The Power of Hard Times

 

Getting Cut

 

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Be thankful for the hard times, for they have made you”

Leonardo DiCaprio

 

 

Hard times can either hurt you or help you. Looking back on my life hard times have always impacted me in positive ways. No matter how bad the situation is there is always good somewhere. Finding that good is the hard part. I experienced the feeling of not being good enough in fifth grade. My first year of club hockey  was exiting and new, but seeing it all come to an end so quickly was hard. When I was given the news that I had been cut from my team I was devastated. I walked into my house to silence. I had tons of energy coming from a day in Boston with my friends, and was exited to finally be home. I could tell by the tone in the house that something was wrong. My dad sat me down at the dinner table and gave me the news that I had been cut. This hurt me at first, but I knew that I would be able to get past it. About an hour after I get the news I realized that I needed to find a new team. One of my old hockey teammates played for a team called the New England Edge. Although this team was not ideal at all, it was one of the only teams that had not had tryouts yet. I ended up playing for the Edge having some of the most fun playing hockey in my life. Getting cut from my hockey team forced me to get better, and taught me many lessons to help me in my life. I was able to find the good in a bad situation


The Power of Place

My Comfert Place 

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“It’s nice finding that place where you can go and just relax”

Moisis Areias

 

          Your surroundings shape your thoughts, feelings and actions. Having a place to go when I am tired, happy, or sad has helped me throughout my life. I have live in many houses each one different from the rest. No matter the house my room has always been my place. When I moved from Acton to Concord in 2016, I was happy and nervous. My family had been planning on moving to Concord for around a year so I knew it was coming. I had been looking forward to the move since my family started talking about it. The only thing holding me back was never being able to be in my room again. The day finally came. I walked into what would be my new room pleasantly  surprised. My new room felt the exact same as my last. It did not take long for this house to really feel like my home, and once it did my room became my place. It was a place I can go when I am tired, happy, or sad. Place impacts what you say, do and think. Having a place where you can go and know exactly what will happen will help you through life. Times will come in your life where all you need is a space to think. My room has consistently been my place for thinking, and relaxing. My room is always the same, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Having a place to go where you have the freedom to do whatever will change your life.


The Power Of Passion

My Passion For Hockey

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“It’s a great day for hockey”

Bob Johnson

          Do what you love, love what you do. Playing hockey takes many sacrifices, but I am always willing to take them. Waking up at five in the morning is something that no one wants to do. Being passionate about what it is that you are waking up for changes everything. The first year of hockey is where the most sacrifices are made. Since you are younger it is assumed that you want to wake up early, but for most, this is far from the truth. When I started hockey in third grade I loved getting to the rink early. My dad walked into my room half asleep. The second I heard his voice I was up. Ready to go for yet another Sunday morning practice. The short drive to the rink felt like nothing. Once I hit the ice there was no place I would rather be. I was a kid doing what he loves. My passion for hockey has stuck with me to this day. Although I no longer have practices first thing in the morning, I am still always wanting to skate. Having a passion for anything will help you through the ups and downs of life. Passion teaches you to work hard and set goals. Finding something that you are passionate about will change your life.


The Power Of Family

 

      How Family Shapes Who You Are

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 “The most important thing in the world is family and love”

John Wooden 

          

          Family shapes who you are. If it weren’t for my family I would not be the person I am today. Growing up in a family surrounded by hard work, it only makes sense that I would follow in those footsteps. I have countless memories of my family’s hard work throughout my years. I have been constantly provided with new opportunities, and experiences all sprouting from hard work. My thirteenth birthday party was some of the most fun I have ever had. I was struggling to think of what to do for a party when my dad brought up the Dunkin Donuts factory. He said that I could bring a few friends on a tour through the entire factory. My friends and I walked through the large metal doors. A baker greeted us before the short tour begun. Conveyor belts, pools of grease, but most importantly, more donuts then you can imagine. I chose to spend my thirteenth birthday touring the place where the donuts are made for all of my dads stores. Not only was it a great experience for everyone, it allowed me to see all of the countless hours my dad has put into his work to become successful. Parents carve a path for their children to follow. If it weren’t for my family I would not be the person I am today.

