English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Mr. Crace, Hello my name is Xavier and I am a student at Catholic Memorial High School, in Boston, Massachusetts. I am writing you this letter to ask you to visit my English class, we are now studying British Literature, but we will not get to read your work. Now you ask, why would this kid want me to visit, for what reasons? Well I will tell you.

I have done a little bit of research on you and I have come to see that you are a writer who has a powerful ability to create imaginary worlds, and you are a very imaginative writer as well. I like this because I like to read about the future and I like to see how an author can come up with a different concept for a book. I like that you write quality books that actually have a significance, it is also amazing to me how you write so many books, and you do not run out of ideas, and how you have more prizes than written books. In the short story, "Helter Skelter, Hang Sorrow, Care'll Kill a Cat," the narrator Joe, is not like you at all as he is not sure of himself, I have read that you are very confident in your work. I have chosen a quote from the short story, "Seven Ages." "All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts..." I like this quote because to me its is saying that men and women have to show the world their talents and what they can do, but when you are trying to do this there will be ups and downs in life, you just have to break through the bad things that happen to succeed.

If you don't come to visit we will miss out on great work, and miss out on a great opportunity to meet a real writer. If you do not come to visit we will also not be able to ask you some of our own questions, like what your writing strategies are and how u get inspired to write different stories. Please write back, thank you. Sincerely, Xavier Landestoy





















Robert Burns was one of the greatest songwriters in Scottish history, and others may say he is one of the best writers in the world in the 1700s. The song that is considered one of his best will be the song explained in the following essays, this song is called, “A Man’s A Man for A’ That.”

Born at Alloway in Ayrshire, Scotland, on the 25th of January. Robert Burns worked on a farm as a kid, even though his family was poor, his parents made sure he was well educated. At the age of 25 he began to compose poetry and songs, these poems were well received locally and were published in 1786. Burns’ poems and songs fell into two categories, English and Scottish. Even though he was famous he was not getting money for him and his family so he continued to work on the farm. In his lifetime he wrote over 500 poems and songs put together. All of the songs he wrote, however were not all of his songs, they were some of his favorite songs taken bye he himself and just added his parts to these songs. Many of his own writings were about poverty which he was very familiar to, even though he wrote many pieces of his time, a lot however were not published.

Written in 1795 and inspired bye the French Revolution, “A Man’s A Man for A’ That,” was said to be Burns’ cry for human equality at the time. As many other writers at the time their poems were about the Revolution. I believe the main function of this song is to show the history of some of the Scottish people and what they saw when they were living in the late 1700s. This song which, as described above was written in the time of the French Revolution, describes the way the lower class of that time really felt about The Revolution, I believe that in this song he expressed his feelings of how it feels being a poor hard working man at that time, and he also speaks about how the kings are in more power and try to bring the poor down, even though they are working hard everyday. The Revolution was an inspiring example for Scotland’s middle and working class people. This demonstrated to them that they too could participate in the governance of their country and that constitutions weren’t made by God but made by men.

Robert Burns was considered one of the greatest writers in the 1700s, and for many people one of the best writers in the world at the time, any way that you describe Burns he was a great writer and a man that had great respect from his people, his song is still considered one of his best songs today.




















On Wednesday, Febrauary 15, 2006 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, U.N. police rushed to a garbage dump to recover official voting bags, marked ballots and other election materials that were found. It is not clearly known yet about who is in charge of this fraud, but there are many different assumptions of who has done such a thing, what is known is that whoever has done this is against presidential candidate Rene Preval.

A man by the name of Jean-Ricot Guerrier, who lives near the site, said that he saw a truck dump the election material and said that someone tried to burn the material before rain put out the fire. People that back Rene Preval say that election officials were attempting to annul votes for Preval to lose the election. On the other hand, U.N. spokesman David Wimhurst says that someone may have dumped the ballots to create an appearance of fraud. In both accusations it is plain to see that somebody is looking for power in government, they are trying to do whatever is possible to try and keep Preval out of Presidency.

