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Fits English Class
“After an argument, I think of all the awesome things I could have said”
If I had two words to describe English class this year I would choose “questionably difficult”, or maybe “possibly hard”. But that’s just from my point of view. Because it wasn’t very hard for me. I mean sure I got a B- on the first term because I forgot to post my final literary analysis essay the day before the term ended. Or spent a whole class trying to come of with themes from Tom Sawyer but really just thinking about what’s for lunch. Those are the main reasons for my exclamation of the class being “possibly” or “questionably” difficult. Because you have to put the work into it no matter how laid back it may seem.
One instance I want to bring up was when fits offered us extra credit if we commented on like ten blog posts or posted an extra independent blog post. I remember him saying at the beginning of the year,
“It’s shameful to get anything less than a B in this class, you just have to put in some work because English isn’t actually that difficult”
Or something like that. But I took this as an open door to relax. This caused me to not try very hard during class and homework’s. I didn’t think that I had to do extra credit because of how easy the class was. I didn’t even really check my grades that often because I didn’t think I had to. And I didn’t ask for help because I didn’t really think I had to. Which reminds me of Mr. Fits’s famous quote,
“Give a damn and figure it out”
And I didn’t. So I didn’t do the extra credit assignments even though in any other class I would have jumped at the chance. And this backfired badly because I ended up getting some of my worst grades because of English class. As a matter of I never even checked my English grade for the first term until the last two weeks of school. I was upset, but I knew I deserved it.
During class I tried to stay quiet as the same for most of my classes but English was a special a case. It can be described by the famous saying,
“Boys will be boys”
And so it was. Our class constantly running around and yelling at each other. It definitely added to the theme of our class. Which was no doubt “distraction”. An ordinary start of class started with some of the quiet kids walking in and quietly sitting down at the large table. Then some more kids walk or run in causally yelling at each other. Some kid writhing floor. Students wrestling with each other. Someone just pulled a chair from under someone else. Fits comes in. The class goes quiet as he casually sends some students to Mr. Irwin’s office (head of upper school), the lasting kids sit at the table silently morning the loss of about half the class. I heard one kid quote,
“I wonder who next will fall to the plague, I bet it will be you”
Yet, this happens pretty much every day. I think it’s fair to say it describes the integrity of our class.
I’m part of sad to see this year end. And I’m upset with myself to admit it. I think this year ended right. And on time. But still I’m very exited for next year to see what it has to offer.
Listen to Your Teachers Suggestions
“The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate.”
Sometimes you need to take an opportunity when it faces you. I’ve found that more often than not that they end up well. And if they don’t end up as well as you wanted you might not know the real effect that the experience actually has on you. And no matter how bad it may seem in the moment, it may not have actually been a bad stretch in the path of life. Earlier this year I was faced with the option of joining the upper school musical. For many years I had wanted to do the school play. But never got to it. And probably wouldn’t have done this one either if Mr. Fitzsimmons hadn’t told me one day that I should. As my advisor who probably knew me better than any other teacher. I knew that if this experience went bad I had someone to blame besides myself. But after the musical ended I found that I didn’t need someone to blame and rather to thank. I wasn’t very good at acting, singing or dancing and myself doing the musical proved that to me. But that’s not the only good thing that came out of it. I also found that I had matured by the decision of joining the musical. I was put in the most hysterically embarrassing musical. Not what I expected. The two plays where beauty and the beast, a mellow sort of moody theme. And than once upon a mattress, a comedic reflection of a famous fairy tale. I obviously wasn’t happy. But this added to the impact of the experience. The maturity that I got from the experience helps me focus often on how bad things could be. And it’s comforting. The people I look up to most at fenn are the teachers, and blindly following their suggestions might sounds reckless. But the two only types of decisions in life are the reckless and the thought over. But sometimes by the time you think over your decision, you're already old and gray.
Through The Tunnel
By Connor Soukup
Maturity is a dangerous yet essential part of life. And in the story, Through the Tunnel, by Doris Lessing, it emphasizes the not only physical but emotional growth that the young boy in the story experiences. The boy knows this small task may have no physical importance or use but as a much more important emotional use.
This story was very interesting and throughout it all I stayed intrigued for the whole twenty pages that was the story. One quote that I really liked was when the boy was decided on whether or not to swim the tunnel. “this was the moment when he would try. If he did not do it now, he never would”. I found this quote very interesting and the truth to it made me think about maturity and how some things going on in my life now I just needed to put my mind to and do. I really liked the idea of how the boy who had never really been away from his mother before attempts a worthless task like in the story just to prove to himself that he doesn’t need others steadying his arm.
