The Colonel

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In the essay, The Colonel, Michael Hogan illustrates the importance of the influential sport of tennis. Hogan writes about how tennis changed his life from an early age. When he was younger he saw tennis as a rich mans sport in which he had no interest. One of his much-respected neighbors, the colonel, approached Hogan’s father with the idea that his son might like to learn how to play tennis. After pondering the thought with his father, Hogan decided to take the offer. The Colonel became his mentor as they spent tireless days perfecting his swing, improving his serve, and practicing against each other. His main competitor though was a boy named Tommy Gallagher. Often, the two boys would compete with the victor being Gallagher. Yet, Hogan was never discouraged as he accepted the loss with graciousness. So, he continued to play Gallagher and in each match, Hogan’s skill visibly improved. As time progressed, Hogan realized that tennis became more than a just merely a sport to him and rather, a lesson in life. The Colonel often instilled in Hogan his philosophy that tennis was about achieving one’s personal best and not about winning every match. In the end of the essay, Hogan states his thesis: “It is a way of maintaining both physical and psychological fitness, but also a way of moving through life with a focus, with grace and a sure sense of gratitude” (Hogan 109). By this he means that tennis was not just a sport to him, it was a tool he used to shape himself. It taught him how to be full of grace, focus, passion and gratitude in all aspects of his life, for instance his work as an international educator, as well as have the determination to do significant work, exemplified by his numerous awards for his writings. Hogan wrote this essay, with the intended audience being university English students. His essay was published in the Sin Fronteras journal, which is read by college students across the country. In order to effectively convey his case, Hogan poses a...
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