Exam Meta Cognition

Freedom to Waste

 

A week of exams is worth almost twice as much as a regular test. Unlimited things to learn with such a limited time I was forced with a decision. I chose to spend the majority of my time focused on Latin, Global, and Math. Now even though I spend hours practicing for these exams I still get scared just thinking about them. But this didn't leave a lot of time left for English. I have always been pretty good in english and I can write a pretty good essay. The only chunk of time I could find to finish my essay and do the Microworx was Thursday night. Right before the english exam. I realize now that I could have worked on my essay and microworx over the weekend before. How foolish it seems that I spent two days watching Netflix when I could have just spent a couple hours finishing this essay and this would all be so much easier. For next year wherever I land I should try and get as much as I can in the free time given. Because free time is rare and far between.


The Bonds Of Brotherhood

    

Bonds of Brotherhood

No one is ever alone

16FBECE2-8030-4EC2-9A80-858954B2F4A7

Good Brotherhood is the Best Wealth

-A Russian Proverb

 

    When life is distilled to its most basic it gives you more appreciation for what is really important. When Santiago sets out to sea and is without the comforts of land he is forced to think about the basic necessities. He returns home with nothing but the skeleton of a marlin who kept him at sea for five days and the appreciation of the brothers he has around him.

    Santiago, four days into fighting with the marlin, weary and hungry, with senses impaired reflected on the beauty of the fish and the brotherhood between them.

You are killing me, fish, the old man thought. But you have a right to. Never have I seen a greater, or more beautiful, or a calmer or more noble thing than you, brother. [Day Four]

Santiago has respect for the fish. Over the days of fighting with him, he has grown accustomed to the fish tugging, and frequently talks to him. The differences between man and nature became less apparent. Both of them are brothers who live off the sea. 

    The Fish, floating belly up, silvery and still laid out on the ocean. Four days on the sea Santiago with a harpoon in hand began to attach the Marlin to the side of the boat. “I am a tired old man. But I have killed this fish which is my brother and now I must do the slave work.” [Day Five] He respected the fish as a brother and had to honor his life. He couldn’t have succeeded in killing the marlin without developing a sense of empathy to understand his prey. There is Irony in that he couldn’t kill his brother without developing empathy sufficient to understand it.

    Before the sun came into view and after the light began stretching across the sky Santiago took in the world around him. Fish slowing down its tugging for morning rest gave a moment for Santiago to reflect on his solitude.

He looked across the sea and knew how alone he was now. But he could see the prisms in the deep dark water and the line stretching ahead and the strange undulation of the calm. The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked ahead and saw a flight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky over the water, then blurring, then etching again and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea.[Day 3]

It wasn't until he was alone in the conventional sense of the word that he was forced to focus on the few remaining elements that surrounded him: the water, ducks, and sky. it was only then that he found his truest brotherhood in the basic elements that he never appreciated before

    At its core. brotherhood transcends age, and species. Brotherhood is an alliance against the elements. Santiago, a loner by nature, finds brotherhood in the fish, the sea, and his friend Mandolin. All he needs is his brothers to get by. He is content with his friends and what he has. The Old Man and the Sea is a book that will make you reflect upon the value of your relationships. Old Man and the Sea isn't a book for those who aren’t willing to read it again. Hidden beneath the deceptively complex waves of the book is deeper meaning. It forces you to find your own meaning of the story. Rarely have I found a book that the lesson learned is whatever you make of it. While the vocabulary of the book isn't very difficult, the real challenge comes from the depth of the words.  I planned on reading this book spread out across a week. The first day I found myself already done with it. I thought the points in between action would bore me as they do with other books. But with Old Man and the Sea, Santiago’s inner monologue that takes place inbetween the conventional action is what defines the book as it is really about the emotions of the protagonist in between the moments of wrestling with the fish. The subdued pace of these in between moments gives Santiago space to explore his dreams and feelings about life. You get to see his character progress from a one dimensional,  old fisherman who is distant from society to a person with feelings and complex emotions. Brotherhood is a constant theme of Old Man and The Sea. Whether it is brotherhood between him and the boy when he wishes “if the boy were here” or between him and the sea. Santiago illustartes that that support and brotherhood can be found anywhere you look. Alone, tired, and restless, Santiago never felt alone. Three days on the water with no human contact and he never felt alone. He said to himself “no man was ever alone on the sea.” He found brotherhood in the fish around him. And that gave him the motivation to keep going. Like Santiago, I need to find brotherhood in the things around me to help me to persevere through my upcoming exams, school applications, and performances. Old Man and the Sea is a book that necessitates the attention of the reader. It tells a story of brotherhood that transcends age. It tells a story of brotherhood between man and nature. It tells a story that challenges the very idea of brotherhood. It tells a story of an old man and his love for the sea. Throughout the book you are forced to confront the “brothers” in your life and appreciate them for what they do. 




