“Tom struggled awhile and then retired, utterly defeated. There was a weak attempt at applause, but it died early.”
In Tom Sawyer, it is almost impossible to read a chapter and not relate to the text. In chapter 21, the school holiday is approaching and the students and schoolmasters are scrambling to prepare for “examination day,” when most of the town files into the school to watch the students display their learning’s from the year. The majority of students are required to recite a poem or display another skill they have nourished over the year. Student after student achieves his or hers goal of making it through their part of the night, but some students crack under the pressure of performing and cannot persevere through their stage freight. Unfortunately, Tom could not achieve his difficult task and forget what he was reciting,
Like Tom, I have experienced the anxieties of performing in front of large audiences. When I read this chapter, I was able to relate to Tom’s anxieties personally. When I was in seventh grade, I took part in a public speaking contest at my school. The contest required us to memorize a piece of literature and present it to our class. If we spoke well when presenting, we got the opportunity to present in front of the entire school. I was fortunate and performed well in my class presentation and received the opportunity of presenting once more in front of the school. On my presenting day, I was filled with anxiety and I felt as if I was going to fail. When I was presenting I forget very little of the piece, but my legs and body shook as a result of my anxiety and I did not advance. It is these types of scenes within the novel that allow us to relate personally and freely to the book.
Imagine that you find every last ounce of courage you possess. You are expecting one response, the only response that will satisfy your needs. Your request is denied and you are filled with unhappiness. Everyone has had a specific desire at some point in his or her life. When you have a longing, you are often forced to question someone to find the answer you need. For example, you may have to ask your teacher whether you passed the exam or not. The point is it is often difficult to approach someone when you are unsure how he or she will respond. Tom Sawyer, the main character in: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, wished to re-acquaintance himself with his previous girlfriend, Becky Thatcher. He approached her and apologized to her for his previous actions and asked her if she would like to continue to see him. Becky proclaimed, “I’ll thank you to keep yourself TO yourself, Mr. Thomas Sawyer. I’ll never speak to you again.” Tom was crushed because he was not expecting a response anywhere remotely close to this. He was so ready for her acceptance, but none came. This scene in Tom Sawyer triggered a memory of my own when I was younger. I was awaiting the knowledge of whether I had my made a certain sports team in my town. One evening, I was in the supermarket when I saw the coach of the team I was trying out for. I could feel the adrenalin pumping in my veins as I approached the coach, I thought to myself, this is it, and you’re about to make the best baseball team in the whole sate! I approached the Coach and asked him whether or not I had been selected. He responded, “Sam, unfortunately, you are not going to be a member of my team this year, I know this must be hard to hear, I’m sorry.” I was shocked and rattled and I could not comprehend what he had said. I was so emotionally ready for the positive response, but I had not stopped to think of the possibility of being cut and I ended up being disappointed. For me, it is important to remember that you never can predict exactly what you are going to hear and you need to ready and equipped with the tools of dealing with difficult news.
In life, everyone experiences pain, whether it is mental or physical pain, it is irrelevant as everyone has experienced pain. Six years ago, I made a mistake. My grandfather had recently purchased a Ranger Polaris and I was eager to ride it. He was lenient about letting me, but he decided to let me give it a try. As soon as I heard my grandfather say, “Yes…” I dashed to the vehicle and hoisted myself upward onto the seat in front of the wheel. I thrust the key into the ignition and twisted the key. The engine roared to life and a smile burst to my face. I shifted my hands around the wheel and put the Ranger into drive, I hit the accelerator, and was off. I tore down the hill, as if I was a Nascar driver, the wind let out a whistle in the background, I turned, and hit the accelerator with all my might. I overestimated the speed I was traveling and I hit the brake, but my efforts did not prevail and the vehicle slammed into the barn. I was okay, but it was one of the hardest moments of my life to tell my grandfather that I had crashed the Ranger. I originally told my grandfather that the Rangers brakes had failed to work, but that only deepened the hole I was in. In the book Tom Sawyer, Tom, the main character endures a similar experience to my own. Tom recently had run away from home and he had returned just at the brisk of his funeral. Tom lies to his Aunt by telling her about a dream he previously had about her, she forgives him and everything returns too normal. When Tom’s Aunt begins to become interested in Tom’s dream, Tom comes clean. He explains how sorry he is and how he would never think about doing what he had done every again. For a brief amount of time, Tom’s aunt is infuriated, but as she settles there is a moment of peace and she proclaimed, Kiss me again, Tom!-and be off with you to school, now, and don’t bother me any more.” The narrator continues to describe her thoughts and she finally states, “I could forgive the boy, now, if he’d committed a million sins!” To me, it is most important to always tell the truth, no matter how scary it may be, always tell the truth.
