Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let the Music Burn

In a world as crazy as ours is, how do we know what we value? What used to be a family dinner every night, chatting about the days events, has turned into the buzz and beeps of cell phones and the internet, with the sound of fingers tapping away on the keyboards. The time we spent with those who matter most to us used to be the most valuable, but is that true anymore? Everyone has their own opinion on value and what they value. I value my schoolwork enough to continue writing this paper but do you value my school work enough to continue reading it?

As I place the ear buds into my ear and the familiar music of my favorite artists fill my head, I escape into my own world. My iPod allows me to escape whenever I need or want to. It's a silver iPod nano. It's not new and it's not in the best shape, but it plays the music I want to hear and that's all that matters to me. To cover the scratches and scrapes from numerous drops, I made an iPod skin. It’s made of one of my favorite pictures I have, my friends Tess, Nicki, Hannah and I at our 8th grade step-up ceremony. We're dressed up out of our usual jeans and hoodies and into dresses and heels. We're all smiling, happy to finally be out of the middle school. Under the picture consists the words "Best of Friends". I see this skin and my friends and I every time I take out my iPod, which is very often.

I don't know how much my iPod cost because it was a gift. My aunt gave it to me for Christmas after she heard me begging to my parents. As I sit in the car listening to Taylor Swift, I remember opening the gift. I had an idea that it may be an iPod but I didn't want to get my hopes up and then not get it, so I tried to convince myself otherwise. Listening to my iPod makes long car rides and plane trips go by faster or relaxes me while I lie on the beach with the sun beating down upon me. To me it doesn't matter how much my iPod costs because the happiness it gives me every time I release the hold and press play is worth it.

The smell of wood burning and the crackling of the flames give me the most welcoming feeling. It's almost like the fire is pulling me towards it, begging for me pull up a chair, relax, and roast a marshmallow to perfection. Every time, I give in. It's getting cooler as I change into my sweats and a hoodie, and pull up a chair as close as I can get without possibly burning myself. This is what I wait for all year, the summer air; slightly cool when the sun sets, my family and friends, and a fire burning the night away. Without saying a word, I know what everyone is thinking. Can we get a fire bigger than the one across the lake finally?! Usually, we can't. We all have the secret hope that tonight may be the exception.

When the fire finally starts going naturally, it's time. As we all jump to the table to be first to grab a marshmallow and a stick, we each eye the chocolate and graham crackers awaiting our toasty marshmallow. I pull my chair as close as I can before I get yelled at to back up before I fall in.

Toasting the perfect marshmallow is about finding the right spot in the fire, being patient, and constantly rotating the stick. It's the second step that gets me every time, patience. I guess you could say it's not really my thing. Usually, when I can't wait any longer to eat my gooey marshmallow or delicious s'more, I give up on the patience, light my marshmallow on fire and then extinguish the flame with a breath. It may not taste the same as a golden brown perfect marshmallow, but it's the satisfaction that matters to me. I break the graham cracker in half, trying my hardest to make the pieces even. Next I grab the best looking pieces of chocolate, place it on my graham cracker, lay the marshmallow and the final cracker and it's done. For a second I see how good it looks and almost don't want to eat it. That thought quickly passes and the aroma of the flavors blending reaches my nose. Moments such as these, are one of the things i value most.

I value my iPod and my summer nights at the fire equally. It's not that I can't decide which I like better, it’s more that I like them for different reasons that it's too difficult to compare. My iPod may cost more than a relaxing night, but it can't take the place of the memories I have, enjoying the fire and its benefits. Neither value to me can give what the other gives.

My iPod and toasty warm fires both allow me to relax. When I’m listening to my iPod and when I’m sitting by the fire, I automatically forget about the things that happend that day, and just enjoy what I'm doing.. There’s something about the way they make me feel, like I’m the only one around and nothing else matters except that moment.

With everyone in the world questioning value and judging other people because of their own perspective of value, it’s what matters to personally to each other that means the most. So, what someone values most is based on their personal opinion of value. I know what I value, whether it’s listening to Taylor Swift, or it's a “Friday night beneath the stars”.


