Sunday, October 24, 2010

True Spirit By Jessica Watson


Jessica Watson is currently the youngest person to sail around the world non-stop and unnasisted. Her trip lasted 210 days (7 months) and along the way she faced some very large obstacles such as 50 knot winds and a collision with a freighter.After her trip she wrote True Spirit. I chose this book because as a sailor, I could relate to some of the things Jessica went through, although she obviously has pushed herself further than I ever dreamed of doing.
The book told of her years of preperation before the trip, which seemed like the most challenging part. Finding and funding all the proper equipment and learning how to be ready for any situation took years and the knowledge of many experienced sailors. Her life was not what I consider ordinary, as her family lived on a powerboat for the majority of her childhood. They traveled around Austrailia enjoying the coastline and going on a series of adventures. Her parents believed that going out on your own was important, and let Jessica, her brother, and her sister explore the areas where they were docked. "This...life gave us kids an amazing freedom. We stopped at islands when we were the only boat in the anchorage. We'd swim, snorkel, explore beaches...There was always something particularly special about a place when you had it all to yourself," (Watson 12). She never attended reaguar school, and her home schooling was not very serious in the years leading up to her trip. She kept a blog on the trip, and it is included in the novel. She was knocked down 4 times in the ocean, and dealt with many things I could never imagine handling like repairing her engine and catching her own fish for the occasional fresh dinner. The story line of this book is obviously intriguing, but the day-to-day blogging was a little redundant. It was always, "We didn't go anywhere today, very little wind." or "These past few days have really been tough with up to 40 knots of breeze" (Watson 182, 229). While Jessica is a skilled sailor and a motivation, she is not a very good author. She didn't elaborate much on the interesting parts of her voyage and her return home and beat the weather conditions to death. When she returned home from her voyage she was a national celebrity and the Prime Minister of Australia called he a national "hero". Jessica's goal in sailing around the world was not to become a hero, but to show everyone that ordianry people can achieve their dreams.
Questions:
1.Jessica may not have been educated in the traditional sense, but she grew up learining new things and exploring the world around her. Do you think that this type of education is better for a young person? And do you think it will help her become a successful adult, or is traditional schooling more beneficial in the real world?
2. Jessica said in the novel that she "just wanted to prove to herself that she could sail around the world" (Watson 338). Do you think that wanting to prove something to youself would be enough motivation the accomplish a feat of this difficult?

4 comments:

Eric M. 11-12 said...

Proving yourself to the world can definitely be a strong motivating factor. If you become the best at something or accomplish an incredibly challenging goal it's a great feeling to know that you are respected and admired by your peers. At the same time however, I doubt it was her only motivation due to her growing up around sailing and the deep passion she has for it. All in all there have definitely been much more trivial reasons for setting a next to impossible goal and achieving them, so proving yourself is definitely plausible.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. I think exploring the world yourself is a better way to learn as a young person. Young people today have short attention spans. I know I don't like sitting in school for 6 hours learning about things I mostly don't care about. In real life experiences, you get to choose your own adventures and do what you'd like to do. These two different types of schooling are better for different types of people and different occupations. For example, if someone wants to be a surgeon, he or she will need to go through traditional schooling, where as someone who would like to travel and work with culture, should explore the world his or herself.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

I also agree with Bojana. I think exploring the world, and getting to see new surroundings is a better way to learn. It's a more fun, and exciting way, and it can keep your interest for a long period of time. I think it helped her become a successful adult because it helped her achieve her goal of sailing around the world.

CorinneS5/6 said...

I agree, I think that it should be a personal choice of how you decide to pursue your education, unfortunately in our society dropping out of school to "find yourself" is very frowned upon. I think people undervalue the importance of knowing as much about yourself as you do things like math and science.