The things I remember most from this year are the people who surrounded me over the course of the year. From my teachers and peers, to even the kind lunch staff and maintenance workers. From what I can remember, everyone of my friends and teachers have been able to put a smile on my face, and I’m so thankful for that. I’m often told by my family to be less serious and just be a kid. So the fact that the Fenn community was and still is able to help me with that goal is something I can never forget. Skills and passion wise, my abilities in english class and math class have improved significantly. I remember at the end of 7th grade, and at the start of this year my math and english grades always floated just above a B but never broke the barrier to an A. But now I am confident in my abilities to write analytical essays, personal pieces, and solve multi-step questions. I admit, I was able to improve so much due to my wonderful teachers. But I also started to instill a mindset that allowed and made me improve. I began being more thorough with my work and it paid off in the end. My passion for art and self expression has also become greater. I now have some semblance of an idea of what I want to create, how I want to create, and why I want to create. In 9th grade I’m not only looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones, I’m also ready to challenge and improve myself. For example I get scared at the idea of public speaking. So I’m ready, to at least try, to obliterate that fear. I’m also curious at the feeling and day to day life as a 9th grader at fenn. Will it feel different? Will it still feel like fenn? And will I be able step up to the challenge it poses? All of these questions and more circle throughout my mind. However, after summer break I will be ready to brave those obstacles and improve. I’m actually willing to learn from my future mistakes and become better during my last year at fenn. All while hopefully having a smile on my face.
Alternating pressure from my left
To my right
Basking in the sunlight
Feeling the wind against my face
Looking at the canopy above
Taking the time to look at each leaf
Gives me a sense of relief
The trees that glide past me
Leaves me feeling small
Their trunks are so tall
That their treetops seem to soar
Their shadows quickly go past me along the floor
As my wheels skim over the tree roots and the bumpy path
I look at the cracks of the concrete
Each one seeming different and unique
As I travel past
I hear the birds chirping
Their songs enlighten my ears
Reminding me of spring
Making me feel bright and happy
I bike even after my legs go numb
For the feeling I get while riding for miles
Is a looping sense of tranquility
Whether it takes place on a bike path surrounded by trees
Or on the ground of a concrete forest
I will always get that feeling
And enjoy it with all my being
If there was ever a winter’s day so perfect,
So uplifted by the sight of the snow covered trees
That it made you want to curl up in a blanket
Enjoy a hot cup of coffee
And allow in all the warm feelings of the holidays
While letting go of the entities of stress and sadness that surround you
A day when the cold and ice doesn’t bother you
And you feel like you can skip through miles of shiny snow
A day seeming so gleaming and white
That you felt like taking
A break from your daily responsibilities
Admiring the view through a bedroom window
Releasing the tension in your keyboard
And relieving them of the constant pitter-patter of your fingers
Letting them bask in the soft white light of winter
Each key huddled and close to one another
All witnessing the winter wonderland outside the glass,
today is just that kind of day.
Why I Love Nature
A nice slow pace
Taking the time in this place
As my feet hug the path
With my loved ones I laugh
Below the ceiling of nature
My mind becomes calm
A breathe in and out
Cool, crisp air greets my lungs
As I roam about
The sings of the flowing stream
The way it gleams
Helps creates a peaceful atmosphere
One where stress and fear can never go near
The blue sky
Smiling with its white clouds
And accompanied by the shining sun
Evokes a feeling of bliss
A feeling everyone misses
Especially when the rain drops fall
My brothers and I race each other-
Enjoying one another-
Never regretting being together,
My mom and dad
Even though they are the only ones I have had
Are the best parents I could ask for,
And once we all reach the peak
Our energy being bleak
We admire the view
And if I had to chose
Nothing else comes close-
To the family I love the most
Why Do I Draw?
Recently I have been having doubts about if I really want to draw for my future career. I can’t exactly put into words why but the thought has been crossing my mind. Perhaps it’s because of the times and the stress that comes with it.
