Sunday, March 7, 2010

Obsticles by Nate M.

Many people face obstacles. A lot of people cant handle the problems that come in front of them. There are different types of issues one can face. There are internal obstacles and external obstacles. An internal obstacle is a problem a person faces within themselves. An external obstacle is a problem that is caused from an external source, for example the sea in "The old man and the sea".

One of the first problems you encounter is Santiago’s age. He is 85 years old but his determination says otherwise. He was extremely devoted to catching this marlin because he hadn’t caught a fish in so long: “He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.” (9). At this point his age didn’t affect him. He was too devoted to his cause.

Another obstacle is that he was completely alone out in the ocean. He didn’t have Manolin with him. This made the situation more threatening and tense. Because of this Santiago had to be extremely cautious because it was just him, an 85 year old man, against all the surprises the ocean has to offer. Even though he had to be cautious he was intent on catching something so he could get some money. So one major internal obstacle was that he had to do two things that contradicted each other, adding to the fact that being alone was an obstacle. Santiago admitted it: “‘I wish I had [Manolin]. To help me and to see this’” (48)

A third obstacle was that Santiago, reminding you again that he is 85, had to fight for three days with limited rations against a marlin. Also he had to fight vicious attacks from sharks in the dark. The marlin Santiago faced was mighty: “Never have I seen a greater, or more beautiful, or calmer, or more noble thing than you…” (92) He respected the majesty of this fish. Also wanted to take it as a prize because it was clearly worthy: “‘What a fish it was,’” (123) for a fish that causes awe to many people and an old man to catch it is a magnificent feat.

Second of all he had to fight off vicious attacks from aggressive sharks. These sharks actually tore off all the meat so when Santiago landed in port he old had bones attached to his boat.

Another huge obstacle was that he clearly didn’t have advanced technology. All he had was a sloppy skiff. If he had something like a battleship then he most likely would’ve come home with a fish.

He didn’t even need a battleship. All he needed was a boat that could hold a fish in it so it doesn’t get eaten by sharks. Also what did he have to fight the sharks with, a club? Clearly if he had more sophisticated technology he would’ve had the upper hand.

Even after fighting these obstacles Santiago was proud. Even in his old age he had the determination to catch the fish. He clearly had odds against him. He was old, he was alone, he wasn’t strong, and he wasn’t prepared or equipped for this expedition.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Eleven Seconds Book Review

Nathaniel Mish
Block E

Third Quarter Outside Reading Book Review

Eleven Seconds by Travis Roy with E.M.Swift.Warner Books,1998.Genre:Autobiography

Eleven Seconds is an autobiography of a hockey player named Travis Roy. He was born into an all American family. His Travis Roy lives in Maine but he has wanted to play hockey for a Division 1 school, namely Boston University. He transfers to many schools trying to make the best of his skills. In the first eleven seconds of his college career he breaks his neck and becomes a quadriplegic.

“Eleven Seconds is a story about America’s love affair with sports and the people who embrace its never-die spirit” says the book jacket. “Most of all, it is the story of one young man who surrendered to no limits and defied all odds.”

This book allows a glimpse into the eyes and feeling of Travis Roy. It was well written and you could almost feel what he was talking about even though what he was talking about was not feeling anything. Most books ive read aren’t as descriptive as this one. The way it portrays events makes them very vivid in my mind and paints a picture almost as useful as a picture itself.

“ Afterwards, damp with sweat, id lock up and flip off the lights, then step out and look up at the night sky. There’s nothing like the Maine sky on a winter night, the air so cold the snow crunches and squeaks beneath your boots, the steam rising off your neck…”

This book was very well written and its brutally honest. I liked it even though it really left you feeling down. The end of the book let you down and did leave you with a happy thought in your mind. Its encouraging to thing about the trials Travis Roy faced and what he overcame.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Night in the Woods

