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April 2019

Literary Analysis

Thoreau’s View on Money and Work

7D4B6C66-C6FF-4461-96D5-23DE442145E2Money isn't everything. Do you get married because of money? Do you have kids because of money?

- Walter Payton

    Money isn’t everything. Henry David Thoreau believed that life was to precious to work all the time. He wanted only wanted to work as much as he needed. Thoreau writes,“For more than five years I maintained myself thus solely by the labor of my hands, and I found that, by working about six weeks in a year, I could meet all the expenses of living.” He found the concept of work to be set back and that it often slows people down. He said that in a race between a train and a man on foot, a man on foot will always win. He states this because in a race from Concord to Fitchburg a train ticket costs one dollar, which is about as much as a days work. So, instead of working a full day and riding the train later he argues that its faster to just walk. Thoreau writes,

“I start now on foot, and get there before night; I have travelled at that rate by the week together. You will in the meanwhile have earned your fare, and arrive there some time tomorrow, or possibly this evening. Walking may be more tiring and more painful, but instead of wasting money and waiting an extra day you can get there on time without wasting money.”

Thoreau is correct, the man had to get one days work of money to pay for the train ride. By the time he had got the money, Thoreau would already be in Fitchburg. This feeds off of the idea of money isn’t everything. People only need as much as they need to live. People may work hard to pay for a lovely vacation but of course this isn’t necessary. Going back to the first quote, six weeks could pay all of the expenses of living. Money and work can be done quickly and the rest of the time being free. People may choose to work more to buy fancy and cool things but Thoreau knows this aren’t a necessity and those things aren’t part of his lifestyle. Living like Thoreau is not a lifestyle that most will choose but it is a way of living. There is more to life than money and work.

 

 


Power of Place #2

Making Baskets and Connections

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“It is good people who make good places.”
Anna Sewell

    It’s where the morning starts and connection happens. The community at Fenn means a lot to me and other than Ward Hall the New Gym is the hub of our community. Community is central to my life because through community we can make it through helps tough times and celebrate good ones. Back when I was in forth grade, I remember walking into the gym and meeting my big brother, Chewy. I also remember this year meeting my little brother, Chris. Big brother, little brother is a form of connecting students to each other and the community. Some big brothers and little brothers spend their Thursday morning playing basketball or soccer in the gym. When I first met my big brother Chewy I remember being scared to talk to him or have a conversation. I realize now that he was extremely considerate and caring. He always made sure that I was comfortable in the situation I was in. We spent our mornings playing gym soccer. He would always pass me the ball and make sure that I had the chance to score. So, this year (and last year) when I have had a little brother, I have tried to make sure that my little brother is comfortable and having fun. Once we joined a big basketball game and I realized that he wasn’t getting the ball much and didn’t look happy. So, I asked him if he wanted to make a smaller game and he said yes. Big Brother goes to show that the gym can be a great place to get closer to someone through sports and fun. I feel that being in the gym you have a chance to make friends and keep friends just through a game of basketball. The gym isn’t just a place for me, it’s a place where I can have fun and get to know people better. It’s a place where you can learn new things about people. It’s where connection happens and the morning starts.


Journaling about Place

Nature in the Middle of the City

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“Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

- John Muir

    People as far as the eye can see. The grass covered with people standing, sitting and lying down. People playing music, soccer, football, tag you name it. The common is the center of Cambridge and is covered in green and flourishing grass. Anytime I am in Cambridge I walk through the common to get to Harvard Square. When I walk by I see people having fun and playing with their children. Here I am, sitting on a cool bench in the middle of a small city alone. I am here alone with my thoughts. I am surrounded by others but somehow I feel strangely alone. I see little kids playing soccer on little PUG nets. The grass is already fully grown from winter. I can see myself playing soccer when I was little. I look at the statue in the exact middle of all of the common and see the Gettysburg Address. I think of WWFenn, my school, my teachers and my friends. I’m wishing that I wasn’t in the city and I was back in Concord with my friends. I am wishing that I am playing soccer or basketball in my driveway. So I decide to get up and get back to Concord my home. 


Walden Writing Prompt 3

Clothes and Shelter

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Old Clothes Are Better Than New Ones

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. 

- Thoreau 

 

    Life isn’t about the “stuff” it’s about the experience. In the book, Walden, the first chapter “Economy” by Thoreau he writes about how it isn’t about the new clothes or shoes. This piece affected me because I sometimes think the opposite of what he is saying. On occasion, I get focused on the stuff rather than the experience. I get caught up in needing to compare myself to others even though I know I shouldn’t. I feel that Thoreau is trying to convey that humans naturally feel the need to belong and fit in with the right or most trendy clothes. 

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Seasons Haikus

A Set of 16 Haikus

Winter:

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The leaves slowly falling

Hitting the ground

Signs of winter are appearing 

 

Breath is visible

The white snow is cold and fluffy

Winter is hear

 

The bare trees

Shaking in the cold air

Wanting leaves to cover themselves 

 

Long sharpe ice

Hanging from the gutters

Ready to fall on anything that moves

 

Metacognition:

When I think of winter I think of the cold and fluffy snow. I think of sledding and snow day activities. I think of tree being a person and how cold that person would be. My inspiration just came from anything that flowed. Whatever came to my head I would write down and then I would edit to make it better. 

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Walden Writing Prompt 2

Necessities 

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Is Survival Really Living?

“This idea of shared humanity and the connections that we make with one another - that's what, in fact, makes life worth living.”

- Clint Smith

    Thoreau and I agree on the true necessities. He and I believe that necessities are things like food, water and shelter. Thoreau also believes that comforts can be a distraction. He writes, “Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” What he is saying is that so-called comforts are not absolute necessities and that even though they may feel good the luxuries keep us from truly moving forward. When we are too comfortable we are not growing and changing. Putting ourselves in uncomfortable places is how we learn. If we don’t have exactly the food we want or the clothes we want, it gives us a chance to focus on the experience. We do need the necessities to survive but is survival living your life to the fullest? What makes me happy is being connected with my family and friends. The support and learning that happens in my community is what helps me grow. Having strong relationships in my life isn’t a true necessities but I could not imagine living without them. My family and friends support me when I am down, when I need help and in every moment in between. 


Walden Writing Prompt 1

Reflecting on Walden

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A Teenagers Guide to Conformity

“Why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born?”

-Walden

    This is the first essay that I get to write with total freedom to do whatever I want. I am really being forced but school is like that and I have to do it. I’m supposed to be writing about to the first chapter of Walden, Economy. I was hoping for smooth sailing to Graduation but deep down I already knew that the work load wasn’t going to change. I never done this type of writing and I am not very comfortable with it. I am sure that this is not going to be my best writing. I am going to say, not following a rubric like a machine feels great and I feel like I can take this anywhere. A thesis has never been my strength. I don’t like having to condense what i’m going to write about in a sentence. So, my thesis is just going to be that I have to reach 600 words to complete this assignment.

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