Tag Archives: english

Voice Of The Forest

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Once more I find myself too surrounded and overwhelmed by assignments to write anything new. Luckily, I was digging through old files again and found this essay I wrote in high school for Green Week. Enjoy!


It is such a beautiful day. The bright crimson sun is shining its light down on the cascading forest below, glazing hills and valley with tinges of white and basking the population of lush greenery with a comforting, warm glow. Today is one of those better days; it is not often that such beauty is preserved for my being to witness. Beneath the shade I cast on the ground, flowers are beginning to open, as excited as I am to start the day. I have a lot to do today; I must absorb as much sunlight as I can before the clouds begin to circle, and I must work on bearing fruit.

Oh, how silly of me! I have forgotten to introduce myself to you. I am a tree. Yes, that’s right, a tree! I have leaves and shoots and a rough bark and tough roots, and I’m brightly coloured with scarlet fruit. As you can tell, I am quite proud of my appearance. My friends always chide and reprimand me for being so vain, but I am a creation of God. How can I not find myself wonderful?

I am not all just looks, you know. I am useful, too, and I have brains to go with my brawn. I am home to a family of little sparrows, and my trunk houses a pair of squirrels. The birds and squirrels always argue, but I think they secretly enjoy being neighbours. I must not forget to tell you that Mr and Mrs Sparrow’s eggs hatched yesterday. I am so excited to house them on my branches.

Hang on a moment. I can hear someone coming, a human. It is not unusual for people to take relaxing walked in the forest, and I am always especially ecstatic when they stop to rest beneath me, using my trunk as a backrest. There is a group of children that comes here on the weekends and they always play hide-and-seek, often scurrying to find sanctuary behind me or clambering up my branches to hide. I hope it’s them, as they are always so fun to watch.

However, I soon find that this is not the case. It is, in fact, around ten adult males. They are dressed oddly in faded blue jeans, long-sleeved shirts, strange orange vests and bright yellow hats that look hard and sturdy, and each one is carrying a can of some sort. I have never had problems with humans before, but for some reason, I feel a little wary, as if I sense something bad is going to happen.

The men shake the cans in their grips then begin to spray symbols onto my brothers and sisters. It takes me a moment to see what they are writing, but when I do, I notice that my siblings all have bright red “X”s plastered onto their barks. I am afraid that they will spray me, too, but they do not. Instead, after half an hour, they walk away and disappear through the pathway. Neither my family nor my friends know what the “X” means, but we can only hope it is not anything bad.

The morning slowly fades away, passing into noon. I am about to doze off when I hear a loud rumbling emitting from the pathway. The ground shakes beneath me as I turn my attention towards it. Before long, I see an entire row of trucks moving up the driveway, followed by a few vehicles that I think are called bulldozers. They have huge wheels and a big shovel-like mechanisms attached to their front. I wonder what they are doing here, and then I recognise the men driving them as the same ones from this morning. The trucks are noisy, and I sense the sparrows and squirrels become frightened. I wish the humans would turn their machines off.

Suddenly, the bulldozer moves forward speedily, and its shovel slams into the lower trunk of one of my brothers. I watch in horror as my brother attempts to remain rooted, but the automation is too strong and he falls over, crashing thunderously to the ground. Meanwhile, some more people have arrived, carrying long, sharp weapons with rotating blades. My sister tells me that it is a chainsaw, but I barely hear her as a man strikes his weapon into my best friend’s bark, breaking him open, and he falls to the forest floor in a crumpled heap, his leaves tangling together messily, branches splintering and falling apart dramatically.

I feel myself tremble in fear. I want to scream, but how can I? I have no voice, and the humans regard me lowly. I can do nothing but look on and grieve as all my relatives are cut cleanly across their centre, each one tumbling in slow motion to the forest floor, and are carried to rest in the trucks. Animals scurry across the floor in frantic panic, but few manage to escape as they are crushed beneath fallen trunks and perish. Even if they escape, where are they to go? This forest had been their home for years.

The destruction rages on until the sun begins to set, and dark, ominous clouds begin to gather in the sky. I hear one of the men shout something, but I am too numbed by pain and sadness to pay attention. Then one of the men starts to spray red paint onto the remaining trees. This time, he does not leave me out. The paint feels cold on my trunk, alien and unwelcome. The men gather their belongings and leave, just as the first splashes of rain begin to drizzle onto me. The paint does not wash off, even as the thunder cracks across the sky and droplets hit the ground at increasing speed.

I guess this is my fate, then. I have often heard stories of killed trees and what becomes of them. I am told that they are made into paper and furniture, which are both useful objects for humans. I suppose that would be alright, as long as I am still useful, but I would really rather not work for heartless, cruel humans who can murder and kill, taking away lives without a single thought, leaving destruction in their wake.

I hope one day, I get made into paper; for a school magazine, perhaps. Then maybe, just maybe, I will be able to tell someone my story, and that someone will care about it, but I doubt it. I have seen many humans today, but I have seen no humanity. Hopefully, there is still some love left in the world, but I cannot know for sure. I guess I will just have to wait and see.

The Confounded Writer’s Block

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And… this has got to be a record. No new blog posts for nearly a month… Wow.

An old childhood favourite... Calvin and Hobbes

You see, I’d love to blog about something. Anything. Unfortunately my mind fails to allow me to think of an interesting topic that hasn’t been done before. It’s too busy focusing on my sinking History marks. And I haven’t written much in my book either. Gotta keep working on that one.

A sad scene that would likely take place at my desk.

I can’t stand writer’s block, honestly. But I honestly don’t consider it until I open my book to write in.

