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February 2020

Blood in the Monongahela

The Power of Hubris and the Death of George Washington



”Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.” - Otto von Bismarck


     The greatest American to ever live should not have made it past his 22nd birthday. George Washington’s first battle was the disastrous 1754 Battle of Fort Necessity, where an unsuspecting and unprepared column of British soldiers, led by the starry-eyed then-Colonel Washington, attacked, was surrounded, and nearly obliterated just south of modern-day Pittsburgh by a numerically superior force of French, Abenaki, Lenape, and Shawnee. Washington was so consumed by his desire to prove his worth to his British superiors that he sparked a global conflict between Britain, France, and their respective allies that killed 1.1 million people; more than the Civil War, War on Terror, and Revolution combined. But that same hubris and vanity which nearly got Washington killed might have actually killed the father of our nation — and his upstart rebellion with it — if he hadn’t come so close to annihilation 20 years prior. Hubris did not make George Washington the man - but it made George Washington a legend.

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An Experience with a Friend

For Better or For Worse

By Max Troiano

"The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward."
~ Steve Maraboli

     Friends who encourage you to do more help you to be more, for better or for worse. My newfound friends over my past three years Fenn have done just that to me. It took a year and a half or so for me to find the groove of things with them, but it had all neatly fallen into place by Halloween of last year when Max Merhige invited me over to his house along with four or five others. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I knew from the start it was going to be different. It was a slick dark night, the kind of night where every light shone off the wet pavement and the trees still slowly dripped with the afternoon rain. I softly pulled up to the house and got out of the car, the doorlight casting a weak glow onto the grass. I tentatively stepped in the door, and we were off.
     Max Merhige, Max Libby-Grantham, Will Simon, Nathaniel Pynchon, Ethan Rich, and I sprinted around the questionably grippy pavement, nearly sliding into telephone poles and each other as we tried to be the first to get the candy bars. There was no plan, I was completely out of my comfort zone, and I was without a doubt having the time of my life. My friends bring out the best and the worst in me, inspiring me to both confidence and recklessness, on the one hand invigorating and on the other worryingly flippant of the consequences of our actions. I will never again be the fearful boy with a head stuck inside a book that I was at the start of my time here at Fenn. I have only spent three years, a small fraction of my life, with these people, and for better and for worse will not spend much more time with them. But that time which I have has undoubtedly changed me — and for the better.