Skyrim Animal Resources

Skyrim Cover

If you don’t know by now, my favorite video game of all time right now is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the PC, Xbox360, and Playstation 3. I personally play Skyrim on the Xbox360 as I don’t own a Playstation3 and don’t care for playing video games on the computer. I am such a fan of the Elder Scrolls video games because of their attention to detail and attempts to create realistic, thriving, natural worlds.

Skyrim is an open-world role-playing fantasy game, which hits many of my favorite things about video games. I love role-playing video games, fantasy games, and games with lots of exploration and open worlds. Skyrim is a massive open world that allows its players to explore to their heart’s content and do whatever they please. While there are plots to delve into and goals to complete, the speed is left completely to the player and all barriers are down, allowing the player to go anywhere at any time and do anything. So many times I find myself simply exploring the countryside and scaling mountains just to enjoy the scenery and see what’s out there.

One of my favorite things about Skyrim is the vast amount of wildlife found roaming the open lands and the realism involved with them. The Elder Scrolls team tries to create believable worlds within their video games, so they spend the time to create a working ecosystem complete with prey and predators. When exploring the lands, you’ll come across deer grazing in the woods, elk venturing the tundra, and bears hunting them down. The animals live their own lives and make sense in the space around them. Not only can you see these animals and simply spend time with them or follow them around, you can also chase and hunt them down, ride them, fight alongside them, battle them, skin their fur, eat their meat, wear their hides, collect their claws, cook them in a stew, and mash their teeth into a powder to use in potions, and that’s only the beginning of what you can do!

The Elder Scrolls series always aims to create living, breathing, believable worlds filled with lore and history, so they allow the player to do almost anything they can imagine. This wide array of possibilities really helps bring the world of Skyrim to life and helps add believability to the animals and wildlife. The animals are not just computer models running about, but can actually help or hinder the player in his adventures. All of this realistic interaction really helps make Skyrim an enjoyable experience full of life and realism.

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Skyrim Bestiary

Skyrim Cover

As I’ve mentioned, my favorite video game of all time right now is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the PC, Xbox360, and Playstation 3. Skyrim is an open-world role-playing fantasy game, which hits many of my favorite things about video games. One of my favorite things about the game is the vast amount of wildlife found roaming the open lands.

The Elder Scrolls series always aims to create living, breathing, believable worlds filled with lore and history, so they create expansive open worlds and fill these worlds with animals and creatures that make sense living there. There are fish in the waters, deer in the woods, and even dogs in the homes of the citizens. I love exploring the lands of Skyrim and seeing all of the wildlife just makes the world even better.

What’s even better about these animals and wildlife is that they can truly enhance the Skyrim experience. Not only do they offer enemies to fight, but they can also be hunted for food, skinned for leather or parts of their bodies, such as their claws and teeth, and be used in alchemy to brew potions and poisons. All of this realistic interaction really helps make Skyrim an enjoyable experience full of life and realism.

Silverside Perch

Silverside Perch

River Betty

River Betty

Cyrodilic Spadetail

Cyrodilic Spadetail

Histcarp

Histcarp

Abecean Longfin

Abecean Longfin

There are several fish in the land of Skyrim. Many are small and look exactly alike, besides their coloring and are very common. These fish can be found in lakes and rivers and cannot be eaten. They can, however, be used in alchemical potions and poisons. Silverside Perches are obviously silver. River Bettys are a light purple-pink color, while Cyrodilic Spadetails are more of a rich pink-red color. Despite their names, River Bettys are not more common in rivers than any other body of water and Cyrodilic Spadetails cannot be found in the land of Cyrodil, but can only be found in Skyrim. River Bettys are very poisonous and make great ingredients for deadly poisons. Histcarps are a bright yellow-orange color, and, lastly, Abecan Longfish are a soft blue color, matching the waters they swim in.

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Skyrim Landscapes

My favorite video game of all time right now is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the PC, Xbox360, and Playstation 3. Skyrim is an open-world role-playing fantasy game, which hits many of my favorite things about video games.

