Owen, Sam and I took to the airwaves to talk about ISIL, or ISIS. Here is the short debate, or "talk" about what we think the US and the allied forces should do about ISIS.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
- George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, is one of the best books ever written. When I was younger, a lot younger, (8 or 9) I listened to Tom Sawyer as an audio book in the same way that I listened or read a lot of classics. Only now, after recently (a week or two ago) coming out of a year-long dormant phase of reading, am I finally returning to Tom Sawyer and reading in general. I can't believe how much I have been missing. Replacing reading with "research" on the internet was certainly educational, but it does not give you creative thoughts, or strengthen your imagination or vocabulary like reading does. Now that I know how fantastic Tom Sawyer is, I know as soon as I am done with it I will return to other classic books that I listened to long ago like The Yearling, Huck Finn, and The Hobbit.
Reading is an adventure. I know that I have never traveled to Scotland, flown a plane or battled a dragon, but with the carefully crafted words of an author that I most likely will never meet I get a feeling for what it would be like. Reading is like watching a movie in your head, with all of the action, excitement or sadness that anything else can give you, it also gives you new knowledge. Too many times today do movies swap out a decent plot and something that appeals to your intelligence withe explosions and violence that when you are finished with the sometimes traumatizing experience you say 'that was cool", but you feel empty. When authors craft words they have to put the utmost care into them. If there is a beautiful sunset, there are a million and a half ways to describe it. With writing authors describe an experience, with a screenplay they show an image to you. I hope that you will trade in a remote for a book as I have in the past few weeks and discover the difference it will make in your life.
The Maze Runner is an Sci-Fi, book about a dystopian future written by James Dashner and published on October 6th, 2009. It has recently been made into a major motion picture that came out this September . I was quite eager to see the movie and it did not let me down.
The story opens with a male protagonist waking up in a steel elevator, knowing nothing except how to speak. He can't remember anything. In his frightened state he is greeted by another character of about the same age. It turns out that they are all trapped in a maze, and none of the thirty or so others remember where they came from or how they got there.
The movie was definitely one of the better ones I have seen. The main characters were played by good actors, and the special effects were not bad. Unlike a lot of other movies released nowadays, it is not all action and explosions. The writers took their time and wrote a good script instead of writing a trashy one inflated by violence. What really bugged me about the movie was the quality of the extras and minor supporting roles, some of them were bearable but most of them were terrible. If they had spent a little more time casting the minor supporting roles, the movie would have been much better.
The Maze Runner is a quality movie made from an exceptional book. The script was written well and attempts to shy away from violence and unnecessary action. I recommend seeing it if not in theaters, at home once it has been released for dvd or on demand.
The Maze Runner: **** (4/5)
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston Churchill
Everyone will learn something new if they have the courage to take themselves out of their comfort zone. I remember the first time I took myself out of my comfort zone and it has lead to not one, but hundreds of learning opportunities. A lot of things can seem dangerous or risky at first, but you have to think past your initial response and decide if you have an opportunity to learn or do something new. The first time I did this was with bees. In full "bush trooper" gear, I crept up on the two fearless strangers battling the swarms. I was about eight, and for me, "bush trooper" gear was a term used to describe putting on as many layers of clothing that I could find, including thermal long underwear, turtlenecks, jeans, snow pants, boots, multiple layers of socks, a winter jacket, a ski mask and ski goggles in the summer or spring. I would then go out into the woods and trudge around, completely protected from thorns, branches and any other thing I could run into. I was watching the strangers dressed in white suits from a distance as they opened the white boxes in the field and used various instruments to pull frames out and put them back in. I had absolutely no idea what was happening, so as a curious young boy usually does, with my dad behind me, I started creeping closer. When I had crept so I was only twenty or thirty feet away I stopped, deciding that I shouldn't get any closer. "Hey come back behind here!" One of the people in a white bee suit gestured towards themselves and invited to go behind the hive. I was petrified. Who wanted to go stand right behind a beehive? Not me for sure! I politely declined. However, after a second of thinking about it, I decided that if they were inviting me back there they must know it was safe, and they sure know a lot more about bees than I did. Once behind the beehive, not a bee touched or even buzzed me. I was amazed that none of them flew behind the beehive. If I had not had courage to come behind the beehive I would have never known that bees didn't fly behind the hive. This simple act, of walking behind a beehive created an interest, and started an exploration of beekeeping that is still continuing to this day. This year we harvested our first batch of honey after four years of failed attempts. Remember to go out of your comfort zone to learn new things, you never know where it will take you.
"Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds."
-Gordon B. Hinckley.
Everyone has been told that hard work is very important, but there comes a time when people realize it for themselves. Once I discovered the value of hard work I knew when to apply it. I soon realized it is a fantastic weapon to conquer any challenge with. I stood on top of the mountain, taking in the breathtaking 360 degree view as the cold wind whipped my face. It was in late September of 2013 and my dad and I had just climbed Mt. Washington. Looking out on the 120 miles of mountains, and valleys I stopped to think about what I had accomplished in the last 24 hours, and how there were still challenges to come in order to get down the mountain. The journey started out with a rough river crossing, in which my dad and I had lost a lot of time attempting to find the right place to cross. Then two hours of more hiking, after that we were done with the easy part. The next two thirds of the journey would consist of hiking, or almost crawling up a 45 or so degree slippery, narrow trail overgrown by roots. Most of the time you were within ten feet of falling off the trail and plummeting for a hundred feet or so to the bottom of a freezing cold waterfall. Exhausted, we finally made it to the lodge where we expected to spend a warm night, but we slept in frozen conditions. The next morning, after barely sleeping, I awoke to an absolutely beautiful day. The sun was shining and it was announced in the lodge that you could see 120 miles from the peak of Mt. Washington. After another hour of cold hiking we made it to the top of the mountain. When we had neared the top it seemed that we were the only people on the top of the mountain. From our point of view it was absolutely deserted except for the buildings. We couldn't hear very well because of the fierce wind. However, contrary to our original opinion, once you come over the final peak, you can see all of them. All of the people who decided that they would climb into their car and drive up the mountain, or take the train. It is these people who have the "This car climbed Mt. Washington" bumper stickers. I suggest they climb it for theirselves next time. Despite all of this I still felt victorious. I strongly suggest hiking Mt. Washington, although it can be a very challenging hike. The most important thing I learned was the value of hard work. If you don't climb the mountain, you'll never get so see the view.
Four years after winning the most beautiful chicken competition at the Topsfield fair, the fair is still going strong and I am looking forward to seeing it this weekend. It opens on Friday the 3rd of October. Here are a couple videos for the fair. I hope to see some of you there, more information is available if you google the Topsfield fair.
I'm William Locke, a Fenn student who loves to write! The more you write the better you get!