English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Stephen Fry,

My name is Michael O’Neil and I am a student at Catholic Memorial high school in Boston Ma. I am in the 10th grade and studying contemporary British authors such as yourself.

It sounds to me like you’re a very funny guy and you like football witch is something we have in common. It would be an honor to have you come and speak to my classroom about yourself and some of the great works you have published.

I have read some of your works such as The Hippopotamus and it was a great story. I specifically liked the part in the novel where you said "A cousin of mine who was a casualty surgeon in Manhattan tells me that he and his colleagues had a one-word nickname for bikers: Donors. Rather chilling." I love books that have comedy in them. I also noticed about you that you are quiz show host. I also read that you could turn your hand to football management.

I know that we have a lot of things in common and it would be a shame if you couldn’t come visit us here at Catholic Memorial. I know I wouldn’t be the only one who would appreciate u coming to our school. I would really appreciate it if you could come please do not let me down. Sincerely, Michael O’Neil





























Down by the sally gardens The song “Down by the Sally Gardens” by W.B. Yeats is an old Irish folk song. The song was written in 1888 by Yeats. It was written in Ireland and the song is a very popular song. The song was voted in the top 100 Irish folk songs.

This song had great affect on the culture. Down By the Sally Gardens is a total love song. I think the song expresses love at the first site. Yeats is focusing on one girl and according to the song Yeats lets the girls slip away from him and as quotes from the song “She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs but I was young and foolish, and with her did not agree”. That was the 3rd line in the introduction paragraph to the song. Yeats appeared to fall in love with some one he met at first site. This may affect the culture and the way people look upon love at first site.

The song down by the sally gardens was a very cultural song that influenced young men and women that love at first site maybe a true thing. It also influenced them that once you see somebody that you think you love hold on to him or her. Do not let that person go as Yeats did. Here is a quote from the song were you can tell it was love at first site “It was down by the Sally Gardens, my love and I did meet” Which is how the song starts off. Then you see the last line in the paragraph saying “But I was young and foolish, and with her did not agree”.

In Conclusion Down by the Sally Gardens is an amazing Irish folk song which I enjoyed researching and listening to. I recommend that every one listens to what an amazing song it is. It’s also a song with such great meaning to it. I would be curious to know other peoples opinion of the song and people’s opinion on love at first site. Down by the Sally Gardens does not only express love it expresses deep thought and feelings toward other people. At the end it appears it didn’t turn out the way Yeats wanted it to.






















Charles Cullen a 43 year old male nurse born in 1960 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania who is the most prolific serial killer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He apparently thought he had the power to kill any of his patients. Charles murdered over 30 patients and admitted to it. They say in 2003 he murdered one patient per month. He worked at 10 different hospitals in New Jersey. When Cullen was fired he was found to be the common denominator among six patients with abnormal test results. In His statement he claims he murdered all his patients for mercy. He said that he did not want them to suffer any longer, but there cases indicated he did it for power. Cullen knew that the lives of his patients were in his hands and at any moment he had the power to pull the cord.

Cullen pleaded guilty to the charges and said he had no intention of fighting back. Charles did not even want a lawyer he quoted “Your honor, I don't wish to be represented. I don't plan to contest the charges I plan to plead guilty." which was quoted in the Boston Herald. But in a quick turnabout accepted a public defender, who subsequently said Cullen might offer names in the exchange for avoiding the death penalty. One family quoted in court that “Charles Cullen should be injected with every medicine he killed his patients with”. The question remains how could Cullen have worked at 10 different hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, over a period of 16 years despite the fact that at seven of those hospitals, he was under investigation, fired or forced to resign?

Apparently, not one of those institutions gave Cullen a bad reference, or told other hospitals he was trouble. It amounted to a policy of "See no evil-speak no evil" one that gave Cullen, in effect, a license to kill. Medical Centers say that they had no idea that Cullen had been investigated elsewhere. If concerns had been passed along, then things would have been different and that upsets hospital officials. Now they are faced with a massive investigation and damage to their reputation. Charles Cullen will not face the death penalty as I found out today on the news. The trial is still going on today and soon he will be sentenced to jail for life.

In conclusion Charles Cullen may have had power when he was working in the hospitals, but now Cullen is faced with life in jail. Cullen is lucky he did not receive the death penalty. Another possible culprit in this crime could have been the hospitals who maybe knew what he was doing and let him escape free. Cullen assumed he had the power of control of these poor people’s lives. He will pay the consequences in jail and God Bless the family’s that the killer had effect on. This case is over and the serial killer from New Jersey and Pennsylvania is no more.




























In today’s world, language helps us find out who we are as individuals. The word language has many different definitions to it. One definition that I find best describes the word would be communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols. Language can do many things to people. Some words in the English language are so strong it can hurt another’s emotional feelings and cause them pain and distress. Language alone is a very powerful word and people today don’t think about the word that much. People might ask questions such as, where did the word language come from? There are many different languages in the world today. Gang being a very popular word in today’s world.

I surveyed different people to see what the word means to them and some definitions they gave were gang is a group of criminals who group together and cause trouble. Another definition is a group of wise guys who band together, especially a group of delinquents. The final definition someone gave me was a group of people who associate regularly on a social basis. As you can tell by the definitions people gave gang is a strong word. All over the streets we hear of different gangs doing bad things to our society. Dictionary’s use different definitions than people on the street use

Three dictionary definitions are one a group of criminals or hoodlums who band together for mutual protection and profit this comes from the American Heritage Dictionary. A second definition from the Merriam Webster’s dictionary is a group of persons associating for antisocial and often criminal purposes and activities. A third dictionary definition comes from the on-line medical dictionary an association of criminals. Gangs usually consist of kids who had a rough child hood and didn’t have parents there to support them. A gang is a group of individuals who share a common identity and, in current usage, engages in illegal activities. Most commonly, the word "gang" refers to street gangs, or groups who take over territory in a particular city, sometimes simply for lack of something better to do, and are often involved in other criminal activities.

Since roughly the 1970s, street gangs have been strongly connected with drug sales (especially crack cocaine). Gangs have been known to claim colors such as red or blue, a trend that started as far back as the late 18th century and early 19th century with Mexican bandits and roving marauders in what would later become the Southwest/Western United States. The Oxford English Dictionary says that gang was used for the first time in around 805. The OED also gives a definition of gang as the power of going or ability to walk about. There are many articles with the word gang used in it. One poem I found was by Robert Frost called the Line gang. In this poem Robert uses the word gang as an army. The poem starts by saying “HERE come the line-gang pioneering by”. Another poem that I found was Fair Janet by The Oxford Book of Ballads written in 1910. The poem was written in Old English and it starts by saying “YE maun gang to your father, Janet”. These were just two poems I found with the word gang in it.

The word gang is very strong and has affected the world in a bad way. People over power the word gang and in every city there are too many gangs. The word gang has changed from time to time. The word gang when it was used in 805 changed a lot then the way we use it today in 2006. In 805 a gang was nothing bad and they used it as a term to a group of kids who shared same interests. They did not cause trouble or do bad things. Now its 2006 and a lot has changed and every little word we use in the English language eventually had different terms and meanings. We never realize how far back a little word we use every day can go.