 

 


Call Of The Wild

Adaptation  and the Impact of People

 

That club was a revelation. It was his introduction to the reign of primitive law, and he met the introduction halfway. 

                                          [Chapter 1, London]

 

           Buck jumps furiously at “the man in the red sweater” only to be knocked back to the ground. Again, again and again continuously being hit back. The club started to hit harder, but the anger was overriding it. Buck would do anything to get at this man. The pain was starting to slow Buck down, but he didn’t stop. The last blow hit him hard, he sat back with the realization that he was no longer a domestic dog. In The Call Of The Wild, Buck is placed around many different people which forces him to constantly adapt in order to survive. Reading the novella was not the easiest experience of my life, but looking back, it was worth it.

            Adapt or die. In The Call Of The Wild, Buck needs to adapt to his surroundings in order to survive in the harsh environment of the Yukon. At the start of the story, Buck is a domesticated dog. Once he is sold to the Canadians he is forced to either realize that he is now a sled dog, or die. At the camps food is scarce for the dogs, so many resort to theft. Buck begins to adapt to eat quickly so the other dogs do not take his food. Since Buck was eating so quickly, he was forced into a state of severe hunger. Buck needed to find some way to deal with the hunger. The easiest option being theft. Buck begins to steal from Franços and Perrault.    

 

This first theft marked Buck as fit to survive in the hostile Northland environment. It marked his adaptability, his capacity to adjust himself to changing conditions, the lack of which would have meant swift and terrible death. It marked, further, the decay or going to pieces of his moral nature, a vain thing and a handicap in the ruthless struggle for existence.”

                                                               [Chapter 2, London]

 

Buck’s need to adapt starts with the realization that he is now a sled dog. At first Buck refuses to adapt. When Buck is taken he is furious at everyone and everything, but that all changes when he is met by “The Man In The Red Sweater”.  Buck is continuously beaten until he stops attacking. Those who do not stop die. This scene proves that those who refuse to adapt will die. Buck is constantly adapting throughout the novella. He goes from a domesticated dog to a sled dog, and from a sled dog to a wild wolf. As Bucks titles change, he changes with them.

 

            The people that are around you impact your actions. Buck is dependent on the people around him. Buck is placed around four main human characters. First Judge Miller, then Franços and Perrault, and lastly John Thornton. These characters all impact Buck in their own way. Judge Miller treats Buck as a prized guard dog. “The man in the red sweater” teaches Buck that he is either going to be a sled dog or be killed. Franços and Perrault are two experienced sled drivers that shape Buck into a leader. John Thornton treats Buck with love, leading Buck to become loyal to him. Hal is furious with his group of five exhausted dogs. Buck feels as if there is nothing he can do but collapse. As he falls to the ground Hal screams in anger. Despite Hal’s words Buck does not budge. Hal walks over to Buck and begins beat him until he is barley alive. As Buck is taking his last breaths  John’s Thronton runs over to save him.  Thornton defends Buck forcing Hal to go on without him. As Hal leaves the ice below him breaks leaving him dead. Soon after Hal dies Buck reflects on what Thronton has done for him.

 

Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time. This he had never experienced at Judge Miller's down in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. With the Judge's sons, hunting and tramping, it had been a working partnership; with the Judge's grandsons, a sort of pompous guardianship; and with the Judge himself, a stately and dignified friendship. But love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness, it had taken John Thornton to arouse.”

                                                                   [Chapter 4, London]

 

London makes it clear from the start that people impact Buck. Buck’s entire journey is sparked by him being sold to the Canadian Government. As the novella progresses Buck grows as a leader. This is all because of the people surrounding him. The people in charge of Buck constantly change throughout the novella. As the people change Buck changes. People change lives. 

