Literary Reflection

Rocky Monologue

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You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get up and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Cause if you're willing to go through all the battling you got to go through to get where you want to get, who's got the right to stop you?-Rocky Balboa, Rocky

 

I will always remember the first time I watched Rocky because I hated it. I hated it because I was used to watching movies with happy endings and Rocky lost his big fight in the first movie. Little did I know that it was really one of the best movies ever made. Having watched it at least ten more times since then I have learned to respect the story. The fourth movie will always remain my favorite as it has all of the essential hallmarks of a Rocky movie but enhanced. It has the best punches, the best training montage, and most likely the best theme. A theme of big vs. small and of avenging the death of a close friend. All of the movies are exciting and emotional. When I was scrolling through some website looking for some poem or monologue to use and I saw Rocky, I knew it was the one. At first I was sure that Fitz wouldn’t  allow me to use it because it wasn’t really a recognized piece of literature, but once I read it and watched it, I saw what potential it had to be the perfect monologue for the contest. I think even Fitz was surprised that it really did contain some good content and it sent a great message. In this monologue Rocky is talking to his son. He is explaining to him how he feels his son has lost his way to becoming a great man and that he let other people dictate his confidence and decision making. It is a powerful speech that is the embodiment of tough love. It ends up being the last time Rocky sees his son for decades but he got his point across and although his son seemed mad, it was obvious that he heard what his father had to say and that it would influence him in the coming years as a man. 


Melville Detail

Opening Up

CAA01669-C42D-4DBF-B7BE-7FFE4157F6C1There are certain things in which mediocrity is not to be endured, such as poetry, music, painting, public speaking. - Jean de la Bruyere

 

I have always hated public speaking. It’s not a confidence issue it’s just a nervous feeling that’s unstoppable. I feel nauseas just thinking about it. My senior reflection was the first time that I would ever have to open up to a large crowd about myself. It was so easy to write and practice but it seemed impossible to stand up and talk about something so personal in front of the entire school. The crowd of three hundred was so intimidating no matter how much I knew I had practiced without messing, I was panicking. Then, they all fell silent and there was no escape. There was only one option, to do it and to do it well. After being called up to the stage I nervously trudged to the front and center of the hall. At that moment I realized that I was a senior at a school where I had really found my confidence and I had nothing to worry about. 

The words just flowed out of me, my legs shook the whole time and I hated every second of it, but the effect it had on the school and teachers was possibly my most satisfying accomplishment of my academic career. It felt incredible. So many people came up to me and gave incredibly positive feed back. I felt like I made a change in myself and the community. There have been many times at this school where I have felt like I am just one of 350 students and I don’t really contribute to the community but the talk that I gave had an immediate positive impact. For the first time Fenn could thank me for something rather than me thanking them. 

My senior reflection lifted a massive weight off my back. When I found out how I had effected certain people by the way I acted, I knew something was wrong because that wasn’t me. I’m not a mean person and I knew that I had to continue that message and present it for the school and I am incredibly proud that I did it. 

There have been hundreds of meaningless senior reflections. I can see how tempting it is to just brush it off and talk about something brief and generic, but I feel so much more confident and so much lighter now that I really made an effort on mine. My senior reflection was different and I truly believe that everyone should continue to really open up to the community, because that’s what a reflection is for. 

 


Different is just Different

No Judgments

Writing prompt #1

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"He was; a very sight of sights to see; yet I began to feel myself mysteriously drawn towards him. And those same things that would have repelled most others, they were the very magnets that thus drew me."- Moby Dick, Herman Melville