Skyrim Cover

  • Open-World: I love when games are open-world because there’s more freedom to them. You can go where you want and do what you like. You’re not constricted to platform jumping or limited to levels. The whole world is open for you to explore. This makes the world, itself, a character for you to explore, discover, and get to know. Open-world games have much more replay value and are much easier for me to get lost in and spend hours with. They are my absolute favorite.
  • Role-Playing: Now role-playing is like an open-world, but for your character. Role-playing allows you to customize your character how you want and often allows you to level up and progress through the game how you want. You can make decisions, choose options, and sometimes even change the gameplay or your character’s fate. Role-playing adds that bit of customization and also allows for more re-playability.
  • Fantasy: One of my favorite genres is fantasy because I love mythical beasts, medieval times, and a little bit of magic. My favorite part of fantasy is the bestiary, and Skyrim has the best fantastical creatures: dragons. Not only does Skyrim have dragons, but it also has mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers, werewolves, horkers (fantasy walruses,) and other strange creatures. Skyrim is set in the right style for me.

Now, as I mentioned, the open-world aspect of Skyrim is probably my absolute favorite thing about the game. I can spend hours just exploring the landscape and viewing the wildlife. What makes Skyrim so special is the land, itself. Skyrim, the home of the nords, is a masterpiece and is a joy to roam.

All of the pictures within the post are in-game footage of the world you can explore, meaning that none of these photos are artwork or were touched-up in any way. These photos are straight out of the game, what you could see by simply venturing Skyrim.

Not only does Skyrim offer a beautiful landscape, it also offers a variety of landscapes. There are many natural features in Skyrim making it interesting to explore as the land changes from hold to hold.

Mountains

Mountains

Of course, the most common features in Skyrim are the mountains. Skyrim is the northern province of Tamriel, home to the rugged and hardy nords. Nords are strong people who are used to cold, rugged, snowy climates, so it makes sense that most of Skyrim is frigid, rocky, and white. Skyrim is incredibly mountainous, offering thousands of stunning views. At just about any moment, one can climb upon a hill or cliff and look out upon the beauty that is Skyrim.

Cliffs

Cliffs

Not as mighty as majestic as mountains, cliffs are still incredibly common in Skyrim. These steep angles can create a challenge when battling animals, creatures, and monsters, or when trying to traverse the land. They can create quite the beautiful view, though.

Valleys

Valleys

Wherever there are mountains and cliffs, there are bound to be valleys. Most of the valleys within Skyrim have rivers and streams flowing through them, adding even more to the beauty of the landscape. Surrounded by the tall, towering mountains, one feels even smaller in the already vast land of Skyrim and can even spot dragons flying overhead at times.

Tundra

Tundra

Skyrim is incredibly well-known for being a cold climate filled with snow and ice. These lands can be rugged and challenging to travel through as snowstorms rage on continuously. These storms can blind travelers as they struggle to follow the few paths.

Plains

Plains

As valleys open up, you’ll come across the wide, open plains of Central Skyrim. Home to herds of mammoths and elk, the plains stretch for as far as one can see, a blanket of wavering yellow foliage. In the center of the plains is the magnificent city of Whiterun, a neutral area during the time of Skyrim’s civil war and home to the great castle, Dragonsreach. While I don’t enjoy the plains as much as some of the other areas, they’re still a sight to see.

Birch Forests

Birch Forests

Forests are scattered all throughout Skyrim, but there are different forests to see. Along the Southern border of Skyrim around the shady city of Riften, the land glows with an Autumn feeling as warm colors invade the eyes. Birch trees with canopies of gold and copper fill the land and shed their leaves upon the forest floor. This area is home to lots of deer and bear, giving them plenty of shade, food, and shelter.