 

             The Call Of The Wild was a challenging read, but contained great life lessons. Since the novella was published in 1903 it is full of outdated vocabulary. At first the vocabulary is very difficult, but as you read more and more it starts to become easier. Also The Call Of The Wild has some very complex themes. This novella can be read one of two ways. The first way is to read quickly for pleasure. Reading this way many import themes will be missed, and the story will not stick with you. The second way to read this novella is to read slowly and carefully. This way you will pick up on all of the important themes, and have a meaningful takeaway form the story. I felt that the novella was interesting at most points, but bored me at others. The points in the story that had me hooked were the action scenes, and the scenes that made me look back and think. The build up to Spitz and Buck’s fight was so dramatic that any reader would be interested. The scene were Buck is continuously hit by the man in the read sweater made me look back, and reflect on what had just happened. I also think that the way Jack London writes can be very boring. His tendencies to drag out certain scenes, and overly describe what is going on can be boring. Although reading the novella was at times boring, and challenging,  I am glad that I read it 

 

 

           Buck is constantly forced to adapt to his surroundings; the people around Buck impact his actions, and this novella constantly challenged me to actively read and look back on the literature. 


The Impact Of Poeple

How Buck Is Changed By The People Around Him 

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Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.

Kinky Friedman 

 

 

            The people that are around you effect your actions. In the novella, The Call Of The Wild by Jack London the main character Buck is placed around three main humans. This novella placed me inside of Buck as he went through these changes. When Buck was living with Judge Miller, the author makes it clear that Buck is a laid back dog. As the novella progresses you can feel Buck grow as a leader, and in the final stages of the novella you can feel the love that Buck is given. I feel that the author is trying to show Buck’s progression from a house dog to a wild wolf. This relates back to the people that influence Buck. If Buck was never sold to the man in the red sweater he would still be laying by Judge Miller’s feet.

 

The Call Of The Wild takes place in the Yukon Territory in the year 1896. The novella has five main human characters and one main dog character. This main dog character is the St. Bernard, Buck. The novella is about Buck’s journey from a house dog, to a wild dog. The characters around Buck are the reason for this journey. Judge Miller treats Buck as a prized guard dog. The man in the red sweater teaches Buck that he is either going to be a sled dog, or be killed. Franços and Perrault are two experienced sled drivers that shape Buck into a leader. John Thornton treats Buck with love, leading Buck to become loyal to him. “Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time. This he had never experienced at Judge Miller's down in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. With the Judge's sons, hunting and tramping, it had been a working partnership; with the Judge's grandsons, a sort of pompous guardianship; and with the Judge himself, a stately and dignified friendship. But love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness, it had taken John Thornton to arouse.” Throughout Buck’s transformation, he is effected by many different characters.

 

I felt that the novella was interesting at most points, but bored me at others. The points in the story that had me hooked were the action scenes, and the scenes that made me look back, and think. The build up to Spitz and Buck’s fight was so dramatic that any reader would be interested. The scene were Buck is continuously hit by the man in the read sweater made me look back, and reflect on what had just happened. I also think that the way Jack London writes can be very boring. His tendencies to drag out certain scenes, and overly describe what is going on can be boring. Although reading the novella was at times boring, I am glad that I read it. 

 

The effect that people have on you is one of the main themes in The Call Of The Wild. The people around Buck have a clear influence on him throughout the story. The way you act with a group of friends is completely different then the way you act alone. People can change lives.

 

 


Family

My Trip To France 

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Family is not an important thing. It’s everything

Michael J. Fox

 

       

          The plane landed on the long French runway. I had just woken from the six hour sleep, and I squinted as the bright morning light hit my eyes. All of my muscles were tight, my hair felt dirty and I was sweating. I could not wait to get off the plane. The plane finally started letting people off, but I was sitting towards the back of the plane. As I waited I began to get hotter, and hotter. After what felt to be a long time I was finally let off. I got off the plane, and rode a crowded bus towards the airport. My aunt, uncle, and cousins were there waiting for us. We were greeted with hugs. Having family on a vacation will change what you do, what you eat and will help to more fully understand the culture.