People handle others who different in all sorts of ways. Personally, when I meet someone who may look or act very different from me, I see it as an opportunity to learn and diversify my relationships. When I go to summer camp, each year I have to get to know new people and deal with them no matter what. Being in a bad relationship with some on a six week canoe trip is maddening and needs to be avoided. Each year I meet my section at the Toronto airport. It’s a time filled with emotions and nervousness. Trying to make good impression on each other but the same time trying understand and decipher each others personalities. I try to be as friendly as possible to people I meet that are very different. This year at camp I met a kid who basically came to camp with a drinking problem. Rather than judging him immediately, I tried to get to know him. He became one of my best camp friends and I recently saw him in New York City over break where he lives. He told me that he knew he had been stupid by drinking he had completely stopped. I never would have became good friends with him if I had judged him for his flaw rather than searched for his upside. Different isn’t always bad. I would never want to only be friends with white, private school, Christian kids that never get into trouble. I would never learn anything from them. Meeting new people and learning how to deal with and befriend them is how all social learning experiences happen. Making judgements are the wrong way tog o about social situations because different I’d just different and nothing else. 


Wise or Ignorant?

Temporary vs. Lasting Happiness

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A true teacher would never tell you what to do. But he would give you the knowledge with which you could decide what would be best for you to do. - Christopher Puke, Sati

Some people seek happiness blindly and don’t mind if they don’t know what else is going on in the world. I am the type of person who always wants to know and always wants to understand. Whether it’s in school, in sports or in the news. I am not the type of person to ignore the important events going on in the world or be ignorant to the pressing issues that could effect humanity. In school I don’t just want to get the answer to a problem I want to know how to get there. Although I may joke about how I only care about grades, I love to learn and I get great satisfaction out of understanding things and and solving problems. Being wise is always better for me than being ignorant. To me somebody who would rather be ignorant is someone who is too lazy or too scared to face real problems that need to be solved. Sometimes if there is an issue people will ignore it and avoid learning more about the issue so they can be happier. However, I feel that ignorant happiness can only be temporary. Issues will always catch up to someone in the end, they can’t be brushed off, because no matter how laid back someone may be, stress is natural and it effects people’s happiness greatly. No successful person has ever gotten to where they are now by ignoring there problems and hoping everything will workout. That is for people who want win the lottery, but higher than 99.9% don’t win the lottery, and if they are ambitious they have to earn their success. Not just avoid problems and hope. Being wise is necessary for eternal happiness. I would never want to be someone who pushes away problems because I love to be productive and I want use my privileged life the best way I can and being ignorant would be an absolute waist of my gifts in life. 

 


The Power of Tradition

Good Morning

by Oscar Patton

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There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why.-William Barclay

For everyone their birthday is one of the best days of the year. In my family we have one special tradition on our birthdays. The morning of a birthday I (or whoever’s birthday it is) get breakfast in bed. The feeling of the whole family walking in and singing an out of tune happy birthday and placing a giant cheesy omelette my lap is a very comforting and pleasant way to wake up. It’s great to be the center of attention, no fights and everyone has to be nice. The whole family focuses on one person who gets to have their special family moment on the day that they were born. After eating whoever’s birthday it is gets to open one big present, since I know it’s coming there is lots of anticipation about what I might get the night before my birthday. I remember on my eleventh birthday when I learned that I would be traveling with my mom and dad on one of my dads business trips to Barcelona and I totally lost it, I was so excited. It was like no present I had ever received before, I had never been out of the country before. It’s always an incredible way to start off a day that I’ve been looking forward to the entire year. Not many people are as lucky as I am and can not afford to have such an elaborate birthday experience. I try not to feel guilty on my birthday, but sometimes it’s hard knowing how lucky I am and how I haven’t really done anything to deserve it. Aside from the guilt, I do really enjoy how family oriented this tradition is. Everyone else in the family wakes up early just to prepare a special meal. I get to wake up to my family just sitting around me and being nice and I love it. Traditions are a big part of what makes family unique. Without tradition most families would celebrate everything the same and the point of a birthday is to have one day to feel special.


A Child's Christmas in Wales Literary Analysis Essay

Jumbled Memorie

A Little Boy

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Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling. -Edna Ferber

In literature, there is truly nothing more charming than a talented writer describing childhood memories. In the short story A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, he describes his jumbled memories of Christmas in wales with incredible detail and poetic essence. Thomas uses such advanced language and detail to describe such childish thoughts, the reader can’t help but smile. Thomas uses perfect figurative language to describe his festive childhood memories. 

