What will you remember most from your 8th grade year at Fenn? When you think of yourself in September and you think of yourself today, how have you changed? What are you looking forward to as you think about your 9th grade year, whether that is at Fenn or at your next school?
I can believe that I am done with 8th grade. However, my 5th grade self who saw those giant kids off to high school cannot even imagine me graduating 8th grade in just a few days. This year will probably be remembered more by the coronavirus than what actually happened, but that is okay to me. I have changed into a more confident, intelligent version of myself. Not only through school, but outside of school and things that have happened with my family. I am looking forward to my freshman year of high school, playing soccer, getting smarter, and growing physically and mentally. Thank you to everyone who made this year great!
Morning Walks In The Spring
One foot in front of the other,
Dirt spraying behind you leaving the dust bad vibes in the dust.
The best part of isolated walks in the spring is talking to yourself in your head.
The voice in my head and I are best friends because we always agree!
It’s a beautiful spring day!
First One Up
My favorite mornings are those spring mornings
Where you are the first one up,
There is a warming, but rather brisk feeling in the air
you swing the door open,
Only to find the sun reaching out and shaking your hand to greet you for the day.
The birds are greeting one another with their chirps,
And the entire world is preparing for a beautiful spring day.
You lace up your sneakers
And walk around and enjoy the long awaited sun.
Your plan for the day comes easily in your head,
For your plan will be to stay outside and enjoy this beautiful weather!
I woke early today,
I enjoyed the tweet from the birds
I enjoyed brisk air fueling my lungs
I enjoyed the sun shining upon me,
But yet not giving me complete warmth.
I seem to appreciate the wind—
It keeps a man humble.
Sometimes wind can be so cooling and peaceful,
Yet so often it is frantic and makes one fridgid.
It is a love-hate relationship
The wind will always keep one in check
For one should never over celebrate a success,
Nor should one over morn a loss
The wind will forever keep man-kind in check
Making sure to keep me on my toes
Ready for the unexpected.
That’s life any way, isn’t it?
Topic: Discuss a high and a low moment you've experienced in the past week.
Picking the last 7 days of my life in quarantine, there have been some highs and lows to my week. COVID19 has had an immense impact on every single human being's life right now, whether it is losing a loved one or being bored because nobody can go anywhere. Fortunately for me, I have not lost anyone I know due to COVID, but my entire Fenn spring term of 8th grade has been cancelled and turned into an online school program. That was actually stated on April 21 2020, but I knew it was coming. It has had a sad impact on me. I will miss playing spike ball in the warm weather with my classmates at Fenn, trying out for the varsity tennis team, and simply getting off the bus every day. I am sad that I am missing all of that. Although, as Mr. Star always says, sometimes you just have to deal. And right now, we have to stay inside and stay isolated to defeat this Coronavirus. On a happier note, this week I have been running almost everyday and gaining great fitness. Not only is running good for my body, it is a great way to clear your head especially in times like these. I have gotten all day to spend time with my family, play games, play soccer, workout, etc. I have also used this extended time at home to learn my first “real” guitar song. Although it is frustrating, I have all the time in the world to make mistakes these days. Overall, this time has been miles more hard for me than fun, sometimes in life you just have to deal.
Since the new coronavirus has come upon us there has been millions of cancellations with public events, one of those events being my soccer season. However, my whole soccer season hasn’t been cancelled yet. It has been cancelled until April 30, but is very likely going to be cancelled for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, this season meant a lot to me. Let me give you some background information.
Two and a half years ago, in the fall of 2018 I had begun my first season playing in the ECNL league with FC Stars. ECNL is a tough soccer league which teams play all over the country for immense competition. ECNL (Elite Clubs National League) was a very big step for me in 2018, although well deserved from hard work. My first year playing in the ECNL league (Fall and Spring) was not a great year for me. I was a really good player, although I wasn’t confident and I played extremely conservative when that is not at all the player I am. The second year of ECNL I made the team again, and we got a new coach (Carlos) . At tryouts, I wasn’t really pressured or scared to show myself at all. I can’t really explain why. I played outstandingly at tryouts. Carlos pulled me aside to tell me that I was going to be a big part of his future plans. I was really excited and looking forward to learning his style of play, to keep possession of the ball. Fast forward to the beginning of the Fall season, I had still played with not enough confidence. I was pretty much the same player as last season. Therefore, I started getting a little bit less playing time and wasn’t what Carlos thought I would be. Driving back from New York after finishing our 4th game, I again didn’t play to my full potential, and I got a phone call from Carlos. I will tell you the gist of the conversation. He told me that I am an outstanding player and that he wants to put me in a position that I can be the player I am. We talk and decide that the position I am already in is the right fit for me. So basically, we didn’t gain anything from that conversation. Because none of that was the problem. Confidence was the problem. Throughout that whole season I had gained a small bit of confidence, which is good, because I know it starts with small steps. I finished the season in North Carolina, playing the best game of my life. I was all over the pitch, and me (being the smallest kid on the field) scored a header in that game. That is how hungry I was. I left the season with that in my head. All winter I had trained and thought about what I was going to do in the spring. I wasn’t scared anymore, I was going to show myself. If I made a mistake trying to use my best attributes to help the team, so be it, but I was not going to back down anymore. I was ready. This was the season I needed to gain confidence and be the incredible player I know I am.
