Let’s Celebrate Our Community Theme of Balance in Brown’s Boys In The Boat

Brown’s book was such an interesting non-fiction book. Enjoy this video about the book and hopefully it will help you ruminate over some of your favorite passages. Then, in 5-7 sentences of Standard English, explain what scene, pattern, or theme illuminated this definition of balance. Recall our definition of balance: “Balance is Suffield’s school theme for the 2015-16 academic year. Balance is a noun and a verb, describing a quality of being and an action. It refers to a state of equilibrium and even distribution of weight. It speaks to mental steadiness and emotional stability. A life in balance requires harmony of internal and external elements as we pursue our ambitions and goals. Over the course of the academic year we want to examine how strategies focused on balance can lead to clarity and success” (Community theme).

This was a complex non-fiction history. When you reflect on the inner conflicts and external conflicts that inspired a character–or perhaps in this case the great team in the boat–to find balance, consider a variety of examples before you compose your comment. For instance, reflect on how well Brown captures the weight and the depth of human suffering during the Great Depression. In other ways, there was great tension and class conflicts for these boys because they were from Seattle; note how much snobbery they encountered from east coast institutions as well as their own west coast rivals from California. I do suggest you compose a draft of your ideas in a word document and proof it before you post your comment. Have fun reading what others wrote, too.

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About bsullivan35

I am an English teacher working with great students at an independent school in Ct.
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59 Responses to Let’s Celebrate Our Community Theme of Balance in Brown’s Boys In The Boat

  1. Sam says:

    In the novel, The Boys in The Boat, Joe found it very difficult balance his financial issues with school and rowing. During the school year Joe would do odd jobs just to scrap up enough money to attend school the next year. Although Joe may have struggled during the year, he always managed to pull through and continue his legacy at Washington. Joe faced many other struggles through his years at Washington. Joe almost did not make the varsity team at Washington due to the way he pulled the oar. Despite all of the hardships and challenges Joe faced he was still able to balance his education with rowing.

  2. Alexis C says:

    The scene in “Boys In The Boat” trailer that defined balance for myself was during the Olympic games in Germany. The team was efficiently moving through out the water with swift movements giving them complete balance across the water. All of the men who were competing were both physically and mentally balanced. By the look on the boys faces you could tell how determined all of them were to be successful in the race. They were all mentally balanced by having the same goal, to win.

    • luca curry says:

      I agree with your comment because you talk about balance when they where in the olympics which was a time where balance was crucial, for example physically they have to be balanced in the boat so that all the strides are together and perfect. I also like how you state that all of the men who were competing were both physically and mentally balanced. This is true because they find balance wether it was in their social life or in the boat. Lastly, you make a good point that they had to be balanced because they all had the same goal, which was to win.

    • Henry says:

      I think your comment is very well written. You talked about how you could tell by their faces how determined they were; how could you see their faces in a book? Maybe give an example from the book where you saw the faces to make it clearer, because currently it is unclear about what you are talking about.

    • Eva.Crouse says:

      You make several good points about the mental toughness that is required to win, I agree with you that this is a form of balance and is critical to a winning team. You mentioned “the look on the boy’s faces” and this struck me as very insightful because that is the only way we can assess the determination they are feeling. If they had not been balanced, what would have been the ramifications? A little more specification with the faces of the boys would be helpful, tell what emotional determination looks like when shown with a facial expression in an exhausting circumstance.

  3. brianrdaddario says:

    A pattern throughout The Boys In The Boat that directly corresponds to our school’s theme of balance is found within the Olympic sport. Rowing requires adept physical strength indeed and is clearly essential to succeeding in competitions. However, what wins the race is the coordination between rowers. Discerning and executing the perfect pace was the recipe for our young American Olympians’ victory. Our national team was able to maintain stamina and a constant, synchronized pace. The balance of these two things, mind and muscle, made for a historic achievement that will forever be echoed in America’s legacy. It is also self evident that these young athletes kept a robust balance of determination through practicing and patience. When hard work and determination mix with brawn and a focused mind, they harmonize to create a winning balance that was responsible for our team’s tremendous milestone.

