“The Army of the Enemy” by Kanen’to:Kon

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When we think of the War of 1812, or any other early-American conflict at that, we naturally sympathize with the Americans, our founding fathers and ancestors. But the British, our common enemies, also had an impressive and admirable military with skilled, well-trained generals, officers, and soldiers. Their tactics and strategy on the battlefield won the British Army many battles on all fronts, and the British Royal Navy dominated the entire Atlantic Ocean.

The official British Regular Army was established in 1707. The British Parliament passed the Act of Union, which combined the English, Scottish, and Irish regiments into a single force. This army became one of the strongest powers in the world later that century. The Royal Navy, Britain’s maritime war force, was also created as a result of the 1707 Act of Union. England’s navy, which had been growing in size since as early as 900 A.D., merged with Scotland’s three warships to become the British Royal Fleet, the largest in the world during the 18th and 19th centuries. No one dared to attack the newly-united kingdom of Britain directly until World War I began in 1907. Their military maintained a strong influence throughout Europe and the Americas, and suffered very few losses. (“History”)

During the War of 1812, the British forces were stationed in Canada. In this war, they were mostly on the defensive side. This was not how Britain usually operated, but they were unprepared for the war and did not have enough reinforcements or resources coming from England to launch many attacks against the United States. Since, back in Europe, England was prioritizing a war with Napoleon on their own doorstep, they could not spare anything for the forces stationed across the ocean in Canada. If the war in Europe was lost, then Britain would lose its independence and become part of Napoleon’s Empire. As well as being outnumbered, the British in Canada were also at a geographical disadvantage. Their already-small force needed to be divided between outposts in Quebec City, Montreal, and Northern Canada. (McGuigan, Ron)

Though they were fighting to stay alive on land, the British still dominated the open seas. They had hundreds of large, heavily-manned, heavily-gunned warships known as Men-of-War, with up to 124 cannons on each ship. Almost four-thousand sailors manned the ships around America all together. Some of these seamen were undoubtedly impressed from seized American vessels before the war. (Shmoop Editorial Team) The British wanted to take advantage of their domination at sea in every way possible. They blockaded ports, attempting to cut off trade and create an economic standstill. They tried to take control of the Great Lakes as well, but didn’t have as much of an advantage with so many of their vessels stationed in the blockades. Also, the Americans were already prepared to fight the British with their own ships in the Lakes. Many naval battles were fought in the Great Lakes, including the Battle of Lake Erie. The British were defeated in this battle, and therefore lost control of the city of Detroit. The Royal Navy was forced to retreat back up the St. Lawrence River. (“The Battle of Lake Erie”)

British soldiers on land were called Regulars. During the War of 1812, they would have been mostly stationed at camps or in Canadian cities. Only about 6,000 British men served in Canada at the time. Each soldier had his own daily routine. After waking up early, around 3 or 4 a.m., they began their duties. They often marched around the area, in any kind of weather, wearing special marching uniforms. This was a British military custom; they considered it a proper way of demonstrating strength and discipline. Each soldier had a different job. Some would cook, sew and mend uniforms, clean, or act as servants to officers. Every British soldier was issued a musket, which is a long-ranged firearm widely used in battle at that time. They had blades, called bayonets, attached to the end of the barrels, which were used for hand-to-hand combat. Officers also received smaller flintlock pistols and light, curved cavalry swords. After firing a shot, the soldier would need to place a new musket ball and gunpowder into the barrel of the musket and push them down with the ramrod, which is a long rod stored under the barrel of the rifle. As you can imagine, this process is very time-consuming; many soldiers lost their lives after the first shot. (Henderson, Robert)

It seemed that the British forces in North America could be easily crushed, but they had another ally: the Native Americans. They gave the Indians guns and encouraged them to fight against the Americans and attack settlers coming into their land. This made the Americans especially angry, and was one of the reasons why they declared war on June 18, 1812. The large majority of Natives were allies of Britain until October 5, 1812, when their leader, Tecumseh, was killed in the Battle of the Thames. Tecumseh had rallied all the Indian tribes to fight together against the Americans, and at the loss of their leader much of the Native American support for Britain withdrew. (“Tecumseh”)

On August 24, 1814, the British defeated the Americans in the Battle of Bladensburg in Bladensburg, Maryland. After the victory, General Robert Ross led his forces to the United States’ capital, Washington D.C. There they burned several public buildings, including the White House and the Capitol. Though General Ross saw this as a substantial victory, both the Americans and much of Britain were shocked by the burnings, seeing them as needless vandalism. However, Ross suffered no consequences for going too far with the destruction of the unguarded capital. He was killed before the Battle of North Point on September 12, 1814. (“British Capture and Burn Washington”)