Oh dear me, I can’t seem to think of how this plot could go. Maybe if he kills the evil assistant… No, it’s too soon. Maybe he should make a new friend?

Then I realize that I have been having trouble with other things too, namely my blog.

Oh, it’s been a week since I’ve updated my blog! I must start a new post. Let’s see…

I then have to come to terms with the fact that I have no idea what to blog about, so I spend ages wracking my brain for a suitable topic.

Environmental issues? No, I’ve done that one before… Singing? Did that too. Oh what about this awesome book… Oh wait that’s been done on Freshly Pressed.

And in the end I’m just like:

A typical reaction of mine upon discovering that I have yet again been infected by writer's block.

Soon, a couple of hours pass and I have to get off the computer. I decide that if I stop thinking about it, I’ll come up with a good idea.

I’ll just take a break and see if something pops up. Sooner or later, it always does.

And before I know it, nearly an entire month has flown by and I’ve forgotten about the fact that I am suffering from the dreaded and highly fatal writer’s block. Until…

What’s *insert random name of friend here* doing over there on that computer? Oh, she’s blogging. Oh no I haven’t blogged in ages! How long has it been? AH!

So I go and check my blog for the first time in ages.

I’ve been subscribed to…! Oh. By someone who’s already deleted their account. Oh, look at all these comments. Well… 34 spam comments actually. I really must get a blog post going.

And that is how I came to be sitting here today, typing away.

It never fails, you know, no matter how often I follow online writer’s block solving tips. I got this list off the internet.

1. Implement a Writing Schedule.

Yes, I have gone back to the same place at the same time every day and still nothing springs to my head. Sometimes I just let my hand free-write on the paper and all that comes out is… garbage.

2. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself.

How can I not be? I’ve been trying for three weeks and still nothing comes out of my pen.

3. Think of Writing as a Regular Job, and Less as an Art.

4. Take Time Off If You’ve Just Finished a Project.

5. Set Deadlines and Keep Them.

(This is the only thing that really works for me… Except for the fact that the finished product is a little on the… well… awful side.)

6. Examine Deep-Seated Issues Behind Your Writer’s Block.

7. Work on More Than One Project at a Time.

(Three projects going on and I’m still getting nowhere…)

8. Try Writing Exercises.

(I do this in English class in school everyday.)

9. Re-Consider Your Writing Space.

(It’s actually a cosy little nook.)

10. Remember Why You Started to Write in the First Place.

(I need a LOT of help with this one.)

I do this... A lot.

Actually, I’ve discovered a really awesome way to beat writer’s block when it comes to blogging: If you can’t think about anything to blog about… Blog about the fact that you can’t think of anything to blog about.

Anyhow, I’ll just head off now… I just found a good plot for my book… I think.

Give It A Shot

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Today, I found out at the eleventh hour about an English public speaking competition my school was holding. On some strange whim, I decided to go for it, speaking completely impromptu while everyone else had days to prepare. On the whole, it was fun (aside from a couple of unnecessary pauses) and I’m glad I joined in the end.

I’ll have you know that, trudging my way up to the venue of the competition, gazillions upon gazillions of doubts continually sprung into my mind. You have no script. You have no topic. You have no fragments of speeches committed to memory. Heck, you don’t even speak very often. I succumbed to these doubts after a while and turned around to go to the library, only to find myself blocked by Science Club members trooping down the stairs to the lab. There was no way I could get through the crowd with my guitar case slung over my shoulder and my schoolbag hanging limply at my side.

And that’s when I thought, oh what the heck. Let’s just have fun with this.

A half hour later, I found myself standing in front of a half-filled classroom, droning on about inner beauty, coming up with random points and statements in my head. I’m pretty sure I left out a few things. But oh well.

Many times in life, and in much more serious situations (at least, more serious than light-hearted school competitions), one will have to make a quick decision. If one fears, worries, or overthinks (all my tendencies, unfortunately), one could miss out on an amazing opportunity. And we don’t want that, now, do we?

Similarly, dare to be different and do new things, or to fight for something you believe in. And who cares what others think? Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at, as was once quoted by someone unknown.

Everyday, we are faced with adversity. Don’t let these people get you down.

Whatever it is, give it a shot.

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself. -Søren Kierkegaard

Grammar Woes

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Seriously, I’ve been born and raised in this country and everyone has used the phrase at least once.

Let me illustrate a situation…

An English teacher has just given the class a lecture about bad English. She then gives the class assignments, saying to them, “Please pass them up by tomorrow!”

Eeek!!!

Let me provide a translation.

Pass Up

vb (tr, adverb)

  1. Informal to let go by; ignore; decline: I won’t pass up this opportunity
  2. to take no notice of (someone)

Now how is it possible that you can ignore your homework by tomorrow?

Another not-as-common (but still as tragic) mistake is saying “pass on”:

Pass On
vb (tr, adverb)
  1. Place into the hands or custody of
    – pass, hand, reach, turn over, give
  2. Transmit (knowledge or skills)
    “pass on a new skill to the students”;
    – impart, leave, give
  3. Move forward, also in the metaphorical sense
    “Time passes on”;
    – advance, progress, move on, march on, go on
  4. Give to or transfer possession of
  5. Refer to another person for decision or judgment
    “She likes to pass on difficult questions to her colleagues”;
    – relegate, submit
  6. Cause to be distributed
    – circulate, pass around, distribute
  7. Transmit information
    “Please pass on this message to all employees”;
    – communicate, pass, pass along, put across

It can also refer to someone dying… so, can homework die by tomorrow?

The correct term is submit or simply pass.