    • leyzamatthew says:

      I agree and commend you on your comment on our school theme of balance. You gave a significant connection from the book to our community. Referring to the comment you made on having hard work and determination mixed with a brawn and focused mind, do you think that it is possible to still strive to have a winning balance without brawn? There are athletes that are not physically bulky but are able to still strive to surpass peers that are burly. I also think that it is a good idea to relate this book to yourself and not just a connection to the community.
      -Lēyza

  4. Daniel M says:

    Throughout The Boys In The Boat one of the most important details is the balance found between athletics, academics, and personal life. Joe is given an amazing opportunity when he joins the University of Washington crew team: the chance to race in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. However, this opportunity was not going to come easily. It demanded great strength from Joe on the boat, quite literally, as strong bodies meant a strong boat. It demanded strong academic commitment because in order to row on the team all the boys needed to maintain certain academic standards. Finally, it demanded that Joe dealt with his personal life, which included finding money to pay for college. Joe found a balance in these disciplines and it brought him great success. Here at Suffield, the same principals apply and every student needs to find a balance between athletics, academics, and their personal lives too. Finding that balance may not always be easy but it can help bring smoother seas in the months ahead.

  5. The theme of balance is portrayed in all parts of The Boys in the Boat. The members of the crew team demonstrated balance in not only rowing crew, but in all aspects of their lives. Many of the boys came from no money; working on farms and having to do odd jobs just to stay afloat. In particular, Joe was disowned from his family at the age of 10, and forced to work as hard as he could just to make ends meet. He shows incredible balance, because not only does he work hard to make enough money, he works hard in class and on the crew team. Joe’s ability to balance these aspects of his life is ultimately the key to his success. Having balance is crucial at Suffield as well, as we are forced to juggle classes, homework, athletics, and social lives. If students show the same ability to balance different aspects of their lives, they will be able to achieve the same success that Joe did.

    • Casey says:

      I like how you started her blog post and compared balance not only to rowing but to each of the boys lives individually and tied it back to how they grew up with no money, working on farms and doing odd jobs just to make it. What else can you tie into balance and compare to Joe’s life and his other teammates? My only suggestion is to check the tenses but I really enjoyed your comment.

  6. Henry says:

    In the book, “the Boys in the Boat”, there where many different examples of how the boys had to balance themselves and their lives in order to win the gold. To even qualify to get they gold they had to beat a team that did not have good balance. This was the other group of boys from Washington. They where very good rowers, but their boat was unbalanced in the way that they where good at short sprints, but in the long runs that they had to make for both the varsity race and the Olympic race, they would fall short. The Olympic boat was balanced in the way that they where strong and worked off of each others weaknesses. This is explained in the book many times and is a constantly talked about when the boat is being constructed, because the varsity coach, Al Ulbrickson, knew that the team needed to be balanced. Overall, this book talked a lot about balance and how it helped the boys achieve the high marks that they did.

  7. Eva.Crouse says:

    Self sufficiency is not an idiosyncrasy commonly found in young children. The ability to not only protect and provide for oneself, as well as remain mentally stable in a burdensome situation are things that take a substantial amount of self confidence and logical thinking. Joe Rantz, as a very small child portrayed all of these qualities in the beginning chapters of the book. His astonishing maturity, and level headed thinking show a balanced mind fit to take on any challenge which later would serve him well under even more arduous situations later in life.

  8. Dan Tran says:

    In Daniel James Brown’s “The Boys in the Boat”, I exhibited “balance” in the narrative descriptions of rowing as a process. For those who are unaware, rowing might seem as pure test of physical strength. You do the same thing for the whole race and the strongest win. Daniel Brown throughout the book emphasized the importance of balancing intelligence with strength. For example, the sentence “most of them would have given up, perhaps to play something less physically and intellectually demanding, like football” was a surprise for me as I imagined football to be the epitome of brutal physical sport where tactics also play a huge role. The other point Brown made about rowing is that “rowing makes heavy and repeated use of virtually every muscle in the body” which tells us that top class rowers have to have all of their body muscles developed in order to be successful. Clearly balance is very important to rowing as it gives you strategic advantage in races.

  9. naoki2 says:

    The school theme being the balance, the novel, “Boys In The Boat”, presents the importance of balance for success. Joe Rants facing the death of his mother and abundance from his father, he faces many hard ships. Although Joe struggles mentally and financially, he successfully balances them with rowing. Rowing also being a sport that requires balance, his team keeps the mental and physical balance to earn their victory.

    • tannerm1516 says:

      I thought this was a well written blog post and I liked the idea of balance and success being tied together. You talk mainly about Joe but how do the other boys and their balance effect the boat to? I liked what you included, but maybe involving the other boys stories could show some more understanding of the balance in the boat.

