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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Autobiography (reflective thoughts and feelings of Jennifer Ennis)


Jessica Ennis: My story from beating the school bullies to becoming a golden girl

Here, in an exclusive extract from her new autobiography Jessica Ennis: Unbelievable – From My Childhood Dreams to Winning Olympic Gold, she describes how she beat the bullies.
I am crying. I am a Sheffield schoolgirl writing in her diary about the bullies awaiting me tomorrow.
They stand menacingly by the gates and lurk unseen in my head, mocking my size and status.
They make a small girl shrink, and I feel insecure and frightened.
I pour the feelings out into words on the page, as if exposing them in some way will help, but nobody sees my diary.
It is kept in my room as a hidden tale of hurt.
Fast forward two decades and I am crying again. I am standing in a cavernous arena in London.
Suddenly, the pain and suffering and frustration give way to a flood of overwhelming emotion.
In the middle of this enormous arena I feel smaller than ever, but I puff out my chest, look to the flag and stand tall.
It has been a long and winding road from the streets of Sheffield to the tunnel that feeds into the Olympic Stadium like an artery.
I am Jessica Ennis. I have been called many things, from tadpole to poster girl, but I have had to fight to make that progression.
I smile and am polite and so people think it comes easily, but it doesn’t.
I am not one of those athletes who slap their thighs and snarl before a competition, but there is a competitive animal inside, waiting to get out and fight for survival and recognition.
Cover shoots and billboards are nice, but they are nothing without the work and I have left blood, sweat and tears on tracks all over the world.
It is an age where young people are fed ideas of quick-fix fame and instant celebrity, but the tears mean more if the journey is hard.
So I don’t cry crocodile tears; I cry the real stuff.
In 1993 my parents sent me to Sharrow Junior School.
In terms of academic results it was not the best, but Mum was keen for me to go somewhere that had a rich mix of races and cultures.
I was the smallest in the class and I became more self-conscious about it as the years went by.
Swimming was a particular ordeal, and in my mind now, I can still see this young, timid wisp standing by the side of a pool in her red swimming costume quaking with anxiety.
I was small and scraggy and that was when the bullying started.
There were two girls who were really nasty to me. They did not hit me, but bullying can take on many forms and the abuse and name-calling hurt.
The saying about sticks and stones breaking bones but words never hurting falls on deaf ears when you are a schoolkid in the throes of a verbal beating.
At that age, girls can be almost paralysed by their self-consciousness, so each nasty little word cut deep wounds.
I went home, cried and wrote in my diary. Perhaps it would be nice to say that one day I fought back and beat the bullies, but I didn’t.
It festered away and became a big thing in my life, leaving me wracked with fear about what they would say or do next.
It got to the point that I dreaded seeing them at school.
And then we moved on to secondary school and I found out that they were going there too. The dread got deeper.
Later, I did tell my mum. ‘They are only jealous of you,’ she replied. But jealous of what? I could not understand it.
I tried to deal with it myself, but that was impossible.
I would rely on my diary and hope for the best, but that was not much of a defence against these scary girls who were dominating my thoughts.
And then, around that time, my mum saw an advert for a summer sports camp at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield.
It was my first taste of sport and it would be the first tentative step towards fighting back and getting my own quiet revenge on the bullies.
I started at King Ecgbert’s School in the little village of Dore in South Sheffield in September 1997. I was still terrified on the first day.
I was not a confident child and almost froze when my dad asked me to go and get the paper from the corner shop one day.
‘On my own?’
Dad barely looked at me. ‘Yes, here’s the money.’
He knew I needed to shed some of my inhibitions, but I still remember going to big school and being frightened.
There were two buildings, Wessex and Mercia, separated by a changeover path, and as I was edging along it one day, I heard an older girl say: ‘Oh, look at her, she’s so tiny and cute.’ That made me feel 10 times worse.
Sport, though, was becoming an outlet for the insecurities and I found I was good at it. Gradually, I became more popular.
The two bullies were still there, but if I was talking to anyone going through something similar I would stress things change quickly.
It does not seem like it at the time, of course, with every week an endless agony of groundhog days, but it soon fades.
I slowly made friends and the tide turned. The same girls who had bullied me now wanted to be friends.
It was all part of that whirlpool of hormones and petty jealousies that is part of being a young girl.
Now I do not think they were inherently nasty people, but I know what I have done with my life and I think I am in a better position.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

another sample of reflective essay


Failing Forward: Stories behind every success story through failure

My friend Maria and I got our degrees at the same time - hers in Engineering, mine in Mathematics. These subjects, in case you aren't aware, are tough! There were classes we really had to struggle with, fight to get through, and survived only by digging our fingers in with everything we had. Along the way, many of the people who started at the same time we did dropped out, changed majors, etc. They quit. Maria and I didn't and we have degrees to show for it.