I started drawing around pre-school. At that time I used drawings as a way to express my emotions. One of the stories my mom always likes to tell is of me drawing broken hearts whenever I would be upset, sad, mad, or all of the above. Looking back at those stories from now I have a giggle or two. From that point on I kept on drawing and got better. Eventually people started to notice and compliment my drawings. And at that time I admit that was one of the reasons why I kept drawing. Anyways, as I kept on improving on my drawing skills, my love for it also began to blossom. Now when I sit in my chair and put pencil to paper my being feels almost at home. My mind gets cleared of stress and tension; my arms and hands feel light as I glide my arm throughout my sketch. My imagination begins to envelop more of my conscience as well. In other words, as I draw my feelings are the same feelings someone gets while looking at a warm beachside sunset, or at a cascading waterfall: calmness and serenity.
One of my big ambitions is to draw and create for a living. In the future I want to create worlds and even universes filled with interesting and complex characters who are surrounded by beautiful settings. And in the future I hope the excitement my ideas will hopefully provide can be shared with other people. I wish for my creations to be an extent of me and my emotions. And I desire those same emotions to reach the people who value what I will create. However, I’m worried I don’t have the will power, the courage, and the work ethic in order to accomplish that ambition: I’m not sure if my love for art is great enough in order to be able to grind and work countless hours without becoming absolutely burnt out. And if my passion is so great for art shouldn’t I be drawing every time I can? (A question I have been asking myself recently). I actually might be just scared of the expectations and responsibilities I will have eventually dumped onto me in the future. Thinking about it more I guess everyone has these thoughts of if they’re good enough; everyone questions if they have what it takes in order to succeed. And If someone came up to me and questioned if they have what it takes to succeed I would say something along the lines of, “if you’re not satisfied with yourself then make yourself better; If your best effort wasn’t enough then improve your best.” So maybe I should stop being a hypocrite and actually listen to myself. If I’m not satisfied with myself right now I should put the effort to improve and get to where I want to be.
Discuss a high and a low moment you've experienced in the past week.
Most of my high moments are when I’m drawing while I listen to my favorite music. I like drawing so much partly because it’s almost like meditating, especially when I’m listening to chill and relaxing beats. Every pencil stroke on my paper is parallel with a breath in and out, and my arms and hands feel light. When drawing my mind feels like the same feeling a person gets when they’re out in nature admiring a cascading waterfall or a tranquil valley. And at the same time my mind is also rampant with ideas about what I want to draw and how I would sketch those ideas onto paper. In other words, when I work on my pieces my conscience is clear of everything except my conceptions about the things I want to draw in the future. I’m filled with feelings of happiness, serenity, and determination as I complete each one of my art pieces. I would say music is definitely an important part of my drawing process. First off, music helps me generate ideas for sketches. Through a song’s melodies, riveting beats, and interesting rhythms I am able to imagine a vivid, colorful scene that I am able to create on paper. Likewise, music helps motivate me throughout a sketch and sometimes amplifies the joy I get from drawing at the same time. Especially for me, music is able to evoke strong emotions either through it’s lyrics and or instrumental elements. I recently listened to a song called “death bed (coffee for your head)” by Powfu. At first listening to the song I really liked the melodie and the beat so I kept on listening. After a few times I started paying attention to the lyrics. I realized that the lyrics were about a boy who is about to die, and that he was reflecting on the good times he had with his girlfriend. In the song he apologizes for leaving his significant other so soon and reminisces about the good times they had together. He hopes that she will be able to move on and have a happy life. After I grasped the meaning of the whole song I admit, I teared up a bit, but when I listen to the song now I get a reminder to have gratitude for who and what I still have. I get reminded to appreciate my family and friends; appreciate how I can walk, eat, sleep, and go through my daily life without much trouble at all.