  1. Amanda values her ipod and she strongly values her nights on the lake with a fire going and roasting marshmallows with her family and freinds. She most vividly and clearly describes her nights on the lake with a fire more then her ipod. The desription of having a perfect marshmallow was very well-written and well described by Amanda. She had very desriptive sentences and paragraphs. Amanda's essay's overall strengths was the desription of the valuable object and the priceless moment. She desribed them well and I could tell that they had value from her. A piece of advice for you is try to use transition words so that the reader knows when your switching or changing a topic. Overall great essay and I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Amanda says that what really is to value. Do the expense make it any more valueable? Amanda values her iPod and summer nights by the fire. I thought she clearly described both but the summer nights was better. I can really see and taste the smore. haha. A strength of this essay would be the word choice and the descriptivness. I could really picture the summer nights and the ipod. I would suggest that Amanda just proof reads and thats it. I really enjoyed your essay.

  3. Amanda starts off by asking the reader about their values. She also asks whether you think someone values something just because of its monetary value or because its a "priceless moment." She ends her opening paragraph, saying she values her schoolwork. The two values she wrote about were: her iPod and roasting marshmallows by the fire at her lake house.
    I thought Amanda described both of her values very well. I really like the opening sentences of her iPod paragraph. It says: "As I place the ear buds into my ear and the familiar music of my favorite artists fill my head, I escape into my own world." Coincidentally, I also liked the opening sentence of her "priceless moment" paragraph. It says: "The smell of wood burning and the crackling of the flames give me the most welcoming feeling." After reading both paragraphs a second time, I think the paragraph about the fire is described really well. I can imagine being there.
    I think the strengths of the essay were the introduction and organization. Your introduction really grabs the reader's attention, i mean it grabbed mine. I liked how you asked questions in your introduction. I also thought that the essay was organized. The paragraphs flow smoothly, and you also used the two lines to indicate its a different subject.
    One piece of advice for you is to reread your essay. I think there's just a few errors you would catch if you reread it. Overall though, I thought your essay was really good. Great job manderz!

  4. 1. It seems like Amanda is saying that what valuable means depends on the person. She strongly value your iPod and fires at your cottage.
    2. I really like the way she described your iPod (and not only because I'm in it :]). The part where Amanda described that it wasn't brand new and that it was a little beaten up makes it clear to the reader that it is not just the iPod itself that is important to you, but also what it does for her. She said,"It's a silver iPod nano. It's not new and it's not in the best shape, but it plays the music I want to hear and that's all that matters to me."
    3. I think that some of her strengths is her word choice and her introduction. Amanda did a really good job of describing things in detail, but not having too much detail. I also really like the way she ended her introduction becasue it was a good way to transition into the actual essay.
    4. The only peice of advice I have for her is to check typos. For example, at one point you said usually instead of usual. Otherwise, I think that her essay was really well written.

  5. What the author is trying to say is that not everyone rates what is valuable to them on the same scale. Also that somethings are more valuable to someone than someone else. Not everything is valuable money wise but it may be valuable to someone else.

    Her two objects/priceless moments are her IPOD and roasting marshmallows at her lake house. Her description of her IPOD was very well written because she doesn't describe it as this big flashy new IPOD she describes as a older ipod that has been used a lot and it means more to her than to get a brand new one. It reminded me of my IPOD because i had a old beat up one and it worked perfectly.

    The essay's strengths were that it had a very well written introduction and the conclusion was also well written. I liked in the beginning how she was asking questions about opinion on valuing something. That made me want to keep reading the essay. Also she had an open mind going into the essay but was very clear coming out of it and very determined.

    One piece of advice for this essay is to reread and make sure what you wrote is exactly what you want to submit. I also agree with jake and to use transition words when you are switching the subject, but overall this essay was fairly good.

  6. I. Amanda is saying that what people value really depends on the people themselves. She tells us that value isn't the cost of things, but more of how much them mean to you. She values her ipod and her nights by the bonfire at her lake house. She values them for different reasons, and values them the same amount.

    II. Amanda described her nights at her cottage really well. She described everything a lot- but not too much. An example (my favorite sentence) where amanda used great word choice, detail, and voice was - " It's almost like the fire is pulling me towards it, begging for me pull up a chair, relax, and roast a marshmallow to perfection. " I thought this was very creative, and a very well written sentence.

    III. The essay was just overall very well written. She had fantastic word choisce, and her voice throughout her essay made it really engaging and interesting. She also had very creative ways to describe what she valued and why she valued them. I thought this was a really really good essay.

    IV. One thing you could do is just go back and read your essay one more time, because there are a few little errors that you could fix. Also, Mr. BG wanted you to skip two lines between each main idea, (like intro then your ipod then your fire then the conclusion). Other than that, though, you essay is amazinggggggg :)