  10. chloe rogalin says:

    In the book, The Boys in the Boat, many team members had individual hard ships that they had to battle until they successfully reached their goal of making the cut of the Olympics. The balance that the reader infers is that they fought their own battles but soon battled their hard ships together, as a team. They needed to find that balance of being alone and working together to have the outcome of winning the Olympics. Without the balances they discovered and executed they would have not been able to have the victory they desperately wanted.

    • Rob says:

      I liked how you said that everyone was fighting their own battles, and how they became a team and started to fight them together. What balance did they discover/what was a battle someone was fighting? It is very broad, try to narrow it down a little more, and try to give an example.

  11. Ross Dooling says:

    In The Boys in the Boat there is a consistent themes of balance and strength. The crew members had to show their strength in and out of the water wether it was physical while taking part in races or mental when having to vigorously work on academics in order to row for their team. All members continuously kept a sense of balance in their minds in order to achieve full success. The hard work of maintaining balance between athletic, academic, and personal life is what lead to their ability to win and succeed going on. As similar to the book, students at Suffield Academy have to show similar traits to the rowing team in order to fully prosper at this school. A student must be strong throughout their career here in oder to keep the balance that leads to the feeling of completion and success.

  12. Peter Suh says:

    One of the balance depicted in the book “The Boys in the Boat” is going through competition as an individual and a team. Not all the boys can go to the Olympics as the first team, which means that the boys must defeat their teammates to get their place. However, in rowing, teamwork is paramount. The boys kept perfect balance in having individual competition to get their own place in the boat and having teamwork to advance their boat. This is same in Suffield athletics, or every athletics team in general. We all belong in the same team, and we thrive to play better as a team and achieve a better result. However, individual competition also exists so that one can start over another. We must keep the balance in these two, not focusing on too much individual competition but also not only focusing on teamwork since that will hinder the individual development.

  13. Quinn Egan says:

    A prominent role of balance in The Boys in the Boat written by Daniel James Brown was the balance that the characters had to endure from school and rowing to supporting themselves with work over the summers. Unlike the traditional rowing teams on the east coast the west coast rowing teams were not known for having particularly wealthy athletes. In the Washington rowing team it was all working class kids and these kids needed to support themselves with summer jobs in laboring forces caused by the great depression. For example, Joe Rantz had a job doing quarry work for the new Grand Coulee dam. In a perfect scenario all the rowers would stay at school for the summer and train, but in that case their life would capsize. Although because of their work over the summer they can still go to school and row during the year balancing to stay afloat.

  14. Lauren H says:

    Joe Rantz in “Boys in the Boat” is a perfect example of balance that leads to success, even in hardship. Joe on a basic level is relatable to many modern teens and young adults. He works in the summer, goes to school, has a significant other, and participates in sports. His efforts to balance these things are relatable to many people. However, by putting himself through school, being self sufficient from a young age, and eventually competing in the Olympics, he takes balance and hard work to the next level. Though Joe’s times were incredibly different, he can still serve as an excellent example to any student who struggles with many responsibilities. Focus and balance are necessary.

  15. Harry Liddle says:

    The Boys In the Boat consistently illustrates why harmony of internal and external elements is so important and cites the crew’s psychological and physical unity to break down specific reasons for balance. It is emphasized, however, that unity does not mean ‘the same’, but just the opposite. For example, in the chapter “The Parts That Really Matter”, Brown notes the importance “capitalizing on diversity” by saying that “great crews are carefully balanced blends of both physical abilities and personality types.” That is to say they must find balance within themselves as individuals as well as within the boat as a team. They “must subsume their often fierce sense of independence and self-reliance [while] at the same time [holding] true to their individuality.” This can prove to be challenging but crucial in a variety of situations, but reading in detail how a group of eight men did it can be a huge help to just one.

  16. Abi M says:

    Balance is essential to Joe in The Boys in the Boat in regards to his time. He must find a way to balance his rowing, academics, and financial situation. Joe must allocate his time equally so that he does not fall behind in any of these areas. Joe has to work in order to support himself while also maintaining his school work. However, if he were to focus too much on his jobs or school, that may jeopardize his seat on the Olympic team. But, since he managed his time wisely without neglecting any of his pursuits, he was successful, which shows the importance of balance.