I often find myself in situations like these where the task may have no real importance but as a person I feel like I need to get it done to mature and build myself up as a person. Reading this boys thoughts and feelings really reflected some of what I’ve thought many times before in situations sometimes much like this one.
I found that reading this story made me reflected on my past experiences. I had thought a lot about maturity as the boy in this story fought his doubt about swimming through the tunnel. The steps passed during the story showed the real importance and impact that maturity has on people.
All Quiet On The Western Front
8th Grade English
Good can be found in even the most terrible places. In the book, all quiet on the western front, by Erich Maria Remarque, showed me that kindness and empathy can be found even in war. Even though it would seem like warfare would be the most heartless thing, this book shows otherwise. As well as this chapter being very horrific, it also had a repeated theme of empathy.
Throughout the book the theme of empathy comes up. It’s very surprising and eye catching when you notice it. After all they are all in constant warfare. There is multiple instances where Paul brings out the good in him. Such as when he kills the French soldier and feels bad about it. And he thinks this,
“My state is getting worse, I can no longer control my thoughts. What would his wife look like? Like the little brunette on the other side of the canal? Does she belong to me now? Perhaps by this act she becomes mine. I wish Kantorek were sitting here beside me. If my mother could see me”.
He obviously feels bad and there is a couple whole pages of dialogue during which he feels bad about what he did. And thinking about his family and how terrible murder was. He wanted to put him out of his misery but his morals stopped him. “If only I had not lost my revolver crawling about, I would shoot him. Stab him I cannot.” And on another occasion he was in camp and they were keeping Russian captives and they were all struggling to survive. Paul brought his rations and supplies to them and tried to help them even though he knows on the battlefield they would try and kill him. “And yet we would shoot at them again and they at us if they were free.”
Being aware that being in war you don’t lose all of your morals but just push them down deep inside you makes me feel less dread for warfare. An during these parts where Paul showed empathy for his enemy’s who would try to kill, yet he still helped
them and showed something like care for them.
The battlefield isn’t very friendly and it’s not soldiers best interest to feel empathy for their enemies, paul's overall morals made him take dangerous risks for the greater good.
Metacognition for video reflection
For All quiet on the western front
By: Connor Soukup
The writing and making my video, although very rushed I learned a lot about iMovie during the process. And making this video was useful and a great way to finish off the book. Throughout the reading of the book, we as a class hade to do many literary reflections by yourself and with partners. Also we had to write many metacognition’s as well as take a couple of quizzes. But making the video overall was my favorite type of reflection we did. I enjoyed finding the pictures and comparing them with the audio to find the write spot for them on the slideshow. Overall creating the video was a great way to finish the book.
Morality Of War
By: Connor Soukup
Those with hearts live and without die
“We have lost all feeling for one another. We can hardly control ourselves when our glance lights on the form of some other man. We are insensible, dead men, who through some trick, some dreadful magic, are still able to run and to kill.” -All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The absence of morality is the answer to survival. While reading Chapter Six of All Quiet On The Western Front, I learned how important it is to immoral and although the thought of being merciful sounds pleasant the true outcome is horrific. The brutality of war can only be seen though the eyes of the soldiers fighting in it. We are unable to know the true feelings that went through the heads of the few survivors, who yet being alive had to find their worst selfs to survive.
I have read books and seen many movies and films about how terrible war is and what it may feel like to be in their suit. But chapter 6 has proved it like I’ve never seen before. In Chapter Six;
“the earth is the background of this restless, gloomy world of automatons, our gasping is the scratching of a quill, our lips are dry, our heads are debauched with stupor—thus we stagger forward, and into our pierced and shattered souls bores the torturing image of the brown earth with the greasy sun and the convulsed and dead soldiers, who lie there—it can’t be helped—who cry and clutch at our legs as we spring away over them.”
The soldiers braved the horror survive and the new soldiers and recruits didn’t make it. This is because of how weak and unstable their minds are that they don’t know how to keep their mind closed and only think of survival. A young recruit in a dugout being bombed “began mashing is head against the wall” It made me think of how manipulating war is and how it can change you to a different person.
I learned from this chapter that the worst sights in the world happen during war. During the part where protagonists were stepping over bodies and seeing all the young soldiers from both sides getting unable to comprehend what is happening and than getting their heads blown off. While reading I was connected the the words as if I was really there, the sights and sounds that the characters feel I felt also. The writing yet explaining terrible things, had an amazing way of describing it. And this chapter has delplayed it the best.
Human morality is our greatest weakness. This fact may seem awful, but the truth was the only thing keeping these soldiers alive rather than dead. Their experiences throughout chapter six was evidence that the strong survives and the weak parish.
