Final Exam Narrative

My learnings through athletics 

“Colleagues are a wonderful thing-but mentors, that’s where the real work gets done”-Junot Diaz

      All good learning is not done in the classroom. I often look to coaches for support and guidance in life. If I’m having a terrible time, or failing to make plays, or whatever the issue, I can almost always look to a coach for help. If I’m having a awful day, my coaches are always there to talk to; moreover, they will always have my back if I make a mistake and am getting chewed out by whoever when I should be. At no other time in my life was this more apparent than this football season at Fenn. We had amazing coaches, and I knew I could always turn to them for support or help. Actually, I felt I asked my coaches for more help with things going on in my personal life more than for help on technique or to learn a play. Sad, down, and having a complete off day, I knew I could always go to my coaches for help, but one coach in particular, Chris Ryan. Coach Ryan was always the best to do drills with, as we always mixed in the seriousness of football with a little fun here and there. Not only would he boost the quality of all our practices, but also be there if I ever needed someone to talk to. He is the person I feel most comfortable talking about certain issues with outside of family members. It didn’t matter the issue, or the circumstance. I could ask him for help any time of the day and he would always be there for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better coach, especially one that I can relate to so well and one always there to help. I will most likely keep in touch with Coach Ryan for a long time, as he has been a great mentor and role model for me throughout the year.

End of Year Metacognition

What I have learned in my time at Fenn

61F3251F-FB99-41CB-92E9-DB2EA6753C4A“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”-Søren Kierkegaard

       I will admit I went into the school year with an awful attitude. I thought I just wanted to cruise through the year, and that I thought I hated Fenn and just couldn’t wait to get out of here; moreover, when I first walked into Fitz’s room in September, I thought “who the hell is this wacko.” But I have matured, not only as an athlete and a person, but also as a student, especially as a reader and writer thanks to my wise and all-knowing English teacher, or at least so he claims. Looking back on it, I will admit there are a multitude of things I could have done exponentially better, but there are a few things I wouldn’t change at all. I made some awful decisions throughout the course of my roller coaster of a year, but I’ve also made great ones. I had some terrible things go even worse, and made some of the biggest achievements of my life, I think you see where this is going. 

          The fall was amazing for me, I had fairly good grades, I was doing very well in football, and things were pretty good. Looking back on it, just like everything else, there are also some things I most certainly regret about the fall. I had a lot of fun with my friends however, going to Florida for football, reconnecting with friends from last year as school started up again, and just having a good time. But I felt that in the fall, I was more or less going through the motions and not getting enough out of my days. Yes I was getting good grades in school, and yes I was doing very well in football, but I wasn’t really trying to learn anything new or get better, bland success. I really wish I could’ve gone back to try and get just a little more out of this fall. 

        The winter really gave me a kick in the behind. School became much harder, I had SSATs to do well with, and the pressure was on in general. I feel that I really got much more out of this part of the year than any other, and it was a lot harder, I will admit, but in the end I came out on the other side and was extremely satisfied with the results. If I were to go do it all again, I would say that I could have been a better person during this time. I made some mistakes in my personal life really regret and that really brought me down for a long time. Stupid things I completely could have gone without, more than avoidable. But in the end, it all worked out and I’m still here.

         The spring has been the best for me this. While I will admit I did start the spring just as I started the year, bad attitude, not the best person. I just wanted to cruise, not care about anyone but myself and get ready to just leave Fenn in the dust. Looking back on the spring term in this past week, I realized it went a little to fast. With only one week left in school, believe it or not, I actually would like just a little more time at Fenn. I definitely should have reached out to people that I haven’t in the past, and to reconnect with old friends I hadn’t talked to in quite a bit that I really should have. There are a couple kids in our grade that I won’t be going to the same school as next year for the first time in nine or ten years. I wish I could just have a week or two more at Fenn to really end with great memories, but it is not possible unfortunately. 

       I have loved my time at Fenn, I have grown so much in my 5 years here, both mentally and physically, and will come back for a long time. I will definitely leave Fenn feeling accomplished and ready to take on whatever awaits in the world beyond.

Final Exam Literary Analysis

A Story of Maturity


“Confidence comes with maturity, be more accepting of yourself”-Nicole Scherzinger

Maturity can come in many different ways, in the story, Through the Tunnel, by Doris Lessing, Jerry goes through a very big change both mentally and physically. Through his endeavors, Jerry changes his whole mindset about life. He no longer feels compelled to receive the satisfaction of the “older boys”, and feels that to have satisfaction, he must prove himself to himself and not to others that he may be jealous of, a tremendous sign of maturity. She was ready for a battle of wills, but he gave in at once. It was no longer of the least importance to go to the bay.” Jerry feels he needs to prove himself to the other boys in order to belong. He spends many hours training his lungs to be able to make the dangerous journey through the tunnel, often going home with terrible bloody noses and feeling exhausted. That night, his nose bled badly. For hours he had been under water, learning to hold his breath, and now he felt weak and dizzy.” Jerry is craving acceptance so much that he is willing to die for the boys just to give credence to him. He comes to terms with the fact that he is putting his life at great risk all to just fit in with a group of kids he most likely won’t see again in his life. If he did not do it now, he never would. He was trembling with fear that he would not go; and he was trembling with horror at that long, long tunnel under the rock, under the sea.”

