Tuesday, April 23. 2013
First, The Fountain's official soundtrack. Seemed appropriate.
Most of us struggle our whole lives to be complete enough when we die to achieve a measure of grace. Few of us ever do. Most of us end up going out the way we came in, kicking and screaming. But somehow Izzi, young as she was, achieved that grace. In her last days, she became whole.
Lily Guzetti, The Fountain
We’ll drive. Keep driving. Head out to the middle of nowhere, take that road as far as it takes us. You’ve never been west of Philly, have you? This is a beautiful country, Monty. It’s beautiful out there, like a different world. Mountains, hills, cows, farms, and white churches. I drove out west with your mother one time, before you was born. Brooklyn to the Pacific in three days. Just enough money for gas, sandwiches, and coffee, but we made it.
Every man, woman, and child alive should see the desert one time before they die. Nothin’ at all for miles around. Nothin’ but sand and rocks and cactus and blue sky. Not a soul in sight. No sirens. No car alarms. Nobody honkin’ atcha. No madmen cursin’ or pissin’ in the streets. You find the silence out there. You find the peace. You can find God.
So we drive west, keep driving ‘til we find a nice little town. These towns out in the desert, you know why they got there? People wanted to get away from somewhere else. The desert’s for startin’ over.
Find a bar and I’ll buy us drinks. I haven’t had a drink in two years, but I’ll have one with you, one last whiskey with my boy. Take our time with it, taste the barley, let it linger.
And then I’ll go.
I tell you, don’t ever write me, don’t ever visit. I tell you, I believe in God’s kingdom and I’ll see you and your mother again, but not in this lifetime.
You’ll get a job somewhere, a job that pays cash, a boss who doesn’t ask questions, and you make a new life and you never come back.
Monty, people like you, it’s a gift – you’ll make friends wherever you go. You’re going to work hard, you’re going to keep your head down and your mouth shut. You’re going to make yourself a new home out there.
You’re a New Yorker. That won’t ever change. You got New York in your bones. Spend the rest of your life out west, but you’re still a New Yorker.
You’ll miss your friends, you’ll miss your dog, but you’re strong. You got your mother’s backbone in you. You’re strong like she was.
You find the right people, and you get yourself papers, a driver’s license. You forget your old life. You can’t come back, you can’t call, you can’t write. You never look back. You make a new life for yourself and you live it. You hear me? You live your life the way it should have been.
But maybe – and this is dangerous – but maybe after a few years you send word to Naturelle. You make yourself a new family, and you raise them right, you hear me? Give them a good life, Monty. Give them what they need.
You have a son – maybe you name him James, it’s a good strong name – and maybe one day, years from now, years after I’m dead and gone, reunited with your dear ma, you gather your whole family around and tell them the truth.
Who you are, where you come from...you tell them the whole story.
Then you ask them if they know how lucky they are to be there.
Because it all came so close to never happening.
This life came so close to never happening.
James Brogan, to Monty Brogan, 25th Hour
Just before the Miracle, when I was in the ICU and it looked like I was going to die and Mom was telling me it was okay to let go, and I was trying to let go but my lungs kept searching for air, Mom sobbed something into Dad’s chest that I wish I hadn’t heard, and that I hope she never finds out that I did hear. She said, “I won’t be a mom anymore.” It gutted me pretty badly.
I couldn’t stop thinking about that during the whole Cancer Team Meeting. I couldn’t get it out of my head, how she sounded when she said that, like she would never be okay again, which probably she wouldn’t.
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
His father died, but Moses wouldn’t believe it. He said if they dug his father’s body up, he would be gone.
They planted a seed over his grave. The seed became a tree.
Moses said his father became a part of that tree. He grew into the wood, into the bloom.
And when a sparrow ate the tree’s fruit, his father flew with the birds.
He said that death was his father’s road to awe. That’s what he called it: “the road to awe.”
Izzi Creo, The Fountain
What are you doing here?
1. I’ll Give Up Something Else, and Maybe You Won’t See
I sank, thrashing, into the dark gloom of the water, frightened beyond all reason, so frightened you couldn’t even call it fear.
I couldn’t swim, and I was underwater, alone, starting to fall towards something I couldn’t fathom.
I was seven.
In some parallel universe…
My roommate and I have conversations that eventually lead to that line all the time. We’re old friends, stretching all the way back to our first days in college. It feels weird, today, to say he’s an old friend, considering I first met him as an adult (eighteen counts). But ten years are ten years, and while they’ve passed quickly, they’re filled with a lot of shared history: quotes from shows we’ve rewatched dozens of times, anecdotes from our shared exploits and adventures, stories only we know the ins and outs of well enough to ever write down someday.
One of the benefits of shared history is that you can puzzle over a seemingly infinite number of hypotheticals – different ways that your futures, which inevitably became your present and your past, could’ve unfolded.
If you’d had the guts to ask for that girl's number…;
if you hadn’t stayed out here…;
if you’d stuck it out a little longer…;
if you hadn’t stopped running…
It’s a game, an exercise in imagination, but we’re both creative types and have never gotten bored with puzzling out existence’s infinite unrealized possibilities.
One thing will set us off – some prior acquaintance we both lost touch with years ago posts something that hits our NewsFeeds simultaneously – and soon enough, after the stories and anecdotes and commentaries have been exhausted, one of us deploys the line:
In some parallel universe, I’m working in the 49ers’ draft room this Thursday.
In some parallel universe, I blew that decade working for the government.
In some parallel universe, we’re writing for Grantland.
In some parallel universe, you became a teacher too, and we’ve been coaching together for years.
In some parallel universe, I already have kids.
Some of the parallel universes are unnerving places. Most of them, however, sound pretty nifty. And I’m genuinely sad our real universe didn’t chart the same course as a couple of them; there are definitely some roads not taken that held at least the promise of something better than this.
Yet, for one reason or another, I didn’t follow those roads.
My travels led me here.
And every so often, long after the conversation circles back from alternate realities and into the existentially-safer realms of Mark Trumbo’s value to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (and whether that name’s any less ridiculous all these years later), whether IMAX truly increases the Jurassic Park dinosaurs’ awesomeness (and whether we’d want to know if the Tyrannosaur’s roar didn’t actually sound the way it did in the movie), and whether we should start writing collaboratively this summer...
...I find myself peering into the shadows lining the roads not taken, and wonder whether I truly understand how, or why, I’ve ended up on this one instead.
My parents had taken me to the park bordering the middle school a couple of blocks away from my home. I loved that park. When I was six, they built something called the Super Playground there. That was definitely too lofty a title for it – there’s only so much you can do with playground equipment, no matter how much sand, gravel, and woodchips you scatter around it. But the words rolled off the tongue so easily, even for those of us with speech impediments, that the name ended up sounding as natural as anything else.
My family had a stake, literally, in the place: when the town allowed people to carve names into the fenceposts lining the playground, my mother paid a small fee to have her recently-deceased father’s name on one. I could never remember where it was, but I liked looking for it when we’d visit. I’d loved him, at least as much as a little kid could. (In retrospect, I couldn’t have seen him for more than a few dozen days, if that…but I wasn’t exactly generating complex emotions at six or seven, so love’s what it is.)
Now that I’m older, I know more about him, and I know I would’ve loved him today on his own merits had he lived long enough to see the rest of my childhood. He lived a life worthy of literature – opening a bar in a dry Utahn county with his brothers, never drinking himself; raising his three daughters well enough that they attended college, something nobody else in the family had ever done; fighting off an armed robber with his bare hands during his milkman days (earning a bullet to the leg in the process, and becoming the first Feraco on television afterwards). And even if he hadn’t done any of those things, he was that seemingly rarest of quantities: a good man.
And we lost him, just like many others lose many others: too soon.
There’s still a black-and-white picture of him in his younger days hanging in the hallway outside my bedroom in my childhood home. He’s in his late twenties, with a thick, dark shock of wavy hair pulled back only half as well as it should be, smiling from behind his glasses, even raising his eyebrows a little.
I’ve put my hand over the image’s chin, and the rest of the image looks startling, almost unnervingly, like me.
I wish I’d known him better.
In some parallel universe, I was brave enough to pursue the career I wanted.
Whenever I finished running around the playground (when did I ever have so much energy?), my parents would take me to the pond beyond the fenceposts. While the Super Playground definitely had its charms – a mazelike system of tunnels connecting a series of castle-esque structures, complete with embedded microphones so you could excitedly shout at your friends in the tunnels across the park – the pond was just a concrete bowl full of some pretty unappetizing water and a single plant-supporting island.
Didn’t matter. I loved it too.
I loved watching the tadpoles swim; I’d even raised some into frogs at home before releasing them into “the wild” there. I loved the ducks that nested on the island and swam in the pond; we would feed them breadcrusts we kept in the freezer, and I’d invent elaborate backstories and adventures for them in my head. My favorite was one with a fluffy patch of feathers on its head, a little tuft that looked for all the world like my unruly curls, the byproduct of my ongoing (at the time) fear of barbers. It was my little kindred spirit. It obviously didn’t love me the way I adored it, but that’s OK; when you’re little, love can be a one-way street.
So my parents had taken me to the park, then let me run down toward the pond to look for my duck-friend while they went for a walk. I remember that the murky pondwater had receded for some reason, even though it was cold and cloudy out, exposing a dry, thin rim of the concrete bowl beneath the sidewalk.
When I got to the pond, my duck-friend was nowhere to be found. There were other ducks, though, on the other side of the island. Upon running to that side, however, I found that the sidewalk didn’t curve inwards enough before bending back towards the playground for me to get a good view of the birds. Disappointed, I hopped down onto the concrete rim; maybe I thought the extra two feet would give me a better vantage point. It didn’t.
I turned and started running back towards where I’d come down to the pond in the first place, trotting along the water’s edge on my little-kid legs. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was a good runner for my age. (Second-most laps in the school during the jog-a-thon? That’s a claim to fame.) As a result, I was moving at a pretty good clip as I approached the drainage vent for the sewer.
There was only one gap in the concrete rim, and it was where the ground fell away to allow the water to recirculate through a sewer drain. It wasn’t complicated-looking from the outside. It was just a big, dark hole.
And I was heading right for it.
In some parallel universe, Harvard accepted my sister on her second try.
She got into her dream school.
And she never met her husband.
I hadn’t learned how to swim because I was afraid to put my head beneath the water’s surface. Water didn’t scare me – I actually loved it – but something about being submerged always filled me with white-hot fear. I’d end up panicking, gasping for breath underwater and swallowing a whole bunch of liquid before someone pulled me, sputtering, back into the air. It wasn’t a conscious, intentional response that I could control. Terror would take over, instinct would command me to breathe now, and the end result was always the same: a lot of sniffling and tears. I couldn’t even put my head underwater in a bathtub without freaking out.
You would think, given this highly specific fear, that I would steer well clear of the pond’s drainage hole. But I was trotting along happily, thinking about ducks, not about water.
As I neared the gap in the rim, though, I realized I was approaching the sewer. The smart thing to do, obviously, would’ve been to hop back up onto the sidewalk. The foolish thing to do, equally obviously, would’ve been to try to jump over the drain.
I misjudged my launch point.
And I plunged into the drain.
In some parallel universe, you never left.
I sank, thrashing, into the dark gloom of the water, frightened beyond all reason, so frightened you couldn’t even call it fear.
I was underwater, alone, starting to fall towards something I couldn’t fathom…
In some parallel universe, you kept your mind long enough to remember I became a teacher, to remember I’d moved away, and you didn’t think I was trying to avoid visiting you.
It couldn’t have been that long. Maybe a few seconds, at most. I think I remember what I was thinking, which just proves to me that I have a fertile imagination; there’s no way I can remember what I thought as I dropped.
So what I pretend to remember goes like this:
A blur of murk surrounding me (how could I have opened my eyes in that filthy water and been fine afterward?);
A quick thought: I’m going to die;
Flailing desperately, both arms and both legs frantically going every which way;
My right hand breaking the surface of the water first and landing, completely by accident, on the edge of the concrete rim;
Somehow pulling myself with one arm halfway out of the water;
My chest flat against the concrete as I gasped for air, my legs still floating in the water behind me, not even able to scream for my parents;
And one thought, repeated over and over again with urgency:
In some parallel universe, I cheated on the take-home test.
My parents didn’t see me fall. My father told me, later, that when he’d looked down at the pond, for a single incongruous second, he thought someone’s dog had fallen into the water and was struggling to get out.
Neither of my parents are particularly athletic, something I frequently cursed them for when I hit high school and had to start giving up my sports, one after another.
But when that second ended, and both he and my mother realized they were looking at me in the water, they ran towards me.
And my father reached down, pulled me the rest of the way out of the water, and held me close, even though I was still soaking wet with dirty pondwater.
In the memory that can’t be real, I felt the reverberations of his heart slamming against his chest, faster than I’ve ever felt my own heart beating.
He held me while I cried.
In some parallel universe, my parents lost their only son.
In the memory that can’t be real, I lay with my chest flat against the concrete, gasping for air, my legs still floating in the water behind me.
And I saw both of my parents running towards me, looking for all the world like they would have done anything in that moment – anything – to save me.
As though they’d seen their world obliterated in a noiseless flash.
As though they’d never be okay again.
In some parallel universe, I hop up on the sidewalk instead of running along the pond’s concrete rim.
I never fall in.
I never see that look on my parents’ faces.
I won’t replay those expressions in my head until I fall asleep the night they tell me, three years later, that they’re ending their marriage.
And when I’ll think they didn’t love me enough to stay together, I won’t use those expressions to banish the fear.
I won’t know.
I won’t see.
2. Soon Enough, Work and Love Will Make a Man Out of You
The funny thing about clichés is that most of them have some sort of basis in truth. (Otherwise, how would they ever become clichés?)
Most (if not all) of us have felt as though, to dig up the old cliché, “the grass is greener on the other side.” We’ve seen greater possibilities beyond our current situations, yearned for a chance to have something else or have done something else, perhaps in the company of someone else. We watch Eat, Learn, and Move from school desks and feel the rush of knowing, conclusively, that there’s a larger, challenging, Technicolor world out there. Our imaginations race when greeted with possibility and promise. It’s what keeps our eyes on the stars instead of the ground.
But in the end, we’re bound by the tyranny of time. As best I can tell, we get one life, and we get one path. We can only take one road. We go left, and our life unfolds the way it has, erasing every other possibility as we walk.
But what if we had gone right instead?
What if I never promised a cross-country coach named Troy Engle that I would visit him at Occidental?
What if my version of Summer Finn had waited until after I’d committed to a college to ask if I wanted to resume our relationship?
What if I never fell for my fellow Lit Center tutor in college sixteen months later?
Never met the fourth-grader who I couldn’t help?
Failed the standardized teaching tests I secretly hoped I’d fail so I wouldn’t have to become a teacher?
Landed a student-teaching placement in any classroom other than David Bellos’s at Francisco Bravo?
Applied for the English teaching job Arcadia High offered in June instead of the one it offered in August, competed against Matt Woodin, and lost?
You never would have met me.
And I never would have met you.
And neither of us would ever know what we’d missed.
Take any of those steps away, and the whole Jenga tower crumbles, falls away to ash.
You all have Jenga-tower lives yourselves, sequences of moments and memories that could’ve branched into a million parallel universes only to combine to form this specific one instead.
The most incredible thing about my life, about all our lives, about this intersection point in B2 where we’ve all joined forces, however temporarily, in pursuit of whatever you’re pursuing, is this:
It all came so close to never happening.
During the first semester, we discussed the concept of inevitability as it related to choice, destiny, and time. If, in fact, time exists as a point rather than a continuum, everything that will happen is happening; everything that will happen has already happened. We don’t have a choice. Things play out the way they’re supposed to, the way they have to.
Even if time exists as we perceive it – as seconds and minutes and hours, not as a single concentrated instant – there are certain rules to existence. Every lifeform dies. It may take a matter of minutes or a matter of centuries (I grew up near a redwood forest, so I’ve seen some pretty spectacularly old trees), but everything ends. We only have so many grains of sand in our hourglasses, and it’s not possible to get refills.
I told you before that I really, really didn’t understand the “future” storyline in The Fountain during my first viewings. Part of that is due to my weakness for all things sci-fi: I understood that it was supposed to be a metaphor for the grieving process, but I also really, really wanted it to be a real story, in which Tommy’s experiments on Donovan with the tree extract yielded a cure to aging. In other words, I wanted Tom-in-the-bubble to be Tommy literally, not just metaphorically. (I’d figure out how he jammed Izzi in the tree later, since nobody’s been able to do so in a literal sense just by planting something over a grave.)
In that interpretation of the “future” storyline, Tommy hasn’t played by the rules that govern life, death, time, and the universe. He wants to undo the course his life took, undo the tremendous loss he suffered, one he cannot begin to accept and recover from. So he fractures time’s normal hold on us and defeats death – “curing the disease,” so to speak.
Darren Aronofsky asserts that Tommy robs himself of his humanity in the process of “becoming immortal” – that he loses himself, a la Sören Kierkegaard’s famous warning, to grief – a feeling of desire for the violation of all the aforementioned universe-governing rules. With no end point in sight, he has no reason not to continually fixate on his loss, no reason to live for anything else; we’re reminded of Gilgamesh standing over his friend’s body, or Siddhartha staring hauntingly across the river for traces of his son.
As a result, the love that once bloomed between him and Izzi, the thing that once helped sustain him, becomes a desiccated, dying husk. When he eats the bark of the tree, he’s merely chewing on his obsession, and it’s not a nourishing meal.
But when Tommy accepts that he should play by the rules – that he shouldn’t forget the wonderful times he spent with Izzi or render them meaningless merely because he didn’t get enough of them – the tree erupts into beautiful, verdant life, bursting through the bubble that had served as its prison for who knows how long.
And Tommy remembers a time when he made the wrong choice (going back to work in the lab) and imagines he makes the right one (walking with his wife in the snow).
Death comes for all of us, the movie argues; we can choose to rage against it in an ultimately futile and too-costly battle, or we can accept it and live on in the face of it, enjoying the moments we have for what they are instead of raging against them for what they are not.
For maybe all of this –
all the good and the bad,
the work I’ve done,
the love I’ve shared,
the things slipping down the memory hole,
the infinite possibilities that never came to pass –
Maybe all of this is how it was supposed to be.
+ How would your life have been different if you hadn’t enrolled in this class, if you and I had never met, if you’d never had the chance to meet and work with your former Housemates? (If you jokingly say, “Well, I would have had a lot less homework,” I will be forever displeased with you.)
+ Do you believe something lies beyond this existence – that we experience something after our corporeal forms expire? What is your “awe” at the end of the road like? What would you want it to look like?
+ How would you want to pay tribute to your family members? Would Moses Morales’s method – planting a tree over his father’s grave – resemble what you plan to do? Do you know what they would want?
+ How do you feel about The Fountain’s central hypothesis: that life gains meaning because it ends, because these moments of ours are all we have? Is life, in fact, beautiful because we cannot enjoy it forever?
+ If you knew, heading into a relationship, that it would mirror Tommy’s (i.e., you would truly love your time together with your partner, that it would end earlier and more painfully than it should, and that his/her loss would devastate you), would you let yourself fall in love?
+ Would you react differently than Tommy does if you lost your loved one?
+ Would you want your partner to fall in love again if you passed away first? What if, in the old quandary from The Lady, or the Tiger?, it costs you a shot at eternity together?
+ Do you believe you’ll achieve “some measure of grace” before you go, as Izzi does…or will you go out kicking and screaming?
+ Write an alternate or symbolic narrative of your life and future (think of what Aronofsky does with Tommy’s conquistador and traveler, or Monty’s father does as he drives). You can be as blunt or oblique as you prefer, and end it where you choose. (Please keep it school-appropriate for my sake.)
Please try to post insightful, specific, and polished pieces. Your post should be at least three seven-sentence paragraphs long, and punctuation, grammar, and mechanics all count towards your grade. Compose your replies carefully, and always remember to build your credibility - use proof, not hypothetical statements. Write the why for every what!
As always, you are not required to respond to every question.
For this post, written feedback for at least two of your peers is required! Congratulate them, praise them, ask them questions...reach out! There’s no comment limit for this thread, so if you feel like talking to your peers, follow your instincts! Check your work to see if someone left feedback for you, and start conversations with your readers – and classmates!
As you develop as writers, your pieces should demonstrate both knowledge of writing as a craft and an awareness of how to profoundly express yourself. Practice writing not simply as students, but as creators; experiment with writing, in other words, as writers do.
Finally, please remember to nominate two of your peers for their excellent work.
The due dates for the respective components of the assignment are as follows:
+ Your main post is due to both the blog and Turnitin.com by 11:59pm on Thursday, April 25th.
+ Your feedback is due by 11:59pm on Friday, April 26th.
+ Your nominations are due by 11:59pm on Sunday, April 28th.
As always, write well, think well…and good luck.
1. “Lonely One,” Cartel, Cartel
2. “Soon Enough,” Constantines, Tournament of Hearts
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The Original Version of This Blog
“That everything, everything ends. That everything, everything ends.”
- Meet Me On The Equinox, Death Cab for Cutie
“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”
-John Green, Looking for Alaska
I was joking with Kevin, “So if somehow I die in Boston, don't cry”. He wowed me and said nothing.
It's a horrible joke, but it makes perfect sense.
"Death is a road to awe" ( Izzy, The Fountain)
Life is only beautiful because we only have so much time. If we get to live forever...nothing we are doing would have meaning. I don't want anyone to cry if I die. Death should be a happy thing. I hope when I die, I have already done what I need to do. If not, I have tried to live the best after all. Cheer the ceased one for what she has done.
From KTQ's Nerd fighter Page:
“It's not life or death, the labyrinth. Suffering. Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?”
“After all this time, it seems to me like straight and fast is the only way out- but I choose the labyrinth. The labyrinth blows, but I choose it.”
- John Green, Looking for Alaska
The beauty of the labyrinth - when you figure the way out, you are done. You let everything go and you forgive yourself and everyone else. Let the broken remains broken, let the fight do the fighting. Give yourself a room to breath and continue to do what you supposed to do, to care and love who you supposed to care and love. It is selfish to specialize yourself to that one person. It is unfair to those who love you. It's easy to say "EFF YOU" and leave everyone behind. The hard part is to say "EFF YOU" and still remain in the labyrinth.
Comment by Mandos yesterday
I just began a paper about this "labyrinth." I found the hardest part is accepting that there is no way out; that we just have to deal.
Comment by KT Qiu yesterday
Yet the point is not to find a way out or simply accept there is no way out. It's to enjoy the fact that there is no way out. It's to grasp those who are still with you, to connect with those who care about you, to love the fact that life has its ending when you figure the way out. The 4 noble truth and 8 noble paths have taught us how to act and live. But the true wisdom can never be expressed in words. It lives in thoughts. It lives in our soul. The labyrinth of suffering is just a reflection of our desire towards life. The hardest part is to see life in every perspective, direction, and still remain on the route that you have chosen and live the best way possible.
Comment by Mandos yesterday
I believe that people focus too much on the good things in life, and are therefore stunned when something horrible occurs. They automatically place blame without looking from a different perspective. We can't accept the bad things, therefore we will never get out of this "labyrinth."
Comment by KT Qiu yesterday
True that. I agree. It's hard to accept the person you love doesn't love you back. It's hard to get over the person who you care deeply leaves you without any warning. It's hard to admit that we are so easily defeated. There is nothing we cannot do. It's just difficult, compelling, and nasty. We have to do what we have to do, either go through 5 stages of grief or look for sorts of enlightenment. We will eventually realize that "we are all going"(President McKinley's last words). The perfection of the imperfection is the Almighty has not permitted us to live our lives easily. Suffering is good. Doublethink it.
“I don't know. I don't know how”
“You do. You will. Tommy, I am not afraid anymore...”
“I am gonna die... I am gonna die.”
“Together we will live forever. Forever..”
“Okay, I will. We will”
“Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there'. I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.”
― John Green, Looking for Alaska
Wow, this is a really interesting post. We're all stuck in this labyrinth but we have to accept the fact that there's no way out. I think this is a very different view on life than most but I can see where you're coming from. I agree that people are too caught up in the good moments.
I liked when you quoted that person. That was really deep.
Hi katie!. I really liked how formatted your comment. It is rare and intriguing. By the way, I also liked your John Green quote.
This is so awesome. I love the way you out in quotes which are related to your main idea. This is a great post, keep it going!
I found the way you structured your post to be very interesting. It made it difficult to understand at times, but it certainly stood out compared to the common story and monologue formats most of us use.
“The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost” – G.K Chesterton
The Fountain was not the typical movie you watch. The usual themes of beating death, conquering the conflict, getting the girl are all absent. The stereotypical idea of a movie we have in our head is blown away. There is no “hoping for the hero to beat all odds” instead the death of Izzy is inevitable and the main conflict of the movie is overcoming Tommy’s grief, rather than saving her, and the process Tommy goes through introduces a different take on the gift of life. Instead of letting Tommy grieve, Izzy commands him to value the life he has and be happy that she is on the road to awe.
The idea is not to fear death. The goal is to embrace life. Because it is limited, life should be taken advantage of and used to the fullest.
When you get a super star while playing Mario, do you stand there and admire the fact that you’re invincible, or do you run and try to earn as many points and kill as many enemies as possible to earn the highest score?
You try to earn the highest score possible because you know it is the greatest chance you have of doing the most possible in the shortest amount of time. Life is no difference. You are given life as a gift, don’t abuse the privilege. Earn the most points. Achieve the highest goals. Savor your life, because it is limited.
In a parallel universe life wouldn’t end.
In a parallel universe life wouldn’t be beautiful.
If life was infinite, there would be no value in it. The only reason we value the things we have is because we know that something could happen to it where we wouldn’t have it anymore. That little feeling that what we have isn’t completely safe drives us to take care of them. We are afraid of losing what we love, just as Tommy was afraid of losing his wife. If life was infinite there would be no caution, no sense of security/insecurity, or motivation. Everything we work towards in life is to create a greater sense of security, with an endless life there would be no point in that. Life is beautiful because it is limited.
The closer we get to the finish line, the faster we run, the harder we work, and as we cross it…
We finish with grace. We put everything into it.
…Ready to accept the end.
Couldn't have said it better myself. I agree completely that we should make the most of what we have now. When you're dying there's not much you can do other than accept that you'll be dead soon. Since everyone dies, we should just try to do the best we can.
Your blog was a great read. I really like your allusion to Mario Cart, and you are in fact right about life being just like that. We all want to achieve that measure of grave Izzy had achieved, and we do that by knowing our lives are limited. As you said, life is beautiful because it's not forever. Nothing is forever, and that's why flowers, people, life, things are beautiful. We work hard because we're all here to leave our legacies, to be remembered. We come here not to brood over our lives, but to enjoy it and that enjoyment is limited, making it even more enjoyable and beautiful than ever.
Thank you for sharing your post, it was a great read! Keep up the good work
Excellent post Jacob!
I agree with your blog post and its entirety. I do believe as do you that life should be valued because its limited. The only way to truly value something as precious as life is to realize that something like life can disappear at any time and that we would not have it any more.
Really well written blog, i completely agree with your stance and thought that the overall post was formatted perfectly.
I completely agree with you!
I love the first quote that you used. There are some people who take the existence of other people for granted, however that's not the case for everyone. There are some people who do know the meaning of life but they just don't realize that life will be lost at some point.
The Fountain definitely isn't the typical kind of movie I'm used to watching, but at the same time I'm glad I watched it. It helped remind me that not everything in life is sweet and dandy as it is portrayed in most other movies.
I like how you use mario as an example of life. Great post!
Wow, that was really enjoyable to read. I completely agree. The expiration date on our lives gives it purpose.
I really like your Mario comparison. I agree with you that life is only beautiful when you know it won't last forever. You cherish it because of this knowledge. Thanks for the great post!
I think the using mario explains the idea really really well. I totally agree that life has no limit becoming meaningful and beautiful. People don't just stop achieving for better. Great post!
Jacob you made excellent points and your sentences were strong and had a lot of meaning to them. I like how you stated how in parallel universe we live forever, but life has lost its value.
interesting reading your thoughts i really liked the use of repetition.
I really love the way you write. The way you word things and the analogies you use just give me that satisfying feeling of closure for the film. It is ridiculously hard to put the message of the Fountain into words, but you managed to pull it off with style.
It's also kind of strange how much that Mario analogy spoke to me. I guess it just really fit.
Please keep writing like this.
I really liked your thought on the movie and I also liked your comparison to mario. I think it fits perfectly and my viewpoint is also the same with life.
Everyone does something that makes a difference to someone during their lifetime, something that causes positive results that is. No matter how big or small it is, it’s something and that matters. You may not even think you helped someone in anyway but that’s okay because it’s what you did that counts. No matter how bad the person is, at some point in their life, they made a difference.
In The Fountain, Tommy and Izzy both achieve some measure of grace before Izzy dies. Izzy changed Tommy’s whole life. She was his wife, best friend, and lover. She helped him see that he needs to love and cherish the present, something he couldn’t have done alone. Tommy, for all the grief and pain he suffers during the movie, also achieves some grace. He made a new discovery that created hugely positive results for that poor ape. Of course that ape isn’t the only thing he handled well. Just as Izzy did wonders in Tommy’s life, Tommy did the same for Izzy. He brought hope and happiness to a dying woman.
Everyone does an act of grace at some point.
I believe that I too can create positive change. In fact, I think I have already done so. I have changed the lives of my best friends for the better just as they have done so for me. I say “for the better” because that’s exactly how I see us affecting each other. I can’t imagine where I would be, and how much unhappier I would be without them.
You can go out kicking and screaming, full of fear and sadness, it’s happened before, but I don’t think deep down that’s how someone feels when they die. When you die, or at least you know you’re going to die, it may take a while, even up until a minute before your death, people become content with what they have done and achieved. Since they know the end is coming and they can’t stop it, they choose to embrace death and die satisfied. It is then when they finally let go.
I loved reading your post. I agree with what you said about us affecting everyone in some way, hopefully for the better. I believe that my friends have helped me change into the person I am today, and vice versa. I liked how you said that we should leave this world gracefully. We can't stop death; it is inevitable. But when we accept the fact that we are coming face to face with death, it's at those last moments when we can be content, satisfied, happy. Great post!
I completely agree with you on how everyone achieves some level of grace before they die. Even if we might be screaming and kicking before we die, we will all come to realization that it's time for us to go. I believe in the last moments of our lives, we will remember everything we did, and with that, achieve grace. Thanks for the great read
I really loved your view point on how we react to death. I also believe that everyone can achieve some kind of greatness as we pass. This was really great to read.
Being in Mr. Feraco’s class is like walking in the middle of a rainstorm. I am constantly being soaked with knowledge. It forces me to stop and think about my life’s surroundings so I can make some sense of the knowledge I am absorbing. Sometimes I feel lost and cold, but Mr. Feraco is the guiding light that gets me back on track. He accomplishes this by ensuring I am always going in the right direction. Like lightning bolts, Mr. Feraco’s assignments bring brief blinding moments of clarity in which I am able to develop a better picture in my mind of the path ahead of me. Having Mr. Feraco as a teacher can be both challenging and rewarding at the same time.
What would I miss if I were not in Mr. Feraco’s class? If I hadn’t had Mr. Feraco as a teacher I would have likely learned the lessons in a different way. This is because each teacher has their own unique way of teaching their students. Mr. Feraco places a strong emphasis on critical thinking in his class. Additionally Mr. Feraco encourages his students to engage in conversation. For example, Mr. Feraco assigns blogs that force students to converse with other students. If I hadn’t been in Mr. Feraco’s class I would have not been challenged to succeed as much as I have been.
