Muilti Genre Project - Clovis Massé

Biking

Biking is a huge part of my life. Wherever I go, chances are that I am sitting on my bike pedaling to my destination. I have three bikes, one for each type of trip. My mountain bike has a design I love from the Rockrider company. I like its thick wheels, very tough to pop, which is very useful when biking in tall grass. I ride the Giant brand when biking on the road because the controls for the gears are very easy to use and the bike overall is very efficient, whether I take it on the road, on some dirt path, or for an all out race. When I compete in triathlons I also use Giant because their bikes are lightweight and do not get in my way when doing transitions. Biking is the passion and pastime for most of my family. My grandfather needs to bike every day or else he feels like something is just not right. My parents love to bike. Last spring, they trained for and completed Gran Fondo New York, a 100 mile bike race that took eight hours to finish. Every day, I go to school by bike whether it is raining, snowing or the wind is strong enough to be able to Kitesurf with a size one kite.

Bodhi

Bodhi is my dog, an English Springer Spaniel. He is on the smaller size, and has a black and white coat. On his white muzzle he has a big black spot that always makes me laugh, because it looks so unnatural. His fur is very soft and his long hair makes him quite fluffy. When he wags his small tail it looks like his whole backside is shaking with excitement. He always has the blue steel (Zoolander reference) look that makes him very famous in our house. Everyday, whether I am in the greatest of moods or the foulest, Bodhi will always come to me in hopes of getting a chance to play with me. He always wants attention when I am doing my homework, and when I take five minutes to go play with me, he goes to his bed and sleeps. Even when Bodhi was small, he would never bite hard enough to hurt, he would be gentle and he would be tolerant of anything we did to him. Whether it is spinning him around when he is lying down or sleeping right next to him, he never says anything, never complains. He is always there to make us laugh, with the occasional fall on the slippery floor of our house. When reading, he always gets a toy and rams into us, and when we reach for it he would runs away growling playfully and looking back to see if we were chasing him. Everyday after school, I look forward to seeing him and his playful ways once again.

Books

For me, books are between the fine line of love and hate. Sometimes, I read three books from the Ranger’s Apprentice series, a total of seven hundred pages in one day. Other times, I read a two hundred page book like The Three Musketeers in two weeks. With books I enjoy, I keep on reading no matter what, going to sleep at one or two in the morning because I can never put the books down. I love the Harry Potter series, as I almost finished the first two books in one night. The rest of the time, I avoid the book at all costs, and try to forget about it, like Hatchet, which took me about a month to complete, maybe more.

Brothers

Brothers, the bane of my existence. My two younger brothers, ages ten and twelve can act as if they turned three yesterday. They are about the same height and are always really competitive with each other. Sometimes, they would be really nice and appreciative, but most often they wake up and start singing and yelling during breakfast, when I am still waking up. They are in my face and then act as if they are really stupid, and sometimes I suspect that they are. Other times, they just go right next to me and start asking stupid questions that don't even really matter at all. For example, they ask me what forty five times ninety eight hundred seventy eight is, or they ask each other really easy questions until they get it wrong, and they start screaming to everyone about how my brother got it wrong, and how everyone should question his intelligence. I guess that is the definition of brotherly love.

Clovis

When I was younger, I didn't really like my name. I thought that it was different than everybody else's, and that I didn't fit in. It was also really frustrating that everyone was saying my name wrong. Having to correct the pronunciation of my name is really frustrating after a couple of years having to correct the same thing over and over again. My friends know how frustrating it is to correct my name every time and they love to say my name with incorrect pronunciation.

Cousins

For a couple years, my cousins who lived in Cherbourg, Normandy were the highlights of every vacation in France. With my cousins, one a year older and the other a year younger than me, we would go to the beach and play until it was time for dinner. We would play dodgeball on the beach and would have volleyball tournaments. We would have seaweed wars when it was low tide where we would throw the most disgusting, the biggest and the heaviest seaweed at each other. Before we left France, we would always take a few water guns and water balloons, hide in our cousins backyard and wait for them to come out. After that, it was an all out water war. There were guns firing, balloons exploding, buckets full of water drenching an unlucky fighter. Whoever launched the attack first always gets attacked next. It was supposed to be a surprise attack, so there was always tension between us after one family attacked the other. Everyone acted likes it was okay until they brought out the guns and fired on the others. It was always tons of fun and we all said we couldn't wait for next year.

