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October 12, 2019
Fitz 9th Grade English
Looking Back Through A Mirror
“Fear is the chains that are put on by yourself”
“Fears are educated into us, and can if we wish, be educated out.”
— Karl Augustus Menninger
In life, it is sometimes ourselves that hold us back and we don't realize it until we look back at it. As I read The Odyssey the main character, Telemachus reminded me of a time in my life. “Read book three in class today, tell the others”, that's what Fitz said as he left his classroom. I responded with “I will” and he was gone, into the brisk cold October day. I found a spot on the comfy couch and began reading. In book three of The Odyssey, Telemachus begins to doubt himself and his strength.
“If only she'd favor you, tend you with all her heart many a suitor then would lose all thought of marriage, blotted out forever.” “Never, your majesty,” Telemachus countered gravely, “that will never come to pass, I know. What you say dumbfounds me, staggers imagination(Line 253)”. This reminded me of a time in my life when I began to doubt myself. For quite a while I thought I was not good enough to achieve my goals. However, I learned that one's fear is the only thing that holds back, people from achieving greatness. I started to put more work and passion into my life and I saw improvements and progression Just like Telemachus, through heartache and pain came greatness and made me a stronger person. It also was extremely helpful to have friends behind me encouraging me to do better. This lesson is important for me because it taught me to not doubt myself, but instead, put more heart into my goals and they will become reality. In life, different things can have special connections.
October 9, 2019
Fitz 9th Grade English
Ninth Grade, Making the Grade
Helping Others, To Help Yourself
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
In life, people want to help each other to make their lives better. I’m currently a ninth-grader at Fenn, and there are some things I would like to have teachers make an effort, to help make my year better. This is important to me because I want to have a better 9th Grade experience to look back on when I am older. Two things is the lack of communication between teachers and the loss of a great tradition.
It was a crisp Tuesday in October, and I sat down and opened my iPad to do see what homework I had. I was astonished to see how much homework I had which included a Global reading, take notes and do gizmo worksheet for biology, comment on people’s writing, all on top of a math test and all due the next day. Also the day after that I had a language quiz. I was stressed about the workload, what will my teacher say if I don’t have my homework done? How will this workload affect my performance on my upcoming tests? These questions swirled around me like snowflakes in the wind. In the end, I decided to go to school early and finish my homework and study a little more.
To start, there needs to be better communication between teachers. Then they could plan their course and adjust it if need be. I'm not saying don’t have any tests, because that’s unrealistic and wouldn’t do me the student any justice. What I’m saying is that having positive and constructive communication with fellow teachers is critical especially at a high school level. Yes, I know about the meetings teachers have, however, I believe that those meetings are centered around just talking about how students are doing instead of voicing a planed overview of that teachers week. Even when plans change it’s the teacher's responsibility to notify other teachers about that so they can adjust accordingly. Through life, I have learned that better communication equals a better life. In life, it is important to have good communication especially between people who are connected.
In the fourth grade, I remember my brother Blake, (A ninth-grader) talking about Pen to Paper. “It was so great,” he said around the dinner table” every week. It was a traditional thing where every other Friday, Mrs: Ward, would get all the boys to write poems, have cookies and chill. However with the unfortunate passing of Mrs: Ward the tradition was passed aswell. What's left of Mrs’s: Wards great inventions are the committees so I’m one to ask, where did it go.
It seemed so much fun and I'm sure that even though it could never live up to what Mrs’s: Ward did, I'm sure we could do it justice. I'm sure that if we can bring this back, then it will enhance our class as a whole. It was important for my brother and important to me to bring back. Even if I do fail in my efforts I will have learned that it is ok to aim high and miss, but there is a problem if you aim low and hit. In life, when you help someone else you help yourself as well.
October 4, 2019
Fitz 9th Grade English
Constructive Criticism, That Built A Soccer Player
Don’t let criticism break you, but rather fix you
Being able to learn from people that are older and wiser than you is an important skill to have. This skill was important for me while practicing with the JV soccer team. I stepped was on Fenn’s turf field with my team and we were scrimmaging to get ready to play Belmont Hill, on a cold fall day. While scrimmaging without me realizing I was making a critical mistake. I was getting to close to the ball which meant that my side was not covered and we would be congested where the ball was which meant that we would most likely lose possession. After a scramble for the ball my coach, Mr:Morrison told me “you’re getting to close to the ball and it congests the middle. After hearing his input I continued to play with his words in mind. The next possession we passed it around and scored. The important thing was that when I made a mistake and my coach called me on it, I was able to correct it which resulted in better soccer. In life you can’t help people who are not willing to help themselves
The Uplifting Feedback
Helpful comments, better writers
The only way to get better, is to get feedback from yourself or others. While reading several writing pieces that were written by my classmates, I had to give them some informative feedback. I was sitting on a couch, in a house that my family was renting while we are down in North Carolina, for a wedding. Is was going through piece after piece of writing and I learned that people, while given the same prompt, wrote about completely different things. This was not super stunning looking back at it, but what is stunning is how much criticism I could give. Now note I’m not gonna be a teacher and get down to the nitty gritty parts of someone’s writing, but after each piece, I struggled to find some criticism to help my classmates be better writers. However what I have now learned and understand is that compliments also help people be better writers. By giving compliment the writer can keep doing that same thing which in-turn helps their writing which ties to my theme because compliments are feedback. In life, the happier you are the better person you can become.