If I wasn’t in Mr. Feraco’s class I would have more free time to do what I want. If I didn’t have Mr. Feraco as a teacher I would probably just wander around school campus. As I wander around campus I would have more time to relax and focus on life’s questions. I might even think about the same things we discuss in Mr. Feraco’s class. However I would not have Mr. Feraco there to guide me in the right direction or help me if I need it. Consequently, I would not learn as much by not being in his class.
I totally agree Hugh. Mr. Feraco really does care about us, and I think as a whole we are all grateful for what he has and what he will continue to teach us.
Yeah I felt like i was in the rainstorm too, but I like it because I have the teacher who cares about me, I have the classes where I can share my life story, and I have the works that are actually teaching me. I hope you feel the same.
Great job on your post. I really enjoyed it.
It wasn't an easy transition coming from Heintzman's Women's Literature class to World Literature with Mr. Feraco, but once you build momentum in his class and adapt to his unique workload, things should start to fall into place. However, If I weren't in his class, I'd be taking life a lot more passively than I am now.
“Good night dad”
In a parallel universe I say goodnight to my biological father.
In a parallel universe I don’t have to visit “both sides of the family” every other week.
In a parallel universe hate and grudges wouldn’t exist.
I couldn’t help to imagine the “what if” of my life. What if my parent’s didn’t divorce? Furthermore, what if my parent’s never even met? I look back at my life, and I wonder what would have happened if my parents were capable of managing a simple marriage. I, along with my four other siblings, would have lived a totally different life.
In a parallel universe my parents would have stayed together, allowing me to go to Claremont schools.
In a parallel universe I would have never been writing this blog.
In a parallel universe I wouldn’t be forced to pick and choose family members.
God has a plan, and I am living it the way he created it. I am not bitter towards the life I live, but I am thankful. It was a blessing in disguise that my step-father came into my life. He has given me nothing but happiness, and I love him for that. I live everyday grateful for what I have. After living a long seventeen years, I noticed things will always change. Change is good.
In a parallel universe I wouldn’t have to move house’s three times.
In a parallel universe money wouldn’t be such a problem.
As Tommy from The Fountain came to realization that death is a natural stage in a life, and finally accepting it, I have came to realization that my life and the person I came to be is inevitable as well; thus making me at peace. Both Tommy and I may not notice what we have until it is gone.
I only have three months until my life will change once again. As Tommy never wanted to lose Izzi, I never want to lose my family. So in these next three months, I am going to live everyday like it is my last. I tend to cherish the last few weeks with my family, because this connection will be gone sooner or later. College will lead me to yet another chapter in my life, and family time will only be spent a couple of weeks a year. I may not have what most people call a “normal family”, but I am proud to say that I am part of such a dysfunctional family.
Along with the fountain teaching me that life will always go on, no matter the circumstance, I have also learned that death isn’t a scary thing. I know what lies beyond death, and the existence of Christ lures me towards its happiness.
A reoccurring dream plays through my head.
Once I die, I already imagine myself in front of the golden gates of heaven, waiting for my entrance into the realm of paradise. In heaven, I see all my loved ones. The thought of living forever frightens me, but God reassures that everything will be alright. The cool part of my dream is that every animal that ever lived on earth (including dinosaurs) roam the grounds of heaven! Nothing but happiness is in the air. Peace and joy is a daily feeling I get to live in heaven.
In a parallel universe I never get to meet my step-dad, changing my life forever (in a positive way).
In a parallel universe I live a “normal life”.
I look at all these “what if’s” and I am happy the life I am living. I am continuing to grow, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the future. When I die, I will only be born.
Great post man, I also have to visit "both side of the family" all the time. I wonder how my life would be if I didn't have divorced parents.
Hey Nick, I really liked your post! Seriously, great job! I was really touched when you wrote, "I know what lies beyond death, and the existence of Christ lures me towards its happiness." I'm having to come to grips with one of my grandparent's rapidly declining health and probably her death soon- but this reminded me that God will bring her home at the right time and that someday I will see her again. Thanks again for the great post!
Once again, great post! Your posts are always so self-reflective and I’m glad that you like where you are in your life now.
There seems to be so many things going on in your life, but you handle it quite well and you are very mature about it.
When you talk about leaving for college soon.. Wow, it brings a flood of emotions! It really will be hard to leave family behind to start a new kind of life. But I wish you and your family the best! Keep on writing Nick, you’re great at it.
I loved the way you can imagine how your "parallel world" looks like. I also believe that the doors of heaven are waiting for us; which allows us to face death without fear. Your post was great. Good job!
I really enjoyed reading your post! I'm really glad to hear that you are at peace with what has transpired in your life, despite the many possibilities and "what ifs." Keep up the good work!
Hi , Nick
I really really enjoyed reading your blog.I think it is very admirable that you could make peace with tragical events in your life that many others may struggle with for their entire life. Great job on your post!
I really enjoyed your post. I like how you used repetition for the phrase “in a parallel universe”. It definitely made it stand out as the prominent focus of your piece. I’m sorry that you have had to go through so many complications with the divorce, moving three times, and having issues with money, but I truly like how you said, “I am not bitter towards the life I live,” You don’t let the hardships in your life slow you down and that is admirable. Good job!
I enjoyed reading your post. You seem to be a very optimistic person because despite all the hardships, you are satisfied with what you have got now.
Thanks for the great post!
Really enjoyed reading your post. You were so honest and straight forward with what you were saying. It's hard to share those feelings and hardships that occurred in your life and I am deeply proud of you for being brave enough to write about them. Also, putting the hypothetical "what ifs" into your post really made it personal. Great job!! (:
“Remember, this is where all of our ancestors lived, and we will be buried at here after we died.”
My parents’ hometown is a really small village, and there is a small mountain behind my hometown. That is where we bury all of our ancients.
My family is a really traditional family; we obey all the rules of our ancestors. When I was young, I thought all of these rules were really annoying. Each New Year, from the first day to the fifteenth day, we all had different kinds of things to do. One day before the New Year, we needed to worship our ancestors, and we prepared lots of food for them. While they were preparing for the worship, I could not touch any of the materials they used. I could only see all the delicious food on the table, but I could not eat it.
We also did lots of things during Tomb-Sweeping Day. My family lived in a different city from my parents’ hometown. Every Tomb-Sweeping Day, we needed to drive for two hours on the freeway, and one hour on a muddy small road back to my parents’ hometown. We bought lots of fake money, a fake house made of paper, and pictures of some really fancy cars. We also cooked lots of food, and it had to include some fish, pork, beef, and all kinds of meat – food that was really expensive for our ancestors to eat back in the old time.
By the time we would get to the small mountain where our ancestors were buried, I was usually really hungry – after three hours stayed in the car. I was confused when I was younger about all the food they prepared - were these tombs really going to eat it? I was hungry, but my grandparents would not allow me to touch the food.
My grandparents brought me to observe all of these traditions when I was really young because they hoped I will do the same thing they did after they die. That small mountain is where our ancestors are buried, and it will be the place where we will bury my grandparents and all our family members, so that our family still stays together in the afterlife.
Maybe, sometime in the future, I will bring my children or maybe grandchildren to this small mountain to clean the tomb, prepare food for my ancestors, and burn fake money, cars, and houses to let the ancestors enjoy the happy life they had when they were still alive.
Wow, really liked your post. I always wondered what it would be like to have such a traditional family. I've never really had that opporunity. thanks for sharing.
What if I never highlighted the words “World Literature” during programming? What if I never walked into B2 on the twenty-eighth of January? What if I never met Mr. Feraco...
With no disrespect to Mr. Feraco, I would have to say that many second semester students who have not had him the previous semester probably did not want to be enrolled in this class. Rumors were spread like wildfire at a high school - rumors of staying up late, a mountain-high pile of homework, and just difficult times in general.
To be honest, when I received my schedule for second semester and saw “Feraco-Eberle, M.,” I was not too thrilled. I had to mentally prepare myself for this class. Transitioning from a much more relaxed first semester English class - it was trouble for me, especially since I was going to be a Second Semester Senior. The chill, relaxed second semester that I had been craving for the past three and a half years was slowly slipping away. The worst part was, I had no control over it. I felt like I was not ready for the class, I felt like I was setting myself up for failure.
However, the thing that kept me at bay was that though there were terrifying rumors - there were reassuring ones as well. I have been told that this class was worthwhile - that I would be glad that I had the opportunity to be in this class. And after almost three months in this class, I have come to the conclusion that I absolutely agree. I really am glad that I am in this class, and it has made me want to avoid slacking off during the last few months I have here at Arcadia High School. With all that has been done in this class, I do not want to leave without pushing through and finishing strong. The class has reinforced my work ethics, and it made me improve it by a thousand times, as well. It is sad and difficult to say that I will soon have to part from this class. It is a bittersweet kind of situation.
This English class, like I had expected, is and never was like any other English class I had taken in the past. Without this class, I would not be able to think more - think more in terms of myself and what I want in my life and what I have experienced as a person. I would not be able to allow myself to self-reflect and come out and talk about things I normally would not talk about - it has allowed me to become a writer that connects more to the work that I produce.
Though the class is challenging, it has taught me things that I would otherwise not learn if I were not in here - things that we can’t learn from just concrete textbooks. Mr. Feraco, from day one, has been a speaker that really interests me. I am the type of person that likes those motivational, inspirational, and raise-the-hairs-on-your-arm kind of speakers. With the many presentations that I have sat through - not missing even one - it really meshes well with my personality. With every additional presentation, leaving the dark room and emerging into the bright surroundings with squinty eyes, it has continued to impact me in some way.
As the semester is coming to an end, and the end of my high school career is upon me, it is not saddening at all that I have spent my time in B2. Time in this English class was time well spent, and I am in that position in the class where working hard is no longer just about a letter grade - it is about the continuing respect and expectations I have for myself, and the respect and expectations I am hoping to convey to Mr. Feraco. In this class, Mr. Feraco has invested so much time into his students, and I can only imagine that his students are striving to make him proud in every way possible, as well. Senior year is about to end, and without this class, my senior year just wouldn’t be the senior year I was destined to have. Maybe highlighting “World Literature” wasn’t so bad after all.
I was the same way! I heard the rumours and was not sure what to expect going in, but it only took the first day for it to become my favorite class.
I completely agree with your post. As scary as the infamous Feraco class sounded, I am very glad to be in this class. Although I am not the best of students, through Feraco I had learned I need to step up my game. I learned that there are people whom do actually care, whom want you to succeed, so much that they are willing to go out of their way to help you. Feraco's class is nothing but a "true" English class.
I agree with every word. I think this class will be for the best.
I feel exactly the same! This English class kept me thinking about myself and life more than any other class! I completely agree with you that the time spent in B2 was very valuable! Great Post!
Your post was an enjoyable read. I once had Mr. Feraco during my Freshman year and no other teacher could compare to the way he opened his Freshmen up to the rest of High School. I must admit, as a Freshmen his class was challenging, but I really enjoyed it. Like you, and every other senior, I developed the longing for a relaxing second semester but as fate has it, I started High School with Mr. Feraco, and I end it with him. It was a bittersweet feeling, I was exited to have Mr. Feraco as my teacher again, and I was also worried. But after 3 months in his class, I'm really, really glad that I have him again. I think it's the best gift I could have from this High School - starting and ending High School with Mr. Feraco.
Thanks for sharing your post! Keep up the great work!
I definitely agree with everything you've posted as we both pretty much have the same opinion. Mr. Feraco is indeed, very inspiring and motivational.
Hey Cindy, I enjoyed reading post because I came in this class in the same situation as you. My previous class focused more on class discussion while Feraco is the complete opposite. I entered the class fearing him, but as I became accustomed to his ways of teaching and the work I do not regret having Feraco at all. I wouldn't change my schedule at all if I had the chance.
I totally agree with what you posted. I can't help but think what would happen if i never got Mr. Feraco as a teacher. I heard many scary things about his class but now I am really glad I had him as a teacher.
Good post. I can really relate to you; I literally find myself agreeing with you out loud on everything.
I love how you addressed the rumors and then countered it with "I have been told that this class was worthwhile" because it's just so true, and I also really liked how your piece was just straight to the point and clear, not trying to add in any thing unnecessary. Good Job.
I enjoyed reading your post. I really can relate to you, as I too at first was terrified to find out that I had Mr. Feraco for 2nd semester. Although now, it is definitely one of my favorite classes and Mr. Feraco is now one of my favorite teachers on campus. Liked the personal anecdotes you put in there as well- made it really personal! Overall, great work! (:
I can totally see where you're coming from with this post. Mr. Feraco's class was a deep hole to jump into because of the rumors but it turned out to not be all bad.
I can totally see where you're coming from with this post. Mr. Feraco's class was a deep hole to jump into because of the rumors but it turned out to not be all bad.
I can totally see where you're coming from with this post. Mr. Feraco's class was a deep hole to jump into because of the rumors but it turned out to not be all bad.
In a Parallel Universe (One of Many)
– A Brief, Altered Story –
Two proud parents take their first gaze at their newborn baby boy. A smile spreads across the fathers face as the mother holds her baby for the first time. The baby is wailing and the exhausted mother can only grin. The smile quickly fades from the fathers face and his eyes meet the mother’s. She nods understandingly and the father speeds out of the room. He strides down the hall, jams his finger on the elevator button and is taken to a different section of the hospital. The feeling of hopelessness that had sat in his stomach for the past month had returned after being shortly forgotten by the birth of his son. He finds the room, and places his hand on the handle. The father hesitates; he stands motionless staring at the closed blinds on the hospital door. He takes a deep breath and turns the handle. The door opens and the father sees his parents sitting on small chairs in the room. In the hospital bed, a man lay still. The father’s father puts a finger to his lips, “Paul is sleeping,” he says quietly to his first born son. The father of the newborn pulls up a third chair to sit in, all the while staring at the young man in the hospital bed.
“Well how’d it go?” asked the father’s mother as she attempted a smile.
“Oh – great! He’s with us now, and Traci is doing just fine.” The father’s parents react with smiles and muffled congratulations.
“His name is going to be Nicholas – like we talked about – Nicholas Paul,” said the father returning his gaze to the man in the hospital bed. The father’s parents became serious and they turned their gaze to the boy in the bed as well. The father’s mother began to sob, “What a beautiful thing for you to do, Mark – naming your first born son after your brother.”
The father’s eyes began to water as he continued to stare at the man in the bed – it was almost the mirror image of himself he saw.
The father broke down.
“I just want Paul to be ok.”
The door opened and a doctor walked in. Three looked up at him attempting to read his expression. There was none. The doctor closed the door behind him, and in silence, three pairs of eyes followed him as he took a forth chair and sat in front of the family.
“I’m very sorry to tell you this –” began the doctor.
The father and the father’s mother instantly burst into tears and the father’s father closed his eyes.
“– it’s almost over,” continued the doctor, “cancer has run its course, all we can do now is give him our prayers.”
The eyes of the father’s father shot open – red and overflowing – he faced the doctor with gritted teeth and spoke in shaking frustration and despair, “I don’t want to believe in a God that won’t save my son.”
The doctor looked taken aback but then nodded and looked away, wishing he could retract his religious condolence.
The family collectively wept in the hospital room, while not far away, the mother gently caressed her baby boy.
– The Next Day –
“It’s a miracle! It’s gone! A gift from God! Paul is recovering!” announces a nurse joyfully.
The father’s father falls to the floor and cries, “Thank you – thank you God for my son – I shall never doubt again.”
The father and the mother sob with relief in each other’s arms.
“I was afraid Nicholas would never meet his Uncle Paul.”
– Explanation and Expansion –
In our reality: Paul dies of cancer. I am named Nicholas Paul Sergi, after my Uncle.
Before the death of my Uncle, my grandfather – along with the rest of my family – was raised Catholic. As hinted in this adjusted reality, when Paul died my grandfather refused to accept a God that let his son die at the age of only twenty. My father soon followed suit and stopped believing. My mother held on though, so growing up I was sort of raised as “half catholic”. My parents ended up getting divorced, although I cannot say that religious views had anything to do with it, but it’s possible. My mother eventually also gave up on Catholicism, after I told her that I don’t believe in God.
Perhaps in a parallel universe, my Uncle doesn’t die of cancer, and I live in one house with two parents, and we are all Catholic.
You Never Know.
I really enjoyed reading your blog. YOu're story kept me wanting to read more and more. I know we used to go to catecism classes together and I've gotten to know you so much better in high school. You are who you are because of what's happened in your life. And I really love the person you are. I didn't know this was why your faith no longer exists but I can honestly say that doesn't matter to me. You're a great friend and an overall incredible guy. Great post Nick. I loved it
If I hadn’t enrolled in this class, I would not have a chance to take a serious look at my future career; I would finish my senior essay as fast as I could. Also, in this class, I have learned to think more; I was enlightened by some comments posted in the blog, and I was happy that I found people who agree with me. If I did not enroll this class, I might never have a chance to discuss with my classmates about life, death, dream, and future. Without this blog, the best thing I could talk about was what college I decided to go or what score I got on SAT. I don’t think this class changed my life, but I do believe it helped me. If I had never met with Mr. Feraco, I would not see the world from his point of view; he showed me what he thinks about this world and let me to show mine.
I don’t believe heaven, hell, reincarnation or eternality as I don’t believe anything beyond existence. I think death is just like a sleep; what I am afraid of is not the death but the road to death. I believe all dead people can rest in peace, but some of them suffered before they finally felt peace. After our corporeal forms expire, our spirits die as well, so we won’t be able to see, hear, smell, or feel anything after that; there won’t be memory or thinking, just a sudden blackout. If I reach the end of the road, my awe will be the moment before death, I don’t want to know the time I die and wait for it, this is why I think people who were killed in the first moment of nuclear explosion were kind of “lucky” because their lives ended before they felt it. If I can decide how I die, I want to die in sleep.
I would like to follow the traditions of my culture and family because I think it’s the appropriate way to pay tribute and show respect to people who died. My parents, same as I, do not care about what happens after death because they are very realistic and only care about the life we live. I would bury them in a graveyard where I can always see them.
Life gains meaning because of what we do. Our lives have meanings as e study, work, win awards, or get other people’s respect, and the end of life only kills our hopes and dreams. People want to live longer because life is a like a “game time” gifted by destiny; during this time, you can do whatever you want to do, achieve whatever you want to achieve, but after the game finishes, everything will be gone. This is why I don’t agree with The Fountain’s central hypothesis. Life is only beautiful to people who really enjoy it; I have asked my grandparents, who have always enjoyed their lives, even in the difficult times, and they tell me they do not want to die because they love to live. To some people, life has never been a beautiful thing because of their misery and hatred, so the beauty of life is determined by people themselves, not how long we can live.
I think what Tommy does in this film is too extreme; if I lost my loved ones, I would not do those things that hurt myself or make my life miserable because I know the loved ones who also loved me would not like to see my life being affected by their death.
I don’t know what I will do before I go; I will probably wait for it comes if I know there is nothing I can do about it. I see most people were really calm before they died, so I assume that I will also lay down all my burdens and die peacefully.
Hi Andy! I liked your post! I agree- life is what you make it. It can be a beautiful process if you choose to look at it that way. But it can be just the opposite if you only see the negative.
I like the points you brought up. You didn't talk about the film as much as talk about your personal beliefs, but I found that to be far more interesting.
I find your view of death a very respectful one. You don't care about death, but you acknowledge it and hope that whatever lies at the end of the road is peaceful. I think peace is the most noble thing you can hope for.
In a parallel universe we would live forever.
Immortality. It’s a strange obsession that humanity has had for generations, and all I can think of is why? With the feeling of time stripped away from us, life would be mundane. Sure, living forever would allow us to experience all things, but what will happen when there are no more experiences to be had? These once beautiful experiences would go unappreciated, buried under the sheer magnitude of the world. However because we know there is an end, we are able to take pleasure in the experiences that the world reveals to us. Each discovery is beautiful because it would be an once-in-a-lifetime ordeal. There is a limit on the amount of experiences to be had in our short lives, so each one holds a greater amount of significance. With an end in sight, we voraciously seek out new and beautiful experiences. We must make the most out of our time.
In a parallel universe I would “go out kicking and screaming”.
I’ve always believed that when my time came, I would go out with a certain degree of grace and dignity. Maybe it’s the optimist in me but, I like to think that I’m going to die at a ripe old age, having lived a fulfilling life. I want to be able to greet Death like an old friend, on my own terms. Yet, there is always that “what if”. If my time here ends abruptly would I still be able to achieve that “measure of grace”? I’m going to take the risk and say that, yes, I would still die gracefully. I can do this because, in my mind, I’ve been able to come to terms with death. Death is inevitable; it will come sooner or later. However, I know that there is an “awe” waiting for me at the end. My “awe” will be in heaven, with my God. With that knowledge in mind, I’m not afraid.
Its cool to know that you will go out with a bang and live to the most in life. Great Post
Your post is beautiful! I love the way you have come to terms with death, as it is inevitable, and actually serve to give death itself some grace of its own. You make death appear somewhat heroic, as if in death life is truly lived. Great job.
Hi Harrison! I like your attitude towards death, no matter what kind of method you go in the future you will still manage to face it with optimism. Great post!
I can see slivers of moonlight drip through the interwoven threads of my curtains. Tiny erosions line the ceiling from the rain that had once melted through from years past.
I squeeze my eyelashes together, and flashes of instantaneous memories flip through like a story book. They’re memories. Everything is just a little brighter than it should be, just like how memories should be. Memories of people, friends, places, things, loved ones. Memories of things past, things past that still haunt me.
How much time do we all have?
Different memories flash through my head as I rest restlessly before I sleep at night. Fragments that become whole, fragments that are merely tiny parts of what makes me, me. And I am a fragment to the womb of mother nature that belongs to Earth. Our Earth orbits the brightest star among millions and millions of other stars that gleam across one universe, stretching into another.
We are but a fragment of the whole.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This life is too short for us to be unhappy.
That second has now become the past. A past that has become a memory I may never remember again, until nostalgia kicks in licking the corners of my life. It’s a sweet feeling - remembering what we have already forgotten. The memories that have escaped become more beautiful than ever.
This life is too short for us not to remember things. But, yet, we still forget.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Life moves fast.
We’re Seniors now, and in two months we’ll be graduating and moving on, on our own.
From Elementary school we moved into middle school, meeting new people, growing new roots. Then we all jammed into high school, making new friends, and sometimes forgetting our old roots. Our roots are all intertwined. Whether you know me or not, we’ve passed by each other someway, somehow in these past four years. In the masses and masses of students, you and I have never seen each other, but we’ve already met. We don’t know each other, but our paths have already crossed. And that is something truly amazing.
But now we’re moving on, all of us. Someday we’ll all just become memories to each other. Even after we’ve intersected paths. We become just fragments of blurry, glowing memories we remember by the bedside, half awake, half dreaming. Sweet memories that have been colored in by the artist of nostalgia. And once again, we have become fragments, pieces that belong to the whole.
I once crossed paths with a stranger in middle school. I didn’t know him, but he knew me. And we lost each other in the confusion of high school. We lost and then found each other again during the last years of our high school lives. And it’s pretty amazing - our ability to reach out and grab those loose end we never actually tied together and knot them in place. So we took those loose ends and we interlocked them, and together we created the most vivacious and beautiful memories of my life. Memories that fade and become more beautiful with time. Bittersweet memories that are biting to be forgotten, but whispering to be remembered.
We’ve all forgotten things with the plague of time. Time doesn’t wait for us, so we pant and panic to catch up with entity of time. We stop for a moment and the world will flash past us, rushing us, and begging us to forget the past, and what’s not important anymore. Come on, come on, keep chasing.
In a parallel universe I may have not forgotten my sweetest memories. In a parallel universe I may not have crossed paths with you, him, her, or anyone. In a parallel universe I may not have to be the one racing against time.
I have crossed paths with you once, maybe twice. We’ve met, but we haven’t met. Not yet. Maybe never... Parallel lines have a lot in common but they never meet. Ever. You might think that’s sad. But every other pair of lines meet once and then drift apart forever. And I think that’s pretty sad too - you and I and everyone else.
Hey Nina, I really loved reading your post, especially the parts where you describe taking loose ends and interlocking them to make beautiful memories. Getting jammed into high school does make some of us forget our roots, but sometimes that may be a good or bad thing. Overall, good job!
Thank you for taking your time to read my post I really appreciate your comment! I also believe that forgetting our roots may lead us towards growing new ones, or cutting part of ourselves off by forgetting them.
Every time I read your post, I can always find something surprising and extraordinary. I love how you described every moment and every motion with details so delicately.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post! I really appreciate your comment, and it means a lot to me.
I am glad to read you post! And thank you for always posting your life story, too!
I really loved reading your post. Your descriptions were very beautiful, and I could find my self being able to picture it. It's one of my favorite posts from you yet!
Thank you for taking your time to read my post ! I'm really excited that you read my other posts before, it means a lot to me to have someone follow some of my posts. Again, thank you so much for your complement!
Hey Nina, great work on the post. Your never fail to surprise me, your writing reminds me of your attention to detail in drawing! I really like how you said life is too short to make it unhappy.
It was dark and moist in the forest as the conquistador made his way to the location of the fountain. Countless men had already been slain yet the conquistador remains alive. He is ambushed and in a blink of an eye, taken. Forced to walk up the stairs of the pyramid, the conquistador makes his way to the top, he finds the guardian. After a small exchange of blades, the conquistador enters the sacred realm which contains the tree of Eden capable of immortality. Much to his surprise, upon drinking its sap he becomes a part of the tree to be forever more embedded to the earth. You cannot escape death. All life comes to an end. Death is the road to awe. The conquistador did not realize this, saving Spain and living forever with the queen was all he could see.
To a certain extent, this scene in The Fountain portrays Tommy creating multiple scenarios in which he battles grieve. Tommy had forgotten that living life and appreciating its entirety was what made life memorable, it gave life meaning.
Without an end life drags on in its search for meaning. We are born with a small window of time so that we can create something to be desired. We live so that we can find our meaning whether it may be as small as becoming a teacher or as big as an astronaut exploring the stars. Whatever it may be, it will be gain no significance if it were to be endless. Life is beautiful because we can only enjoy it once, we can only experience such a beauty once. With no ends, meaning would become a dull sensation that loses its beauty.
What Izzy did to Tommy in the movie was to force him to value the meaning of life. Izzy believed that life was to be enjoyed to its entirety not living forever cursing an end. Izzy saw what many others did not; she saw that death was not so fearful at all. Death taught life value.
Life is only meant to be enjoyed once, its beauty, its ugliness, its imperfectness is all meant to be enjoyed once. Life gains meaning because it ends.
Peter, I thought your post was nicely written. I believe that life only allows that small window of time for us to shape our lives into what we want it to be, and whether or not we shape it into something big or small, it's something we can look back and be proud of. I imagine that being immortal would be extremely tiring because you're basically repeating the same thing that was once magical over and over. Going to the same theme park over and over just isn't as fun as the first time you went. Good job!
I really liked your beginning because it was so unique and interesting. This was a good post, keep it up!
Death is overrated. Why should it matter? You go from point A to point B. Of course how you get there can be painful and frightening but it all ends. No, we won't really know what's beyond the veil until we pass through it, but that's a mystery for the future. There's no point in crossing a bridge if you haven't reached it yet.
The fear of the unknown is a Hollyweird exaggeration of the mind. So what if you don't know? We've all walked into buildings without really knowing whats around each corner but we keep walking anyways. Heck, we don't even think about it, let alone obsess over it or dread it. If there's an afterlife, just keep walking! If not, then you won't really be able to tell now would you?
However, let's say that there's a heaven and a hell. Now there's three options: an eternity in wonderful joyous celebration, an eternity in perfect and absolute misery, or nothing at all. Now you can be afraid. Assuming that a God created heaven and hell and that these places did not just "appear" from the Big Bang or any other ridiculous possibilities, we know that the creator has some form of intelligence. Is it an intellect capable of forming opinions? Well, maybe. But personally, I find it hard to think that someone intelligent enough to put together the whole universe can't put together a single biased thought about what he created. So, with that in mind, is it safe to say that God has a personal preference over which place we end up in? Well, a loving God would want to see us happy and a hateful God would want to see us burn forever. For this case, I noticed that though life sucks and is full of misery, there are still happy people. The hard and unpleasant experiences teach us good things and otherwise help us remember that what's good is good and what's bad is bad. Every pain makes you stronger and teaches you how to support yourself or forces you to rely on others and let them show you how much they care about you. In any case we don't suffer alone. If you think that no one cares about you, I hate burst your bubble, but there is always someone who has gone through the same things you did and willing to help. Unfortunately, they can be hard to find but are definitely worth looking for. My whole spiel about the sufferings/lessons of life is to show that our assumed God couldn't be hateful. Life is too beneficial. So there has to be some manner of goodwill.
To summarize, we've assumed that God created heaven and hell and that he doesn't want us to suffer unanimously for the sake of suffering. Does this mean that he wants all of us to go to heaven? Well, I'm not God so don't ask me! But, if I had to guess, I would ask each person if they learned anything of value over the course of their lives and if they said "yes" then I would assume that God doesn't completely ignore us and desires, at least a little, to see them in heaven and not in hell. Because, again, if God really didn't care then why bother defining what's right and wrong and what's important or trash. There's a universal code called morality that everyone seems to agree makes life better. Someone obviously cared enough to lay down these principles to at least give humanity a chance to enjoy life. On a darker note, lots of infants and young children die without breathing a single breath. What do they learn? How come they don't get the chance to learn what life offers? Does God hate them? Je ne sais pas. Maybe God does hate them or maybe he loves them enough to deliver them immediately into heaven. Who knows?
Returning to the topic at hand, I mention all of this to bring up a point. If you created something and wanted it to go somewhere, wouldn't you try to convince your creation that it's going the wrong way when it does? I think God does the same. If heaven exists and he wants, to an unknown extent, for us to go there, then wouldn't he at least give us a nudge in the right direction? All we have to do is listen and pay attention. What signs do we look for and how will we know what they mean? Well, that'll take time and a lot of convincing. So, should we actively seek out this God through religion or theology studies, or just continue the normal hubbub? I don't think it matters. If a God can create a complex biological organism, he can convince you of where you should go over the course of your life. In any case, you don't have to worry about death's demise. Just keep an open ear and you'll be fine! If there is no God or heaven or hell, then who cares about what happens after death?! There's no point in worrying over something you can't control. Just enjoy life and those around you while it lasts, then let whatever happens next happen.
You have a really great view on living life and what comes after it. Don't let anyone change your mind.
I left him.
I left him because I knew he was going to die. At that time, I couldn't bear knowing that our time was limited, that one day, he was going to die right before my eyes. That one day, I would be sitting next to him in his death bed, waiting for him to die. I was scared, and so I left him for good.
I still remember that look on his face as I boarded the plane to America. I'll never forget those last words he said to me:
"I love you, and I'll see you soon."
It's been ten years, and I still think about him everyday. I still remember how his eyes would turn into a crescent moon whenever he smiled. I still remember his contagious laugh, his scent…his everything. I wonder how he is doing now, if he is still alive or not. If he ever got married, and if he ever had children. I wonder about the time we could have spent together if I never left. I still have that crumpled bucket list we made in class one day, and it makes me sad that we never even got to do one of them.
There were so many things we could have done together, even if we had a limited amount of time.
