,

As it comes down, day after day after day

 

Finally, May is here

You observe those flowers that April promised to bring you

 

The sun shines on us almost every single day

We are finally able to go outside

 

And then comes June, the start of summer

And you realize, spring is nothing compared to summer.


The Morning Wonders

I wake up early to go outside,

I hear the birds as they calmly chirp to each other

I see the dead leaves as they get blown away by the light wind

I feel the sun as it tries to lessen the morning breeze

 

But, most importantly, I see all the parts of nature as they try to work together in harmony.


If You Were to Have a Refilling Bowl, What Meal You Make it Serve You?

    I finally found it: the automatic refilling bowl. Now, I just need to figure out what I want it to refill with. I got it! Spaghetti bolognese, my favorite meal. In case you guys do not know what a bolognese is, it is a delectable three meat sauce. It is delicious. Most of the time, the pasta is good as well, but without a good sauce, the dish is ruined. The meal is especially complete when the spaghetti and the bolognese are homemade. What can I say? It is just the best dish in the entire world. Am I a little bias because I am italian? No, it is just facts. Yes, that means that it is better than that double bacon cheeseburger. If I were to have a spaghetti bolognese every single day, that would be amazing. It would be my heaven on earth. I would be so incredibly happy. Just to prove to you how much I enjoy spaghetti bolognese, if I were to make two pounds of it, I would probably finish it in at most two days. That is just by myself. In other words, it is my favorite meal of all time. I know that you are sitting at home saying to yourself, “well wouldn’t you get sick and tired of eating it every single night?” My answer to that question is no. If that does not show you how crazy I go for spaghetti bolognese, then I do not know what does. This is why I would tell my refilling bowl to keep on making me spaghetti bolognese.


What I Miss About Not Going to Regular School

What I miss about not physically being in school, is the fact that I can not actually see my friends. Yes, I know that you can facetime them, but it is not the same as hanging out with them during lunch and recess (or even during classes). Also, you can not chat with your friends on zoom, which I know would be bad in our usual classes anyway. But in actual school, we get put into groups most of the time, and that does not happen all that often during online school. You can not even talk to your friends before All School Meeting starts, because you can not see them! Plus, at least we have more stuff to do at school. Constantly having something to do, even if it is classwork or homework, will always be better than having nothing to do. While we are on zoom however, most of our work gets done in approximately ten to thirty minutes (that may just be for me though). Also, online school is way more tiring than going to regular school, and that is because of the fact that we have nothing to do. One last thing, if we were at regular school, I would go into the new gym every day during recess (except for Tuesdays), to play basketball. However, at home I can not play basketball every day because our hoop is outside, and the weather is not always the nicest. So, between these three things, going to normal school is way better than doing online school. Now, having said all of this, I still believe that right now zoom is our best option for school because of this current pandemic. But it is not even in the same conversation as going to regular school, and it never will.


If you were able to trade your life with someone else, that would be awesome. Okay, first things first. If I were to trade my life with someone, then I would trade it with a professional NBA player. But, I do not mean any NBA player. I would trade my life with a superstar. However, to do that, I would need to be at their level of play, because you can not switch your life with an NBA superstar if you are not as good as them. Because of this, I would need to practice every single day for at least one hour. Even then I probably would not be as good as a superstar. What makes it even worse, is that I would probably want to switch my life with Jayson Tatum. This means that instead of at least one hour of practice, I would have to practice basketball for at least three hours. This would not even be all that boring. I mean, yes, playing in an actual basketball game is more fun than practicing basketball. But, practice would still be fun most of the time, and it would definitely be all worth it in the end. I would get a boatload of money, and I would play one of my favorite games, basketball. Plus, I would be famous. I would also get to experience all of the high pressure situations that actual NBA players are put in. You know, when it is a close game and your team needs you to hit a shot for the win. That is what I mean. All of this would be so amazing (it’s too bad that we can not actually do this). So even though I would need to put in all of those hours of practice, I would do it, because that is the only way that I would be able to swap my life with an NBA superstar.

