The Power of Friendship

Friendship when times are tough


“There are friends, there is family, and then there are friends that become family”

- Jay Shetty

A good friend overtime can become family. I have had many friends, but there are a handful that I would be able to call a brother. Last December, my pug Angus was sick and we thought it would have been best to put him down. I couldn’t bear going with my family to see him in his final moments so I decided to stay home. In this time of need, I need to speak to someone I was closest to.

I slammed the door behind me, put my head in my pillow and cried. I needed to talk to someone in order to get my feelings out, yet I had no family member to turn to in a tough time like this. I called a close second, my best friend Read. 

The tears kept falling rapidly until suddenly Read picked up the phone. Read told me repeatedly that everything was going to be just fine. He may have not said the most impactful things at the time but his sheer presence alone was enough to drown out my sadness. Read was a true friend that night, and I will never forget that. Read comforted me in a time of need, and I will forever be grateful for that. 

Read is so important to me because of how he is always there for me when times are tough. Another big reason as to why Read is such a good friend is because I can trust him and he can trust me. Trust is an important value in any relationship. Trust needs to be mutual. Read is also such an important friend because he is like a brother to me. I can trust him with anything and he’s always been there for me.

If you find a good friend, cherish them. They’re hard to find.


The Power of Family





“Who are we to trust if not our family?”

-Alexander Pope VI

Every family is deeply rooted with trust. In my family trust is a value given to us at birth. Being honest has always been an essential value in our family. No one has ever lost trust because it is such a core value in my family.  It wasn't until recently that I broke such an essential value of my family. I lied. I lied to the faces of my parents. The instant feeling of regret bombarded me as soon as the lie seeped out of my mouth. Lying to the ones you love the most is one of the worst feelings you’ll ever experience. As I was walking to my bed to get some shut eye I felt as though I couldn’t hold in the lie any longer. I walked into my mother’s room as she was winding down from a long day and told her that I had lied to her. The feelings of regret and disappointment in myself instantly came out in the form of tears. The fear of my mother being mad at me was a thought that kept circulating in my mind as she thought of what to say. She finally said, “Ethan I’m your mother and I will never be mad at you, but don’t ever feel like you need to lie to me”. I was relieved after my mom said that. She was very angry with me although we are a family, we stick together through thick and thin. She wasn’t going to let one lie break the trust of family. I have never really put much thought into trust and how it affects my family’s dynamic. Although, since I have lied to my parents the value of trust has become much more important to me. I value the relationship that I have with my family and I am thankful that my family did not let one lie ruin our relationship. At the end of the day when times are tough all you really have is family.

Poet X Letter

Dear, Arthur

school started off a little rough but I found as though I bounced back well. After a long summer I just wasn’t in the right mindset going into the school year so I had to flip a switch and turn this term around. Which I did luckily. Aside from school, my social life has been great. I have been regularly meeting with friends on the weekends which has been a nice refresher from the hard work that goes on during the week.

     In English class we’re reading Poet-X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Poet-X is about a girl named Xiomara who discovers slam poetry. She uses Slam Poetry as a way to express her feelings in her everyday life. In Poet X Xiomara feels as though she is unable to hide away her feelings and thoughts in her Harlem neighborhood. The characters in the book are Xiomara’s mother, twin brother, Father Sean, and her best friend. The recurring theme is faith. In the earlier stages of the book the author touches a lot on how Xiomara does not share the same love of faith as her family and friends do.

     So far I’ve found that this is a very interesting novel. The way the book shows very much detail on how Xiomara feels in every single poem is fascinating. There are not many novels that are similar to this one and it’s a very different look at the life of a teenage girl. One of the recurring themes that come up in the novel is faith. The people who Xiomara is closest to constantly try to force religion upon her when she does not want to partake in religious activities. The poems go in depth on how she feels and how she bottles up all her feelings. The novel makes her feel better about herself because of how she can release all of her feelings onto a page.

     The poem Holy Water found on page 62 really gives you a sense of the expectations Xiomara has when it comes to religion. She is pressured into religious practice when in actuality she really wants nothing to do with it,


I don’t know if it’s a prayer to hope that soon my feelings will drown me faster than the church’s baptismal water.

The quote shows how all her feelings are bottled up and the pressure of forgoing a religious practice at the same time is getting to be too much to handle. A line quote example from the poem would be “Recently, she’s got all kinds of devils inside of her.” That quote is referring to Xiomara's mother speaking about her without her knowing. Two phrase quotes that depict the theme of expectations are “I don’t understand her God anymore” and “Father Sean talking to me won’t help.” All of those quotes really help to understand Xiomara's extreme disliking for religious practice. But at the same time, she really has no say as to whether or not she can opt out of it. It is very sad to see someone being forced into a religion they really don’t believe in.

     My life has been excellent. My social life and academic life have been great. Arthur, I hope you learned a thing or two in my letter.