"It's not about the years in your life, but the life in your years."
As cliche as this is, life is precious because it doesn't last forever, and the years we have go by so fast. The last time I remember, I was still that dorky, awkward, little girl running around the Hugo Reid playground. Since our lives go by so quickly, we shouldn't make it into such a big calculation. Sometimes, we spend a little too much time thinking about the little things instead of just listening to your gut feeling. There isn't enough time for us to spare to think about every small detail that goes into every action.
And with that said, why should we stop ourselves from falling in love even though if the relationship would end earlier than it should? It shouldn't matter how much time we have left to spend with our other half, because our time will all eventually end sooner or later. Even if the relationship lasts, one person will always have to go first.
Nothing lasts forever, so we should cherish the times we still have together when we're alive, instead of grieving for someone that is still alive and breathing.
If I chose the other path, to leave the person I wanted to fall in love with, solely because he might be gone earlier, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I would spend my entire life thinking about what could have been, and what I could have done with that person instead of cherishing the memories I have made with that person. I rather have something to hold on to than to have nothing to hold on to. What's the point of my life if I have nothing significant to remember?
If I didn't let myself fall in love, my life would be centered around the same problem: What if?
The first section of your post gave me chills! It was so saddening and a bit dark, but it was interesting to read.
I also like how you said “There isn't enough time for us to spare to think about every small detail that goes into every action,” because that is a perspective that I have, as well.
Your closing sentence was very well placed and I feel like you really know yourself enough to think this way. Great job on your post!
I really REALLY loved reading your post. I could picture the scenario between you and that boy. I have struggled with those two words before: What if. Those words can haunt a person for their entire life. Who would want that? I totally agree that we should take that risk and just let ourselves fall in love. We have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. I really loved your quote, "I rather have something to hold on to than to have nothing to hold on to." It's true that it's more important to live life without any regrets. It's important that we take that leap of faith, even though the outcome might end in heartache. Fantastic post!
hey I really liked reading your post. I loved how you started your blog and the ideas that you incorporated into it.
During the summer before freshman year, I enrolled in biology at school. At that time, I barely knew what high school was about. As a kid fresh out of middle school, all I could think about were something along the lines of “finally, school’s over!” and “I’m going to relax all summer,” and I did. That summer was what some of us would now be referring to as a YOLO life. Even though I had summer school going on, I didn't bother touching the textbook or paying attention in class. As much as I wished that I was born a genius with an IQ level of 200 and photographic memory, I wasn’t. My grades, unsurprisingly, reflected my work ethic. I wanted to relive that summer, but I also knew that I was asking for the impossible.
Life continues on, with or without me.
During the summer before sophomore year, I decided to take a vacation with my family in Hawaii. Having only been a U.S resident for about five years, that year was my very first time setting feet on Hawaiian soil. I would often hear people talk about Hawaii as a splendid tour spot, but I never had the chance to experience what it feels like to actually be there. After my family checked in the hotel, we immediately rushed to the beach. The sand, waves, and breeze all seemed too surreal to be true. I also had a chance to experience the best magic show I have ever witnessed in my life in a dining room setting while I was served excellent food at the same time. That summer passed by quickly, and the opening day of school neared. I wanted to relive that summer, but I also knew that it would just be like last year.
Life continues on, with or without me.
During the summer before senior year, I had a chance to participate in a leadership program in Northwestern University and visit my family in Taiwan as well as Burma. My time in Chicago, where Northwestern University resides, marked my very first experience of living alone for an extended period of time. I was able to make new friends and experience what it was like to be independent and around unfamiliar faces. We conducted lots of activities together, and I had a blast. It has been a couple years since I have last visited Asia at this point, so I was extremely eager to relive the chance of cheap yet great quality meals and the time to interact with my cousins. I would go to the night market everyday and visit different food stands until my stomach can no longer support any more food. When I’m having this much fun, time doesn’t seem to concern me. In the end, however, there always will be a terminal for me. The fun never lasts forever.
Life continues on, with or without me.
It is, however, definitely worth it. It is because of all these little moments I have accumulated in my life that makes my life interesting and worth living. It is because I know my time on this planet is limited that I grasp every chance I have to enjoy living life and learning from my mistakes to improve my life. If immortality does exist, life would lose one of its most exciting aspects, and it certainly wouldn't be one hell of a ride.
I really liked your prose. I could easily see myself in Hawaii with your vivid details. Nice job
I liked how you were able to incorporate your ideas about life's never ending patterns of how everything will continue even if you don't. Great job!
It was really funny when you mentioned "YOLO" on your post. I was not expecting that. I also really like the last sentence in the first paragraph when you said, "I also knew that I was asking for the impossible."
great post Steven!
that was a really vivid memory and I applaud you. I enjoyed the line regarding the "fun that never lasts forever" because it really is true. Your summer was a great parallel to life itself.
I really liked how you were able to gradually pace us through your experiences in the past few summers. I think it's awesome to see that you have had progressively more fun and memorable experiences as the years have gone by. Anyway, I thought you illustrated your point fantastically and it was a great read overall! Keep up the good work!
If I had never enrolled in your class, then I would’ve missed out on the experience of having the hardest working teacher teach me. Honestly, I think after the first lecture, I had been truly inspired. It was the way you talked and presented yourself on the first day. I felt the passion from your eyes and the tone of your voice filling up the small classroom. It was something that I have never seen from a teacher before. And the way your lectures were filled with stories and brain-teasing questions everyday astonished me because of how much work you would need to put in to achieve. I don’t think I would’ve found a teacher as a role model if I didn’t take this class.
I believe that I will have much to learn about living my life. And I think the philosophies you provide every day will be sufficient to help churn my attitude. Every day is a new lesson and new view on life. Before this class I thought it would be tons of work, but as I look back, I feel like it wasn’t much work. I think the class has given me a bit of experience of the college life, so I won’t be as surprised when I start college. Like how the assignments are given, and how there are lecture everyday discussing life concepts. Your class has definitely been preparing me for what is to come. I think that your everyday lectures has inspired me to write more like you. Obviously, far from achieving the same effect, but a small push in the right direction to get started.
If I had never met you, then I think I would’ve had the case of severe senioritis. I don’t think I would’ve been preparing my mental state for when I go to college. Because the summer wouldn’t have helped at all in preparing my mind. It was the questions you ask daily that keep my head from going into the gutter. I don’t think I would’ve paid as much attention to my attitude towards school if I had never met you. That last lecture really had my attention and I don’t any other teacher would’ve said anything like that. It was like a wakeup call to get my act together and really put myself in a better mindset.
I like how you explained the lecture as a “wake up call.” I felt like it was a wake up call to me, as well. Senioritis is definitely getting to a lot of people, but as seniors in Mr. Feraco’s class, we never really get it! And I really think this is a good thing as well because it keeps us all thinking, we never really leave the learning environment.
Like you, I believe that this class has impacted me in a great way. Awesome post!
I agree with you Maurice that I never looked up to a teacher before this one. Despite all the grief I give Feraco, I truly appreciate that he is the second-hardest working person I know. And I know he will appreciate me when he reads this and thinks of me, of himself, and of who very hardest-working person I know is.
Completely in agreement as well— I've never taken a philosophy course before, but I imagine it goes like this one.
To think it might have not happened, especially for the cowards like me who impulsively chose to avoid his class, despite knowing the lessons it could bring. I wouldn't change a thing now, save perhaps to sign up for his Myths class as well.
Beautiful, often ironic accidents: that's what our lives are.
I thought there would be a lot of works,too. Even there are still a substantial amount of assignments(to me anyway),I still enjoy listening to his lectures during class.
Hey Maurice! I like how you have learnt so many things in Mr. Feraco's class. I wish I could absorb the same knowledge as you do. Great post!
Last summer, my brother went back to Taiwan and visit my family. After my parents divorced, my father moved back to Taiwan. However, I do not have a close relationship with my father, but my brother still talking to my father. When my brother came back from Taiwan,
“So, how was everything in Taiwan? How is dad?” I asked him.
“Everything was good, and dad got an new girlfriend... but she has cancer.” he answered me.
“Oh my god! really?! what is dad going to do?”, I was shocked because I thought things like this only happen in drama.
“I do not know what he is going to do, but they love each others. ‘She might die or maybe not, but I am going to stay with her and get through this together with her.’ this is what dad told me.”
I never know that people can love their lovers and no fear for the death, but my father showed me that love is fearless. If I was my father, I might afraid to stay with my love because I am more afraid to lose it. The longer you stay, the more memories you make. As people say “memory is the worst enemy”, I am afraid that might not get out of the memories.
”What if something really happened? am I going to move on?” I questioned myself.
Maybe I will never going to move on again, but I am still going to love and stay with the person, just like my father. Lifetime is short, I should cherish the time I can spend with someone I love the most. I would like to show my partner this beautiful world because I cannot let my partner has an empty memory before he leaves, and make it unforgettable.
In the end, the one who did not leave always hurt the most. It is the greatest love in the world, because love is about to have courage to take the pain for others. No one should fear to love. Life will not be meaningless because you are not going to regret your decisions. Sometimes, I hate how we only cherish when it is not “forever”. We should cherish what we have right now, because you never know when is it going to be gone. Live in the moment, love while you still can.
Therefore, “Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” by Marilyn Monroe becomes my favorite quote.
I really liked the message in your post. When you said that you are afraid to stay with the one you love just because there is a possibility of losing them, I totally feel where you are coming from. Losing something as precious as a loved one is very hard to deal with - your father is very mentally strong.
“Live in the moment, love while you still can.” I really like this!
Great job on this post, Tiffany!
How different could my life be if I had not enrolled in World Literature my second semester senior year? I probably would have stayed in Women’s Literature for both semesters or I could have taken a British Literature class instead--who knows? It would be way too easy and dull if I say something as flat as not having as much homework.
There are times where I find myself playing the “What if” game in my head. I ask myself questions like, “What if I stayed had just stayed in the private school instead of moving to a school that was 20 times the size of my school--campus and population wise?” or “How different would my life be if I was not raised under the Seventh Day Adventist faith?”. How significantly different could my life be if I had done this or if I had not done that? The possibilities are endless.
I can go on for hours asking myself these kinds of questions. However, if I did happen to make a different choice, I would still be asking question of the other classes I could have taken. There are many time where we have to choose only one route in our lives and unfortunately, no matter how much we would like to experiment and try taking a different road, we can only regret or appreciate the choices we have made in the end.
If I had not enrolled in World Literature--for one, I would have never met Mr. Feraco or some of the students that I have class with. I would only hear of his name whenever students complained about the homework and projects that they were piled with. I still consider myself a new student in Arcadia. I’m not familiar with all the teachers, and if I were to walk down B-hall and pass by the B-2 class, I wouldn’t know that that was Mr. Feraco’s classroom. I probably wouldn’t even know who Mr. Feraco was even if I did see him walking in the hall.
To be honest, I think my life would be significantly different if I had not taken World Literature. I believe that during the passed few months in class, I have had to think and come up with answers to questions that I probably never thought I would have to answer. The baseline questions for example, forced met to think at a higher level that I’m used to. They were questions that could have infinite answers but at the same time, only one--my answer.
If I had taken another class, I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t ever have to encounter some of those questions in my lifetime. It is possible that I would have to answer some of those questions sometime in my future--maybe too late in the future. At the beginning of the second semester, I said that I wanted to walk out of the school not only gaining knowledge academically, but also mentally. I wanted to be wiser and more mature when I leave high school and I know that if I had not taken Mr. Feraco’s World Literature class, it would be a different version of myself walking out of Arcadia High School.
Taking Mr. Feraco’s class has also made me think more than I usually do for any other English class. Like you, I am hoping to mature myself by the time I walk through the doors Arcadia High School, as a student for one last time. This class has taught me a lot, and it changed me in some way. Wouldn’t change my schedule for the world now! Great post.
Actually I ask myself the "what if..." questions a lot, too. In the past few months I had made so many decisions, especially for college, and I thought all the decisions were the best for me because I had asked for advise from many experienced people. But now I still have many "what if..." to ask.
Great post by a great writer!!
Hey Krystle. I catch myself asking the "what if" questions all the time. I've found it's better to make a decision and not look back on it - it gives me a little more peace of mind. I do also agree that this class has changed me. This is one of the only classes I've had that encourages deep philosophical thinking, something I had given up previously because I didn't see the point in it. Good work!
Hey Krystle, your post is pretty similar to mine. I feel the same way as you do. Things would've been different, but I'm glad I took this class.
Well I’ve been staring at this blank Microsoft Word document for about thirty minutes and, miraculously, the blog hasn’t written itself. So I have no fancy introduction, no deep monologues or song lyrics, just my genuine beliefs and a time limit. As far as I know, I won’t be getting points off for being blunt.
When the Fountain finished on Tuesday night for the late viewing, I looked to my right where Jimmy Gardner, close friend and Feraco alum, was sitting with me in the lecture hall. Most of you probably know Jimmy through the Facebook page.
“Wow,” I said in awe.
“Yeah I know,” he replied. “That was terrible.”
“No, that was amazing,” I argued.
I understood exactly what he meant; we both thought it would end long before it actually did, and the ending had a lot of intense and unnecessary visual effects that contradicted the tone of the rest of the film. I liked it because of the message, which I understood about half of. I figured out most of the symbolism; the Inquisitor paralleled the tumor, Spain paralleled his wife, and the entire movie was about grieving. The part with the tattoo confused me into believing that Tommy had actually obtained eternal life.
Once Mr. Feraco had finished filling in the gaps, Jimmy’s opinion on the movie had been completely reversed. He and I now have essentially the same opinion on the Fountain, even though we have beliefs that conflict with certain parts of the film. The fact that we’re both atheists doesn’t interfere with the main message of the film: “Death happens to everyone eventually, and the only way you can appreciate life is by accepting that fact.”
I don’t believe in any deity, afterlife, meaning of life, superstitions, supernatural forces, or anything of the sort. That doesn’t make it impossible for me to like this story. In fact, the story actually circles my ideals quite well in that it suggests the only driving force to life is imminent termination. If you don’t accept death, then it’s impossible to live life.
This was very well thought out. It wasn’t full of fluff - it was straight to the point and you got your message through.
I’m glad you enjoyed the movie because I really did too! I didn’t expect to like the movie as much as I ultimately did. I’m disappointed that I was not able to make it to the viewing in the lecture hall, because I’m still confused about parts of the movie!
But I really like how you found the main message of the movie; death really is inevitable and only when we accept that fact can we actually live life.
great post clay. very straight to the point! i was confused until Feraco cleared but yes the movie point could be related to everyone no matter what they believed. "we’re both atheists doesn’t interfere with the main message of the film" (great stuff)
I had to watch The Fountain a second time to understand it. When I first watched it, my reaction was a lot like Jimmy's. Usually, we look for the happy ending in movies or we scale the movie based on the visual effects.
The Fountain however, had a much deeper meaning to it, and you have to pay real close attention and analyze it well in order to understand it. I also agree that in the end, no matter how bitter--we must accept that death is death.
I like how you added dialogue on this. I totally agree with you that I couldn't understand the movie first time watching it. Great post!
“Landon, I'm sick! I have leukemia.”
Everyone knows the classic story of Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan. (If you don't...that's shameful.) Their story is about unconditional love despite any circumstances, hardships, or obstacles. A story of a man staying with this woman even though she has an incurable disease. It's a true love story about two people staying with each other even though the end is near.
Landon knew that Jamie's time was coming to an end when she told him she has leukemia, but he wasn't willing to give up on her...on them. He had hope that somehow, she could be saved – cured – but deep down he knew it didn't look good.
Their story is incredible because Landon's love for Jamie was stronger than his fear of losing her too quickly. He stayed by her side even though he knew they weren't going to spend a long and happy life together. He did everything he could to make her happy as her time came closer and closer.
Their life together ends with a beautiful wedding. Landon and Jamie were only married for one summer before she passed away and left him...forever. Even though it was a devastating loss, Landon wanted to spend those last months with her because he knew they will be filled with a kind of love that couldn't be found anywhere else. He knew he would be happy, and she would be happy.
Would I do the same? Would I stay with someone that is destined to die within the next couple years, even though the years we will share will be the most amazing years of my life? Would I choose those short years of happiness but suffer from the heartbreak to follow?
I am a hopeless romantic. I love those cliche fairy tales that end in a “happily ever after.” If the years I would spend with that person, would be some of the best in my life – the years of my life full of the most love – I would like to think I would take that risk. Even though it will hurt, constantly knowing of the outcome that is approaching, I wouldn't want to pass up the opportunity to spend a couple years of my life in bliss, and for the love of my life to spend the last years of his life madly, completely in love with me. I know that he would be happy until the day he dies, and I want to be the reason for that. I want to be the reason that he is happy, smiling, when his day comes.
And even after he's gone, I hope that our love will last...much like Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan. I would hope that I would always remember him, that he would always be apart of my life. I hope that our time together will be “A Walk to Remember.”
Our love is like the wind... I can't see it, but I sure can feel it. (Landon Carter)
I really enjoyed reading your post, not only because A Walk to Remember is one of my all time favorite movies, but because I am totally on the same boat as you and take the exact risk that you would take. I also liked how you used this movie to contrast the relationship in "The Fountain". It shows the different ways people handle situations with a loved one that is going to pass away. Thank you for sharing!
Hey, I enjoyed reading your blog because I could agree with your point of view. It doesnt matter how long the time is, if we can spend that time with our loved ones it becomes meaningful.
I actually had to look up the story (yes, quite shameful of me). I like how you used that specific story as an example. It brings lots of depth in your writing. Great job!
… But Not in This Lifetime
“When I die, I don’t want to be buried, I want to be cremated” said I, “I don’t want the worms and bugs to eat my body.”
That was the innocent me at the age of 10. My mother was explaining to me what cremation was and I absolutely support the idea. I asked her if she wants to be cremated as well. What a conversation, but she answered me with a yes and a smile. Then she went on about how everything needs to be done. After the cremation, she wants to be put in a beautiful porcelain urn. She also reminded me to tie a ribbon on it. It has to be bright colors such as pink, purple, or red. And I have to change it for her regularly. Now that I think back, my mother would probably be the only parent who can talk about this topic like planning a birthday party. Her energetic and optimistic characters will be shown and remembered years and years after she leaves.
“Let’s just embrace the happiness we have as much as we can. If you give up right now because you are afraid to lose it in the future, then you are not living.”
This is the first lesson he taught me. I was never a risk taker. If I knew something is going to end, I’d rather not start it at all. Because I am afraid of the separation, the feeling of lost, and the possibility that I will never be able to be as happy again. I am considered pretty conservative about my feelings. I did not want to step into something that I knew it will end someday, and I know I will be devastated. I’d rather put less emotions into those relationship, so I wouldn’t be as sad in the end. But what doesn’t end in this world? Even the world might end someday. What a ridiculous thought I had, thinking I might be able to get away with human emotions. I am not a robot, I have feelings, and that’s the point of living. How many times are we able to be truly happy in life? Not just being happy because you just had a best cupcake you’ve ever tasted; or saw your favorite athlete playing so well that he hypes up the whole stadium. But happy because you think life is beautiful, and you love being able to live in this world. Life is short, we need to take all the chances we have. Whether it is the opportunity to pursue your dream, or the possibility to find someone who will complete you, never let failure stops you. Because if you never tried, you will never be able to find it.
It is interesting to me how one of the main themes of The Fountain is that death is considered a type of awe. Death is perceived as some type of cleansing from the real world. Life is full of difficult challenges that often make us question if there really is a God or some type of reason for everything. To think that death is a cleansing from all of the worlds problems might just provoke some people who are weak minded to commit suicide and take the easy way out. I don’t think that is the right way of viewing the situation. Life gives us all challenges for a reason. They aren’t as much challenges, but more like trials. These trials that we are given will then test our abilities as individuals.
They will test how a person can overcome adversity. How they react to challenges and how they overcome them by using different aspects of life. Depending on how you do in these trials will determine if you are “eligible” to continue on to an after life. If you are eligible, you will continue on to whatever you believe is an afterlife and do whatever it is you would want to be doing. I believe if you do not pas the trials, like committing suicide, then you will be reincarnated back into a life form. Depending on how bad you scored in the trials will determine what life form you will be.
It’s almost like a step ladder situation of life. If you were the scum of the earth, then you would most likely be reincarnate into like a cockroach. If you then live a nice happy cockroach life, you will be upgraded to a higher level species. This type of chain will continue until you manage to get back to being a human. Then the same trials will appear before you again and you have to pass them otherwise it is an infinite loop of species changes. If you pass your trials, your personal awe will be anything you want it to be. Any way you want to spend eternity will be at your disposal.
hi matt. I agree with you that the idea is kind of misleading. although i do not believe in reincarnation. But your point is very interesting.
People have two ways of leaving this world. They either go out angrily and unhappy or they accept their fate and make the most of the time that they had left. I’m going to go a bit more on the personal side for this blog as I use my Grandmother as a reference.
My Grandmother was the central of every household she walked into. She was in the middle of every family reunion, she would always be with the family and never alone, and everyone looked up to her and loved her with all their heart. Although wherever she was, the party seemed to follow, she never really said or did much. She was cursed during her last years with numerous illnesses that did not allow her to move. Although she could speak, it was not very loud and one had to be sitting at her side to understand what she was saying. This did not stop people from loving her or her from being sad. She did nothing but spread joy, and everyone that talked to her was always laughing and the room was always filled with joy when she was there.
She was the kind of person that only wanted to be happy, and all she needed was to see her family in order for her to achieve that. It was clear that everyone knew her time would come, it was as if everyone was just waiting for the day for her to pass. Instead of mourning, every day was more of a celebration.
There were no sad days.
My Grandmother has taught me, with saying so little to me, to enjoy life and to make the most of it. That even when time is short and the day will come when everyone will pass away, to be the person that lives his last day with a smile. She has taught me to value family, friends, and everything around me because she had a smile on her face every moment that I saw her. All she wanted was to be with family and not have any depression and I believe that we gave that to her.
She has taught such a valuable lesson that most people are not able to realize until they are older. She gave so much to her family by doing so little, that sometimes I wish I had known her when she was younger. I had only met my Grandmother about seven times, and she treated me as if I meant the world to her. She did not need to know much about me to love, and I did not need to know much about her to love her. Even though I had learned so much from her, I wish I had a stronger relationship with her because I wanted to know why everyone loved her the way they did.
Because of her, my last few days are going to be spent happy and with family and friends. I will not want people to mourn for me or even think about me leaving as a bad thing, but rather a day to celebrate or remember all the memories i had with the people I love.
Because of that, I can't thank her enough.
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
-In Memoriam A.H.H. Alfred Tennyson
This is my cliché that I throw into the ring. In recent years, this quote has been relegated to being thrown around and argued about by angsty teenagers over angsty teenage breakups.
Its truth holds because it wasn’t written for that. It was written to find solace in death. Permanent loss.
Love is a bewildering emotion. It’s part of human necessity. The best overarching description of true love is that it helps complete us. It makes us realize that we are merely parts that, with love, are made whole.
Izzy was evidently an integral part of Tommy’s life. Without her, he would become someone else. And that is why he is so reluctant to let her go: he fears what life would be without her.
Yet Izzy knows of the inevitable. And she gently urges the notion of “Death as an act of creation,” onto Tommy, to guide and console him after the inevitable occurs. It takes a very painful quest for Tommy to reach his epiphany, a quest that lasted half a metaphorical millenium for Tom the spiritual space traveler, but he reaches his resolution.
You can’t fight the inevitable.
How do you face that which you cannot defeat?
You must accept it.
Tommy has experienced his Eden, and has been cast from it, taking with him knowledge. And he realizes his future isn’t in fighting the flaming sword. The flaming sword of inevitability is there for a reason.
With that, Tommy comes to terms with his loss and takes what remains: the memories and message of Izzy. Holding merely those, he is the enlightened, the one who walks from his painful quest holding a priceless experience, a treasure and gift that will truly live forever.
"The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything." -Theodore Roosevelt
I have no relationship experience. So if you’re expecting some deep personal anecdote on relationships and losses, I’m not the one to be throwing out answers.
So, with my limited perspective, I give my view the only way I can see it. On the opposite spectrum of loss and death: being granted life.
If I was given the choice to risk truly living life yet knowing it would end and I would likely meet unimaginable pain, would I take it? Or would I keep going through the motions of familiarity?
Are my fears more powerful than my hopes?
I already know what going through the motions is like. I would take the risk because there is an unforgettable quest and just maybe a lifelong treasure to come of it.
I really like that quote. It's not cliché at all because it's very apropos to the discussion, so I wish people would stop self-indicting like that. By the way though, that's the Lord of Tennyson to you.
I also liked the tie-in to Establishing a Philosophical Baseline. Those were two of my favorite questions also.
Do what you can, with what you have, with where you are. Theodore Roosevelt once said that. It means the condition you fit in just profits you in some ways. Speaking about me, I have been really enjoying this class. Though, there is a lot of work to finish. I believe that opportunities are usually disguised as hard work. So most people don't recognize them. If I never attend this class, I'll miss many precious memories during each project. Maybe I've been met with some difficulties during this phase, however, the happiness after sorting these things out is overwhelming. By the way, not only I learnt some useful knowledge during these days but also gained some great friendships with others. All in all, I will never regret what I'm facing now. I will prepare and some day my chance will come.
Hi Danile~i feel the same way as you. i enjoyed doing every project in B2. and i like how you use Theodore Roosevelt's quote.it was great!
Is it truly possible to achieve “some measure of grace” before you go ...or will you go out the same way you came in: kicking and screaming?
During the 1999 to 2000 season, Kobe broke his wrist and played the season partially with a compression glove.
During the 2000 finals, Kobe sprained his ankle and returned after only one game.
During the 2000 to 2001 season, Kobe Bryant suffered through hip and elbow bursitis and a sore shoulder and pinky and never missed a game.
During the 2003 to 2004 season, Kobe Bryant reaggravated the surgically repaired shoulder that was worked on just a few months back.
2004 to 2005 season - another sprained ankle
2007 to 2008 season - back injury
2008 to 2009 season - avulsion fracture of the right index finger
2009 to 2010 season - one more sprained ankle
2010 to 2011 season - fourth surgery on knee
2011 playoffs - Rolled left ankle
2011 to 2012 season - torn wrist ligament
Despite the laundry list of injuries and aging, he continued playing through all the years and has still managed to be one of the best players in the NBA.You can say he’s a ball hog and overrated , but no one can deny that he shows up. It seemed as if he was invincible.
Till April 12,2013
That night, I sat at home, watching another critical game for the Lakers. There was only a few games to gain the 8th position in the Western Conference. Doing so will guarantee them a spot in the playoffs. Going into the game, they were neck and neck in ranking with Utah Jazz. Kobe decided that he would single handedly take his team to the playoffs by any means necessary. For five games leading up to this game , he played 182 out of the 194 minutes.
Kobe told his coach, “Don’t take me out, till I tell you to.”
At 7:30 PM the game started.
Kobe, in true Kobe fashion, goes to work showing the young energetic star Stephen Curry the ropes. With 11 points, Kobe Bryant attacks the baseline. The zone defense down low collapses in and he slams into a stone wall of three Golden State Warrior players. He lands off balance and crumbles to the ground.
The roaring of the crowd quickly subsides to a collective oh. Kobe clutches his left knee grimacing.
It seemed like an eternity.
He gradually got up and decided to continue playing.
It’s the third quarter now. Lakers are down by 7. Kobe again tries to muscle his way through the baseline , spins away from a defender and jumps off on awkward footing and somehow lands on both feet. A mixture between a scream and howl breaks through the sound of the crowd. Kobe limps away from the court to the middle trying to walk off the injury. He stumbles, drops on all fours. The TV feed switches from the wide shot and gets real close to his face. His facial features crease and sweat parachutes from his head.
“ Kobe’s hurting. He’s in pain.”
“Oh, he’ll sit out now” I thought. “ He’s done for the game.”
Game turns on again. Kobe drives again into the key looking like he came fresh out the locker room and drains a turnaround jumper. Kobe enters the fourth quarter with 23 points. Then he spins, he shoots , and but it isn’t enough. Five minutes left in the quarter and the Lakers are down by 6 points. No hesitation, he drains it in from the outside.
They get the stop on the next play. Kobe brings it to the top of the 3 point line. The rest of the team scurries away. Isolation. A jab in the left, a jab in the right. kobe checks to see what he’ll bite on. One more jab. Got the bite. Elevates, and drains it for the tie. The crowd explodes from the stands. Close up camera shot of Kobe Bryant, still grimacing from pain. A sick feeling settles down in my stomach.
Two plays later ,in the most unlikely of plays,he drives toward the basket and oversteps on one side. Kobe goes down. His ACL is torn. The whistle blows and a foul is called. Kobe Bryant limps to the free throw line. The free-throws would tie them with 3 minutes left in the game. Grimacing and scowling, he drains both. Golden state warriors gets the ball and Lakers intentionally foul. Kobe Bryant leaves the stadium with a standing ovation.
“Never question the heart, the emotion ,the grit , and tenacity of Kobe Bryant”
Lakers eventually goes home with the win , 118 to 116. After the game, Kobe Bryant participates in what I thought was the most painful interview in NBA history. Clearly suffering through pain and sorrow, he struggles to answer the barrage of questions from a swarm of interviewers.
“If anyone can get through this, it’s probably you.”
Kobe bows his head, lets out a defeated chuckle and a sigh.
“I wasn’t sure I could [play through] it. Your kids walk in and you’re like I got to set an example.”
The interviewers give out a united chuckle.
With tears in his eyes, Kobe smiles and says
“ Daddy’s going to be fine. I’m going to do it.”
It was a painful game to watch. My stomach turned after every injury.
“It was beautiful in the most tragic sense.”
-William Van Noll
Has Kobe achieved his grace? No, not yet at least. He IS in fact coming back for another year. He will end his basketball career in HIS way. But if his effort and perseverance isn’t something to be considered as grace , I don’t know what it is.
Nike released an ad a few days later regarding the incident. A side view of Kobe Bryant in black and white is set to the side with big bold typography containing most of the picture. It said...
You showed us that an 18-year-old could play with the best.
You showed us that a championship game, an exhibition game, and a charity event are all must-wins.
You showed us how to play chess while others played checkers.
You showed us how to hit game-winner after game-winner.
You showed us that an 81-point game is a real thing.
You showed us that gold still matters.
You showed us how to take an ice bath.
You showed us how to score 30 points in a quarter, twice.
You showed us the Mamba Face.
You showed us how to demand perfection and demand it from everyone.
You showed us how to put big-boy pants on.
You showed us that you were never out of it, ever.
You showed us how inspirational a pair of free throws could be.
Now, show us again.”
Amazing, well-thought out post. I really enjoyed reading it and Kobe was the perfect fit for it.
Wow this is a truely inspiring post. I love Kobe Bryant and I wihs while growing up I would've taken more time to really watch him conquer every battle given. He fights through everything and anything. "Pain is only a mental state of mind." Well, Kobe definitely thinks that way and you did a really great job at showing readers that. I could feel his pain on the court, it sickened me. He loves the game, that's a true athlete. Great post Jeff, I really enjoyed reading it!
I can not emphasize how great your post was. I've always been a fan of Kobe Bryant since I was little and now that you've mentioned it, he has accomplished so many things in his basketball career and I can honestly say that he is truly a role model.
While I'm not much of a basketball fan, I do keep up with the major news and on-abouts. While I've heard of Kobe's torn ACL, I never got to read the full story, and your post did grace to bring Kobe's grace to us readers. Good post. Ties in well with the topic.