A Hike and a Beautiful Field
Every morning my mom would drop me off to school when Fenn was still in session on it’s campus. In those car rides we talk about what is on our minds, what happened yesterday that was weird or annoying, things like that. Rather occasionally my mother talks about her nightmares from the night before. Most of the time her dreams are filled with frustration, feeling weak or vulnerable, or reliving traumatic past memories. So if I had the ability to create and give a dream to someone, that someone would be my mother. The dream I would create for her would be filled with feelings of happiness, feelings of comfort, and feelings of belonging. To paint an image the dream I create would be centered around family because my mother greatly values family time and togetherness. One of the possible settings of the dream would be a beautiful grass field sprinkled with her favorite flowers. The sky would be a calming shade of light blue lightly glossed over with a light covering of clouds. We would all be partaking in a picnic, enjoying the delicious food, and embrace each other's company. And to finish the outing ice cream would be the choice of desert. The White mountains in New Hampshire could be another place the dream would be set in. For the past few years my family and I have visited New Hampshire occasionally, we hike the trail and observe the mountains. We visit so often because it’s nature and general serenity holds a special place in my mom’s heart. The whole family likes visiting the mountains too. I just think my mom gets the most fulfillment from it out of all of us. The dream would mostly consist of a hike up and down a mountain. The journey or path up and down would be filled with luscious greenery imbued with warm and calming colors. Singing birdies, the churning flow of the nearby streams, and whispers of the forest would fill our eardrums evoking feelings of belonging and acceptance. And once the whole family has reached the peak of the trail a beautiful, glistening pond would be revealed making our sense of fatigue almost dissipate altogether. In all, I would create dreams filled with family and nature, manifest feelings of comfort and positivity for my mom if I had such a power.
As a nomadic sorcerer I usually start my days waking up from the hay and grass bed I made the night before. Still feeling groggy and half asleep I go to the nearby stream, take a dip, and get ready for a day of creation. After slaying, roasting, and eating the wild fauna I find around my location I gather my wands and pots of mana. I start thinking about what I want to create. I ask myself do I want to summon dragons with bellies full of flames and wings bigger than a kingdom? Manifest giant mechanical monsters able to soar the skies and beyond? Maybe even build new and great worlds with unique, fantastical characters? I let my mind skip through all the possibilities until a lightbulb stops it in its tracks. For example, yesterday I ended up creating a great gladiator knight, I made his armor strong and durable although it was handmade by smithing scrap metal together. Another time I made a crocodile that only consisted of black wire. While it’s teeth were big and almost tusk-like, its eyes had gleaming, shining irises. I usually start with a simplified version of my idea and then slowly refine every part of my conception that I see can be better or improved. And yes it’s true, some days no ideas come to mind. My river of imagination sometimes ceases to flow due to overuse or monotony. But what usually follows that drought is a trigger of inspiration that unclogs my mind. Sometimes that trigger of inspiration originates from my own brain, but I mostly gather my inspiration from the things around me, or from people like the great sorcerers of the past. My dream is to create a living using my imagination and make a name for myself out of my creations. It’s also to share or connect to people through the excitement that my creations will hopefully provide. But for now I will keep honing my skills and persevering until I reach that peak no matter what suspicions and deterrents come my way.
What I have been doing for the past weeks
The past few weeks have actually been more enjoyable than I thought they would be. I expected the past days to feel more boring than they were. I guess I feel this way mostly because I was able to see all my brothers back from boarding school and work. And it was enjoyable spending quality time with them. We played board games like Jenga, and ate delicious food all together. I also enjoy the free time I have. Now am I not only able to play more video games, but I am able to draw more and for longer. Recently I have been trying to improve in my drawing, specifically I have been trying to draw human faces, portraits, and human proportions. I avoided them before because I always disliked how bad I was at drawing them. But I have to start somewhere. I just wish I was able to go out to restaurants, arcades, and places alike with my brothers and parents. In all, I hope this whole situations subsides, although I do have more free time, I like also improving myself in school and seeing my friends more than just playing games and watching movies.