Ethan Ali




Third of three
Oldest brother gets it all
Second brother never seems to fall
Me, I’m in for the long haul


In the shadows of my siblings is where I spend my days
Will I prosper, or will my expectations fade away
It’s in my hands, the Fenn scholar that I am

The World is Coming to an End


The World is Coming to an End

By: Ethan Ali



The world is coming to an end

The glaciers are melting like snow cones in the dead heat of summer

The ozone layer is thinning out like it’s my father’s hair

Catastrophic storms rise and catastrophic storms sweep

The sea levels defiantly rise like a prisoners rebellion 

Pollution is a flame that burns the stratosphere

Droughts popping up across the map like notifications on a teens phone

Weather fluctuates like Wall Street in the COVID era

Our lakes and oceans are earthly paint as they dry away

We as a community continue to shoot ourselves in the foot

So many people remain blind to the ongoing effects of climate change

If we don’t act now, we may leave nothing for future generations

I don’t want a perfect world, but I would like the opportunity to live in an imperfect world

The world is no longer a place that may end by human deeds, but rather a world that will end by human action

The question being when



Brings out the worst in us


You’ve got to play with that killer instinct, man. You’ve got to hate that guy across from you. Then after the game is over, tell him what a nice guy he is. Shake his hand. Especially if you win.
~ Chuck Bednarik

In football if you can’t flip a switch and turn your emotions off, good luck. Once the ball is snapped, the five men down jump out of their stances and instantly collide with the defensive line. Players grabbing face masks and pulling, others putting their head down and going right through. People are thrown to the ground. Others explode through their man in an attempt to tackle the quarterback. It’s rare that they will make the tackle. If you can, the feeling of making a tackle is like no other.

     Last night, in our game against Reading I was put in on the kickoff team because of one of our players absence. I’ve never played kickoff, let alone I got put in five seconds before the ball was snapped. I was scrambling to try and find where to stand when suddenly they kicked the ball. My heart was beating faster than the speed of light. I knew the goal of everyone who is not catching the ball is to find someone to block. I also knew that me being a bigger guy that I would not be able to catch one of the smaller kids in order to block him. Knowing that I decided it might be best to play a little dirty. 

    In the past, I have never had a killer mentality in any sport I’ve played but something about football brings out the worst in us. The fact that a big part of the game is you throwing your body at someone else. It wasn’t until the ball was caught by my teammate that I realized that. I instantly started running so that I could try to cut off the opposing player running on the edge of the field. Once I got close I perfectly timed when to accelerate in order to align my body with his. When the time was right I lowered my shoulder and popped him. BOOM! Our bodies collide harder than bricks. I kept running until I saw him out of the corner of my eye lying on the ground. I instantly turned around to see the kid on the ground. He was lying there for about ten seconds. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep playing knowing that I have just injured an opponent. I know that football brings out the worst in us, but nobody would be able to move on knowing they put a kid on the ground for good. 

      I did not know I had it in me to be that physical. It was not until after the game that I realized that football brings out the absolute worst in me.

Ethan Ali

Fitz English

Windsor Mountain Essay


Windsor Mountain Essay

Trying New Things


“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”

~ John Assaraf

What are we doing here? This has no purpose. From the moment I got off the bus I felt as though it was going to be a dreadful experience in New Hampshire. Little did I know that I would learn many lessons that I will obtain for the rest of my life.


          Exhaustion was a mutual feeling in the air as we gathered around the campfire to end the first night of Windsor Mountain. People are cramming on logs to try and find a place to sit. Others standing in the back looking into the fire with a look of pessimism, awaiting the end of what they think will be a dreadful next hour. Mr. Fitzsimmons was strumming his guitar while we all gathered around on a chilly night. The heat of the fire was so soothing I could feel it even though I was the furthest away from it. Fitz began playing a couple of old tunes that most likely none of us had heard. I think a majority of the grade was enjoying this moment. Even me, even though when we gathered around the fire I found no purpose in what we were going to do, started to enjoy it. Sadly a few kids weren’t able to say the same thing about the uniqueness of this moment that I bet none of us has ever had. Nevertheless, Fitz kept playing and playing. Fitz started playing twinkle twinkle little star, a tune that all of us had heard in our childhood but the difference between now and then was that we could look at the stars. The whole grade joined in to sing the tune. Everyone looked up into the sky to see the sight of a bunch of glowing stars. The feeling of exhaustion slowly drifted away as the feeling of joy filled its place. This for me would have to be one of my favorite memories from Windsor Mountain. Just because the whole community gathered around to sing a song and stare into the stars.

I was so caught up with just being done with the campfire. It was only until the campfire was almost over that I realized that I have to start living in the moment. That was as unique of a moment as I will ever get, and I almost let it pass right by me. The purpose of life is living it.


          I was dreading the high ropes course since the moment we stepped into Windsor. I’ve always been afraid of heights. Although I don’t want the challenge to pass me by.  My advisory group was all staring up at the different ropes courses that Windsor Mountain had to offer. I was trying to find the courage somewhere deep down inside of me to attempt the course; I found it. I decided to attempt the ropes course. I was one of the first of my classmates to attempt it. I thought that by going ahead and doing the course my more hesitant peers would be more willing to attempt the course. Mind you I had no interest in going. I was going entirely for others being more open in trying it. When I finished the course I told the people who were debating going that it wasn’t worth stressing and that they would regret not going. As a result, a few more kids stepped in and gave it a shot.  

I ended up finding the courage that I knew I had. By stepping on that ropes course, I didn’t just benefit myself, but I benefited others by making them more serene about attempting the course. 


        Why not?