Cunningness and Courage in The Odyssey



How Telemachus and The Suitors Show Courage and Cunningness

Telemachus Sets Sail in Book Two

B3EB18AC-72D0-45E7-852D-F4D23F867049”If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.”

-Harry Hoover

There are many examples of courage and cunning in The Odyssey. To start off, Telemechus is being extremely courageous. Athena had challenged Telemachus to go look for his father, so Telemachus rounded up a ship, with plenty of rations. While this was happening, Athena helped out Telemachus by rounding up a crew for the ship. Telemachus was sailing off to Sparta, as well as Sandy Pylos, from Ithaca just to possibly “catch some rumor” about his father’s journey. It takes a lot of courage for Telemachus to want to go look for his father, after Poseidon wants him dead. There is also a lot of cunningness in this book. The suitors are actively trying to convince Telemachus that they like him, and that they are friendly or friends with him, when in reality, they don’t like Telemachus at all. Telemachus finally starts to catch onto the Suitors, when he finds out they are secretly going against him, “Look how my countrymen-the suitors most of all, the pernicious bullies-foil each move I make”. This is an example of Telemachus catching onto their cunningness, and realizing that they aren’t as nice as they seem. 

My Heroic Story

Part of Life 

How it is for Gabe and I sometimes at school

7D5C720A-4290-4929-9263-F37C8BD56EB4Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means you stand alone” -Unknown


As conservatives, we have been raised in a very liberal environment (Massachusetts), and even more specifically, Gabe has been attending Fenn since fourth grade, and I have been attending Fenn since eighth grade, and Fenn is a very liberal school. We are called to our “adventure” because at the beginning of the year, we were silenced in terms of our political beliefs. With this, we stand up our beliefs and the right to have our own opinion. 

Continue reading "My Heroic Story" »

My Heroic Story

Part of Life 

How it is for Gabe and I sometimes at school

7D5C720A-4290-4929-9263-F37C8BD56EB4Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means you stand alone” -Unknown


As conservatives, we have been raised in a very liberal environment (Massachusetts), and even more specifically, Gabe has been attending Fenn since fourth grade, and I have been attending Fenn since eighth grade, and Fenn is a very liberal school. We are called to our “adventure” because at the beginning of the year, we were silenced in terms of our political beliefs. With this, we stand up our beliefs and the right to have our own opinion. 

Continue reading "My Heroic Story" »

Not Just a Game



How One Game Changed My Life


“Fall seven times and stand up eight.”

-Japanese Proverb

By: Will O’Brien




 It was a scorching, moist day in Long Island. June 12th, 2018, my team and I were up by a goal in the championship game, even though we had been outplayed most of the game. The clock for the fourth quarter had just started, and I was matched up with my man on our own GLE. We were beating one of the best clubs in the nation, this is the game that every lacrosse player lives for. I gave our goalie a fist bump, and started to mentally prepare for another quarter in the ninety degree heat. The face off was set, and the other team won it. A fast break was coming, I knew it was my slide, so I went. I hit the kid who had the ball, but he got the pass off, the other attack man threw it down to the open guy, and they scored. It was going to be more of a ballgame than I had thought.

Continue reading "Not Just a Game" »

Topical Essay: O’Brien

Flat Tax

Why a Flat Tax Is the Way of the Future







~Will O’Brien


A flat tax rate percentage is so much more just, simple and effective than any other tax collecting strategy, including the progressive tax rate we have right now. Taxing the rich and taking lots of their money that they worked extremely hard for doesn’t sound fair to me, does it to you? That is exactly what is happening right now. A flat tax rate would not require the poor paying any taxes which would help them back onto their feet. A flat tax is the future economically as well. When reading this essay, you will understand all of the benefits to a flat tax rate, and why it has the potential to change so many families' lives. 


