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I’ve grown so much as a writer this year. I remember walking into my first day of class, nervous and unsure of what to expect. It was my ninth grade year, and I had no idea what that meant. Little did I know how much I would change over the course of only a couple months.
A walk with the trees
“There is a wilderness we walk alone, However well-companioned”
At the start of this year we were given an assignment. It was a short writing blurb that we had to write before school started; the catch was that we had to go into nature and write about it. Today, I did the same thing, but on a bigger scale.
I started off by walking down the street. There’s a small trail that peaks out from the side of the road, very easy to pass by. I’d never really been there, even if it’s so close, I never really had a reason for taking a short walk. After only about a minute, I got there. There was an old map box with the trail route inside. I took a quick picture and dove in.
“Self Reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things – then better yourself.”
All you are is your mind and your body. The body is easy enough to understand, but the mind is something that can never be fully deconstructed. That leaves the question: “how do you begin to understand the mind?” That’s where the power of reflection comes in. Reflection is a broad term, and it can be used in many different ways. It can be difficult to really reflect on yourself, because in a way, you never know who you truly are, but at it’s best, reflection can help you build a standard of moral principles that will guide your life and be more in touch with yourself. In Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, the whole book is basically one big reflection on Thoreau’s life and how he sees the world. Thoreau shares his opinions on life itself, which, in turn, ignites the reader’s own mind with existential questions.
“Running is alone time that lets my brain unspool the tangles that build up over days”
The monotonous pounding of my feet against the pavement can still be heard over the soft music playing in my ear. As my running shoes battle the pavement my mind is finally able to retreat. It swims through the woods around me, taking in each subtle breeze.
It’s strange that I have to exhaust myself when I get tired. Today dragged on slowly, each class minutes morphed into hours, all the while I felt the energy sapping from my body like syrup from the maple tree. There’s something so unique about nothing that takes everything from you.
“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.”
―Clarence Budington Kelland
My dad and I stand behind a crowd of what must be 10,000 people. They’re all waiting to get into the same event, and we had just arrived. It was around midday, the sun was shining over Boston, illuminating the warm spring day. We were tightly packed among a crowd of people, some talking, some not, but the buzz of the chatter was nevertheless filling the air. I looked at my dad, prepared for the long haul. There was still another solid 30 minutes of waiting ahead of us, so I took a deep breath and mentally prepared myself. My dad, on the other hand, was already scouting ahead of where we were. He grabs me and we start heading in a different direction. It’s hard to tell which line is which in the sea of bodies, brightly colored in all sorts of clothes, but it seems like he knows exactly where he’s going. I’m following behind, incredibly uncomfortable, only able to move because of the way he’s cut through people like a ship through water. We squeeze into a place I hadn’t even seen, the line in much shorter, and in the span of five minutes, we’re in. It’s like magic. If there’s one thing I really know about my dad, it’s that he hates lines. Whenever we go to a museum or amusement park, he’ll always find the shortest way to do things, but never without dragging me and my family along with him. He does that a lot, pushes me through discomfort, and although I hate it, we ultimately get a better outcome. My dad can be annoying sometimes, but in the end, the only way he’s pushing me in the right direction.
How I learned to push myself
“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”
Packed in a spray-painted box with the other nine runners, we waited for the gunshot. Crack! With the other hundred runners, I prepared to pull myself through the hardest race I’d ever have to run. When I first arrived at Roxbury Latin with my nine other teammates who I had spent the season with. We were greeted by an intimidating swarm of people. We walked our way onto the wide field, prepared to do warm ups. We ran up and down the field doing butt-kicks to bounds, stretching our muscles for the most competitive meet of the season. We talked with Mr. Duane; one of the reasons I was so nervous for the meet was because the last time we were here, he pegged me as the hill runner. In reality, the last time I walked the first part of the hill and ran up it later. “This is a really good meet for you, you did super well last time, especially with the hill.” Mr. Duane reminds me. “Heh, yeah.” I chuckle nervously. Finally an air horn sounds. “FIVE MINUTES‘ TIL THE BOYS RACE!” the race official bellows. I walk with my team, chatting nervously, “yeah, I’m so pumped.” I say ironically to Colby.
“Memories of childhood were the dreams that stayed with you after you woke.”
Soft, frozen raindrops flutter down like confetti, filling the fields and streets with blankets of frost. Christmas time returns again, the joy returns slowly, gradually building with the excitement of the holidays. Christmas is an important time for anyone, young or old. In A Child’s Christmas in Wales, the author, Dylan Thomas, recollects his experiences as a child around Christmas time. His hazy, yet clear memories weave the story into a stream of childhood joy that he experienced. It captures two major themes in the short story, the joy of memory and the wonder of childhood and describes them in distinct and interesting sentences.
The Odyssey was unlike any other book I’ve read. The other class started the book before us and told me how strange the writing style was. I was nervous going into it, nervous that I wouldn’t understand anything. The first line I read I was confused, but eventually the confusion lifted. Instead of a jumble of English words that seemed to have meaning sentences became clear, although foreign.
Lessons from a classic
“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what is has to say.”
Telemachus walks through streets he doesn’t know, in a town he’s never been in, in hope of food and drink. This is his first time away from home in his twenty years of life. He’s had to use all of his courage to get this far. He hopes to find his father, someone he’s never met. The only reason he is able to do this is because of the gods, because while he feel like it’s all up to him, Athena is just a few feet beside him, disguised as a fellow ship mate. Telemachus demonstrates the three major themes in the first twelve books of The Odyssey. The power of the Gods; the importance of taking control of your own life; hospitality in the ancient world.