- In chapter 8, Denny shows Enzo his racing tapes and gives examples of how to race in the rain. What is the significance of this scene?
This scene is significant because this scene will foreshadow recurring themes in the story.
- What does Enzo mean when he says that Eve is his rain?
When Enzo says that Eve is his rain is because Enzo thinks that she is unpredictable and not easy to predict.
- Discuss the incident with the stuffed zebra. What does the zebra represent?
The dancing zebra represents Enzo’s animalistic side of his brain, and his animal urges.
- Explain the quote, "That which you manifest is before you." In what ways does this quote illustrates an important theme of the novel?
“That which you manifest is before you,” means whatever you create in your mind, or when you believe in an outcome and try to create that outcome you will make that dream a reality. Throughout the novel there are examples of this theme like when Denny kept his rain tires on even though other racers did not put on theirs. By doing this Denny was trying to manifest a favorable future where he passes the other racers due to the improved traction from his rain tires, and this future eventually came true. And therefore this is why the quote “that which you manifest is before you” is important to the story.
Discuss Mike as a character. What are some of his qualities? What role does he play in the novel? Is he a good friend?
Mike is a good friend. Mike’s qualities include reliability, kindness, loyalty, and empathy. Mike expressed his reliability and kindness when he would weekly, if not daily take Enzo to the Twins so Enzo could spend more time with Zoe. Making Zoe have at least some fun once in a while. Mike expressed his loyalty and empathy when he did not turn his back on Denny after Denny was arrested at the garage for alleged rape. Mike gave his friend the benefit of the doubt and did not let his friend go so easily. Mike even warned Denny about the cops so Denny could avoid them, “Den,’ Mike said. “There are a couple of cops out front with warrant.’
‘For? Denny asked, not even looking up from the screen, tap-tap-tapping away at his invoices.’
‘You. For your arrest.” Mike also expressed his reliability when he would act like an assistant to Denny, getting him jobs like a teaching job in Spokane and helping him with minor tasks. And Mike expressed empathy when he would check up on Denny to see if he was mentally and physically healthy. Mike’s role is simply a supporting character. He supports Denny to ease his life and make him happier. Therefore, Mike is a good friend, caring for the people he is close to and helping them even though he might not gain anything from it.
"She looked over and saw us. She was not a bad person, I knew then. One can never be angry at another driver for a track incident. One can only be upset at himself for being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time" (304).
Denny was not once mad at Annika, the other driver, but was mad at himself for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. When Denny encountered Annika with her friend outside a coffee shop Denny did not do anything out of anger. Instead he approached her calmly, and he pleaded for her to drop the charges so he can have Zoe back. And when Denny saw Annika outside the courtroom leaving the building he did not give her an irritated look. He did not communicate to Annika “ Why did you say what happened that night! Why did you have to make things more complicated when I was going to win!” Through a facial expression. Instead he turned to his friends and rejoiced on the win. Even since the Annika incident to the dropping of the charges Denny did not do blame her for losing the custody of Zoe. When he was drinking alcohol on his couch, being a hopeless cliche, he was grieving his mistakes.
Valuable wisdom from a dog?
By Panha Sam
Can a dog’s perspective on a human’s life teach us valuable lessons about the human experience? In the book The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, the story follows the life of Denny Swift, a semi-professional race-car driver, and is told through the lens of a dog named Enzo. After overcoming many obstacles, some more tragic than others, Denny finally becomes a formula-one champion, and Enzo passes away peacefully knowing he fulfilled his purpose and is ready to be reincarnated into a human. Throughout the book Enzo teaches us several lessons about humanity. Specifically, Enzo teaches us to both believe in ourselves and be aware of our surroundings in order to produce a positive outcomes.