France

When I think of France, I see vacations and trying out new things. I see tennis, a beach, a ping-pong table, boats, family, friends, farms, cows, sheep, and plains full of wild grass. Every time I go to France, everything I mentioned is part of what I experience. Every time I go to France, I play tennis with a friend of mine, Leo, and we have competitions all the time. The beach is also a big part of the vacation. It is by far the place I've been to the most. Then comes ping-pong. With Leo, after we are done with camp, we go to my house, go dip in the pool and we play ping-pong for hours on end. For family and friends, we would go live in the south with my grandparents from my mother's side and see my cousins from my mother's side, and then go north and live with my family from my father's side. As for the farms, the cows and the sheep, every time we go drive somewhere there is at least one or two pastures filled with cows and sheep, which is very different from the suburbs of Larchmont.

Family and Friends

Family and friends are very important to me. I say that my brothers act stupid all the time, but I really do love them. They can make me laugh when I am sad and thay are always there when I am hurt. My parents can seem overprotective at times, but they stick to what they say. If I keep my grades up, I will be rewarded and I will have more freedom. When my grandparents come over to the U.S., they don't just visit the family, they become part of our everyday lives as if they were always there. They help with school, they go over my essays and give me suggestions. They find videos and movies that will help me do whatever project I am currently working on. Friends are very important to me as well. Again, they can be irresponsible at times, but they make me try new things I never would have done without them. If I really want something, they help me get ideas and suggest ways to make it work. I am almost always with my friends, and I know that they always have my back no matter what.

Money

Throughout all my younger years, I remember going to some toy store and begging for whatever toy I could lay my hands on. Whether it was a LEGO set or a huge drone, I would go to my knees and pester my parents until I could get what I wanted. So far, the percentage of that working has been zero percent, but hey, don’t ask, don't get, right? Money now has been easier to get, with so many opportunities to earn it, with babysitting, ballroom chaperoning, and refereeing.

Sports

Sports is always a big part of my life. I love kicking a soccer ball around, scoring goals and slide tackling the opposing players. I love scrimmaging with my team, because I start forming friendships with people I didn't even know the name of a month ago. I love the sound of a ball hitting the back of the net. I love the intensity of running across the field on a breakaway, with my team cheering me on. I also love the water. Surf is a new sport for me. I am not very good at it yet, but I remember the feeling that I had when I surfed for the first time. That feeling of joy,being on top of something bigger than you and deciding where you want to go. I love being in the water, sitting on my board, waiting for the perfect wave to arrive. Triathlons are very important to me as well. I love races that go mainly to my strength, and there is nothing better than beating someone else in swimming, biking and running. The sensation of racing that keeps me going through the competition is something that I only feel during triathlons. I love being on the podium in the end of a competition, especially when you are ranked number one in the 13-14 division of the Westchester county. I love the feeling of seeing all the other contestants around you, and you are just standing there, above them, feeling superior in every way for a few seconds of glory.

The sun was covered by dark, heavy clouds. The waves are huge, the size of my father. No one is on the beach. That is, except for us: the Massé’s and all their relatives. I am swimming in the cold, salty, dark and huge waves with my two cousins. We do not see it yet, but a very large creature is swimming straight towards us, with barely a silhouette to notice in the salty green/blue waters of Normandy. Our uncle is distracting us, challenging us to beat him in the Seaweed Wars, a game that consists of throwing the biggest and the nastiest seaweed at the other until the other says mercy. I already have quite a few scratches on my back, huge ones from playing the same game days before. One of the bigger and nastier scratches just took a hit and I start bleeding. I can feel the warm blood trickling down my skin and I can see a few drops quickly dispersing in the water.