My uncle works for the United Nations. This means that his family has lived all over the world. He has lived in France for two years now, so they know their way around. Having them as our guides changed how the vacation went. My cousins, Nico and Alex, live on the border of France and Switzerland, and about three hours drive from Italy. Nico is applying for colleges in the United States, and Alex is in elementary school in Switzerland. Since he goes to an English school, Alex is the only member of his family that does to speak fluent French. Having three fluent French speakers changed the trip. Most times you go to a non English speaking country there will be a lot of problems with communication. The language barrier is a bigger problem than it seems to be from the outside. Ordering at restaurants, asking for directions, and shopping are all extremely difficult if you do not speak the language. The ability to communicate with others opens many doors, and I am lucky that I was able to have people who can talk for me. 

Food is a large part of European culture, but especially in France and Italy. My uncle loves food and cooks his own barbecue with a smoker. He also has work friends that know of great restaurants in all over where we were traveling. Where to go for dinner was never an issue on the trip. Our cousins know all of the best restaurant in the area of France that they live in, and my uncle is a great cook. For our time in Italy we used suggestions from my uncles Italian friends. We stayed in a region of Italy that specializes in wild boar, and truffle. Two food I never thought I would like. The only dinner that we were disappointed with was the first dinner back from Italy. Looking back on it, the reason we thought it was bad was because we had just come off of five days of eating some of the best food in the world. All of the suggested food was great, and I can still remember the mouth watering tastes of some of the Italian pastas and steaks. Have family that knows food takes away all of the stresses of dinner.

My uncle has always loved soccer. Luckily for him, he lives in a place where soccer is a main part of the culture. July fifteenth was one of the most memorable days of the entire trip. July fifteenth was the day the France was playing in the finals of the World Cup. If my uncle was not with us on our trip we would have no idea what to say when the team scores, and where to go to watch the game. My uncle took us down to the center of the town where many people were already gathered. The game was being shown a huge projector one hundred yards from where we were standing. I could not see the game at all, but I did not care. I found myself screaming chants in French that I could not understand. When the team won there were fire works, and blue smoke everywhere.

“Allez les bleu” Everyone chanted.  

My cousin, uncle, and I stayed for another hour dancing with all of the other French people. Soon after they won it started to pour, but nobody cared at all. Everyone in France was screaming, and honking their horns for the next two days. It was amazing to see how different cultures react to sports, and my memories from that day would not exists if it weren’t for my uncle.

 

Adding family is the best recipe for life.


Fighting Through

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“When the going gets tough, put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Don’t give up.” Roy T Bennet.

My first cross county meet

 

I rounded the rocky corner for the second time with excitement. The cramps in my stomach disappeared. I had done it. I ran hard to what I thought to be the finish line, only to be told we had another lap ahead of us. The cramps came back, but this time they were much worse

I ate my lunch without even thinking about the pain that it would cause me later. One plate of chicken nuggets, one plate of Mac and cheese, and two glasses of chocolate milk all in my stomach. After eating I knew running my cross country meet would be hard. As usual, I felt fine throughout the rest of the day, but once warmups came I started to feel it in my stomach. After just one warmup lap I started to feel a sharp pain in the top right of my stomach. I was told the course at Park was long, which did not help me at all. The Park coach walked us through the narrow, and rocky course weaving in and out of the woods. One big loop. The course seemed short, and I thought I would have no problem with cramps. I wasn’t listening when the coach told us we had to run it three times. 

 

I ran with Andy Barton for the entire race. We ran at the same speed, but Andy did not get any cramps. After the first lap, Andy told me that we had to run one more, and we were finished. At this point, my cramps were just starting. Midway through the second lap, the cramps started to get bad. At one point it felt like a knife stabbing into the side of my ribs. Luckily that cramp only lasted a couple of minutes. The problem was that the cramp in my ribs was not the only cramp. At the end of the second lap, I started to run faster towards what I thought was the finish line, only for Mr. Duane to tell me that there was another lap to run.

 

I have been told that if you run through your cramps they will go away. This has never been true for me. The cramps stayed with me for the entire third lap. Sprinting at the end of the second did not help me either. I was starting to push the amount of pain that I can endure and was thinking about walking. It is not that I am unable to run long distances, the cramps make it seemingly impossible. I wanted to make a good first impression for the coaches and pushed through until the end. The time around was awful, but I was able to push through it. I crossed the finish line sprinting. The second I was across I got out of the way, and laid down. The next thing I knew it was dark.


