Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Final English Class

Well I had my last English Class for 11th grade this year. Lots of fun [i]was[/i] had. ;) Anyways… I’ve decided to show you guys how much my writing has improved. I’ll post two of my papers; my first Comp and my 2nd semester midterm. I got a 68 on my 1st comp, and a 93 on my semester midterm.

Read and enjoy!

First Comp:

Goat Fell: The Conquest

My summers usually end up rather normal, even boring, sometimes. Not this summer. Not once during my summer vacation did I fear that I would run out of activities. One of the first memorable events this summer involved climbing Goat Fell, the highest mountain on the Scottish Isle of Arran. While my parents participated in the Leadership Development Course (LDC) our family resided in Scotland. One weekend several of the male “LDCers” decided to take a day trip and climb Goat Fell Mountain. Of course, I assumed nothing unusual would happen during our trip. I expected an ordinary hike, I found an extraordinary adventure.

So, early one Sunday morning, ten set off for an adventure that none of us would soon forget. Our journey to the foot of the mountain did not take long. A short car ride, a quick wait for the ferry, a relaxing ferry ride, and another short ride, this time on a bus, and the footpath that lead up the mountain; the adventure had begun. When I began this climb, I assumed that I could handle the physical stress it would place on me; I assumed wrong. Reaching the top of the mountain all but exhausted me. By the time I arrived at the peak, my body ached, protesting at every unnecessary movement I ordered it to complete. With my body in such a condition, I greatly enjoyed the rest I had on the mountain peak.

It felt good to be on the top of Goat Fell, it gave me a sense of accomplishment to be able to say, “I climbed Goat Fell!” I have not climbed to many mountains and it felt good to sit on the top of that mountain, eating some lunch and rest, knowing that I had just completed what a great feat of physical strength. Little did I know that a true test of my endurance still lay ahead. Eventually, we decided to finish our journey and start our trek down the mountain. Still tired from the climb up, I headed down at a rather slow pace, ending up at the rear of our group. We had no problems going down until someone realized we should probably pick up the pace. His exact words being, “If we are going to make the five O’clock ferry we are going to have to significantly increase our speed.” We needed to run the remaining two miles, in other words.

Of course, my body told me that I should not start running, but I needed to catch that ferry. Ignoring common sense told my body to shut up and began to run. I ran, and I ran, and I ran, and with the ferry still not in sight, I kept running. Forest, field, and beautiful Scottish landscapes, failed to make an impression upon me as I struggled to simply put on foot in front of another in a timely fashion. The running eventually got to me, I had to stop, I could not go on. Never before had I pushed myself so hard, and no matter how much I wanted to catch that ferry, I knew in my current state completing this feat of endurance would not happen, I simply did not have the energy. With all my hope of returning home in time gone, I neared collapse, but at that moment, my savior appeared, this savior came in the form of a bus driver. Overjoyed as the bus stopped and allowed me to board, I lay on the seat, sweaty, tired, and a dull throbbing pain effulging my entire being.

Our ferry back provided me and the rest of my group some much needed rest. No one, not even the fittest amongst us had any energy left. We allowed silence to overtake us. Washing the salt and sweat (mostly salt) off my face, I enjoyed a soda and a much needed period of not using my feet. I had survived. As we sat on the ferry talking and drinking our beverages, I realized what I had just experienced would be a memory that I would cherish for years to come.


The Miner’s Journey

“Morning again. Morning means… breakfast,” Griwn the dwarf thought. After getting out of his bed, he made his way to the tavern’s common room for some breakfast. “Today I’ll finally reach the Steelcap Mountains,” he thought as he sat down at his table in the common room.

Sitting down Griwn ordered his usual fair: bacon, eggs, sausage and bread, all washed down with cold, refreshing apple cider. He put the sausage, bacon and eggs on the bread and made himself a sandwich. Griwn savored the meal since he would not get another meal cooked by Ian, the tavern’s chef, for several weeks. His meat had the exact right flavorings, grilled sausage never tasted so amazing. Ian claimed his great-grandfather had stolen the family bacon recipe from the gods themselves. Griwn believed him; never before had he tasted such amazing, such succulent bacon.

When he had eaten all the food on his plate, Griwn returned to his room instead of ordering a second round, as he had done so the past three days. He checked his gear, which he had carefully cared for all his days as a miner. Pickaxe, shovel, camping equipment, he had everything he would need once he reached the mountains and their iron-filled mines. Griwn also made sure his weapons still remained in good working order. Gertrude his custom made, custom scoped, dwarven longrifle, needed some cleaning. Picking the weapon up Griwn admiringly felt the smooth, well crafted weapon and looked at its sharp features and wonderful lines. Ever since the gnomes invented gunpowder rifles and muskets became the dominant weapon on the field of battle, but unlike other races the dwarves had a special relationship with their weapons

Griwn paid his bill and left the inn, again ready to walk the winding paths of the Empire. He had traveled these roads for decades now, moving from one mine to another, never staying more than a year or too. This nomadic lifestyle suited him, as it did many of his people. Griwn found the idea of travelling from one location to another, never staying in one place, but always on the move, irresistible. In love with travelling, Griwn did so constantly, always taking time to observe the sites, hear the sounds, and smell the wonderful fragrances of a long and rarely traveled highway, the smell of blooming flowers his ultimate favorite amongst.

He now looked about and took in the sights and sounds. Despite the hilliness of this part of the Empire, Griwn found himself surrounded by trees, beautiful, green leaves on every branch with the wind rustling through them. From time to time he would spot a rabbit, squirrel, or perhaps even a deer on this rarely-travelled path he now took. “Ah, the wonders of nature,” Griwn mused. Griwn happily took a minute to rest on the path. He took a seat on the ground, near a rock and ate a piece of jerky. Some sparrows landed near him and he watched them as they pecked at the ground and chirped. Simple pleasure like these sparrows always made Griwn’s journey’s all the more memorable.

As the day came to its close Griwn finally cleared the forest and came to the beginning of the mines. When a few lone prospectors had discovered iron in these mines, they discovered it here, at the foot of these grand and majestic mountains. Griwn originally avoided the Steelcaps because soon after the discovery of iron in the mountains dozens of mining companies had moved in, using cutthroat business tactics to make as much money as possible. These companies left little room for a small time operation like Griwn’s. But six months ago, after three years of hard work and labor, Griwn finally procured entrance into the Dwarven Miners Guild, and told his first assignment required him to report to the Guild leader at the Steelcaps.

With the forest finally clearing, Griwn glanced up at the mountains and became caught up in the breath-taking view of the mountains. “Beautiful,” he said, a smile on his bearded face. He then glanced at the sun, realizing that if he wanted to find his foreman before nightfall he would have to pick up the pace.

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