I decided to listen to the soundtrack of The Fountain that Mr. Feraco posted a link to. I have been listening to it to try and gain some inspiration for what to write about, but have drawn a blank. Some might say that I have writers block. I have currently listened through eight of the songs by now, and I can honestly say that I am almost ready to quit. As I am about to close the Groove Shark window, I notice the song of the title I am currently listening to: Death is the Road to Awe.
I truly connected to Moses Morales. Planting a seed over his father’s grave cannot be more accurate as to how I pay respect to my deceased family members. My family has respectfully planted one tree for each, my Zade (Grandpa), Dad, and Nonno (Grandpa), in their honor. Each time I have planted a tree, I have gained some comfort in doing so. To me, trees are strong. They are powerful, full of life, and will last for years on end. Just like Moses Morales’ father, it is like they are still living through the trees.
I remember the summers that I spent with my Zade at his house, exploring every room and playing with all of his old cameras. My Zade loved summer the best and when all of Zade Tree’s leaves are lush and green, it is like he is embracing the sun. He is opening up his leaves to soak up the sun and enjoy as much of the day as possible. Zade tree is planted at my house. Whenever my Bubbe (Grandma, who was married to my Zade) comes over to visit, she will always have enough energy to trek outside to see the Zade Tree, and comment on how big it has grown. How tall it is, how long its branches are, how many leaves it has, and how it looks like it belongs.
My Dad loved the fall the best. It is the most notable change in the seasons. He would describe it as nature putting up its defenses and warning us for the winter that is to come. His tree is a birch tree, just like the one that we have in front. He loved playing with its seeds, showing me how they will all slide off like they are on a sword. We would collect as many as we could in our hands, and then let the wind carry them away as we watched them float and flutter to the ground. Now in the fall, whenever it starts to get windy, I will look outside at Daddy Tree. I will see the wind catch his seeds and carry them off. When I see this, I will whisper to myself, “They are sliding off, just like they are on a sword.”
My Nonno never had a favorite season, and he had no specific connections to any one type of tree. He was a ‘manly man’. He would not accept help from anyone and wanted to do everything himself. He had a sturdy base and would not give way to anything other than what he believed to be right. I definitely took these characteristics into consideration when I picked out his tree. His tree is still a sapling, but it has a very wide trunk. Nonno Tree looks like a cone that is flipped upside down. It also has only a few leaves spurting out from the top. They are very long, thin leaves that will cut you if you grab one and run your hand down it fast. My Nonno would never hurt you, but he was immovable. He was a force to be reckoned with.
As each day passes, the trees will grow stronger, and so will I. As the trees become bigger, the time has become longer since they passed away. As the leaves change color with the passing seasons, it is almost like they are still there.
Question 2: Death is death
Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. This is a fundamental law in physics. If it is true then, what is the matter of a soul? When we die, how do our souls just simply disappear?
Our souls make us different, our souls bring us life. They are tangible. They exist. So the question is what happens to them after death? Another law of physics, similar to the first states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed only transferred. Our souls can be seen as energy, they fuel our bodies, give life to our individual beings. Do souls transfer their energy during death?
If this is true, then our souls run a cycle in which after death, they become reborn within something else. In other words reincarnation. I do not believe there to be a Heaven awaiting those good people who have passed on. Nor do I believe there to be a Hell anticipating the arrival of all of the vile people that have died. Just rebirth of the same soul, energy can only be transferred after all; it cannot simply fade to non existence.
Throughout life we learn, but it is through death that we understand. That moment of “awe” is just the world falling into place in our minds. The instant that life makes sense. This will always happen in our moment of passing. When our souls are reborn, we start anew. Grasping again for the knowledge we once possessed, although we will not be able to decipher it until the last minutes of our lives. I am satisfied believing this; I do not need a Heaven or a Hell to ease my fears of death, or to encourage them. Death is death; this simple thought is so fitting, so accurate.
What is the mass of a soul?
“As one door closes another one opens.” – Helen Keller
I believe life and death work in a similar way. I cannot imagine a new world after death; I cannot picture a heaven, nor can I picture a hell. As much as I would love to believe that the wicked are eternally punished for their vile deeds once their bodies enter an eternal rot-inducing slumber, and that the good are eternally rewarded for making life that much more enjoyable for everyone around them. Sadly I cannot.
I believe that when we die, our souls are recycled in a unique way, similar to the concept of reincarnation in Hindu beliefs. We are first stripped of our memories, something rather priceless in life, yet meaningless in death. They are ripped from our souls as swiftly as a spider’s web rips a winged insect from the air. We become blank and empty. Then we are returned to the Earth to be reborn anew. We can come back as sheep, wolves, flies, humans, plants; anything is possible. Our souls will return to the same world in different forms than the last, like how water is constantly recycled through the ecosystem as liquid solid and gas. When we die, our souls are reborn like a great phoenix, and our old lives turn into the ash in which we rise from. We are freed from our shackles to allow us to start over and live freely. Our memories are gone, our worldly ties forgotten; we once again discover the world through the pure and awe-struck eyes of a child.
In a system like this the most I can hope for is that those that abuse or hurt others become victims themselves in the next life, or perhaps find themselves dangling at the bottom of the food chain. Along with that, I wish to find those that lived honestly and with kindness at the top of the food chain. Karma is a belief I like a lot; it gives me hope. It keeps me on the right path.
We will never know what lies beyond death for certain, but I believe that it is a new start. Like everything on Earth, we too are recycled. Our bodies turn into the grass, which feeds the herbivores, who in turn feed the omnivores and carnivores, which eventually die to become the grass once more. Our souls and minds are given the chance to benefit society before they change to a different form to benefit a different society. Life is a complicated circle, it does not end, but rather it is renewed.
As I read your post there were many things that I could not agree to, being a christian. But from a peer writer's point of view, I really liked how you expressed some of the things such as the butterfly ripping free and about life being "renewed".
If I have never enrolled in this class, I would never really think my life so deeply and face myself so seriously. As a SADIE student, sometimes I do feel this class is a little harder than my other classes, but it’s only I blame myself on my English skills, every time when I do my work I have to look up every single vocabulary that I don’t understand. However, I love what I am doing, because I know that I am actually learning things in this class, I am learning new stuff every day, and that really makes me feel excited and freshness. The class makes me thinking, and teaches me how to think. Your lectures not only give me a lot of ideas, a lot of inspirations but also a lot of spirits too. Before this blog, I always put my post up there anonymously, I guess I just wasn’t brave enough to share my words to people, because I always worried that people might judge me based on my English skills. However, you encouraged me to post under my own name, to overcome this inner obstacle of mine. you helped me pushed myself and that makes me realize “oh, if other people can do this, why I can’t I? I am capable of doing this too; I just need take this first step.” So now I did it, and I am happy that I took the step. Everyone in this class is very friendly, and the group members I have been working with also very enthusiastic, they have been give me a lot help and advice during the project. So in here, I want to thank everyone who gave me help in this classroom, and I will forever cherish every moments that happen in B2.
I know this is a little late, but I just saw this post now, and I just wanted to congratulate you on being courageous enough to post under your own name for the first time! I really liked your blog, and I hope to read your future posts! Keep up the good work!
World Lit – Period 4
24 April 24, 2013
But not in this life time
The screen panned over to the sky. I let out a sigh and my shoulders drop, a silver crest appears. “Victory” scrolls across my screen.
The bell rings, I instantly push against the door, it gives way, turning on its hinges. I step out of the stuffy room and take a deep breath. My head clears.
It was silent, then the flames flickered tilting to the sides and disappeared. Everyone around me clapped. Some people I know some complete strangers every one of them bearing gifts. My dad had turned fifty.
I am only eighteen, and I have so many important moments in my life, everyone I treasure deeply. The longer I live the more special moments I live through and the more people I would come to care about. The longer I live the more beautiful I find life. My new memories are just as important as my old and as I acquire new experiences, the old does not degrade in value; In fact now I value my experiences more, experience I once was too young to appreciate.
The meaning and enjoyment of my life is not limited and spread through my timeline. The meaning is created through actions and achievements; life is beautiful, even if it does go on forever.
Yet no matter how wonderful living forever sounds, it is not real. People die. Every weekend and probably every day, my mom would pray to a picture of my grandma in a worn wooding farm resting on top a cabinet. My mom would just look up at it unmoving for five minutes.
I do not believe in an afterlife, but my mom does and I do not say anything because pray for her mother makes her feel better. My grandma’s death has been so far back, I have no memory of it. My mom still has not gotten over it yet. A death of a loved one is not something people just forget about one day when they wake up. Things would change, feel different, it would not be the same anymore, but people still move forward.
I really like how your ideas just came flowing out. You cut out a lot of the excess wordiness and flowery words, and just wrote what you were feeling. And it really got through.
Keep on being awesome,
I’d like to believe that after our deaths that we’d be able to go to heaven and be with your loved ones for the rest of our lives. We’d be resurrected at our prime and relive everyday with the individuals that made us who we are today.
We’d be happy; there wouldn’t be any more suffering the world.
There wouldn’t be wars, killings and suicides.
It’d be a better place.
But, it just doesn’t sound realistic to me.
I feel that we have a duty and privilege on this earth. We all have a purpose to fulfill and we were put on earth for a reason. We weren’t put on here because our mom and dads decided to do the nasty, but it was because someone out there chose for us to be here. He wanted us to become doctors, lawyers and teachers. He put us on this planet hoping that we would find a path that leads us to what we were supposed to do.
Life gets meaning from the discoveries we make and the friendships we acquire over our lifetime. Because our lifetimes are so limited, it just makes life so much more living. It makes our life exciting and adventurous; the more we think about it like this, the more likely we would live our life to the fullest.
I believe that once we pass, life would continue and we would be forgotten. We would all be a distant memory and we would all just fall asleep. We wouldn’t feel any pain or any sorrow but would be in a state of deep slumber.
We would dream about our loved ones, our family, our pets.
We would dream about the hobbies we loved and spent our lives messing with.
We would dream about our high-school sweethearts and the time you got into a fight with your best friend.
In the end our awe’s would be the memories we have. It would be what you did in your life and how you spent it. It’d be the time we spent with our siblings in the tree house. The time when your parents bought you your first bike. The time you spent in college.
It’d be the memories you prize the most in your life.
This is what I hope would be our last awe, and what I believe will be our last awe.
I really liked your thoughts on how we should make the best out of our life and the people around us
i like your pacing and the way you tell your story
Life gains meaning only if we live one that is worthy of being meaningful during the time given. To Tommy, his times with Izzi hold more meaning to him at the end of the movie because of the realization that she is no longer with him. He has to accept the fact that he can no longer create more memories with her. As a result, the past events that he has gone through with her become all the more cherished as he moves onto a life without her.
I agree with The Fountain's hypothesis that life gains meaning because it doesn't last forever. Life gains meaning because it ends, making the things we do in that life important. We don't get multiple lives like we do in videogames. We can't click the "Try Again" button in the real world. We only get one chance from the moment that we are born. Because of this, the choices that we make during the allotted time define the depth of our lives in terms of meaningfulness.
The fifth question asks if I would head into a relationship knowing that it will be a sweet but short one with the conclusion of the death of my partner. Honestly, if I were to be put into such a situation I don't think I would have a option of denying or accepting this offer. You can't simply choose to not fall in love with a girl. There's a limit to how much you can control. If she was indeed someone I loved, I don't think I would allow myself the slightest opportunity to reject a life with her. My life would gain its meaning because of my choice to walk a path with her.
Before I reach the end of my life, I hope to gain a job that I can enjoy while providing my family with financial stability. I hope to meet and fall in love with a girl and create a happy family with her. I hope to grow more mature physically, mentally, and also spiritually as a Christian. These are some basic things that people might overlook as being simple, but they are my life's meaning. Like Izzi, I hope to achieve some measure of grace before the end, and these things will be exactly that.
WOW! I truly love your post! I love the metaphor "We don't get multiple lives like we do in video games. We can't click the "Try Again" button in the real world." I saw the clear connection, and how we really don't have a Try Again button! Very clever and great post!
Fogs, fogs, there were fogs everywhere. All I could see was green thicket but not the sun. I have been stuck in this forest for so long I could not remember how it started. Waiting for the the days and nights to pass was the routine of my life. I didn’t bother to keep track of dates since I have no use of it. I usually walk amongst the trees and listen to the rustling leaves. I spent a portion of my day watching the moving shadows in the forest. They were undefined objects that shuttle across the forest. Some moves fast, some wonders slowly, some rests around me. They usually disappear at night, only the ones that provide me food stayed with me.
Every morning, I was brought to a tattered temple by a shadow and forced to stay there until the heavy gate opens again. There, I was stuck with other shadows and numerous carved slates full of ancient proses. I often fall asleep while reading the slates. One day I picked up a slate as usual but this time the slate stuck to my hand like a living monster. It was a heavy piece of stone to carry around. I started to keep track of dates since it drains my energy at night especially the fourth day of every seven days. It burns unless I read the talismans on it that changes every day.
Gradually I noticed the forest has started to change. The fogs were thinner, the rustling leaves sounded like melodies, and the shadows were not shadows anymore. The shadows were people like me.
After enrolled in Feraco’s class, I started to think of questions and facts I never thought about. I recalled memories and recognized what I have forgotten. The world “looked” a bit different when I realized where I am. When I finally had a clear vision of my position I was able to see the surroundings beyond myself. I began to appreciate and care for others.
Due to my Buddhist beliefs, I always believed in reincarnation. I believed that after living out my life, I will transcend into heaven and eventually began a new life. Like other religions, Buddhism has taught me that the courses and actions of the life I'm having right now will determine the life I'll have next. Thus I am always motivated to live a good and fulfilling life, one filled with random acts of kindness to everyone. I will continue to be compassionate and generous to those around me, however, I don't do those actions just so that my next life will be great, but so that my kindness will encourage other people to do the same things. This chain of reactions will help many others to live great lives and have a better next life.
After watching the Japanese film After Life by Hirokazu Koreeda last semester, it influenced my beliefs of the "end of the road". Before watching it, I used to think that when our bodily world expires, we just float into a very blank world with a shining light at the end. We would then slowly goes toward that light and began a whole new life. The movie shows a different afterlife, where the deceased are brought to a room where they discuss their favorites memories. Workers in that room will creates those memories so the deceased will live through those memories over and over again. Some have their favorite memories when they were children, so they will live out the rest of their afterlife as children. In other world, those in the afterlife will be really happy forever, but they will never get to start a new life.
The idea of living through your favorite memories over and over again was captivating at first. However, I got turned down by the fact that those deceased will never get the chance to live through a whole new life again. My awe is that once we leave our corporeal form, we goes to the same blank space I envisioned a long times ago, and we quickly lived through all our favorite memories. I guess this is where "life flashes before my eyes" influenced my thoughts. I also want the transition to be immediate. I believe we would still remembers some parts of our past lives once we're born. Perhaps that's why newborns cry, because they miss their past lives.
I really really really enjoyed reading this piece! Although I'm not Buddhist, I have read about the Buddhism religion and about reincarnation and it has really impacted my life and changed my ways of thinking into more positive thoughts. I also thought that the last line, "perhaps that's why newborns cry, because they miss their past lives" was very clever and maybe that is why they cry. Thank you for sharing!
I also think that death is just another path to another life. and i also enjoyed reading your blog good job.
First of all, that was a really interesting read! I remember Mr. Feraco talking about that movie in class, and I still really want to watch it. The last line of your blog, "Perhaps that's why newborns cry, because they miss their past lives", really caught my attention, because I've never thought about it that way before. Thanks for giving me a new perspective on life, and good job on your blog!
I really enjoyed your post! How you talked about reincarnation made me really think about the afterlife. And one last sentence really stood out to me when you talked about how babies cry because of their pastlife.
What if I have never enrolled in World Literature? What if I never walked into B2? How would I feel if I never had the chance to work with my Housemates? How would my life be if I have never met Mr. Feraco?
At first when I got my new schedule for second semester, I was not happy at all. Hearing rumors from previous students saying how difficult the class is, getting tons of homework, and staying up late literally made me want to drop this class. All these rumors had me thinking that its not going to be an easy class knowing that he has high expectations.
However, as difficult this class may seemed, people keep telling me how lucky I am to have Feraco as my English teacher because he is genuinely kind, caring, and inspiring. After sitting in his class for almost three months, I totally agree that his class is inspiring. I am really glad that I’m enrolled in this class because I feel more motivated and knowing that I have someone that cares about me.
Although this class is hardcore, however it has taught me some useful things about the outside world that I wouldn’t know about. From the day I enrolled in this class, I learned a ton of great and informative information. This class has taught me to really think outside of the box. Now, I can use the information I learned from this class and tell them to my friends.
If I didn’t enrolled in World Literature or met Mr. Feraco, I wouldn’t experience all the fun or being motivated by his stories. I don’t think I’ll be mentally prepared when I go to college or I wouldn’t have the opportunity to discuss with my classmates through theses blogs. Even though this class makes me think a lot and is giving me a headache sometimes, but I’m glad that I was one of the lucky ones to have Mr. Feraco as my English teacher.
Good post. I was also one of those student that was afraid of Feraco due to the horror story rumors. I'm glad your opinion of this class is changing for the better and that you keep getting inspired. Awesome job
Somewhere far far away in another parallel universe:
I am over 600 years old. I’ve seen life come and go. I’ve witnessed so many deaths that I’ve become numb of it- and that scares me. The deaths of people I loved and cared about, people I wish I could have spent my eternal life with, haunts me to this day. I stopped caring and appreciating the people around me, knowing that they will eventually be gone, too, just like the others. Sometimes I wake up trying to pretend that I’m living a normal life, except I’m not- is this even living?
I’ve been a doctor, a professor, a police officer, a farmer and sculptor, even a criminal. Despite having been to every corners of the world, fulfilling every dreams I’ve ever had and trying out every new things I’ve never attempted before, I have this feeling of vacancy inside my heart- something that cannot never be filled, even with time corroding my memory, what’s left of it flashes before my eyes whenever I try to forget them.
Death is the road to awe.
To some people, an eternal life seems like a gift that is personally bestowed upon me by God. As times pass on, you realize that the “eternal” part of your life fades out and instead, is replaced by nothing but grief and a fate worse than death. The purpose of life is lost like an arrow losing its direction and spinning frantically, never stopping and yet never knowing where it’s pointing. Maybe that vacancy is specifically crafted for death, and when he comes knocking, I’ll know that my life can finally be completed – leaving no regrets behind.
Interesting ideas on your outlook of life. I also agree that death make life meaningful. Thank you for the great post.
i like your thoughts, it's really interesting. keep going!!
“You better lose yourself in the music.
The moment, you own it, you better never let it go.
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow.
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.”
Eminem , Lose Yourself
We live to live, we die leaving a life worthy of an epitaph. If we lived a life where we never faced death we would have a tremendous amount of moments, but what are they worth? Achievements? Anything is possible given the proper time constraints. Our moments are worthwhile because we accomplished it in our life time. Time is the answer. Time revolves around us, it doesn’t stop in desperate times. Because we are so restricted from time we have to make the best of our moments. We were given the opportunity to live a life, but it’s up to us to make the best of what we were given. The world was created with rich fields, but it was up to us to turn these luscious fields into farms growing the fruit of life. Life is a tool, it doesn’t work without guidance from its owner, but tools wore out. When we go our moments are beautiful because we are remember for the positive things we made from our lives not the negative. In a sense, we are reborn into a picture where our loved ones will cherish in their hearts for the good memories we have shared with them.
I don’t have a personal experience to share, but Michael Jackson is a prime example. When he was alive he faced rigorous accusations of child molestation and looked down upon from his appearance and his actions. For those who that don’t know, Michael Jackson was an artist/entertainer who frequently hit the top 100 charts and received multiple Grammy awards, even the “Grammy Legend Award”. When we greeted with his sudden death in June of 2009 it shocked the world. We looked past his lifeless deeds he had been accused of in his past and highlighted his influential life achievements in music. Life ends, but he made the most of the time he was given and impacted the music industry no other person had done ever. We didn’t feel the impact in our hearts until it actually occurred. He lives on in our hearts as the “King of Pop”.
Life goes on whether we want it or not. We have to live our lives moment by moment because the next day might be the last. Life is beautiful because we can’t enjoy forever so we enjoy it as long as we can. We only get one shot. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.
Hey Brandon! I really enjoyed your post, especially the metaphor about the world being a lush field. I also liked that you tied it back to the philosophical baselines. Overall I think that we share a lot of the same views. Nice job!
I really like how you started with song lyrics. It's creative, and it really catches attention. I definitely think you have some personal examples! Take some time to think, and don't be shy! Everyone makes moments in their lives.
keep being awesome,
I really like how you started with song lyrics. It's creative, and it really catches attention. I definitely think you have some personal examples! Take some time to think, and don't be shy! Everyone makes moments in their lives.
keep being awesome,
Great post. The begining really hooked me in. Like Nate mentioned the song lyrics was a cool touch to your post. I also enjoyed your comparisons which made your message all the more thought-provoking. Nice job!
Hi Brandon, I like how you incorporated the Eminem lyrics in this and how you talked about Michael Jackson. Overall good post!
“Who do you have for english?”
“No way?! I heard that he gives a lot of work”
“Yeah, so have I... am I screwed? Is my life over?”
“Probably, there goes your senior year.”
As I walked into his classroom that very day, all these thoughts were running through my head.
Are we going to be assigned a project on the first day?
Are we going to have to read ten chapters today?
Are we going to count the stars?
How about the strands of hair my head contains?
The thoughts just kept on flooding my mind...
But he wasn’t your typical “here’s your book, read chapter one and answer all the questions on your worksheet” kind of teacher. I thought I was going to have to read books, take tests, write essays, and do everything an average english class does that doesn’t really benefit us in any other way than to pass the class. Though, he wasn’t like any other teachers I’ve had in my past three years of high school. When Mr. Feraco mentioned something about “running on his own agenda” back in the beginning of the semester, he was not kidding. He got me thinking about important issues in life that actually matter. Things that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought about. I was used to sitting through a fifty four minute period listening to a teacher talk about whatever; not getting my brain cells up and running while exercising a part of it that has never been used before, but that’s Mr. Feraco.
“Aspire to inspire before you expire.”
I like how you use dialogues and detailed inner thoughts to express your feelings. I think I felt the same way as you did. Good job!
Great job on your blog, I really enjoyed reading your dialogues.
I truly feel the same way you do, he is not like teachers out there who teaches belony. I could feel his caring from his teaching. right? I hope we can learn lot more stuffs from him.
Although I do hate Mr. Feraco's creative writing homework, I actually find them really interesting. I learned so much from writing. Every blog teaches me new things. Every baseline letter makes me think of life. Every lecture gives me innovations. I appreciate Mr. Feraco for pushing us and getting us for colleges.
I totally agree with you because when I told my friends that I got feraco for English, and all they said was "oh....good luck..."
But it is not as bad as they described frescos class, because it's an interesting class so far.
Great post Karen !
Hey Karen i really your view on the whole "Oh, know i got assigned to Feraco", situation many of us have. Your new attitude about the class is pretty inspiring in it of itself. This connects really well with you end quote. Nice connection.
“Maybe God created the desert so that man would appreciate the date trees.”
I’m not a huge believer in Fate with a capital F but permit me to indulge in a story. The character in the story is you.
Imagine if you had vision tonight. In a flash, you’re flung into the future. Your watch says it is 11:59 PM on April 25th, 2035 – exactly twenty-two years from now. You look up and see yourself at forty, or nearly there, and see the exact manner of your death and the way you faced it stoically. The place remains a mystery, but every other detail is so clear that you know the vision – whether or not you believe in God or a god specifically – came from Somewhere, and must mean Something.
Then you wake up in bed in the morning, get up and go about your day – and the next day, and every day thereafter for the next twenty-two years until the appointed day arrives.
Here are a couple of questions to think about:
-Do you tell anyone about what you’ve seen?
-Will you take greater risks - playing with your life when you know the way you’re not “supposed” to die?
-How would your relationships, both from the first eighteen and last twenty-two years of your life, be affected by what you’ve seen?
-When the appointed date finally arrives, would you resist the inevitable, or meet it stoically as you saw yourself do in the vision so many years ago?
Think about the multitude of different pathways you could take to arrive at the place of your death, right on time. If you understand time to follow the fractal, rather than the linear model, then there must be a truly infinite number of routes that represent decision after decision, each one bringing you closer to the destination.
There was a show on Fox that came to an end last year after five years running. It was called Fringe, because it was about an area of study called fringe science. Without giving too much away, because I know Feraco wants to watch it, it was about a man who tried to cheat death by traveling across time to a parallel universe where his family is still alive, and the consequences of his actions.
I was a very loyal, like, die-hard, fan of this show for all of its seasons. In the hundred episodes of which I haven’t missed a single one, this simple idea never occurred to me. I didn’t realize this until I sat down to write this post:
If there are literally an infinite number of parallel universes, then no matter how unlikely an event’s occurrence seems, there must be at least one universe where it does happen.
We, the occupants of this universe, which – for better or for worse – is hurtling forward through time at the same rate as all the others, perceive that it is impossible to live forever.
Yet, as unlikely as this seems, there must be a universe where it happens for me. And there must be a universe where it happens for everyone, and throughout that world, eventual death seems just as unlikely to those folks as eternal earthly life seems to us.
And that thought make me glad that no-one on either side has figured out how to cross over. At least not yet.
Hey Mitchell! I really liked your "what if" scenario, it really got me thinking. When you talked about parallel universes I was reminded of this quote from Lex Luthor (haha) "I can say without a doubt that there ar an infinite number of universes. Some are just like our own... but for one or two significant events, exactly the same." Anyway, great post!
Really enjoyed the what-if scenario my friend, and I for one wouldn't want to know if I was offered the chance, it'd just be too huge of a weight on my chest, I don't think I'd be able to live a normal life after that. On a side note I'm going to have to go watch Fringe now. Great post Mitch!
Your post really got me thinking about the possibilities of parallel universe. I was hesitant about watching Fringe because I knew I wouldn't be able to stop once i started. But now, I'm really intrigued by the concept of the show. Anyway, great job on the post!
How would my life be different?
To be honest, my life would probably be worse if I had not chosen to take World Literature this semester. I enjoyed being in Hatheway’s Myth to Science Fiction class last semester, but there were too many projects, despite those being “fun” projects.
If I had chosen to take Search for Human Potential, I would’ve had to read stuff like Frankenstein’s Monster or some other boring read. If I had not decided to take this class, I would most likely not be this far along in the senior project than I am right now.
Being in World Literature, I have been able to break down social norms and look at society’s stereotypes for success, as well as its categories of success. When we read “All Quiet on the Western Front”, I got to see the perspective of a German soldier, our enemy, during World War II. It was quite eye opening for me.
This just a small list of what would have been different if I had not chosen to enroll in this class. There many more that I haven’t listed…or I just haven’t thought of yet. I would be a completely different person if it wasn’t for this class.
Your post reminded me of the benefits of this class, which I had almost forgotten. Good job!
Anyone who has ever seriously expressed that they’ve been in love, whether they were married or were boyfriend/girlfriend, young or old, they know that the thought of being separated from each other for forever whether it be by a new relationship or by death, is incredibly painful. People will tell you how they belong to eachother, how they are soul mates, how they’re life has meaning because of the other person. They’ll also tell you that love is the craziest, most awesome and magical, painful and beautiful thing they’ve ever experienced in their lives. But most people have never actually experienced what true love is. I don’t doubt that what most people understand as love isn’t sincere and powerful an emotion, but this love that people talk about is romance. Love is more incredible than that. It’s also impossible to understand without experiencing the One who IS love.
Love is wanting the best for another and that doesn’t mean just wanting them to get everything they dream for or everything the world wants for them, but love is wanting them to learn love itself, to fall in love with love- to fall in love with the One who IS love. Love is recognizing that your heart and soul belongs to the One who is love itself, who understands love most, who can love truly and exceedingly more than anyone can understand. God is love. He lets us choose whether to accept Him or not. He gives us freedom yet is always willing to forgive and to receive us when we call on Him. He’ll never leave us. He’s faithful, patient, generous- He wants us to succeed, He wants us to live the best lives we possibly can live, knowing His vision is perfect but giving us the freedom to choose to live differently. Love means wanting others to be in love with God and in a great relationship with God. Love is recognizing that each person belongs to God and each person has their destiny. Love is not giving up one’s own destiny and spiritual life with God or one’s purpose, even though people think that sacrificing everything for another person means love, but this is idolization. Idolization is wanting to belong to another person completely, maybe wanting them to belong to you completely too, and being willing to give everything whether it be a part of God’s will or not, for that person. One can only realize true love by loving God whole heartedly. Love involves never giving up on one’s destiny, wanting the best for one’s own self as well as wanting God’s perfect will for everyone.
True love isn’t understood for what it is. It isn’t what we usually envision when we think love, that is, it isn’t romance. It’s not the belief that two will be together forever or that two belong to each other. It’s not the belief that two were created for each other and are each other’s missing part. When people are in relationships with each other like exclusive relationships such as marriage or boyfriend/ girlfriend, they are best matched when each can improve each others’ relationship with God. People are better fitted with each other when they both are able to love each other truly and help each other. But even still, we weren’t created for people. Our lives are not meaningless without this idea of “our other half”. We have destinies, and purposes with God, the true love. And If my partner found someone else after I died, and if that someone else was the one who God wants them to be with- someone who with they improve in their relationship with God, then that’s great. Hopefully, they’d be a better match for each other and I say this because I’d want the absolute best for them. It doesn’t matter to me that we might not be “together” for eternity, because I know we didn’t belong to each other, but to God and His plans for each of us is still perfect even if it involves us not being in a relationship together or for one of us to move onto another relationship.
...But Not in This Lifetime
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” (Movie, Forrest Gump).
In the movie Forrest Gump, the main character is taught by his mom through those meaningful words. Being a guy with below average intelligence, Forrest experienced the death of his loved ones. His mother and wife are taken away by diseases, and his best friend is killed in war. However, Forrest is never defeated by the many losses in his life, and never stops believing in hope.
Tomorrow is full of mystery; we never know what it will be like. Like death, no relationship could avoid the fate of ending. No matter how great the process is, there is eventually an end to every relationship built. With each of them coming to an end, many are forced to live in extreme pain and despair. Nevertheless, knowing that sooner or later we vanish into ashes, do we stop loving? We never know what lies ahead of us. Some of us might not be there all the time; some physical connection could be gone as time goes by. But one thing is for sure, that we live in the present, say what we need to say and do what we need to do. As memories never vanish, the loved ones would always stay in the bottom of our hearts.
“I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both happening at the same time” (Movie, Forrest Gump).
Like feathers, we are wondering off the world, blown by the uncontrollable wind. Sometimes we land on places with great views, but we might not stay there for long. When the wind blows, the journey starts again. Each journey we experience, each path we take give us precious memories that we’ll never forget. Those memories lives in our hearts forever: “together we will live forever” (Izzi Creo, The Fountain).
What if my dad had never attended that wedding and got the job offer?
What if I didn't move to Arcadia?
What if I didn't go to Arcadia High School and met my friends in PE?
What if I never had Mr. Feraco's class?