Pine Forests

Pine Forests

Along the Northern reaches of Skyrim reign the pine forests filled with ancient, looming pine trees. These forests can be found all across Skyrim, sometimes dry, sometimes snowy, and sometimes completely snow-covered. I would say that the pine forest is the second most common feature in Skyrim, after the mountains. They are pretty standard and home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Rivers

Rivers

Spread all throughout Skyrim are rivers. I love following the rivers to see where they lead. There are often paths alongside rivers, but occasionally there are smaller, more hidden rivers within the forest. One of my favorite rivers flows through the Hold of Whiterun and is the main staple of the town of Riverwood. Nestled on this river, Riverwood relies on its waters to run its watermill to help with their wood-cutting business.

Waterfalls

Waterfalls

One of the most majestic sights in Skyrim are the many waterfalls. These waters can be quaint, like the tiny waterfall just outside of Riverwood, or can be massive such as the large collection of waterfalls to the east of the Throat of the World. I enjoy listening to their soothing sounds and taking in the view from atop these impressive sights. It can also be enjoyable to chill at the bottom of the falls.

Lakes

Lakes

Also hidden throughout Skyrim, usually in forests, are many lakes and ponds. Water is not uncommon in Skyrim as there are several lakes, streams, and rivers. There are two very large lakes in Skyrim, one centrally located, and another in the Southeast. The lakes in Skyrim are home to a wide variety of fish including salmon, histcarp, and even slaughterfish, a kind of carnivorous fish that resembles an alligator and feeds upon human flesh like a piranha.

Swamps

Swamps

As you draw closer to the Northern coasts of Skyrim, you begin to enter swamp territory filled with marshy ponds and puddles. Often filled with fog and dimly-lit, the swamps are probably my least-favorite natural feature in Skyrim. The swamps surround the city of Morthal and stop right up on the edge of the capitol of Solitude. Many creepy things can be found in Skyrim’s swamps, so I usually like to travel elsewhere.

Coves

Coves

One of my favorite cities in Skyrim is Solitude, a large city sitting on a cliff overlooking a large cove. This cove is home to a trading business that relies on ships to carry goods from hold to hold. Sunsets are particularly beautiful when setting over this body of water.

Oceans

Oceans

Because Skyrim has other regions surrounding its Eastern, Western, and Southern borders, you can only find the ocean on the Northern shores of Skyrim. Filled with glacial masses of land and icebergs, I imagine the waters are extremely frigid. Stretching out until the water meets with the sky, the oceans contain mystery and wonder beneath their deep, blue depths. They’re usually very still, not splashing or creating waves. There was at one time, however, when a massive storm of waves overcame the coastal city of Winterhold and dragged most of it to the ocean floor. Once the most powerful city in Skyrim, Winterhold is now the smallest and most fragile within the region, all because of the powerful ocean.


Beautiful Skryim World


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Unveiling Poverty

“Slumdog Millionaire”

All throughout history and all over the world, poverty plagues the world. People continually seek solution to this, including Jonathan Swift in his writing, A Modest Proposal: For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to their Parents or Country, and for making them Beneficial to the Public. While Swift writes about poverty in Ireland, it is not the only country suffering. India is another country dealing with a poor economy and the movie Slumdog Millionaire shows this through the flashbacks of a homeless child named Jamal. Relating Jamal’s life events to the ideas brought up by Jonathan Swift help unveil the dark truths of poverty and stir emotions to find a solution.

Desperate to end his impoverished lifestyle, Jamal Malik became a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. After each question, life experiences return to him and help him find the right answer. The movie opens on a ghetto part of India filled with crowded streets and beggars around every corner. “It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin doors, crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rages,” writes Swift, seemingly describing Jamal’s flashback. After observing the poor environment, Jamal grew up in, the first question is introduced.

When the famous Indian movie star, Amitalo came to town, the streets flushed to his location as if he was a magnet attracting metal. It was through this craze that Jamal remembered having to jump into human feces because of the city’s poor sanitation to meet his idol. From this memory, Jamal was able to answer the question.

Because Jamal had not received a proper education, he was forced to use a lifeline when asked to recall a famous Indian saying. Not relevant to his life, the knowledge was not necessary for him to live.