Maria and I came up with a saying, "We're not quitters, we're failures!" We'd rather fail a class three times and eventually pass it than quit and resign ourselves to the idea that we "just can't get it." That kind of sob-story defeatism has to be expunged from your mind. While there are things that you can't do - like flying via pixie dust - most of the things you want in life you can have, but only if you treat failure as a part of the learning process. If you see failure as an end, that makes you a quitter.

You can't succeed at anything if you quit. Don't be a quitter, be a failure. 

Fitness goals are interesting in their abstractness, they can be quite oddball (who really needs to squat double bodyweight?), and they can take a very long time and a lot of energy to accomplish. Without a willingness to endure failure you'll never reach your goals.

Here are a few examples of failures that made good to keep you inspired to keep failing and never quit.

1. J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels was waitressing and on public assistance when she was writing the first installment of what would become one of the best selling series in history. The book was rejected by a dozen publishers. The only reason it got published at all was because the CEO's eight year old daughter begged him to publish it.

“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential.” - J.K. Rowling

Now, if that isn't a great Zen line, I don't know what is!

2. Michael Jordan

It might come as a shock, but the man who became what many would call the best basketball player of all time didn't make his high school basketball team.

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan

3. Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison was both hearing impaired and fidgety. He only lasted three months in school where his teachers said he was "too stupid to learn anything." He eventually was home schooled by his mom. In talking about his invention of the light bulb, he said:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that do not work.” - Thomas Edison

4. James Carville

When I was a kid I was obsessed with political campaigns the way other kids were obsessed with sports. During the 1992 Presidential campaign there was no greater superstar-whacko than Clinton's political operative, James Carville. With his shaved bald head, snake-like facial features, and his deep Louisiana accent he seemed like a man out of the Twilight Zone!

He's now considered to be one of the greatest political operatives of a generation. But, before he ended up on that fateful campaign in his early 40's he was dead broke, had won only a handful of elections, and had never even been approved for a credit card. On paper, he looked like a complete failure. By not giving up he ended up in the White House. 

"No one will ever accuse James Carville of taking himself seriously." - James Carville

5. Ludwig van Beethoven

His early skills at music and the violin were decidedly less than impressive. His teachers thought him hopeless. It was his father who saw the potential in him and took over his education. Beethoven slowly lost his hearing throughout his life and yet, four of his greatest works were composed when he was completely deaf.

"Beethoven can write music, thank God, because he can't do anything else!" - Ludwig van Beethoven


6. Christopher Reeve

The man who played Superman becoming a quadriplegic was more than ironic - it was tragic. He never learned to be happy about his situation - who could? But, he did learn to live with it.

“In the morning, I need twenty minutes to cry. To wake up and make that shift, you know, and to just say, 'This is really bad,' to really allow yourself the feeling of loss. It still needs to be acknowledged.” - Christopher Reeve

Then, he'd say, "And now...forward!"

He had to take a moment everyday to acknowledge where he was, what the reality of the situation was. But, he didn't allow that to stop him. He traveled widely doing public speaking on behalf of people with spinal injuries, tirelessly raised money for his own and other foundations, and even became a movie director. He took what he had and tried to help others in the best way he could.

7. Oprah Winfrey

Her childhood was frightful and filled with horrible abuse and abject poverty. But, like most successful people, Oprah doesn't dwell on stuff like that. 

"I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good." - Oprah Winfrey

BONUS:

Oh, anyway, I'll give you a few more! You can never have enough inspirational stories to keep you going.


Vincent Van Gogh

The man was a manic depressive. He could barely function half the time. He never saw success in his lifetime, but his work is often regarded as the greatest painting ever done by any human on earth. Because of this, his name has become a war cry for artists around the world who have been repeatedly rejected and sidelined.

"Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again." - Vincent van Gogh

Quotes 
"Life is too important a thing ever to talk seriously about." - Oscar Wilde

I'll close with another quote by Michael Jordan.