The Bonds Of Brotherhood

    

Bonds of Brotherhood

No one is ever alone

16FBECE2-8030-4EC2-9A80-858954B2F4A7

Good Brotherhood is the Best Wealth

-A Russian Proverb

 

    When life is distilled to its most basic it gives you more appreciation for what is really important. When Santiago sets out to sea and is without the comforts of land he is forced to think about the basic necessities. He returns home with nothing but the skeleton of a marlin who kept him at sea for five days and the appreciation of the brothers he has around him.

    Santiago, four days into fighting with the marlin, weary and hungry, with senses impaired reflected on the beauty of the fish and the brotherhood between them.

You are killing me, fish, the old man thought. But you have a right to. Never have I seen a greater, or more beautiful, or a calmer or more noble thing than you, brother. [Day Four]

Santiago has respect for the fish. Over the days of fighting with him, he has grown accustomed to the fish tugging, and frequently talks to him. The differences between man and nature became less apparent. Both of them are brothers who live off the sea. 

    The Fish, floating belly up, silvery and still laid out on the ocean. Four days on the sea Santiago with a harpoon in hand began to attach the Marlin to the side of the boat. “I am a tired old man. But I have killed this fish which is my brother and now I must do the slave work.” [Day Five] He respected the fish as a brother and had to honor his life. He couldn’t have succeeded in killing the marlin without developing a sense of empathy to understand his prey. There is Irony in that he couldn’t kill his brother without developing empathy sufficient to understand it.

    Before the sun came into view and after the light began stretching across the sky Santiago took in the world around him. Fish slowing down its tugging for morning rest gave a moment for Santiago to reflect on his solitude.

He looked across the sea and knew how alone he was now. But he could see the prisms in the deep dark water and the line stretching ahead and the strange undulation of the calm. The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked ahead and saw a flight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky over the water, then blurring, then etching again and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea.[Day 3]

It wasn't until he was alone in the conventional sense of the word that he was forced to focus on the few remaining elements that surrounded him: the water, ducks, and sky. it was only then that he found his truest brotherhood in the basic elements that he never appreciated before

    At its core. brotherhood transcends age, and species. Brotherhood is an alliance against the elements. Santiago, a loner by nature, finds brotherhood in the fish, the sea, and his friend Mandolin. All he needs is his brothers to get by. He is content with his friends and what he has. The Old Man and the Sea is a book that will make you reflect upon the value of your relationships. Old Man and the Sea isn't a book for those who aren’t willing to read it again. Hidden beneath the deceptively complex waves of the book is deeper meaning. It forces you to find your own meaning of the story. Rarely have I found a book that the lesson learned is whatever you make of it. While the vocabulary of the book isn't very difficult, the real challenge comes from the depth of the words.  I planned on reading this book spread out across a week. The first day I found myself already done with it. I thought the points in between action would bore me as they do with other books. But with Old Man and the Sea, Santiago’s inner monologue that takes place inbetween the conventional action is what defines the book as it is really about the emotions of the protagonist in between the moments of wrestling with the fish. The subdued pace of these in between moments gives Santiago space to explore his dreams and feelings about life. You get to see his character progress from a one dimensional,  old fisherman who is distant from society to a person with feelings and complex emotions. Brotherhood is a constant theme of Old Man and The Sea. Whether it is brotherhood between him and the boy when he wishes “if the boy were here” or between him and the sea. Santiago illustartes that that support and brotherhood can be found anywhere you look. Alone, tired, and restless, Santiago never felt alone. Three days on the water with no human contact and he never felt alone. He said to himself “no man was ever alone on the sea.” He found brotherhood in the fish around him. And that gave him the motivation to keep going. Like Santiago, I need to find brotherhood in the things around me to help me to persevere through my upcoming exams, school applications, and performances. Old Man and the Sea is a book that necessitates the attention of the reader. It tells a story of brotherhood that transcends age. It tells a story of brotherhood between man and nature. It tells a story that challenges the very idea of brotherhood. It tells a story of an old man and his love for the sea. Throughout the book you are forced to confront the “brothers” in your life and appreciate them for what they do. 




