English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Nick Laird

How are you? You are probably wondering who is writing to you today, I am pleased to tell you that I am a tenth grader at Catholic Memorial High School, in Massachusetts. I am fifteen-years- old and I am currently taking a British Literature class that I am enjoying and find quite interesting. I love reading and learning about British Writers and their work. In my English class we just finished a unit on contemporary writers, and various types of writing like, essays, poetry, novels, and stories. We are currently reading the book “1984" by George Orwell.

I am aware that you do critic writing along with poetry, essays, and books. I have done some reading on your novel book called, “Ulittery Monkey”. I am going to purchase and read this book on my free time or maybe during the summer, and I am looking forward to reading all of it. I have heard many great things about this particular piece of writing that you did.

I read your poem titled, “To a Fault”, and I found it to be a very good poem. I like the compassion in your writing and how you stress the meaning in your words. For example, in your poem this line caught my attention: “ It’s not lifting the pen from the page no, we could not itemize the list, but of course they cannot see and this is a charge not a pleading”. I like how you stress the doubt in this line. It seems as if someone told you that you could not do something, yet you felt an urge to prove that person wrong. It is something that often happens to people in today’s world.

I am writing to you because I would like to learn more about literature. My class and teacher are great at CM, but your knowledge is beyond anyone’s knowledge in literature here at my school. I was wondering if you could come to Catholic Memorial and speak to my class or even send us a letter. I think if you came to my class it would be a great opportunity for me and my classmates to learn your techniques in writing and learn how you became such a talented British Writer. You are probably a very busy man with many events to follow within your career as a writer. It would be very disappointing if you didn’t make it to my class, because the knowledge you have is something special and unique that our teachers could never offer to us. It is something that only you could share. I would like to get away from my English text book for a little while and learn from you, instead. In my opinion and many others around the world, you are among the worlds greatest writers.

Sincerely your fan

By, Julian Colarusso




























Rule Britannia rule the waves: Britain’s never shall be slaves. This phrase is from the song Rule Britannia by Thomas Augustine Arne, lyrics by James Tomson. This song was written by these two Gentlemen during the 1740s through the 1800s.Britannia was the original name given by the Romans to what is now England and Whales. Rule Britannia teaches us many things about Britain past history, culture, and politics, Witch are major reasons why the song stands where it does today as being a spectacular and famous song around the world. Unlike other songs that teach us only one fact about there country Rule Britannia is a unique and special song that has much to tell about its country.

Britannia affected the government, Philosophy and also the culture of today’s Britain by being a patriotic song as well as a spiritual fight song for the country and the people that live there during times of difficulty such as depression and economic failure. This song is not only used in negative times but also in victorious and great moments. Rule Britannia is known to be similar to schools fight and theme songs. Britannia was written in its home country Britain in the 1800s.

Britannia is very vital to Britain’s past as well as present for a couple of reasons one is that that the song is still known around the world today. I think this song helped Britain’s overcome obstacles and depression during wars. It was also played many times during severe times and had a very big impact on the outcome of the event.

Rule Britannia was often used for patriotic reasons and to lift there army’s spirits in time of battle. Rule Britannia was used as an unofficial national anthem during the 1800s. The phrase I mentioned earlier was one of the most important lines in the poem in my opinion it shows how the culture was impacted by the song in becoming more independent as the phrase I mentioned Britain shall never be slaves. This song helped people believe in each other and stand up for what they believe in is right for there country and there best interest. I think this is a great song to get the people in your country feeling happy mentally spiritually and gives people a strong bond of love for each other and there country.






















In a small town Dixon of Illinois something happened to two families that would affect there lives and the people around them forever. Sarah Kolb, a seventeen-year-old girl was convicted of killing and cutting up her friend, after chocking and beating her severely. The teenager killed was a sixteen-year-old girl that had just moved to east Moline, Illinois from previously living in Texas. Adriane Reynolds had befriended Kolb about two months before getting slaughtered. Kolb said that before the murder her and Reynolds were arguing about boy’s briefly before she was killed. Kolb stated that she wasn’t the killer but never testified that same story again in court. The killing was motivated by power, in a violent way of action, showing who had the power and say to control an individuals life that simply got out of control.

Sarah Kolb had a couple of trials since that tragic day in February, but never any interviews or comments to the press. Even though Sarah had no words with the news, her attorney, Hoffmen had some of his own words after a trial in February saying“ the Kolb’s didn’t have anything to say but they did look as if they were still in guilt of state of shock” Sarah did indeed keep some thoughts to herself. Jeff Terronez, a young man in the same grade as the two girls, was in class with Kolb the day of the incident. Jeff said Kolb wrote in her school notebook that she was going to kill Reynolds, and then burn her in a shed after school that day. Kolb said she and Reynolds were fighting about boys in Kolbs car while her ex-boyfriend, Cory Gregory was listening to the conversation. Gregory is being faced with murder charges and will face a trial in May. Gregory during a television interview quoted, “I wasn’t there, all I did was get dropped off by Kolb and they drove off after school”. Kolb never testified or accused Gregory of murder again in court. Reynolds family had a few words also with the press stating, “ we don’t think Sarah is sorry for her actions”. “ I didn’t see her crying or anything in remorse”, Joan Reynold’s added to the press

