Individual blog post

The duality of snow

The dangers of winter

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Walkin’ in a winter wonderland plays over my kitchens stereo system and I hate it. It’s a late Sunday morning, and the weather outside is biting. I always ask myself, “Why do New Englanders, of all people, romanticize winter”. We know better than anyone else how bad the weather can get, but year after year we praise the beauty of snow and then proceed to regret ever existing, holed up in our homes, trying to forget life itself. Maybe I’m biased. Maybe there can be some good side to snow, but when I’m trying to walk my dog, and the windchill is dropping the temp below 0, I’m not buying into the magic of winter. The one good in all the evil of snow lies in a very expected place. One that I would call my third favorite place in my whole house behind my bed and my computer. The candy cabinet, meaning that of course the redeeming quality of winter is the hot chocolate that follows. The sweet sugary taste, the warmth spreading through your body after being outside in the harsh weather. A good hot chocolate can warm any mans heart, and that’s why I keep a stash ready, especially at this time of year. It may not be a trip away from the cause of the cold, but it’s a pretty damn good alternative. So if anyone’s feeling the winter blues, stop by me, and I’ll hook you up with some of that sweet chocolate cure.


Reading reflection on The Iliad

Pride in The Iliad

Achillies almost fatal flaw

 

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As a growing teenager, in a school full of moody boys, I know a thing or two about pride. Through my knowledge of pride though, The Iliad by Homer has somehow managed to show me its application through time and in the world. I started reading this book because of my own pride. I wanted to prove to myself that I could read this book and enjoy it, but The Iliad’s use of pride, on and off the battlefield have helped to show me how dangerous pride can be. The character who I feel most exemplifies this pride to me is Achilles. In the long fight against the Trojans, moral is running low among the Achaeans. They have been pushed back against their ships and as I read each line of Achaean sacrifice and hard fought battle I could hardly think of anything else. And then the story turned to Achilles, the one person who could save everyone, who was sitting on the sidelines eating grapes because of his pride. When I started this book I never expected to read about anything other than constant battle; I didn’t expect to understand the faults of the characters; but most of all I didn’t expect to learn a lesson from them. I said last week that reading The Iliad was like doing a chore, and that you needed to take it as your responsibility, and nearing the end of the book, I wouldn’t disagree. If there would be one thing I could add though, it would be that these chores should also be a lesson, and you shouldn’t do it mindlessly.


Weekly post

 

School Essays

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Whew. School essays. For those of you who are currently going through them like me, you know what I’m talking about. That feeling of your brain slowly turning sour as you sit and write for hours on end. Before I started I was skeptical of that statement, “you’ll be writing for a couple hours per day”. I was thinking “How could I work for several hours everyday, and not finish within the week?” To be honest I’m still asking myself that question now. It’s like midterms. Except it’s over the course of around a month and you can’t make up bad work with your next test and your writing could shape your future and what it holds and your parlantes are sitting behind you the entire time criticizing you. To be short, it sucks, but to be honest, I still think it’s good for me. It’s my “healthy” dose of panic for the year. It’s my driving force that gets me up in the morning. It’s that voice in the back of my head saying “if you don’t do well on this essay than you won’t be successful in life” which maybe isn’t a completely healthy way of going about things but it gets me moving. It has forced me to look at my writing through someone else’s eyes and think about just how bad it is, and then make it better. And sure, maybe I won’t ever have to write about “why I’m diverse” ever again in my life but at the same time I can now tell you why I think I am. These essays are a mixed bag. Like most things in life, you can take them with stride, and learn a lesson from them, despite it being a less than ideal situation, or you can moan and groan and not work your hardest and learn nothing. So as we continue moving forward through the year. Whether applying out or not, I invite everyone who reads this to learn from bad situations, and grow stronger through the pain.


Classic reading reflection

The Iliad reading experience

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    Reading the Iliad, in my experience, is like taking care of a dog. Everyone talks about great dogs are, and you always have wanted to own a dog. Once you get the dog though, you realize that you can’t just own a dog and be happy. You have to take care of it, feed it, let it outside, exercise it. Reading The Iliad has been a lot like that. Don’t get me wrong. I love dogs, and I would do anything for mine, but much like The Iliad, if you want to enjoy either of them, you must treat them as your responsibility. Although I know a book isn’t a dog, while reading The Iliad I still felt it required similar attention. I had to think about what I was reading and not just absorb it mindlessly. Once you get into the state of focus that you need to be in to truly read this book nothing can stop you. As the Gods of Olympus watched down at the battle at Troy, I could feel myself watching alongside them. I could feel the pain of every soldier as they fell, leaving behind their wives, children and their nation. It was hard for me to not to feel these emotions once I got into the book, and I feel that anyone else who really took the time to read the Iliad could too. So invite anyone reading this to take time when they can. Get into some comfy clothes when you have the time. Sit down by a fire, or get in your bed. Take a minute to clear your head and don’t just read. Experience. Place yourself in the heads of the characters. Fight on the fields. Push back the Trojans from your ships. Attack a goddess if you want. Whatever you do, immerse yourself in a way that you aren’t just reading The Iliad you are experiencing it.

 

 


Paragraph Essay on Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas

Family and the Holidays

ChryslerYou don't choose your family. they are Gods gift to you as you are to them.

