English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  


Dear Helen Simpson, My name is Conor Hanlon; I am a student at Catholic Memorial High School in Boston Massachusetts. In my studies of British Literature I came across your works and became indulged in them. Contemporary British authors is just a small section of a big subject and I would like for you to share some of your award winning short stories to my classmates in fear that the true value of contemporary British will pass by.

I believe that this experience will benefit everyone including you. My classmates and I will get to here great works of contemporary British, and you will be able to explore Boston and benefit the lives of high school boys.

Your works are made from an extraordinary vocabulary and modern slang. Four Bare Legs in a Bed and Other Stories is a well deserved award winning book of short stories that I have read little of but has rally affected my knowledge of what contemporary British writers write about. I also have been intrigued of your talent to make many different stories with complete opposite plots but still have an amazing novel.

I think it would be in your best interest to come join me and my classmates in a reading of your books. If you don’t I fear that you life will be missing an experience of a life time and will trouble you for not taking this offer. Please contact me soon.

Sincerely, Conor Hanlon
























Steven Beehan wrote “Black and Tans” with one intention in mind, to rally the proud Irish men of Northern Ireland. The bare thought alone of having a country control and claim land that was stripped from you and your family years ago makes you cringe, especially as Americans. We as Americans recognize this as a serious problem, considering the same thing happened to the first citizens of our country. Many political songs and poetry was written to get the men of America rallied to claim their rightful independence, and that is the same intention Beehan had in mind when writing this song.

 The British has been controlling Northern Ireland throughout the 19th century. It has remained a controversial issue ever since it started. It has brought out the worst –in my opinion- in the Irish culture. Groups such as the IRA (Irish Republican Army) have become major terrorist threats costing and endangering many lives of any culture. This is an embarrassment to the whole Irish culture and songs such as “Black and Tans” try to put an end to the ruthless reign of England in Northern Ireland with the same actions as the IRA.

This is a politically provoking song and has the potential to rally up any body that has a drop of Irish blood in them. It portrays the disgust the Irish men and women have for the British. It lets you feel the passion the men and women have burning in them in despite of the British. This song mocks the British culture for their tainted achievements that they have had throughout their long history in the world.

The significance this song has on the Irish culture is huge. Many Irish sing this to lift their world famous Irish spirit after a night of heavy drinking- as the Wolfe Tones say in “Irish Drinking Songs,” an album the Wolfe Tones released. Even though I do not agree with the intended effects of this song, I do agree that it has changed the hateful relationship between the Irish and British for the worse.






















With modern technology common luxuries such as privacy can be invaded with instruments so sleek that your attention would rarely if ever be brought to the matter. Many Americans did not realize it as the Bush Administration tapped their phone lines and emails and invaded their personal privacy over the last four years after the 9/11 attacks. President Bush’s reason for this was that they were suspected terrorist threats and he had the right to investigate. But does the Bush Administration have every right to act upon these suspicions as they did or is this a clear abuse of power?

After the leak had spread to the media, President Bush was appalled to hear that it was printed. He said the author of the initial article was,”Helping the enemy.” With such a strange enemy in a time of war Bush claims phone tapping is an essential weapon in the War on Terrorism. President Bush stresses the fact that he believes he is doing nothing less than strengthening the security of America.

Critics tend to disagree with President Bush’s views on his actions. They chastise President Bush’s choice to invade the privacy of any American citizen saying it is unconstitutional. The critics in this investigation agree that phone tapping is a reasonable act when court-ordered, but when it is written off in a secret manner, punishment should be lurking in the near future. Many feel that those involved with the “Bush Administration phone tapping scheme” should be condemned as any other criminal would be.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act makes it legal for secret presidential doctrines to be passed. This can make it legal for the personal privacy of particular citizens of our country to be invaded. Though it is technically legal many feel the law has been stretched with the help of the power only the president of the United States can posses. The justice this country is so proudly based on has also made this country tainted, and when you see the president get drunk with power, fear comes to the mind of many.