Even this horrifying crime in February can be found in British literature these days. William Shakespeare, known as the greatest poet and writer of all time wrote a play that relates to the murder called, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”. A quote somewhat similar to the same quote from this tragedy is by the killer, lady Macbeth, “I perform upon the unguarded Duncan, what not put upon his spongy officers who shall hear the guilt of our great quell”. This is also based off motivation of power to be in control of everyone and their lives. Lady Macbeth states that the guards will feel the guilt of Duncan being killed exactly what the poor Reynolds family wants Kolb to feel, but will never know the truth of Kolb’s feelings.

This awful crime was a devastating incident that happened simply because one person needed to feel like she was in complete control of everyone and everything around her. The motivation was to be in power.
































The English language is very complicated and difficult to learn, because of it’s variety and irregularities on how to use vowels and consonants. The English language, despite it’s difficulty to learn, is a very good language to speak because it is spoken in many countries throughout the world. Although the English language seems like an old language, it is rather new compared to the way it was written and spoken in the past. The word “Excellence” is a word that was discovered in c.1643 and ever since it has brought negativity into the world. “Excellence” is a word that has affected the world in a negative way because so many people want to achieve it. It is a very high standard that not all people are actually capable of achieving. “Excellence” is most popular for meaning great, but has a negative effect because so many people want everything that is of excellence, for example, the best cell phone, computer, car, etc. This want for excellence can become greed.

I found that the context of the word “excellence” has many ways to be used in the English language. The American Heritage Dictionary of English Language states that “excellence” is a state of quality or condition of excelling or superiority. The word was also found in the Princeton University Dictionary, and it defines the word “excellence” as something or someone who succeeds. The Webster Dictionary says that “excellence” is the achievement of a goal. Even though these dictionary definitions do not describe excellence as a negative thing, the word does put pressure on people, since it stands for achievement of one’s goals in life, which is something that everyone try’s to get.

The word excellence is a very popular word in the English language today. Many dictionary’s have variety ways to use the word, “excellence”. The main dictionary called, Oxford English Dictionary (OED), includes the popular ways to use the word “excellence”, as well as some unique ways to use it. The OED is an excellent and special dictionary. Some of the familiar ways that the OED describes “excellence” is as a person or a thing with great skill. Another way the OED describes “excellence” is as a rank or dignitary. The OED uses “excellence” in a unique way by stating “excellence” as a current sense or thought. All of the definitions from OED are great to know, because they give you that edge of understanding that the other dictionary’s did not do.

Because the word “excellence” is such a popular word, it was very easy to conduct a survey for people to take regarding the meaning of the word to them, and how it can be used. A variety of people got questioned, including elderly and young, male and female. One male named Mark Glynn said, “excellence is a leader with skill and power”. 40% of all males said that “excellence” was someone or something in control and with high power. I asked a woman named Jennifer Sands about the word “excellence” and she said, “it is a gift that is given to a person”. 40% females said that it is a skill. The rest of the people surveyed said that “Excellence” is an achievement that people work hard for. Giuliana Falco said that she strives for excellence in painting and will not sign a painting until she has reached it, which comes after long hard work.

I conducted another survey to foreign people on the meaning of the word “excellence” to them, and if it had a different meaning in the countries where they come from. I asked an Italian man named, Antonio Falco, 76-years-old, what excellence meant to him, and he said, “excellence does not exists like perfection does not exist”. I also asked a gas station owner who is Arabic and about 20-years-old, and he answered that “excellence comes to strong, smart and hard-working people”. After everyone’s answers, I think that the word “excellence” has a negative affect on people since there is a lot of pressure put onto people trying to achieve it.

Not only is the word “excellence” found in the OED, it is also used by many authors throughout their writing careers. One of the world’s greatest writers used the word “excellence” in one of his plays called “Anthony and Cleopatra”, his name is William Shakespare. “Excellence is a falsehood”, is a phrase from that play. I think that it is a falsehood too, since many people want the most excellent things in life including relationships, but really it is something much too hard to achieve, and sometimes it never comes, even after hard work and trying with all of one’s might. Shakespear also used the word “Excellence” in the play called, “Hen”, and it says, “Hath goes the voice in hell excellence”. I think there is a voice inside our heads that say’s we should always have bigger and better than what we actually have or are. The voices on television tells us that we should buy excellence. I think it is like hell because we never feel relaxed or calm with what we have. The author Eddie Chacer in one of his poems called Atrol uses the word “excellence” in the following sentence: “The excellence of the sphere solid sweyth manifest the diverse asseunious of signs in diverse places”. He also uses the term excellence as a high standard and rank.

All in all, I feel that the word “excellence” is a word that people perceive as positive and great, but I wonder if they are aware of the pressure that it has on them and the stress that it causes, along with the great disappointments.