Another question was answered when asked what a Hindu God was holding. Jamal recalled watching his mother as she was murdered. Running through the streets, Jamal saw a child dressed like the God holding a bow and an arrow. From then on, Jamal was forced to live on his own without his mother, making his life even more difficult. “Mothers…are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants: who as they grow up [and] turn thieves for want of work,” but without his mother, the burden was passed to Jamal and his brother Salim.

Jamal continues to answer questions using accounts from his own life that illustrate situations Jonathan Swift writes about. Both sought to end poverty and seek better lives for those who had nothing. Through Slumdog Millionaire, one can view the poor environments that A Modest Proposal: For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to their Parents or Country, and for making them Beneficial to the Public tries to address. Poverty eliminates jobs, strengthens religion, and ends conflict, and the problem is too obvious and rampant to be ignored.


Proud Solution

With the gentle rocking motion of the school bus persuading me from side to side, I began to visualize my schedule in my mind. Staring into the cloudless blue sky lit by the late afternoon sun, I planned to complete my homework the moment I got home, finish my remaining chores, and continue to work on my college applications. The slight clanking of the two flute cases clutched in my arms reminded me to leave some time to practice my instrument. After thanking the bus driver for the ride as I always did, I stepped out and began to walk home thinking that I had a busy night ahead of me and I needed to manage my time well. Continuing along the sidewalk and around the corner, I began to receive the beauty of the day. There was a clear sky above allowing the trees to gently sway in full color and inviting the birds to share their vocal talents. Gentle, warm whiffs of air brushed past my face and played with my long hair a bit as I continued my trek.

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We Can’t Afford to Care About the Environment

With temperatures rising and new environmental issues becoming revealed, we all feel the need to act out, become heroes, and save the planet, but is this thinking truly reasonable? Global warming has become a common topic of debate in the modern world, some arguing it is a persistent problem that needs to be resolved, with others not even believing it is happening. While global warming becomes a conflict in our world, we cannot blind ourselves to other issues. Global warming is just that: global. It is a substantially large issue that currently cannot be resolved without wasting large amounts of money that would hurt the country and prevent it from succeeding and growing. Although a problem in today’s world, global warming needs to be resolved step-by-step without major changes. There will be no future to protect if we only choose to resolve global warming.

Large steps have been made to prevent and reduce global warming, yet they have not yet proved successful. “In February, the Kyoto Protocol to reduce global warming took effect, requiring participating countries to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions to below 1990 levels over a five-year period beginning in 2008,” (Kyoto Protocol.) This act was created to help reduce the harmful greenhouse-gas emissions that continue to plague our planet and encourage global warming. It is expected to become the first major reaction that will help slow the onslaught of environmental issues and benefit conservation efforts. One overlooked flaw will keep the protocol from becoming successful, however. While it’s expected to become a major change in order to help the world, it does not change enough. “The Kyoto Protocol currently negotiated has cuts of emissions relative to 1990 levels of between three and eight percent for just over half of the developed world with no restrictions for the less-developed world, while scientists have suggested up to a sixty-percent global cut is required to prevent major climatic change,” (Maslin.) The Kyoto Protocol may help, but it will not help enough to show effective improvement. Not only will this plan not create enough change, but it will also detract from our society, taking money and resources that we currently cannot afford.

While people wish to become environmentally-friendly and “go green,” they do not wish to pay the price. Installing solar panels and purchasing vehicles with lower greenhouse-gas emissions are expensive and so are plans to prevent and reduce global warming. This money can be spent on more-appreciated causes, especially with the United States’ currently declining economy. “Only when we get sufficiently rich can we afford the relative luxury of caring about the environment,” (Lomborg.) An issue of morals and global economics, we are faced with the decision to spend money on global warming resolutions or other world affairs, such as the protection of future generations and the development of the Third World. “We have to find a level at which there is sufficiently little pollution, such that our money, effort, and time is better spent solving other problems,” (Lomborg.) With only so much money to spend, we must choose what is more important.