In life, it is almost impossible to not make mistakes. Mistakes can be the smallest of things, but can also be very large. For example, while taking a math test you could forget to do a problem and your grade could drop a few points. Most eyes would view this as a minor mistake. Some individuals commit serious crimes and are punished dramatically, which can affect their life greatly. It goes without saying that no one is perfect and for the most part, it is engraved in stone that everyone learns from their mistakes. Three years ago, I injured myself while playing basketball. My injury occurred three weeks into the season and I was upset to hear that I would be out for a whole month. I was fortunate to recover one week early and I was able to attend the first and last practice before the playoffs. I arrived at practice beaming, was filled with excitement and could not wait until my team saw how quickly I had recovered. I tore into the gym, one minute late, the practice had already begun and my arrival was not recognized. I was disappointed, but I knew we still had our team discussion before we scrimmaged. The beginning of practice soared by and our coach called us all together. I hustled into the circle, awaiting my praise, but none came. My coach simply stated: “Hey Sam, welcome back, alright…lets work hard and play!” My coach continued to disappoint me by placing me on the bench and allowing another boy to play point guard. It felt as if I had received a backhand straight to the face. I had never experienced being benched before and I had previously always started. The practice dragged on for another hour and finally concluded. I slowly walked across the old wooden floor, covered in sweat, and sat down next to my bag. My coach approached me and asked me why I had never told him I was going to miss three weeks worth of practice and games. My face filled with puzzlement as my mom had definitely spoken with my coach. I then learned that my mom’s email had never gone through. My coach continued to tell me he would have liked for me to call him and tell him personally. He also was disappointed with my attitude during practice.
This memory of mine has been stored away for a long time and my reason for remembering it is from the book, Tom Sawyer. In chapter 17, Tom, the main character, makes the decision to run away from home with two friends to become pirates. Tom puts together an epic plan to return at the very last moment when everyone would be filled with sorrow because of the loss of the boys. Tom carries out his plans with gusto and returns at the perfect time. When he returned he became the center of attention, just as Tom had hoped for. However, Tom’s plan was not unflawed and he forgot to take into the account the effect his actions would have on certain people. For example, Becky Thatcher, Tom’s former girlfriend, had been heavily disturbed by the disappearance of Tom and she was very taken back by Tom’s sudden arrival. She is desperate to regain Tom as her boyfriend, but she is disappointed to find out Tom does not share the same interest. Eventually, Tom realizes he wants to be with Becky, but she has moved on and found a new boy and wants noting to do with Tom, Tom proclaimed with much emotion: “Any other boy! Any boy in the whole town but that Saint Louis smarty that thinks he dresses so fine and is aristocracy!” As the chapter concludes, Tom shows he has learned from his mistake, as I have done myself. This theme and lesson provided by the book has certainty reminded me of the importance of learning from one’s mistakes and I hope to never forget this lesson.
If you try, you will be forever young. Just when you are ready to give up, you realize that you are young, and you begin to imagine, with no fear, you just imagine the possibilities. When you are young, your slate is open, open to do what no man believes he can do. At no time do you say never and you just believe. You believe the world is yours for the taking and you can do whatever your heart desires. Every day, you rush out of school with a smile plastered on your face, knowing you will get to see your friends. Never once do you think about your upcoming test, you just stay in the moment happy as could be. Being young provides a power, you have the ability to forget the worst and imagine the finest. The question is: what is young? Is it 12 and under? Or is it eight and under? Or is it 100 and under?
The world is full of people who love to say, “I have ____ tomorrow and it’s going to be horrible! What am I going to do?” These people are living in the future and that is no way to live a life. If you here that it is going to rain tomorrow and automatically imagine the worst possible outcome, you are forgetting that you still have until the sun goes down to be happy. Others stay focused on the present, not their next test or meeting, but the situation that is there; ready to be used for the best. It is those individuals who find a way to extract every last ounce of happiness from their days, but are also aware of the day to come, that thrive.