These are some of the many questions I frequently ask to myself. If my dad never went to the wedding he wouldn't have gotten the job offer and I would have never moved to California. If I didn't move to Arcadia, I would have never met some of the best friends I've ever had. If I never had Mr. Feraco's class, I would still be a bundled up ball full of nerves and depression. Moving to Arcadia was probably one of the toughest things I've ever done in the 17 years of my life. First thing, the academic level was way harder than I was used to. I went from being an honor roll student to barley passing with Cs and Ds. Next was the cultural difference. In Ohio it's mainly white people who lived there, but in Arcadia, or as know as "Arcasia" was filled with Asians. Throughout the next few years, I found my work pile growing and growing. My grades were horrible and I just kept thinking to myself, "Why bother if the best I can do is an C?" My mother always asked me, "Why is it that you can stay up for hours or study for days to prepare for a test and only get a C?" It's true. Why even try? Senior year came around and the stress just kept building and building. My relationship with my family was quickly deteriorating. Back then, it was nothing but arguing and yelling between me and the three of them. My mom, dad, and sister. Being the type of person who keeps all their problems and feelings bottled up, my bottle was quickly growing full like when you shake a bottle of coke at it feels like it's going to burst at any minute. I finally burst and let out everything, but I didn't want to turn to any adult. In the end, I chose Mr. Feraco and he's helped a lot and I've been managing. If it wasn't for me meeting Mr. Feraco, I wouldn't have anyone to turn to during that time of need.
If I never moved to California, I wouldn't have some of the best friends I have ever made and when I say that I don't mean just school friends. I've taken interest to things my friends obsess about nowadays like this web comic called Homestuck. Through the internet, I met a now very close friend who lives in Las Vegas. Although we've never met in person before we've really opened up to each other. I always go to him when I need advice and vice versa. I can honestly say he's one of my best friends and I'm extremely happy that my dad took the what if chance of moving to California and I'm happy to say that I will finally get to meet my friend face to face for the first time in the summer. Sometimes you have to stop asking "What if" and just take the chance. After all, why should we be afraid of something we're not sure of.
Very good post. You really took this blog to heart and honestly looked for an answer to the what if questions that make up your life. Good job
I totally feel your pain of arguing with your family constantly. My parents and I are always arguing and my mom often makes me feel like I don't try hard enough. I am glad you were able to break free of your depression and you had someone you could talk to. You had a really nice post and I am glad you came to California.
Being idle or being industrious?
My life would be totally different if I had not enrolled this class. I have experienced two different lives after I came to America. One is in ELD, and the other one is in this class. Both of them have different effects which are positive or negative.
Before I came to this class and met with Mr. Feraco, I was in ELD which students do not need to work a lot. Every day, I was doing nothing and speak Chinese to my friends, and I did not really need to study and worry for the test and homework. The time was continued fastly that I did not think I learned a lot about English from the ELD class in the three years. I almost forgot what the goal was to come to study in America. I must learn English as much as I can; I must try to speak English to other people. However, I wasted three years on doing nothing, and I had been lost on the way which I should follow the purpose of coming to America. In other words, I was a loser.
Though I had been lost for three years, I am in the correct way after I met Mr. Ferco. In fact, this class is more harder and more assignments than ELD class, but I learned a lot. The time of listening English in this class is twice the time in ELD, and I have written more essays or blogs. The also, I have to work on projects and presentations which I seldom did them. Now, I can feel pressure in this class, but the pressure is good for me that it pushes me forward to study hard and do my best on learning English. Though I want to quit and shirk sometimes, I still try to survive and fit in this class which is extremely different than the ELD class. As a result, I found the correct way to go, and I think I would still be idle and lazy after I go to college if I had not enrolled this class.
Good to see your determination to change yourself from a "loser" to a ...
but you were not a loser though, Eason!
Anyways, good job man.
I really LIKE your post. I know you have tried so hard. I agree with Xiaoling. You were not a loser.
I can totally feel you because I was in ELD too for few years, and they are the easiest classes ever. I spoke Chinese all day everyday, but now I got into regular English classes I have so many hw to do. However, this class really improve my writing skills
It's true, the more we are pushed, the more we strive to succeed. Or, at least that's what most Apaches do. Mr. Feraco is a phenomenal teacher who excels at pushing us to be our best.
I can totally relate to you because in some way I'm still in ELD too. After enrolling in Feraco's class, I feel like my English skills have improved a lot more. Thank you for your post.
At first when I was asked by Mr. Feraco to ponder about death as an eighteen year old, I thought he was insane. How is it possible for someone as young as me to worry about something that's so far off, a distant, dim destination in a journey that has just begun? But through time, and albeit it was a little forced through his curriculum, I began to think about death. The thought that someday, there might not be a Daniel Ting anymore. That I would someday fade away, never to utter another corny joke or yell out an inappropriate comment.
I find it nearly impossible to comprehend without feeling a strange emptiness.
As long as we're alive, we'll always have ourselves, our minds, our thoughts, our conscious. No matter what we're going through, no matter where we are, we always have ourselves to converse with, to reason with, to plan with. I find it so hard to comprehend that one day not only my life, but my conscious, my mind, will be snuffed, and that I'll never be able to think, ponder, or wonder again. I'll never be able to tell myself to do something, to tell myself not to do something; it's near impossible for me to comprehend. And because of that I shied away from thinking about death. I kept telling myself death was something that decades down the line, and that there was no need to ponder upon it.
But in light of all the recent accidents and the media picking up heavily on gun violence, I began to realize just how many people die young or unprepared. Their passing sparked the “ re-investigation” of my feelings towards death, and I began to try and truly take a shot to find what I personally believe comes after death.
As a developing Christian struggling with my faith, death was and still is a tricky subject for me. Christians believe in eternal life bestowed upon them because Jesus died on the cross to save their sins. And it answers every fear I have about death. Christians that fully believe this do not fear the “valley of the shadow of death”, because they believe with all their hearts that eternal life awaits them in heaven (Psalm 23:4). The only thing stopping me from believing this is how idealistic all of this is.
It all seems so easy, far too easy. Believing in Jesus and what he did, it takes such a huge burden off of the believer, it answers so many questions about life, and most of all it reassures him or her that they'll never lose not only themselves, but their loved ones.
But in a way its like giving up. I don't want to just believe and to accept God blindly.
My answer is that I'm still on a journey to discover what happens after my heart stops beating. I want to find my answer, not have it given to me, and when I do, I don't want to ever have to question it. My final belief will be permanent and I'll take my time discovering it.
I would have less homework.
But then 2nd semester senior year would also be much more lethargic and meaningless.
If I had never purposely picked this class, asking my counselor to flop my schedule, I would lose the only class that still gives me a desire to go to school. As soon as my cross country season, and Gov Team seasons ended…it’s like all the air from my bubble of energy deflated. Senioritis sapped all the care from me within days. But like I keep telling my friends who keep asking me “Why do you try so hard?” it’s because this class is my anti-senioritis pill for the day. It keeps my interest piqued because there’s always so much to learn about myself. It gives me a last chance to explore the inner realms of my weird, and sometimes sophisticated-sometimes empty thoughts.
If I had never met His Feraco-ness, I definitely think my lifestyle would be different at the moment. From the first time I heard him give a breath-taking, silence silencing speech at my freshman XC banquet, I knew I wanted to be in his class. I wanted to get a taste of what life was like through his eyes. And the class hasn’t disappointed. It kept me slogging through the crawl of 2nd semester, coming back each day eager to learn more. Whether it was to work with people I’d never really had the opportunity to work with before, or just being mesmerized (sometimes baffled) by a lecture…it was just so different than any class before.
I stood behind my dad, tears spilling from my eyes and soaking his shirt. Finally, the realization that my great-grandmother was gone…that I’d never get to talk to her again…it hit me. The line of well-wishers kept coming, shaking hands with my parents and the rest of the immediate family. I cried on.
A hand fell on my shoulder, and I looked up. My mom looked at me, grief and concern written on her face, and she asked me what was wrong.
“I’ll never see her again, Mom…never get to tell her how much she meant to me.” I sobbed.
My mom’s face lightened, and she replied, “Sure you will! Maybe not for a while. But you’ll definitely see her in heaven. She’s up there with God, where everything is the way He intended it to be. No pain, no sorrow. So, just wait. You’ll see her again someday.”
Hope dried my tears.
As life has moved on, more and more of these hopes, these beliefs have been passed on to me. Whether they’re from my parents, other family elders, or even just other adults…the lessons have become a part of me; a part of what I believe. Day after day, I live with those beliefs guiding my life.
> From my Great-grandmother, I learned that it’s the small things that count.
> From my Grandma, I learned to live with a passionate fire.
> From my parents, I learned to trust that God always has a plan.
And there are many more. From all of that though, I’ve learned a lesson they never taught. I believe that that’s how I’ll pay tribute for all those who have come before me, and left a mark on me. I’ll live out the teachings they’ve left to me, and hopefully make them proud. I’ll do my best to be who they wanted me to be, do what they saw me do…and more. Then in the end, when it’s almost my time to go, I’ll find peace in knowing that I’ve lived the lessons they worked so hard to pass down.
I’ll find peace knowing I’ve kept their beliefs alive. And passed them on.
I'll find peace knowing they will never be forgotten.
"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing."
- Benjamin Franklin
Mr. Feraco, my Greatest Inspiration
They make up lies.
Mr. Feraco is a really hard teacher, they say. He gives project after project after project. People who never had him all go ugh when they hear the name Feraco.
Yet there are people who say good things. They say he makes you think. He actually cares for his students. Everything he teaches will come in handy in the future.
I’ll be honest, when I first saw the name Feraco-Eberle, M. on my schedule the first thing I did was freak out. I honestly thought I would do horribly in his class and felt like I would fail because of all the things people say about him.
But now after being in his class I see the genuine passion he has as a teacher. Sure he gives us work that uses a lot of time, but at least the work is good for you. It isn’t mindless work from a textbook that you won’t really need anywhere in life. His work teaches us life lessons. It teaches us to communicate with others. To learn who we, as a person, truly are. It makes us see life from a different perspective. And the work makes us use our brain to think and contemplate rather than just putting down a random answer to another mindless question.
People complain that he gives to much work but if they really thought about it they would see that he doesn’t give as much work as the other teachers. It just seems like he has more assignments because his assignments make people think for a change. His assignments make people open up and connect. His assignments make people feel. His assignments make people share. And his assignments people see.
If I never signed up for World literature for second semester and never had Mr. Feraco as a teacher, I don’t think I would know as much about myself as I know now. I wouldn’t have found out who I truly am. And I wouldn’t have been able to see the world in a new light. By signing up for World literature 2nd semester I had a chance of having either Mr. Schultz or Mr. Feraco. The counselors put me in Mr. Feraco’s class. And by doing so, I had a teacher that is extremely inspirational and passionate about what he does. I had a teacher that has made me grow as a person. And I had a teacher that made me see how different everyone is.
By being in this class, I met a man who has opened my eyes and my mind to all the possibilities of the future. I met someone who inspires me to be the best as I can be and to work for what I believe in. I met a man who makes me believe in me.
I felt the same thing, but after I met him he changed my life in a good way, I look at things diffrently now. Nice work and great blog.
Great post! Someone should just make a shirt with Feraco's face on it. I would rock it.
It's great to see more people who find value in Feraco's lessons. There's too many cynics out there laughing at the philosophy majors simply because they cannot see beyond cold, hard practicality to what is ultimately but intangibly fulfilling.
He'll keep teaching and we'll probably keep talking about and remembering his work, as will others, so he'll live on through each of the students who learn, lasting far longer than the laughing cynics.
I really liked your post. I totally agree with you! Mr. Feraco gets ragged on my a lot of students who claim he assigns to much work. But honestly, I enjoy that challenge that his class brings, and his thought provoking questions and lessons never fail to make me smile. I hope we continue to be inspired by him. Thanks for sharing!
You have definitely written about something that I am sure we all can relate to and have almost identical feelings about. Except for me, I never heard him before I had Mr. Feraco for 1st semester English. I didn’t have any expectations, great or small, as to what to expect for his class. I am now proud to say that I had/have him as a teacher. I enjoyed your post.
Hi Melinda, I really liked your post and completely agreed with you. Keep up the good work.
I agree with you on people's random opinions of Feraco even though they have never had him. I feel like some don't appreciate what he does for us. I am glad you and many other students feel as I do and appreciate the life lessons Feraco has taught us. He's a good guy. He is indeed genuine. Great blog post!
I think most of his student feel the same way as you do about Mr. Feraco. We all judged him wrong in the beginning. It was so easy to believe other students, but now that we are his actual students we know for a fact that he is av dedicated and caring teacher.
Someone once said, that the road to success comes through determination, hard work and sacrifices. Which is exactly what your class is, hard work to be successful. There have definitely times where I've been envious of my friends who did not have to stay up late editing blogs or catching up on the chapters assigned for class novels. However, I wouldn't trade all the work for anything. I realize that, while I'm busy with each assignment you give us and my friends are playing, relaxing, as the usual senior would, I'll be more than prepared for college. The sacrifices of having a relaxed and chill second semester will only benefit me in the long run. While my peers are too busy wasting time away and have forgotten what they've been taught, I will be ready for what college brings me, thanks to having a teacher like you.
My favorite teachers in high school aren't the ones who give me the easiest A, but rather the ones who make class fun by engaging with their students and making their students think outside of the box, outside of just plain textbooks. Before entering your class, I rarely ever wrote my best for assignments simply because I knew that the teachers who would read them, wouldn't grade me harshly anyway. Though it's sometimes stressful to know that your class is entirely different from any other because you grade harder, knowing this only pushed me to do better.
I'll admit that if I had never enrolled into World Literature, I would not know how far I could be pushed. I'm glad that enrolling in your class is as challenging as it is because it challenges me to be my best, not just giving only half of my all on each assignment. Seeing how much work I put into this class, and the grade I received as a result of it is what makes me proud of myself. For the first time in high school, I'll know that at the end of this year, the grade I receive is most definitely the grade I deserve, and have earned.
Without enrolling in your class, I also wouldn't have had the opportunity to work with my house mates. Actually working on assignments with them showed me how hardworking most of them are, and how interesting it is to combine all their ideas put together into something even better. When graduation comes around, I'll have a bittersweet ending at leaving your class, but I'll look back and see this class as worthwhile of a journey as it has been. It's rare to be put in a class with a teacher who inspires so much, but having that opportunity is as lucky as one can get.
Very true! Teacher's that do not give out easy A's mean that they actually care for your future and want you to learn and be successful.
The gift of life.
From the start of day one, we were all granted and blessed with the gift of life; we can breathe, we can run freely, and we can love. But this life that we are given is not infinite, life does not continue on for eternity, it someday, ends. When the life cycle is finished and complete, you die. What goes on from there? Do you go to heaven or do you go to hell? Do you still feel life when you die or are you just, dead and lifeless?
The practice of Buddhism is solely, the way of life. The philosophy of Buddhism impacted my life drastically. Although I am not Buddhist, my curiosities brought me upon a journey to take a deeper look into this unique religion. Once I started to read articles and take yoga classes, I noticed that my outlook on life, changed. The way I handled my problems were in a maturely fashion and all the negativity that I was feeling throughout my mind and body were cleansed and replenished with warm and positive vibes. My body finally felt at place of peace.
It’s hard to think that we’re going to get older and from there on just continue getting older and older. Our responsibilities start to pile up, we get married, have children, have grandchildren, and finally, our death bed. It’s a crazy journey that we have mapped out in front of our eyes.
Still not considering myself a Buddhist, or not yet fully converted into one, I still continue to practice his ways because his teachings changed my life beneficially. I believe in reincarnation. I believe that the moment we die, we transform and reincarnate into another beautiful life. We start fresh and feel new and alive again and go through another series of difficulties and hardships that may come across our way; it’s kind of like a test for us, to see how strong we really are and what we’re made of. At first, the process of enlightenment is confusing to understand, but once you put your full mind into it, you’ll believe it and somehow travel around and find your way to acknowledging the importance of it. After our eighty, maybe even one hundred years of life on Earth, it will finally come to an end at the right time and we will be reincarnated into some kind of beautiful organism later on. Death cannot be described as a horrible event, but as a beautiful normality. What the future holds for us will only continue to leave us in inquiry.
"Good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good at the end." -Buddha
“What we think, we become.” -Buddha
The one thing I always envied most about my religious friends was their ability to believe in a better future in the afterlife. They have always been able to look at death not as something to be feared but as reunification with loved ones and the start of a new, glorious life. My thoughts on death were the complete opposite; instead of being able to take for granted the idea that there was something greater beyond this mortal coil, I had to struggle for years before finally coming to terms with the matter.
I first clashed mentally with the concept when I was very young, perhaps six or seven. I imagine many people come to a similar realization. You're lying there in bed, trying to go to sleep, when you wonder about what happens when people die – and then it hits you. You have to die as well. All living things must eventually die, and you are no exception. My friends may have been able to find comfort and peace in the teachings of their faith, but I was deeply and profoundly unsettled. To me, death means a vast and empty void, the erasure of your very being, to be cast into oblivion for all of eternity. The realization that all roads that I took would inevitably lead to an all encompassing nothingness terrified my younger self.
For the next few years, I simply shoved my thoughts and concerns to the back of my mind with the reasoning that, being as young as I was, death was certainly at least a few decades away and was nothing to worry myself about. Occasionally, something would arise that would bring the dark specter of the end of life back to my attention. Distant relatives passed away, pets fell ill and never recovered; whenever such things came to pass, I would ponder the issue further, come to the conclusion I always did (that the concept of ceasing to exist completely petrified me with fear), and banish the disturbing thought back to the deepest recesses of my mind.
My reaction was hardly illogical. Death is a very difficult concept to grasp, which may very well have led to the proliferation of so many various afterlife concepts. To us humans (and I'd assume most animals capable of conscious thought), our lives are all we know. We exist, which makes the concept of existence ending hard to wrap one's head around. One cannot picture non-existence, because the very concept is impossible to imagine. People might picture an infinite, endless black void; and yet, you would not see that black void, because you don't exist. It's a disturbing conundrum, and one that I don't believe any living being can successfully grapple with.
Yet, understanding and coming to terms with death are two completely different things, and we humans are perfectly capable of doing the latter. As more time passed and I matured, I was able to realize that while death may not seem desirable at the moment, that could very well change. The alternative to death, immortality, has far more terrifying implications than nonexistence. Immortality in our current universe would doom one to watch as friends and family fade away, ending with complete and utter isolation. Even immortality in a perfect realm such as heaven seems to lead inevitably to boredom. With infinite time available, you would eventually run out of things to do; your eternity in paradise would eventually degenerate into an eternity of boredom that could never end. To me, ceasing to exist is the more preferable option.
My grandfather passed away just a few months ago. He had been fighting illness for over two years; regardless, his condition has deteriorated in the last few weeks surprisingly rapidly. When I visited him for the last time a few days before he died, I was stunned by his condition; the man who I had known my entire life was so alarmingly weak and frail. He was clearly in pain; and yet, even though he knew the end was coming, he was at peace. The serenity he seemed to attain in his last few days helped me to come to terms with losing him; while I'll dearly miss him for the rest of my own life, I know that he had lived a long and happy life but was now suffering and that death came as a welcome relief.
In the end, though, I think death in some ways could be seen as a gift. Life is only precious because it ends. A resource is less valuable the more plentiful it is; life without death would be endless, and thus inherently worthless. On a personal level, though, death helps to drive us to give our lives even more value. Because we know our time in this world is limited, we strive to make the most of what we have been given, to live life without regrets, to seize the day and make our dreams into reality. In the end, I hope that I'll be able to face death happily, glad of what I achieved during my life and willing to conclude my time on this Earth. If I'm able to do that, I'll have lived a life worth living.
When Mister Feraco told us that we are going to be watching a movie in his class I knew that it is not going to be one of those movies that I usually watch, I knew it will have more information and more symbols to it. However what I was not expecting is that it would have so much meaning to it, it was not like any other movie you would go to watch it will most definitely make you think about life and death and it will make you come back to watch it over and over.
Everything comes to an end…
Threw out your life and as you grow up you get to learn that things will not always go your way and that good thing sometime or somehow will come to an end, so in a way we all know that at a certain time we will lose that person that we have loved and couldn’t imagine our lives without but we tend to neglect that thought of losing them. “Death is a disease, it’s like any other. And there’s a cure. A cure – and I will find it” – Tom.
Death is the road to awe…
The movie was not presented in a linear style, which added more to its complexity. During this story tommy realizes that he is going to lose the love of his life, his wife izzi, but he would still have hopes and dreams of immortality for her. After izzis death tommy realizes his mistake of not spending his time with her, tommy stops seeing her as the girl that he fell in love with.
Death as an act of creation…
While everything comes to an end for tommy, he could not deal with the fact that he is going to lose her; Izzi realizes that, she knows that the only way that he will be able to move on is for him to finish her book. Later on he also realizes that death is just another road for another life.
Together we will live forever …
I do believe that if a person dies his journey will not end there, that death is just a beginning for another life somewhere else. Death could be overrated since none of us experienced it and came back to tell us about it, or maybe we are just scared of the unknown.
“The morning dawns are always so pretty. Oh! I didn’t mean to wake you.”
The drowsy scientist awoke to the sound of chimes and bells ringing in perfect harmony two feet away from him. His eyes scanned the white lab coat hovering over him as he slowly got up from his desk. The maiden was bathed in radiant light, her coat fluttering left and right in the distance. He couldn’t see her face, for it was a huge mess of black triangular hair, and the ambience lighting only added to his blindness. She got close, her nose slowly inching closer and closer until it touched his. The two laughed, their heads still touching together. Her face still remained shrouded by her shadow, a giant unmoving black silhouette teasing the man further. But he could definitely see her eyes; round and blue as the moon. The pupils blinked in front of his own, and their reflections mirrored the great light shining above in her irises, leaving two giant white spots in her eyes. He pushed her hair back, gently folding and layering it back with each stroke. She moved in conjunction to the flow of his hand, bobbing her head up and down in delight.
“Oh you, you just know how to ruffle up my feathers…” the toying continued, the girl making various sounds of affection and cooing. The sleepy-eyed scientist continued his strokes without hesitation, feeling her neck and collarbone, stretched downwards as if she was kneeling. When he reached, he grasped for nothing. It wasn’t there. The girl simply laughed, and continued to laugh as each “HA” got louder and higher in pitch. As if she was about to explode, the bird screamed at the scientist before he snapped back to reality.
The bird stared at the man. She ruffled up her white feathers together much like pulling up the sleeves of a lab-coat, and gently struck her owner’s nose with a few pecks of her beak. She stared into his eyes with her giant round eyes, happy that he was awake for more snuggling. Her plumed feathers rose and fell as the man stroked them down. Even so high up in the heavens, he was brought down by the inhibiting reality of his bird. She cooed, and moved backwards as he slowly arose to the world he so desperately wanted to depart from.
The man rubbed his eyes underneath his glasses, and wagged a finger at his pet. He was sleeping above a series of multiple keyboards, and in front of him lay several supercomputers and screens. Combined, the screens held data the size of the Atlantic, and he had just finished compiling all of them. Wiggling his dead hands back to life, he moved them towards his mouse to execute the program, not before his bird leaped on his hand and squeezed, tightening the blood flow.
“Ow! Okay, you have my attention Roxy. What do you want?”
The bird stared at the veranda of the small clunky apartment the two lived in. It was a beautiful sight; the sun rising on top of the skyscrapers and towers of the urban city. While industry grew where nature fell, the artistic modernism couldn’t conceal the greens of the mountains far off in the distance, lightly blanketed by a sheet of snow. The scientist always passed by this sight as he washed himself up for his daily activities, but he never truly saw the beauty set up right outside his door.
`The bird climbed to his shoulders as he immersed himself in the sunlight. His skin was dry and his eyes were dark; his hair ruffled in a total mess and his clothes three days old. He never saw the man he had become over the years: a machine that never once stopped to power down or rest for a moment. Coffee lay strewn and spilled across his table, and pencils and papers flew around the room’s blasting air conditioned air like a typhoon. Clothes piled up against his unmade bed that he never slept in, and left in his chair was an indent the size of his bottom.
The cockatoo gave the man a look resembling one of strong expression. If she had an actual voice, these would be her lines: “There is so much more to life than this. You are a human being. A man with passions and not a cog in an endless machine. Now feed me, you haven’t given me feed in over 4 hours.”
The scientist got the message, and set the bird on her pedestal before rushing to the bathroom as she stood in anticipation for her meal. Minutes later, he emerged. Like a saint evolving out of his sinful shell, the scientist came out a new man. He had finally brushed his hair, washed his face, brushed his teeth, and took a shower in over a month. He threw clothes together in the wash bin, stacked papers in neat piles, and made every pencil in the cup holder. He picked up his old sketchbook, blowing the dust off its front cover and flapped through while feeding his bird some cheese and crackers. His youthful self flew across the pages; from the bad drawings to the decent ones.
He stared at his old sneakers, white and shrouded with cobwebs and spiders. He remembered the time he spent outside, enjoying his neighborhood through his daily jogs and the environment that changed around him as he grew. From houses that got torn down and those built from the ground up, and to saplings growing to trees and dogs nipping at his legs, he missed those peaceful times. By a stroke of luck, his feet still fit the sole. With anticipation, he picked up both memoirs and a pencil, and slipped the shoes and grabbed his bird. Before he could truly leave, he took one last look at his program. It was ready for compilation, and all that was needed was a single mouse click and an email to his manager who expected it 8 hours later. He smirked. He could afford to send it in a few hours later. After all, what is life without the moments of beauty slipped in our heavy workloads? He jogged across the park, his bird holding on for dear life as he rushed towards the bright side of life without hesitation.
London, Brazil, even Paris. Ful Medames, Pupusas, and Falafel. Handsprints, skydiving, and archery. These are only a few of the things I will experience before I leave here. I honestly can’t imagine my gravestone yet, the details are a little foggy. No one will be crying over it. As for that grace I want to achieve. That grace is hard to achieve, one of our best abilities as a species is adaptation. This is what allows us to survive until the end, but there is no way to adapt to death. My death will mark the end of something I believe is beautiful.
I’ll throw death that last punch. I will prove that law wrong.
I won’t look death in eye’s kicking and screaming. I do not fear death, but that doesn’t mean I’ll give myself willingly to it. By the time death creeps in to claim my body, everything I’ve needed to do will have been done. There will be no need for kicking and screaming. Until my last breath I refuse to lose to this world. I don’t want to be erased from that chalkboard of time.
I know you care; I appreciate the concern, but still, let me go out how I lived.
I was born, raised, and have lived as Krystian Marcelo Ruiz. I have places to go, people to see. There is no time for sleeping. I am not treating life like an assignment I procrastinated on in school. I don’t want to cram everything into one moment before it’s over. It will be chalk full of the love I have given. This world better be ready for me, because I’m going to make my mark. The land, the sky, and the sea call out to me. Yesterday marked my 18th birthday. I am ready to take on the world, so give me everything you have to offer. I am not scarred of life; I honestly believe there is more good than bad in the world.
I can see myself in the sky. My hand reaches out trying to reach higher and higher. I won’t let my hand fall.
Handsprinting? Quite interesting, I'll have to ask you about that tomorrow. I really enjoyed your post and I was one with your vivacity and fearlessness, we're 18, just budding, and the world is ours for the taking!
Hey I liked your post because of how confident and motivated you sound. It's clear to see you are passionate about this topic and your blog read well because of this. Thanks
…But Not in This Lifetime // The Funeral
“To the outside: the dead leaves lay on the lawn
For they don’t have trees to hang on their own.”
– “The Funeral”, Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
I have always disliked the fact that “life earns meaning because it ends”. Though The Fountain is based on this idea and I think that it is for the most part true, I've just never liked how that is the way it turns out in reality. Like when Michael Jackson died: people just then started to appreciate his music and began to forget all the wrongs he was accused of doing. Or the same with Whitney Houston, as her unexpected death occurred, people started to love her and her musical talent. Although, the queen and king of pop are not the only ones who this hypothesis applies to- this past year a former student at Arcadia High School was killed while riding his bicycle. When he died, my Facebook news feed was flooded with statuses and memories commemorating his life and his death. I feel like a lot of the time (not in all cases though) we only begin to appreciate and acknowledge people’s deaths when they pass, but don’t spend the time we should while they are still here with us.
In some parallel universe, I told you I loved you- and you may have said it back.
“In another life, I would make you stay
So I don’t have to say you were the one that got away.”
– “The One That Got Away”, Katy Perry
In my life, I have had so many moments where it could have gone one way or another. Although these events were not life or death circumstances, I still feel they are quite crucial to my life and somewhat could have altered the path of my life. As I stated in my Stand and Deliver, I do believe that I have been in love before, but he is now in a relationship with someone else. I regret it all the time- that is, not telling him how I really felt. But I have learned to move on and let him be happy (and for me to be happy for him) and still be able to have a strong friendship with him.
“Really too late to call, So we wait for; morning to wake you.”
–“The Funeral”, Band of Horses
The song by Band of Horses, “The Funeral” (quoted at the top of and throughout my post), has many different interpretations of it. To me, it is the rebirth of one’s self. After having a personal “funeral”, a new version of you is emerged and out comes a better and stronger person, a more refined and rejuvenated you. Throughout so many events in my life, I have learned to go through this process, whether it be not making it into a selective volunteer group with limited amount of spaces, or learning to just be happy for the one you love. This cleansing process has helped me deal with issues that I would otherwise have a difficult time getting over.
“At every occasion I’ll be ready for the funeral
At every occasion once more, It’s called the funeral.”
–“The Funeral”, Band of Horses
I can relate to how you feel because its happened to me in the past. In life, sometimes you just gotta take risks and tell that person how you feel. I like how you talked of how people are only recognized when you die though because its true. Same thing happens to artists all the time. Nice post!
What waits for us on the other side
“You are my best friend as well as my lover, and I do not know which side of you I enjoy the most. I treasure each side, just as I have treasured our life together.”- Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
Love, it’s such a commonly used word. Everyone has a different definition, a different meaning. A lot of us misuse the word. Some of us may sincerely mean it, but then again, what do any of us really know about it?
We pretend we know things that we really can’t comprehend. I’m not trying to sound negative but it’s true. We all have beliefs though. They vary from religion to politics to even love. As a senior and football player, girls have never really been a problem for me (not trying to sound cocky). I have had my share of relationships.
Some good….. some bad…..
As many of you know, I am currently in a relationship. It has been almost seven months. I met this girl around this time last year. She fell for me the minute she saw me.
“When I saw you, I feel in love, and you smiled because you knew” – William Shakespeare
Who was she to me at the time? My friends little sister? An 8thgrader? A little girl?
Hah, why would I ever think or dream of being with someone so young. The thought of it. It was silly.
But then summer happened.
The summer of 2012. A summer I know I will never forget. It was just her and I and our nights we spent together. Her house, the movies, the beach. After passing league tournaments, I would always go to visit her.
Our first kiss was at her house, right before I had to leave to a tournament.
I scored that day.
It took me a while to ask her to be my girlfriend. I had to see how I felt about her at school. I had to see if it would really work, or if it was just a summer fling. October 11th 2012. 10.11.12. That’s the date I asked her to be mine. We’ve have made so many memories together and still make more. I tell her I love her every day because I believe I truly do mean it. We fight, we kiss, we care about each other, we do everything together. In all honesty, we’re inseparable. Maybe it’s not healthy, or maybe it’s something great.
When I see her, my heart skips a beat and my whole world stops. She makes me feel something I have never felt before. She is special to me.
There’s a problem though. We have problems such as jealousy, insecurity, and our friends. But there’s one particular problem that we can’t escape.
