All posts by dcusickhkms

David’s Letter Essay #9: The Maze Runner

I have recently finished reading the very common piece of dystopian literature, The Maze Runner. Authored by James Dashner, this 375 paged novel is the fourth dystopian fiction book I have read this past year. Dashner is an American writer who primarily writes towards children and young adults. The interest in this series even led … Continue reading David’s Letter Essay #9: The Maze Runner

Music Appreciation: Storytelling: A Boy Named Sue

This popular Johnny Cash song is written about the distant and shaky relationship with his father, and the reunion they shared at a saloon, many years after his father leaving with the last words of naming him Sue.
¨A Boy Named Sue¨ By: Johnny Cash
My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn’t leave much to ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don’t blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me “Sue.”Well, he must o’ thought that is quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a’ lots of folk,
It seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I’d get red
And some guy’d laugh and I’d bust his head,
I tell ya, life ain’t easy for a boy named “Sue.”Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My fist got hard and my wits got keen,
I’d roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made a vow to the moon and stars
That I’d search the honky-tonks and bars
And kill that man who gave me that awful name.Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
I thought I’d stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
There at a table, dealing stud,
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me “Sue.”

Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
From a worn-out picture that my mother’d had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old,
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said: “My name is ‘Sue!’ How do you do!
Now your gonna die!!”

Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down, but to my surprise,
He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a’ gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.

I tell ya, I’ve fought tougher men
But I really can’t remember when,
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He stood there lookin’ at me and I saw him smile.

And he said: “Son, this world is rough
And if a man’s gonna make it, he’s gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn’t be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye
I knew you’d have to get tough or die
And it’s the name that helped to make you strong.”

He said: “Now you just fought one heck* of a fight
And I know you hate me, and you got the right
To kill me now, and I wouldn’t blame you if you do.
But ya ought to thank me, before I die,
For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye
Cause I’m the guy* that named you “Sue.'”

I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
And I called him my pa, and he called me his son,
And I came away with a different point of view.
And I think about him, now and then,
Every time I try and every time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I’m gonna name him
Bill or George! Anything but Sue! I still hate that name!


Music Appreciation: Imagery: Best Day of My Life, by American Authors

Imagery, Hyperbole (0:13), Hyperbole (1:10). I had a dream so big and loud I jump so high I touched the clouds. I howled out at the moon with friends and then the sun came crashing in.

Explanation: These lines found in the popular 2014 song Best Day of My Life by American authors are two examples of hyperboles, or exaggerations. Their choice of words are not meant to be taken literally by audiences. I jumped so high I touched the clouds is used to demonstrate the idea that he reached the farthest he could to his dreams. The sun came crashing in is written to exaggerate the occurrence of sunrise.


David’s Letter Essay #5: A Long Walk To Water

I have recently finished reading Linda Sue Park’s masterpiece A Long Walk To Water. This slim realistic fiction novel had a page count of 128 pages making it a quick read. The author, Linda Sue Park is an American author who is a winner of the John Newbery award. Other notable novels published by Park … Continue reading David’s Letter Essay #5: A Long Walk To Water

David’s Letter Essay #3 :”20,000 League Under The Sea”


I have recently finished reading 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. This literature masterpiece was written by Jules Verne, as a scientific fiction novel, of 371 pages. Although this book was written in 1870, making it, 145 years old, it is still read by millions around the world. Jules Verne was a French novelist from Nantes, France. Verne’s novels are extra extraordinaire due to their futuristic and technologically advanced creations. In his life Verne published 1 book a year for a 40 year span on multiple subjects. His writing has been adored by readers for over 150 years and will continued to amaze many generations to come. I chose to read this book because scientific fiction is a genre that I don’t commonly read, and needed books for the genre. Also, other classmates in the grade that have read the novel, would say it is a classic.


20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is about a Marine Biology professor, named Monsieur Aronnax, and his encounter with a monster from underneath the water. While the french professor was in New York City along with his fellow companion Conseil, the two are invited onto The Abraham Lincoln, a battleship that was leaving from the New York Harbor to the deep oceans in search of the giant killer narwhal that had punctured holes in ships, been seen as over 160 feet long, and was traveling around the world at excessive speed. Their decision to accept the offer soon turns fatal. While aboard The Abraham Lincoln Monsieur and Conseil meet a Canadian Harpooner who had the best fisherman’s eye in the world, Ned Land. After three month asea crew members began to lose hope in finding the beast, and after the ship’s hope of finding the monster was at its most narrow, The Abraham Lincoln set its destination to land. While on its route home however, in a one in a million shot Ned Land had spotted the phenomenon underwater. Due to the monsters great speed it was almost impossible for the ship to keep up. After an intense chase The Abraham Lincoln had collided into the beast knocking it with great force but also sending Mr. Aronnax over board. Monsieur finds COnseil and Ned Land had been also thrown off of the deck, but that was not the only peculiar thing. Ned Land was also standing on the “monster”, which had turned out to be a full metal underwater submarine, and when a man appears at the entrance to the ship with the shock of seeing three live men, they realize their future lied inside this very ship.


I noticed how the author tends to name of many underwater specimens, their appearances, and their scientifics names. Adding these passages  in the novel helps the reader understand the characters knowledge of underwater life, and also teaches the reader about it too. I liked the way the author hinted towards the future pages in the book. Verne for the most part described Captain Nemo as a welcoming, intelligent, but very confusing, and unexpecting man. These mixed characteristics make the reader question everything that Captain Nemo does throughout the book. If I were the author I would have shortened the middle of the book. The middle was fascinating for the most part, but was partially unimportant and was not crucial because it did not affect the ending part of the book.


A passage I was struck by was after the spotting of the beast when The Abraham Lincoln had come into reach of Ned Land’s harpoon, only to throw Monsieur, Ned Land, and Conseil into the sea.

“Scarcely twenty feet feet remained between him and the immobile animal.

Suddenly his arm snapped forward with a violent jerk, and the harpoon was thrown. I heard ringing noise as the weapon seemed to hit something hard.

The electric light suddenly went out, and two enormous streams of water broke over the deck of the frigate, rushing in a torrent from stem to stern, knocking over men and breaking the lashings of the spars.

Then there was a terrible crash. I did not even have time to reach for something to hold on to, but was hurled over the railing and into the sea. -Page 47”


What I like about this quoted passage is the description of the ship crash. This helped me to imagine in my head water coming over the railings and onto the boat. Also, the author writes that the harpoons collision made a sound that it had hit something hard. This piece of information formulates suspension to the reader, to see if this “beast” really is an animal.


This book was very fun, and interesting to read because of Verne’s ideas, and predictions of the future that have been true. I thought that this novel was much ahead of its time, and that only a mastermind with such a open, and imaginative mind could of thought of it. I would give this book a 9.5/10, and belive it definitely belongs a high spot in greatest literature.



     David Cusick

David, Where Are You From?

I’m from a loving mother and father, Loralee and Bill. Two funny, and intelligent sisters, Lauren and Allison, and an older brother that I look up to, Will. I’m from catching my first fish ever at my cousin’s house in North Carolina to late, breezy, nights, and early mornings, on the Cape Cod dock, casting … Continue reading David, Where Are You From?

David’s Letter Essay #12: “The Outsiders”

I have just finished reading, “The Outsiders”, by S.E. Hinton. This is a realistic fiction book of 180 pages. For me personally, I thought this was a very good novel to read, and I felt like I could relate to the characters. This novel tells about 16-year-old Ponyboy Curtis, and his experiences as a greaser. … Continue reading David’s Letter Essay #12: “The Outsiders”