Fitz 9th Grade English
October 4, 2019
Spacing Out In A Dream of Writing
“An exhausted student, with a flaw to draw”
There are times in life where you space out, and there are other times where that’s the only thing you can focus on. I experienced both of these while listening and reading The Odyssey in Fitz’s English class. It was an exhausting school day that included a difficult biology test. I was not super ecstatic about sitting in slightly uncomfortable wooden stools for thirty+ minutes. After putting in a confusing code to redeem the book we began reading. Luckily Fitz let us sit on the soft brown couches that he has in his class room that near the windows which were much more comfortable than the stools. As I was following along while Fitz read I lost my concentration and glanced over to my right to see another student drawing in notability. After watching him draw I saw less incentive to keep following along. For the next part of class I drew away from the class and began to think about other things. Well that was until I heard said “this will be on your quiz”. The words pierced my daydreaming state and I regained my focus. I quickly rushed through the pages of my book and highlighted what I needed to study for the quiz. I was lucky that I was able catch up and from then I decided to try way harder to stay focused on reading and learning. The next class I made sure to pay way more attention to what I was supposed to do. After the exhausting day I found more incentive to let my mind wander and less incentive to pay attention. However, what I realized is that when you space out, your knowledge on a subject spaces out as-well. So even though I want to space out I cant because then I am activity hurting my own learning process. This is an important theme to understand because if I did, what I did in Fitz’s English class at my job, there could be some terrible repercussions. Through this experience I learned about the importance of staying focused and on task. If you do what is easy in life, life will be difficult, but if you do what is difficult life will be easy.
October 4, 2019
Fitz 9th Grade English
The Whistle That Blew Me Away
“First Clamp, Last Goal”
”There is substitute for hard work, never give never stop believing
never stop fighting” ~Hope Hicks
In life, we face hard times that we must get through. I was much like that this past spring. “Come on guys let’s go” I roared on the Fenn turf. I was playing a lacrosse game against St. John’s prep one bright spring day. From the deepest and darkest hole our team rallied back with four unanswered goals and now we were going to overtime.
With sudden victory hanging in the balance Mr:Ward and my teammates in the background saying “come on Hudson, win this one” I knew the stakes of this face off. Unfortunately, as soon as that whistle blew, it was over. The player on the other team had won the clamp and with one motion, the ball was in his pocket and he went blazes down the field. I tried to catch up, but it was too late. He had generated a four vs three and they scored, and won the game.
I knew how hard everyone had worked in that game all to just be ruined at the end because I couldn’t make the play. As I was walking off the field that day I was filled with bitterness, sorrow and defeat. Going into this season I told myself how passionate and determined I was for my future in this sport. But then life struck me down and asked “how bad do you really want this”.
Days after the game, I took some time to think and I realized that this was a wake up call to work harder. So during practice I would give it 110%. Over the summer I went to the gym almost every day and even when it was hard and I was about to quit, I couldn’t because I had built a certain type of mentality that knew that, that I got someone or a team that was counting on me to make a play and step up.
This theme of hard times is important because it makes the person going through it, better, stronger and more mature. I learned that at the end of pain and hardship is success. In life you can go on the highway that leads to an easy, boring life or you pick the shovel next to you and make your own road.
Understanding the beauty of nature and having fun with new people
“You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.”
A bright, humid day shone on me in the woods of Camp Belknap. The sun covered by white beautiful clouds. “You all have ten minutes to get from this side of the ropes course, through the zig zag route and to the other side. Each tree is checkpoint along the way to the end” Owen (our councilor) said. Jack confidence in his strides stepped up and managed to get to the first checkpoint. He continued walking until there was a loud “stop” coming from many of my teammates to point out that we needed help each-other. One by one people got up on the wire and made it to the first checkpoint. Then it was my turn I hesitantly stepped on the wire and tried to make it to the end until I lost my balance, I was sure I was going to fall on the muddy rocky ground. That is until my hand caught Gerald’s hand to save me. I walked through the ropes course thinking I will fall, but with the help of my friends we finished and as I stepped off the ropes course I realized something. I realized that with no distraction from electronics I can see the true beauty of nature and I discovered people who you don’t hang out with can still have a fun time with you.