    Imagine you and your family work your asses off for fifty years. You guys work so hard that your family would essentially never have to work again for money. Then you have to pay nearly half of it away in taxes. That is essentially what is happening to some families. To put it simply, it is extremely unjust and downright wrong. Taxing the rich doesn’t make any sense, because somebody had to work super hard for their family to be rich in the first place. Even though there may be some people who are just born into a rich family, someone had to work hard for that money at one point. Of all of the ways to collect taxes, taxing the rich (wealth taxes) is the least desirable. Wealth taxes are inefficient and ineffective because wealth is inherently difficult to measure. Financial assets can be hidden or moved with the click of a mouse nowadays that are very hard to value. About a dozen European countries had a strategy similar to today, in 1990, and it ended up with most abandoning the strategy because it was ineffective and expensive to administer. There are multiple examples like this one about why taxing the rich eventually doesn’t work. 


    The progressive tax rate may be the most complicated tax rate we in America have ever had, a flat tax rate, may be the most simple tax rate that America could ever have. Households would only get one exemption, which would be an allowance based on family size, and then they would pay a low rate on any income above that amount. There would be no more need to worry about reporting dividends, interest, and any other forms of capital income or business income. A flat tax rate would be twice as easy to calculate as a progressive tax rate, or any other form of tax strategy, usually a flat tax rate proposal includes eliminating deductions, and other loopholes that the rich can access much easier than the poor. Heritage argues that all businesses from a pub to a large amazon warehouse, would play by the same rules, companies add up receipts and then subtract their costs, (salaries, expenses for new tools, cost of raw materials). This would then give them their taxable income which would be taxed at the low rate of a flat tax percentage. A flat tax would be so much more simple than any other tax strategy we could even think of, it would put much less stress on the government workers, and much less stress on businesses and families. 


    Many that are in favor of a progressive tax rate, or not in favor of a flat tax rate percentage may argue that a flat tax rate percentage would completely drive the middle class and the poor into the ground. This is just simply untrue. Let’s take an example number such as 40,000. If your household annual income is above 40,000, you have to pay this flat tax percentage which would be roughly 30% of your annual income. If you make under this 40,000, you don’t have to pay any taxes! Or very little. This if anything helps those in poverty up on their feet, and helps them make more money, and not have to worry about paying any of it away to the government through taxes. Add in the fact that if you don’t make a lot of money and are poor, there is a wide variety of government programs that specialize in working with low-income families according to Arnold Ventures. If you think about it in the grand scheme of things, the flat tax rate is helping out multiple classes. The rich aren’t paying nearly half of their money to the government, and the poor who are trying to get back on their feet are being government funded, and are not being taxed. 


    A flat tax is the way of the future. If we as Americans value economic growth, we should really look into a flat tax rate percentage. Many economists believe that the flat tax rate would be ideal for America because our current tax rate is not helping the cause of economic growth. The current tax system causes high rates, discriminatory taxation of saving and investment, reduce growth and practically destroy jobs and lower income. A flat tax would eliminate the impact of damaging taxes altogether, and a flat tax would do this by drastically lowering rates and ending the tax bias against saving and investments. It would boost the economy’s performance. A flat tax would also essentially get rid of sources of conflict between taxpayers and the government. With a flat tax, there would be no more deductions, loopholes, credits, and there would be no more penalizing success and discriminating against citizens on their annual income. The flat tax revolution has been successful before as well. Estonia is lowering their tax rate to keep pace with other nations, it was down to 24 per cent, and in 2007 it dropped to 20 per cent. Lithuania also lowered its 33 per cent flat tax rate to 24 per cent. According to Investopedia, Ukraine, Georgia and Romania all had flat tax rates of 13%, 12%, and 16%. All of these countries saw their economies grow RAPIDLY. With all of the success that countries who have tried a flat tax rate have had, there is no denying that a flat tax rate is the way of the future. 

    In the grand scheme of things, it may take a little while for things to get going with the flat tax rate, but if the US were to adopt it, after we started to get the ball rolling, I know we would do just fine with it. The flat tax rate is truly something that America should look into, as it could change many families' lives for the better, and shape America for a better future. 


