Friday, April 16, 2010

"When You're Gone"

"When You're Gone"

By Sabree
a Quatrain

There was no sudden healing
Now I'm left with an empty feeling
They tell me you've reached a better place
There is no easy way of dealing

I just want another taste
Of your song and beautiful face
As I watched you die, I knew it was your time to go
All the moments will soon erase

This broken heart, I'm still to sow
You suffered so much,I would know
In my heart forever you will stay
Did you ever know you were my hero?

I look forward to that day
When we will be reunited in some way
"I miss you" is all i can say
One more moment with you, I pray

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Old Man and the Sea Essay

Life is full of obstacles. I don’t know if you have realized it but life isn’t a piece of cake. You can be wise or intelligent, rich or just satisfied but it doesn’t get any easier. It’s really unpredictable with twists and turns and detours that always come at the wrong time. Compare life to a maze. You need to stay on the path in order to have a successful perfect life. But who has a perfect well put together life? No one. It’s impossible to be perfect, peaceful, and happy 24/7. Inside your life mazy there are always things that get in the way like wrong ways and walls. These walls are like obstacles. Sometimes these obstacles are really difficult to deal with but other times they make life more suspenseful like a mystery and rewarding in the end. In the book the Old Ma and the Sea Santiago had to deal with many obstacles when he decided to go after the marlin. He had struggled with the obstacle of not having the boy, his hand cramping, and the sharks.

The first struggle that Santiago comes across in The Old Man and the Sea is not having the young boy, Manolin by his side while fishing. The old man and the boy used to fish together but, since Santiago hasn’t caught a fish in 83 days so Mainolin’s parents won’t let them fish together. They think he is bad luck. Santiago feels very lonely while he is out in the ocean. He talks to himself a lot since the boy is not with him anymore. They both had such a great relationship and there is sort of emptiness inside of Santiago. While Santiago is attempting to real in the fish he constantly says things like: “If the boy were here, he would wet the coils of the line. Yes, if the boy were here” (83). Santiago is confident at first but he slowly gets afraid and worried that he might not be able to complete this task without Manolin which is a huge affect on Santiago's character.

The obstacle that really set Santiago over the edge was when his hand cramped up. He was tugging on the line with all his strength to capture the marlin when his hand just shut down. There really couldn’t have been a more critical moment in the story for that hand to work properly. Santiago gets so frustrated with this set back. He is so determined to catch this fish so he can prove to the boy and mostly himself that he’s still got it. I can imagine how ticked Santiago must have been. He starts to get angry with his hand: “Why was I not born with two good hands? Perhaps it was my fault for not training that one properly” (85). He begins to question himself and feels nervous and troubled. He starts to eat the fish he caught, raw, because he believes it will fix his hand. In the end, he needed to be patient and wait until his hand would un-cramp.

While Santiago is out in the ocean he encounters some creatures that give him a run for his money. Santiago is trying to get home when a group of massive sharks start attacking at Santiago’s boat and his prize possession, the marlin. The sharks were vicious: “The old man could hear the noise of skin and flesh ripping on the big fish” (102). They took the whole entire marlin and left him with just the skeleton. This really sucks for Santiago since he just put so much time and effort into catching the marlin and then it’s swept out from under him. He was devastated and probably cried a little with the loss of the marlin. He thought that it wasn’t fair and wished the marlin was never even caught. But, not everything in life is fair and Santiago thought it was just good enough to be able to catch such a fish and was proud.

So how is your life maze? There will always be obstacles in the way of accomplishing what you want to do. But hey, that's life. It shows what kind of person you are when you deal with the obstacles. If you are like Santiago and not let the failures in life get you down and just brush it off, or in Santiago's case, take a nap. "Up the road, in his shack, the old man was sleeping again" (127). Even though it was difficult Santiago needed to put the past behind him and failure of not coming home with the marlin so he could move on in life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

3rd Quarter Outside Reading Book Review

3rd Quarter Outside Reading Book Review
No Limits, Michael Phelps with Alan Abrahamson, Free Press, 2008
Genre: auto-biography

The book No limits is an auto-biography by Michael Phelps. The book is about Michael Phelps’ journey to the Olympics. If you didn’t know by now in the 2008 winter Olympics Michael Phelps broke Mark Spitz’s record from 1972 of seven gold medals in a single Olympics. Michael ended up going home to Baltimore from Beijing with eight gold medals. This book talks about from Michael’s childhood until where he is now, the greatest athlete who ever lived. He takes you through what it took to get to where he is today. It wasn’t easy with the 24/7 training, mental preparation, and commitment. Michael also describes each one of his Olympics gold medal races and you really feel as if you are reliving the race again with him.

I couldn’t find a quote….

The writing style of this book is really descriptive. Since Michael Phelps is the one telling the story he describes it as if you were there again. You can really feel like you are back at the Water Cube in Beijing, China in 2008 relieving the historic moments. He tells the story as he experienced it not as we all say it at on the television. Along with being descriptive Michael also puts lots of dates, very precise. I’ve never read other books by Michael Phelps, and yes there are others.

