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My English 11 short essay
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Old 24 Aug 2005, 01:30   #1 (permalink)
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Default My English 11 short essay

Subject: Defining moment in one's life
Minimum length: Five paragraphs

Tell me what you think...comments, suggestions, flames, all welcome! Thanx!


Mrs. #%&#&#$&
English 11-8
August 23, 2005

This Land

“From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam- God bless America, my home sweet home.” This song composed by Irving Berlin perfectly encompasses what I had discovered this summer. I discovered the true America. I now have an intimate understanding of the beautiful countryside that is the United States, why it is unique, and why others feel compelled to protect it. I now truly understand why U.S. patriotism is a good thing, and so I feel connected to this land.

Let me first briefly describe my views of democracy, and America in general, before this summer. One word could succinctly describe my mood and outlook on life: angst. I loathed democracy and its flaws and resented American culture. I was obsessed with researching other cultures and their government systems. Modern Japanese culture particularly appealed to me (and still does), for its views on males, technology, and recreation. In general, I found the Japanese to be genial people. They may not agree with you, but they nodded their head and respected your opinion. Not so with many Americans. Many Americans are so sure, they know, without a doubt, that America is “the best country in the world”. I debated in online forums created just for such subjects, and I always seemed to notice the people that said approximately, “Communism is without a doubt, indisputable nonsense, and the supporters of such an ideal are atheistic greedy madmen, conspiring to overthrow America.” This view infuriated me because they had no educated backing for their argument, no proof, and had no desire to find out the truth. They were content with their current views, sure that they were in the right (or at least that’s how it appeared to me). I investigated communism and was appalled by its teachings and goals, but bathed in the shining glory that I, Joseph Hronek, knew and rejected it with knowledge. I was, in my views on these subjects, arrogant. Now, keep this image of myself burned into your mind’s eye as I tell the rest of the story.

I am of Eagle rank in the Boy Scouts of America, an organization misunderstood and ridiculed by many but deeply cherished by participants like myself. For the last two years a group of older guys in the troop, ones that I have known for most of my life, had been planning a two week-long expedition in the arid mountains of New Mexico. Now the date had come, and we were traveling by coach for a short leg of the trip to the base camp of the nature conserve- Philmont- when it truly dawned on me why men and women fight for this country. Looking out the bus window, I saw gloriously flat plains on one side, and tall awesome mountains on the other. Pictures truly could not do such a view justice. When one sees a picture of a snow-capped mountain, or a pretty flower, or a sunset, one merely declares, “Aw, that’s nice,” shrugs, and moves on with their life. Staring at this view, I was awed by its sheer scale and marveled at how precious views like this are in our world. Later I was informed that, on a clear day, one can see upwards of a hundred miles in any direction. I believe I saw farther than that limit on that day, sitting on a carpeted seat in that coach. I saw straight into my soul, and the souls of all “Americans” before me, those who could not yet even claim such a title.

That incredible mind-blowing experience was on the second day of travel. I still had fourteen more days of the excursion- imagine how mind-blowing that would have been! Truly it was and, alone in the wilderness, I experienced what true comradeship and friendship is, when you depend on your fellows for survival, and how triumphing over that challenge is a beautiful thing. Life is merely a collection of memories, and I was certainly making memories those days. Returning home, I realized why soldiers slaughter other humans in the name of country. It is not for their government, for they often resent it (as I found out later, after inquiring soldiers). It is not always for their family and home, as some have none. It is not even always for the ideals of America, its goals, achieved or unattained. It is for each other. I certainly have trouble grasping this. They murder others for each other? Amen, they do. I love the movie Black Hawk Down, and during the end sequence of the film, a Ranger asks a Delta Force elite, incredulously, “You going back out there?” The elite contemplates while chewing on his meal, then replies, “You know, people back home will ask me, ‘Why d’ya do it, Hoot? You some kind’a, war junkie?’ And you know what I’ll say? I won’t say a [dang] word, because they won’t understand. They won’t understand that, when it comes down to it, it’s just you and the guy next t’ya. And that’s all it is.” I now understand what comradeship is, and what you have to experience to have it bond you and your fellows together.

In conclusion, I learned why this country is beautiful, why people continue to live here (and not Japan), and why soldiers do what they do. America is verily a wonderful land, and, although we might slip in our great journey to attaining our ultimate ideals and goals, we recognize the fact that there is something special about us. Our rugged individualism is really a beautiful thing, and our pride is well-founded. Our country, our ideals, our goals- all are still recognized as a necessity, not abhorred. What an amazing trip.

...Yeah, I'm a suck up. I sit in the front of the class and raise my hand. So shoot me.
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Old 24 Aug 2005, 01:54   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My English 11 short essay

I would just trepeat the same thing over and over. Then do it again in yoda-speak. It never usually goes well with the teacher, but it gets a few laughs.
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Old 24 Aug 2005, 04:45   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My English 11 short essay

pretty good, and your right the bow scouts are ridiculled everywere...hell out here in Australia we joke about them all the time in the defence force, even when i used ot be an airforce cadet

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Old 24 Aug 2005, 12:34   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My English 11 short essay

I like it, and this is coming from person who wrote two 97% essays (I guess forums really do make you lose the brain cells that control grammer ^-^). I like your introductory paragraph especially. Hooks are good.

A fantastic sig by Kais.

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Old 24 Aug 2005, 13:50   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My English 11 short essay

It is indeed a wonderful piece. Reading it is sure to inspire any red-blooded American, and make them feel truly patriotic...

*Star spangled Banner begins playing, and American flag drops down out of nowhere.*

...except I'm a pro-communist xenophic psychopath from the UK.

*Pulls out two AK-47s and guns down the orchestra whilst Rammstien's Halleluja plays in the background, then sets fire to the flag.*

Much better. Overdone cliches aside, I can certainly relate to how you feel... just not really in your country. The coastlines I like (especially beaches at sunset), but even Yosemite park left me bored and unimpressed. I guess it's something to do with patriotism...

...and I don't mean that bloody stupid Fox News Patriotism, where you have to salute the flag sixty times and tatoo the Star Spangled Banner across your crotch so the Terrorists don't win, I mean the blood and bone stuff, the stuff where you can stand there and feel you belong with every cell in your body, and that as of that moment you would be willing to give everything for your country... I have only truly felt that once, and that was on a hiking trip. It is a shame more people do not experience that, because if they did they might learn what being truly Patriotic is about...
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Old 24 Aug 2005, 16:19   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My English 11 short essay

I felt that way about a slag tip near my house. The council are building on top of it now.

No love, it's GREAT Britain....the clue's in the name

Thanx to Kais for the sig
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