Leadership

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 My main take away from Camp Belknap

Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal. E. Joseph Cossman

 

       The boat race began. Our group small cabin was looking out onto the dark, New Hampshire lake on a cold morning. As I stood with a group of newly made friends, we watched our worn down cardboard boat glide slowly across the water. The event that the whole camp had been waiting for. There were three boats in the water that day, each with its own, interesting story. Every group knew their boat would sink, we were just waiting to see which would sink first. I stood on a large, sharp rock. As the race progressed I knew inside that I had done nothing. This was before I learned about who I am as a leader.

 

When we arrived at camp, nobody was informed of the class meeting being held on the first night. Half of the reason for the meeting was to sign up for Comities, and fill out a secondary school sheet, but the other half was much more important. All of the students made a big circle of chairs with teachers scattered around. This was one of the only times no counselors were around us for the whole trip. The goal of the meeting was for the students to talk about ways that they can lead as ninth graders. The part that resonates with me the most, was when Mr. Smith asked us which ninth graders we remember from lower school, and why we remember them. A group of about ten people shared a name which they remembered. This is interesting to me, because the same five names were mentioned by the student. All of the kids that were named either said something memorable or was a frequent speaker at all school meeting. This proves that if you are a leader, you will be remembered.

 

On the second, day each cabin was challenged to make a cardboard boat which we would race on the last day. We had about an hour, as much cardboard as we wanted, one roll of duct tape, and two pool noodles. Our cabin was very focused on winning, and most kids were fully engaged. To be fully honest, I did nothing for our group. I just sat back and let the rest of my group do the work. Since most kids were trying their absolute hardest to make a good boat, I kind of just sat back. This is important because it fits into the type of leader that I am. 

 

On the second day at camp, everybody had a lesson called leadership. The lesson started off with everybody pairing off, and playing a counting game. To me, this felt unimportant. After about ten minutes we started the main part of the lesson. One of the counselor created a line, and read off descriptions of each end. He then told everybody to stand where they think that they belong on the line. Next, he laid another line which intersected the old one to make four quadrants. There were descriptions of the other two ends, and everyone moved to where they think that they belong. At this point, everyone was in one of the four quadrants. The quadrant that you are standing on determines what kind of leader that you are. My description was that I do not take things personally, and will either be fully engaged, or not engage at all. I found this description to be perfect.

 

What I take away most from this trip is the quadrant lesson from leadership. The description I was given felt like it really fit me. The main reason that l liked this lesson is because it makes you think about the other three quadrants that you are not in. If I want to be a good leader of Fenn, I need to able to put myself into any of the quadrants depending on the situation.

 


Hours That Feel Like Minuets

My Experiance On Fenns Long Busrides

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“When you get a groove going, time flies” Donald Fagen

 

       Every field trip starts, and ends with a bus ride. An entire grade packed into two small busses. Looking back onto my fourth, and fifth grade years, these bus trips are some of the only memories I still have. Although these rides get more chaotic, and fun as the years go on, I can still remember playing cards with fiends on the way up to Merovista. These rides are a small thing that I look forward to every single year. For me, the time spent on the bus is more memorable, and fun than the actual trip itself. 

  

The main trip that every Fenn student looks forward to is D.C. Sitting in all school meeting as a little fourth grader, the seemingly gigantic seventh graders stood up to talk about their class trip to D.C. The main thing that the kids were talking about was the bus ride. Once seventh grade came along I patiently waited for the day to come. The trip was great, but the hype around the bus ride did not disappoint. I sat next to Timmy Smith, but by the end of the trip everybody had shifted around. Some kids used this time to relax, and watch movies, but most used their time to talk with old friends, and get to know new friends. There is magic to these rides, they are able to make ten hours feel like one. 

 

The D.C. bus ride was the longest, and most fun, but every other Fenn bus ride has the same magic to it. I know that I will look back on the rides, and still be able to remember everything that was said. I am so greatfull that Fenn is able to do this trips, and I hope every other kids has the same experience that I do. A Fenn without these trips would be incomplete.