“So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits” (back cover).
“I screamed. You bet I did. I mean, I totally let loose. I clenched my fist and arched my back and screamed and howled and yelled. And it felt good. So very good” (1).
I absolutely loved this book. It was of the best books I’ve ever read, and yes one reason it because it’s by Michael Phelps. I am also a swimmer so while reading this book I could relate to almost every part of it. From the water and land training to the moments where it all finally pays off and you have just proved what you can really do. I think it is a good book for anyone to read if you are a swimmer or athletic or not athletic at all. It can really be relatable to anyone who has ever had to put in hard work to accomplish something. It also gives you an insight to who Michael Phelps, the person, is.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Year Without Christmas

There was only one week until Christmas and everyone was hurrying around to get their last minute Christmas shopping done. Every mall in the world was packed with mothers, daughters, fathers, and grandparents. The stores each had huge blow out sales, 20% off, 30%, and off 50% off. The most popular store in the mall just so happened not to be a store at all. The line to get into Santa’s Workshop was wrapped around the mall once and almost twice. In the line there were children of all ages with their parents waiting patiently and were all elated. The workshop was decorated with white snowflakes. There were presents wrapped and tied with bows of all sorts of colors, blue, purple, pink, red, and green. Outside of the workshop stood a small girl the size of an elf dressed to look like an elf. Hanging on the front door of the mini house was a sign that read, THE NORTH POLE! Yes this was Santa’s house or what all the children thought was.
Up at the North Pole where Santa really lives it was busier than ever. Everyone was very garrulous and excited for Christmas. Every elf old and young work long and hard hours in Santa’s workshop. They were all zealots about Christmas. The elves made Barbie’s, trains, airplanes, baby dolls, and so many more toys that each child had on their list. As the elves worked downstairs Santa Clause was upstairs getting ready for what he had been preparing 365 days for.
“No Santa the belt needs to be over the vest, and tuck you're shirt in. Don’t forget to comb your beard, and would you please wipe the cookie crumbs off your face.”
“Now Mrs. Clause its not Christmas yet don’t worry yourself. I’m just checking out how I look in my new red suit” Santa said looking in to the mirror inside his room. He was wizened and old but still had a puerile heart.
“You look mighty fine Santa”
“I can’t believe Christmas is in only one week there is still so much to do and I still need to test my sleigh. Where did all the time go?”
“You had 365 days to get this ready Santa.”
Actually 366 days Mrs. Clause. It was a leap year this year” chimed in Christina, Santa’s personal helper.
“I'm going to go check out my new sleigh,” said Santa.
“It’s about time you did some work around here. Go. Shoo,” said Mrs. Clause in a jocular way.
So Santa happily walked down to the stable where the reindeer were. He said hello to each reindeer and walked over to the box that held his new sled. Benny the elf was there putting the final touches onto Santa’s sleigh.
“Oh hello there, Santa. Here let’s get you into your new sled. Up you go.” Benny was infallible and always came through for Santa, one of his best elves. He then carefully helped Santa into his sled. He showed him the buttons to press to start and stop the sled. Santa then pulled the red lever and away he went. H took off into the sky towards the clouds. The sled was working perfectly just as Santa hoped. All of a sudden, Santa heard a loud clang in the back. He quickly spun around to see what happened. As he did this he accidentally pushed the emergency stop button and the sled went tumbling down to the ground spinning out of control. The sled landed with a loud thud and Santa was gone forever.
“This is Breaking News here at the studio. Santa Clause has just been reported dead this afternoon. He had an unfortunate sleigh test ride and died. Elves are investigating but until then no one knows what will become of Christmas. Will there even be a Christmas?”
The fact of Santa’s death was not surrepitious. It flashed across every television screen in the world. Children stared crying parents jaws dropped. Would there be a Christmas this year, is the question that was on everyone’s minds.
It was just as crazy up in the North Pole as on everyone else around the world. One person unparticular was very worried about what was going to become of Christmas. It was Mrs. Clause. That day Mrs. Clause heard a small knock on her bedroom door.
“Come in please,” she said in a welcoming manner.
“Hello Ms. Clause”, said the man in the doorway.” My name is Tim Fandonburg.”
“Yes hello Tim. I know you, you are my grandson. Come in and take a seat young Tim.”
Tim was indeed Mr. and Mrs. Clause’s grandson. Their daughter Olivia had had a son names Tim and here he was at Mrs. Clause’s bedroom door.
“I heard of your great loss of your husband and come right over to offer my help. It sounds to me that you are in need of a new Santa Clause. Am I right?”
“Yes we are. Go on.”
“I feel like I am the next one in line to be Santa Clause. You see I am his grandson and I will do whatever there is that needs to be done in the next six days to be sure that Christmas runs just as smoothly as if Santa were here.”
Mrs. Clause thought only for a moment and then said: “Of course Tim we would be happy to have you as our new Santa.”
Tim took to the roll of Santa quite quickly. Tim ordered that Santa’s new suit was tailored to fit him and that the colors on the suit were black and orange instead of red and white. He relegated most of the elves from making toys. He only hooked up five of the reindeer to the sleigh and decided not to take Rudolph. Tim asked for only carrots and celery instead of cookie and milk. With these new rules Tim began to provoke the elves. He was not like the real Santa Clause and everyone loathed Tim.
The next day at lunch the elves went to Mrs. Clause and complained about Tim.
“I’d like to advocate for the elves but we can not have Tim as out Santa it’s just no right.”
“I concur. The children need a genial and magnanimous Santa Clause.
“How will the children react when they get no presents, even the ones on the good list?”
“Tim needs to be out, but who will replace him?” All eyes went to Mrs. Clause.
“No I can not possibly take on the role as Santa I am a woman and just can’t.” said Mrs. Clause trying to mollify the elves.
“But the children. They need you to!”
Finally Mrs. Clause agreed she kindly told Tim that he was no longer going to be Santa Clause and took the Santa suit from him. Tim then stormed out of the workshop with such a temper. When the door closed behind him all the elves cheered. A new suit was made for Mrs. Clause and all the reindeer were hooked onto the sleigh. The toys were loaded onto the sleigh. They Mrs. Clause stepped into the sleigh. She pulled on the reigns and away she flew.
“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”