What advice did Brian's English teacher give him in Hatchet?

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Brian is sitting by the lake, contemplating his situation, after somehow surviving the crash. He takes stock of what he has and realizes that he should make an exact catalog of it. He also remembers his English teacher, Mr. Perpich, who "was always talking about being positive, thinking positive, staying on top of things." Brian thinks that perhaps he can take that advice and focus on what he does have rather than what he doesn't.

He empties his pockets and counts the change, and then his wallet and the fingernail clippers. At that moment he realizes that he has the hatchet still clipped to his belt. Up until then, he had forgotten about it.

Brian remembers Perpich and things that his teacher would have told him to be careful about. Perpich would also have told him to really look at everything so that he can do an even more careful inventory. At the end of the scene, he remembers Perpich's other constant refrain: He would say that "you are the best thing you have."

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