School Letters

Dear Admissions Committee,



    To judge someone’s values requires that you have lived long enough and seen enough to know what to look for. As a young high school student I don't have much of this. However throughout my life I have seen what makes the difference between annoying and interesting people. Exercising respect, honesty, and happiness are the hallmarks of the kindest and best friends to have. 

Continue reading "School Letters" »


Thoughts

Stupid world. Stupid time slowing me down from what I want to do. Everything is so slow. Thoughts racing like cars. Noise spreads across the room. Booming voices vibrating vocal cords like a guitar string. The world is music. Everyone is part of a orchestra and everyone has the notes except me. I’m in a play without a script. Fitz looks at me and I stare back. I fall into a void of my own thoughts. Spacing out into space. Nothing but me. All alone. I can't tell if it is heaven or hell. Sometimes all I wish is to be alone but other times i am dying for company. Shit i Fitz is still looking at me. Am I supposed to do something. Heart pumping faster. He looks down at his computer and i relax back into a couch of words. What am I even writing. I am not even thinking about what I’m writing. Not even looking at the ipad or the keyboard. Just looking at my surroundings. Examining everything i see. Will and base being idiots in the corner. My heat raised on the desk. I can't tell if this is more comfortable or less. My body slipping in the chair down in the seat. I sit here paralyzed by writing everything I think and feel and i'm still slipping. I am approaching the edge of the seat. I pull my legs up and lift them off the desk. The clicking and clacking of everyone else writing. Click clack click clack. So unrhythmically it becomes white noise. All I can think about is sleep. Clock ticks. Keyboard clacks. The subtle swing of the guitar hanging on the wall. All is in unison. My mind goes to food. What do I want? What do we have? I hope its good. I hope it will at least be something I want to eat. I hope there are chips. But not the stupid baked lays. I dont want a stupid lunch. Lunch is stupid. Hunger is stupid. The world is stupid.

 


Morning Drive

Take a moment to look around you. And really look at your surroundings. On the drive to school today in the five minutes that it took me to go travel across concord center I focused in on the things I saw. I noticed how the trees drooped down, bending over in the cold morning winds. Fallen leaves dotted on the ground crisp from cold air. Morning Silence before the town wakes up. Momentary peace before responsibility sets in. A roar of cars and commotion as people depart for their lives and set off. Lines of cars full of people all with places to be and things to do. All together waiting behind a slow school bus stoic and unmoving. I noticed peoples emotions towards the morning. My sister’s effervescent joy of a new day. My dad begrudgingly dragged himself to the computer for another day of work. My mom got angry from the dogs barking early in the morning. Taking the time to notice the things around me and not just seeing what I had to see to get by was an eye opening experience. I see that there is more to the morning than just my getting ready. But a whole world of change and vibrant life.

 


Blisters and Brotherhood

Blisters and Brotherhood

 

Challenge on the Charles

Featured-1000x665

Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much

~Hellen Keller

 

All communities are formed around a goal. It’s how they work to achieve that goal that defines their strength and character. 

It is the challenge of rowing on the Charles River that brought us together as a team and as friends. 

 

On the water the only thing keeping you up is your coordination. You have no choice but to bond with your team and work together as individual cogs in the same engine. Whenever I’m rowing I know however hard it is everyone on that boat is going through the same thing. And at the end of the race we tried our best without reservation. 

