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Juggling Dreams

March 10th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #

  Sometimes you feel unstoppable, great, as if the world is only beginning, and you are at the center of it all.  You get ideas, schemes that you never dared consider before, and now that you have, you feel obligated to pursue them, to drive them as far as you possibly can.  At first you're not sure if you're up to the task; the first step looks hard and difficult.  Then you toss in the first challenge, the first dream, and then the second, and then the third.

  Pretty soon, you're not only tossing and catching all three, you are actually juggling.  You can juggle two at a time, worry about the third later.  Or you can juggle all three at once, perhaps without even breaking a sweat.  Over time, you get better; you've gone far beyond anything you ever hoped to do, juggling three when at first you dared not even juggle one.  You're ready for more; you want a challenge.

  And so you throw in the…[More]

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Why Not to Concentrate

February 6th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
   I was walking home from school one day.  It was a bright and sunny afternoon.  The birds were chirping; the air smelled crisp and clean.  And then I stubbed my toe.  It was a painful stub.  The agony of my tiny toe scrubbing against the abrasive concrete, the concentration of all that pain in such a tiny insignificant stub on my foot, was more than I could bear.  I never wore sandals again.

   Yet that moment sparked a curious interest in me.  It made me realize that concentration, such as the concentration of all that pain in my toe, was not a good thing.  When one is trapped in a cell, concentrated in a small space, he is not happy.  When one is told how and what to think, to concentrate and narrow his mind, he is not happy.  Even in politics, concentration is not a good thing; Americans don’t like concentration of power.  Concentration means communism, dictatorship - all the things we fought to eliminate in past wars.  Just...[More]
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Doing What Counts

January 18th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
  Pete wiped his forehead and stepped back.  He had just finished helping an elderly woman pack luggage into her car.

  "Thank you so much," the woman said, standing back in amazement.  "You kids are doing so much these days."

  "It's no big deal," Pete chuckled, pulling out a sheet of paper from his pocket.  "Really, I should be thanking you instead."

  "What's...[More]
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Open Doors

December 29th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
   They say one doesn’t realize what he has until it’s gone.  When I broke my wrist two years ago, I not only realized that I had almost lost my hand completely, I realized how little I’d done, how much more I wanted to do, how close I came to losing the opportunity altogether.  As I spent the following summer bound to my chair with the injury, I taught myself web design and learned to program in six different languages.  The following year, as my friends and I began making videos but could find no outlet for our new hobby, we founded our own club, within months finishing three movies, hosting monthly Theater Days, and starting a VHS-DVD conversion service.  When I later reflected upon the events, after having made twelve websites for schools and organizations, after having had classmates join my club and become paid to teach our video editing to an afterschool class, I realized that opportunities are not sought but created, that it is not the opportunity that is...[More]
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Ambitious Perfection

October 9th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
     People say I am ambitious. I seek objectives; I hunger for accomplishment. But to simply call me ambitious is an understatement. I am not hungry; I am starved, ravenous. I do not seek objectives; I make them. I cannot remain satisfied without a goal, a purpose, cannot remain satisfied even if I did have a goal or purpose. I must always have results, excitement, change. I must see the world blaze about me, hear the thunder of progress roar past me. I must smell achievement at every corner. I must taste the power of drive and anxiety.

     Yet I am also a perfectionist. I attain to every niche and detail of all that I do. If it holds but a single flaw, it must be fixed, redone, or scrapped from existence. My tolerance for the world is high, just not for myself. Everything I do must meet my expectations. No. Everything I do must exceed my expectations, must breathe and echo success.

     But how is this possible? How can one seek perfection but also be...[More]
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Life is Like a Mountain Climb

April 22nd, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
     Life is like a mountain climb, a quest to reach the mountain peak.  Each stopping point represents the goal one sets for himself while each climb represents the journey to achieve it.  In the beginning, life may be long and difficult, but with each successful climb comes a fulfilling rest, the satisfaction of achievement, and of course, the grand view of the world below.  Aim too high and one may be in for a hectic climb, but aim too low and one may never reach the summit, the ultimate achievement which can only be as fruitful as the quest to attain it.

     In my climb towards the summit, my goals have often centered about fields of which I am familiar, with my satisfaction being the chance to prove myself and fully exercise my potential.  By focusing my goals and opportunities, I build on what I do best, expanding my base of skills and allowing each consecutive goal to lead to the success of the next.  While I may not always reach the...[More]
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The World At Hand

February 18th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
  Day after day, millions of Americans worry over the most miniscule of problems.  From children to fully-grown adults, the average citizen just fails to concern themselves with significant tasks, fails to put more time where time is needed, fails to see the meaning of life.  As toddlers, they worry over troubling matters such as loss of candy or the horrors of having to share with fellow peers.  As children, they fight over the ownership of poorly-crafted plastics and cheat each other over debts of up to a quarter.  As teenagers, they stress for days over the look of their hair, cause the biggest fuss over the color of their shirt, debate with all their might over the quality of their socks, which they promptly toss aside after a day's wear.