My 18th birthday….
She’s young, very young, I am about to be a legal man. We can’t be together.
So the big question comes up, what am I to do when that day comes?
The answers simple, we have to part.
I have to go on without her and her without me. I’ll be at PCC and she’ll be here, waiting for me.
Why would you leave someone you love?
I don’t want to, but I must. The question was would you want your partner to move on if you died or vice versa, but in a way, I’m making that decision on September 1st. That’s close, too close. We only have a little over a month of school and summer, than her and I are over…
I knew what we were getting into the day I asked her to be my girlfriend. I knew we would have to part. I want her to live her high school life though. I wants her to date boys, hang out with friends, and be a girl. The thought of her being with another boy kills me inside. I can’t imagine someone doing the things I do, feeling the way I felt. It’s unbearable. It eats at me when I think of it. It hurts us that our time is ticking. It hurts us that the hour glass is running out of sand up top. It hurts us that we have to say goodbye.
I promised her I would come back. That’s what true loves about right, always coming back to one another, eventually.
In a way I can relate to Tommy, facing something I know I can’t stop. I guess that’s why I spend so much time with her. I try to get every bit of time with her that I can scrape together.
I guess you can say I am currently acting different. I accepted our fate.
When I come back for her, we may be different. We may not be the same people we fell in love with. I do believe though. My heart tells me it will work. If it’s meant to be, we’ll be together; if not, well it’s been one heck of a ride.
*Alyssa Andrea Rodriguez*, the girl who means so much to me.
Eternal life is the ability to surpass earthly limitations to continue on living forever in this world.
It is to have the battering, beating drum of time weighing down upon your shoulders.
Time is like the endless ocean, it beats against the souls of people until they fade away becoming part of the vast collection of the “once was.”
Not knowing when you die, makes every second that much more precious. A person can die in a few years, a few months, weeks, days. There’s a certain thrill like quality that forces people to develop a “race against the clock” mentality.
When I stare at my bucket list, I don’t ask myself, “can I finish all of this in time?” I don’t worry about things like that.
I find myself asking “I have a lot, what should I start with?”
I’m not worrying about the amount of time I have, no matter how limited.
In the back of my mind I know that the time I have is much too short, but that’s what pushes me to move on. It’s that dread of never seeing the bright sun kiss your face, or having the cool wind caress your skin ever again, which makes me want to enjoy every second I get.
I have always dreamt about losing my family, and friends. That once I lose them I won’t be able to see them again, and after I die there’s nothing else to look forward too.
This scares me immensely. I’m still uncomfortable about this thought, and I don’t know when if I’ll ever be ok with it.
Even so, living forever is also frightening. If I had to live forever, if we all lived forever, the precious bonds that kept us all connected would wear away. The sweet memories would become just gentle aches that gradually fade away over time.
If it means that I have to die while keeping all the precious moments and memories alive, I would. I would strive to make enough of an impact on someone’s life, so even after I pass away I am essentially still alive. I will live through the thoughts and lives of others, and they will live being shaped by my impact.
I am alive now, I am making moments, I am making memories, I will treat everyday like it’s my last, and I am leaving an impact in people’s lives.
Every moment is so precious, please don’t waste it.
I like your post! Life is short, but that's what makes it worth living. The time limit on life always pushes us to excel in and experience new things. Good job.
I’m sorry. I really hate bringing everything back to cop stuff.
When I look back on high school, I always look at my behavior, personality, and how it was shaped. Undoubtedly my parents and friends had been an integral part of who I am today, but there is one other entity that has governed how I act most of the time – the police department.
I am a police explorer. Engrained in me is the knowledge that with every action I take, there is someone watching me. When I make that wrong decision or wrong move, it reflects right back onto something much greater than I. Even when out of uniform, I bear the patch on my shoulders, because nearly everyone in my grade knows I’m part of the police department… even people I don’t know, know me as police, and it worries me a bit.
My actions reflect police implementations everywhere; because often times, the only thing people see on my shoulders are “police”, and not “explorer” underneath it. When I was with Arcadia, I’d say half the people I saw wouldn’t know I wasn’t a real cop… and so I have to maintain the moral standards of a real cop. Of course, my teenage side slips through often, and everyone knows it’ll happen to all teens, no matter who you’re associated with, but regardless, I’m held to the higher standard. When in uniform I have to think about liability, how my actions will reflect on a department, how they will look on Youtube if some guy with a camera comes along, public relations, and how it will best fit the situation.
Out of uniform, yeah, I’ll joke with my friends about tickets or whatever, but I have to make sure I know exactly what I’m saying. I’m not going to go around and get into fights left and right. But let me reiterate- I’m still a teenager sometimes. I’m still immature.
But it’s not just the governing of my behavior that’s shaped me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m mature by any means… I have a long ways to go. However, this program has made me grow in so many ways – I’ve had to! I’ve been working alongside adults, police officers, for that matter. I’ve learned responsibility, job management, public relations, command presence, image, professionalism (a big one), and camaraderie, just to name a few qualities I’ve gained. In my daily life, I use each one of these skills, from me trying to be a leader in XC to just doing homework to how I talk to strangers. A lot of my philosophies I’ve gained from experience from exploring. I use these every day… what if I never gained them?
Now, when I look back on myself, you can guess what comes to mind:
In some parallel universe, I was never a police explorer.
In some parallel universe, I never liked helping people.
In some parallel universe, I never lived to be a “good son” or a “good friend”.
Let me start by saying this: I truly don’t know where I would be if I weren’t a police explorer for four years.
Would I be a delinquent?
Would I be in “juvie”?
Would I be a drinker or a smoker, or the partygoer?
Would I have straight A’s because I have so much more time to put towards school?
Would my philosophies be different?
Heck, maybe I’d even be dead.
Just imagining the person I could be without this program in my life is a scary prospect. In that parallel universe, I probably would not have taken Mr. Feraco’s class in the first place, because I don’t know if I would have been one that likes challenges. Not having this class certainly would have been the final nail in the coffin to philosophical thinking for me, though.
There’s so much to take into consideration when thinking about the person I could have been, and often times it overloads. Instead, I like to focus on just what I’ve gained from explorers instead.
Do you know how lucky you are to see the sun again every day?
...Because some people don't.
Pertaining to this blog, the appreciation of life has been something I’ve developed more and more over time as an explorer and through my personal life. Let me put this out there first: I’m not trying to sound like a hard-ass. I’m not claiming be some “I’ve been through so much, you don’t even know” person. I’ve been to three funerals, and have never been to a wedding. There are many family stories centered on death that I’ve been told. I’ve had friends almost die. I responded to the scene of a fatal car accident on the freeway. If you’ve ever seen videos of a death, it’s kind of breathtaking when you’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s a weird feeling seeing how someone can be so full of life and movement, and the next second, a lifeless slump. Everything that person worked for, studied for, and persevered for is lost in an instant. Someone’s someone is now gone. That person has lived life for however many so years, and it is gone in a second.
I haven’t been through a lot, but I know some death - I think everyone does. I’m not scarred by it, or depressed by it, or pessimistic because of it, but I do appreciate life because of it.
I’m well aware of how fast life can escape a person. We all know nothing lasts forever. Friendships won’t last forever, your career won’t last forever, and you will not live forever. Bearing this in mind, every day, when I walk out the door, I remind myself to always enjoy it while it lasts. Enjoy life while it lasts, because it can be taken from you at any second. Enjoy your mother while she’s around and be nice to her, because you don’t want the last thing you say to her be unkind. That friend you never told how much you appreciated may not be fortunate enough to see the light of day – interestingly enough, it does seem like it’s always the best of us that go first. Someday, I’ll grow old, and I won’t be able to run anymore, so even though I’m not really enjoying this high-intensity run right now, I’d better enjoy it because I won’t be running forever. Even as high school comes to a close, I know I need to make things right between myself and certain people. I need to do some apologizing and some appreciation of those special friends.
I know I can die tomorrow. I may even die on my way home tonight from Starbucks as I’m typing this – some driver may run a red light and T-bone my car. This is why I enjoy the little things in life and take it one step at a time. If I were to die, sure, there may have been things I never got to do (go to prom, drive across the country, be a cop), but I can’t live my life like that, because if I die, I know I won’t be at peace.
There are only two things I hope to have upon death – good memories and no regrets. No, I will not give up my life easily, but if death comes, it comes. Life is given meaning by death, because it forces us to make the best of it while it lasts. When it is our time, we can only hope we will be at peace with what we’ve been able to do.
I try to live my life day in and day out so that if I were to leave my home for the last time, I’ll be able to say “I did my best with no regrets.” It's not always easy, but my death will come soon enough, and I need to be ready for it.
So be it in the comfort of my own home, the hospital, or the cold, hard pavement, whenever the time comes, I hope I’ll have given my life some good meaning, while it lasted.
I really enjoyed reading your blog. I know you're going to become a great police officer. You know discipline but still have a great sense of humor. Whatever life brings you, you'll be ready for it. I like how you were able to answer multiple questions in your blog. It all flowed very well when ou moved into the next answer. Good job Kevin
End of Life and Beginning of Death
Life gains meaning because it ends……..
The Fountain shows us how sometimes we can focus on the wrong things in life rather than the important things. In the movie, Tommy dedicates most of his time in the laboratory trying to find a cure for his wife’s brain tumor which led him to abandoning her at home for long hours. Tommy was too afraid to lose her that he didn't listen to what his wife, Izzi, wanted. After Izzi felt ready to go to her “awe” , she desires to spend the remainder of her time with Tommy. Tommy unfortunately doesn't please her as she wishes.
My life I live in America is scheduled every day. I wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, go home, do homework, eat dinner, more homework, (if I have time) watch TV, and go to sleep. The next day is the same routine. The only days I have time for myself are the weekends, and that is only if nothing comes up that requires me to do school work. My life, as well as others, is very busy that we don’t have the opportunity to enjoy special moments that need to be enjoyed. I feel that I only need to focus on myself in order to succeed. I forget about my parents. As a child, when I didn't have to worry about anything, I constantly reminded my parents that I loved them and that I didn't want them to ever leave. Now I forget to simply ask how their day was. I don’t spend as much quality time with them like before because whenever I have time, I dedicate myself to my friends rather than with my parents. I am like Tommy who abandons Izzi (my parents). My parents are the most beautiful thing I was blessed with and I know they won’t be with me forever. So I have to start walking with them and spend more quality time together. I don’t want to regret it once it’s too late.
When God decides it is time for me to leave this earth, I hope to have cleared all my sins with him before he takes me. Everyone hopes to have a peaceful death and I am not an exemption. Having confessed and regretting if I have done wrong before I die will be my “measure of grace” . I would want to leave this world knowing I did the right thing.
very meaning essay. i agree with you that we should all spend more time with our family before its too late.
“Death as an Act of Creation”
I once considered death as a very dark and terrifying concept to deal with; I had more than once encountered death through dreams; in those dreams, my loved ones had all passed away and left me alone-I felt like the world had come to the end. After recovering from the dreams, I immediately ran to sleep with my family member who had “died” in my dream; fortunately, they were just dreams.
I’m afraid of death; especially the death of my loved ones.
I know that as time goes by, these dreams will eventually turn into reality someday; it’s just matter of time.
I’m not a religious person myself; yet I have comprehended more about death by referencing religious beliefs; most of mainstream religions tend to gain an insight into the deeper meaning of death by reflecting on the life before one’s death and the afterlife. What I have learned from religions is that death doesn’t necessarily signify the terminal station in one’s life, but symbolizes a new beginning of life in different forms instead.
Because we all live in the world with limited lifespan; and with the limited time we have, we learn to live in the present and cherish each moment we have. As a result of our finite lifetime, we try harder to achieve our ideals at some stage; little by little, and getting close to the essence of life.
Life gains meaning because of its transience; after all, my corporeal form will be gone with the wind forever; yet I may continue to travel the corners of the world where I've been to before; my voice, my laughter and my disposition may become a piece of undying memory in my loved ones’ minds.
Perhaps, when I am about to leave the world with my outer form, I may go peacefully and with the understanding of life because I know I will continue to coexist with my loved ones, but just in some other way.
The SAT Math teacher was on one of his apocryphal, afterschool rants again, this time on the afterlife.
“I believe in Christianity. There is eternal suffering in Hell when you die. Do you know you’re supposed to do?” he asked rhetorically.
“Believe in reincarnation!” I shouted half-jokingly. Everyone looked at me with a funnier look than usual.
“NO!” he angrily shouted back. “You have to enjoy the suffering!”
Child of cheap, loving parents, I grew up stingy and disapproving of waste. Liberal media strengthened this with its ideas of conservation and environmentalism, which also nurtured curiosity and adventure further. During a period of religious soul-searching, the concepts of Heaven and Hell just seemed...wasteful. A Time article on Heaven mentioned its decline in serious works, how Heaven is supposed to be essentially nothing, making it particularly difficult to depict. The thought of all those souls, billions upon billions, just remaining there, leaving so much unseen and unexplored. It was horrifying to me, an unpleasant parallel to the Earth’s population issues and the wonders so many go through life never knowing.
So reincarnation seemed a perfect fit for me. When others ask what I believe, I tell them that, using true, if incomplete, reasons. (For one, it’s a monkey wrench into Western religions, as most, if not all, don’t account for it, a convenient, pleasant alternative to the product of the SAT teacher’s ramblings.) The more genuine reason is that there is so much to see and experience in this world, far too much for a single lifetime. So more, in all manner of creatures: a new journey, a new adventure from each one. Not in this lifetime, but in many. A more direct and less elegant road to awe than that of Moses’s father, but for me, it’s just right.
Life is a journey, which for me means the end is irrelevant, or at least less important. So the final “awe” at the end is actually something I don’t much care for. It’s the way there that’s important; it’s what’s memorable; it's part of me.
Your anecdote was interesting. Dwelling on fond memories of sitting in SAT classes?
I like how you presented your views. Simplicity makes sense, and the circle of life is literally integrated into your beliefs of "after life."
Regardless, we can all agree that life is a journey, and not one to be wasted. Because even if we have another, somewhere else, we weren't given this one for nothing.
I knew it is probably too late to reply, but i just want to say sorry for what i have missed. it is great post, i did not realize it until i was doing my Mystery project X. what a great post.
Imagine, if we have an infinite amount of money, do you think we will still value our money and try to save for the greater investment? I don’t think so. We would not value our infinite amount of money. Also we would not try to invest that money because that money is not limited and can be used forever. With that infinite amount of money we will no longer value money and it will lose its value.
This is same thing as our lives. Our lives are limited.
Everything we go through and experience today eventually will end. It is limited. It will end and that is called death. Because we only live once, we want to be remembered. People wish to shine like bright stars once in their lifetime because their time is limited in this world. People wish to become famous and become a person who gives positive impact to others.
Because we know that these moments of ours are limited, we learn to value our time and our memories.
We often don’t like it when our friends, family, or people around us waste our time unnecessarily. It’s all because our time is limited and we don’t have much time in this world and which we began to value our time. Every moment, we are slowly getting closer and closer to the endpoint of our journey. Because we know that our lives will end someday, we take our lives seriously and we value our time and our memories. We try not to do something that we will regret later. If our lives don’t end and continue forever we will not take our lives seriously because we still got lots of time to take our lives seriously. We will begin to live in the mass of procrastination.
I believe that life gains meaning and it is just beautiful way it is because our lives will end and everyone wish to end their journey successfully.
As I entered my second semester senior year, I had the fantasy of senioritis; sleeping late in the bed, ditching school, not doing homework, and just being a slacker. I thought it would be fantastic and awesome, all these illusion were just amazing to think about. I believe that many other people will think the same. However, everything got twisted on the day when I got my schedule, “MR.FERACO FOURTH PERIOD WORLD LITERATURE!” I was shocked and pitied myself for being a Feraco’s kid. All of my senior fantasy flew away and I entered the Mr. Feraco’s class on the first day of Second semester senior English.
The first day of my second semester with Mr. Feraco was not that bad it was ok, it was better than I thought, but as the time progress, I was able to feel those projects and works that were coming. Those feelings were right, there were blogs, readings, essays, projects, and group works. Tons of stuff started pile up on my desk, and I was losing myself. It was disaster day after the project’s due, it was another essay’s due. It was such a tiring class. Although it was tough and challenge to survive in class, I do not regret, because I like it this way. I like the teacher who cares about me, I like the classes where I can share my life story, and I like the works that are actually teaching me. His teaching helped me a lot, not only academically but mentally. Throughout the class I really had thorough time thinking about myself, not just who I am, but my purpose of existing and meanings of my life. I am truly glad that I am in his class. Literally, I went up to the counselor to change my English class for two times. I was very lucky that they did not change it. If I ended up in some other place, then I would be wasting my precious second semester senior year on some stupid things and miss everything that I should not be. Just imagining me in wrong class is horrible. I would not know the true meaning of myself.
If I ever have chance to go back to my beginning of second semester, I wouldn’t go back to counselor for schedule adjustment, but to thanks them for placing me in his class. One thing I can be sure is that if I had not enrolled in this class for my last two quarters of senior year, then I would be a lost child who is spending meaningless time.
Every time when we have to describe a book, we always use present tense because whenever we open that book, the characters become alive again. I believe the same for life, when I look back, I can see my grandpa is driving me home with his old truck. When I look to the future I can see my dreams become true, I become a nurse.
But I know the truth, as I always do.
When I look back, I can see my grandpa was driving me home. But when I look to the present, I see nothing but a grave stone. When I look to the future I might see my dreams become true. But when I look to the present, I see nothing but college rejections in the deepest of my drawer.
What if my grandpa is still there? What if he never had a stroke? What if he did not have to live the last few years of his life in bed and could not even control himself properly? What if…..? Questions like these never end; I keep thinking what if something was different. What if I never went to America? May I have to struggle my survival of the college entrance exam? Will I still have a chance to experience how it feels like to land on the land of “freedom”? it is hard to answer, as far as I know no living human being can know what is the opposite of what if.
What can I do? Is there a perfect utopia on this planet? Can I get in to the career that I been dreaming of ever since? I cannot find an answer to any of the questions I been questioning. However, I know I have to make it count. Even the most boring time of life are limited. Rather than dreaming what will happen “if”, get back to the reality. It is hard, it is cruel, it is painful, but these pains tell us that we are still living, we are alive. So make every second counts.
I loved reading your post
I'm sorry you lost your grandpa.
Your post was really insightful and I feel as if I would feel the emotions you were feeing. I loved the way you didn't leave on sentence without meaning! I really liked it!
Interesting blog! Sometimes, I have the same feeling as you. I just consistently think about what if I choose a different way? However, everything is still the same. It would not change because of my imagination. Nice post!
"Mr. Feraco is the hardest teacher you will ever have."
When I first set foot in H5 as freshmen, I was intimated to see my teacher standing by the door, all dressed up.
“Yow Pyng Chou, but I go by David.”
“Okay, you’ll be sitting over there.”
That was the first time I met Mr. Feraco, I was scared; he looked very intimating. As the days progress, we started to get to know each other. Often, Mr. Feraco would give philosophical questions that were so deep and confusing; which were almost always followed up by stories about life, which only confused us even more. We had English 9 during fourth period and whenever that lunch bell rang, we were left with questions unanswered, feelings conflicted; a more mature mind.
I have grown extremely since freshman year. My thought processes have grown from a young teen, to a young adult about to enter the real world. At random times, my friend Josh Sohng (also had Mr. Feraco with me) and I would discuss some of the mind boggling questions from Mr. Feraco. These questions were able to lead both me and Josh into passionate discussions which brought our relationship closer to each other. It’s funny; I remember when we were both in tough situations we joke around “What would Feraco do…?” Without even realizing, Mr. Feraco have had one of the biggest impacts in my life. Rarely would any student be so excited to go to English class.
In a parallel world, he never existed.
Still the immature, impatient little kid; I wouldn’t have progressed as fast. I would never take anything that was said to me with the intention of finding the meaning within the meaning. To take what I was given and accept it; that would be my fate. Never finding the interest to look into the meaning of lyrics, or to lay in bed just pondering over “what if” situations, I wouldn’t have cared; I would never have had sleepless nights thinking about love. I would’ve never made the connections with the friends like I have now. I wouldn’t be able to feel secure in my friends.
I would still be the scared freshman, unprepared to face the world.
Now it is senior year; I have Mr. Feraco yet again. He told me that I am one of his few students who have had him for both freshman year and the entire senior year, he said that he would remember me. It wouldn’t have meant anything if it came from another teacher but when Mr. Feraco said it, I was sincerely happy.
I’ve grown so much since freshman year.
I’ve also learned so much, matured so much, bared through so much.
I’m different now.
I’m better now.
That's what I'm feeling about being in Mr. Feraco's class too! I believe that the rest of his kids may be also experiencing the same as you do, since we all have learned many lessons about life from his lecture.
Lucky you Lucky me, and keep up the good work
I know exactly what you mean about being left with questions unanswered. He always leaves us with questions to think about and it makes us just wonder even more. I think its great you matured a lot due to Mr. Feraco's class!
That's so crazy that you've had him both your Freshman and Senior year but it's a good feeling to have when you know that he will remember you. It's also good to hear that you've learned so much in his class and grown from it ever since.
I'm really glad that you had the chance to have Feraco as your English teacher for both 9th and 12th grade. I completely agree that he is a life-changing teacher and is definitely very rare to come across in our time. I hope that all of his lessons and experiences will stick with you for years to come!
Hey there David.
after knowing you for awhile, this makes me pretty happy to read. I like your reflection on the class and what it gives us as seniors. I was able to see this vigor in your presentation for senior project. Good post!
Most of us could care less about school.
I think the majority of us could agree that we would rather be at home sleeping in, getting Starbucks or be at the beach. School for some of us, the ones that don’t care much for school, seems like a joke. We breeze our way through classes. We copy off the smart kids in class, just trying to get easy classwork points.
If I had the choice to sleep in or go to Feraco’s class, I would go to Feraco’s class.
I had the honor of having Mr. Feraco my freshman year. Though I didn’t do well in his class, grade wise, I did listen. I can honestly say Feraco’s class has made the biggest impact on my life. Some people just think of his class as a work load or tough, but I see it as a life changing experience.
The things Feraco teaches in his class are real. (Not that math equations aren’t real.)
He makes us look at our lives. He makes me look at my life. He makes me question who I am and what I even want in this one life I am given. Freshman year was one of the hardest times of my life. If I wasn’t placed in Feraco’s class, I would be going through the same struggles; making the same mistakes. I would have never gotten over the fact that my parents split up. I would still be a trouble child and would have created as much or even more pain that my brother did for my father. I would still be on the road for disaster.
Every day I find myself leaving his class learning something new. Things I wouldn’t have learned in my math or science class. I’ve honestly wished sometimes that I could spend a whole day with Mr. Feraco and have him just tell me everything he knows about life. Sometimes I think he has life figured out, because he acts so confident in what he tells us. Mr. Feraco has always seemed to me as this man full of knowledge about choices, dreams, life, death, love and the universe.
During my cross country and track races, I always tried to get Mr. Feraco to wish me good luck at the starting line, shooting a quick thumbs up. If he wasn’t there to wish me luck, I would take it as bad luck. Having Mr. Feraco wishing me good luck meant more to me than he probably knows. The fact that it’s coming from him, rather than a friend or Coach Schultz, makes all the difference.
Unlike other teachers, Mr. Feraco cares about each one of his students. He notices you. He knows who you are. I can’t really put my finger on it, trust me I’ve been trying for the last 4 years, but there is something about Mr. Feraco. What is it about this one specific teacher that actually makes me/us want to try? How does he manage to get us to actually wonder things we have never in a million years wondered about, rather than just shutting him out and falling asleep in class? He is this one person, who we actually bother to listen to and who seems to care about what our dreams are. He has hope in us.
It makes me want to have hope in myself and that’s what his “Good Luck” meant to me. It reminded me that I can believe in myself.
Awesome post! I can relate to everything you said about feraco's class. I was pretty impressed how he learned my name- well everyones names so quickly. I still don't know how he does it.
It's amazing to know how much Mr. Feraco can do for his students. I have definitely noticed that he's not like other teachers. He doesn't correct our work simply based on grammatical errors. He actually reads our whole work to see what we have to say. I'm glad you have a close relationship with him and that he was able to make a difference in your life.
Im glad that you have such a deep, personal relationship with Mr. Feraco and that he has been a teacher that has made an impact on your life. I really liked the part where you mentioned how he manages to know each one of his students so well. I remember in my expactations I wrote a little bit about how I have a few different nick names that I go by. He's the only teacher I've ever to call me "kris". I think that's pretty cool that he can remember all of that stuff. It shows that he really cares about his students. Anyway, I thought you did an excellent job on this blog. Good writing!
This question actually reminded me a lot of another question, that I was asked twice by two different teachers in English class. Is it better to have loved and lost, or never love at all. For both times I answered, I will choose to not love. That was when I didn’t have a girlfriend. You see, I had a girlfriend when I was back in tenth grade, and of course I loved her. But it didn’t end well. This is what happened.
I first met her in art class, but we weren't looking at each other in the beginning. unlike the movies when the main character walks into the class and sees the pretty girl that he is destined to fall in love with. In a way, I didn’t even notice her until one day. I can still recall what happened like it was yesterday. It was the earthquake drill that day, and it was raining. We had to stay in our classroom for a longer period of time for some reason I don’t remember, And the teacher wasn’t in the room either. All the students just pulled their phone and started playing games or checking messages. I didn’t have anything to do, so I was just wandering in the class, looking at different art works left by other people. I saw two girls also looking at things, one of them was my friend, so I went to them and we started talking. And that, was how we met.
We started to talk to each other more and more. Then we started hanging out after school, we would take long walks and talk about random things. We even went to the movies together. I can tell that she liked me, and I liked her too. So I asked her to be my girlfriend on my sixteenth birthday, and she said yes.
Everything was nice and happy, just like the starting of any relationship. Then winter break came, and we couldn’t see each other every day. I asked her to watch a movie with me, she said yes at first. But told me later that she couldn’t go. I was disappointed, but what can I do? A few days later, she ended everything with a call. It was so sudden. Till this day, I never quite figured out what happened.
I was devastated. "Why? Why did she do this to me?" I thought. There was so much pain, I was begging god to cut my heart out. And day by day my heart started getting colder. Until finally, I don’t feel any more pain. But here's the catch, I don’t feel love either. Maybe that's because I don’t ever want to feel that pain again.
If someone ask me that question again today, I will tell them yes. Yes it's better to have love and lost then never love at all. I realized, I finally understood. "Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it's what's in between that makes it worth a living." (Hope Floats) True love is worth a lifetime.
The topic of life after death has been troubling humans for quite a while now, and I have always been intrigued by it.
In the movie "The Fountain", the plot revolves around the theme of death and how we have to learn to accept it. Izzy learned to accept death and she believed that even when she dies she will live on through the earth. This is true because your body becomes part of the soil and the natural life cycle goes on, but I cannot look at this as a "life after death" because we cannot experience anything as if we were alive. Tom tried to defeat death because he wanted to stay alive in his current form of life and was afraid of the unknown other side.
My opinion on religions view of afterlife is that it is formed because people question what happens when they die, and they want something to believe in. My only problem with this is that it is impossible to know the answer, so why make it a belief? I do not understand how some people decide to devote their life impressing a god so they can make it to heaven of an afterlife when there is no proof of its existence. If we were already given the gift of life we should make the best of it and live it fully as we do not know where we are going after it.
Death adds a greater value to life. We should not fear death because everyone has to die eventually, but we should still fear dying because we want to enjoy life as long as possible. "YOLO" is a popular fraise that people keep bringing up as an excuse to do something stupid where they put their life in danger, but this is the wrong mindset to use. You have one life, take care of it. There are many ways to enjoy the things you do and be smart while doing so.
Not too long ago a boy I knew got killed while biking. He was riding a fixie, one gear, no breaks, and no helmet because they aren't "cool". I can't blame him for wanting to ride his bike on the street, I do the same, but to die at that age for something as little as not wearing a helmet is a real tragedy. He had a whole life ahead of him and it was not his time to go. It has taught me to step all the dangerous thing I do down a notch because some things are not worth dying for.
When we die, I believe life just ends. There is no afterlife, ho heaven, no hell. It makes me seem pessimistic, but if you know me you can tell I am the opposite. I think that the cycle of returning back to the soil after we die to support new life is better than any heaven.
Very intriguing blog post! Your thoughts of the afterlife are shocking, and I wouldn't have expected them from you, but, they make a very good point. Although it was a terrible thing that happened, I'm glad that the tragedy with the biker taught you to be less risky. I really hope that people can learn from others mistakes to learn the importance of the one life we have, like you said. Good job!
I came into this class thinking I had accurate expectations. That freshman summer filled with dazed, overfilled thoughts came as a slightly wary, yet eager rush. I came into this class with high expectations; I was waiting for that inspiration, for those moments where I would be completely vexed and mind-boggled, yet still find some type of amazing truth that somehow made sense of everything.
After the first week, I found that I had changed quite a bit. I realized that I had grown up a lot. A lot of the things were still the same; I still couldn't figure out what Mr. Feraco was talking about half the time, but I wasn't like a child in the midst of literature Thor anymore. I kept waiting and waiting to be dazzled, and it wasn't exactly that I was disappointed, it was just that my expectations were unrealistic. I expected to take and receive without actually giving back or putting in at least half of the effort that an extremely passionate teacher put in. It doesn't matter how passionate the teacher is, if the student isn't actively applying himself or herself, the results won't ever sum up to the maximum potential.
I thought I was doing enough on my part; as a self-proclaimed "unsophisticated" writer, I really wore myself out deleting and then re-deleting my posts, only to find myself completely unsatisfied with the final product. After a while I just stopped comparing my writing to everyone else’s, and I felt a huge wave of relief. It was actually kind of fun. It was kind of like therapy for me. When I wrote these blogs with a fearless mentality, I felt a sensation similar to dancing: carefree, vibrant, and absolutely free to just express myself and be me. As I read other people’s blogs, I found myself continually inspired and pleasantly surprised by random people whose writing astounded me.
This class has certainly pushed me and helped me grow up a little. I honestly didn’t expect that. If anything, I’m genuinely glad that I can be around a teacher who is so devoted to his job, and can expose me to students who inspire me.
I've got to agree that a lot of us went into this class assuming we had it figured out and were surprised by how it has actually gone. I also like how you compared all this writing to therapy; it is a rather good way to blow off steam!
“A chair is still a chair
Even when there's no one sitting there
But a chair is not a house
And a house is not a home
When there's no one there to hold you tight...” –Hal David
I guess I love this song because it’s so real. But when I sing this in Chanteurs, something happens to me. All of a sudden my emotions turn on- and it’s hard to make it to the end of the song without having a catch in my throat. (Obviously I need to work on this, because we’re singing it for the May Show and I can’t cry my way through the song.)
I think I get emotional because I flash on all of the family members and friends that have died and left me. Within the past 2-3 years I have felt the pain of losing many people that I love.
We choose to build so much of our homes around our families and friends and without them it can be hard to find our place. When they leave us, we have to accept that life will NOT be the same. Something is going to change. Something feels different, and empty… almost cold.
Before I truly became a Christian I was afraid of death. For a long time I was not only angry over a family member’s death, but I was scared too. I was confused on where they went and what happened to them.
Death is considered the great unknown. And at least for me, it created a sense of uncertainty and fear in my life. How could I be sure of where I was really going? It seemed like a simple answer- all I needed to do was turn to my Bible. I flipped to John 14:2-4, “There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” But even after reading that I was still unsure.
