English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Ms. Shirley Hazzard,

Hello, my name is Jason Connell of Boston, Massachusetts. I was doing my English homework, searching the internet for a review of P.G. Wodehouse, and I came across a list of contemporary writers. I became more and more intrigued by each one. Until I came to the name Hazzard, Shirley. I clicked on it and I read about your life and your work.

I admire your work for not just being one of these persons who criticize politics without any research or reason. You had also previously monitored civil war in China and worked in the UN. That’s what I like about you and your work, you write about something we can relate to, and what you believe in. I believe in your work and what you say because you have had a career in it and are well informed about what you write. I, myself, am not too political so I do not talk about it, but your work inpires me to be more interested.

I really like one of your quotes I came across while I was reading , “The Evening of the Holiday.” The quote was “Let's have our tea in peace. They were not really having tea” I think you are saying let’s live life in peace. This is what most of your books are about, world peace, which I agree with.

So after investigating your work, I got a great idea. What if my English class could hear you speak to us or just stop by and pay us a visit? I know my class would like to hear about you as much as I would. We would especially like to hear you because your not just a boring writer, who writes about nature or anything typical, instead you write about the UN and interesting things like that. Our schedule is always open for a great writer. You inspire many and can gain support for what you believe in. Any teacher could just say fight for what you believe in but it would just not have the same impact . Maybe you could just read and discuss some of your work, because we have not read any of it yet, and probably will not get a chance to, because we are covering the classics. For instance, we are currently reading George Orwell’s “1984”. I know my teacher would not say no to an actual British author coming to speak to us, after all, the course is called, “English 10, British Literature”. I would greatly appreciate it if you did in fact join us.

Sincerely, Jason Connell




















My song is “Black and Tans”, by Dominic Behan. He was born in Dublin Ireland and that is where he wrote this song. This song is not all too popular to us Americans today but in Ireland it is still a remembered song. The song is criticizing the Black and Tans, which were former soldiers, brought into Ireland by the government in London to assist the government in their work. Behan did not like them and in his song he calls them cowards. This song affected the culture and politics of Ireland. The culture realized that they should not be afraid of these men and stand up and rebel. At times the Black and Tans opened fire on civilians, killing them. Although there was no revolts against them, the government never likes anyone to show the people of Ireland that they are weak or wrong or able to be attacked.

The background of the song is that he disagrees and is very angry with the Black and Tans. In most songs they speak in figurative language but not in this song, he clearly says, “come out black 'n' tans come out 'n' fight me like a man”. I think Behan was trying to get a revolt against the government or at least let the people know about them and try to get them against the government. To inform the people of how awful these “ police” are.

The main function of the song, Black and Tans is to rebel. Behan is not writing this song for people’s enjoyment or to make money or any of that. He is writing to make his fellow Irish citizens to rebel against these British soldiers. He is also trying to rebel against his own government for putting such young people into the army. He says, “where are the sneers and jeers that you bravely let us hear when our heroes of '16 were executed”, according to the europeanfootballchants.com. Behan is pointing out that the Black and Tans are not so good for killing young men, but also saying that the Irish government is wrong for letting young men die. Maybe he thinks that the Irish government is not doing enough to eliminate these British soldiers.

The main function does not exist anymore today even in Ireland, because the Black and Tans do not exist still today. But the message still does exist today. If something is not right or fair do not just accept it, but rather rebel and not take it. Today there are no other versions according to Lime Wire.


























This article is covering the trial of former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein’s trial. Saddam’s trial began July 1, of 2004. He was in court facing seven main charges. The charges were the killing of religious figures in 1974, gassing of Kurds in Halabja in 1988, killing the Kurdish Barzani clan in 1983, killing members of political parties in the last 30 years, the 1986-88 ''Anfal'' campaign of displacing Kurds, the suppression of the 1991 uprisings by Kurds and Shiites, and the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

 Although those are his charges he is faced with, he also killed his own citizens, to put a scare into them. This crime’s main purpose was to gain and show off his power, mostly political power. He killed many political people and leaders to gain there land, he killed religious figures to put his religion in place, tried to invade countries to become a bigger nation and he killed his own citizens just to show off his power and tell them that he was the boss. The crimes of Saddam Hussein were committed for power.

Sadam was by no means silent during his trial. He was not happy to be there and he even threatened the judge by saying, “go hit yourself over the head with your gavel”. He also said, “Long live the Arab nation”. Sadam Hussein is trying to keep power. He is trying to scare the Iraqis by showing he is still violent, so the Iraqi people are scared and Sadam has a sense of power. He also wants terrorist to still “work” so that he feels even though he is gone his message is still being carried out. Ultimately Sadam is trying to have power even though he has no power anymore.

Other people have certainly benefited from this crime. Any one who believes in this terrorism and violence is proud of Sadam for being like them. All though we know Sadam committed these certain charges, there are other culprits of different crimes related to terrorism or violence against your own people. There are definitely other violent dictators.