Desmond Tutu

Christmas has always been a time for family. In my house, getting together with family has been a long-standing tradition. From aunts and uncles to grandmothers and grandfathers, we always make sure to celebrate the holiday with family in any way we can. In the snowy, winter days before Christmas my family can be found scattered around the house. My grandmother can be found by the fire, knitting and lecturing us about how privileged we are. Me and my dad, outside chopping wood, sometimes accompanied by my twin sister, Julia. My older sister will be inside playing with our dog, Lulu and our mom will be shoveling the walkways and complaining about the snow. The entire family, all doing different things, but still working together. Despite being different in what we do and who we are, we all still come together during Christmas. We celebrate the power of family, because that’s what Christmas should stand for, being able to come together with the ones you love the most and celebrate. Without this family aspect, Christmas is irrelevant. To have no one to share food with, or wrap presents for Christmas loses its true meaning. The spirit of Christmas can take many different forms for different people, but because of this celebration of love and life, for me, family takes the cake.


To Build a Fire Literary Reflection

 

 

The Fire Inside 

Idiot

The danger of arrogance 

That which inspires arrogance is ignorance, caused by the heart's blindness.

Saeed Malik

    Arrogance can be a very dangerous thing. To Build a Fire by Jack London showed me just how dangerous it can be. Although in a very different setting from what I’m used to, To Build a fire taught me how much arrogance can cost someone, however small it might seem in the moment. It also taught me how arrogance can be applied to my life. I started reading To build a Fire expecting a small story about a man who struggles but eventually prevails in building a fire (which was an act of arrogance in itself). What I got was a gripping tale of struggle and danger. As the story went on, and the plot kept getting deeper and deeper, each turn leading in a different direction, I kept having to remind myself of what the book was telling me “don’t believe that you know everything”. Reading this with the class was a blessing disguised as a chore because although it took longer, I felt I could better understand the themes of ignorance and how they could relate to me even in a small way. As the class kept talking arrogantly, we ended up staying longer. It was a simple yet effective way of reminding me not to be the ignorant protagonist in the story, believing his own foolish instincts instead of letting the older, wiser leaders surrounding him tell him what to do. A week ago, I might have told you that ignorance is bliss, and that you’re lucky to have it, but now, after reading To Build a Fire I would definitely tell you otherwise.


The Tell Tale Heart Analysis

Evan Lanzendorf

The Tell-Tale Heart Literary Analysis Essay

Fitz’s 8th grade English

12-7-18  

 

Still Beating

The Heart of Fear

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If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

Dale Carnegie

Fear is a driving factor in the success of humanity. In The Tell-Tale Heart by Edger Allan Poe the protagonist is a paranoid madman who spends the story trying to prove his sanity. Reading the piece I could feel the narrators fear as he scrabbles to prove for something that deep down, he might already know is wrong and the fear of the thing that caused him to commit the horrendous crime. The author uses this character’s fight to prove his sanity to represent an irrational yet possible fear. The fear of slipping into a state of uncontrollable madness, not being able to come back.

 

Continue reading "The Tell Tale Heart Analysis" »


Hard Times

   The Power of Hard Times

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Tough times never last, but tough people do.

Robert H. Schuller

    History is shaped by hard times. Without them we wouldn’t learn from our mistakes and strive to become better. I have lived a fortunate life, free from many of the struggles that others around the world have unfortunately, have been burdened with. Unfortunately, around the time that I was about to leave third grade, when I was eight I was diagnosed with diabetes. It was a sudden change for me, I was given new technology which I had to learn quickly to get my diabetes under control. I had to learn to count carbs, and I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted anymore. It was punishing at first. There were many nights after eating too much or even not enough that I would have to wake up to fix my my mistakes. Times where I would go so out of range that it hurt or my hands started shaking. It affected my academic, athletic, and social life in a major way. Eventually I started to developer better habits to help make it easier for myself and my family. I found ways to more accurately predict how many carbs I was going to eat, and how to tell how that would affect my blood sugar. This helped me understand the consequences of my actions. If I didn’t take responsibility for my health, I would feel the effects. It also taught me to restraint, and the ability to think ahead by forcing me to know when and what I was going to eat, and that I wouldn’t eat to much of the wrong things. Although some could look at diabetes as purely a step backwards in my health and an unnecessary time of hardship I like to look at it as a lesson, to take care of myself and look on the bright side of life


Thanksgiving post

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Letter To My Loved Ones

 

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Dear all who read or hear this,

 

Thank you. There are many reasons you could be reading this and in writing this I’m aware that I won’t be able to predict who reads this so I’ll leave the most important messages of thanks I have even though I probably have something to thank everyone I’ve met for. First to my parents. Thank you for raising me in a loving household that showed me everything that I could do with my life. You showed me how much you loved me and encouraged me to try my best, even when I failed. Thank you to my friends. The ones who were there for me in my moments of weakness, and were courageous enough to come to me in theirs. The ones who were always ready with a good joke and lighten the mood. You showed me the power of words how they can be used to strengthen bonds and find new family. And finally to the reader (or listener), for sticking through this sappy letter, and knowing that in someway, somehow I thank you.

Sincerely,

Evan Lanzendorf

 


Weekend Post

Treat ‘Yo Self

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Sometimes the best thing you can do is relax

Mark Black

 

Sitting in front of my computer I stare at the screen and smile. My stomach is full of crêpes and I’m playing a relaxing game with my friends. The suns shining in the sky and I’m happy despiste the knowledge that tomorrow is a Monday. The term ended last Friday and life is good. Grades are always a stressful topic but today is the day to forget all that. I worked hard this last term, and today I treat myself. Through the stress and hard work of school I often find myself deprived of sleep, free time and overall motivation so today I take a break to remind myself of the results of hard work. I properly feed myself, I sleep in and I make sure that I have fun. In everyday life hard work is often held as the only thing everyone should think about but I think sometimes it’s good to relax and de-stress before continuing. So as this new term begins and students and teachers alike begin for another grueling time of challenge and pain, I invite all to treat ‘yo self. Have a good time because if you can’t there’s no purpose to work.