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.