Although there have been no violent Iraqi dictators named Sadam Hussein in British Literature, there have been violent people who are violent for power. In George Orwell’s “1984” Big Brother is harsh and sometimes violent so no one will revolt and he stays powerful. This is just like Sadam Hussein trying to scare his people to keep a sense of power.

In conclusion, Sadam scares his people because he craves power so much. That’s why he butchered his own people, to scare others. Now that he’s on trial, he is trying to still feel power by scaring them. He said, “long live the Arab nation”, which is saying still be terrorists.
































Language, rights Basically language is way of communicating and is one of our most vital necessities as humans. Without language, it would be impossible to live, we would all be forced to be independent on ourselves. Having no language would be like all us walking around with the same face on walking with our hands in our pockets, no one can know what your thinking. The English language although has changed over hundreds of years still represents us today as Americans. That brings me to my word, “rights” a word that has many translations and date back a long time ago. In my opinion this word has both hurt and benefited us but it has mostly benefited us. You may say the word has started wars, which it has, but it makes us more moral people. We all know its wrong to have slaves, that’s there “right” of freedom. The word gives a legal and social explanation of why we should be moral. When we make it lawfully there “right”, then something morally correct will always be the result. The only way rights can hurt people are if they are taking away. “Rights” first appeared in literature in 888 used by a man named Kelford, and the word was probably published today in a newspaper.

“Rights” has many definitions. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "In a just or proper manner; justly". Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “conforming with or conformable to justice, law, or morality, the proper thing”. The New American Dictionary defines it as “a just or legal claim or title”. These are three different uses of the word one is how a person should act, one is adjusting to be moral, and the third definition deals with the lawful process.

According to the OED the first time the word was used was in 888 by Kelford when he said Forbahn hit is swioe ryht spell paet se uowitta saede. Of course the word was probably used before that in speech but just wasn’t written down or published. Shakespeare first used it in 1250 when he said, “Is it not though right to be free”. It was used in the Bible, “thou safest in the throne judging right”. Milton used it in 1667 when he said, “Father who art Judge of all things made, and judgest onely right”.

 When I did a survey of the word, I asked all North Easterners. Sixty percent had graduated high school and college, and forty percent were in high school. I interviewed twenty percent women and they focused on women’s rights. When I asked what is the first thing that comes to mind when I say “rights”, the most popular result was “the Bill of Rights” what our country is based on. This shows us that the northeast believes strongly in how our government is set up, it also supports the Civil War argument, that the North wanted rights to all, including slaves to be free. I’m not saying the south still wants slaves or doesn’t want rights it just supports history. The most unique response I got was by Patrick Murphy, he said, “all humans should receive rights”. That supports my argument that rights help society that every single person in the world deserves them.

This word is used an extreme amount in literature. William Shakespeare used it multiple times as I saw in the OED. The word stands for what is morally correct, so if an author or poet was at all political or believed in fairness chances are they would have used this word in one of their works. Literature is like music, you get your views across through it. Famous authors could have been speaking out against unjustness to the poor, or they could just be saying they want equal rights, or they don’t believe in equal rights. Chances are though they were making a political statement using this word.

“Rights” was used in Discriminating language rights and politics in the post-Yugoslav states by Vanessa Pupavac. This title deals with language and politics, and it is international. In Victims of our History’? Barbara Castle and In Place of Strif it was used, “well-thought-out philosophy of trade union right” this shows us a different type of right. It was also used in Sen’s liberalism theorem as “Sen’s societal cycles: rather than describing the rights of individuals to choose, the cycles identify when these choices impose difficulties on others”. This guy’s theory doesn’t believe in rights, a very political statement.

Foreign Language speakers had mixed opinions about my word. Mari Pequero who is originally from Puerto Rico, said, “its what proper and she said her mom told her about foreigner’s rights and the unjustness of them”. Joseph Kikawatchu who is ethnically Haitian related it to slavery. And Vladimir Valik from Russia said, “it’s not left”. Then he realized what definition of the word I was working with and he said that it makes this country awesome.

I found three new usages of the word “rights”. The first one is internet rights, this is not in the OED and when you think of rights you don’t usually think of the internet. The next one is soccer rights, I didn’t think the sport of soccer had rights or even players. This could be applied to every sport it has to do with the rules and regulations, and how its there right to follow them. The last one was reproductive rights, this means that unborn children have rights to be born and no on can take their rights away.

I believe the word rights help society. Look at what the majority of my surveyors said, they said the bill of rights. That’s what our country is based on, we have a pretty good country too and that’s what we are based on rights. The only way rights can hurt is if they’re taking away. Then people are not treated morally right. English today is the number one language spoken in the world. Kids in France have to learn it at an extremely young age. But what does this mean? That does not mean it is the most important, or the best language. Sure if you speak English your probably going to be better off internationally but it is not essential. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, it matters what you speak. The UN can speak whatever language they want to, especially in modern times, we have translators so language is not important. It cannot hurt knowing English especially as an American citizen but as far as internationally English is not vital to them. I take French in school that does not mean I need it because everyone speaks French. In my life we speak English and that’s what I know.