This eighth grade year has been the best year at Fenn in my opinion and even though there were hard times and stress, there were more times that were happy and made great memories. One memory that I will always remember is how all of the kids knew each other pretty well. Since we have all been together for 3-5 years and Fenn is a small community, we all know each other to some extent and we have a cool connection that feels very good. I think the biggest change of myself that has occurred over the course of September to now is that I am more efficient with my time. I know in the future I will be getting much more work to do and my efficiency with my time will come in handy. In my 9th grade year at CCHS, I am very excited about a couple of topics. First, I am looking forward to seeing my old friends back when we went to elementary school together. The next thing I’m thrilled about is a bigger environment because Fenn is small and I am ready for a challenge. The last thing and biggest thing I am excited about is the soccer program. It’s an elite program and has won the state title.
Finally some peace and relaxation while in this stressful period
I hear my dog’s collar jingling,
The wind shaking the leaves and the trees,
The ruffling of the dead leaves and sticks under my feet,
The birds communicating with each other
All of this adds up to make a beautiful sound
The smell of the fresh air enlightens your mood and makes you happy
And the sight of frogs dancing in the water or birds flying around
The saying “Money can't buy happiness” is true
And you don’t have to pay a thing to obtain happiness
Just go outside and enjoy the nature surrounding you
Walking through the forest
rain is pouring down
All the animals are in their houses
The rain droplets hit the leaves
Creating a nirvana environment
The crunchy leaves
The beautiful trees
It helps you clear your mind
And start over from troubles
The peaceful surroundings helps keep you sane
And all the good looking things the nature has to offer keeps you happy
All around me, the earth is lively
The birds are chirping
The grasshoppers and peeping
The sun is still waking up and shimmering in the sky
All is peaceful and all is calm
It sets the mood for the day
Productive and happy
I see the birds eating at the bird feeder
The dew on the grass
The owl on the tree
The hawk searching for food
The chipmunk scurrying back to it’s hole
The nature is keeping my sanity
Throughout hard times
And throughout this corona virus.
What is something in your house that has become more valuable to you during your extended time at home?
What is something in your house that has become more valuable to you during your extended time at home?
During my time at home, 2 things at my house have gained a lot more value than it did in the first place. The first place is my side yard where my soccer net is. When life was normal, I didn’t use it as much as I do now because I had constant practices and minimal time to fit in school and soccer. I took it for granted to have a pitch right outside my house. Sure, the conditions aren’t the best because it’s a bit slanted, there are dirt patches, but I make it work and get the best out of it. I would be training at nice facilities with my team but, now that I can’t do that, I have to train from home and the side yard is where it happens. It’s become super valuable and I’m out there at least one time a day for an hour and a half. I am super happy to have this place to work out because without it, I’d be out of shape in a day. Another thing that has become more valuable is my PlayStation. It used to be a time where I play sometimes just for fun, but now my gaming console isn’t just about gaming anymore, it’s about connecting with my friends. Whether I’m playing Fortnite with some kids from Fenn, or some FIFA with some of my teammates, we are staying connected and taking our mind off the stress of the Coronavirus.
Besides school, what cancellation or closure has been the hardest for you so far?
Over this social distancing period, many things have been canceled and ruined. There are things that I have missed and missing like, my spring vacation to Utah, hanging with friends, break, and lots more. Those were frustrating and very annoying but the hardest thing for me is soccer. I have missed my march tournament and probably my whole spring season. Soccer is a place where I can take a break from all the stress, get a great workout and develop to be a great player. I also have great relationships with my teammates and I miss playing with them. Well, now that we are social distancing, I can’t play soccer with my team. Sure, I can work on my fitness, agility, and foot skills alone, but I want to be back in my intense environment where I can play fútbol. Also, all of the gyms are closed so I don’t have the option to go there and gain muscle. Instead, I have to research some workouts to do at home. I am also doing Mr. Ryan’s classes which are at least keeping me in shape. Another thing that is involved with soccer is that there are no pro soccer games. I love watching games and studying to see where the center midfielder is at that moment and try to take it into my game. I could watch old games, but it doesn’t have the same feel. Please god, bring back soccer soon.