Because people feel the need to make things right and fix problems, it’s no wonder that they all feel the need to act on the urgent situation of global warming, but at the moment, it’s not reasonable or quite possible. With more urgent issues, such as the economic recession of the United States, the government needs to resolve greater problems at hand and not put as much effort or money into failing programs like the Kyoto Protocol. We need to focus on resolving current problems and fixing the simpler situations. We simply do not have the money or the resources to battle global warming. At this point in time, we cannot afford the luxury of supplying the world with its own thermostat.

Spirit of Service

In this “new era of responsibility,” President, Barack Obama, has explained the personal engagement needed to solve the nation’s problems through his Inaugural Address. With an ailing economy, weakening school systems, and energy crisis, followed by numerous disasters and emergencies, he brought to attention the troubled state the nation has fallen into. With this awakening, he brought hope, however, introducing his ideas to help and the new responsibilities each citizen should carry out.

“Certain tasks … cannot be accomplished by volunteers showing up occasionally or contributing a few hours a week,” writes The New York Times, reflecting Obama’s ideas. Opportunities to serve the community need to be expanded, and plans for doing so have been introduced. Democrat of Massachusetts, Edward Kennedy, and Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, have introduced their Serve America Act to the Senate, an act that should “expand the number of full-time and part-time national service volunteers eligible for minimal living expenses and a modest educational stipend.” These new positions will be targeted at strengthening education, cleaning the environment, repairing our economic state, responding to emergencies and disasters, and boosting energy efficiency. A well thought out plan, everyone is invited to become involved, including “people of all income levels and ages.” Along with the Volunteer Generation Fund the will help nonprofit groups with volunteers, our new President along with the Senate are aiming at creating new jobs and aiding the nation’s economy. Personal engagement is most needed at the moment, as the country won’t repair itself.

With our families and neighbors losing their jobs all around us and businesses constantly having to close their doors for a final time, it’s amazing how we can act as if nothing is happening. Citizen activity and willingness to help is essential to keep the country running. Where would the country be without her people? Amongst our diverse crowds, we need to grasp the idealism and unity that makes us who we are and increase the productive national and community service granted to our communities. With the help of the Senate’s proposed Serve America Act, “tens of thousands of meaningful new positions for people ready to work hard for the public good” should become available and with the Volunteer Generation Fund, volunteers will be gifted many opportunities to help nonprofit groups. By helping our neighbors, our homes, our communities, and our country, we help each other. We help restore our economy to the stable platform it once rested upon. We help deliver rich knowledge to the children of the next generation. We help the air become more pure and the leaves on the trees thrive as green as they once did. By volunteering and getting involved with programs in our communities and with the new acts proposed under our new President, America can be revived and once again become an inspirational land that bestows upon her people what they put effort into.

Every citizen carries his own responsibilities and plays a part in the restoration of America. To solve the nation’s problems, Mr. Obama declared that each person would need to become involved. The “spirit of service” that he spoke of in his Inaugural Address is within all of us, and it needs to be awoken.

Reference

“The Moment for National Service.” The New York Times 26 Jan. 2009. 26 Jan. 2009

Delivering Hope

https://pixabay.com/en/obama-barack-obama-president-man-356133/

A cold and frigid morning, millions were anxious to hear from their newly elected leader.

After speaking the sacred oath, Barack Obama, chosen to become the first African American President of the United States of America, still had many words to speak. The moments were writing themselves in the history books and each word and idea he expressed needed to change the world, or at least the thoughts of its people. He was America’s inspiration, after all, and her citizens were waiting to hear his voice. The styles of his phrases, the choices of his words, and the organization of the ideas that made up his forecoming speech had been carefully examined with a single purpose in mind.

Using his skill of rhetoric, Barack Obama was expected to deliver hope to the world.

