English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Sebastian Barry,

Hey, my name is Danny Ajjouri and I’m a sophomore at Catholic Memorial High School. In the course that I take called English 10 we have just finished a unit on Contemporary British authors, but we never came across your name and I wanted to know more about you and do some research on you. If you would please come by one day to our classroom I know that everyone would welcome your visit.

After doing some research on you I noticed that you’ve had books published since 1982 until now in with your book “A Long Long Way” being published in 2005. I also noticed that you won four awards in the year 1995 for the book ‘The Steward of Christendom” which is quite an accomplishment and I congratulate you for that.

While doing some research on you and looking though your biography I’m the type of person that doesn’t have a specific type of genre that I enjoy reading, but you write in many different styles which I also admire. At times I enjoy reading and I know that you write great books and so I decided to read “The Steward of Christendom”. After reading it I felt like the theme of the book had to do with a view of Irish history.

As hard as it might be for you, my classmates, teacher and me would more than be pleased if you could come by one day and read us some of your poems. I know that they would definitely enjoy it and be appreciated by the fact that you came from so far away to read and I would respect you even more as an author then I already do.

Sincerely, Danny Ajjouri





























“Enniskillen Dragoons” is considered a traditional song. This song was written by a group back in 1689. This song was written in Ireland. This song isn’t very popular today and isn’t recognized by fellow citizens. It affects Ireland in many ways including the people around the time it was written. It was a song written during war and could be called an anti-war song. This is the type of affect it had on their culture and history.

In this song the writer shows how he felt about the war and explains how it all went out. Hes happy that the war is over and that the troops are welcomed back home. “Well we fought for Ireland's glory there and many a man did fall.” This shows that they’ve gone to war before and are very passionate people.

Some of the things that this song teaches are their Culture and History. One line in the song which I find teaches us about soldiers and what kind of people they were to the country: “when every soldier in the house would raise lift glass and sing.” Here, this is one of their ways to show how they feel about the soldiers and a way to congratulate them for what they had done in war. Also its considered a sign of respect in Ireland.

I was curious to know if anyone would recognize this song today and so I decided to have a survey and asked ten fellow classmates. After going through all of it none of them knew what I was talking about and many also looked at me in a strange way. Now I know that this song isn’t one that is recognized at all in America at least and the environment that we live in.

This song really influenced the Irish culture and history. It showed the type of nation and country that it was. In a way it also showed how tough they were as a country and brought them together. They had their ways of separating themselves with their culture and having a great history to represent the people.
























Millionaire businessman James Sullivan hired a hit man to kill his Atlanta socialite wife Lita Sullivan. These actions were done 19 years ago on January 16, 1987 because he feared losing the $1 million she was seeking in their divorce. The 35-year-old socialite was shot to death on the doorstep of her Buckhead townhouse by a man carrying a dozen long-stemmed pink roses. James Sullivan was motivated by power in the sense that he wanted to make a name for himself down south.

 The Sullivans' troubles started in 1983 in Palm Beach, where James Sullivan bought an oceanfront mansion for $2 million after selling a Georgia liquor company he inherited from his uncle for $5 million. Newly rich, he wanted to break into Palm Beach society. Later, the Sullivans moved to Atlanta. He started seeing other women, and his wife eventually filed for divorce which led up to all of this.

Other than James Sullivans wanting to do this for money and power he had hired a hit man by the name of Philip Harwood $25,000 to kill his wife. He was hoping to benefit a lot and make money even though this plan wasnt executed properly. Now Harwood is serving a 20-year sentence for manslaughter after pleading guilt to killing his wife. Theres also been others who have claimed they were asked to commit the murder including someone whose currently on trial and also Bill Hawley who said he was approached.

With the plan failing James is now on trial and looking for anyway to not get the life sentence or the death penalty. His lawyer Samuel said that he had no intentions into killing anyone especially his wife saying that “that’s the last thing he ever wanted”, "Jim Sullivan did not murder his wife or hire anyone to murder his wife”. What makes this even harder for the jury is that hes been speculated over the years about other different matters. This crime compares mostly to the books of Sherlock Holmes by Conan, Doyle.

After all of these evidence is put together and all the information surrounding James Sullivans past he is most likely to receive at least a 20 year penalty considering that hes also 64 years old and has authorities investigating another possible murder of his Uncle Frank Bienert who died over 30 years ago back in 1975





















Today in the English language it there are hundreds of new words thrown at me daily and it makes me wonder what the importance of each word is. English is also one of the most wide-spoken languages in the world and especially in our continent. The History of the English language dates back to more than thousands of years ago. The word is “which”, which dates back to the year 725, is used in almost every piece of writing or article that I read daily. It was used by Corpus Gloss “Quo cumque modo, Zehwelci wega.” This word definitely derived from old English. In my opinion I believe that this word is helpful to the English language because it is used everyday by nearly everyone today and is an important word in our language.

Some definitions of the word “which” over history from the OED are still used today and some are dead. The first is a definition that isn’t used anymore “of what kind, quality, or character.” Another which is still used is “in limited sense, expressing for selection from a define number.” This definition is still used today “in each of two separate clauses, usually connected by a conj.” A more recent one is “the ordinary relative pronoun introducing an additional statement about the antecedent, the sense of the principal clause being complete without the relative clause.”

There are many roots and definitions for the word “which” from many different sources. The first definition comes from dictionary.com “what particular one or ones; the one or ones previously mentioned or implied, specifically.” Another definition comes from the American Heritage Dictionary “any of the things, events, or people designated or implied; a thing or circumstance that.” The Websters definition of the word “which” is “an interrogative pronoun, used both substantively and adjectively, and in direct and indirect questions, to ask for, or refer to, an individual person or thing among several of a class; of what sort or kind.” All of these definitions are still used today and most of them have very much the same meaning but may be applied to different uses.

In my survey I asked some people what they thought of the word “which” when it first comes up to there mind. One of people whom I asked for there definition of the word was Steve Skanell who said “to clarify between one or another.” This person also used it in a sentence “Which one is it.” Another person I asked was Darrell Khelton whom said “the choosing of one thing or another.” He also used it in a sentence when I asked him to do so “Which one of you wants a chuffy?” Most of them thought that of it as a particular something or someone”. All of the people I asked were my fellow 10th graders at Catholic Memorial. All were either 15 or 16 years old, male and all were born in Massachusetts. I feel the way they use them here shows there understanding of the word and all typically being the same people. This also shows that growing up in the same environment and being around the same age is significant as well.

 In another survey in where I had asked three foreign language speakers how tough the word “which” was for them growing up and how hard is it for them using the word these days. First person I asked was Silverio Conte and he said “I had some trouble first using it but now Ive adapted on how to use it and understand its usage more.” The second person I asked was Xavier Landastoy and he said “Ive never had any trouble with the word which.” The last person I asked was my own Mom, Rayfa Ajjouri and she told me that “Ive always had trouble with it and still don’t understand how to use it at times.” Concluding from all of these responses I came away from the fact that the way they were grown up and there surroundings has a big influence on there understanding if the English language.

After all the definitions and hearing what real people in todays world had to say about the word “which” I feel as if though it had to be considered very important and useful throughout all English speakers. I also feel that even though most people living in America can speak English that everyone living in America should be taught how to speak it to make communication between everyone easier. Also I feel that English should be the Second language for every non-English speaking country all over the world. With everything said I believe that the word “which” is helpful to the world because it’s an everyday word for almost everyone and in some ways can shorten a sentence.