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.