English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Melvin Burgess,

My name is Stephen Carbone and I am from Boston Massachusetts. I go to Catholic Memorial and I am in the 10th grade. I am writing you this letter to ask you if you would join my British Literature Class and speak to us and hopefully read some of your favorite pieces. My class has just gone over British Contemporary writers and your name came up as one of the more famous and outstanding authors. All though my class never had the chance to read some of your writings but maybe you could come and enlighten my class on your pieces of literature.

At first when I came into British Literature class I thought it was going to be a joke and boring. But as weeks when on I realized that British Literature went back 100’s of years, it’s been here longer than American Literature. I know now that British Literature is truly great and you are apart of that great history as a great writer. I looked at some of your pieces of work there were two books that caught my eye, “Birdman” and “Billy Elliot”. I know that most of my classmates have heard of “Billy Elliot” but never knew who wrote the book. Also Birdman is a children’s book but I like how you intentionally wrote it for your own children then it took off as a great seller in the book stores. One other book “Junk”, if people my age read this book would get a message on what heroin can do to people. It impacted me when I read pieces of the book.

As I looked at the book “Junk” I knew that this book would be a good reader for my classmates and could teach them a life long lesson. One quote I liked from “Junk”, “and that’s the nasty thing because then, when you’re clean, that’s when it works the best”. This particular line I found in your book made me think how people use heroin and how it works better. By just read little pieces of the book I will always stay away form drugs because they just kill you.

I would really appreciate if you would really consider coming over to Boston and reading to us. I mean how many invitations do you get to come over to America and read to a group of 10th graders. If you don’t come you disappoint one of your fans and maybe some future fans. Maybe by coming to our school you could be inspired to write a new book, but if you don’t come you will never be inspired to write a book. I hope you do decide to come to our school and talk to my class.


Stephen Carbone





























“Over the Hills and Far Away”, was the song that I have chosen for my favorite song to write about. It was written 1700 by and Irish man George Farquhars. “Over the Hills and Far Away”, has been written twice once by an English man John Gay, and then again by my author George Farquhars. This version of the song was the one I felt was the better of the two. This song is about war and how everything and everyone changes by war. Also how men leave everything to fight the battle. Its about the effects war has people, how boys enter war and leave as men.

My author George Farquhars was born in Londonderry, Ireland (known today as Derry, Ireland). George Farquhars lived from 1678- 1706. I believe my author chose to write about war because he himself has experienced 3 wars in Europe and one in his own country. The battles were the English Civil War, War of Devolution, and Williamite war in Ireland. The one war that might have affected the most would probably be the last war in Ireland. It was around the same time as when George Farquhars wrote it.

“Over the Hills and Far Away”, would two categories it would be under, history and culture. The way my song would be history by my author wrote this song because about all the wars he has seen. All three wars, English Civil War, War of Devolution, and Williamite war in Ireland all were the wars in Europe during the time George Farquhars was born to he wrote the song. George Farquhars wrote how the men left their “brats and wives”, to fight the war. He also wrote that they entered the war as boys and left it as men.

My song then would be categorized as culture because he is writing about how he had seen people to go the war and come out of it. How they left everything to fight a war for their country. All this is showed in his lyrics of the song. George Farquhars wrote this song out of patriotism, in commemorate of all the soldiers of war.

My song is not well known today by people in America. It could bee famous in Ireland, England, and many others. But as of all my information in looked up the people in America are not very attached to this song as I think it should be. It is a great song with a good tune but it is not very well known. Its ashamed because I believe people at this time right now with war in Iraq people would like it.

I truly like this song and that is why I chose it. So I hope in the future my song will be very popular and when I am walking down the street I will hear people singing it. This was written as true patriotism.


























On Monday February 14, 2006 in Mexico City, Mexico the police chief was gunned down in a town near Monterrey. Hours later in another Mexican community another police chief was kidnapped and shot to death. The police don’t know if they were related but violence has increased since a highly known drug dealer who name is unknown to the press was arrest weeks before the murders. So that could be a great motive to strike back at two very important police chiefs. The first police chief killed was Hector Ayala, he was driving near the city of Monterrey were a group of people opened fired on the car and killed him. 4 hours later police chief Javier Garcia who was named police chief two weeks earlier of the attack. He was kidnapped and murdered; the police found his body on the side of they highway a few miles away from the kidnap site. These crimes were an act of getting power because they wanted the police gone so they could be in charge of the two towns the police chiefs were stationed at.

