Who Is Thane?

October 19, 2010
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A Boys Life

Here’s a debate question. Is it harder to be a boy or a girl today? There are many factors that can play a role, but one huge factor is the culture we live in. But since we live in America, girls and boys are very equal. There are not many things in America that a boy can do and a girl cannot. However, I believe it is difficult to be a teenage boy today. I will admit, when I was younger, it was more fun and less demanding. The problem being a boy today is, just as he begins to enjoy things, he is too old, and expectations are heightened. One example is regarding overall body development. Because I am a boy, I am expected to be faster, stronger, and bigger. We are also expected to hold in our emotions, such as crying in public. Unless you want to be tormented the rest of your high school days, and called a “girl”, don’t get caught crying. We are expected to like, participate in, and do well at sports. I know many guys that do not like sports or the competition that comes along with being on a team. There is a lot of pressure being a teenage boy today.

When I was younger, things were easier. One of my biggest decisions was what to play with. I had many toys that I considered my favorite. It really would depend on the mood I was in and what I wanted to play with that day. My favorites were Thomas the Train, Toy Story characters like Buzz and Woody, army guys, and my mini quads and dirt bikes. But overall I really liked my quads and dirt bikes. I remember I always wanted them on the top of my birthday cake. I always loved dirt bikes and quads. I actually started riding dirt bikes at the age of three and started racing shortly after.

Again, competing at a younger age was much easier. No matter what position you placed in at a race, you won a trophy. You didn’t have to “earn” anything. It was fun and you won just for participating. Today, many boys are faced with the stereotypes of being a boy. Boys are supposed to like sports and competition. Many people believe guys don’t have or show emotions. How many times have you heard that guys are supposed to be tough and they are to be brave? I know these stereotypes are untrue.
I know a lot of boys that prefer not to join a sport because they are not comfortable with competing. There are many girls who are more competitive then some boys. They just have different tactics. Many boys are sensitive and do show their emotions or show them differently than girls. Some wait to they are in the privacy of their room. Some cry, some get mad, and some get depressed. Girls can definitely be braver than boys. I remember being at Six Flags with my seventh grade class. They were girls going on a bungee swing ride that guys would never consider doing. Again, boys and girls are very much equal. I believe guys are perceived to like certain things and act certain ways. If we don’t then we are considered different and may be labeled.

Mutt of CultureS

I am what people call a “mutt”. This is because I have many nationalities, not just one. My family heritage is Irish, French, Polish, Scottish, and English. There is Irish on my fathers and mothers side so I am more Irish then anything else. At first glance, I don’t look like a person that would be Irish. Many people who are Irish have light or reddish hair, freckles, and are light skinned. The thing that makes most people think I am Irish is my name. My name is XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX.
One set of my paternal great, great grandparents emigrated from Poland. The other set emigrated from Ireland. My maternal great, great grandparents make up the French, Scottish and English part of my heritage. I am an Americanized form of these nationalities. This means that I don’t dress, eat, or speak like I am any of these nationalities.
When people think of Irish foods they think of soda bread, stews and corned beef with cabbage. This is good food that I will eat. However, there are a couple of true authentic foods that you will never catch me eating. One is blood sausage, which is sausage that is made with the blood of animals. The other is blood pudding. They have white and black blood pudding. This is nothing like the pudding with think of. It is solid and you cut it. It is made from the blood of pigs and/or sheep. I’ll just stick to my corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. Even though I sometimes eat Irish dishes at home, we usually don’t have them at other things like our family reunion. We have more American food and everyone brings their own dish.

My grand parents families are very large. The father's side has a large family reunion once a year. The family reunion is held at Snyder’s Lake in North Greenbush. It’s a great time. It usually starts with the golf outing early in the morning. Then we go to the beach. It’s a time for us to get together with our family members that we don’t get to see very often. Everyone brings a different dish so there is a huge assortment of food. I also hope someone brings my favorite side dishes, beans and pasta salad. Everything is really good. After everyone is finished eating, the desserts come out. There is everything you can think of. While the adults talk, the kids play games like basketball or football. Or we do what I like best which is swimming in the lake. I like to go out to the far dock and jump off. It’s really fun once you get use to the water temperature. I like traditions so I really like the family reunion, seeing my cousins and enjoying the day.

Your nationality forms who you are and how other people look at you. People often treat others of different nationalities differently. This in turn forms how you look at people of different decent also. Traditions within your nationality can also help to form some of your moral values.
I like my heritage. I like learning about my family history. Our family relationships are an important part that makes us unique in our own ways. Our heritage plays an important role in the makeup of our personal identities.


Butterflies in my stomach in mid air, smelling the fumes from the exhaust, and wondering how I’m going to land. Motocross is something that I always loved. I like how the wind comes through my helmet and the high-pitched sound that comes from the engine. I’ve been riding since I was three. I like everything about motocross, even working on the bike when something is wrong and working on the track if it needs maintenance. I race all around N.Y. I ride a lot during the summer with friends. I love waking up knowing that it is a riding day.
Dirt bike racing is a sport that appeals to all age groups. Many racers start at a very early age. My parents started me riding a dirt bike at the age of three. My feet could not reach the ground so my father had to hold the bike up for me to get on it. Then he had to run along side of the bike until I had enough speed going to keep it running. My dad would then let go. When I told him I was finished riding he would have to run after me to grab the bike so I could get off.
My first dirt bike was a little Honda 50cc. I got from my older cousin who rode it when he was younger. I then moved up to a Kawasaki 65cc. I am currently riding a Kawasaki 85cc but I am ready to move up to a 250cc. Now we’re talking money. A new bike of this size can cost approximately $7,000.
My dad has turned our back yard in to a racetrack for practices. It has whoops, jumps and burms. It is not as big as an official racetrack but it does allow me to practice. We have a slight disadvantage living in the Northeast because of the seasonal changes. This limits my riding time to only three seasons whereas people from out West or down South can ride all year long.
There is supercross and motocross. These are both different kinds of riding. Supercross takes place indoors and usually goes on during the winter. Supercross tracks are more narrow then motocross tracks. They also have a lot more jumps and obstacles. Motocross takes place during the spring through fall. The tracks are longer and much wider than supercross tracks. There are more “straighter ways” in motocross then in supercross. Both kinds of tracks get really torn up and get very hard to ride on, but they are both very fun. I race mostly motocross but I do one supercross race during the winter at the Times Union Center.
Before they were pros, many of the pro riders today would ride every day all year long. Them and their families usually traveled the country in travel homes and they were home schooled. This is really the only way to get enough experience to become a pro.
When you are a beginner, it is very unlikely that you can get a foot off the ground when you hit a jump. Experience is very important before you even try to get air. After some years of practice and building confidence is the time to try getting some real air. It is imperative that you always wear protective gear. During your practices you are sure to wipe out a few times along the way.
To become a good dirt bike racer, a person needs the right spirit and a combination of self-confidence and modesty. Furthermore, safety should be given prime importance. Of course, riding skills, stability, and a very good understanding of racing are important factors. It is important to watch other bikers when they are racing in order to get a feel of how a dirt bike is used. It is good to walk a track before racing it. This will give a racer a helpful insight into a racing lines and jumps on it. I find that practice sessions provide an excellent chance to learn a bit more about the track.

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