Now look what happened. A deadly pandemic has come upon us and cancelled almost my whole season. That has had a hard hit on me. However, in my life I try not to spend too much time looking at the bad things. In quarantine, I train every single day in my backyard, and I am doing my best to get mentally prepared to tear apart the pitch with the games we have left this season.
Teachers, adults, and people of some authority always preach to me how no person is see-through. I feel like I am a pretty basic person, except for this one thing I have. I have my own secret lair that nobody else know about.
I am a book worm, I have loved reading ever since the day I was able to read. Therefore, I spend a lot of time in my public library. I have gotten to know the librarians there very well, and they are extremely comfortable with me being there. I can wander to the attic, to the basement, wherever my heart desires to go. Overtime, I noticed that there is this one book shelf in the attic that the library doesn’t use anymore that seems suspect to me. One grey Saturday in April prior to me picking up my gooey egg and cheese from Dunkin’ I decided to go check this place out. Once I had arrived, I walked right in front of the bookshelf which I had never done before because it has always creeped me out. The door slowly but surely began to creek open. I lunged to my left because it completely spooked me. After it was all the way open, I crept my way through to see if there was anything in there. After some exploring and searching, I found out that through that secret passage was only the rest of the attic, completely empty. The room passed the secret door was about 20X20 feet, so a little bigger than my bedroom.
Fast forwarding about 5 years, this secret lair that I named ‘The Plug’ had become my own man cave, my hideout, my handout spot, whatever you want to call it. I had assembled a tv, a couch, a few bean bags, multiple mini fridges, gaming systems, a 5X5 turf to practice my ground moves with a soccer ball, and finally, a door to the roof of the library.
I spent a lot of my free time in The Plug. I would read there, spend rainy days there, or just chill there. Although, you may be wondering about the door to the roof which I will explain now. This took me about 1 year to fully build because it had to have an advanced lock, be easily accessible, but at the same time still insulate the heat in the building. I only go on the roof when I want to clear my head. It overlooks the city of Brooklyn which is so beautiful when you’re so up high. Sometimes looking that high above the rest of the world can be so beautiful. I have a feeling that I have already described The Plug too much so I’m going to abruptly end it here (can’t unleash too much information to the public).
P.S there are a million public libraries in Brooklyn don’t even try to find this secret lair.
During this unpredictable crisis I have had plenty of time to reflect on my daily emotions and activities. Going back to when we first got let off for our two week March break, I was excited for our break, until I found out the news that all other public schools were closed too. I was not disappointed because they would be getting extra break time, but because I knew that meant that our community was slowly but surely going to shut down. I knew that meant no traveling for me, no hanging out in big groups, and having to change my daily schedule.
In the beginning, I slept in until about 9:30 everyday and went on my phone for about 30 minutes, before I hopped in the shower to clean myself up. For the rest of my daily schedule for about a week, I would spend most of my time playing sports and hanging out with my family. I would mostly play soccer, but tennis and table tennis on occasion too. Other than being on my phone, playing sports, I was either playing video games or just hanging out with my family. In the first week of break when I went out to practice sports I would usually invite friends that would come along to join me. Although, inviting friends to come play with me slowly stopped. My parents didn’t really want me hanging out with other people, and my friends parents had the same expectations for their child. Just about in the middle of the second week is when my parents decided that we would be moving up to our New Hampshire vacation house because it is much more isolated (safe) and enjoyable (bigger). That is where I am to this day typing my first English assignment for out online school program.
Our family is not worried to an extreme point at all. We are so isolated here in New Hampshire, the only time we ever see people is going to the grocery store, and even then we try to stay 6 feet apart from strangers at all times. Although, I do have a sister that has Cystic Fibrosis who is very vulnerable to be unhealthy if she gets the Coronavirus. So that does add stress to our family, but I would rate our stress level overall about the coronavirus a 6.5/10.
The Coronavirus has ruined my soccer season, and the spring term of my 8th grade. That absolutely devastates me, and I don’t go a day without thinking about it. However, this is what we need to do. We need to stay home, stay healthy, and tackle this problem together. So I am completely aggravated by this virus, but as Mr. Star has said to me a million times, “sometimes, you just have to deal.” That is what is keeping my sane through this rough time. That sometimes unexpected things happen, and nobody wants it, but there is nothing we can do about it but get rid of it as soon as possible.