The beauty of nature can only be seen when there are no distractions. The sandy beach engulfed my feet on a crisp Thursday afternoon as I stood on the waterfront at Camp Belknap, readying myself to ride on my paddleboard and into the cold lake. “Elliot, can you help me get this board off the rack?”
“Yea one second just let me finish getting this one out,” replied Elliot.
“Never mind” I sighed as I pulled out my long paddleboard off the rack and into the cold, glistening waters of Lake Winnipesaukee. After getting the board to thin shore I grabbed my paddle and headed out. I began paddling with water splashing in my face and Elliot and Gerald talking about god know’s what. I made a decent way out until I decided to swing my momentum forward which caused me to fall in the large, freezing lake. I quickly hopped back onto my board making sure to yell and complain about how cold the lake was. That was until I saw the soft, orange sun beginning to set in the distance. Looking back at the camp from my view made me think about something important. If I was at home on my computer or phone I would not have seen that beautiful view of the lake and of camp. Every time I think of nature I can see me sitting on a green paddleboard admiring the sewighing trees, the setting sun, and mother natures beauty. Without this experience, I will have missed a key component in life, the gorgeousness of nature, and Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Though this was a rare critical lesson learned at Camp, it would not be the last.
Just because you don't know someone doesn't mean that you cant have a good time with them.I was given the chance to learn this on my 9th grade trip to Camp Belknap.“The cabins have been picked randomly”. Those are the words that filled my ears with director Seth’s voice as I had just arrived at Camp Belknap. The first thought that came to mind was ‘I don't really hang out with these people, this is gonna be really awkward.’ The one thing I was most nervous about was lunch because I did not know too much about a lot of the other boys in my cabin especially this new kid Gerald. However, meal after meal our cabin began to click. We started to get to know each other more and discover each other’s interests, passions and aspirations for the year.What surprised me is how even though I did not know a lot about the other kids I was able to have these long-lasting and fun conversations. This resulted in people like me to get to know other kids in my cabin who I didn't really spend much time with. Days turned to night by what felt like minutes. I and my cabin would just talk and gel before we would be forced to go to sleep and as my cabin talked it sounded as if we had been best friends for years. This moments were critical to give me the skills to be able to interact with new things and especially new people. Before I knew it camp was over, but the fun with my new friends was just beginning. This important experience made it possible to open up to new people in life
Fitz 9th Grade English
A Little Brother
Keeping the strength from within
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” -Mother Teresa
Just because your younger doesn't mean you can't do things others can. I am the youngest of three brothers and five years apart from my oldest brother, Blake. However, this does not mean I cant do the same things my brothers can. This was especially true when I was at the gym with my brother Graham. Summer was about to wrap up and we were going to go to Bosse Sports to do a workout. The clicks and thumps could be heard throughout the gym. My brother and I had pretty much finished up our workout until we got to the free weight section. We were going to do a few more exercises before we finished up. At this point, both of us were tired and were fatigued. “This will be our last set and then we will go” Graham said. I agreed and so it was. My brother did his exercise and dropped the weights on the black rubber ground. At this point Graham was stronger than me, so he had a perplexed look on his face when I grabbed the same wights he did.”Hudson, you cant do this” Graham said.
“Aww, come on let me try” I pleaded. “No your too young for that” Graham rebutted. At this point it was not up for a debate I was going to use what last bit of my strength I had to do this set to prove myself. I lied down on the black, short bench with the weights on my chest. With one last inhale I pushed up and began my set. I exhaled loudly after every rep and I could feel my face turn red. One rep turned into five and then seven and finally ten. I had done it. My brother was super confused about how it was possible for me to do what I had just done “What” he muttered. “I told you I could do it,” I said.“Nice job”, I guess Graham said with a surprised look on his face. “Hey” I sharply spoke as he began to leave.”Yea” he responded. “Just because I'm younger, doesn't mean can't do what older kids can,” I told him. He responded in a hmph and walked away into the locker room, and the rest was history. This story ties into my theme well because, it displays that just because someone is younger, doesn't mean they are not capable of doing great things. Through this experience, I learned how to not only push myself but also that just because someone is older doesn't mean they are better. There are sometimes where all you want is to prove your older, doubters wrong
Brothers That Compete In A Special Place
“The place that put the ball in bottom left corner of the net”
“A place is only as good as the people in it.”
― Pittacus Lore, I am number four
A place that makes someone feel good is important. In my case, this is on the lacrosse field. The soft, orange summer sun began to set as I and my brothers stepped on Fenn’s lacrosse field. It was almost a week before my brother Blake would go off to his sophomore year of college and my other brother Graham, was going to his junior year of high school. We were all bored so we decided to head over and play lax on Fenn’s turf field.