What have I been doing during this unprecedented time?

During this extra long break, I have been spending more time playing video games and texting with my friends. The video games that I played were MLB The Show 19 (not 20 yet), and I have also played NBA2K20 with my brother. Playing these video games and texting were definitely part of my highs. I also have been doing karate on zoom which is interesting to say the least, and it is way different than actually going to the karate school. Finally, my mom’s side of the family had a zoom video chat so that we could catch up with each other. It was nice to be able to see all of there faces and to know that they are safe and okay. Some of the lows and more frustrating parts about this social distancing is the fact that I am not able to actually see my friends in person. Another annoying thing is that it can feel like we are trapped inside our homes, and that we are not allowed to leave. We can not go to anyplace that is fun. Finally, the food supply in the grocery stores are lower than usual, because people were stalking up on their food. That means that most of the good food is probably gone. All in all, it would definitely be better if we were not in this situation, but we are doing our best to make the best out of it (I think that everyone could agree with that).

The Art of Racing in the Rain Assignments and Essay

Assignment 3 Questions

1. “She was my fear. But a racer should not be afraid of rain; a racer should embrace the rain”( 44).

Why does Enzo refer to Eve as his ‘rain?’

Enzo refers to Eve as his rain because she is taking more of Denny’s attention, and leaving less of his attention for Enzo. Enzo obviously wants more of Denny’s attention, and due to the fact Eve is taking away some of his attention this makes Enzo’s life harder. This is just like how rain makes it harder for the racers to race.

2. “Did he really believe that, or was he lying to himself?” (60).

What’s the context here? Why might Denny be ‘lying’ to himself about Eve?

Denny might be lying to himself about Eve because he is telling himself that Eve will stay alive even though that is not going to happen. Denny is telling himself this so that he might be able to worry less, even though he knows that he is probably wrong. The entire family wants to believe that Eve will not die, but they all know that her virus is getting worse and worse, and that she probably will die.

3. “But trust me when I tell you the zebra is real. Somewhere, the zebra is dancing” (66).

What do you think the zebra represents for Enzo?

The zebra represents Enzo’s bad dog side. He knows that the “zebra” lives and dances inside of him. Enzo tries his best to not let the “zebra”, that lives and dances inside of him, out of his body.

 

Assignment 9 Questions

  1. Why did Stein include chapter 47? What is its significance? Why have there been so many references to Ayrton Senna throughout the novel?
  2. Discuss Mike as a character. What are some of his qualities? What role does he play in the novel? Is he a good friend?

Garth Stein included chapter 47 to show us another way of how Enzo looks at life. Enzo said that a man dies “because his body has served its purpose”(257). He is telling us that a man needs to accomplish what he was meant to do on earth before he can die. This is true for all animals. Enzo has not died yet, because he has not accomplished what he was meant to do on earth as a dog. Once he does that, then he will die, and, in his mind, he will be reincarnated into a man. The real question now is, what are they supposed to accomplish on earth? For Enzo, he is supposed to be a loving and supporting dog to Denny. Denny is supposed to pursue is race car driving. To do that he must beat the twins and win his trial. That is why this chapter is an important and that is why Garth Stein included it. Mike is one of Denny’s friends, and (just like Tony) he helps Denny. This is important, especially when Denny has to go into court. Mike is a supporting role, he is not a huge part in the book, but he is necessary in some parts. The book needs characters like Mike and Tony, because, as I said before, both of them help out Denny when he is in court. Because Mike is extremely helpful, that makes him a great friend.

 

Assignment 10 Paragraph

"She looked over and saw us. She was not a bad person, I knew then. One can never be angry at another driver for a track incident. One can only be upset at himself for being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time" (304).