Rhetoric, the Dominant Conqueror

Attended another UIL writing competition today…(I am an official member of the Ready Writing team here at Taft High School now.) This competition was at Medina Valley High School. Ah, there’s so much to say about it…but basically, the topics this time were REALLY hard and I took the first hour (out of two) just analyzing them. I didn’t have a topic chosen by the first hour! Mostly everybody was done by then; one person was finished within the first half hour. Three went from my school (27 participants in total,) and all three of us were the only ones there after an hour and we took both hours. When I was finished I returned to the Cafeteria and told my English teacher that my essay was even worse than last time and I just did really bad. I didn’t think I had much of a chance. She reminded me that’s what I said last time when I got third place, but I assured her that I did a lot worse this time…Well we waited for 5 hours for results…The two others from my school got 7th and 10th place, but I got 1st! I was so shocked… On my scoring sheet, I got a perfect on every category. But I realized I forgot the comma in my title, (I can’t believe I did that! I realized it right after I turned it in…) so they scribbled out the perfect for punctuation and took off a point. Still 1st place though. 😀 Anyways, my essay is after the topic. Reading it now, I still think it needs a lot of work, and I should have done a lot of things, but I got 1st, so I’m satisfied.

Topic: “The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of the rhetoric than to any other force.”
-Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), Mein Kampf

Use force on a man and he may follow for a year, but feed his mind with your ideas and he will follow for life. Speech has been known to be one of mankind’s most valuable tools and treasures, but when sharpened, can be more powerful than any other force. Many memorable leaders throughout history have caused action from their mastership of rhetoric, bringing change to the world through persuasive speeches and convincing words. New leaders continue to arise even to this day, using their sharp tongues to control our minds and manipulate our thoughts. Control people’s minds and you control the world.

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Let Freedom Ring Amongst Deaf Ears

I attended a UIL competition yesterday at James Madison High School because I was invited by my English teacher. It was last minute, however, so I hadn’t attended any meets or practices and really had no idea what was going to happen. I wasn’t very prepared. I participated in the Ready Writing Invitational Test, an expository writing competition. We were given the following topic and were just told to write. My essay follows the topic. After the competition, I waited for five hours, the last from my school to leave. My teachers left early, yet I decided to stay. Of course my contest was the last to be announced. Fortunately my wait was not in vain as I won a third place trophy out of about twenty-five contestants.

Topic: “Three hundred thousand bikers spent Memorial Day weekend roaring around Washington in tribute to our war dead….The street had been closed off for them and they motored on by, some flying the Stars and Stripes and the black MIA-POW flag, honking, revving their engines, an endless celebration of internal combustion….A patriotic bike rally is sort of like a patriotic toilet-papering or patriotic graffiti-the patriotism somehow gets lost in the sheer irritation of the thing….If anyone cared about the war dead, they could go read … any of a hundred books, and they would get a vision of what it was like to face death for your country, but the bikers riding in formation are more interested in being seen than in learning anything. They are grown men playing soldier, making a great hullabaloo without exposing themselves to danger…”
-Garrison Keillor, “The Roar of Hollow Patriotism,” Chicago Tribune, May 28, 2008

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,” can be heard each morning within many schools across the country. Many view this act as a patriotic student display, although true patriotism does not support it. Blindly following routine, students moan as they pick themselves from their seats and slouch towards the small flag hanging from the chalkboard. Tired arms rest hands somewhere upon their chests, perhaps not always over the heart, and cold vocal chords force out mumbled words without thought. Patriotism is not often a real feeling expressed by proud citizens, but a figurehead in society, a meer image or thought. This idea wraps around America’s people as an unappreciated security blanket, gifted by those who valiantly sacrifice themselves to keep our nation a strong and supportive country.

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The Effect of Affection

Admiration and affection are important qualities that affect people’s lives, directing and guiding them through changes and new experiences. People carry and create passionate emotions within themselves that allow them to connect with the world and those around them. From these connections, relationships can form, encouraging the emotions to grow and develop. Without acknowledgement, these relationships affect a person’s life every day. By admiring a person, great changes can come about one’s life, usually for the better, but at times, creating problems rather than helping with them. In my freshman year of high school, I grew to admire my friend, Hannah Boudreau, unknowingly allowing her to affect my life in a variety of different ways.