The style of writing perfectly shows the way his memories are jumbled and distorted but still keep their childishness. When he describes his memory of a house fire, he describes it with cheerfulness, because a child would think of it as a cool opportunity to pretend be firefighters, or be heroes, but not as a real, potentially life-threatening problem. 

"Call the fire brigade," cried Mrs. Prothero as she beat the gong. "There won't be there," said Mr. Prothero, "it's Christmas." There was no fire to be seen, only clouds of smoke and Mr. Prothero standing in the middle of them, waving his slipper as though he were conducting.

"Do something," he said. And we threw all our snowballs into the smoke - I think we missed Mr. Prothero - and ran out of the house to the telephone box

"Let's call the police as well," Jim said. "And the ambulance." "And Ernie Jenkins, he likes fires.

The two children did end up calling the police, but the dialogue in this excerpt is definitely funny. The way they talk about a wacky friend they have who likes fires before they even call the police is hard not chuckle at. It truly is the perfect description of what little boys are like. This was one of the best pieces of writing I have ever heard, the detail and vocabulary was admirable. It’s a simple story but it tells so much at the same time. Thomas perfectly describes his jumbled Christmas memories as a child with a balanced mix of charm, imagination, and humor. 

Many different writing styles can be effective. Having just learned about all sorts of different description and sentence building writing techniques, the way Dylan Thomas flawlessly displayed how they should be used really resonated with me. His muscular verbs, similes, and metaphors were truly impressive. It is like no writing I have ever seen before, it’s a beautifully written short story. Not only is it a pleasant story, but it is also perfectly detailed story. At the beginning of the story, as Thomas sets the theme of the story, he describes how he and his friend, Jim used to throw snow balls at cats for fun. His use of metaphors, similes, and muscular verbs really enhances the memory:

Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared.

He goes on for the rest of the story to have long detailed sentences like this one. The sentences are so unique and full that no matter how long they are they never sound like run-on sentences. Thomas has a unique style of writing that is entertaining and impressive. If given the opportunity I would surely read more books and short stories by Dylan Thomas. 

The techniques and detail that went into this piece of writing are impeccable and Dylan Thomas is a truly talented writer who deserve to be read by all. 

 


A Waste of Time

Procrastination

 

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Procrastination is the thief of time-Edward Young

Time is precious, many take it for granted and don’t use it well. A lot of people procrastinate. I used to procrastinate all the time but I soon learned how much of a waste of time it really is. Ever since I stopped procrastinating and wasting time for no reason but to put of work, I have been less stressed, more successful in school, and happier. I get my homework do right away and the next night I have less and I have time to watch sports. My weekends are more free, so I can do what I want and everything is better. Procrastinating is a habit that people get into and it’s hard to break, however, once that habit is broken everything ends up being much happier and less stressful. Some people can get by with procrastination but the people who can’t have to be mature and know themselves well enough to to break the habit. I feel bad for those people who get caught in a cycle of procrastination because I can relate and I know how hard it is. It’s also fun to be the only one of my friends to be done with a project or an assignment because I kind of enjoy watching others scramble for help at the last minute, even though I do feel a little bad and I try to help as much as I can, I can’t lie about how I honestly enjoy it sometimes. Getting work done is important, and being organized and efficient are keys for success which is the ultimate goal.  Procrastination is like an addiction, people know they shouldn’t continue doing it but they can’t help it.