Enzo accounts that humans need to believe in themselves in order to prosper. Denny had gone to a Formula Renault testing program in France. Since he can drive well in the rain, He had done immensely well because it was during the spring when it rained frequently. As a result, a scout approached Denny after one of his sessions and asked if Denny could drive as fast in the dry as he can in the wet. And Denny replied simply, “Try me” (46). “That which you manifest is before you” (43). When Denny simply says try me, he means that he is ready and willing to get evaluated to see if he makes the team. Denny also infers that he is confident he will pass with flying colors by impressing his instructors. Therefore Denny is manifesting a good outcome before him by being confident and believing in himself. Near the end of custody battle between Denny and the Twins (his in-laws) for Zoe (Denny’s daughter), Denny feels he has been “gutted” both financially and mentally by the Twins. And so Denny decides to sign a document that will give the custody of Zoe to the Twins. But before the pen came in contact with the paper Enzo snatched the papers from Denny and proceeds to tear them apart. After, Denny agrees with Enzo to not let the Twins win the battle, and he declares that he will win custody of Zoe no matter what. “The car goes where your eyes go” (83). When Denny declares that he will get the custody of Zoe he is also setting a positive mindset that says he will do just that no matter how difficult. Or in other words, Denny is setting his eyes on a road that will lead him to success, and in doing so he is also veering his car in the same direction.
Enzo also teaches another lesson about humanity. Enzo notes that humans need to be aware of their environment and themselves in order to succeed. Denny was walking Enzo down the street until they saw Annika, a girl who accused him of rape (even though the accusation is false) who is leading Denny to lose the custody of Zoe. After being surprised and a little confused, Denny calmly approaches Annika and sits next to her and her friend, and he begins to make a heartfelt plea for Annika to drop the charges so he can have Zoe back. This plea was so powerful that it makes Annika speechless and it makes her friend start to shed tears, and it ultimately leads to Annika dropping the charges. “know who is driving next to you” (91). Denny was aware of Annika’s feelings of empathy towards him, and he was aware of how to use those feelings in order to change her mind. Denny knew Annika, her mindset, and her feelings towards him which lead him ultimately victorious in the custody battle. Throughout the story Denny has always been careful approaching different obstacles like his custody case between him and his in-law parents, and has taken risks only after thinking them through. An example would be when Denny accepted Mark Fien as his attorney knowing that he would have to spend an arm and a leg. “Very gentle. Like there are egg shells are your pedals” (13). If a person is pretending that there are egg shells on their pedals it basically means that they are being careful on how they approach obstacles in their lives. Denny was being careful, and thoughtful when he hired Mark Fein as his attorney because Denny planned out what sacrifices he would have to make in order to pay Mark Fein’s fee of an arm and a leg. As a result, Denny achieved the good outcome of getting custody of Zoe (his daughter) through his careful planning. In the book The Art of Racing in the Rain, lesson about the human experience can be found.
Enzo teaches us lessons about our own humanity. Enzo teaches us that humans need to believe in themselves in order to succeed. And Enzo teaches us that humans need to be aware of their surroundings and themselves in order to receive a positive outcome. Throughout their daily life, can a person can deduce lesson about their own humanity from things they encounter?
As you read over your writing, what do you notice about your writing style/voice? Do you have variety in the way you structure your sentences? Do you repeat words or phrases? Do you use vocabulary that is specific? Are you using adverbs and adjectives? Do you use vivid verbs or boring ones? Are you applying comma rules correctly?
Reading over my writing I noticed that sometimes the way I structure my sentences throughout each assignment seems only vary just a little bit. I also see that I sometimes use words like “that” an unnecessary amount of times like throughout my writing. Furthermore, I seem to not show and tell, and I should have ideas and examples that let the reader visualize what they are reading. And I notice that in my essay I didn’t introduce the quotes that were used for the body paragraphs, leaving the reader maybe a little confused. Lastly, mechanically wise I think I am abiding by the comma rules as much as I need to, but I probably should just proofread over future writing in order to solve minor things like little grammar mistakes, or like clunky sentences.