This crime is a common one to the people in Mexico. Its not usually directed to the police but to citizens. The two police chiefs were killed hours apart which is bringing up ideas if the two are related. They have an idea on who was committed the crime but they have not charged anyone yet. One of the attorneys in this matter has said “this crime is too familiar and they want it to come to an end”. The gang that are the ones being looked at by the police are known for these kind of acts but they are on gang that is hard to find.

I think the people who have killed the two police chiefs had something personal against them. I believed the two murders are related to one another and also linked to the well known drug dealer arrested. If the murders were linked to the drug dealer the people who killed the police chiefs had something personal against them. But if they had something personal against the two police chiefs than why have a big gun firing on a car to show everyone who did it. All they did was do a crime that that the police have seen too often. “The gang violence has increased greatly and rapidly in the last month” said by a police officer in this matter.

This crime was very unique so it was hard to find a piece of British Literature that matched to my crime. I searched and the crime was not easily found. So I looked towards William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Sherlock Holmes. I found “The return of Sherlock Holmes best matched mine with all the murders and violence.


















Language is the universal way of communication, the next way to communicate would be in literature. Both of these ways will be covered in this essay. Language is the way the world communicates to get ideas passed to one and other. The English language is a very important language to the world. This showed by the number of people that speak the language. English is one of the most spoken language in countries other than the United States. The word “treason” was the word I felt was perfect to write about in this. The word’s history alone is the biggest reason I chose to write about it. “Treason” has been used in the English language for over 700 years the exact years it has been used is 781 years. The “treason” has in my opinion hurt the English. Just look at the definition it is about betrayal that alone supports my opinion in this essay I will prove my opinion correct.

“Treason” is a word that everyone in the English speaking world should know or at least have the understanding of the word. Because it is such a basic word it basically has the same definition. The dictionaries I have chosen to look “treason” up were The American Heritage, The Merriam - Webster Dictionary of Law, and The WorldNet Dictionary Princeton University. Because of the simplicity of this word all of the dictionaries had the similar definition. In The American Heritage the definition is “Violation of allegiance towards on country or sovereign.” ( ) This definition is very similar to the one in the OED. In The Merriam - Webster Dictionary of Law defined “treason” as “A crime that undermines the offenders of the government.” ( ) In the WorldNet Dictionary Princeton University defines “treason” as “The betrayal by one person against his people, country, and/or king.” ( )

In the OED I chose the first 3 definitions out of the 5 definitions listed for “treason” and what I thought best fit the word. The first way defined it as “The action of betrayal” (304). That was first used by Aucr. R in 1225. The 2nd definition of “treason” (304) was “violation against own king or queen. This was first used by R. Glouc in 1345. The definition states ‘AN act of treason in prec. Senses, also, a species of treason”(304). That form of “treason” was first used in 1351 by Edw. III.

“Treason” is a word that everyone knows but most of the people only know the same definition. This is so because of the simplicity of the word and it is used a lot in today’s media and in history. When I did my survey to 10 people 80% of the people gave me the same definition of “treason”. It took 4%of the people to give me a knew definition of the 2nd attempted and 30 % need 3 to 4 tries to get a new definition of the word. I believe I got the same definition of the word a lot because my demographic wasn’t really diverse. The 10 people I selected for my survey were all male and from the age of 15-25 years of age. Maybe if I selected some older people or a few women maybe my survey would have been different. ]

My next survey was with 3 people that learned the English language as their second language. This was very easy for me because my neighborhood is full of people that have come for different countries to start a new life in America. The first person I asked was my neighbor Horst. His first language he spoke was German. He first learned the word “treason” was while he was reading a book. His definition of the word was “betrayal”. The next person I interviewed was my friends father Tony. His first language was Arabic. He first heard of the word when he was a young boy. He defined the word as “back stabbing”. The final person I interviewed was my neighbor Sam, he also spoke Arabic first. He first heard the word on the news. He defined the word as ‘going against your own country”.

The two literary pieces that held information about “treason” was very fun for me to look up and to use in my paper. My job was to find the word in text but in a way I have never seen it before. I found two sources that held my word in their title. The first one was in the Irish Times on 2/24/06 it stated” Burrowing unruffed by whiff of whiskey treason”. That was one way I have never seen my word before. The second source was in the San Francisco Chronicle on 8/23/04 it stated “stop tax treason”. Also I have never see in that form. Those two articles both displaced the word “treason” and in unique ways that might find its way into the OED one day.

In conclusion I still believe that “treason” is one word that needs to disappear from our language because it only represents evil in our world. I hope after reading this paper you feel the same way as in do.