"Some want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen." - Michael Jordan

Now go make something happen.

reflective essay


A Girl’s Reflection on Bullying

Bullying is a serious problem. Whether it’s verbal, cyber or physical, bullying can change a person’s life in many ways. Some people may take a constructive route and speak up about their struggles from being bullied. They may seek professional help to cope and deal with recovery. Others, who choose to do nothing, don’t reach out for help. They may become depressed and think suicidal thoughts. These victims of bully’s decide they can’t handle life itself anymore so they commit suicide. Additional people may develop eating disorders, if they were bullied because of their weight. The victims of bullies may secretly cut or harm themselves. Why do people, teens especially, think they need to end their life to stop all of the hurt?

I personally don’t understand these intimidators. Why would a human being want to humiliate another person to the point of no return? They make others feel so bad about themselves that they take dramatic measures to try to change the way they are. Are they secretly self-conscious about themselves? Do they feel bad about the way they look, so they take it out on others? These scenarios resemble selfish motives for making someone else feel bad. No matter what the reason, these tormenters shall be punished.

I believe more anti-bullying laws should be passed to stop and punish these bullies. More frequently than not, I see and hear stories of teens being bullied to the point where they commit suicide. Just think for a moment, about how many times you’ve heard on the news, or read in the paper about another fatal victim of bullying. By setting up more laws, we can stop the bully from taking action. We can’t undo the past, but we can prevent future attacks.

As a country, we should come together to help these victims. If you see someone being bullied speak up. By not saying anything, may cause one of your peers their life. Teens don’t realize by not saying something, can be as harmful or detrimental as the actual bullying. I believe if we all work together, we can overcome bullies and stop their harmful ways. By talking about bullying, will mean everyone will know about it, so the bullies can’t hide anymore. Spread the word about bullying, so it will stop.








Friday, 1 August 2014

NASA Answers by S2-04


Question 1:
Answer Key: Rocks as big as cars burn up before hitting the Earth but the bigger they are, the higher the possibility of remnants hitting Earth  (24 words)

Xue Qin’s :  Carlike asteroids burn up before hitting Earth. However the bigger the size of the rock,the bigger the chances of its survival. (22 words)

Class: (1a) Gigantic asteroids burn up before hitting Earth. (1b) However the larger the rock,the larger/ higher the chances of impact. (18 words)


Point 1
Point 2
Gigantic asteroids burn up before hitting Earth
However the larger the rock,the larger/ higher the chances of impact.


Question 2:
Answer Key: Unlike the dinosaurs,humans can predict the coming of asteroids and take precaution by tracing incoming asteroids.  (17 words)

Kenric’s : Humans unlike dinosaurs,can foresee and trace incoming asteroids for precaution. (11 words)  

Class : (3) Unlike dinosaurs which the asteroids exterminated , (4) humans can foresee and trace incoming asteroids and take precaution. (21 words)

Point 3
Point 4
Unlike dinosaurs which the asteroids exterminated
Humans can foresee and trace incoming asteroids and take precaution.

Question 3 and 4 :
Answer Key (3): All planets in the solar system have been in danger for a long time (14 words)

Answer Key (4): Being near-Earth is a threat, especially during the heavy-bombardment period (10 words)

Hong Yi’s :  Earth, like all planets have been in danger for a long time especially during the heavy-bombardment period (17 words)

Bryan Lee’s : All planets in the solar system have been in danger for a long time especially during the heavy-bombardment period (19 words)

Class: All planets and near-Earth space in the solar system have been in (5) danger for a long time especially during the (6) heavy-bombardment period. (22 words)

Point 5
Point 6
All planets and near-Earth space in the solar system have been in danger for a long time
especially during the heavy-bombardment period.


Question 5 :
Answer Key : Bigger-sized rocks of up to half a kilometre are uncommon but much more disastrous. An explosion can spread torture on a continent. (22 words)

Chester’s : Larger rocks (of up to half a kilometre) are more destructive. An explosion can bring pain on a continent. (19 words)

Class: (7) Larger rocks (of up to half a kilometre) are more destructive. (8) An explosion is disastrous to a continent. (18 words)


Point 7
Point 8
Larger rocks (of up to half a kilometre) are more destructive.
An explosion is disastrous to a continent.

75 Words 
Point 1
Gigantic asteroids burn up before hitting Earth
Point 2
However the larger the rock,the larger/ higher the chances of impact.
Point 3
Unlike dinosaurs which the asteroids exterminated
Point 4
Humans can foresee and trace incoming asteroids and take precaution.
Point 5
All planets and near-Earth space in the solar system have been in danger for a long time.
Point 6
especially during the heavy-bombardment period.
Point 7
Larger rocks (of up to half a kilometre) are more destructive.
Point 8
An explosion is disastrous to a continent.