  17. Chris D says:

    By having so many possible definitions, balance is a theme that has numerous applications to The Boys In The Boat, but the most powerful example of it comes from the personal balance Joe had to exhibit in order to maintain his position at the university. Coming from such a poor background, Joe clearly understood the value of hard work and knew that if he wanted to have the chance to build a better life for himself, he would have to put in a lot of effort. When he was given the opportunity to attend the University of Washington, he knew he had to take things seriously, and find a balance between maintaining his grades, his position on the crew team, jobs so he could pay for school, and even his relationship with his girlfriend back home. Joe’s busy lifestyle left no room for any down time because he was always either studying, rowing, or working any job he could find to help pay his tuition. Joe’s determination is the primary tool in the story used to illustrate the contrast between the Washington team and the other teams, especially those of the other wealthier schools. Many of these other teams did not fully understand the magnitude of the opportunities they were given because they did not have to earn everything they had and balance so many commitments the way the Washington boys did. As demonstrated in The Boys In The Boat, this story of a group of underdogs defying expectations and balancing all of this pressure while still maintaining composure is something to which many people can relate on a personal level, creating a compelling story for readers.

  18. William Robidoux says:

    The school theme of balance pertains to our all school book The Boy in the Boat in many ways. Balance as a theme stands out in particular when it comes to the sport of rowing. In the book the team had to work together to be successful and eventually win the gold medal in Berlin. They had use balance in the ways that they could rely on each other to help other members of the team. Balance was important for them because they had to know that they could always pick up each others slack in order to be successful. This balance can relate to life at Suffield because often we may not be doing so great or something like that, but we always know that we will be helped and it will balance out on a day we are doing well but others around us aren’t so we help them out. This is important in any team sport but especially crew like in Boys in the Boat.

    • bowtiebrian says:

      You did a fantastic job at relating balance to our school theme. The idea that we all contribute to others’ success here at Suffield is entirely true and the fact you related that to the The Boys in the Boat in such a way established the profound shared theme of balance. I would ask what other connections is there, with the idea of balance in mind, that Suffield has with the book? Perhaps to refine your blog post, elaborate more on the direct connection with balance. If you are just a bit more specific with the connection, this could easily be a flawless post. Overall, good job!

  19. annawilson says:

    Our school year’s theme of balance is a theme that is interwoven throughout the text of The Boys in the Boat. First and foremost, crew is a sport that relies hugely on the ability to balance the boat. In order to row effectively, the team must learn to match pace, but to also row quickly while keeping the boat level. If one person pulls too hard or another too light, the entire boat will be thrown off; others could potentially even catch a crab, upsetting the entire shell. Second, the boys had the difficult task of balancing financial and academic issues along with their athletic endeavors. The boys came from working class families and had to work to pay for college, particularly Joe. They also had to keep up with their studies in addition to training incredibly hard for crew. Crew is a very technical sport where balance is key.

    • chloe says:

      I liked how you described how difficult crew is. You described it as you know, personally. Could you of added any other hardships that the boys had to battle? My only suggestion is that you went into more depth about the boy’s hardships, balance, and lives.

    • Nino C says:

      I think your comment really relates with the book and the theme of balance. I like your sentence: “if one person pulls too hard or another too light, the entire boat will be thrown off; others could potentially even catch a crab, upsetting the entire shell.”I think that is really great metaphor and makes me think about the balance is not only for team, or because its team so everyone is really important. They cant show off or do nothing, so coordinate is well. I think you can add more how people balance their psychology in the team.

      If people really balance speed on the game, so they scruple too much about others, their speed will not improve much. Do you know how make this balance more reasonable?

  20. Wong Eman says:

    I felt like balance was really shown in “The Boys in the Boat” trailer, during the Berlin Olympics rowing scene. All participants showed balance physically, shown buy their physique in the video, being able to row the boats so quickly through the water. I think they were also balanced emotionally, through the looks of determination on their faces, showing that their mind was clear and set on the task of winning the competition. Lastly they showed balance between each other, where everyone was able to get into the same state of mind and work together, synchronising their rows and listening to the coxswain’s commands. I think it was the display of balance in these areas which allowed them to go so far, and ultimately win the Olympics.

  21. Kirsti Kokko says:

    Obtaining balance was a key component in the book, The Boys in the Boat. The Washington crew came from all walks of life during the Great Depression. They were athletes in top physical form able to endure all types of harsh elements, but they had something more which set them apart from the other teams. They had a mental strength to balance out the physical strength. This strength gave them the capability to eventually believe in their teammates and themselves against all odds. In crew strength is not the only component needed to achieve the perfect “swing”. Harmony of minds and bodies must be created between the team and within each individual to be truly successful. This is where balance plays its key role without the balance of mind and body the boat would have gone nowhere which was shown through the repeated failures when the boys did not work together. This book teaches the lesson which can be easily applied to life at Suffield that to accomplish any goals one needs the right mindset along with the strength to pick oneself up off of the ground and to go on until greatness is achieved. That in itself is the perfect balance.