He felt he would sink now and drown; he could not swim the few feet back to the rock. Then he was clutching it and pulling himself up on to it. He lay face down, gasping. He could see nothing but a red­veined, clotted dark. His eyes must have burst, he thought; they were full of blood. He tore off his goggles and gout of blood went into the sea. His nose was bleeding, and the blood had filled the goggles. He scooped up handfuls of water from the cool, salty sea, to splash on his face, and did not know whether it was blood or salt water he tasted. After a time, his heart quieted, his eyes cleared, and he sat up. He could see the local boys diving and playing half a mile away. He did not want them. He wanted nothing but to get back home and lie down. [Through the Tunnel, Page XXII]

Jerry realizes that his life will go on, part of the group or not; moreover, he passes the group on his way home after almost dying trying to impress them, and he doesn’t even care that they won’t acknowledge the fact he wants absolutely nothing to do with them. In this story, we saw how Jerry matured so that he no longer craved the attention so much from the boys that he was willing to risk his life for it. He finds it silly that he would try to do something like this and you can tell he is ashamed as he hides it from his mother. He rushed to the bathroom, thinking she must not see his face with bloodstains, or tearstains, on it.” For Jerry, this maturity is very good for him, as you saw what great lengths he would take just to receive attention, which now no longer matters to him.


Spring Poem

Spring is a time for laughing
Spring is a season of happiness
Spring marks the end of a long, dark, and bleak winter
Spring is warm
Spring is my favorite season

Chapter 8 Literary Analysis

By: Elliot Johnson, Edoardo Takacs, and Ben Lisa

Empathy Brings People Together



Empathy begins with understanding life from another person's perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It's all through our own individual prisms.

– Sterling K. Brown


           Only with Empathy will we be able to understand each other, and it was in the book, All Quiet On The Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, where Paul began to feel a sense of empathy towards the soldiers of an opposing country. Paul has been fighting on the front for months now, but he has never met an opposing POW face to face. He has never looked at their face to try and feel his opponent. He realizes he’s not fighting animals, but real human beings “It is strange to see these enemies of ours so close up. They have faces that make one think—honest peasant faces, broad foreheads, broad noses, broad mouths, broad hands, and thick hair.” It was only then when Paul began to feel different about his enemies in general. Not faceless monsters, but real and vivid people. Paul was sent to a training camp after his leave. This camp, was next to a POW camp for Russians. When Paul is set on guard duty, he sees the sad and pitiless men, who stand on the other side of the barbed wire fence. After a while, he begins to feel empathy towards them, since many of them die, “Almost every day one of them dies. I am on guard during the burial. The prisoners saying a chorale, they sing in parts, and it sounds almost as if there were no voices, but an organ far away on the moor.” He decides to make them feel better by giving them something:

I take out my cigarettes, break each one in half and give them to the Russians. They bow to me and then light the cigarettes. Now red points glow in every face. They comfort me; it looks as though there were little windows in dark village cottages saying that behind them are rooms full of peace. [Chapter 8]

Paul has seen so much in the time of the war. None of them have made feel about the enemy, except for sadness, confusion and hate. However, once he sees these men—who aren’t tameless beasts, but who are calm and subtle—he feels empathy, for he feels that are not so different from him. They all left their family behind to fight a war that was fueled by power and greed. Paul realizes that that they are human as is he, so like he treats like humans. With kindness and respect. In Paul’s short time at the camp, he developed a sense of kinship and empathy towards the Russian soldiers, for he realized that they’re human as well. Paul’s experience with the POWs will make it much harder to kill and enemy soldier. That is not a beast, but a human being, with feelings and emotions.

The Power of Friendship

And What it Has Taught Me


Sometimes, our friends are the ones we can turn to for the most comfort. It was my friend I could turn to when seemingly no one else was there for me. When everything seemed so sad; when I was at a terrible and desolate low in my life; and when it felt as if no one was there for me, I found that my friend was one who I could confide in and receive tons of support from. Sad, frustrated, and confused, I had no one to turn but a friend. I had just experienced a massive loss in my life and was having much trouble coping with it. My friends was the one who helped me through the struggle and sadness, guided me when no one else could. I was terrified at the time as in my family it seemed nobody understood and could help but I trusted a friend and in the end, it was a great decision. In choosing my friend as a confidant, I was turning to the one person left, and they helped me get through the extremely emotional time. The one person I needed, the one person I got, my friend.