Insticncts in all quiet in the western front
“Only thus were we prepared for what awaited us. We did not break down, but adapted ourselves; our twenty years, which made many another thing so grievous, helped us in this. But by far the most important result was that it awakened in us a strong, practical sense of esprit de corps, which in the field developed into the finest thing that arose out of the war—comradeship.“
-Excerpt From, All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
Instincts have been what has kept the human race alive from the dawn of time. If not for instincts in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, there will be a lot more death. In chapter four, during the assault from the British and French, the main characters use their instincts to save their lives, and the lives of others through the first couple chapters times.
For instance, when the bombs start dropping on them while they travel back to the lorries, their instincts tell them that the graveyard is their only cover, even though from a different perspective you might think the graveyard would be too dangerous. They also use their instincts while the bombing is happening, like when the main character rolls into a fresh crater from a shell, or when he climbs out of the hole when the gas comes around. If they didn’t move away from their bunker, they would have all blown up, but their instincts told them they had to leave. These decisions made when under a lot of stress and pressure which are the instincts that keep them alive.
I feel that the authors use of instinct reflects quite a few things in this book. It shows how in war every second is a battle and if not for their own instincts many more of their comrades in the war would end up dead or worse. The other thing the authors use of instincts reflects how war turns men into their most primal state. Showing us what they are really made of.
In its most basic state, this book provides an interesting a thought, provoking and stimulating chance to think about the instincts of man. And the effects their instincts have on their lives and others.
Socratic seminar ideas
In the Socratic seminar I would like to discuss the role that katzinski has on his peers because I have found that he is one of the most interesting characters in the book so far. His insight and wisdom he has into life has brought up some very good points. I also really like his quotes and I think they are very well said and that is why he will probably play a large role in this book. For themes I would like to discuss loneliness and how the soldiers fight it by building close relationships with each other. And other themes like sacrifice and anger and how they play parts and interlock with each other. The effect that sacrifice has on the soldiers and what it causes them to do I believe will be brought up later and throughout the book. Other than those themes, I found in chapter three that the themes of superiority and revenge come up a lot within the troops. Like how when given power over other people it causes you to change opinions and maybe become a different person emotionally and mentally. And for those following order I would say that they are not thinking about what would happen if they didn’t follow orders or if it is a good idea but almost droning on as most soldiers do while in war. Overall the reason I bring up superiority and title change is because this book takes place on the battlefield during a world war so their will probably be some title change soon. The characters in this book I have not paid a lot of attention to but more on the themes. This book I suspect to be dosas and already has been because of men losing legs and limbs which back than basically ruined your life.
One choice can change your life forever. It is the only thing moving you along the path of life. you’re choices define you and make you who you are. Think about a choice you made and how it affected you. My greatest choice was going to sleepaway camp for the first time in 4th grade. I was frightened and worried about the summer being “wasted”. What I didn’t know was how it would effect my life the next coming years.
Back in fourth grade I hadn’t been able to leave my home town a lot because of our large family. Although I longed for some change from our home town. The choice wasn’t difficult because my two older brothers had gone and I have seen and heard a lot about the camp. It’s a wilderness 7-week sleep away camp called camp Mowglis. The day I arrived I felt immediately welcomed. We climbed mountains, the air to me the freshest in the world and swimming in the lake felt like it was cleaner than any water you would drink in America. I formed friendships and fell in love with the New Hampshire scenery. And to this day it is still the best part of my year being secluded in the fresh wilderness of New Hampshire.
And being in school writing about this makes me long for the smoky campfire and windy mountain summits. And the long talks with my dorm mates about life outside of camp yet we still are grieving for camp being over. I’ve formed great friendships and with most of my dorm and it’s sad to think about most of us parting ways when we graduate.
My camp years have taught me a lot about life beside how to keep a campfire going in the pouring rain or how to apply a tourniquet and a splint in the middle of the woods only using the materials I have. It has taught me a lot about life and about what is important to me. The choices I’ve made have created who I am.
Cold bark cold ground(a)
Stinging sharp air (b)
Waiting spring bound(a)
stay on your mare(b)
Cold howl white steam(c)
Forcefully and mean(c)
Coping with nature(d)
Tell a story
See that cabin(a)
Through the mold(b)
cabin be havin(a)
Dark wet and cold(b)
Given up hope(c)
How worse to he (d)
To bad to cope(c)
Please not to me(d)
I was in a rush to do these poems, iPad wouldn’t work and I could only do this on pages. I missed some of the classes of explaination so I might not have gotten this right.