I often refer to myself as “veiled in secrets” due to the self-destroying burdens I keep to myself. Timid and untrusting by nature, I don’t tend to open up to people easily, and finding friends becomes a challenge for me. Throughout middle school, I grew comfortable with my lack of close friends and did not find it troubling to live without a personal confidant. Although I met my friend, Hannah, in middle school, she became a closer friend to others before she became my best friend. It wasn’t until our first year in high school that we grew closer because her other friends had moved away. Through our new high school experience, we grasped the little bond we had and made it stronger by helping each other out. Hannah helped, encouraged, and inspired me incredibly and I have grown to admire her unique traits and social talents. Opposed to the shy and quiet girl I was, I was attracted to Hannah’s unusual characteristics. Hannah was independent, loud, playful, and comical. She could get along well with different people and was loved by many. I felt that I could learn from Hannah and I enjoyed spending time with her until I later found out that she wouldn’t always be there.

“It’s strange to think that I may never see you again after high school,” I once told Hannah before school, pondering over my thoughts. I was shocked and heartbroken when Hannah responded with the fact that her father was retiring and she would be moving the following summer. From that impending event, my life was effected greatly. I couldn’t think of what to say or even breathe as a pain choked my insides and the truth strangled my mind. I had just become friends with Hannah and I didn’t want to have to give her up. After years of not having a close friend, I had become thankful for having her to rely on. Ironically, from this dread of impending sadness that would surely follow losing my friend that summer, I fell into a deep depression.

After witnessing how easily Hannah made friends and realizing how difficult it was for myself, I came to the conclusion that I was simply not worthy of friends and that I would burden any person who became my friend. With these new thoughts settling in my mind, new feelings and pains also settled in. Indescribable aches and pains consumed my soul with the swallowing hurt of depression. The worst of these mysterious pains developed within my stomach and continued to sweep through my chest and throat. My heart rate steadily increasing, my throat would begin to tighten and my body would be thrown into a seizure-like state, trembling and shivering without my consent. This feeling came over me many times, always invading my mind with the constant thought of doom and emptiness. From these constant thoughts, I called the feeling my “Doom feeling.” With these pains attacking my physical being causing me to actually feel an aching emptiness within me, troubled thoughts sabotaged my mind. Fear and dread attacked my brain and blurred my thoughts into a horrid painting of confusion, colors violently thrust upon the canvas. My mentality was so wrecked that the cause of my constant sadness was usually unknown to me. Stress and other troubling ideas kept my mind awake to suffer in guilt, punishing and hurting my tired body. In the silent black of night, I would either lie in wait listening to each passing second of the clock, or would transfer my thoughts into words through each clacking key of my computer keyboard. My blog was a frequent refuge to release the burdens that tormented me, and for a while, it was my only listener. Not wanting to burden my friend with my troubles, I tried to hide them from her and instead relied on the comforting text from those on the Internet. My blog gave me encouragement, yet I still longed for a true friend. Although I was writing on my blog, it wasn’t the same creative writing that I loved. Rather than letting fictional worlds open up upon the screen, I ranted and begged for help. As if I had become an entirely different person, my interests and hobbies became dull and lifeless and I became obsessed with improving myself in both physical and characteristic qualities. The time I had previously spent drawing and writing was now used to check my weight and carefully monitor and record it as it rose and fell dramatically. My enthusiasm and enjoyment in life was falling just as quickly as my body mass and my stomach felt just as empty as my heart.

Throughout this dreadful period in my life, I desperately reached for different forms of help. Friends from the Internet sent in advice and constantly reminded me to worry less and take a break. My writing club advisor emailed me and asked me to take better care of myself and seek medical attention, and classmates from school were troubled by my appearance and suddenly changing moods, begging me to speak to someone of authority. Denying that I was even troubled, I never did seek help from a counselor or medical specialist. Trying to keep my state entirely to myself, my parents never even knew of how I was. Faking a smile each time they passed, I skillfully fought my internal war myself, yet I wasn’t entirely alone. Although I tried to keep it from her, Hannah knew what was happening to me and tried to help as best as she could. She spoke with me and helped reason through my troubling thoughts. Always knowing what to say, I could rely on her for a good word. Even though these issues were caused from the knowledge of her forthcoming absence, her current presence greatly helped.