Though the British were our nation’s enemy in the War of 1812, we can still recognize and even appreciate their superior military warfare and tactics. Britain had professional soldiers and a navy that was widely considered to be the greatest in the world. But despite their advantages, they were far from home and unprepared for the sudden war. In the end, the United States prevailed over their British adversaries. On December 14, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed and the War of 1812 officially ended. (“Treaty of Ghent”) The British returned to Europe to join the fight with Napoleon, and America laid down their weapons and began working toward a bright and promising future.

Works Cited

“The Battle of Lake Erie.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

“British Capture and Burn Washington.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

Henderson, Robert. “Morning Routine of the British Soldier in the War of 1812.” Morning Routine of the British Soldier in the War of 1812. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

“History.” – British Army Website. Crown Copyright 2011, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

McGuigan, Ron. “The British Army Stationed in British North America: 1812 – 1815.” The British Army Stationed in British North America: 1812 – 1815. The Napoleon Copyright 1995-2013, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

Shmoop Editorial Team. “The War of 1812 Statistics.” Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 02 May 2014.

“Tecumseh.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

“Treaty of Ghent.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

 

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“With Only 6 minutes and 32 Seconds Left” by #17

It was the middle of January, the 12th to be exact. My team and I were playing in Connecticut against the Northern Lights U14 team. The score was 3-1; we were winning. It was the third period and our goalie, Megan, made a save, so the whistle was blown. Everybody lined up and the ref blew the whistle again. I moved back right away to make a poke check against one of the girls on the other team. I hit the puck into the corner where Sammie picked it up. I heard a bang and the puck was given to the other team. The point defensemen took a shot and I blocked it.

Next thing I know, two girls are on me. We are all battling in front of the net for the puck. A girl from behind me then trips me; I fall to the ground, taking a girl about twice my size with me. She crashes down on my arm. A shot of pain races through my lower arm.

I get right up and head to the bench. I then sit down and take my glove off of my right hand. I slide up my jersey to reveal my right wrist which has no bruising and isn’t swollen at all. I take the next shift off until there are 3 minutes and 27 seconds left in the game. I go out and give it my all. My arm is completely numb now so I play like normal. Once I shoot the puck, I realize there is a problem…my arm had turned ice cold and I didn’t feel a thing. I rush off the ice as soon as I get a chance. I don’t cry at all which surprises me, but I do have a pretty high pain tolerance. When the end of the game comes, I slowly get up to shake hands with the other team. We had won the game, but I know something is wrong. Really wrong.

The next three days my wrist looked like my other. It seemed as if there was nothing wrong with it. On the fourth day after the game, my mom took me to the urgent care in Lee because it was still a little cold and numb. They took MANY X-rays, and the doctors concluded that I had a really bad sprained wrist, so they put me in a brace with a thumb-hold so I couldn’t move it. They also told me to follow up with a specialist.

A week after that I went to my orthopedist. They took even more X-rays. Dr. Bruno said I had a completely severed growth plate and six fractured bones in my hand and lower arm. I got put in a cast for a month, and when that came off it was still broken so I had another cast for half a month. Then I was in a brace for 1 month and physical therapy for three months.

That one fall ruined half of my hockey season. I fell behind and had to build my strength to shoot again. The one activity that I love more than life itself was taken away from me. One week without playing is too much for me to handle, but from January to June is way to0 much.

As soon as I could put my ¼” blades back on the ice, I did. I went to all the games when I was injured, I sat on the bench during practices, and once I got permission to get on the ice (but not play), I did. I went to every single practice and put my warm-up suit on with my skates and just got the feel of ice again.

Now, since that it all over with and I’m back on the ice, I feel so great again. I hit my ultimate lows when I couldn’t hear the blades scraping lines in the ice, the pucks creating scuff marks on the boards, and the sticks chipping the ice when we call for the puck. Hockey is the one activity that I haven’t gotten sick of, the one thing that I haven’t wanted not to do, and the one thing that I will always count on to make me happy, no matter what.

“If I Ran…” by Binki

What if you could just run away from all your problems in life? You could go to a place that was meant for you. You would never want to leave that place and face the everyday realities of life. If I ran from the disturbances, the constant nagging, the little things, and most importantly the stress in life then I could be who I want to be. I could do anything I wanted to do and make the most of myself. But these issues are part of being a teen; they build you up, but you may be torn down on the way.