As we go to get a pile of seaweed, the big creature is already here, waiting for us to make our move. It attacks one of us, bringing my older cousin down into the water. As my younger cousin and I turn our heads to see what has happened to our fallen comrade, a huge seaweed hits my cousin in the face and we resume the war without thinking twice about our cousin. We see our cousin get thrown up in the air, screaming and laughing. My cousin and I quickly realize that our other uncle is here, and we attempt to flee, as he is known for his vicious fights in the water. We know all his moves but it is no use, except worrying about which one he is going to execute on us. His favorite move is to bring you up the water, hold you there and then put you in the water for a couple of seconds. We never beat him, and we most certainly think we can not anytime soon.

We try to escape but our uncle jumps out of the water and grabs me by the ankle. At this moment, I know I am done for and I start yelling to my other cousin for help. It is no use, he is focusing on the uncle that throws seaweed. I am violently pulled back and I can feel my uncle hugging me, playfully fighting me. He puts me in the water for a second, then throws me out and I go airborne. Then, he grabs me again, gently poking me in the ribs until I can't take it anymore. He sees the last of my two cousins who was stilled spared and goes underwater. With the water dark and green and all the seaweed lying still in the water, we cannot locate him. Me and my older cousin(Eli), the one who was attacked first regroup. We wait until our uncle is done with our little cousin(Antonin).

We see an inflatable boat near our grandmothers, and we take into the ocean, with rows. We get to Antonin and we take him out of out our uncle’s(Olivier) grasp. We try to row away, then when we think we are far enough, we realize that Olivier is not here, and that our other uncle (Hervé) is sunbathing. We get nervous as nothing is moving, everything is silent. It stays like that for five minutes, five minutes that feel like five years. Out of the blue, our raft capsizes and we see Olivier, who already has the rows, flipping back the boat. We try to swim away, but Olivier is already catching up. Again, he takes us out of the water one by one, puts us on the boat and then throws us off the boat.

When we have all recovered, we decide to face him, together. We all have read the Three Musketeers so we chant “All for one and one for all” . We race towards him, and jump. We each got destroyed in a different way. Without us knowing, he called over my father(Tiphaine) and Tiphaine came in. It is quite a wreckage. Eli doesn’t jump because he thinks it is all a joke, and Antonin is already three feet in the air because my father threw him away. I feel my uncle’s rough hands taking my right leg and my father takes both of my arms,. They were using the hammock throw, where you wind up the throw like a hammock and then project the victim more than a meter away.

They are about to throw me when Eli literally throws himself on me to release me from Tiphaine and Olivier’s tight grasp. The splash was big enough to distract my uncle and father for a few seconds, which is enough time for Eli, Antonin, and I to get up and bring Tiphaine down. We make sure Tiphaine is not going to move with the amounts of seaweed we put on his head. That gives us a few minutes of not having to deal with him. Olivier had fully recovered by now and starts laughing, congratulating us about the save and then taunting us. We don’t wait long enough to be intimidated, but we stay there for a second or two, savoring the fact that we already took down one of the two giants that seems invincible.

This time, instead of all jumping at him together, we circle him and make sure he can't take us all out at once. Antonin and Eli jump at him pushing him one way and we make sure to trip him. Olivier is off balance and takes a couple steps. I take his legs and bring him down. He attempts to get up and grabs Antonin by the chest. I have no time to think about my fallen companion. I am taken under the water by my father, who finally freed himself from the seaweeds. We panic and run to the recovered boat. My father jumps on, and I could feel the raft tip over. We push him off and he falls violently to the cold water.

We threaten to hit Olivier with the metal rows and we use seaweed as handcuffs for Olivier. We put him on the boat and while Antonin is distracting my father, I tie a rope to my father’s ankle. We retreat to the boat and I tie the rope to the boat. We paddle as fast as we can towards the shore. When we reach it, we give Tiphaine seaweed handcuffs and we use the rope to tie Olivier and Tiphaine to each other. We triumphantly march to the place my grandmothers are sleeping. We see Hervé bringing out appetizers. We drink and eat to our victory, and I learn that fighting individually will only get you so far. However, with the support of your team, you can defeat not one of the most invincible giants you have ever fought, but two of them.

