Leader of the Pack

Matthew Nicholas
Freshman English
The Call of the Wild Analysis

Perseverance on the Sled Trail


“He was beaten (he knew that); but he was not broken”
-(Chapter I, Call of the Wild By Jack London)

    Buck rushed in and at the last moment came low to the ground and crunched down on the snow white left fore leg. Again Buck rushed and took out Spitz’s right fore leg. While Spitz was in agony he struggled to keep up. Spitz looked around and saw the hungry circle of dogs closing in on him. The tongues of the dogs were out and the teeth were showing like they were ready to bite. Buck finally takes down his rival Spitz in a fight to the death that required great patience and determination. In the book, The Call of the Wild, Buck is a sled dog who came from domestic upbringing. Buck would not give up even when it seemed impossible that he would succeed. He developed determination and resilience in situations such as the fight with Spitz and the killing of the moose. Buck was born a domesticated dog but through his journey as a sled dog he gets in touch with his wild dog roots which include the trait to preserve and be a leader.


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The Power of Passion


Surfing in Nicaragua


“You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.”

-Sabrina Bryan

    Passion gives one the drive to learn and persevere. My passion of surfing made me want to get better and to stick with it even when I fell off the board again and again. My family decided to go on a Christmas vacation in Nicaragua three years ago. We were excited that one of the main activities was surfing. Our family has tried surfing in Nantucket but the waves were small and the water was freezing. We decided we wanted to try learn how to surf and we needed at least 5 days in row to get the technique down. When we got to Nicaragua, the first few days the lessons were in the late morning and early afternoon. The water was warm and the waves were good due to the tides and weather. The last two days we had to get up early to be able to surf. On the final day, we had to get up before sunrise in order to have any waves due to the tidal shift and our flight home. It was dark and cold before the sun came up. However, I didn’t care because I wanted to surf as much as I could. I was starting to get long rides and my instructor, Riley, was letting me use his small board for doing tricks. I still remember that morning and the sun coming up as we paddled out to the surf break. I couldn’t have gotten out of bed early on vacation for anything less that my passion, surfing. When I was on my board there were times that I got discouraged. Yet I loved the feeling of riding the waves when I got it right. In the end, my passion for surfing was what made me want to continue in the tough times.

Camp Belknap Trip

 Stepping Up


“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” 

-Harold S. Geneen

    Buck and I pushed off our team’s duct taped covered cardboard vessel covered from the starting line and into the water. It was a race around the first mooring and back to the beach. The boat had two pool noodles cut into six pieces on the bottom to keep it afloat. Almost immediately the boats were soaked, soggy and sinking. The captains, Tucker and Peter, were out of the boats and pulling them through the shallow water. The captains were neck and neck but Peter turned and went to the wrong beach so Tucker won. Our team was on the beach cheering like crazy when Tucker won. The experience of building and racing the cardboard boat as a team helped us learn that the secret to our big win was valuing the strengths that each member of the team brought to the activity. Throughout my time at Belknap, I realized that for our ninth grade year to be successful we had to lean on each other, step up as leaders and be good friends.


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A Boy and His Boat

My Daily Sailing Routine


“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.”

- John F. Kennedy     

         The waves in Buzzards Bay are crashing over the bow, while water is dripping down my face I am yelling “get on the trap!” to my crew. I am holding on to the main sheet in my left hand and the tiller in my right hand. I glance up at the tell tails which indicate the wind direction and I make slight adjustments for the shift in wind direction. Our sails fill with wind and we surge passed the boat next to us. I feel the excitement of being in my first regatta in a 420. This was the time for me to put all of my hard work together to compete. Yet racing was only part of why I loved my summer sailing class.


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