  22. bsullivan35 says:

    These are great responses. Keep up the great work! Try to incorporate textual evidence the way Harry did in his response. That’s a great model.

  23. Brooklynn says:

    Al Ulbrickson had to balance all of his rowers based on their personalities as well as their physical capabilities. A good boat had to consist of loud boys that cheered the team on, as well as quiet ones who concentrated and focused on the boat; it needed the productive boys that would be no-nonsense as well as the boys who always goofed off. A balanced boat needed a leader, with other people happy and willing to follow him, as Bobby Moch and the rest of the boys in the boat demonstrated time after time. Boys that pushed the team were just as important as the ones who held the boys back. The good guys and the bad boys were equal in keeping the team together and balanced. The boys in the boat needed the right amount of cockiness as well as insecurity; their confidence propelled them forward, yet their sense of insecurity brought them together, often without their knowing it. People always say how opposites attract, and that is exactly what happened in balancing the boys’ boat.

  24. Jason Louro says:

    Though “The Boys in the Boat” includes various examples of balance (athletics and academics, rowing and financial situation, etc), one seems particularly interesting. This is the balance of people that go into a successful crew. The book explains that they cannot all be hulks, but in the same way cannot all be small and skinny like Bobby Moch. Each man has his own unique skills and attributes that, when combined with those of his crew members, form an unstoppable rowing team. All other areas of life follow suit – a proper balance of people manage to accomplish something that would otherwise be impossible. So not only is balance a necessity in the life of the individual, but also in that of the group.

  25. Tanner M says:

    In the Boys in The Boat, by Daniel James Brown, the theme of balance is very common in many ways. The men must not only balance the vigorous training whilst maintaining a high academic performance, but balance each other out as a team. They must all learn to work together and play their strengths and weaknesses to fight for the gold. Besides physically feeling balanced in the boat, they must also mentally feel it. Exerting that much power and energy requires a certain state of mind and the men were able to put aside everyone’s doubts to give it their all.

  26. Alex Flug says:

    While many forms of balance can be found in terms of Athletic and Academic ventures in “The Boys in the Boat,” an overlooked theme of balance is shown as the contrast between the working class North-West rowing team and the successful, privileged teams they compete against. These boys come from modest households with a very large chip on their shoulders. Their basic level of success in rowing is a lot harder to achieve due to their families incomes and their locations. The teams that they face vastly contrast the boys’ situations. As shown in the book, the winning teams that they compete against and eventually beat come from colleges or rich families, where support, connections, and supplies are provided for them. These contrasting training standards closely resemble Rocky 4, where Rocky Balboa trains in the harsh conditions of Siberia while his hulking competitor trains in a highly equipped facility. Both of these examples demonstrate the balance of two extremes, and how they even each other out.

  27. 16dmg says:

    It can easily be argued that the most crucial ability of an athlete is his or her’s ability to find balance, whether it be balance in the literal sense of physical stability coupled techniques vital to their sport or balance in the abstract sense of balancing the trials of life along that often bring psychological stress with demanding athletic training. The characters in “The Boys in the Boat” constantly strive to find such balance throughout the novel in the face of adversity in the form of financial difficulty, academics, and the mental stress that comes with being in a substandard situation. In addition, crew in it’s very nature is a sport entirely based around balance. It is impossible for a team to muscle their way to victory; only through rhythm and harmony can a rowing team be successful.

  28. Rob says:

    In the book “the boys in the boat” the concept of balance is displayed thought the entire book. For many of the “boys” they had no money and had to work for what they had. However because of this they worked that much harder. They had to balance their lives to get by day to day. Wether it was in the boat or in the classroom, they needed to find the right balance. In the boat not everyone needs to be the strongest guy, but how they were able to win was, because of the balance they had in their boat. All of the crew members had individual traits that would together help them make an unstoppable rowing team.