The Tour de France. The oldest and most prestigious of all the cycling competitions all around the world. Every year it changes its course. Last year, 2016, was the year St Martin de Brehal was chosen to host a small part of the race. Luckily, my grandparents have a summer house there and invited us to attend. Our whole family loves to bike. My parents trained for and completed a one hundred and sixty kilometer bike race. My grandfather feels an urge to bike everyday, or else something just doesn't feel right. For as long as I can remember, my family has been watching the Tour de France whenever they have a break. I often see my grandfather in his favorite chair watching professional bikers compete in a race that only a few even dream of doing. Last year, we saw plenty of signs like the one above telling us that the famous race was starting on July First 2016 at the Mont Saint Michel in Normandy and would then go through the main road of our small village Saint Martin de Brehal.

Everyone at home was talking about it, discussing how lucky we are and how this will probably the only time in all of our lifetimes that the Tour de France would pass through Saint Martin de Brehal. The day before the racers would go through our city, I went to my first French rap concert with my cousins from Cherbourg. I went to sleep at one or two in the morning. I was so tired that I woke up at noon, just in time for the cars and trucks with the logos of all the companies sponsoring the Tour de France to throw small samples of what they have in their store at us on our small sidewalk.

In order for the bikers to race in the Tour de France, they need to raise money for their equipment. Some companies sponsor the bikers, thinking that if their biker wins the race, it will make more publicity for the company. My grandfather’s company, AG22 La Mondiale even has its own team competing for first place and good publicity. By two o’clock, when the trucks came and left, we had grabbed from the crowd comics, food and water bottles. An hour later, everyone in town saw what they were all waiting for, the bikers racing. There was no fences to protect us from the bikers, speeding at sixty miles per hour in our very narrow street even though some bikers often crash and hit spectators. It has been on the news many times that pets walk on the road. get hit by a bicycle and create a major crash, involving the end of many racer’s careers.

My family expected the racers to pass all day, but everyone was gone in a matter of seconds. All the bikers went by so fast we could barely make out if they were wearing sunglasses or not. Of course, the security motorcycles appeared right behind the racers to pick any injured cyclist and close the race. What my family and I had been planning for almost a year now was over in a matter of minutes. It seemed very brief, but everyone was excited by what they saw: bikers race for their dreams through our little village in Normandy. Bikers race not only for the trophy but also for glory such as wearing the yellow jersey telling the world that you are the best of the bestIt was one of the best experiences of my life, all represented in that one picture at the top of the page. Normandy embraced that picture and every village created welcome decorations for competitors and spectators according to that one image. I loved the feeling of spectating a sporting event very important to only a few, but a few bike lovers who have given their entire lives for that moment. That feeling of being the fastest, the strongest, the best, with people who are screaming for you and encouraging you to pedal more, faster and harder must be overwhelming. Those very strong emotions must justify a life’s worth of hard training.

14 is the beginning and the end. When you are done marveling at everything, admiring everyone because they can do this and they can do that. When you are done being told you cannot do something because you are too small to understand. It is also a beginning, with less and less people who are there to help you. You need to become more independant and no one will stop you from doing it. People will tell you you are on your own, and you will either succeed or fail, and it will be dependant on you. They will give you more opportunities, with less and less restrictions. People will expect you to do the right thing, and others will tell you that you can not and you should stop. Being fourteen is when younger kids think you are an adult and adults think you are just another kid.

14 is when you want to spend time with your friends, doing whatever you want to do, such as going out with friends, and it feels like the reins your parents held so tight in the early years are starting to release, but not completely. It feels like this whole new world is approaching you, full of friends and parties.

14 is when all you want is more. More vacation and more late nights. 14 means you also want less. Less responsibility, less parents watching your every step. Less work that needs to be done.

14 is the end of an era. An era where all you knew was innocence. Full of kids that thought that taking candy from the pantry was the biggest crime of the century. An era where everything and everyone seemed so big and was towering over you.