Why does Enzo refer to Eve as his ‘rain?’
As we know, when Denny explained that “that which you manifest is before you”, he used the example of him racing in the rain. Eve is Enzo’s “rain”. Manifest also means create, so what you create is before you. Enzo feels that since he was the first to know about Eve’s sickness, he manifested that, now he has to take care of her. Eve is almost like an obstacle to Enzo as rain is an obstacle to most race car drivers, but Enzo loves Eve, just as Denny loves racing in the rain.
“Did he really believe that, or was he lying to himself?” (60).
Enzo, our narrator was telling asking us if Denny really believed that Eve was too sick and couldn’t think to think to feed Enzo or take him with them. Or did Denny just want to believe that and not want to believe that Eve was very sick? I think that he doesn’t want to think about a future with Eve being sick, he just wants to put it way in the back of his brain so he never has to think about it.
“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 in this novel symbolizes the bad in something or someone. For instance, the zebra could be inside Eve sometimes, when she gets really mad or does something unlike her because of her sickness. The sickness in her is the zebra. For Enzo, the zebra could be ruining Eve, his rain. The zebra is fooling him with him and spending so much energy just to make Enzo mad. The zebra is taking over Eve to a point where Enzo can no longer help eve. That is why Enzo has done crazy things about this zebra and hates it.
Why did Stein include chapter 47? What is its significance? Why have there been so many references to Ayrton Senna throughout the novel?
Stein included chapter 47 because he was using a real life example to Enzo. Ayrton Senna did not have to die. He could have been saved, he could have been helped. Although his soul left his body because it had no more purpose. He could’ve not gone so hard it that race, but he had already served his purpose on this earth. That is the question for Enzo. Has he already served his purpose on this earth? What more does he have to do? He wants to become human in his next life, but he knows he has to serve his purpose on earth first. He regrets not taking care of Eve, but nobody assigned him to that. He tries his best to take care of Zoe, be helpful to Denny, and live an enjoyable life. Stein keeps on bringing up the Ayrton Senna because it is a reminder put in a question. At what point in the book do we know that Enzo has served his purpose on this earth. Maybe Stein put this chapter in the book because Enzo is hurt and he is becoming old and now longer as healthy as he you used to be. Who knows, maybe this question or reference will come up again in the book but next time signaling that Enzo has accomplished his purpose on this earth, and maybe then his soul will leave his body too.
"They left the next morning. Like the last strong autumn wind that rattles the trees until the remaining leaves fall, brief by powerful was their visit, signaling that the season had changed, and soon, life would begin again" (289).
This connects to chapters 52-56 in The Art of Racing in The Rain when Denny’s parents stayed with Danny at his apartment for a few days. The last night his parents were there, his father gave him a giant some of money. Denny was confused how he got this, but his got the money from giving his house to the bank when they died. This quote starts with a ruff good bye, they took action and left right away. It seemed as if Denny’s parents didn’t want to feel the emotion, they didn’t want to see the outcome. Which makes sense because they felt bad they had never done anything for Denny throughout his whole adulthood. Near the end of the quote when a new life may begin means that maybe Zoe would be living again with Denny. That money now lets Denny pay for his apartment, lawyers, food, etc. This could possibly represent a small turning point in the book because now all of Denny’s hard work has payed off.
The Little Things Matter to Accomplish The Big Goal.
“There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.” The Art of Racing in The Rain by Garth Stein is all about a car racer Denny, who goes through multiple challenging family events. After his wife Eve passes away, Eve’s parents fight Denny for his daughter in a custody battle. Our wise narrator Enzo teaches us all about our humanity throughout the whole book only through using actions. Over the course of the novel, Enzo teaches us that keeping a cool head and having trust are important parts of the human experience.
Whether it was an argument with his lawyer, or being kicked out of his wife’s funeral, Denny keeping a cool head has enabled him to triumph in the end. When Eve was getting more ill by the day, she eventually passed away. Shortly after, there was a funeral for all of Eve’s close friends and family. Although as soon as Denny and Enzo arrived, Trish immediately confronted them. After a heated exchange between Trish and Denny, Trish commanded the security guards to get involved. “Punch me if you want,” Denny said. “I won’t fight back” (211). Obviously Denny loved Eve and wanted to be at her funeral, but he would not let Trish, or the security guards mess with his head. Denny is exemplary here of keeping a cool head, and being unselfish to think of his family instead of his own needs. During a trip to north-central Washington with Eve's side of the family, Denny met a girl named Annika. After the vacation was finished, Denny pulled into the driveway after a treacherous drive through the snow with Annika, when they decided she would stay the night with him. Annika took note of how tired and helpless Denny was after the long drive, and she slowly started to take advantage of him. Following days after, Annika blamed Denny to have taken advantage of her, which is also what everyone else heard, including the Twins. “You must have been missing Eve terribly, but to take advantage of a fifteen-year-old girl— Denny abruptly straightened and pulled away from her” (213). Clearly, Trish wanted to get into Denny’s head to try to make him make bad decisions, but Denny completely ignored her by walking away. If Denny retaliated in any way against Trish he would have had to face a consequence, but he was focusing on the bigger picture on how to be with his family in the end instead. While Denny has been able to overcome multiple problems in his life by keeping a cool head under pressure, but he can not accomplish everything without trust.
