My great-grandmother lived until I was eight years old. She was
ninety-eight at the time of her death. During our month in Maine each
summer, my family would visit "Granny" daily. She was accustomed to the
ritual of a cup of tea in the late afternoon.
We planned our day so that we could arrive at her house at about 4:00
each day and have tea with her. My mother and father used to love to ask
Granny questions about her life, particularly about her time spent in
Maine. Granny's parents had bought some property in Maine in about 1900,
when she was young. This property has been handed down through the
generations and is where I continue to go each summer.
One of my favorite stories was about how she traveled for two days on
the train from her home in Philadelphia to Bath, Maine. She described the
fun that she and her younger sister had in their cabin on the night train.
When they finally arrived at the train station in Bath, they where met by
a man with a horse and buggy. The family trunks would be loaded onto the
buggy and they began the final leg of the journey. They took the half-day
trip over the rutted dirt road, 13 miles out to Small Point.
This trip that once took my great-grandmother's family half a day on a
horse and buggy, now takes us fifteen to twenty minutes in our car.
Interestingly, although we arrive in a fraction of the time, the community
of Small Point is not so different from the one my great-grandmother
arrived at a hundred years ago. It continues to be a place of simple
pleasures and undeveloped natural beauty. The community of summer people,
many related and descended from a few original families, strive to
maintain Small Point as a place that values friendship, community, and
in nature go unnoticed. One such example is the narrow space behind my
garage in our backyard. This area, enclosed by the old wooden fence along
two sides and the dusty brown garage on another, is surrounded by all the
neighborhood action, yet often left completely alone.
This space has not always been neglected, however. Years ago, when I was
small and intrigued by the idea of a fort, or hiding place of my own, I
spent a lot of time there, tucked behind the garage. My father and I had
taken leftover timber from various forgotten projects and created a fort.
We have pictures of my dad and me, side by side, hammering together the
mismatched boards. At this time in my life I often peered over the fence
from my fort and watch the older kids racing around in their own play. Or
I would bring my own friends to this secret spot to create our own fun.
As I grew older I began to play only on the other side of the garage where
my basketball hoop was set up. The space behind had been important for a
while and had seen some excitement, but then was returned to silence.
Emerson wrote, "Nature always wears the colors of the spirit." This area
has had the ability to take on the feelings of its surroundings but has
changed over time. My observations over the past two weeks has brought me
back in touch with this area that had once been so important to me.
Over the course of time I have watched this spot, I have noticed many
changes. Not changes that were drastic or noticeable to the casual
observer, but ones I, too, would have missed had I not decided to watch it
closely. I had never stopped to notice the subtle yet remarkable changes
that take place within nature. The tree that has always stood back here,
taking in all of the action around the neighborhood, though not directly
involved in it. Lying on the ground there were the old boards, remains of
the fortress from my youth. Rusty, brown nails sticking out that had not
been touched for years. I wondered why this tree fort had been left for
so long. Was it because young children had grown up and did not find it
as fun as they once had? Whatever the reason, the spot now stands alone.
Humans grow and change through their lives but there is a steadying
constancy to nature if it is left to itself. Nature changes through the
seasons but then circle back to their beginning as the seasons come and
America is a place of great natural beauty, but too many simple yet
remarkable places go unacknowledged and unappreciated. As I watched my
spot behind the garage for the past couple weeks, I began to recognize
some of these lesser beauties in nature. Our lives could be enhanced if
we were better at recognizing more of these overlooked places. This place
is truly American in that it has interacted with Americans as they pass
It was third period on Wednesday morning. I had a
study in the café. Chris, Tom, Donny, J.J. and I were sitting around a
table. Each of us was complaining about how hungry we were and none of us
had any money. In the middle of the table sat a warm egg sandwich.
"Whose sandwich is that?" asked Tom.
"I don't know" replied J.J.
"It's Coley's," said Donny, "he left it here to go take his yearbook
"Are you sure he's coming back?" Chris asked, "because I really want to
eat it." "So do I" said J.J, "I say that if he's not back in five minutes
we all take a bite."
I knew that Coley would be angry if we ate his sandwich but my hunger was
taking over. I wanted a bite and it was just sitting there getting cold,
so we all decided to do it.
Five minutes later, Coley was still not back.
"Times up," said Chris "I'll take the first bite."
So we all followed Chris, each taking a bite of the sandwich and leaving
only a little piece of the middle on the plate.
Later in the study Coley walked in. After walking up to see if they
still had not cooked it, he came back to the table.
"Where's my sandwich?" he said angrily, already having an idea of what had
happened. Nobody answered.
"Who ate it?"
Everyone at the table was trying to hide off a smirk, but it wasn't
working. J.J. began to laugh.
"It was you, wasn't it?" Coley yelled.
J.J. declined. Soon the bell rang and everyone began to leave. Coley
left angrily knowing he had been tricked and mad because there was nothing
he could do about it. So we got away with eating Coley's breakfast
sandwich, and it definitely had been worth it.
T.S. Eliot wrote the poem "The Love Song of J.
Alfred Prufrock" in 1915, when he was only twenty-two years old. It was
his first published work and marked the beginning of his illustrious
literary career. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is among Eliot's
best-known poems and introduces the reader to his unique voice. It seems
odd that the poem, written by a man so young and with so much of his life
yet to live, develops themes of self-doubt, regret and missed
opportunities. Throughout the poem, Eliot shows Prufrock as a man
paralyzed to action. '"Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?" "Time to turn back
and descend the stair." ' The reader is drawn into Prufrock's mind and
musings and reads on with the desire to learn his fate.