I’m a skeptic by nature. At times I really hate that quality and at other times I’m really thankful for it. Even when I decided to follow Christ at fourteen I was still slightly skeptical. But as I've matured and grown in my faith, I've realized that part of choosing to be a follower of Jesus requires faith. At times I have to trust Him and His word, simply on faith.
I’m not going to act as though I’ve never doubted God or His plan for my life- because I have. Faith takes courage and courage is not acquired over night. I am simply a work in progress. I’m still working on trusting God every single day. Thankfully He’s patient with me.
But I know with every breath I take and every mistake I make I am still forgiven and accepted by Him. In turn, my legitimate love for Jesus allows me to believe what He says- even about life after death. I can now read that verse with confidence and peace. I know that Heaven is being prepared right now for me and I will see my family and friends again!
“I see You there hanging on a tree,
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me.
Now You are sitting on Your heavenly throne,
Soon we will be coming home- You’re beautiful.
When we arrive at eternity’s shore,
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more.
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring …” – Phil Wickham
I will see them all again in Heaven.
Thank God, I will see them again.
I really enjoyed reading your post! I was reading your post in Digital Photo class during second period and really touched my heart. Your post made my day! Thanks and for sure we will see our loved ones again in heaven!!!
Hi Elizabeth, I really liked your post. Your post really helped me think about my life. Keep up the good work.
“I can bear any pain as long as it has meaning.”
― Haruki Murakami, 1Q84
In some parallel world, my grandmother did not lose her youngest son to Poliomyelitis before he learnt how to walk. She did not give birth to her third children who later turned out to be my mother.
In some parallel world, my mother could no longer endure her family’s endless suffocating intervention with her life and left to seek a life of her choice.
In some parallel world, my mother married for love.
In some parallel world, my mother gave birth to her first child.
In some parallel world, I never existed.
Yet here I am eating cocktail tomatoes while finishing my homework on a Thursday night.
When I think about it, it is almost shocking how rare I recognize the fact that I am blessed to have a Thursday night.
I was told for the first time when I was ten that my parents had a child before me. However, they lost it before it had a chance to take it’s first breathe. They were not even able to tell the gender, but somehow I imagine it to be a boy. Even though I was extremely curious to know more about the baby that was never born, I was old enough to know not to ask. Understandably, my parents avoided talking about the death of what could have become my older sibling as much as possible. I could not help but sometimes wonder what kind of life he/she would have led if he/she had a chance to see the world for once.
I think it would have been a fantastic life. Any moment existed would have been precious.
Life gains meaning because it does not last. It can be easily lost. It is scarce. The evanescence of life and the possibility it guarantees makes it precious.
And something cannot be considered precious unless it is scarce.
I liked the examples of parallel universes you described. Frankly, thinking of all the many different parallel universes out there hurts my brain. There's just too much of an uncertainty to know every single detail of every choice that I've made. Keep up the good work.
Your illusions are beautiful that i am actually thinking about someone sitting on a chair staring at monitor and eating cocktail tomatoes. Thank you for sharing.
My parents also had a child before me, same circumstance as your parents. I wonder how he/she looks like and what kind of life he/she will have too. Thank you for the post, I enjoy it
Hey Jade, everything about your post flowed really well. It's good to understand that you are blesse
I really enjoyed reading your post, thank you for the awesome post. Sometimes I wonder too how the world will be if some things were different?
There’s a different feeling when I walk into B-2. There are colorful posters on the wall- the product of many hard working students and a proud teacher. A clear sign that the teacher demands quality work from his students and receives it. When enter Mr. Feraco’s classroom, I know it will be the most rewarding 55 minutes of the day, because it is where I learn the most. Not just what is required in the curriculum, but I learn about myself and my classmates. We are asked to think about our past, our future, and what we truly want in life... questions that can’t be answered in seconds, but ones that require deep thought.
Mr. Feraco teaches and assigns useful, practical work: we learn MLA formatting and how to write quality, professional resumes. I am particularly looking forward to the recently assigned project-discovering how people think of me and how that differs from how I see myself and how I think other people see me. I recall the profound words he spoke, “we might as well learn what people think of us now so that we can go into college knowing what kind of a people we want to be.” If I didn’t enroll in World Literature second semester, I wouldn’t have met and embarked on this journey with Mr. Feraco or Sylvester.
Given an enjoyable life, we can compare one’s whole lifetime to a small, precious duration of time. This past school year, I spent my last winter percussion season performing in front of thousands of people. I did my best to soak every experience in, knowing full well that everything would soon be over. I remember saying to myself, “This is my last first performance” ... “This is my last rehearsal” ... “This is the last time I am going to perform with these people I’ve grown so close to.” And these “last” experiences were extremely special only because they were my “lasts.” Life, and experiences in life, do indeed gain meaning because we cannot enjoy them forever.
As stupid as this sounds, life is like eating a juicy mango- it’s delicious, but there’s only so much of it. If I were to eat all the mangos in the world, I would eventually get tired of the taste. It is the fact that we only have so much of something important to us that makes it special.
I remember back in junior year when I was planning my classes for next year. I will be completely honest and admit that I did not want Mr. Feraco as my teacher. I had heard previously rumors about how difficult and tiring Mr. Feraco’s English class was and I did not want a harsh senior year. Till this day, I do not regret choosing World Literature.
My life has changed a lot ever since I was put into Mr. Feraco’s World Literature class. Its far different than any English course I have taken over the four years at Arcadia. Its not just the way that Mr. Feraco teaches is what separates him from other teachers. It's also definitely not the amount of work. Its more the way he challenges his students every single day with questions that no other teacher on campus would ask or even bother asking. He prevents his students from going into senioritis by making us think about different types of situations.
One of the things that separates Mr. Feraco’s English class from others is the amount of expectations Mr. Feraco has on his students. Mr. Feraco puts so much trust and effort in teaching us and making sure that we are ready for the future. He expects great things from each of his students and its our job to not let him down.
I was pretty inspired but also surprised on the first day of class. I never had a teacher greet their students with a handshake right outside of class. I remember he smiled at me when he tried to pronounce my Chinese name. I was also surprised when he told us about his back story and when he genuinely asked the entire class to share theirs.
I remember when Mr. Feraco gave us the baselines early in the semester. I thought it was completely ridiculous to ask us types of questions that we might have never experience or have the knowledge to answer. Although I ended up learning so much about life after answering the baseline questions.
If I had taken Women’s Literature or British Literature, then I would have never been pushed or challenged in such a way. I also see the world differently now than when I first entered the class. Because of Mr. Feraco, I will leave Arcadia High School as a person that is much more educated and mature.
Life isn’t long. Lifetime is rapidly drawing to a close every moment.
I hadn’t thought about the end of life that deeply before I started doing this blog. That’s maybe because I still felt death was like a matter that I need to think about in the distant future, or because I was too afraid to think about it. While I really didn’t want to think about death seriously, I somehow couldn’t stop staring at the fourth question. That question got stuck in my head.
I used to think that death and life were two separate concepts. I couldn’t easily connect death and life. Now I see that death is actually one part of life. It is the last part of life, and life cannot be complete without death. Nothing remains forever. Life doesn’t last forever. There’s nothing we can do to stop time or go back to the past. Just like growth and aging, death is something that’s unavoidable in the stream of time, but still that’s a part of life.
Maybe I have been captivated by this question because I don’t know what’s beyond it. Maybe I simply want to reveal the uncertainty. Maybe I am just afraid of not being able to know what’s coming after death. I will most likely attempt to keep thinking about this question until I understand life and its end better. I might not be able to find answers for what I want to know. However, I have one thing I am certain about. Regardless of what’s beyond death, life is beautiful and meaningful. Though we are given a limited amount of time, the moments of ours still make our lives beautiful.
I really like your blog! Especially one thing you said that "life cannot be complete without death. " Great post!
I have the same feeling as you. After I read this week's blog, I started to gather my thoughts on the matter of death. But... “It's your time to live, don't mess it up.” - Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Great post!!! I really like it!!
Life is a consecration, given to humankind by chance by the unstoppable forces of the universe. Life itself is precious because it is not a certainty. Life happened as a coagulation of an astronomical number of circumstances. That being said, I don’t believe that life gains meaning because it eventually ends. Life is the purest gift that opportunity can bestow upon anything in the universe. Life has a predetermined significance; any place that ideally possesses it has already surmounted the odds of winning the Powerball twice. Fortunately for you and me, that place happens to be Earth.
The reason to fulfill one’s life is the fact that it will ultimately come to an end. To clarify, life does not gain meaning, per-say, because it ends. Death is merely an incentive. It is imminent. It motivates the best of us to spend our lives yearning to find the self-determined fulfillment that we individually consider necessary or extraordinary. What will ultimately give life purpose is determined distinctly by every different person. What you consider to be the ultimate achievement or level of existence may be completely different from my perception of a life well spent. The essence of life is its own existence. The purpose of life, from my perspective, is to satisfy your own ultimate desires. However, what you set out to accomplish in life is ultimately your choice. In the end, you can reflect upon your unique experiences and determine whether you’ve lived a life worthy of an epitaph.
I agree with the notion that life is an irreplaceable privilege because we only get one shot at it. However, life doesn’t necessarily gain meaning because of its sheer value. What gives life its magnificence is its tendency to push people past their limits, and past what they would consider to be a well justified existence.
We Float On
The Gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again. - Achilles, Troy
This step that you take will never be taken again. This moment would never be replayed. This life will never happen again.
Look towards the skies, beneath a starry sky. Look at the stars, and look at the planets. Look at all of the sister planets, yet not one contains life as does the earth.
In the right place, the right position, the perfect orbit, the only place where life springs.
The chances of us standing here are in fact one of the star’s greatest miracles. The chances of my words and yours coming together on these pages are even more slim.
We will never be here again.
The question lies: are the words and the actions taken now the perfect ones? the most beautiful? the only lasting ones?
Beyond this physical realm, we do not perceive many things. We see the things in front of us, we feel thing things brought to us, and we listen to the sounds resonating in this temporal world. Yet, we perceive nothing that exceeds them. We cannot perceive time, and we cannot stop its progress. We are powerless, and within this powerlessness we find thought, love, and freedom.
Of all the things we cannot control, we can control those that are within our grasp. We do them to our best, because there is no other choice.
Take Truman from the The Truman Show. Within the bubble the world has constructed, Truman wonders for more. He wonders the origin of all the things he believed to be true, and all the things that he has encountered. He wonders the validity of life. Because everything is orchestrated, Truman’s life is meaningless, because it simply is not his. The life that he is born into is not real, and it does not have the very core that humans need in our lifetime: our doom. The thought troubles Truman and us, the viewers, of a life that is completely controlled. Why, you may ask, do we fear this course? Because there is no meaning. There are no moments worth remembering, no people worth loving, and no future worth hoping.
We look towards a world where there are no wars, no diseases, and no sadness. But are not those things the very things that makes life the way it is? If we do not have crime, will we know justice? If we do not have death, will we cherish life? If we do not have Satan, will we know God? In an orchestrated life, these things do not exist. The very balance that holds together the universe will break, and the nature of humans, or human nature, will malfunction, seize to work, and break down into a hollow shell of nothingness.
Thus, is that our universe in a nutshell? is our world a complete package of conflicts and endings? I do not have the answer, and I know we won’t have the answer. But that’s good enough for me. We question the very system in which we live in, but it is not our choice. We are adapted into this way. We are living in a stream to a river that we do not know the end to, and we will fall off, somewhere or nowhere.
We end somewhere we do not know where, but we start somewhere we know. We start, and we go, and we only end where we can only end. That is when we cannot control the stream, but we float.
We float on alright.
As I was watching the movie The Fountain, I noticed how Tommy deals with the loss of his wife. He is deeply wounded by the fact that he has lost her forever, and that he was unable to save her. That is, until he accepts her death as a part of life. But before that, he was a complete and utter mess. A mess that I would never want to be.
If I knew that my wife was susceptible to death, I would try to accept that fact that she could very well die soon, although I would be sure not to start acting like she had already died even when she hadn’t yet. In this manner, her loss, although still causing my heart to break, would be met with calmness and an accepting attitude. Of course, this is a LOT easier said than done, and I would know that. I would know that her death would still be a tragedy to me. And yet, I would know that death is a part of life, and not the disease that Tommy had convinced himself it was.
Like I said though, accepting her death isn’t something I would be able to do easily. Luckily, or… at least, in certain terms... in other terms, not-so-luckily, I have experience. My grandmother passed away when I was younger, and although I loved her very much, I accepted her death as part of the cycle of life. It took a while for me, but I realized that dwelling on her death was not allowing me a chance to focus on my own future, something that she had strived to help out with. Focusing on her death would be like ignoring all of her help, and therefore, I told myself that I needed to accept her death. I would essentially do the same thing if I were in Tommy’s position. My wife would have been there for me, helping me succeed in life, and when it came time for her to go, I would know that she wouldn’t want me spending too much time mourning her, because that would defeat the purpose of the time she spent with me. And that’s something that I wouldn’t allow myself to do.
Tommy allowed himself to get carried away on the ever churning waters of the fountain of life. If I were him, I would be sure to accept the waves and move with them, riding them to calmer, more peaceful waters.
I like what you wrote about how you just need to accept death . There is no way around the natural cycle of death.
You are very right about death, like people say, it is a natural thing. I like how you blend in your ideas with the Fountain's story line. Great piece of writing.
I feel like your post had a lot of insight to it. You have a very interesting way of viewing death that some others might not agree, but I however do. Theres not much that you can do about death other than except the fact that it is what it is! I thought you did an excellent job here and this is a very good peice of writing.
If you were to of asked me last year what English class I wanted to take for my senior year, I would've told you, "It doesn't matter to me. As long as I don't get Feraco, I'm happy!" I was really burnt out from junior year and the last thing I wanted was a teacher who gave a lot of work. I remember actually signing up for World Literature on purpose thinking that Mr. Feraco would not be the one teaching it. It wasn't like he was a bad teacher that I was trying to avoid, it was the work load. I knew that his class its self was said to be really valuable and beneficial , but I didn't care. At the time all I cared about was having an "easy" senior year with "chill" teachers and little to no work.
First semester was exactly that. I rarely had homework and my schedule was pretty easy. Even with all the extraneous hours of rehearsal from advanced drama, school wasn't hard because of the small amount of assignments given to me by my teachers. Then second semester came and when I got my schedule my eyes were immediately drawn to that name in the middle of the page. "FERACO." I started panicking. I remember going to the counselors and talking about getting out of the class. I was really scared about all the work that was to come. A lot of the stories I heard from most of his previous students were exaggerated quite a bit, but had some bits of accuracy to them. Because of this, I came really close to switching out of his class.
But I didn't. I decided to stay.
I'm really happy that I made the decision to stay in his class. I feel like dropping out would've left me with some regret. I would've been disappointed with my self for giving up before even trying. If I hadn't made the choice to continue in his class, my life would be very different no doubt. Because of his class, I've been able to gain a better understanding of who I am and what my purpose is. No, I haven't figured out all the answers, but I'm closer now than I ever would've been had I taken someone else's course. His class has enlightened me and inspired me in so many ways that I don't think other teachers would have been capable of doing. I've never had to think so hard before for a class, but I like that his questions and work pushes me and works me to my limits. He's gotten me to think about things from different point of few, and in a more meaningful and profound way.
Yeah, if I got out of his class at the beginning of the semester, I'm sure I wouldn't be as stressed or tired from the work load, but I also wouldn't have the same kind of mind set that I have about myself today. Even though it's only been a couple of months, I've already learned so much from this class. I could've easily swapped into another class to avoid the heavy work load, but then I would have been sacrificing the opportunity to really learn about me and figure out who I am as an individual. I'm happy that I put World Literature as my chosen English course for my second semester senior year because its really made a difference in my life.
This was exactly how I felt when I saw his name on my schedule. I really didn’t want Feraco not because he was a bad teacher but because of his heavy workload. I’m so glad you decided to stay and not switch out of his class. I totally agree that his class is really inspirational. This post was so relatable. Great job!
I felt the same about senior year but i'm glad that i got in Feraco's class as well. I also heard from people who had him that he was hard but I guess we all have different perspectives on what hard is.
I was somewhat excited and stressed when I first saw Mr.Feraco-Eberle for my fourth period on my second semester schedule sheet. All of my friends who were in Mr.Feraco’s class all said “he is a great teacher, but hard” and it is true. Now, that is what I say to all students who are curious about him. His works sometimes frustrate me but he made me to remember my past memories.
When I start doing things seriously, I promise myself to be determined and don’t forget my goals. I kept this promise pretty well both in golf and school. Practicing every day, doing all the school works, never doubting myself whenever I did poorly and not being lazy always have been my goals so far .However, during my first semester of my senior year, I started to forget why I started playing golf and studying and what I want to accomplish. I was practicing and going to school without any purpose. Then, I met Mr.Feraco. His lectures inspired me to realize my purpose of living. The blogs and small projects such as Down the Memory Hole made me to critically think and remember my past: my goals and passion. If I had never met him, I might be living without any reasons.
I was very surprised when he memorized all of our names in less than 4 days. Then I realized that he thinks of us more than student-teacher relationship. Therefore, I’m really glad that I met him and part of his “children of mine.” If I didn't meet him, I probably still do stuff without any purpose. I would not have remembered the motivation and the hard work I have done in the past. If I didn’t enroll in his class, I probably would be having easier senior year. However, I wouldn’t be as much as determined on what I do. I still would be just practicing and going to school without any purpose. He has helped me to remind myself to don’t forget my purpose of living.
I too liked the project about digging into our old memories. I put a lot of effort into that project and enjoyed reminiscing about the past.
B2, you walk into the classroom, greeted by Mr. Feraco at the door then starting class with a lecture that isn’t just long, but also inspiring.
Let me rewind a bit.
If I didn’t circle World Literature to be my second semester English class, what would I go through everyday? Instead of listening to powerpoints, maybe I would have to participate in class discussions with Mrs. Heintzman or maybe sit through a class with Ms. Hatheway. I would have never gone through the Feraco experience my high school year. I was kind of hoping to get a teacher that would make me work second semester so I would not slack off, but I feared that the worst would come. If I got Feraco because of all the slackers on Facebook exaggerating about how there is too much work and how some people may have even stayed home to finish their work.
If I never had Feraco, I would have been able to express my creativity through projects or think deeper through things in life. Watching the movie, The Fountain, made me realize how important it was to let things go and to move forward because not everything can be saved.
For my family, I would want them to be free in the world of afterlife in peace. To pay tribute, I would plant a tree to represent each person because they would have another life in a different and peaceful form.
A child told me once that she dreamed of having her own tree in her backyard to call it her own so she would be able to lay in the shade on a hot summer day. A tree is more than just a tree; it was once a seed that grew roots to get the nutrients and water it needs to grow a sprout into a beautiful tree to provide shade for a all the kids playing outside on a nice summer day. Planting a tree over a grave creates a new story of the deceases’ life in a different form.
It is kind of depressing to think about the loss of a loved one. But, after they have died, we don’t need to be sad because they somehow find their way to peace. My mother is not afraid of death, so she says, and she told me that she would want her ashes thrown to the ocean where she would be free in the waters so that the ocean currents would set her free to all around the world in peace.
I would have never known any of this if I weren’t in Feraco’s English class. These little details in life make a great impact to my life because it has made me learn more about my surroundings. Writing the blogs connect each student to another because it is where students are allowed to be creative by telling their personal story.
Some people may be afraid of death, but death is just a new beginning to a never ending story. A tree will grow for me because it is just the beginning of a new journey.
Nicely said julie! i agree death is not a end but a new beginning!
I really like your opinion. I feel kind of the same because I might just choose another Women Lit if I did not choose this class. Also, I find the way you said tree as life really interesting.
Great post!! It is really creative!
- The Hidden Power -
What would I receive if I – finished a 5K race, sang a love song, greeted ten people, passed a math test, or just sat in front of a table with my thoughts typed out? Whatever I did that made me stronger, wiser, and more courageous, had also made me more powerful.
Power is invisible most of the time. We can see it and experience it through an unkind push, a friendly tap, a cool glare, or a loving smile. However, the strongest power is hidden inside each of us; it is imperceptible if we do not express it. That power comes from living a life.
“There is nothing perfect...only life.” - Sue Monk Kidd from The Secret Life of Bees.
Most of us have gone to funerals or experienced someone passes away, whether it was from illness or natural causes. The things that were left behind the goners were not only memories but the power of their lives. There are many different kinds of power, some bring sadness, regrets, hatred, and let others down; other kinds bring joy, sympathy, forgiveness, and make others powerful.
Someday I will be gone, too. I will not sell my thoughts for a penny or a dollar, they are free. People who find them on the ground, in a book, or a picture can keep them for the rest of their lives, until one day, my thoughts will be passed on to other people again, and again. Like wind, water, and sunshine, no ending, no limitation.
“It is the peculiar nature of the world to go on spinning no matter what sort of heartbreak is happening.” - Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
There are many stories about stars. Some say they are the sorrowful tears; the smiling eyes; the precious diamonds; the beautiful romance; or they could be the unreachable dreams. They are sowed at different places with different distance from the tinny planet we live on. When we were children, we knew the stars as different kinds of fairy tales. But when we are older, we lean them as luminous hydrogen and helium. A lot of us lose the power inside of us after we stop imagining the impossible. That is what makes the power that remains in us when we die so precious and rare.
“You are everything that is, your thoughts, your life, your dreams come true. You are everything you choose to be. You are as unlimited as the endless universe.” - Shad Helmstetter
Although we are limited, the power within us can take us to anywhere we want to be. Although we are weak, the power within us can make us into giants so we can stand in the storms. Life is unlimited. Someday I will be gone, too, like the rest of you. But my thoughts, my power, and my life will still exist in this human world in different forms and shapes.
This is one of the best ways I have seen for teaching that everyone has time to grow. Living a life is not about be perfect. It's about growing, making mistaking, and learning from those mistakes. Our power comes from being able to make our own choices and being able to believe in ourselves.
Thank you for taking time to read my post. Yes, we are just like the trees with broken branches, but we grow on the perfect soil that provides lives.
Your post also made me think more about life. I think I'm going to think about this week's blog more for a while haha.
I hope the power within you will take you to anywhere you want to go!
Thank you for the comment!! Yeah I wish you the best for your future, too!!
Miss or Lose.
My friend asked me as a joke couple years old, “If you could choose, rather than losing your loved one, would you choose not knowing him at all?” I answered without any hesitation, “Absolutely. I don’t want to be hurt.”
Having is the beginning of losing.
I was timid. As I was heading to a relationship, I started to worry. I was afraid of losing; even I was not being in that relationship yet. Love would come to an end eventually, easily and painfully, and then I would lose everything, completely. If I knew the end, why started?
My thought changed since I met him. Although the relationship came to an end, memory was still there, good or bad; it became one part of me. When the relationship ended, I was hurt, but I didn’t regret. If I could choose again, I will definitely do the same choice, it’s better than nothing.
Maybe seventy years later, we cannot move, we cannot do anything besides lying on the bed, and we cannot remember most of the recent things. Memory will be the best friend ever. We will have nothing, but only memory.
Don’t leave any regrets on this world when the day you leave. It’s impossible to do everything perfectly without any regrets, but we always could do our best to have less.
Miss or Lose. I would answer Lose if my friend asks me again. I shouldn’t be afraid of lose. Compare to never have, I rather choose have had. No matter what, memory will be there forever, with no regrets.
I think people shouldn't be too emotional about "losing your loved ones". We feel sad for the death of friends and family members, but we shouldn't be affected by it. Although we lost them, but we still have them in our memory.
Missing people you once loved is not a pain; as long as you can face everything striaght, accept the reality, we would not be hurt by anything.
Life is comprised of many moments and memories made by an individual. Each and every memory is precious in its own right. Life is so coveted because it is limited. If life were to go on forever, then it wouldn’t mean as much to a person. The memories wouldn’t feel as timeless anymore. The value of each memory does not go down, but the sheer amount of memories would create a sense of dullness. If there were suddenly mountains of gold everywhere, would gold be worth as much anymore? The gold itself would still be shiny and pretty, but the overall value of the gold would go down in people’s heads. In fact, people would become sick and tired of seeing gold everywhere. People would begin to hate it. The same thing applies to life and its memories.
People simply won’t try as hard. Given an infinite amount of time to live their lives, do you really think that they would do it? All of those goals and achievements that have been sitting on each and every person’s bucketlist would be put aside for “tomorrow” because there’s no rush. Life is indeed beautiful, no matter how many memories we have or how long we live, but when the population is given time, much of the passion that colors our world today disappears. The desire to do something great or completely out of our comfort zone before we die turns into the desire to do something later because we don’t feel like doing it now.
That being said, I don’t believe that I will achieve “some measure of grace” before I go because I think life is too short. Life is too short to experience all that there is to be experienced in the world. I will leave the world kicking and screaming. I’m going to want more time despite all I’ve said above because it just feels like the natural thing to do. To want to survive and live another day.
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on life and how it is to short to enjoy everything
I completely agree with you. It's those little moments that make life interesting and the way it is! Great work overall.
“Death is but an aspect of life, and the destruction of one material form is but a prelude to building up of another.” - Annie Besant
Everyone is dead.
Mom, dad, and my brothers are all dead. Last one alive with nobody else. Not a single soul around for miles.
The smell of ash and death surrounds me. Areas around my body tingled and stung with pain and covered in red patches of skin. Clouds of smoke, flames, and destruction make things dark and the loneliness creeps in. I try to stand up but can’t. My legs will not move. They have been completely charred black. The nerve have all been incinerated. I no longer pain.
Should I be worried? Unable to feel pain physical pain in my legs and doomed to die in this hell. Tears of joy streamed down and death lurks near. I smile. Lying there on the floor, I embraced death. Its icy touch warms my soul. It is my salvation from this hell. This physical vessel of flesh and bones now no longer serve me purpose because all that I cherish no longer remain in this world.
“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” -Mitch Albom
If my life ever lead to a circumstance were I had nothing to live for then I do think I will come to terms with death. People fear death because it pauses your life forever allowing you to never finish what you started. Death make everything you have created cease to exist unless you able to have a vessel to carry on what you have done. When you find your vessel you are able to embrace death like Izzi. Her book became her life and she no longer feared death because she found someone who was able to complete it. Her book became his book. Tommy became her vessel and together they walk the road of awe as one.
That was a very interesting take on death. Your quotes were very fitting to your post. Good Job
Very cool story, I like view about death. Great post.
I thought you're take on death was rather refreshing. It's definitely different than what I had to say about it, but your view gave me a new perspective on the meaning of death and I can appreciate that. Great post. Keep up the good work!
Holy cow. That was intense. I didn't know you could write like that. It seemed like the start of some intense movie. Good job man!
I really liked your post this week. It's short but mysterious. The imagery was amazing. I felt like I could really see and feel where you were. You did a great jon at relating it back to how you felt about accepting death. Great post
Staring at the clock, counting every second when the colon flashes, I’d be sitting in a certain Mr. So-And-So’s class waiting for the bell to ring. I wasn’t enjoying myself in my first semester class English class. The tests were ridicules and over demanding. Overhearing small conversations between friends I learned a little about another English teacher and of course as you could guess it was Mr. Feraco. I was amazed by everything they had to do for his class since my current English at the time demanded very little from his students in the way of self expression. When the end of first semester was coming I hoped to get switched out of Mr. So-And-So’s class and into Mr. Feraco’s, and I was.
Had I not gotten a change in my schedule I would still be in Mr. So-And-So’s class counting down the seconds. I wouldn’t be exploring my mind like I am in Mr. Feraco’s class. I really would have been missing a great opportunity. To be able to fully express what you want into your work isn’t something we are offered in every class and that’s what makes having Mr. Feraco as an English teacher a great experience.
There’s a great atmosphere in class B-2 that I didn’t have in my first semester English class. Maybe it’s because it’s right after lunch and everyone is still energetic but it makes for the right environment for a class where you need to be awake to fully get the best out of it. Everyday I’m always wondering what I’m going to be doing in period 5 and I never felt that way about my previous English class and for that reason I’m glad I didn’t remain stuck in my old desk waiting for the bell to ring.
My First Admitted Teacher
Every year the English class is a such a pain to me. I can always imagine that in the class we are going to be assigning essays, reading books, and working on projects. Although those are the basic works in a English class, I feel they are different in Feraco's English class. We are writing essays in terms of blog, and this form of writing is also allowing us to write about our life experiences and stories. We are given books to read with a period of time, but we are not getting tested right after we finished with the book. Because some people might not have finish with the book yet, we will be taking the test after all the assigned books are being read. Therefore, we can have more time to organize the stories and make analysis of the stories.
When I was in Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years of English class, most of the time we are working on projects individually. In Feraco's English class, we are assigned to a specific group of eight to ten people, and we are working with each other through every projects. These differences make my last year of English class so interesting and exhilarating.
My life would have been different if I had never met Mr. Feraco.
He changed me as a student and also as a person .
This teacher shocked me on the first day of the class. I got a feel that this guy is a good teacher. A good teacher will not only do his job as a teacher, but also cares about the students. He wants to understand us. His style of education is different than any other teachers I had met before. We can be relax in the class, but we can also feel the tension of homework.
If I had enrolled in another class, I might become lazier than before and not trying hard in that English class. Because of his special method of teaching, I become more active and wonder if I can improve myself to the next level of human knowledge. I am so pleased to meet such a great teacher at the last year of high school life at Arcadia High School.
I agree with you that Mr. Feraco has his own special and creative way of conveying knowledge and wisdom to all of us.
Great post!!Keep it going!!
I agree with you, Mr. Feraco really made us to go beyond ourselves.
…But Not in This Lifetime: Love and Death
There are two forces in life of which people cannot control: Love and Death
Love is inevitable.
Death is inevitable.
Death will happen to all of us sooner or later. One day, the time will come for each of us to leave this earth. But what happens if that time comes sooner than expected? We can’t control when death happens, we can only live around it. Death is something I haven’t experienced yet. No loved one of mine has yet to pass on. But if I were to lose a loved one, I don’ know what will happen. When death does come, I don’t know how I’ll be able to handle it.
If I were to unintentionally fall in love with someone, I’d still love them. Love is a powerful force that cannot be controlled. You cannot help who you fall in love with. It just happens. Both love and death occur in everyone’s lives. Now it’s a matter if we are willing to accept the two as one.
Even knowing the circumstances, I would still let myself love who I felt I was meant to be with. If death was seen as my love’s cause for a shorter time on earth hen I’d spend as much time with him as I could. It’s painful to watch someone you love just die. There’s no way of getting them to come back. Everything you once had together is no longer there. Now, it’s nothing but a memory. Once love is found, we immediately all forget what the future has in store for us; death. Death comes along and breaks the hearts of many. But it’s the hearts of true lovers that remain constant even after death. True love never fails.
One day, I will find that one person I truly love. And when that day happens, I won’t go around every day questioning, what will happen tomorrow? That’s not how I want to live with the one I love. I want to live each day as if it were both our first and last together. Spending every living second with someone you love is really all you need. Love is unconditional; love never-ending. No matter if I knew the one I loved was going to die, I’d spend every last second enjoying the little time we have left together. There’s no way to stop death from happening just the same as there’s no way to stop us from loving the ones we’re destined for. Love and death are out of our control.
We must learn to accept that both love and death are completely inevitable.