Chapter Six Literary Reflection

What I learned about reading and the horrors of war

36C01A07-A31D-4854-AB57-DF7248B3D66AThe art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. - Ulysses S. Grant

A work of literature can be terrifying and leave you wondering how scary a book can really get. Chapter 6 in All Quiet on the Western Front really showed me how petrifying a book can be if the author can describe gore in such fantastic but terrible detail. This chapter was very scary in the way the author described all the detail and gore. Every Adjective he used to tell the way all the chunks of flesh flying and people walking around with their heads off made me wonder how I could get so terrified by a book of all things. Making someone fear something that is just words on a page is a terrifically hard thing to do, but I think the author pulled it off really well with this chapter. This book is mainly about war, but this chapter focuses on describing the horrors of war. The chapter starts with them in a dugout being rained on by French artillery shells. When the bombardment finally ceases, the French begin an attack which is effectively snuffed out by the Germans. The scenes described in this chapter are so unbelievably gory and gruesome that you realize only someone who had suffered through these times could describe it in such terrific detail. A good example of this is, “I see one of them, his face upturned, fall into a wire cradle. His body collapses, his hands remain suspended as though he were praying. Then his body drops clean away and only his hands with the stumps of his arms, shot off, now hang in the wire.” Reading this chapter really gave me a new insight on the terrible hardships the soldiers had to go through and the amount of suffering they went through. This chapter also helped me determine that book can be so powerful and so horrifying by just suing some extra thought and detail. This chapter, aside from being written in a spectacular fashion, showed me many things, not only about myself but about how reading can affect my emotions. I really liked this chapter and am eager to continue reading this book.

AQOTWF Chaoter 4 Literary Analysis

A Prominent Theme


“The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it.” - Kalpana Chawla


The best quality for a soldier is durability. In the book, All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, all soldiers—no matter there age—must find it in themselves and within each other to endure the hardships and tragedies of WWI and terrible trench warfare. Paul and his comrades have gone through a lot of pain, both mental and physical. Many of Paul’s comrades may be young, inexperienced in warfare and even in life in general. However, they must dig deep down and find the will to keep pushing through all the agony and torment they experience—once again both mentally and physically. Paul and his comrades are tasked to go to the front to lay down barbed wire, and they do expect to lose some men. After hours of hard labor on the front, they begin to walk towards the lorries(trucks) when all of a sudden the British begin their artillery barrage. Paul and comrades begin to search frantically for protection from the blasts and shrapnel, when suddenly, Paul comes in quite close proximity of a blast: 

The earth bursts before us. It rains clods. I feel a smack. My sleeve is torn away by a splinter. I shut my fist. No pain. Still that does not reassure me: wounds don’t hurt till afterwards. I feel the arm all over. It is grazed but sound. Now a crack on the skull, I begin to lose consciousness. Like lightning the thought comes to me: Don’t faint! I sink down in the black broth and immediately come up to the top again. [All Quiet on the Western Front-Chapter IV]

Paul is almost knocked out by the blast of a bomb, and for a second he himself thought it was all over. However, he finds it in himself to persist, so as to avoid certain death. He shows great determination, a quality which any soldier must strive to embody if he or she wants to just stay alive. He knows that he still wants to return home, not the barracks, but home, we know this because he reflected on the fact that the older soliders/officers have wives, children and jobs, and Paul would like to return to Germany and create a life for himself. We know that Paul and his comrades will suffer through many times; however, if they want to live, they must persevere through these terrible times. Their only way of making it through the unspeakable events of the terrible war alive will be to find more grit and resilience in themselves and each other.



AQOTWF Chapter 3 Socratic Discussion Prepration

This chapter not only raised quite a few questions for me in some of the questionable behaviors between the different soldiers but it also clarified quite few in the themes that are continuing arise as the book develops. In coalition with the great struggles Paul and his team are going through on the front, they now have to deal with new recruits who are much less experience and almost soft. The team also learns that Himelstoss has been sent to the front and are exetremly happy with this news as Himelstoss terrorized them at camp although when looking back on it, there is a sense of thankfulness as Himelstoss prepared them only a little for the terrors that come from the trench fighting which are exponentially worse than the camp and the way in which the men were treated by Corporal Himelstoss. One question I had from this chapter as the characters reflect on Himelstoss’ abusements of power is that does war help to bring out the more primitive man who greatly abuses the power given to him and fuels a fire of hatred in those on who it is being abused? I also can see how the abuse of power can be detrimental to the success of a team if you have a team where coexistence between members is so incredibly important and you have hatred between two team members or more, that hatred could be the most contributing factor to the fall of said team.