The stress of school…the worrying about getting a good grade or making new friends–they’re all things that we want to avoid. Personally, I worry so much about getting good grades. But if only I could run to that place like no other where I didn’t have to worry, where everything came easy to me and there was absolutely no stress! I’m sure some people have been here, always getting told what to do and when to do it, but when you don’t do it you get in even more trouble. Well, wouldn’t it be nice to not have that?

Being a teenager is hard enough, but when other people get involved it turns into a whole different story. Even just the slightest bit of drama can turn into an explosion of girls going at each other. The pressure to be a certain person to fit into the group you want is extremely difficult and annoying. You may not be truly happy with yourself or others, or even in general. You may feel judged or feel like just the tiny one in the background.  Finding yourself is hard enough, but when it comes to school and life, you just want to leave. You would run to your happy place where no one could bother you, where it’d be just you and your thoughts.

If I ran to the ice where the Bruins play nothing could stop me. I would be like nobody else, alone though I may not be. I would skate around that rink (with Tyler Seguin) like I have never skated before. I would play hockey like it was the last time, and I would be in that place where nothing mattered. I would be unstoppable and forget about all the pain that life has caused me. Finding that place where you want to run may be hard.  It could be a bumpy road there, but when you get there, it would be like nothing else…simply perfect.

 

If I ran to that place, I would be able to be me.

“Depression” by Moto-R

Depression…it’s the worst feeling in the world. You don’t want to do anything; all you want to do is be alone. You don’t want to talk. You never want to see anyone. You never want to go to school. All you want to do is run away.

You can’t handle anything. You want to cry and run off a cliff. You have to force yourself to eat, and most of the time you’re running on empty.

Sometimes it’s noticeable, but sometimes it’s not. You get asked all the time, “What’s the matter?”

You always say, “Nothing. I’m fine.”

You can never really let yourself let out all the things that are bothering you. You don’t even want to tell your closest friend. You keep it all bunched up inside yourself. 

Then you find that one person who makes you give up and let it all out. But then, you never really know if they will stay and help you. You can never tell the person you want to tell the real things you want to say. You always worry: Will they hate me?

At night, you stare at walls in the dark. And sit there for hours on end. Everything you’ve done and regretted comes back to you. You never sleep.

You never really know what you are going to do to yourself. The hardest thing in life is to force yourself to not do bad things.  You can never really stop yourself; you’re in the mood to do the worst things you can.

All you want to do is leave.

“Summer Sunshine and Wakeboarding” by Donovan

The overpowering smell of exhaust was forced into my nose as I sat behind a roaring monstrous boat in water that felt more like bath water than a lake. My feet were strapped into big tight boots attached to a smooth sleek fiberglass wakeboard.

The tendons and muscles in my wrists were pulled to their limits as I saw water rush into my face.

All of a sudden, I noticed that I was actually up and carving into the water as if I were on ice skates. Then I went to stand up and stayed up for at least five seconds.  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but I was so proud of myself.

It lasted until I got too comfortable and leaned back, resulting in my being forced back into the cement-like water. As I fell, I skimmed on top of the water on my back, almost as if I were the boat that was pulling me. When I was sliding across the water, it felt as if my hands, arms, and legs were being sanded by an overpowered sander. I was quickly slowing down, coming to a screeching stop like a car on the road. Then I was pulled under the water as if a whirlpool were sucking me in. Once I was underwater, for a brief second, I felt like what a fish lived by. As I bobbed back up, I could see the red and white blur of the boat as it sped towards me.

Overall, that was the biggest adrenaline rush that has ever gone through my body.

“A Passion For Music” by Izzibel

Every child has a dream of becoming a firefighter, a police officer, a teacher, or a doctor when they grow up, but not me! Since I was about 6, I have never had any other dream than to grow up and become a famous singer and musician!

Music has been a very, very important part of me since I was a child, and nothing has changed in seven years. You see, I grew up around people who played music ALL the time and who thought it was the most important thing in the world. I picked up on that very fast!. Soon after, I realized just how important music was to so many people, I wanted to be a person to share music with other people. For all those people in the world who haven’t ever cherished music or who have listened to it but not fell in love with any songs, I wanted to be the one to share new fun music with them that would help them get their mind off something, make them feel better if they’re sick, or even calm them after a stressful day. I wanted to make a difference in the world just like some of my old idols: Hannah Montana and Taylor Swift! I loved music SO much, that I used to drag my friends into doing concerts with me for our parents, concerts for kids at the park, or just rehearsals for the “World Tour” we used plan 10 years ahead.