I stepped onto Fenn’s green turf field. Bucket of lacrosse balls in one hand, my stick, helmet, and gloves in another and music blasting we were ready to get started. Blake, Graham and I got through our basic lacrosse warm-ups on Fenn’s turf field. It was summer, which made the weather way hotter than usual, but we didn’t care and started our drills. Shooting drill, passing drill, dodging drill, progression drills, you name it, we did it. After about two hours of doing drills we got to the true heart of the practice, the reason we were all out here, to compete in 1v1’s against each other.
The first time I did it, I got absolutely destroyed, Hell, I thought he was gonna kill me. Second time another fail, completely shut down. “Come on, your gonna play on varsity” my brother questioned? This really got me going, I wasn't about to take trash talk, especially from my brother. With no second thought, I responded,” Yeah, I will, and I'll prove it”. I waited in line I thought about everything Fenn had done for me last year. The coaches and the experience was something that I would not let be squandered, especially not on my home turf. My turn came and my brother said: “remember, you wanted this”. I gripped my stick tight with old tape on the bottom. I was gonna make him regret his words. With one final breath, I started my run. Blake was eager to push me down just as he did before. But this time I had a determination and a hunger to win. He tried to push as I made my dodge, a quick split to my right, perfect. Blake tried to rectify himself, but it was too late, I was a whole step ahead of him which was enough to sting the ball in the bottom left corner of the net. I raised my arms in victory as a ran across the field. Most things in life are business, but this was a personal win.
The power I got from my coaches could not have been obtained if I was not at Fenn. Fenn had given me the power to learn and develop as an athlete. This theme of the power of place is important because it gives a person the inspiration and will to do something great. Without me being at Fenn, this place that gave me power, I would not have been able to end the practice in victory. I learned that the power of a person is not always internal, but external from the place/environment one is in.
As I look back at Fenn and my memories I could feel the power and specialness of those memories. This theme of the power of place is important in my life because it allowed me to be motivated and lifted by a special place to achieve greater heights.
September 9, 2019
Fitz 9th Grade English
Valuing Community, Place, Stewardship
Growing In a Place, Make That Place Grow
“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”
“Old God sure was in a good mood when he made this place.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” - Jane Goodall
A community is just a grouping of people that live in a specific area, right? A place is just that a location correct? Or how about maturing as you age and then looking back and learning from that, stewardship…really? On the surface, these statements seem pretty accurate, however, it goes deeper than that. Community is not just a group of people, but rather a group of people that makes one feel belonged loved, and apart of something important in their life.
One place specifically that I feel community, is at The Fenn School. Even as a small little fourth-grader, blue fuzzy jacket and black pants sitting on a plastic chair. The big ninth-graders, introducing me to the school and told me what it means to be at Fenn. I didn’t pay attention that much, but what I kept hearing is this idea of community. It’s at lunch where I really discovered this feeling of community. During the day everyone is busy learning and working. But lunch is where friends can talk about whatever they want and connect. This time opens up windows to express how one feels. and it gave me a true sense of community. As I went up the grades and became older, I began to understand my role in communities outside of school. I would learn and understand the value of having two other older brothers, a friend to many and a supporter for few, not realizing it at the time, but those became roles that I embodied and continue to live through every day.
The power of place is a hard concept to understand because the purpose behind it, is a place that communicates an important idea, value, or feeling. The power of place should run in both ways, one giving power to that place and that place giving power to that person.
One place from my life that makes me feel powerful was at Winsor Mountain. A flaring bright fire illuminated the darkness of night to revel boys sitting around it. Many had left for the security of their cabins while some stayed outside the cold night. Anticipation filled many people's thoughts, starting a whole new year was all we could think about as we all stared into the burning flames. Until everyone's thoughts were interrupted by a voice. A voice filled with distraught about the passing of his father. People’s own thoughts faded like a bright blue sky turning to night, their minds were then filled with concern for their friend. One by one people not only comforted the boy but, shared their own concerns and in some cases apologized for any wrongs committed to another member of the community.
After everyone was gone, the once bright burning flames, began to fade, however, the memories of power and security at Winsor Mountain will stay in the minds of those students, forever.
I lay a cozy poofy bed by myself, our house protecting me from the cold black night. School was starting up soon so I decided that I needed to clean out my Ipad. I went into my stoarage to see what was taking up some storage. Going through old notes and photos made me think back to what has happened in my life. Going to D.C, the sorry letter I made for Mrs: McCarthy after doing something bag and pages upon pages of old notes, tests, quizzes, and essays filled not just my Ipad but my mind as well. Looking back at all these different experiences in my life, I look at them through a new mindset. A mind that has aged and matured. A mind that those memories have become from present to past. Which turns them from a specific moment into a lesson.
Community makes one feel loved and cared for. The power of place gives one the power to feel and be themselves. The value of stewardship is critical to the value and to understand. Those who cannot come to grips with what used to be the present that has then turned to the past will never learn, mature or grow