Last night, as I scribbled furiously at my math homework, I heard too habitual sounds from my computer that alerted me that I had received an email. I immediately took the chance to withdraw my focus from my math and clicked on the email. It was from my mom. It was a video from six years ago, it showed my four friends and I playing. I remember the day vividly; my friends and I had just watched the Super Bowl. We were filled with disappointment because the Patriots had lost to the Giants. It was a very discouraging game, but my friends and I overcame the lost and ran outside. We decided to recreate to the game; we wanted to go to bed that night knowing the Patriots had won. We all did just that; just as the sun gave its last light and the wind gave its last howl, a perfect spiral was thrown to two desperate arms. My friends and I proclaimed, “We won! Super Bowl 43 is ours! Luke! You caught the winning touchdown! Yessss! We did it!!!!!!!”
All you can ever do is look; look for the happiness within the day. Give every last ounce of energy you possess to finding it. Be open to searching, even in times of sadness. It will allow you to grow as a person and find out how old you really are; it doesn’t have to be a number, it’s how you greet life.
My legs are asleep; I need to quench my thirst; I have to go to the bathroom, but I am reading one of the most famous pieces of literature of all time, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. My eyes work as if they are on a timer--they move back and forth--as if they are glued to the page. If only I could extract my eyes from the tiny black letters, but the book is such a remembrance of my childhood that I am constantly reflecting on wonderful memories.
The title: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, is a perfect way of capturing the way Mark Twain, author of Tom Sawyer, writes. When Twain writes, he allows his characters to take risks and explore, giving them a sense of personal freedom. This writing style allows the characters to go on adventures, which provides excitement for the reader. The writing also allows you to connect past experiences of your own with some of the adventures from the text. This makes the book relatable and fun to read.
As a child, when I was young and innocent and had no sense of reality, my friends and I would always draft fun ideas and put them into action. If one friend proclaimed: “Let’s camp outside!,” another might say: “I’ll get the tents!.” Sometimes we even tried to train for sports. My friends and I would be watching the Yankees duel the Red Sox and we would stare at the screen, idealizing the players. We would watch the players do amazing things and just want to be them. As soon as the game concluded, we would rush outside and began practicing for the upcoming baseball season. Unfortunately, those wonderful days are over and I have moved on from my dream of being a Red Sox player. It has been a while since I have reflected on such amazing times and the only reason for my reflection is Tom Sawyer. Tom Sawyer, the main character in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, is constantly extracting fun from every situation he encounters. He and his friends are constantly playing around, laughing, and simply being boys. They never miss a chance to prove that they are young and are not the best at seeing the world logically. For example:
“Presently Huck Said: ‘What does pirates have to do?’”
The boys in this scene are in the middle of running away from home to carry out their dreams of becoming pirates. The quotes shows how the boys use their imagination to inflate what being a pirate is actually like. They have know idea what a pirate does and are just hung up on what they have heard from stories. Moments like these are when I am reminded of my past experiences. I think back to all the fun I had as a young boy and see how similar I am to Tom Sawyer. This connection between myself and Tom is what drives me to read. I know that as I read and hear about Tom’s adventures I will be reminded of my childhood's memories. To me, it only matters that I sat down and began to read Tom Sawyer, it really has shown me what fun and relatable writing can do for a reader, and I am thankful for that.
Tom Sawyer has shown me many things, he has taken me through adventures, he has skipped school numerous times, and he even experienced what no man can turn into a bragging right. At the end of chapter 9, Tom and his friend Huck, experience something so severe, so horrible, and so cruel, that they are “speechless with horror.” Tom and Huck witnessed a murder. I can only imagine how I would handle witnessing something so shocking, I would collapse with fright and would have trouble getting back up. Knowing Tom, he won’t be to afraid to do the right thing, but what does he see as the right thing?
Tom thrust the window open, cooling him with a shivering breeze; he jumped up onto the roof, his feet caressed on the cold hard thatch, as if he were a cat. At the time, Tom was sneaking out of his house, during the twilight of the night, to meet his friend Huck. As the night progresses, Tom and Huck find themselves on the outskirts of the home of the dead, a graveyard, staring at what they believe to be three devils. Huck proclaimed, with much fright, “It’s the devils sure enough. Three of ‘em! Lordy, Tom, we’re goners! Can you pray?” The “devils” eventually prove to be three drunken villagers who end up robbing a grave. As the three men began the process of turning up the soil to open the grave, they began to fight. The men eventually start to engage in a fistfight and unfortunately, one man happened to bring a knife. One stab was all it took; the young man collapsed and slowly bleed to his death.