  29. Amelia Hern says:

    As Joe Rantz discovers in “The Boys in the Boat,” balance is key in the sport of rowing. Having a balance between mental and physical toughness is crucial for success. Rowing results in so much physical pain that one must have the mental strength to keep going despite the screaming muscles and lack of oxygen. It also requires impeccable teamwork and coordination. Everyone in the boat must be completely in synch both mentally and physically to reach success. Joe also discovers that there needs to be a balance of ego and humility. It is important to be confident enough in the team’s abilities, but to an extent. Joe struggled with balance from a young age. He had a very difficult childhood. His life became extremely unstable after his mother died, but he explored ways to find balance, even in the little things. For example, he used tend to his garden to escape his challenging relationship with his step mother because it gave him something to be proud of and he felt like he was pitching in. The garden helped him find emotional stability. While in school, Joe had to find a balance between crew, his financial situation in the crashing economy, and his problematic family. He managed to be successful because of his determination. Balance played a key role in the book, not just pertaining to the sport of crew, but to Joe’s life as well.

  30. Casey says:

    Every year the school chooses a theme that goes along with the community text that the whole school has to read. This year the theme is balance. Balance is a key them in the novel, “The Boys in the Boat”. Balance mainly pertained to rowing but also was apart of the main characters life in this novel. Joe Rantz had to balance being mentally all there for rowing and staying concentrated on his task and also physically there because rowing is about balancing the boat so it would be a smooth ride and transition along the water to the finish. As a team they demonstrated balance very well since they had to balance the boat with each stroke and stay in tune with each other to keep the boat afloat. If one person was at the wrong speed they could have messed with the whole system and thrown the whole boat over. Each rower on the boat has to distribute weight evenly to keep the balance. Not only did balance pertain to rowing but to Joe Rantz’s life as well. Growing up he did not have it easy and even had to live by himself when he was a teen. He had to balance out going to school and working to make money to pay for tuition to college. Joe balanced everything out clearly since he made it to the University of Washington. He had to have emotional balance to overcome adversities like living alone and paying for school and basically raising himself with little help.

  31. Nicole Williams says:

    Every year my school, Suffield Academy, chooses a theme that is an important quality to have and understand; this year’s theme was balance. To help the students fully understand the theme my school chooses school wide required text that incorporates our theme. This year’s book was “ The Boys In The Boat” written by Daniel James Brown. I do believe this book has numerous examples of balance, starting with the fact that in order to have the most efficient shell the body weights in the boat need to be balanced. Also with just with the mobility and speed of the shell if one person pulls too hard or another not enough you face the possibility of throwing the entire boat off. The Washington boys also faced the academic balance, no matter how much they yearned to row their grades had to maintain high. School was expensive especially the times around the great depression, the boys had to find time to earn the money needed for tuition especially Joe Rantz. In our everyday lives there is several things one needs to balance in order to be successful in all areas, the Boys In The Boat was only one story of 9 men, and I’m positive there are many more but if nothing else remember balance is key.

  32. Aki Ohtaka says:

    With matching intensity, respect and love for the sport, the crewmembers find a state of equilibrium within their minds and their boat. The men understand each other’s commitment and care for the team. Consequently, they are able to have faith in one another while facing endeavors. Because they are able to entrust each other, the men are confident. Brown explains, “ Harmony, balance and rhythm. They’re the three things that stay with you your whole life. Without them civilization is out of whack. And that’s why an oarsman where he goes out in life, he can fight it, he can handle life. That’s what he gets from rowing.”

  33. Shams El Din says:

    One of the patterns I saw in the book that illustrated balance was how Joe would constantly work hard in summer to pay for his tuition fees, and then go work hard on his studies and daily practices. As a student athlete I know exactly how hard it is to balance between academics and athletics. So for Joe to manage to squeeze in a third activity, never mind his love life, is something that made me respect him. Joe knew that in order to be successful in all three major aspects of his life he needed to find the precise balance between them. However, Joe did not only manage to find that balance, but he was able to maintain it for over three consecutive years. Therefore, Joe went on to achieve all of his life goals including the Olympic Gold, marrying Joyce, and passing his classes. This is a perfect illustration of how important it is to find balance in one’s life.

  34. Will says:

    Our School theme this year is Balance, and like many here have already stated, this novel “The Boys in the Boat”, and certain characters in it really embody this. The main thing i would say that embodies this the most is the actual sport of crew itself. It is not just a competition or who can pull an oar through the water the fastest, there is really much more to it. These other aspects are what really connects it to our school theme. In order to be successful in crew every rower must be in sync and just the tad more force on one side and the boat can veer in the wrong direction costing them valuable time and effort, and possibly winning the race. This directly relates to our theme of balance, the rowers must all be balanced and work together to accomplish their goal. This is what the american team was able to achieve.