14 is also the beginning. When you start to realize that things that seemed to be impossible before are quite doable know. Running a mile, for example was impossible for years. Now, I am asked to run a mile as a warm up. Typing something that had to take a whole page was worth a feast in my honor. Now, essays are expected to have two to three pages of content.

14 is when you start to fight more and more with your parents. 14 year olds and their parents start to not get along as well as they were a couple years ago. Fights become more regular and they tend to become about topics that do not even really matter. For example, we could fight on which word should be used where in a letter or email. The teens want to show that they are becoming independent, and the only way they seem to be doing that is with argument.

14 is about a decade and a half of relying on your parents for everything. It is about a decade and a half of having everything come to you without any effort. After about a decade and a half of having everything being so easy, fourteen is like a slap to the face to see reality. To see that everything that was making your life so wonderful was at a price. The amount of time your parents worked to buy you these expensive vacations and toys. Like trips to disneyland and the wad from Harry Potter world. The amount of time they were taking just to be with you, and watch you grow. The slap to the face is also to make you wake up and appreciate even more about the sacrifices your parents are making to buy you expensive games and tools like game consoles, computers, ipads and phones.

14 is full of moments of being so angry at your parents for not letting you hang out with you friends late on a school night. It is also full of moments where you are with your parents having wonderful time during a trip or at a special dinner.

14 is a time that you need to appreciate. There is going to be a time when life will not be so easy, and you know you need to take advantage of it now. Fourteen is in the middle of everything, like the calm before the storm.

Authors Note

When writing this Multi Genre project, I was asked to write about myself and what defines me. I did not think of the times where I was working and things weren't going well for me and how I reacted. I thought of the times when everything was perfect, and nothing could go wrong. I thought of the places I love and what my mini paradise is like. I thought of Normandy, with its green pastures filled with cows, sheep and horses. I thought of all the bike rides I have done with my family, through the marshlands and dunes covered with wild grass. I thought of the beaches, with the never ending sword fights with my uncle Olivier, who would always have a new trick up his sleeves. He would always find a way to defeat me. No matter how hard I tried, he was an unstoppable force. I would recall the violent water gun wars against my cousins with the water balloons flying. I had flashbacks to the times my cousins and I would act like pirates in an inflatable boat capsizing by the sheer force of the ocean’s waves.

I remembered the times when my parents would tell me: “We went to Universal Studios because you did your part, you worked in school” , ”Good things aren't just going to happen, you need to make them happen” , ”Dont ask, dont get” and finally “Fake it until you become it”. The last one was the one that affected me the most, because at first I didn't know what my father meant. I kept on asking my father how can I fake becoming something I want and then become it? Aren’t we supposed to be ourselves? My father, Tiphaine, would explain everything to me. He would start by saying he does not mean it in that sense, he means start faking the confidence you lack to start becoming more involved in soccer, public speaking and even math class. Once you fake it, you can experience what it is like and get better at it. Fake being good at soccer until you become better, fake the confidence needed in refereeing until you gain it, which actually happened by the end of the season.When I blew the whistle at my first game you could barely hear it. Now, when I blow the whistle, I make sure that even the people on the next field can hear the whistle. Each of these quotes came at different times, but they show who I am as person. I have learned from these quotes and they are now part of me. I would think of these memories, and how I can build on that, how I can show that these moments define me. I didn't try to look for a common theme, I just wanted to write about, well, me.

I wanted to write about my experiences, what I went through and what I learned. I took all the memories that are important to me and developed them so I can use them as defining moments. The story with the Tour de France, making that a defining moment was not something that came immediately. I took that feeling, and started to describe it to myself, why I was feeling happy, why was I feeling butterflies in my stomach, etc. When I wrote each piece, I did not write thinking of what I was doing, I just wrote down my memories exactly as they were, never deforming them, just building on the details.

When someone reads my piece, I want them to imagine each of my memories as they were, and to experience what I experienced. I want the reader to find at least one way they can connect with my memories and maybe teach the reader that you can either see seaweed wars as a fun game or just an excuse to hit someone as hard as you can. I want the reader to think about what I felt like and maybe relate with a different story of his / her own.

Created By
Clovis Masse
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