Sean’s Secret Lair
Under the clear skies of sunny California, lies 9 letters that spell Hollywood. At first glance, you wouldn’t notice the white lever on the bottom right of the H. If you were to push that lever, the ground would instantly collapse from under you and you would fall hundreds of feet and land in a pool of hungry piranhas. If you knew what you were doing, you would have gone to the bottom of the y and pressed the little button. Now when you pull the lever, you will fall hundreds of feet and when you hit the ground, you will fall on a bouncy house that will cushion your fall completely. Now you will be faced with some doors. In one of those doors, it leads to the bedrooms. There are 10 bedrooms each with queen-sized beds. Whether my friends are over or my workers need to stay over, I have plenty of room. Another door takes you to the lab where my technology is made. I have 25 workers and 5 scientists. They engineer me stuff like jetpacks, fully charged phones for life, everlasting gum, and lots more. They all enjoy working there and I don’t have to pay them since they love it so much. In another room is another precaution that leads to a room full of lions. Everyone who is associated with my lair knows not to take the door with the metal handle, it’s the first thing you learn. In the second to last room is the food pantry, kitchen, and dining room. Anything you can imagine is in there for goldfish to rice pilaf. There are professional chefs that make my food every day. And in the last door is the living room, there are a couple of TVs and some couches to hang out. Now, if you look under the bouncy house, there is a trap door that leads to the turfs. There are 2 turfs and on them lay 50 balls and other equipment. Now after you have seen everything, it's time to go. All you have to do is step in the teleporter and say where you want to go.
Over the course of the three weeks of social distancing, heaps of matter have happened. At some times it’s super fun and other times it can get super repetitive. Obviously when your stuck at home for three weeks, lows are going to happen. For example, I can’t play soccer with my neighbors or with my friends. It’s also a low when my family and I are anxious about if my grandparents are at risk or if they’re safe. On the other hand, there have been some highs. For instance, I have loads of time to sell my Legos I used to play with on Ebay and I’m making a lot of money. Another thing that is good is that I get to see my family more because they are around me 24/7. In that aspect, I have enjoyed this new time. Surprisingly I do not get bored. I have plenty things to do and it takes my mind off this crisis. For example, everyday I play for an hour and a half to two hours of soccer which consists of agility, foot skills, and fitness. I also have read a book and played some video games. There has been some fun but there are many things that I am frustrated with this virus. This has ruined numerous things like, my soccer tournament, my vacation to Utah, my spring soccer season, school, and my break. I just hope that the Coronavirus ends as soon as possible.
- “She was my fear. But a racer should not be afraid of rain; a racer should embrace the rain” ( 44).
Why does Enzo refer to Eve as his ‘rain?’
The rain is unpredictable and sometimes scary. It was unpredictable when Eve left Enzo and it was scary for him. Enzo refers to Eve as his rain from this experience. Also, the rain is an obstacle and Eve is Enzo’s obstacle for hanging out with Denny.
- “Did he really believe that, or was he lying to himself?” (60). What’s the context here? Why might Denny be ‘lying’ to himself about Eve?
Denny said that he was surprised that Eve left him at the house and Enzo is thinking if Denny really believed it or was he lying to himself. I interpret this as Denny is lying to himself because he doesn’t want to believe that she left Enzo. He loves and cares about Enzo a lot.
- “But trust me when I tell you the zebra is real. Somewhere, the zebra is dancing” (66). What do you think the zebra represents for Enzo?
I think the zebra represents Enzo’s dog side, which is his side he doesn’t want to be. To other people, the zebra is their bad alter ego. In the book, it represents his dog side but Enzo interprets this evil. He doesn’t want to admit he’s a dog, which is what he is.
- 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, in my opinion, is a good friend. He is empathetic, generous, supportive, and positive. He is empathetic because he recognizes that Denny is going through hard times and gets in his shoes. He is generous because he is giving stuff to Denny and giving up time for Denny. He is supportive because he is always supporting Denny no matter what. For example, when he was going through hard times after Eve, Mike said he fully supported him. And Mike is also very positive. Even when Denny’s life is falling apart, he gets the good out of him. For example, when Enzo pees on the papers, Mike laughs and so does Denny. “When they saw what I had done, they couldn’t help themselves; they laughed.” In the book, he plays the role of the loyal friend. He is a great friend.
I am doing this Prompt: "A driver must have faith. In his talent, his judgment, the judgment of those around him, physics. A driver must have faith in his crew, his car, his tires, his breaks, himself" (290).
In the chapters 52 through 56, the quote, "A driver must have faith. In his talent, his judgment, the judgment of those around him, physics. A driver must have faith in his crew, his car, his tires, his breaks, himself,” relates to the book and these chapters. In my words, this is saying that you have to believe in yourself and the people around. And in Denny’s case in these chapters, this is saying that he has to believe in his talent and believe in his lawyers and the people that will help him get out of the case. And throughout the whole there have been many cases where his has had to have faith in himself and others. Like when he races and he needs to be confident.