Iambic Blank Verse

Changes To Be Made


The fresh new grass glistens under the bright sun

The buds gloom no more as the sun trickles

Fresh rain tickles the stems of new flowers

Truly magical this time of year it is

Mammals frolic and play in the woods

Dogs run and jump in joy as they finally

Are able to go outside in great weather

Rain, shine, rain, shine, that is the way of Spring

Although Spring is first-class, there is one issue

Issue that sweeps across most of the land


While the grass may be green, the air is gray

Gray with insane amounts of dust and fuels

Places may be breathing pristine, fresh air

While most breathe more of a grimy air

Today’s problems exist of more than this

People dying at the hands of others

But air kills more than you may think it does

Issues with lungs, heart, brain, strokes, cancer, blood supply

The kids, the old, the men, the girls, the dogs

Lots of people tortured by this grim air


If we make no changes people will die

Children getting their lungs close to deep fried

How does it feel you must wonder sometimes

It must not feel very good at all

To have your brain crushed by a wall at times

So let's agree to all try and make change 

Let’s all agree to make the world better

Because we are more prime than I so let’s

Focus on the main goal the task at hand

And get the air flowing more smooth and grand


Even with lots of pain and cries there is 

Plenty of joy and love that still exists

Our earth is still loving and fun but that 

Does not change much we must do more to stop 

Bad air which runs the earth as of right now

It starts with lots of change and love we must 

Drive less walk more avoid crackers use fans

Turn off your lights bike more all these things help

We must realize that we are not doing enough

And start to make the change for the better

Exam Metacognition

Preparation is Key 

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”-John Wooden

Will O’Brien

The English exam really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I wasn’t exactly dreading this exam, but I wasn’t too excited for it. I sat down last Saturday morning, a day after the exam prep was posted, and did everything on the list that I could possibly do before the exam. I worked through the comma rule exercises, wrote my literary analysis with Gabe, and worked on my literary reflection. This was probably the worst part of the whole exam, and it wasn’t even that bad! It took me roughly two hours to do the whole thing. When I got to the exam, it was exactly what I expected, relatively easy, with some challenging parts. The worst part of what we had to do today (exam day) was probably the proofread, edit and revise at the end. I think I did alright with it, but there are probably a few things that I am missing. I thought that the sentences prior to the proofread, edit and revise exercise were very easy though.  All in all, the exam was not bad at all if you prepared and studied for it, which I did. I prepared well in advance, studied every single night, and got a good night's sleep, the night before the exam. 

Literary Analysis Reflection for The Old Man and The Sea


Will O’Brien

The Old Man and the Sea

Perseverance and the Old Man




Going on one more round when you don’t think you can, that’s what makes all the difference. -Sylvester Stallone

~Ernest Hemingway


Perseverance is the main quality of winners, winners never quit.The Old Man and the Sea challenged me to analyze the text a lot more when I read, and rethink my life goals. 

Reading The Old Man and the Sea challenged me to think much more about what I read. There were tons of times when reading this book where I didn’t understand what was being said, but by stopping to analyze it, and really think about the meaning behind it, I was able to get a sense of what was going on. It was pretty clear that the old man was persevering to me, as he was stuck out on sea for five days and didn’t give up once. This made me rethink what I wanted to be persevering about in life. I want to pick a goal and just work so hard at it that it is almost impossible to fail, just like the old man worked so hard to survive out at sea that it was nearly impossible for him to fail. I am not going to lie at all, I was not excited to read this book. When Fitz assigned it to us to read, I had heard mixed opinions on it, and when I first started reading, I thought the book was boring and hard to comprehend. After a few chapters, I realized that maybe if I read it with more effort to understand the concepts and vocabulary that it was a more enjoyable book to read.

 Reading The Old Man and the Sea taught me two main things. When in doubt, read with more analysis. After looking up vocabulary definitions and marking up the text, the book became much more understandable, which made it so much more fun to read. Also, never give up and always stay persistent. The old man could have given up multiple times, but odds are, he would be dead if he did. 

After reading the first few chapters, I was thinking that the book was horrible, and that no matter what I learned at the end, it wouldn’t be worth it. But now that I have read it, it was absolutely worth it, because I learned the important theme, never give up and always persevere.