What I am Thankful For

Giving Thanks

 

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When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. - Tecumseh

Doctors have arguably the most important jobs in the world, but there aren’t always enough doctors for everyone. My doctor is named Dr. Misra, and without her, I could have serious health problems. I have a genetic disorder called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 (MEN1 for short). MEN1 gives those affected by it tumors on the pituitary gland, pancreas and parathyroids. Most of these tumors are benign, but some can be harmful. For example: my Mom had much of her pancreas removed and my Sister had most of her parathyroids removed because they had a tumor on them producing too much calcium which can potentially cause kidney stones. I will most likely have to get both of the procedures done as well. Dr. Misra is an endocrinologist, she runs tests on us like MRI's, blood tests and urine samples. These are normally a huge hassle because my siblings and I have to wake up really early to go into Boston for all different types of check-ups and tests, but I know how important it is to keep the doctors up to date on our condition. Without these essential visits the MEN1 could be life threatening. She also told us that there is a fifty percent chance that it gets passed on to our children so it was pretty unlucky that all three of us got it when only my Mom has it. Although this disorder is extremely rare I can’t imagine what it would be like if someone didn’t have good health insurance and couldn’t treat it. I’m extremely thankful that my Dad works so hard and long every day so that we afford such great health insurance. I’m extremely lucky to have parents who are so knowledgable and hardworking. With so many people who care and look out for me this disease can be just a few surgeries and a lot of visits to the Doctor, and I am so thankful that I have those people in my life. 


Power of Hardship

Power of Hardship

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Injuries give you perspective. They teach you to cherish the moments that I might have taken for granted before. -Ali Krieger

Many people have dreams and passions, however most people find their real passions when they are forced to open up there minds to new possibilities. When I was smaller, I always though that I would be some sort of professional athelete. I have had many injuries which have taken sports away for short periods of time and it has been hard for me to find other things, but most of these setbacks haven’t been serious. Each time I’ve been able to focus on school and other things more than usual. At the beginning of my summer after fourth grade I started feeling a little bit of back pain. At first I thought nothing of it, it took until October for me to realize it’s severity. I would come home crying because I couldn’t walk with a searing pain in my lower back. I got an MRI and prepared for the worst. I can still remember the devastation I felt when the doctor told me that I had a double stress fracture in my lowest vertebrae. I still remember not being able to wear the back brace for more than fifteen minutes because I couldn’t breath, they wanted me to wear it for four months, no sports for six weeks was like an eternity for me as an energetic fifth grader, just sitting and watching the football and soccer games from the sidelines longing to play. I began to find new hobbies, I discovered how much I loved listening to music and would sing on the couch for hours. I discovered a new passion for writing and it soon became my favorite subject in school. The whole injury was a disaster but I ended up learning a lot about myself which has made me a better and more well rounded person today. Without that injury I wouldn’t be as happy in school, it was definitely not a positive experience but I’m glad I was able to come out of it with some positive takeaways  

 

 


Power of Place

A Home Away From Home

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There's the right way, the wrong way, and there's the Keewaydin way- someone who went to Keewaydin 

Many People love things that others can’t understand. I spend my summers paddling across massive likes and doing hard work, and I love it. It's more than just paddling and working though, it’s way of life away from civilization and technology. Everything I eat, everywhere I sleep and every where I go is completely determined by my own work. I make my own food, pitch my own tent and steer my own boat. It’s all man powered. This year we paddled around the serene Canadian lakes for 40 days until the day for paddle-in finally came. Paddle-in is a day where every section that has been out on trips the whole summer comes back to the base camp where all of the cabins and platform tents are. It’s a highlight of the summer for everyone, all the campers paddle with fresh clean clothes and many parents are waiting at the dock. For many this is the first time they have seen their parents in almost six weeks. The feeling of accomplishment on this day is incredible.  After almost all of the sections paddle in, there is just one left, Section A, a group of seventeen and eighteen year olds who canoe all the way to Hudson Bay, a trip that matches the distance between New Orleans and New York, all in a canoe. As they paddled across the clear lake everyone was dead silent, when they pulled up the silence stayed, when they had unloaded all of their food and clothes from the canvas canoe the crowd of nearly three-hundred erupts and passionate hugs and tears ensued. It was truly an incredible moment. Keewaydin is second home for me, a hiatus from civilization, full of satisfaction and hard work. Some may frown upon it, but for me there is no place I would rather spend my summers