COMMENTARY

Introductory hook: tries to establish interest in topic .

Example of why "satisfaction" will be established as the main theme of the essay.

 

 

Thesis: Notice the clear Subject/Verb structure

 

Definition of operating term; the author highlights which use of the term is applicable to her essay.

 

Geographical and Mythological Analysis / Commentary

 

 

 

 

Historical Fact: Why "Leahi" eventually became "Diamond Head" (name change)

 

Historical example: how Diamond Head was used as a Defensive Position, full of cannons, etc. (also ties in to the main theme of satisfaction)

 

 

 

 

Factual information: Objective assessment of what Diamond Head Crater entails.

 

Initial narrative analysis: Establishes value of Diamond Head, specifically in regards to how the hike "satisfies" hikers

 

 

Narrative expansion, replete with details; in particular, the descriptive elements are strong: "Each time that I climb the stairs, it feels like the blood vessels in my legs are pulling farther and farther apart. As I reach the 98th or 99th step, my calves start to feel numb."

 

 

Expansion into why Diamond Head is truly satisfying to the narrator: why the experience of hiking Diamond Head is valuable.

 

 

 

Bridge into conclusion, one that underscores why the place is so centrally important for the author.

 

Conclusion, one that provides overview of the essay and how each element ties in with the theme of "satisfaction."

(TITLE) Diamond Head Satisfaction

Have you ever worked so hard to get something that you really wanted? For instance, I've always wanted a brand new 2003 Toyota Celica and the only way for me to get it is if I work very hard for it. No one, not even my parents, will help me by giving me the money, as well as, help me save up for it. If getting a car is something I want, then, I must do it on my own. It may take me a couple of months or even a couple of years but once I get it, I will be very satisfied and proud of myself. Striving for something you really want is similar to hiking up Diamond Head. Just as it is so difficult to budget my money, I have a lot of trouble hiking up Diamond Head-no one really wants to hike up that big mountain, with nasty bugs and sweat clinging to their legs and shirts. Yet once they reach the top, it does not matter to these hikers how hard they worked for their goal, because the beautiful view is worth all the effort and pain. Just as with my dream car, I would hate not to spend my money freely, but once I receive that Celica, all my obstacles would not matter. Diamond Head promotes the idea of satisfaction because it makes a person feel complete; in addition, it makes them feel that everything is worth the hike.



Satisfaction may mean different things to different people. The Oxford American Dictionary and Thesaurus states that satisfaction means "(1) satisfying or being satisfied; (2) thing that settles an obligation or pays a debt; (3) atonement; compensation." The thesaurus section also states that satisfaction is the same as "comfort, delight, joy, and pleasure" (741). I define satisfaction as striving or something or someone and delaying your gratification to feel more complete at the end.

For those who have not been to Diamond Head or know anything about the crater's history, Diamond Head is considered to be Hawaii's landmark because Diamond Head is the most famous volcanic crater in the world. The location of Diamond Head is on the coast of O'ahu, towards the northwestern end of Waikiki. The ancient Hawaiians first named Diamond Head "Leahi." Pele, the fire goddess, was trying to dig up the crater with her lava, but Namaka, the goddess of water, snuffed out Pele's flames. After Namaka's attack, Pele eventually decided to move over to Moloka'i, having left her creation behind her. Imagine how Pele felt after creating something so spectacular-something that helped to create O'ahu. She must have been very satisfied to see how useful her creation turned out to be.

Eventually, "Leahi," "the brow of the tuna," was changed to "Diamond Head" in the early 1800's by British sailors. They called the crater "Diamond Head" because when the sailors first saw the crater, they witnessed calcite crystals glimmering in the lava rocks and mistakenly thought that there were precious diamonds hidden in the soil. I feel that the British sailors may potentially have felt satisfied, because they felt as if seeing the crystals "settl[ed] an obligation or pays a debt" (Oxford American 741).

During 1898, the United States used Diamond Head as a defensive fort. The fort included a battery of cannons supplying concealment and protection from enemies. To become more aware of the enemies, soldiers constructed an observation deck at the summit 12 years later as an instruction post. Those same soldiers also dug a 580 foot tunnel through the crater wall so that it would provide easier access to the fort. After they completed the tunnel, I feel that the soldiers must have felt satisfied because it probably took them several years to complete their job. I can imagine that it must be hard work to dig a tunnel through solid lava rock for easier access to the command center. Can you imagine the kinds of things they needed to do to make their tunnel? They definitely had to dig or blow up that section of the mountain. The tunnel must have also taken several years because the soldiers used concrete and steel to reinforce the structures; they even built spiral metal staircases. I bet that after building such a magnificent tunnel, those soldiers must have been satisfied with themselves regarding their teamwork-teamwork that would let them keep track of their enemies better.