Admiring a person can cause troubles and problems, but also help with such disturbances. When people allow friends to grow closer to them, their lives are affected in many ways and can sometimes change tremendously. Each thing a person does in life seeks a comforting stability and may weaken when that presence is taken away. Affection is a human feeling that fills the heart with passion and grants value to our lives. Relationships are the strongest fibers of our lives, pulling together our emotions and feelings with our actions and personalities, each thing affecting the other and allowing us to truly live.


Nick’s Silent Voice

Writing enables one to express the many thoughts and images that emerge from his or her mind onto paper to transfer into the mind of another. From sheer words upon paper, entire worlds can be created and characters can be born. This power may seem minor to others, while some realize the true value of it. Nicholas Taylor is one of those who has become amazed by this ability and has been improving upon this skill over the years.

Nick, currently a junior attending Minot High School, feels confident and interested in his writing. He rested in his desk relaxed and slightly reclined while curling his fingers over his scruffy chin as he explained to me. He knows he has improved greatly from the simple stories that he said “were completely void of good writing techniques.” Writing through the years, he has never lost that special interest in allowing words to escape from his mind and appear before him for others to read, which he discovered when he was in the sixth grade. The ability to create new things and express his ideas amazed him and encouraged him to read other authors’ works to learn and let his talent grow. Writing will always be a part of Nick’s life, continuously expanding and blossoming.

When it comes to writing, the words mean nothing when there isn’t an important idea behind them. Nick feels that he has many elaborate ideas within his mind, but can’t always seem to execute them well on paper, admitting to sometimes using names for characters more than once. Sometimes he will write in the first person, never giving much information about the character itself, such as the name, and concentrating more on the story and the basic idea. Being able to create things with words was the fascination that led Nick to writing when he was younger and still holds him in its enticing grasp. Although he feels the writing is a useful way to express his ideas, he does not usually portray himself through his characters or base his stories on experiences. Instead of writing through emotion and personal experience, Nick tends to write through his imagination and thoughts alone. “I do not want to sound sappy,” he stated with a strong, clear, and confident voice, his mouth, as usual, slightly pulled to the right showing his pointed incisor. In his writings, each setting, every character, and all the happenings have emerged from his mind.

Writing a few times a week, although he would like to write more often, Nick most often arranges short stories and poems with his own personal mood and tone. He prefers the first person style of writing and finds himself writing in first person most often. Usually jotting his ideas into a notebook first, he then evaluates on the new creations over a keyboard with music sometimes playing along with the clacking of the keys; a duet aiding the flow of his words.

Being able to bring something into the world that has never been introduced before is a different concept which Nick enjoys. He is interested in original ideas and stories that avoid clichés. Overused plots, characters, settings, and creatures annoy him and distract him from the piece itself. He tries to stray from clichés in his own writing and will only write what could only reside in his own mind. He also feels that he can rate his own writing well and knows what’s well-written and what needs work. He sets extremely high standards for himself and instantly begins fixing any flaws in his writing. Although he generally likes what he writes, he feels that there is always something for him to learn and an area in which he can become better.

Writing not only interests Nick as a hobby, but also as a career choice and has seeped into his plans for the future. He plans to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for Creative Writing to perfect his talents and help him excel as a writer. It would be his dream to self-publish a book of short stories and later write scripts for other major passions in his life such as video games and manga, Japanese comic books. By combining his skills with his interests, Nick would like to form a substantial life that can support him well and give him something to enjoy.

As Nick is a well-balanced person, he keeps his interests and his work in order all throughout his life. Never forgetting the past and how far he has come from it while keeping a watchful and planning eye on the future, he always has a firm grasp on his life, especially in his writing. He has improved greatly and plans to continue doing so, hopefully making a living out of it. This great passion that Nick Taylor has will always be with him, his love of creating new things and sharing them with others through the English language never dying out.