  35. Daisy V says:

    The balance of a youthful mind is imperative in something such as a team sport, especially one that thrived so greatly in a time of Nazism and economical depression. Brown portrayed this time of moral chaos and depression as a counterpart to the dreams of these passionate ‘boys on the boat’. Besides from determination and toil, this book beholds love, an undeniable balance within the vulnerable race of humanity. In this time of high pressure and poverty, one of the young boys, Rantz, found balance through love for his girlfriend, Joyce, and love for his transcending achievements with rowing. Brown explained after meeting Rantz in person that Joyce felt that she had seen Rantz as, “a window to a wider and sunnier world,” in such a morbid environment; therefore, a balance has emerged between a depressed economy and a “sunnier world,” created by a love between two individuals (Brown).

  36. Cecilia Arntzen says:

    In the sport of Crew a key element is balance. Not only having to balance out the weight of the boat, but also balancing the way in which they row. The key to a successful team is a team that can work together, a team that benefits from each other, a team that balances each other out. Through the novel “The Boys in the Boat,” each of the boys face obstacles that could, and almost do, affect their crew careers. The passage that most struck me as a good example of balance was when the boys grades were almost not making them eligible to row. Al Ulbrickson gave the boys time to get their academic careers together, but none of them used the time they were given and it almost cost them everything. The boys were once again warned that if they did not get their academics in order, then they would be kicked off of the team. The passage continues to talk about how the boys were enjoying their time else where, that they were having a good social life, still training hard and finally admits that the boys have reached their necessary grades. The boys struggled with balance at first, but in the end they were able to reach balance and became one of the best crew teams there has ever been.

  37. susan mellekas says:

    This year at Suffield Academy the school theme is balance. In the Boys in The Boat, by Daniel James Brown, strength and balance is shown through out the physical and academic work the boys shown. Balance is an element of equality, which is key to having a successful shell. The boys had to work together balancing each other to keep their boat steady. Through this balance with crew, the boys also had to be extremely studious and achieve high grades. This book teaches the reader that balance is a main component to success.

  38. Henry says:

    The idea of “Balance” is spread all through the book “The Boys in the Boat”. The rowers at University of Washington must physically balance the boat they are in; each person must dip their oar in at the same time and they must not let in drop in the water too deep, and they must keep the same stroke-rate in the boat. One of the rowers and main character of the book, Joe Rantz, had to balance his personal life. He came from almost no money, so he had to work to pay to go to college, and he had to keep up with the work he received from classes. On top of all that he also had rowing practices. It was a constant struggle for Joe, but he made it work and ended up an Olympic gold medalist.

  39. Chandler says:

    The theme of balance for this school year ties in very well with the book, The Boys in the Boat. Balance requires enough weight on each side to keep yourself from falling apart both physically, in the case of the boat and financially, in the case of the crew. When they are equal in the balance then it all flows straight and nothing will stop you. When they were in the boat they were all focused to win, this gave them the will to have perfect balance. As long as you are focused on being great at something then there is no telling that you will fail, that is why balance is key, if you balance yourself then you can balance how you do things.

  40. daria kovaleva says:

    The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown has a strong theme of balance. During the Olympics that took place during the World War II in Germany, an American team had to go through challenge not only physically but mentally too.They had too keep the boat balanced while equally dividing the physical work. However that was not the only challenge, the boys also had to keep their minds at ease in order to act productively. Some of them had difficult life situations and they were all affected by the war. In order to succeed the boys had to make sure that both their bodies and minds were stable. The Boys in the Boat is a great example of how it is very important to stay in a good emotional state of balance no matter what experiences you are going through.

  41. Jonah Perry says:

    It is a known fact that an unbalanced boat will eventually capsize and thus ruin the point of the boat in the first place. This fact is only made more obvious when the boat is less than 3 feet wide and propelled by 8 large men. It is no coincidence that the boat that is the most balanced in the water will win the race. Balance is both our school year’s theme and a central theme in Boys In The Boat. At Suffield, we are encouraged to balance our academic life with our social and extracurricular activities. This is similar to what the novel’s protagonist, Joe Rantz, has to go through in the story. Joe must balance his commitment to his sport with his commitment to his work and his family. It is reassuring as a student to read about Joe and how successful he was at balancing his rowing with his work. Another example of balance in the book involves the balance between strength and technique required for a successful eight. A good example of this in the book is in the Olympic year Coach Al Ulbrickson changed around the boats in order to find a good mix of strength and technique. Reading the book helped me understand what balance means and especially how I can better balance my life at Suffield.