  Upon reaching adulthood, these same individuals only double their attitudes; their issues remain more or less of the same importance.  Ownership can no longer be resolved in small quarrels;...[More]
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Passing of Times

February 17th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
  I remember ever so sharply the more distant moments of my past.  I can remember far back to my first years of consciousness, perhaps 3 or 4 years old.  I could not comprehend even what age was at the time, but I could remember the finest details of our somewhat old and rundown, yet ever so familiar home.  I could recall the dreamlike sharpness of the silver faucet in our kitchen sink, the brownish tinge of the soft carpet beneath my feet, and the flare of the bleeding-blue sky outside my window.  There was the greatest satisfaction in the simplest of things, from the mere planting of a cornstalk to the feeding of ducks and fishes.  I cared less for the future and more for the moment.  Each day held a new surprise.  Baby birds would occasionally fall from the tree in the front lawn.  Frogs and crickets could be found in the backyard if one searched hard enough.  The world was unbounded.  One day I found myself finally able to ride...[More]
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A Day's Lost

January 9th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
  "Son! You need to get your grades up!" my mother exclaimed loudly.  She paced across the room and glanced repeatedly back at me, anxious to see my reaction but disappointed at my blank stare.  "You will become a failure! Nobody will give you a job!"

  I did not understand; I had almost straight As - perhaps one B.  I opened my mouth to protest, but immediately she thrust her finger into my right eye.

  "Son! Why do you have a scar on your cheek? Wash it off!"

  I stared...[More]
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Five Fingers

December 31st, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
  "How many fingers am I holding?" he asked peevishly. He waved his hand madly in the air as if doing so would make his hand more visible.

  In broad daylight, it was easy to see that he held up all five fingers; whether he held them intentionally or he simply waved his entire hand carelessly, it was not clear. It did not matter what answer was given or if any was given to him at all. If I suggested five, he would merely insist the thumb was not a finger; if I suggested four, he would say otherwise. If I did not answer or I answered wrong, I'd just be blind.

  Sometimes people forget that I was once able to see just as well as any of them. When much younger and not ruined by misadvice and overwork, not being able to see was unheard of; it was inconceivable. Warned as we were, told to be on the watch for any signs of blur or fatigue, none of us could imagine the seemingly distant notion actually becoming reality. Seeing was a divine right, an...[More]
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Pining Over Apples

December 19th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
   Fearless it was.  Covered on all ends with a stubbly patched but thorn-riddled coat, intricately yet thickly woven, it was protected, shielded, nothing could harm it.  Its smooth, lumpy coat, designed with elaborate earthly brown patches and forest-green rings, provided its camouflage to hide it amidst the wilderness.  Scattered about its coat, finely embroidered, leaf-like blades stood dangerously perked, ready to defend and retaliate.  Tall and proud it stood, towering over the fellow fruits, a frizzy batch of foliage attached sleazily about its top to further boost its height.  How strong it must have felt, ready to face the harshest of treatment, the worst of cruelty.

   How wrong it was.  With a heavy thud, it crashed and rolled about the tabletop, helpless on its side, rolling hopelessly without an end.  With a simple plunge of the knife, blade delving deep, the coat was split.  Restrained by nothing more than my bare hands, the leafy blades...[More]
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Tree Warriors

February 12th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
        The great and powerful tree stood proud and tall.   The rebels of men shuddered under its might.   For centuries, man has struggled in vain against the growing power of trees, but now, man has gathered enough strength, enough courage, to rid themselves of the trees once and for all!

        And so the tree deployed its minions, the grassblades, against the evercoming rebels.   The men roared and screamed at the sight of the seemingly infinite number of enemies before them.   At last, they realized to their horror; they were painfully outnumbered.

        But fear not! For the rebels had been well prepared and a secret weapon was at their disposal.   One of the lowly rebels scurried quickly and returned with the long awaited... lawnmower.   And with this lawnmower, the rebels advanced, plowing through the endless fields of grass, charging through flying grassroots and chunks of dirt and mud.

 ...[More]
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Some Random Story

January 7th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
         This is a true story...

         So there was a short lil' guy named Bob and this tiny little  kit-cat named Tom.   Tom was hungry one day and Bob didn't have any  water.   Tom begged for food, but Bob said  no so the tiny cat scratched him.   Bob tried to call for help, but accidentally swallowed his hat.

         A huge ugly dog named Jack came along, but his real name was Bob.   Bob tried to feed the dog to Tom the lil' cat, but Jackbob tried to scare the cat.   Bob then became angry and Tom got  angry too.   Tom didn't know why he was angry  so he started chasing Bob around, but Bob was angry that Tom was angry because he was angry, so he started chasing Jackbob the dog.

    ...[More]
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Planet Bob

January 1st, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
   “Sorry,” I said quickly.  “We’re lost and don’t mean to intrude on your property.”

   “No problems at all!” the man exclaimed cheerfully.  “We’re always glad to take in guests and newcomers.  Please, come in!”

   Once inside, he took off his hat and bowed rather lowly at us.  It took me a while, but I suddenly realized he was touching his toes.  I was about to ask what he was doing when he quickly stood and put out his hand.

   “My name...[More]
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Possibility

August 10th, 2006 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #

“That’s impossible!”
“You’re not going to believe this!”
“I don’t believe this!”
   We live in a very large universe.  Our Earth only takes up so little, even a fraction of a percent of the entire universe is beyond our comprehension.  Yet we decide that there are things that are impossible.  There are a definite number of things that are possible.  We’ve only observed what we can of our microscopic portion of the universe.  Who are we to declare such absurd statements?
   Things can happen.  They’ve happened before.  Things that people say are impossible or would never happen – they’ve happened.  Most come quietly – it never rises to the attention of the world as a whole.  Some do not come quietly – and those are what catch the entire world off guard.  Anything can happen.  What are the chances? Not very high.
   If anything can happen, can everything that can happen all happen...[More]
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Dead House

March 9th, 2005 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Choose-your-own-adventure short story I wrote way back in 7th grade for Young Authors program, back when I still hand-illustrated things and bound books by hand.  Very short, basically a one-month assignment in class.





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