Earlier in the book, Denny said directly to Annika that it was his fault and not hers. Right here, Enzo is finally agreeing with Denny. Denny can not be mad at Annika for this incident. He can only be mad at himself. Denny was caught being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was sleeping, and Annika took advantage of him. If Denny was not asleep, there would be no way that Annika would do that to him. Therefore, it was partially Denny’s fault, and that is why Denny can only be upset with himself.

 

Essay

The things that we can learn from a dog.

 

Who ever thought that a dog could teach us so much about our own humanity? In the book, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” by Garth Stein, our narrator, Enzo, who is a dog, and his owner, Denny, go through plenty of adventures together. Their biggest adventure is when Denny is charged with a serious crime, that is not his fault (he never commits a crime). Eventually,  Denny’s charges, that he should not have had in the first place, are dropped. Throughout the novel, Enzo gives us more knowledge about how most of us are as humans. He teaches us that most people believe that in order to achieve one goal, they must give up on another, and he teaches us about good and evil. 

Enzo notes that we are always willing to compromise our goals, in order to achieve one of them. When Mark Fein, Denny’s lawyer, “counseled Denny that perhaps the best thing for Zoë would be to stay with her grandparents” (246). He also tells Denny that he would be able to go back into race car driving. It is clear that Mark thinks that Denny should let the twins (Zoë’s grandparents) have custody of Zoë, and in return, they will drop his charges, and he will be able to go back to race car driving. We know that this is no what Denny ought to do. It is not in the best interest for Zoë to live with the twins. It is always best for a child to live with their parents (or in this case, parent). When Denny is going to give Mark his answer, Enzo explains to us that “many of us have convinced ourselves that compromise is necessary to achieve our goals”(246) meaning that we need to give up a goal in order to achieve another. The amount of humans who fall into this trap every day is amazing. They believe that this statement is true, and that they should give up a goal (most likely a goal that seems impossible), in order to achieve a more attainable goal. However, Denny is not like normal humans. He says no to Mark, and he continues to fight for custody of his daughter. Humans should listen to Denny and Enzo, and they should not believe that compromise is necessary to achieve their goals.

Enzo also teaches us about good and evil. Right as Denny is about to sign the papers that would allow the twins to have custody of Zoë, Enzo notices a zebra on the side of his pen. “The zebra is the worst part of us when we are face-to-face with our worst times. The demon is us” (264)! Enzo knows that it is not Denny who is about to sign the papers, it is the zebra. The evil zebra that lives inside of all of us. The devil in us that is trying to get us to do something bad every single day. We all have it, and, sometimes, we listen to the zebra and we do exactly what it wants us to do. However, right before he is about to sign the papers and give the twins custody of Zoë Enzo shows that he has a different plan as he pushes up onto Denny’s lap with his paws, reaches out with his teeth and grabs the papers that Denny is about to sign. Enzo goes outside and he “urinated on the papers” (267) to show Denny that he would regret signing the papers. Enzo shows us all the good in him as he saves Denny from making a huge mistake, and he saves Zoë from having to live with the evil twins. We all know that we are able to show the good in ourselves, just like Enzo did here. Hopefully we can follow Enzo’s advice and try to stay close to the good side and far from the evil side.

Enzo gives us more and more knowledge throughout the entire novel. He teaches us that most of us will choose to compromise our goals, instead of achieving both of them. He also teaches about good and evil, and what we can do to stay closer to the good side. All of Enzo’s teachings give us a better perspective on how we can look at ourselves, and they give us more knowledge about us. If humans find a way to teach this to themselves, then they will all become better people, and we should all be proud of ourselves if we do accomplish this. Because, if a dog can teach us something important about ourselves, just think about what we could teach ourselves, because we could teach ourselves much more. 

 


Band

If I could start my own band, it would be a rock band. Rock has always been my favorite type of music. So many great bands have played rock music. The Beatles, Queen, and those are just a couple. The name of our band would be Lando and the boys (sponsored by Wade). The name just sounds good. The band would be getting so many gigs a month. Over thirty gigs per month. We would also be making hundreds of thousands of dollars. Over all, it would be great.