The destinations in our GPSes are all so different from one another. We all trek a different trail, maybe some filled with paths intertwining with others for a long time. When it's time for the path to split again, we may not be ready for it. Their path might lead to the end of a cliff, but perhaps we'll take the long way down and find them there. With either path you take, I know you'll go out in peace without the kicking and screaming, Dominique.
I really enjoyed your ideas on love. It was pretty interesting when you related the inevitability of love to death and I thought the last sentence really tied the post up nicely.
Really interesting seeing the interwoven connections of love and death. That's actually a point made in Hiroshima of a nurse who just remains beside dying patients to make sure they know they aren't dying without feeling love again. This was definetly an interesting and introspective perspective.
Really interesting seeing the interwoven connections of love and death. That's actually a point made in Hiroshima of a nurse who just remains beside dying patients to make sure they know they aren't dying without feeling love again. This was definetly an interesting and introspective perspective.
Hey Dominique, that was a beautiful use of language. The way you had passion when you wrote really impressed me. Keep up the drive that helps you write your true feelings.
When this question first came up on the powerpoint, my thoughts pondered upon whether I would do it or not. And the next thing you know, I started to have soliloquies(learned from Macbeth). I thought that if I were to do it, the love maybe worth all the pain and sadness I would feel in the end. I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could be mature in the situation and get over it in the end and not allow myself to dwell and mourn. But I concluded that I wouldn't be able to handle it.
Being at the age that I am at now, I wouldn't want to go into a relationship that would mirror Tommy's. Even if I was guaranteed to fall in love and even if I knew the feelings would be mutual, I know I wouldn't be able to handle it. It was already hard for me to lose someone emotionally so how in the world would I be able to handle this physical loss?
But maybe if I was older...
Maybe if I was older I would be able to give it a shot because I know my chances of falling in love would be much more slim. Along with that, I would be much more mature as I age, allowing me to handle the situation better if it were to come.
The reason we make decisions throughout life is because we don’t have all the time in the world. Life gains meaning because it will end in the future and when that happens we won’t have any control over it. From the time we’re born until the time we die, we have many things possible to accomplish and many things can happen. Our future is unknown and we make decisions day by day. We shape our own lives and give it meaning. We enjoy life as it continues and worry about the day that we will die. Our lives are like an hour glass and it slowly ticks away.
If there was no end to life there would be a whole lot of procrastination. If someone was to live forever, they wouldn't have to worry about not being able to do something. They could take years to accomplish something that should only take a couple weeks. When someone is given a time limit on a task, they would do their best and make the best out of it. If someone was given an eternity, there wouldn't be anything significant about what they plan to do.
Everyone has only one life. We don’t know if there really is an afterlife or if we just get buried underground and let our bodies rot. We all have one life and we have a choice of making the best out of it. One lifetime is never enough to do everything you would want but it’s enough to give life meaning. Death gives us a reason to be afraid. It lets us know that we don’t have all the time in the world to do something. It limits us to the biggest dreams we have and the attempts we take.
great essay Alex. I totally agree with your point of view. we should all make the best out of our lives
The first day of my senior year, I was faced with one of the hardest decisions I have ever made throughout high school. It wasn’t, however, a choice that I had much control over. After much deliberation with friends and family, I knew that this decision would be the best for me in terms of my health, sanity, and productivity in the coming year.
I dropped AP English Literature.
Now many of you may read this and balk at how a decision like this may have been so troublesome for me. But what made this choice so difficult for me was because I was hesitant for the opportunities I would be missing. For the first time in all of high school, I would no longer be in the accelerated track for English. A part of me felt as if my language and communication skills would be impaired as a result of this decision. Most importantly, however, I knew that I would no longer be in the same classes as my brilliant peers – those who constantly overachieve, who go above and beyond expectations, and who never fail to motivate me to exceed my limitations.
To say that I was worried about the consequences of my choice would be an incredible understatement. But it was a choice I had to make. With college apps, the marching band season, daily FBLA duties, and piles of homework from my heavy academic schedule, I knew that to tack on an extra AP class would be both irrational and irresponsible. I had to make the safe choice for myself; the smart choice. But until the beginning of second semester, I had doubts about whether the choice I made was indeed the wisest.
With no disrespect to my first semester English teacher, I felt underwhelmed by the work I was assigned and the expectations he/she held for my class. Classes every week felt like a cut-and-dry routine: take a quiz, have some rambling class discussions, read one chapter of a book for homework, and that was that. For the most part, the widespread rumors I had heard about college-prep English being “chill” and “easy” were very much true. Unfortunately, this shift in environment quickly affected my attitude towards the class, and I no longer felt the need to put forth my utmost effort. I waited until the last minute to complete every assignment. My essays and arguments were convoluted and undeveloped. My comments during in-class discussions were often off-topic. And yet despite all this, an A in the class was still fully attainable. The attitude was, simply, that you could get by with sub-par work. I didn’t feel the need to try, so I didn’t.
Second semester, however, provided a nice change of scenery. This all began when I received that green piece of paper with my brand new schedule. I was relieved to see a different name under World Literature, but at the same time, I was a bit uneasy for what lay ahead. Of course I had heard the rumors about Mr. Feraco: the late nights spent finishing assignments, the mountains of homework and projects, and the common agreement that this was “more than just your typical regular English class.”
To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to see that I had Mr. Feraco for my second-semester English class. Especially after what had happened all throughout my first five months of school, I wasn’t mentally or academically prepared for what the class had in store for me. As a second semester senior, I also had the expectation that my final months of school would be relaxing. I wanted to chill, I wanted to have more free time, I wanted to not have to worry about salvaging my English language skills. But because of circumstances beyond my control, I couldn’t.
Looking back, however, I can certainly say that being placed in Mr. Feraco’s class has been a huge blessing in disguise.
Just as he had mentioned how he has been judging us since day one, I have been judging him as well. I was taken aback by his bold presence on the first day of class, standing beside the door and greeting each of his students as we shuffled into his class. This wasn’t something that I was accustomed to. Normally, I had expected to walk into a class, find an empty desk, and wait as the teacher explained his/her syllabus before starting her first lesson the next day. But with Feraco, there was a completely different vibe. I walked in not dreading the same old recitation of the class’s structure and goals, but with anticipation for what it had to offer.
I already knew that this was an English class unlike any I had been in before.
Day after day, Mr. Feraco would exceed my expectations of what an English 12 class could be. His lectures, all evidently prepared with much care, time, and dedication, were not only engaging, but enlightening to the mind. As we read through stories and articles together, I no longer find myself simply absorbing the facts as they pass my mind. With Feraco, I force myself to stop and think about what it is that I am reading. What is it that makes this story meaningful? What are the connections can I make with my life? How has reading this been beneficial to who I am as a person? All these inquiries are questions I have never had to ask in a long, long time, and it is testament to how Feraco’s class has changed me as both a student and a person.
But it isn’t simply the lessons and lectures that make this class so unique. In fact, I find myself being most inspired by Mr. Feraco himself. Never in my life have I met a teacher more passionate, dedicated, and driven to motivate his students like Mr. Feraco. Unlike most teachers at Arcadia High, he is an individual that evidently cares about his students and how much they learn at school. With every opportunity given, he challenges us to go above and beyond the norm – to fearlessly push ourselves to the limit. Just from his lesson plans and blog entries alone, I am bewildered by how much time he is willing to put into just one class of senior English students. His passion to teach English, but also lessons beyond just that, is contagious, and it has driven me to work harder than I could have ever expected. With all the time and effort he puts into educating us, I thought, the least I could do would be to reciprocate this same dedication towards excellence. I forced myself to work my hardest. I pushed myself towards my fullest potential. I had to be the best student I could be.
So what would I be today were it not for Mr. Feraco’s class? Well, first and foremost, I would be a LOT more laid back and apathetic, probably far too much for my own good. But most importantly, I wouldn’t be the critical thinker and passionate writer that I am because of his teachings. I wouldn’t be constantly pushing myself through all my classes due to the lax attitudes around me. I wouldn’t be able to think outside of the box, to try new things, and to think for my future. I wouldn’t know how to prepare a proper resume. I would have forgotten what MLA format really is. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if I completely forgot how to write a simple research paper.
But with Mr. Feraco as my English teacher today, I can be thankful that all these skills have not been lost. With college just a few months ahead, I am reassured that being in this class is the best thing that could have ever happened to me. After an unsatisfying experience with English 12 my first semester, I have been able to turn myself around. My critical thinking skills, work ethic, and time management have all been refined, all because of this one class. For that, I am forever grateful for this opportunity to learn with one of the greatest minds on campus.
Good post. It was well written, simple, and straight to the point. Thank you for sharing.
But just to elaborate, I can tell you are a very skilled writer and I really like how you just use simple, clear, yet elegant structure and diction to get your point across. I also really liked how you addressed the significance of a teacher's passion that made you want to do well, particularly Mr. Feraco's.
When I was in elementary school, I did not get why older men and women hug, kiss, and hold hands. I was not the only person who thought that. Many of my classmates in third grade disliked playing duck-duck-goose since it requires touching others. All the boys complained saying girls have “cooties”. However, as we got into sixth and seventh grade, many people started getting interested in their opposite gender. Middle school was the time a lot of people started liking each other.
As we grow older, we will eventually have a “crush” on someone. Liking people is totally normal and it cannot be avoided, therefore if you want to head into a relationship, you should go for it. Falling into a relationship is extremely important in life because it is one of the best times in life a person could have. Time might go by really fast as you date someone and there might be arguments and fights that could cause painful break ups. Even though you break up with someone, there are millions of people who you could have a chance with. Instead of considering break ups as sadness and disgrace, we should think about it as great experience.
When I was a sophomore, I had a really close lady friend who I started liking. I was really surprised when I noticed that it was not only me liking her, she also liked me. After figuring that out on my own, I decided to ask her out after a big choir event. Even though my mind was set, I did not feel like I could approach her well enough to make her say yes since it was my first time asking someone out. I also thought being in a relationship will cause many consequences such as arguments and disturbance. I ended up approaching her well, making her say yes and dated her for two months. I was disappointed to myself after we broke up but I could say to myself that I gained experience that is going to be useful for my future. By ending a relationship, you could learn from your own mistakes and get into a better one in the near future. As you date more people, there will be fewer mistakes and there will eventually be a person you truly like. I am looking forward to meet more people and head into a relationship if I have a big opportunity.
Nobody can truly know what would happen if one situation in their life did not happen. One can only guess, and I would guess that if I were never enrolled in Mr. Feraco’s class, I would be an entirely different person.
Like many others, I had expected senior year to be easy going. I heard so many rumors and wanted to go through the senior year doing absolutely no work. With that in mind, I literally erased the all work ethics that I had at the end of junior year. I didn’t care about any of my grades because I thought that they were going to be so easy, until I had Search for Human Potential with Mr. Feraco.
As soon as I started doing his work, I was so stressed on the fact that my senior year was going to be ruined. However, later on, I realized that if it were for not for his class, I would be completely and mentally unable to do any work this year or anytime in the future. His class not only made me start to work, but it also caused me to develop a sense of urgency and acknowledgement for what Mr. Feraco is trying to teach us. It became clear to me. Senior year wasn’t about having to do no work to make up for the last three years, it was about enjoying the last year of high school while preparing for the next year at college. Mr. Feraco’s class did exactly that.
Also, I would not have met all the great people that I have met through the class. The subject of the class was definitely something to talk about and easy to make friends through.
I didn’t come to this realization early enough, and for the first two months, I was having a miserable senior year. It was bittersweet, but once I developed a new mindset, I was happy for the fact I was given this opportunity to learn and experience.
I agree with you Daniel that w.o Mr. Feraco's class I would have probably lost all my work ethic due to senioritis. Great points, great blog.
Hey Daniel! Yeah, I can definitely say that this class helped me out of my senioritis slump. I have to work on time management and see my assignments through, which is nice because I'll get some more practice for college.
I also did like what you said about getting closer with the people in the class. Having to open up through blogs I've found is a way of helping to know the others in the class, and it's a fun one at that. Good job!
This class is the most influential class I have ever taken. Most English classes you just read books and turn in essays but this class changes the way you see the world. The lectures are the most enjoyable part of this class. They give me a different outlook on what else goes on the world outside of Arcadia. Without this class senior year would be honestly very boring. This class is something people talk about often and a class a good majority of my friends have had. About 70% of my friends have had Feraco so having a class in common is nice to keep in touch with friends. I’ve made some friends just because we had Feraco for Myth to Sci-fi. Not taking this class I would probably feel left out on the Feraco experience that most seniors go through.
The fountain was another mind boggling experience you don’t get in other English classes. It makes you think about your perception of the ways we live our lives. The Fountain while somewhat repetitive showed us how we sometimes get so caught up in work that we ignore what we have until it’s gone forever. Izzy just wanted to spend time with Tommy knowing she was on her way out.
Life gains meaning when we are given a purpose. It wasn’t until the end that Tommy really appreciated the memories of Izzy and that gave him a new purpose to continue research. Because every life has an end we must make the most of what we are given. No one is given the same amount of time so we dedicate it what’s most important. If our lifetime were infinite we would not bind ourselves to one another and instead go out and meet everyone.
Assuming I had a wife that I loved very much, every free minute I had would have been spent with her. The way Tommy handle his situation was awful, he neglected to spend time with her while she was healthy and instead chose to focus on his work. Even if his work was trying to find a cure for his wife, there would not be enough time to complete it before she dies. She was sick and dying and he wasn’t there for her.
If someday I died before my wife I wouldn’t mind if she remarried someone else. I would want her to be happy and live alone. There is no reason she should not be able to choose to share her life with another person especially if that person loved her as much as I did. Marriage is supposed to bring happiness and unity to the family and if she felt she needed to I’d have no problem with that.
I believe that nothing lies beyond our existence – that once our corporeal forms expire, we cease to exist in any form. When we die, our bodies will decompose and reintegrate themselves into Mother Nature, continuing the everlasting cycle of life that existed since the very beginning of time. There will be no blessed spirits entering heaven’s gate, nor will there be cursed souls entering the vestibule of hell; death is the end, the absence of everything. What will only be left are our memories, and marks we have imprinted in this world while we were alive. When I die, I want to be awed reminiscing the life path I have taken, the obstacles and struggles I have faced and how I have bravely conquered them. I do not plead to die gloriously, but I want to die peacefully, happily and confidently enough to say that I have lived deep and sucked out all the marrow of life.
Were I given the option to live forever, I would not choose to. I believe that life is meaningful because it ends. In fact, it is only beautiful because we cannot enjoy it forever. Just like owning something, the longer we possess it, the less attractive it becomes to us. The only way to appreciate it is to know the fact that it might be lost. People strive today only so that they can live fully tomorrow before their time eventually comes. People love so deeply today because they understand that love cannot be eternal, that the time of separation will eventually come along with our inescapable destination – death.
Some people wonder that since the loss of love causes inevitably pain, why would anyone allow themselves to fall in love? To me, love is a non-negligible factor of life. If life was a picture puzzle, we ourselves can only complete half of it; the other half must be done together with our lovers. I personally would rather have loved and lost and suffer through the pain of loss than to have not loved at all. Love is part of life; one cannot live fully without it.
If I pass away first, I would be O.K. if my partner falls in love again. I believe that partnership is the most important symbiotic relationship that exists between humankind. Anytime one is alone, he or she will inevitably feel the excruciating pain of loneliness. If God exists, he certainly did not create us to be alone, that’s why the parts of male and female connect. He endowed us with one eternal objective, and that is to shatter loneliness. Knowing that my partner will forever dwell in sadness if she does not find love again, I would rather extinguish momentarily my honor and dignity and wish her the best.
It had hit me that I was becoming a Senior over half a year ago and I wasn’t really looking to see how much challenges and work I would need to be done as life as a senior. First semester has opened me up to work a good amount and be true to myself about how I work and never really opening my potential on strength of my work that could be done. I have a decent and nice 1st semester as a Senior and when getting my next semester's schedule I had found I have gotten Feraco as my English teacher. At first I was laughing hysterically since I have heard so much of this teacher as word gets around from seeing friends cram in tons of work and panic for many things due. I have never though myself of working like that since people all know I'm a pretty lazy person but it was true that I was going to be in his class and I had to straighten out my ways. The moment I have walked to the class, I can see the class lined up to be greeted by the teacher and I could already know that he was different from all the other teachers.
I already knew I needed to straighten up since he was inspecting all of us and trying to see what type of person we are, observing us closely. I have learned a lot from this class that I would never learn in other classrooms, The way that we have been taught and how we must do blogs was totally different, you will not be judged on how bad you write but just to express what you believe is right for the questions. It makes you don’t even think about being wrong but just to write your heart out and improve, opening your true potential on writing skills. I would have never actually looked more towards the future and think about what career choice you will be and choose. The lectures that are given are great information, I would have never learned much in other classrooms since other classes will never relate to you and life. I have learned that you must enjoy the little things since you never know when it can be gone forever and taken. Many life changing things I have learned in your class and have done many goods to me to straighten out my life and work hard. Overall I have learned to think outside the box and to look more into reality and beyond that into things that many would never think if you haven’t experienced life in Feraco’s Class.
I strongly agree about how Mr. Feraco changed many students. I am glad to know that you had a great first semester in senior year.
Death gives us a feeling to live life with a sense of urgency. As the unrelenting hands of time dissipate our precious memories, we greedily ask for more seconds in an hour and more hours in a day, however we all eventually come to an understanding that requests like these are senseless. An appropriate analogy to death and life is suffering and joy. Without suffering and facing adversity (death), joy (life) becomes commonplace. Joy just becomes a banal part of everyday life, not having a contradiction to showcase its potential significance.
Because of our finiteness, we can only conceive of events as having a beginning and an ending. Eternity is at best an abstraction, dimly imagined and difficult to grasp. People don’t slave away working hard and strive needlessly because life is everlasting… We do it because we know life is short and that gives us the urgency to live our lives with passion. If death were to become nonexistent, we take the passion out of our existence.
While the thought of time marching incessantly forward is bittersweet - moments pass never to be experienced again. That’s what makes moments so valuable. If people were to live forever, then a moment no longer has worth. It would just be another moment and everyone would have an infinite number of moments already waiting for them.
I firmly believe that the bitter of life's brevity makes the experience of living these irretrievable moments sweet because we are forced to choose to make the most of what we have, to be intentional and clear-eyed about how we steward the life we're given. The awful yet wondrous reality that all things, good and bad, come to an end, teaches us to savor life, to search, struggle, and make sense, meaning, and purpose of it, to be grateful for the momentary years we are blessed with.
I agree that "Death gives us a feeling to live life with a sense of urgency." It's true that we strive harder in life today to live a better life tomorrow because we realize the limited amount of time each and everyone of us have.
Hi Melanie! What really captured my attention in your blog was your analogy of death and joy. I never actually thought of those things that way and you really changed my perspective in life. I enjoyed reading your post! Good job!
My last semester was so laidback to the point that I knew what the ideal senior year was like. I literally had nothing difficult to do and barely anything difficult if there was any.
And literally nothing to do but to go home, take a nap, and chill.
School was much too easy and it was so easy that sometimes I wish I had work to do. Essays and 2 Précis’s were my hardest tasks but they were both completed in class. My only real homework was to read but I still didn’t do that either. My classes made me lazy and I knew this wouldn’t be good if my second semester were to be hard. I was aware of this too and though I wouldn’t be unable to pick up my work habits for a hard second semester, I still did nothing.
Having a TA period with Clay was fun and most of the time he always talked about Feraco with me. He would always come in telling me all the things he had to do, whether it was blogging, an essay, or speech though the crazy part was that he valued it more than he complained. Most of the time all clay would do is tell me how Feraco surpassed the work and efforts that other teachers put in and how he was “different”. I always heard the word “different” or “unique” when people described Feraco though I never knew who he was or seen what he looked like.
Till I got him for second Semester and Clay mocked me for it.
The day I came to his class for the first time I noticed first that he was dressed up, greeting kids, shaking their hands, and being professional. I was nervous and also mind blown. Teachers don’t do that and it was really something new to see.
What was also crazy to see about him was that he doesn’t like to waste time. Telling us to take out paper and already put work in? I was shocked.
He can really get in the heads of people and somehow he has the mentality to make everybody try their hardest and succeed. There is something about him and how he talks that can really get to you mentally and cause you to think about life and sometimes more. I can tell that he takes what he says seriously and his lectures are put together with countless hours of work.
I tend to never try on the things I do, which can be greatly reflected by my grades as well as my grades last semester, despite how simple I said my classes were. I’m the type who doesn’t really care but Feraco has changed most of my habits for the better. The first time I saw that he deeply commented on the first few assignments really had me thinking. It made me feel bad for putting in almost no effort as he kept telling me that I could do better. He cares and puts in loads of effort which is why I would feel bad to do the work assigned or to just ditch class.
I don’t regret being in his class and I am glad that I have met somebody like him. He definitely is different and he definitely showed me something new.
And you say I'm a good writer. That was a great post bro! Not only analyzed yourself in relation to how you were before Feraco, but you made a pretty good post to while you're at it. Good job!
I like your post a lot. I agree that Mr. Feraco has the mentality to push us to succeed. He is truly a great teacher because he really put the time and effort, unlike some teachers. I’m glad you don’t regret being in his class. Great job!
Izzi: Listen. His body became the trees' roots. They spread and formed the earth. His soul became the branches rising up forming the sky. All the remained is first father's head. His children hung in the heavens creating Xibalba.
Izzi: So what do you think?
Izzi: That idea. Death as an act of creation
My guardians use to tell me about the life cycles of salmon. They are born in the spring on the top of mountains in the streams. After a couple months, they swim downstream into the wild ocean, spending most of their life time there. After spending 2 to 4 years of their life in the sea, the mothers rush upstream to spawn at the exact location or inches away from where they were born, and die. They are said to store enough energy to swim over 1000 miles without eating to get as close to their birthplace as possible. Despite the fact that they know they wouldn’t have the energy to get back down, they push up the terrifying streams. They achieve the full measure of grace before they go.
I couldn’t comprehend their actions, but after Izzi said “Death as an act of creation,” it finally hit me; the salmon were happy before the moment of their death. There is no doubt in my mind that the salmon would die over and over for her children, she didn’t fear death. They wanted to provide their offspring a safer environment to grow and mature in before going out to the ocean. Even after death, the mother protects her eggs from the predators who would feed on the mother’s dead body instead of her eggs.
Thinking about death, always gives me the creeps and I quickly stop myself from continuing. However, at the face of death we find the meaning of life, unlocking the beauty of life because “we cannot enjoy it forever.” As a Christian I believe in Heaven and Hell lies beyond this existence, and therefore I fear Hell not death. I want to believe that after our corporeal forms expire, I am in Heaven with my friends and family, and most importantly with my God.
I want to be like the salmon. Not to lay eggs, but to be able to swim through everything I lived through, tracing through all my memories, and those I cherish most. I want to climb up the streams that I came down from, able be prepared for death because through death I will find grace, and through grace I’ll find the true meaning of life. I pray that I won’t go screaming and kicking, I hope I won’t be like Tommy, I hope I won’t be “almost there.”
I think "death as an act of creation" is also a belief of Buddhism. I'm not religious, but I partially agree with this idea. I think people are afraid of death because of our love of lives; we don't know what will happen after death, so we don't want to give up what we have and face the world we don't know.
People who are determined to commit suicide don't have any hope in their lives, so they can face death without problems.
Falling in love with someone isn’t something you can control. Unless you shut yourself up from the whole world or else you’ll fall in love with someone. It does not matter how he/she treats you because once you fall in love with a person, everything about them becomes perfect for you.
When you can’t sleep, eat or stop thinking that person. When you get jealous really easy about the oddest things, when you realize you miss them when they’re not around. Everything you do and all you think it’s about him/her. “It takes a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.” By Kahlil Gibran.
Getting yourself into a “relationship” is lesson that you will have to learn for experiencing it yourself. Not by asking people or telling you what to do. You may first fall in love with someone so hard that when they dump you you’re going to feel like it’s the end of the world.
Avoiding might save you from getting hurt but you will not be able to learn anything from it. Instead you take it straight in the face like a boss, get yourself in it and hurt so bad that you wanted to just end your life but when you somehow managed to come out from the pain you will realize that you have grown a lot from it, matured from it and learn from it.
In the end you will have lots of memories, lots of experiences and cherish your friends more.
I agree with you that relationship is a life lesson without a textbook. Making connections with different people, even the ones we do not get along with, might be the only way we can learn how care or love others.
Great post!! Keep it going!!
Thanks for the nice read, I really like the quote you used. I agree with you that although getting dumped can be a tramatic event to some, it's actually worth the experience. From that attempt one can learn about romantic relationship and gain experience on how to handle it.
I totally agree with you that "fall in love with someone is not something you can control."
Seriously, sometimes it is a bad or wrong relationship, but we just cannot control ourselves to leave that person.
Thank you for sharing
I have a similar view of love with you. You sound like an expert in love. Maybe someday you can teach us about your experiences in love. Great post.
Hey Victor- your blog was inspiring and funny (like a boss haha). You were very persuasive and charismatic because of how direct/clear your writing is. It's cool to see someone have a strong, logical, and simple perspective on love that is also realistic. Thanks
When I met her, I didn’t think we would be anything more than acquaintances. But before I knew it, we started to really get to know each other. Soon, she became the one person I wanted to talk to and hang out with. She quickly became one of my best friends. But of course reality starts to sink in, and I saw that I’ve grown too attached to her. And like they say, “Nothing gold can stay”.
I was a senior and she was not. Ever since meeting her, the graduation day that seemed so far away before, didn’t seem to be far enough. In fact the more time I spent with her the more graduation became like an imminent doomsday. In a few months I will have to leave her for college. And as much as I try to convince myself that our friendship will last through my transition into college, in reality, I know that my time with her was dwindling down. To be honest, all I wanted was more time with her.
As of recently, we are slowly drifting away. I don’t see her as much around school anymore. We talk a lot less and when we do talk, it feels different. We hardly message each other unless it’s urgent or serious. We don’t always hangout with each other like we did before. And our greetings aren’t as warm as before. Knowing that our relationship is heading down a road that will only bring me pain, I still do not regret any of it. I do not regret the first time we met each other. I don’t regret all the time I've spent on her. And I do not regret how much she meant to me. To me, just being able to meet her in my life is already worth all the troubles that comes with letting her go.
Relations fading fast as finality forms.
I had trouble wording out how to say the same thing, and I really like how you worded your last sentence.
She was worth the trouble
We can't enjoy our beautiful moments forever. Like Matthew said, relationships fade fast. I'm glad you didn't go on tilt when you guys separated, but you focused on the good moments you spent with her. Enjoyed reading your blog post, nice job.
I am also very attached to this friend that I've just met in 2nd semester this year. We got attached immediately, and I too fear the day of graduation. I want to spend more time with her, but nothing really lasts forever. She is becoming more distant these days for some reason and it's seriously driving me crazy. I always ask fate why I met her so late, but I guess it'll only motivates me to spend each days between us two as happily as possible.
Kai, when I started reading your blog, I had a Déjàvu moment where I thought I had seen this before. I have experienced what you are going through now and I understand that we live in a life with no regrets when it comes to meeting people who change our lives. We should treasure each moment with friends so we can look back to our friendship being memorable. Good job!
I think we can probably both agree that time is very precious, and your bittersweet relationship with this special person shows us exactly that. You both dreaded the date of departure and only wanted more time with each other because you both knew that once the came, your relationship would eventually fade. And inevitably that's what happened, but I hope someday you two can reunite and redevelop the connections you both once had. Great post. Keep up the good work.
In a parallel universe, I would sit in Mrs. Hatheway’s class with Simon, together recollecting old and naïve thoughts we once had in freshman year. Parallel universes grant people unlimited possibilities, but why do we still think of ourselves as human beings? Being a dragon fly does not sound that bad than being a human. We usually think of parallel universes as something we can control based on the exiting memory and comprehension just as how scientists set up control groups so they can compare the unknown results to some acknowledged results. We tend to think within our abilities so things do not become too crazy for us to comprehend. The sound track of the fountain keeps playing the same part again in different songs. Although the movie opens with three completely different periods of time, the familiar music draws me toward one question—is there three Tom’s just one Tom?
Tom, the space traveler, travels back and forth in time and to discovers the secret to eternity, but he finally realizes how meaningless eternity is without anyone and how fractional he is comparing to the vast space. After a thousand years of traveling and thinking, Tom discovers living is not the only form of life. The tree of life only gives him the power to have unlimited time but nothing physical. Tom enters the mental world where he truly finds what eternity is.
“Death is not the end of us”
------The Inferno, Establishing a philosophical baseline, Part One, Letter O
“Were I given the chance, I would [not] live forever”
------Gilgamesh, Establishing a philosophical baseline
“If I could…”
If I could go to another English class, I would have met other new people and learnt other things that are unable to obtain in this class. The lecture style, classroom settings, anecdotes, and many other things would have been a lot different. Maybe I will be inspired to be a writer in another class, maybe I will meet my true love. No one knows what would happen if we choose another road and because of this, life is full of surprise thus fascinating.
In The Fountain, Izzi dies young but her spirits are around forever. I personally believe that life is beautiful because we cannot enjoy it forever. My grandma, which died couple years ago, lived a life filled with joy. When we had family reunions, my grandma would always be the clone that makes everyone happy. She didn’t have a lot of money but she still somehow managed to live a happier life then many people. To live happily is something that cannot be purchased by money, it can only be obtained if you know how to make yourself joy and thus affecting people around you with the same mood. Although everyone cried when she passed away, now that whenever we mentioned about her, joyful laughter would soon follow along. I think that is the definition of the beauty of life.
People achieve “some measure of grace” because they realize what the meaning of life is or they’ve already accomplished their goals. However, if people die without understanding the life’s meaning, for example they die due to diseases or accidents, they probably would not reach the measure of grace. No one will know if they would die peacefully. But for me, I hope before I go I could go without pain but joyfulness.
If every single person had an infinite life, no one would take anything seriously. If a mistake is made, it won’t matter since you have infinite time. People wouldn’t try to make their lives easier because either way they’ll live forever. Granted, some people still do stupid things even when they have a limited amount of life span. Smoking clearly can reduce the lifetime you have and putting yourself in danger because YOLO doesn’t make a lot of sense. I believe that once the understanding of life is achieved, is when a person can start looking at everything and cherishing the little things instead of stepping over it. I think that is why sometimes we can’t remember the big events in life but it’s the small little details that really stand out sometimes.
I try to make the most out of something when it’s limited, say a cheesecake. I take little bites to make sure I enjoy it as long as possible because it’s not everyday that I get to have cheesecake. Same goes with life. Just skipping over the little things that I think don’t matter is no fun. I love talking with my friends about the stupid little things we did over the years and I feel like it brings people close when they have a little connection or a little part of life they can share. But all of this cannot be possible if life never ended. I would be complaining about how I have to do something again and again for who knows how long. There’s no way that the little things would be cherished.
I try to enjoy everything I do in life. There’s no fun in complaining about everything that’s happening so why not just try to have fun. Life can end in a heartbeat. And I literally mean that. I think that everyone should ask himself or herself this one question while they are living; if I died right now, would I have any regrets? I personally can say I won’t have any regrets. I think at this point of life where high school is ending, the next chapter feels like another set of life is about to start. Now that the first part is coming to a close, without experiencing the next one, I will have no regrets. And that’s what makes life beautiful. Instead of living like a robot, I can think and feel the stuff I do and cherish it and take them with me in case my life comes to a close.
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