My friends eventually grew out of these stages and went off to do sports and dance and other extra curricular activities. They tried to convince me to do some with them, I did commit to some of the options but only softball and volleyball. I never let go of my dream, though. I knew what I wanted. I wanted to sing! I wanted to sing for people! Not just to myself, not to my friends and my family, but to an actual audience. I wanted to try out for American Idol or some other big audition like that but you have to be at least 15 for most auditions.

When I entered Barrington Middle School, I realized that there was a chorus. I was SO excited I joined the first chance I got! I enjoyed the first couple of days a lot. I even convinced one of my friends Kaylie to do it with me. She began to love music a lot again.

We were both very excited when the chorus director announced that there was going to be a show choir. We immediately decided we would try out. Before the auditions, we made a promise we wouldn’t get mad at each other if one of us made Show Choir and the other didn’t.  We hugged and we wished each other good luck and waited for the director to call our names.

Kaylie went first. After she was done singing, there was applause. It was my turn next. I had the jitters all throughout me, but that didn’t stop me! I got up there, sang “Twinkle, Twinkle,” and sat down. There was applause and Kaylie told me I did great.

We waited a few days for the list to be posted. When it was stated on the morning announcements that the list had been posted, we ran up to the list and it had lots of names on it, but my name was not on the list! I was very upset that I didn’t make show choir, and so was Kaylie, since she did make it either.

But that didn’t stop me. I wasn’t just going to give up. I went back second trimester and actually made it!

That was the trimester that I discovered even more about music.  I noticed that I COULD NOT, no matter how hard I tried, live without it. It was as if I were addicted to it. That trimester, I joined the band, too, with my flute. I joined with Andrea and we both caught on very fast.

I did very well with that until my sectionals started in sixth grade. In sixth grade, I was still in band, but my grades started to drop rapidly; I kept getting pulled out of class for sectionals. When my grades were about straight B’s I decided that it was best if I quit band, chorus, and show choir and tried to forget.

I tried hard to forget and move on with my life, but something was always pulling me back. It was like a magnetic pull. I decided to look into taking private voice lessons and flute lessons. I eventually found a place that summer in Gonic, New Hampshire, called Studio 109. That place, to me at the time, was a dream! I could go and learn how to play flute and sing for and hour once a week. I was so excited when my parents let me sign up for lessons! I was finally getting started on my dream.

The lessons I have taken have improved my flute playing and singing skills rapidly. I am able to sing higher notes now that I can breathe properly and have learned how to support my lungs better.

I have also taught myself how to use my ears carefully while listening to music. I taught myself how to break apart different pieces of music so I can hear different instruments, even when they are all playing at once.

I have been in those lessons for about six or seven months, and we are coming to the end of the year with our concert on Sunday.  I am very excited to be singing a solo, “Who Says,” playing a duet, “Loch Lomond,” and playing a trio, “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” I’m a little bit nervous about them, but I know if I go out there and try my hardest, I can do it.

In my heart I know that I was born to sing and play music. If I fall a million times I will pick myself up and try again. I’m taking a path right now. It may be very small at the moment, but I hope it will eventually turn into the path of FAME!

“​Free Time Activities” by Pringle and Wally

Do you want to sit on your backside all day and play video games or watch TV? It’s really easy to do that.

We understand that it is very hard to kill time, but lots of free time could come through change of life, retirement, career changes, or your kids leaving home.

There is a lot of free time in your life and what you do with it is your choice, but how about something active? You feel better about yourself when you go out and do things instead of
sitting inside your home.

Have you heard of the “get out and play” challenge? It is a challenge when you try to be outside as many hours as you can in one week. Her are some things you can do outside and in your free time:

1) Tag football
2) Basketball
3) Swimming
4) Running or Biking
5) Wiffle ball or Baseball
6) Horseshoes or Cornhole

There, we just gave you six ideas, but there are plenty more you can think of and do outside. Plus, if you have a bunch of friends, maybe they could go over your house and you guys can do a team sport or something.

Staying inside, watching TV and playing video games too much can lead to your becoming overweight. Face it: Do you want to be different in weight than other people? You could be made fun of.

What we are trying to say is we want you to get outside and not be lazy or overweight, because no one wants to be any of those things.