 

This became clearest on one of the coldest days of September on the Charles river when we set out on the river discovering the power of trust and coordination. 

 

The sun falling from the sky pulled the darkness across the blue expanse overhead. We had been out on the water for over an hour and cold air was setting in. The Coxswain barked orders over the intercom, ordering the boat to turn. My hands were covered in blisters and my fingers were numb to the point of falling off. I could see the stroke seats hands were blue and rigid too. I looked around and saw everyone was cold and miserable. I could see the air from my breath freezing midair. White swans drifted alongside us as we headed back to dock. We made it back to shore and compared the size of our blisters, united in pain and triumph.

 

I realized that rowing alone would have been sheer hell. But I had friends and teammates going through the journey along with me. It didn't matter how hard it was because we were in it together. To learn together. To fail together. And to get better together. 

 

Struggle brings people together. When people are together any experience is more bearable because you bear it together. 




 


The Challenge of Inbetween

~Max Lo

Literary Analysis, 

November, 7, 2021

The Challenge of Inbetween

You only learn from challenge

F830B661-578D-41A9-993C-15EFFD0BA480

Smooth seas do not make for skillful sailors
~An African Proverb



If you try your best and nothing comes of it, have you gained nothing? Does challenge define your character or break it down? Is the cost of your future worth your happiness? Where will you draw the line when your culture is being mocked? What defines a good book: the words or the emotions? Arnold faces each of these dilemmas and finds his own answers in the Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. 

Continue reading "The Challenge of Inbetween" »


Letter To a Friend

Dear Boden

How are you doing? Sorry I didn't have time to finish the game we were playing yesterday. I had to go home because I had a tutoring session for the SSAT. Mine is scheduled for Saturday and I still have some progress to make on my math and verbal section on the test. School has been going well and I have enjoyed all my classes. I have this English teacher named Fitz who is always yodeling and playing guitar. He has ten guitars hanging up on his wall and really comfortable chairs.

    In his English class we have been reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. It has been a really engaging book because of its sarcastic tone. I think you would really like the language and some of the characters of the book. It is about an Indian kid Sherman Alexie who grew up on a reservation. But he leaves the reservation in search of more opportunities and a better future. He leaves for the town nearby where people are racist and mean to him. He goes to the local school there and becomes the boyfriend of the most popular girl at school. He makes the basketball team for his determination and shooting skills.

    This book has gone by quickly as the casual tones and sarcastic nature of Sherman Alexie make reading it enjoyable and a page turner. I would highly recommend it to you because I think you could sympathize with some of the themes in the book. And would like the language used. And the metaphors and Similes that he draws to life are quite interesting.

    One theme that has been common is communication. Sherman Alexie has struggled with talking to people. While he is talking about his lisp and stutter. he feels that when he draws  he can convey what he really wants to say. He say as that,“words are two unpredictable.”He talks about how a picture can be understood  no matter what language you speak. He is saying this to himself and introducing himself to us in the first two chapters. He feels pictures can convey messages better than words. He said, “when you draw a picture, everyone can understand it.”

    He talks about how he thinks that being an artist is the only way he can succeed. This is said at the end of chapter two.  This shows that he believes in his cartoons and the power that they have. He says,“I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.”

    I hope you have a great week. I really recommend this book to you and not only because my English teacher is asking me to write a letter about it. I’ll send you postcards of beautiful landscapes, rivers, Buffalo, and Huge insects. That is a reference to the book. Now you need to read it to get that reference.

Sincerely,

Max Lo

 

 

 


Freedom to Fail

      

    Freedom To Fail

BAE37E6D-FA04-478A-BEC2-1DFFEE31BFB0

The price of greatness is responsibility

- Winston Churchill

 

 

    Freedom. It is the basis of our Country. It is the choice to do what you want. It is going downtown and getting a Ice Cream because it tastes good. But with that freedom also comes the responsibility to make good decisions on your own. Sometimes I think that it might be easier if I just let someone else tell me what to do for everything. But the joy that comes with success is only possible with the errors that we make along the way. I found this out the hard way somewhere in the woods behind my elementary school.

Continue reading "Freedom to Fail" »