Tom and Huck witnessed a murder, first hand. Both were horrified and very shaken by the event. Tom started to acknowledge that bad behavior leads you to know were good. The question is, will Tom be scared straight or will he dismiss what he has scene? I believe the events will change Tom for the better and I am heavily interested in how Tom will handle the event. I would love for Tom to tell his Aunt Polly because it will add a whole new dimension to the book because it will reveal how Aunt Polly acts under pressure. Will she tell someone or keep the event quite? I don’t know, but I am looking forward to diving into chapter 11.
Every year, the Academy Award ceremony comes and goes and it is always heavily criticized. The selections and the awards are usually tolerated, but the host, the host is always scrutinized for his or her efforts. Why? All of the individuals who host the Academy Awards have alway been well known and they are all good at what they do. I decided that I wanted to figure out why the host always come up short. Watch my video and learn more about the Academy Awards. Don’t have any idea what the Academy Awards are, no worries...it’s all included.
You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
My grandmother, Patty Breault, has built and nurtured a family that numbers close to the sixties. I am blessed to say that I know the names of fifty family members, just on my father’s side. Sure, anyone can memorize fifty names and match them to faces, but not everyone can say that they have relationships with all of them.
In our busy lives, it is not easy to dedicate hours and hours of time to your family, especially when you take on the task alone. Somehow, my grandmother has done the impossible and found a way to create a comfortable and inviting environment that keeps people coming year after year.
Just as the leaves begin to fall and October arrives, my grandmother begins the exhausting process of preparing to host a family gathering of close to 90 people. She does it all and never complains and just thrives on the goal of putting a smile on every guest’s face. Picture this: vacuum the whole basement, set up 100 chairs around 15 tables, shop for one hundred people, meticulously hang fifteen scarecrows outside, make enough ice for everyone, shop for presents for all the children, and most of all, make sure everyone is aware of the date and time!
Every year, I arrive at my grandmothers and I am astounded at the display. I could look in every corner, in search of a spider’s web, but none would appear. I could look for dust, but that would be insane. I have put some thought into this and it is not the work my grandmother does that really makes me amazed, it’s the dedication to family. Patty Breault is an amazing women, I could make a list of everything she does for me, but that would take a while, for me, it is most important to express a point about family. “If you build it, they will come.”
“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
― Patrick Rothfuss,
If you know how to read, you have a passport to freedom. Reading provides a world within your mind, separate from the unsettled feelings of the outside world. If you focus on the ink on the page and just read and imagine, it is hard to stay stressed on issues of your world. However, certain books can dull you with an excess of words, and it becomes very challenging to remain focused on the book. Great books do the opposite and provide an amazing amount of description, and this draws your mind in.
I recently dove into the book Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain. There are many aspects of the book that I enjoy, but my favorite characteristic is the way Mark Twain paints a scene with words. When I read, I find it incredibly challenging to withdraw my focus from the book and am constantly finding myself calm and relaxed with my perfect picture of the scene in my mind. In chapter seven, Tom, the main character, begins to fancy a girl named Becky. As the chapter progresses, Tom begins to talk to Becky and, within no time, they are in love. Just as the chapter reaches a high point, it begins to unravel and Becky becomes aware that she is not Tom’s first love. You get a sense of how Tom and Becky are feeling through Twain’s use of dialogue and descriptiveness.
“ ‘Becky, I-I don’t care for anybody but you.’ ”
“No reply-but sobs.”
“ ‘Becky’ ”-pleadingly.”
“ ‘Becky, won’t you say something?’ ”
“She ran to the door; he was not in sight; she flew around to the play-yard; he was not there. Then she called: “Tom! Come back, Tom!”
When I read these quotes the drama was clear and powerful in my mind, and I felt as if I was in a cinema watching a movie. I love that as I read this book, I am never distracted and I always want to keep reading.
Hi! I’m Sam Breault! I’m 15 and I attend the Fenn school.