Along with keeping a cool head under pressure, Denny has demonstrated to never lose trust even when times get hard. There was joy in the air because Eve had just been released to go home from the hospital. Although Denny’s excitement for him to be in the same house with Eve again suddenly dropped. This was because Eve had told Denny that she wanted Zoë and herself to stay at the Twins’s house without Denny. They said it would be better for Eve because the Twins are always home if Eve every needed any assistance, and it would be better for Zoë because these were the last couple months with her mother. “I’ll pack Zoë’s things and come back in the morning, he said, finally, without turning around” (123). At first, Denny was offended that Eve wanted everyone to stay with her except Denny. Although, after he had time to reflect upon it, he realized that he trusted Eve, and he trusted the fact that she wanted the best for everyone. Fast forwarding to near the end of the novel when Denny was feeling empty and sad, Denny was just about to sign a paper that stated the Twins would get partial custody of Zoë. Despite the fact that Enzo always trusted that Denny was making the right decision, Enzo did not agree with Denny’s actions this time. Enzo destroyed the papers, and Denny saw what Enzo was trying to tell him. “Okay, Enzo, Denny said. It’s okay” (267). Enzo was trying to tell Denny to trust himself to take a risk to save his family, and Denny realized he should trust Enzo too. After seeing four examples of how Denny kept a cool head under pressure and trusted others, we can now see how both of them had helped him throughout municipal events in the book.
Throughout the whole story, our narrator Enzo showed us that keeping a cool head under pressure, and having the ability to trust are valuable skills in life. Since the start of Denny’s family problems, Denny has always kept a cool head so he could never be manipulated in any way. In addition, Denny has showed us that when times get hard one has to keep trust with those around him. It is important to have trust because if one does not trust anyone than he will not be trusted either. Keeping a cool head helps to focus on the bigger picture instead of trying to satisfy one's need. Perhaps in the future we should observe more perspective from animals, because they seem to bring out character traits in humans.
After reading all of my writing pieces for The Art of Racing in The Rain I have noticed that I tend to mixup tenses, have lousy topic sentences, and my writing gets a little choppy at times. So far I have polished a bunch of writing skills this year, but for the next half of the year I would like to focus on how tenses work and how to keep a writing in the same tense throughout the whole piece. Also after reading back my writing I realize that my topic sentences don’t really have any hook to them. I would like to have an engaging topic sentence that hooks the reader to read more, but still be plentiful with information. I think I did a good job with this during the exam because I reread it and realized the issue. Sometimes I will explain a scene in three short stubby sentences when I could be using only one. This is especially a good skill to have for upcoming standardized test or applications with a word limit. Overall I am happy with what I have already have learned, but I want to continue to strive to make myself a better writer.
Courage always pays off
I believe that hard work does not always pay off, but being courageous and believing in yourself always will. All of my life I have worked so hard to be the best at soccer. The best on my team, school, town, whatever my goal was at the time. I have given extra hours, extra push-ups, eating an apple instead of cookies, etc. I am going to tell you a part of my life where hard work did not pay off but, courage did. A 6’ 2’’ giant comes along to my league learns how to somewhat control the ball and is now the top scorer in the league. He did not work hard, he does not even care to be better at the game, but now he is better than me. He is just lucky, for now. Instances like this make a chip in a 4’ 10’’ boys brain (me) and mess with his work ethic. That is when I had to be courageous. Anyone could be angry and quit because they will never be big enough or fast enough. Although I had to remember the times where I trained in the rain, I had to remember how good I am, and that the doctor said I might grow this year. I had to have the courage to hope.
Instead of spending any time being sad, when I got destroyed by this kid who is twice my weight, I bounced back faster than he has ever seen. No, I am not fast, no I am not big, but I will bounce back faster than you have ever seen. I have the courage to believe in myself. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. If you spend any time being sad when life pushes you on the ground you start to question your work ethic. You start to question whether the extra hours were worth it, if your dream is just a waste of time. Although if you are courageous and get right back up, it will pay off. One day you will forget why you were thrown on the ground, but you will remember how you came back stronger.
It is sad seeing young athletes quit playing at a high level because it is so mentally tough. Although I know this will not happen to me. I know this because I have been knocked down, and I have learned how much it sucks to be on the ground, therefore I know to get right back up. As everybody will, you will all be knocked down again, but next time, I hope you get right back up.