4th August 2017

A life less ordinary

English – 3.5A a life less ordinary                         

Internal speech assessment

Name: Ryan McCarthy



Looking over the last 5 years of my life and what has contributed to making those years beneficial to me as person, I initially thought about what i had learnt from certain events and people and how these learning experiences gave me different views on life. I also thought about how it had a large influence on the values I stand for today.

I didn’t appreciate being here in Wanaka until I actually looked at what I have learned and the difference between life before Wanaka and life now. Life before was an ongoing routine. My mother, my two brothers and I lived in numerous houses just out of Gisborne so we could go to school, as our family farm is 2 hours away from the city. My normal weekly routine was based around going to school and doing a bit of casual work for the neighbor, which became boring as the years went by. The weekends and the holidays were the most enjoyable as that time was spent at the farm, where the opportunities of doing something are endless. When the weekends and holidays were over we had to go back to Gisborne and back to the routine I had been doing for the past 4 years. An idea was introduced by a family friend that came to work for us at the start of last year about Mt Aspiring college. From there I applied and obviously made it in. Since then there have been so many changes in my life and I no longer have a boring routine. Living with so many changes has helped me learn more than I thought I could in such little time. This year in particular I’ve learned how to be more independent and experience what life would be like out of home. The experience I have had and the skills I have gained from outdoor activities so far through Mt aspiring college in the hostel and with school have become experiences that I will always carry with me.


The most important life lesson to me has been learnt through death. I had a strong admiration for my friend who died at the end of last year. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer but still had a positive attitude even days before he died. He always had a bubbly personality in class and was always around through my group of friends. He was just a normal bloke but one day he just stopped coming to school and had to stay at the hospital for week or so before we found out. The following months we followed his fight with cancer, along the way he taught me to try to always look on the positive side, even in the worst situations and you will be a happier person. It wasn’t really until he died that I appreciated the advice he gave me and the way he looked at death. A group of us had gone and seen him 2 weeks before he had died and even though he was bedridden, he was a lot happier than I thought someone so close to death could be. He knew there was no point in wasting the time he had left feeling sorry for himself. I definitely learnt through this experience that negative outlooks can have negative effects on you as a person and positive outlooks are the key to living a happier life.


Another two people who have had a large effect on me as a person “as cheesy as it sounds” are my brothers. They have had the biggest role in molding me into the person I am today. My oldest brother who is 20, has been working full-time for an aviation company for three years now. He was always determined as a kid to be pilot and couldn’t be happier where he is now.  I’ve always looked up to his easy-going manner, and crave for adrenaline. He has always been the one to push me out of my comfort zone and try new things. His influence has allowed for me to gain a lot of courage in myself and learn to give things ago even if I think i’m going to fail. My little brother on the other hand has a more humorous personality. Humor is definitely an important quality as smiles and laughter can definitely brighten up most situations. His humor has definitely changed bad days in the past into bearable ones. Through the qualities of my brothers I have come to realise that personality is what makes you who you are and definitely makes the life of people around you less ordinary.


While visiting family friends on their station in Ashburton. This family friend of mine was telling my older brother and I after catching us getting out of bed at 11 that morning, that every minute taken granted for during our life adds up and that we shouldn’t waste opportunities when they are presented on the front door step. He challenged my brother and I to get up early the next morning and climb Mount Caroline, which was a mountain that started literally 2 to 3 km away from his house, before which he said he would reward us with $10 dollars each. This was enough to get us out the door and walking by 5:30. This walk had taken us 5 and half hours. Even though that sounds really boring just walking for that long, it was actually one of the most enjoyable walks I’ve done as there were no tracks, no time immediate time frame we had to be back by and we pretty much played the whole way up. We got to the top and back just after 11:00, which was the same time as we woke up the day before except this time we had climbed a mountain and felt like we had achieved something. This experience helped me realise that life’s worth living to the fullest, trying new things, using your time wisely as you only live once.


These learning experiences through events and people close to me have over time given me the desire to live a life less ordinary.  Through writing this speech I’ve found, it isn’t until you look back on these kind of experiences, that you realise how much you can gain through the smallest of things. These are just a few examples of many and through them you can find a connection between what you have learned through events or people over the past 5 years and reflect on how you think it has changed you.


Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Ryan, you could consider using this speech draft for your Portfolio of writing, however, you would need to:
    1) Strengthen the word choice, expression and structure (making the construction overall, more purposeful). Eliminate unnecessary repetition.
    2) You may wish to elaborate on ideas which you believe need further clarification.
    3) Make the writing technically accurate, carefully reading the piece out loud to find the pauses and necessary breaks.
    Please speak with me if you have any questions.

  2. As we discussed today, look at the opening words of your sentences. Try to move away from “I”…”I”…but move quickly into the depth of the point. I.e. Get straight to the point rather than leading into the details. E.g. “When I think about how I…..” but “When I experienced….this caused….” (These are my examples but you get the idea.
    * Take out way that would identify this writing as a speech. Imagine it is an article about the significant turning points in a school magazine.
    * You have tonight to work on this.


Respond now!