Nathaniel Mish
E Block
Short Story Rough Draft
Ben woke up and stumbled to the coffee machine. He poured himself a cup. He picks up the phone and calls his friend Carl to wake him up. Both him and Carl are both infallible survivalists. The night before Ben had gotten his gear all together and he put it in his entrance way. He picked up the gear and in morning grogginess dropped it because he wasn't expecting the weight. He went to his friend Carl's house to pick him up for their expedition. As he stepped outside the sun was gleaming. The crisp air hit his face. He cracked open his door and climbed in. He put his key in the ignition. His crappy Buick felt like being a problem today. He attempted to start it again. Reluctantly the car started. He then puttered over to Carl's house. He got to Carl's house and he walked out of his house looked as if he was ready for war. Carl had two rifles and two sidearms. Ben exclaimed, "What, we hittin up the bank on the way there?"

"Nah, but you can never be too careful, remember this is the untamed wild were going to." remarked Carl. Ben agreed and they drove to their starting point. They got to their spot and parked. They trudged through the dense woods until they got to a small clearing. They decided to set up camp. They were maybe a mile or two into the forest. The air was refreshing as they gathered wood. They kindled a warm fire just before dark. They heated up some food over the crackling fire.

Meanwhile a pack of hungry bears were nearby and caught a scent. Their pack had dwindled due to starvation so there were only two bears. Ben and Carl heated up some juicy steaks and had eaten them. They hung all their equipment in a tree. They crawled into their tents with their weapons and walkie talkies to keep in touch. As they are sleeping the bears creep in. One of the clumsy bears stepped on the hot coals. He roared in pain. A myriad of birds flew into the air filling the night sky. Immediately Ben and Carl awoke. They knew that they had to plan something big to get out of this. They turned the volume on the walkie talkies down and started to devise a plan to get through this impasse.

They planned to try to wait them out. All of a sudden the bears started becoming distressed they knew that life was near them. Rifle in hand they were ready to make their move. They decided to fire a shot into the bears direction and run. They fired the bullets, dazed and confused the bears went into anarchy and started to roar and look around. Full of trepidation they both started to run, before the bears understood what happened Ben and Carl had gotten a sizable distance from them. They fired a couple slugs into the bears but the bullets only seemed to provoke the bear. They both aimed for one bear at a time. Ben took a lucky shot and placed a bullet right between the bears eyes. It was in slow motion and Ben could hear the bullet whizz through the air. The bear dropped to the ground hard. They started to aim at the other bear. They fired more shots but only got it in the leg with one bullet. The obstinate bear only stumbled and kept running. They ran out of ammunition in their rifles. They could feel the breath of the bear on their legs. Ben pulled out his pistol and aimed back. He chastened the bear with a clip of bullets. The hardy body dropped to the ground with a thud. Tired and panting they stood.

Feeling elated they checked the bodies to make sure they're dead. The phlegmatic expression on the faces of the bears concurred with Ben's initial thoughts. Laconically they slowly walked back to their camp. They started to pack up their things in silence. They knew that they couldn't stay there. It impacted them so much, the thought that they ended the life of two bears. As they were packing Ben seemed to be aloof. He could just picture the bears faces as the slug hit them. They started their hike back to their car. The thought of what they had just done was so confound it baffled them. They were deep in thought while they walked and they never made a sound. Once they entered the car Carl tried to mallify Ben. It didn't work, Ben had felt so guilty at what he had just done. He just had to accept the fact that he did what he had to survive. They drove what seemed to be an eternity just in thought. They finally got to Carl's house and they said their goodbyes. Ben drove home and passed out as soon as he touched his bed.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Second Quarter Book Reveiw

Second Quarter Outside Reading Book Review

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher Genre: Non-Fiction

Thirteen Reasons Why is about a girl who commits suicide. Before she did she created a set of tapes that each was based on a person who was one of the thirteen reasons why she killed herself. The book takes place as Clay Jensen’s perspective as he listens to the tapes. Also it shows the effect of the tapes on him as he reads them even though in most of them he isn’t mentioned.