It has been over 150,000 years since Diamond Head became extinct. The crater is about 3,520 feet in diameter with a 760-foot peak. These days, the observation deck and underground complex are largely abandoned; tourists and local residents are allowed to hike up Diamond Head trail, its two stairways, one with 99 steps and the other with 76, the tunnel, the spiral staircases, and ultimately, the beautiful summit.

Diamond Head symbolizes satisfaction to hikers. Looking up towards Diamond Head from K.C.C., I typically feel so intimidated because the mountain is huge and looks like it is never-ending. The hiking trail takes about 45 minutes if a person is in good shape. The trail is not straight and not as simple as it seems because the mountain is not level. There are several cement trails spread over the rocky tracks, which makes the trail a bit more difficult. Yet every time I feel like turning around, getting into my car, and heading home, I look up towards the beautiful view and tell myself that there are more scenes like this to come. The view beyond the rocks promises a spectacular landscape of the peaceful blue ocean. Further on, a person can see the whole strip of Waikiki including the awesome hotels and stores. Opposite the ocean are quiet homes that create our local communities.

The trail itself is not as bad when compared to the steep and deep stairways. The stairway is so confined that it reminds me of being stuck in an elevator filled with people with no place to move; they can only move forward out of the doors. The stairway is small and cramped; it causes great pain for my calves. Each time that I climb the stairs, it feels like the blood vessels in my legs are pulling farther and farther apart. As I reach the 98th or 99th step, my calves start to feel numb. Once I've completed this walk of pain, I reach a pitch-black tunnel with frail railings. Walking in the tunnel, I feel a sense of mystery and fear. I do not know if anyone is walking in front or anyone walking behind me-it is that dark. Basically, every person is on their own. People are alone and they are the only ones who can hike up the mountain by themselves. Nobody can carry them; they have to earn their own accomplishments and once doing so, they will be satisfied with all of the effort that they made.
Once I see light streaking out of the dark tunnel, I know that I am near. Tired and dehydrated, I continue to hike up more metal stairs; finally, I realize I am at the top. Once I reach the summit, I forget about the sweat that is now clinging to my blouse. Reaching the scenic lookout on the summit, I feel refreshed, possibly even new. This is an almost unexplainable feeling of completion, making everything seem that it was worth my time and energy.
Sitting on top of the mountain by myself satisfies my mind because I feel a lot calmer. School gives me so much stress that I feel that if I can hike up Diamond Head, it will help me cope with everything: family problems, school pressure, and most of all, relationship problems. For example, I have been having so many problems with my ex-boyfriend because I can't seem to get over him. But when I am up at the top, alone, I rethink all of these problems and feel relaxed. I feel that I can live through all of these obstacles and the mountain seems to tell me that everything will be o.k. It is as if I am releasing my soul for the moment to explore and soothe myself up at the top of the mountain. Psychologically and emotionally, Diamond Head summit satisfies me. This is one place where I can understand myself and get to know how I truly feel about everything and everyone in my life.

Just looking up at Diamond Head from my house, I feel the satisfaction I felt hiking up there because Diamond Head helped to create Hawaii. Diamond Head is what made this beautiful paradise a place where everyone dreams of taking a vacation. If it weren't for the volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago, our civilization wouldn't even exist.

In conclusion, Diamond Head promotes satisfaction. When the soldiers built a tunnel during the late 19th century, they must have felt very satisfied after all of the years of tunneling through solid rock. These soldiers are dead, but if they were to see how useful their tunnel turned out, they would be even happier to see people hiking up Diamond Head, using what they made to get to the top. Pele must have felt satisfied because she created a very important landmark for the people of O'ahu-for all people who live in Hawai'i. When I walk up Diamond Head, it satisfies me physically, emotionally, and mentally. Physically, I get a good workout and mentally and emotionally, the view helps me cope with all of my problems. In addition, Diamond Head looks so satisfying because it was one of the oldest volcanoes to have existed.