The style of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is interesting and
unique. The reader is taken inside Prufrock's mind and is privy to the
ramblings of his stream of consciousness. Spoken in the first person, the
reader feels Prufrock's pain and experiences his thoughts and dreams. His
struggles are easy to relate to because the images are clear and remind
the reader of their own similar emotions.
Throughout the poem there are many references to missed opportunities and
regret for decisions not made. Interestingly, Eliot writes is a young man
when he writes "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and yet he describes
a character that seems to be at a later stage in life, having suffered
from inactivity and indecision. Prufrock says, "And indeed there will be
time…time to turn back and descend the stair." And again later he says, "
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, And in
short, I was afraid." These lines typify Prufrock's approach toward life
and reveal his and inability to act on his desires. He seems to have
tremendous despair about his circumstance, and yet is powerless to do
anything to change it.
The overall tone of this poem is extremely pessimistic. There is
negativity throughout which creates a hopeless feeling and one that
suggests that Prufrock has perhaps given up on life. This pessimism is
shown in a line, "I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do
not think that they will sing to me." He does not feel that anything good
will happen to him and shows no hope for the future. "No! I am not
Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; …At times, indeed, almost ridiculous-
Almost, at times, the Fool." It appears that he does not have any
There is a surprise at the end of the poem that suggests that maybe these
ramblings have only been a dream. Perhaps there is hope for Prufrock.
But even with the waking there is little optimism, "Till human voices
wake us, and we drown." "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
successfully holds the reader's attention. It shows Prufrock's situation
as bleak and hopeless, and whether a dream or not, he is a man with social
problems and a man who is unable to take the active steps necessary to
change his life for the better.
Throughout history, humans have competed in a variety
of physically challenging
types of competition. These "sports" have involved many different
techniques, and have tended to require some form of physical
endurance. A keen
knowledge of the game and some sort of strategic planning has also
important element in successful play. Golf is a sport that was
probably played in
some form from earliest times, and then was formalized in the late
Many authorities believe that the game of golf originated in
at the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, recognized as the
golf club in 1497. Golf's status and popularity quickly spread
throughout the 16th
century due to its royal endorsement. King Charles I popularized the
England and Mary Queen of Scots, who was French, introduced the game
France while she studied there. Indeed the term 'caddie stems from
given to her helpers who were the French Military, known in French as
(History of Golf since 1947). Though not invented by Americans, golf
is a sport
that has been enthusiastically "Americanized".
It is no wonder that the game of golf has been embraced
more easily by
Americans than by people of many other nations. Golf is a game that
long time to play. Unlike other sports where one can complete play in
an hour or
so, golf requires a large portion of the day to finish. To play a
full round of golf,
eighteen holes, one must dedicate four or so hours to the game.
America is a
country that enjoys leisure and the pleasures of life and also has the
time. The equipment necessary for golf is more involved and expensive
simply a basketball or soccer ball. And more importantly, entry to a
golf course is
expensive. Private courses are hugely expensive, but even a public
$25 - $50 for a round. The United States has a greater number of
other nations with available time and money for golf.
Although golf is not an activity that requires a great
deal of physical
exertion, it involves many aspects that allow it to comply with the
sport. The mental dimension of the game is clearly one of these
Golf requires a tremendous amount of patience and concentration. For
shots there is very little margin for error. On one level, the game
is very simple.
The object is simply to use a set of "sticks" to get the ball into a
hole. Over the
years, however, courses have been designed with elements of increased
difficulty. Many golfers spend hours fine tuning their putting,
driving skills. Golf requires a mix of talents. It is not necessarily
the strongest or
the fastest person that will win; it is the person who has a balance
of skills and
one that truly knows the game.
As the golf legend, Arnold Palmer, once said, "What other
people may find in
poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive." Golf is
a sport of
beauty that brings joy to many people who take part in it. Although
can be viewed as a relaxing walk around a beautiful location, it is
not as easy as
it looks. As Sam Snead once said, "These greens are so fast I have to
putter over the ball and hit it with the shadow." Lee Trevino's quote
up the concept of how hard the game actually is, "If you're caught on
course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron.
Not even God
can hit a 1-iron." Many children and younger people have the
impression of how
hard could it be to hit a ball about three inches in diameter with a
amateurs, however, do not know the great deal of work millions of
people put into
the game, and that even the pros in the sport must put in great
amounts of hours
to perform the way they do. (quotes from Golf Quotes).
The sport of golf is not as popular as basketball, football, and
baseball in America.
There are many reasons for this. The main reason is that many
do not have the money, the time, or the access to play it. Some
choose not to
play it because it seems boring to them, others because it contains no
contact, and others because it is an "old man's" sport. As stated by
"The sport of choice for the urban poor is basketball. The sport of
maintenance level employees is bowling. The sport of choice for
workers is football. The sport of choice for supervisors is baseball.
The sport of
choice for middle management is tennis. The sport of choice for
officers is golf. Conclusion: The higher you are in the corporate
smaller your balls become."
Any golfer whom is not apart of the PGA Tour, who just plays the game
for fun, is
considered an amateur. These golfers might have the toughest time
game, but always do it for the enjoyment and the pleasure they get out
Hank Aaron, the famous baseball player and amateur golfer once said,
me seventeen years to get 3,000 hits. I did it in one afternoon on
course." This speaks to the point of how much harder the game is to
many might imagine. The baseball great is one of the few in the
hits club, but had trouble hitting a straight drive with the golf
The game of golf is loved by some, seen as boring by some, and
by some, but it is perfected by few. Americans are the best golfers
in the world.
This is perhaps because they practice the most or because they have
easiest access to courses. Whatever the reason, the sport of golf has
adopted by America and developed into the game many know and love
America, through the publicity of stars and golf celebrities, has
made golf a