“A brilliant and mesmerizing debut from a gifted new author.” Says the book jacket.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a fairly depressing book in my opinion. The books I normally read are more positive. Some get a little dark but this is a subject I almost never delve into. Also the writing style is different than what I am used to. The books I normally read are very descriptive and are difficult to understand by most people. In this book there was very little tough vocabulary. This book though puts you in the eyes of a depressed and troubled teen. This book makes you almost experience the feeling yourself. Also it gives you a peek at the mind of a suicidal person. I liked the writing style of this book. Jay Asher did a good job writing this even if it was an extremely dark subject. This book well grasps in my opinion though the things that happen in a teens life. A lot of this stuff makes sense and could easily happen. Most the painful things that happen to Hannah in this book can easily happen to any teenager.

“I tear the blades of grass out of the gutter and stand up to leave. As I start walking, I rub the blades between my fingers till they fall away.” (40)

This book left me with a strange feeling. I liked it but I also didn’t like it. I didn’t like the depressing attitude of it. I didn’t like the though of someone who killed themselves then is giving people tapes to torment them. I know if this happened to me I would be a total wreck. I also liked it because it was well thought out. I liked how it switched between Clay and Hannah. I overall disliked it more than liked it. It just changed your mood when you read it. Just the stuff that seems little that affects people in a small way.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Breaking the Silence Value Essay

Nathaniel Mish
Mr. B-G
Block E

Breaking the Silence by: Nathaniel Mish

Today in society you mean nothing without wealth. Everyone focuses on becoming wealthy and will do anything to get it. With this constant goal of becoming rich, people forget the little things. They tend to skip over these things and not consider what is truly valuable. For me its the priceless moments that never leave your mind and have a huge impact in your life. So, what is truly valuable?

School is finally over, and yet my day of hard work is not yet over. I get on the bus and sit. Before I know it im at Tailgate. My work day begins, I do the trash, stock items, seems simple but it can get annoying. After countless hours working I finally have the money to get the one thing ive been saving for.

On my day off and I have a ride, my eyes shine. Filled with joy and sheer excitement I sprint to my mom. In the most pleasant tone I ask, "Can you take me to the mall?" When I get there I bust out my wallet and snatch my ATM card out. I feed it to the magical machine that gives me these pieces of paper and I can trade them for my ipod. I punch in my pin number and tell the machine to give me $200. It then spits out $200 in 20 dollar bills. Then it spits out my card. Greedily I snatch the money and card and stuff it in my wallet. It was then difficult to close my wallet.

I get into the Apple store and pounce on the ipod. Greedily I snatch a case for it not realizing I have mas a mistake and gad grabbed the case for the iphone. I give my greenbacks to the man and he hands me my treasure. As I walk out of the store and into the car I hold tight to the bag. Finally the ipod touch is mine! I got the lowest memory version because thats all I could afford at that time. I think the 8 gigabytes will be enough for me.

Now everyday Ii get done with a day of school, sitting through grueling class after class, I unload my backpack full of books and binders and homework. I sit down make myself comfortable and whip out my ipod. I unravel the neatly coiled pearl white ear buds and firmly position them in my ear. I quickly type in my lock code and im in. My home screen is full of apps but im not here for them. I click on the music icon and im exposed to the huge library of song after song. I quickly scroll down to my favorite local band that is from Northampton ,MA, Killswitch Engage. I look through my songs and find what I was looking for. I break the silence with a song coincidentally names "Break the Silence".

My family is very close. When were in trouble theres always someone to get your back. Theres always someone to help you solve a problem. Me and my brother Matt are especially close. We share our deepest thoughts with each other. Also we express our inner most problems and help each other solve them.

