English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Frank Ormsby Hello my name is Brandon Ruggiero and I am currently a sophomore at Catholic Memorial High school in Boston, Massachusetts. During English class this year, we are studying British contemporary authors. I came across your name and a couple of your works online while I was doing research on contemporary authors and I noticed you were not in our book. It would be a good experience, I think, if you came into our classroom and shared some of your works with us and a little about your life, since you are not in our texts, that would be the only way of getting to know you. I noticed that you are into writing poetry. I think that is cool since poetry is my favorite piece of writing. Also you are well known for your poetry since you have won the Lawrence O` Shughnessy Award for poetry in 2002. That is a great honor for an author with such talent to win and really says a lot about you. I have read your poem “A Northern Spring" and I liked the fact that you dealt with warfare and history and using different analogies. I really like learning about warfare and history so your poem drew me to attention. I was also impressed with "Ghost Train". It is a good way of telling the audience how you have been waiting for your father for a long time. Those are some of your best works in my opinion. I really wanted to tell you how interested I was in your work. Hopefully later in the year we will study some of your work. But it would be a great opportunity for my peers and I if you accepted this invitation and came into our classroom to share a little of your work and a little about yourself so we can really get a grasp of understanding British Contemporary works















"Bonny Light Horseman"was written by Lesley Nelson Burns. The song was heard in 1790's and became popular in Britain and a few other countries. The tune to the song was probably written around four hundred years ago. The song is Irish and we know this because the type of scale they used throughout the song from what contemplator.com says. This song had some influence on British culture and history.

 The song tells us about an English horseman that was slain or killed in the Napoleonic wars. The horseman was in the battle for two months and two years from what the lyrics say.

The Bonny Light Horseman influenced the people of Britain or whoever was fighting in the Napoleonic wars and shows great sacrifice and dignity for his country. The line, "My Bonny Light Horseman was slain in the wars, "signifies his bravery and strength. The solider was proud to get on his horse and defend his country because the line, " When he mounted on a horse he so gay did appear." He was greatly respected as it says, "And by all his regiment respected he were." He died during the war and maybe his spouse wrote this song to pray for him. There have been many altercations or versions of this tune since the original version but this is the original.

 This song also ties into the cultural part of Britain. One way is they talk about lords, dukes, and earls in the song. Lesley Nelson-Burns also talk about love and affection in the line, "No man on this earth my affection shall gain." Horses were also used in the song because that was a part of culture, cars were not invented yet and horses became a part of their daily lives.

Today the song is not that popular. I have never heard the song until this research paper. It has been revised quite a bit, therefore it still has a little life to it. Mostly all the revisions to this song are different versions, there are about three or four of them. I asked Kyle Tobin, Glen Misho, Sean Shea, Brian Carroll and Sean Kiley if they had ever heard my song showing them the lyrics and none of which could recall ever hearing the song or anything about it.


































The news about the betting scandal has been buzzing around and bringing negative attention to the sport of hockey. The bulk of this crime has been taking place in Trenton, New Jersey. Rick Tocchet and Wayne Gretzky’s wife were the two main people accused of this multimillion dollar gambling ring but there is still more investigation going on about some other NHL players possibly being involved. Some may argue that power is the motive behind this because Tocchet opened up the ring knowing that it was illegal so he could earn money. My theory is money and respect leads to power. So far he has been getting the recognition of respect for playing in the NHL and he is gaining a lot of money from this betting taking place.

The week of February 13, 2006, Wayne Gretzky was wiretapped to find exclusive information and possible unknown knowledge. What the FBI did find out was that Gretzky did not have prior knowledge to the betting ring involving his wife, Janet Jones. She could be called to be a witness but will probably not be convicted. A copy of Richard Tocchet’s summon is available online. There has not been much word to the media from Tocchet. What Gretzky did say to the media was,“ I didn’t bet.” He also said later,” Rick is a good friend of mine and everybody is innocent until proven guilty.”

In my eyes, there is still a lot more to unfold in this case. There could be many other possible culprits. They found that New Jersey state trooper, James Harney was in on the ring as well. If convicted he will lose his job and a possible twenty year jail sentence. Some NHL players could be convicted but as of right now, there is no evidence to support this.

This story in a way also ties into British Literature. Charles Dickens wrote a story called, The Old Curiosity Shop. This story also has to deal with gambling because the grandfather was a gambler and he gets addicted to it so he looses all his money and has to hand over his shop to somebody else.

This case has the potential to split wide open. If other people come forward with different information that nobody has heard of yet or if other criminals are convicted, this could be a whole new case. This crime ties in with British Literature and is motivated by power.



























English is a very complex language and it consists of many different languages within itself. English is probably the hardest language to learn, we learn foreign languages for about five years while we study our own language for at least twelve. We started off with German sounding words in the 800`s and then kept tacking on languages from there. There are ten times as many words in the English dictionary today as there were in 1871. English as a whole should be the dominate language for every nation because it is so diverse. Though “hockey” has not been around too long compared to other words, it still has quite a bit of history to it.

One definition of “hockey” is a definition that we do not think of first when we first hear this word. Even though we do not hear it that much today, it still exists. It dates back to 1555. It is the old in the eastern countries of England for the feast at harvest home. Nasha used this word first in text in Summers Last Night Will. It was also used in Poor Robins Almanac in 1676. The second definition, the more common one today, is an outdoor game of ball played with sticks hooked or curved at the end which the players of each side drive the ball towards their opponents goal. This definition of hockey was used in 1537 in text by Galway Stab and he said,” the heritage of the litill battle with hockie sticks or staves.” In 1785, Cowper used it saying,” The boys at Olney have a new likewise very entertaining sport which announces annually upon this day (Nov.5) , they call it hockey.” The spelling of hockey has changed over its history also. It was originally spelled “hawkie.” It then changed to “hockie,” “hocky,” “hoacky” over time and then finally changed to the modern spelling, “hockey.”

Dictionary.com said WorldNet’s definition of “hockey” is, “a game played on ice by two opposing teams of six skaters on each team who try to knock a flat, round puck into the opponents goal with hockey sticks.” Webster’s dictionary defined hockey the same way.

When I asked people today what the word hockey meant, they told me it was fun and it was a sport on ice. Some other people said it was rough and a lot of fighting. I used Conte as a foreign language speaker and I asked him what he thinks of hockey and he said NHL. He also said, “I like hockey.” He said the word was not very hard to learn. Interestingly enough, there is a new use of the word hockey, “tonsil hockey.” I heard it on the street one day. I went to the library to look it up and it means to “make out.”

I think that English should be considered the official language of the world. It consists of a lot of languages put together. I think it would be a little easier for everybody to learn. If everybody spoke one language, it would make everything a lot easier than it is now. Communication is key.