  42. Maura Eagan says:

    Throughout “The Boys in the Boat”, the author Daniel James Brown, constantly illustrates and emphasis a theme of balance. In rowing, balance is the key to having a successful race. The rowers have to balance and distribute their weights equally in the boat, while they are rowing at unthinkable speeds. Also, they have to be aware and balance their strokes with their other team members in the boat. Brown exposes parts of the rower’s personal lives, mainly Joe Rantz to further highlight the books theme of balance. He is the perfect example of a person whom has successfully balanced his personal life, his rowing, and his academics. Joe Rantz has proven that the Suffield community can also achieve and maintain a balanced life.

  43. Lauren says:

    The story of “The Boys in the Boat” exemplifies the theme of balance through athletics, and life in general. They needed to obtain balance not only physically, but also mentally. Their rowing defined balance because if their physical or mental balance was thrown off, then their rhythm and purpose to achieve one goal together was harder to obtain. Not only is there mental and physical balance shown throughout the book, there is also emotional balance. In chapter 8, Joe says, “It takes energy to get angry. It eats you up inside. I can’t waste my energy like that and expect to get ahead.” This shows balancing your personal life and not letting it get in the way of something you are trying to achieve.

  44. 16arp says:

    The in book “Boys in the Boat” written by Joe Rantz, the author displays the difficulty in seeking the balance in internal and external forces in life through the dream of an American rowing team. Rantz’s personal life has been incorporated into the struggle of keeping balance between important elements of life while keeping yourself together. Not only being able to provide and protect himself as a young child, Rantz conquered the ability to stay mentally stable whiling staying physically well. Developing this mature trait will become very successful and helpful in later life situations as life becomes more complicated.

  45. Trevor says:

    In the book, “The Boys in the Boat” author Daniel James Brown illustrates the constant theme of balance. These boys in the boat had to find their balance between school, work, social life and rowing to be able to be successful at each. In school many of them faced endeavors which almost caused them to be ineligible to row. With all of the hard work in training and being faced with extreme challenges in the classroom, these boys had to find a balance between what would make them successful, and what would keep them happy with their social lives. Once they were able to find this balance they were able to focus on the necessary balance needed to row as a unit. To row as a unit, they must find a balance between each other of consistent rows and a balance mentally to be able to push through the hard work. With this balance finally reached, the boys in the boat were able to upset the Nazis and become one of the most successful crew teams of all time creating for this interesting story told by Daniel James Brown.

  46. luca curry says:

    The book “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown constantly reminds us about balance, which is suffield’s year theme, and how if something is slightly of it can throw off the entire scene. In the book the boys of the rowing team had to find a balance between many things in their life, for example their school work, and rowing. However with extremely hard work and time balance will come wether it was in the boat or in the class room or in their social life. Balance, finally came which made it a lot easier for them to row as a team. Once the team finds balance they are unstoppable. Coming from a really low social, economical, and academic status it is hard to find balance in all these factors, however with time it comes.

    • Alexis Corcoran says:

      I liked your definition of balance and how you related it to the scene of the Boys in the Boats. I find this post agreeable and very well written. I liked how in the post you gave examples of all the negative/positive things that had balanced out for the team and in the end had led them to victory.

  47. Joe Islam says:

    In the novel, “The Boys in the Boat” written by Daniel Jakes Brown is a great example of our new school’s theme of balance. Keeping balance during our school is year is very important because when you become off balanced during the school year you struggle whether it be in school work or even with friends or relationships. In the book there is a group of boys on a rowing team that work together to find balance together. After finding balance together the team was able to become successful in all aspects of their lives not just in rowing. This is great example for a Suffield student because finding balance with School and with sports to need to be able to manage your time successfully between everything that goes on in your life as a Suffield Academy Student. Once you do find balance in your lives everything comes together and you see to become successful in all aspects of your life.

  48. Jeremy C says:

    Throughout the novel “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown balanced is displayed numerous ways throughout the book. These boys in the boat had to balance their athletic lives while also balancing their academic and social life. Rowing is such a tough sport because it is not just a physical but it’s also mental. One incorrect move can tip over the boat or slow your team down which can ruin a race for not just you but for your whole team. Once you master those aspects of the sport and find your balance like these boys in the book did success is much easier to attain. These boys found the balance they need to become successful in the sport of rowing and were able to do just that. Balance is also this years school theme here at Suffield Academy. It is also very key for students at Suffield Academy to find the balance the need with their academics, sports and social life. As a student here at Suffield Academy learning to balance academics, social life, and sports has definitely gotten better. Balance is a very important skill to be able to know how to do and it’s clearly shown in this novel.

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