I walk out the door, I can hear my brother's metallic keys clanging against each other as he walks. He puts the key in the ignition and were ready. He turns the key and the engine comes alive. We back out of our driveway and start out journey. We putter down our street then head towards Plains School. At the intersection we turn, going to Chicopee. On this particular cold night we happened to go and get some Dunkin' Doughnuts white hot chocolates. We pull up to the window and get our delectable treat. We turn into a parking space and sip at our cups. As we sit in the car we talk about whats been troubling us. My brother asks me how the high school is going. I exclaim "GREAT". After sometime sitting in the car drinking the hot chocolate we decide that it is time to end our drive and go home. As we drive we talk more and decide to drive around more. Then after a prolonged ride we go home and go and do what we were doing before we left.
These two things are completely different but they are the same in some ways. They both are extremely valuable to me. They are different because they are valuable in different ways. My ipod helps me to relax after a long day. It also is used when im angry and I just blare my music. The "Midnight Drive" is valuable in the fact that it brings me closer to my brother and helps me vent my problems. The drive has most likely saved me from insanity. With all the people in my house it gets pretty hectic. Also my parents are constantly yelling at me so it lets me vent out so I dont bottle it up until I burst. Also I understand the effect of stress and bottled up problems. My brother suffers from a mental disorder and ive seen when stress can do. Stress to me is a very strong force. The drive helps to soothe that and help to keep me and my brother sane. Both are very valuable and I wouldn't give them up for anything in the world. Theres nothing like going on a drive with my brother and turning the radio to 106.9 and here the sounds of Killswitch Engage, and to rock out with my brother in a car.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Review Project(school recommendation)

Nathaniel Mish
Mr. B-G
Block E
7. School counselor’s recommendation letter

Dear Dean of Administration,
Jeremy Stone is a very intelligent individual. I believe he would be an excellent addition to your college. He’s very committed to his study of science and has a brilliant mind. He’s a straight A student and is very mature. He asks lots of questions and sometimes asks questions that baffle the teachers. He’s extremely independent and he doesn’t fool around. He takes his studying very seriously. He doesn’t do anything crazy; he’s never missed a class or been late. Neither has he missed homework. When he puts his mind to one thing he is dedicated to it he will finish it at all costs. He thinks out of the box and is capable to solve extremely difficult problems. He tends to be able to solve problems that even our teachers can’t solve. We hope that in college he can learn because we feel like he absorbs the information we teach so fast there’s almost no point. I believe that he will be challenged in college and he will put his best effort into his studies. He is dedicated to science and he is extremely well-suited for college. He’s a great student and he is very good at multitasking. I believe that he will be a very great addition and he will impress you and your administrators.

Counselor Mish

Book Review

Nathaniel Mish
Mr. B-G
Block E

First Quarter Outside Reading Book Review
Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. Avon Books, 1969 Genre: Fiction

In Andromeda Strain a satellite crashes down in a small town named Piedmont, Arizona. The residents of the town open the satellite and inadvertently release a deadly virus. Now the best minded scientists have to cure this virus, they discover this virus is like nothing they’ve ever seen, or studied. Its spreading fast and they have to rush to stop it. The leader Jeremy Stone is a very intelligent scientist that has won multiple medals for his finding.

“One of the great storytellers of our age… Gripping… edifying… what an amazing imagination” quoted from the Orlando Sentinel.

I personally loved this book. Michael Crichton is an amazing author. He writes with such detail, such emotion you feel like you’re in the book. When I read this book I actually felt like this was actually happening, I almost got a sense of fear because I felt like this was happening in real life. This book was written with great detail, the action in it is gripping. I read it all night because I just couldn’t put the book down. Michael Crichton uses a lot of sophisticated words and concepts but he puts it in a way that its easy to understand.

Michael Crichton also wrote “Jurassic Park” which is also a very well selling book and was made into a movie. All of his work is detailed and puts you into the place of the characters. His writing style is very appealing and it draws you into the book.

“All these projects were highly theoretical, and all were staffed by prestigious scientists. Admission to the ARPL (Advanced Research Projects List) was a mark of considerable status, and it ensured future funds for implementation and development.” (50)

In my opinion Michael Crichton is one of the best writers I’ve read. He keeps you into the story with constant action and holds his grip on you with interested vocabulary. This book relates to one of my favorite subjects: science. That’s most likely why I love it so much but it was written in such a great way. When it got into the technical wording and science terms you still were interested because it explained what was happening so you felt like you were learning while reading the book. I would give to two thumbs up. The worst part of it is when the book ends and there’s nothing left to read. I myself had to watch the 2 part series of the Andromeda Strain. That completely brought this to life. I also checked out the website this made the series come alive.