Putting in the Work and Time
Who knew that a dog can be wiser than a man can ever be. The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, is about a professional race car driver, Denny Swift, that raises a family who’s told from the perspective of a dog, Enzo. Throughout the whole story, there happens to be several hurdles and problems, like his wife dying, where he has to race through the rain. Plenty of events happen in the book from losing custody of his child to being accused of something he didn’t do. But from all of the hardships, there are clearly two main lessons that have been learned. Over the course of the novel, Enzo teaches us that patience and perseverance are important parts of the human experience.
While Enzo observes Denny while he’s waiting for events to occur, he learns patience is a crucial life lesson. Near the end of the book, Denny and Enzo are living in an apartment because Denny had to sell his house to get money for essential needs. Maxwell and Trish have taken almost everything from Denny except his motivation and Enzo is summarizing all of the motivational things that Denny has taught him. “The race is long. It is better to drive within oneself and finish the race behind the others than it is to drive too hard and crash" (291). Life is long but too short to stop believing in oneself and also not giving up even when behind. Paying too much attention to the people in front will cause Denny to focus on them and not focus on driving which will make him crash. But Denny can also notice the people in front and give up because they are too ahead. Denny has to find the middle and have patience even though it will be extremely hard and will take some time to get on top. Another example happens after Denny is accused of something he didn’t do, he is separated from his daughter, Zoë, for several months. He has been having loads of troubles and now this comes up, but Denny keeps his composure and stays patient. “Because of the criminal charges against Denny, the Twins had been granted a temporary restraining order that meant, pending challenge in court, Denny didn’t get to see Zoë at all for several months” (219). It’s hard to not see a loved one for even a week but months are even harder. Denny even made up a lie about going to Europe so Zoë wouldn’t be concerned. Denny could have quit, but he didn’t and waited patiently. Over the course of the whole book, learning about patience wasn’t the only thing we can take away.
There are several times in this novel where Denny could have given up, but he didn’t and he fought to get the result he wanted by persevering. While Denny is about to sign the easy way out and compromise on who gets custody of Zoë with the Twins, Enzo takes the papers and destroys them. After that, Denny agrees with Enzo and decides to go all or nothing for her custody and will either get her for good, or he will lose her forever. “I’m going to win this thing or I’m going to run out of fuel on the last lap. But I’m not going to quit” (267). Denny is not going to stop until the end and he won’t quit. It’s definitely the harder route and will not be fun, but he needs to do it. Another example happens after Denny was just accused of being a sex offender, when he’s depressed, and when he’s angry. He starts to drink, but Enzo barks to stop him and Denny acknowledges he’s “better than that” and argues this quote. “No race has ever been won in the first corner,” he said. “But plenty of races have been lost there” (206). It means that nothing can be won instantly and you need to put a lot of work and time into it. If you aren’t ahead in the “first corner,” you can’t give up because there is always a way to get ahead later. But if you don’t persevere, you will lose in the first problem. Throughout the whole story, Enzo teaches us about patience and perseverance.
Throughout Enzo’s life, he has taught us about patience and perseverance. After going through a variety of events, we learn that without these lessons, the actions in the novel might have not ended as Denny wanted. We learn about patience from Denny not seeing Zoë for several months and when he is going through hard times and needs to wait patiently. We learn about perseverance from Denny when he decides not to sign away his rights and when he discovers that he is going to meet his goal, even though it’s going to be hard. Sometimes in life without going through hard setbacks, you will never learn a crucial lesson and will fail the next time the same trouble happens. As some people say, no pain, no gain.
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?
After reading over my texts, I find that they are good but I can improve on them a lot. My writing style was narrative and I think I did a good job keeping it in that voice throughout my writings. Something I can work on is the structure of my sentences. I tend to have the same way of saying things and it gets repetitive extremely quickly. Like the last problem, I sometimes I use words again after I have said them before. For example, if I said extremely to describe something before, I should think about words that mean the same thing. The next question is one that I think I did pretty well. I try my best to find the most creative vocabulary if it means, looking on a thesaurus to brainstorm for a minute. “Are you using adverbs and adjectives” I love using adverbs and adjectives and I do because it helps the reader understand the text more.Moving on to another motion that states, “Do you use vivid verbs or boring ones?” I try to produce strong verbs but sometimes bad verbs will slip and make it in my text. The last question is that I try my best to have good commas in the right places, but some will be unseen.
If you could own any prop that was used in a movie, which prop would you choose?
The prop I would choose to have from any movie would be the Bat-mobile. It is super protected and very fast. You can speed at night without anyone seeing you because its dark. It’s pretty cool.