The British Literature story that I found that has a line that most resembles my crime is The Canterbury Tales, and the line that I found that resembles my crime is... “Because of learning and his high renown, He took large fees and many robes could own.” This to me, resembles to my crime because it is like the criminal seeing that the presidential candidate Preval has a good chance of winning, he steals the ballots just as the person in this line took the large fees.























Language is a very unique part of different cultures today. To me, language is something that either unites people or something that separates people, I believe this because many times u will see that a person that speaks English may not be able to communicate with a person that speaks Spanish, this is how language may separate people, but the language today that unites many people and that is used world wide is the language of English which many immigrants and new people to the united states and to other countries as well learn to have a better life and to get jobs and to be united with these new people. One word from the English language is the word “street”, which does not hurt the world or the language at all because it is used by many in the U.S. and also in other countries as the same thing.

The 2 more ordinary definitions of the word “street” come from the Websters Universal College Dictionary and The American Heritage Dictionary. In the Websters Universal College Dictionary the word “street” is defined as, “a paved public way, as in a town or city, including sidewalks.” The American Heritage Dictionary defined the word as, “a thoroughfare especially in a city, town, or village that is wider than an alley or lane and that usually includes sidewalks.” Both definitions have basically the same meaning for this word, but the big definition comes from the O.E.D. (Oxford English Dictionary), which is the biggest dictionary in the world.

The O.E.D. describes the word “street” very similar to how the other two dictionaries above have defined the word. In this dictionary it is defined as, “a paved road or highway.” The O.E.D. also tells us when this word was used for the first time and by whom it was used. The first usage of the word comes from Beowulf in the year 320 and the sentence it was used in is, “street was stanfuh, stiz wisode gumum,” the translation for this sentence unfortunately could not be found.

When I asked 10 ordinary people how they used this word, 90% of the people used it the same way as it was used in the dictionary definitions saying it was a “roadway or a dead end street,” stated by Mr. Mcgonegal which is a person with a college education. One person that is getting a high school education by the name of Julian Anderson, defines the word a different way saying that this word to him means “hip hop,” when asked to use the word in a sentence he said, “ when I was young hip hop ran the streets.” These two people are of different ages and have different education levels, and the difference is very clear on how different age groups use the word very differently.

This word has been used in literature many times throughout history. In 1625, Donne Serm. uses the word in the sentence, “That street-beggary, which is become a calling.” This sentence uses the word describing people begging for money or other objects on the street. It was also used in 1722 by DE Foe, in the sentence, “Sharp as a street-bred boy must be, but ignorant and unteachable from a child.” This sentence to me means that the author is describing a boy that is street smart, and the word street here is basically used to show the boys intelligence that he has of his surroundings, in this case the street. In 1841 the word was used by Charles Dickens in the sentence, “They alighted at the street-corner.” This sentence means that the people the author was speaking about traveled to the street corner and met there. I know this because the word alight means, to land or settle after a flight.

The two foreign language speakers I asked about their definition with the word street and how they learned it, and how it was used in their language, were two women one lady by the name of Carmen which speaks Spanish and another lady, Fabian who speaks Creole. Carmen said that when she first learned the word street it was not very difficult to learn and that it was one of the first words she had to learn so she could get around the city. When I asked her how she uses the word or defines it, she said that it was something she had to use to get around. She says that in Spanish it is used the same way it is used in English. Fabian says the word to her means somewhere that a person may live or a location of a place. She says the word was easy to understand and that it also means the same in her language.

So far this word “street” has been used basically the same way by all of the research that has been done. I have found a couple of articles that use the word in a different way. The first is a headline of an article saying, “Lexus Luxury Sport-UTE to Hit Streets Next Year.” This headline is not using the word as a location or a road or path, it is using it differently stating that a new car, the Lexus will be arriving next year. They use the word street to state that the car will be available to be bought by next year, and be able to have it on the road. The next title of an article I have found is, “Placating Wall Street.” This article basically speaks of the stock market and how it is falling and rising, this is a new way of using it because again it is not telling you a location or place, or a roadway.

In conclusion the word “street” overall does not make the English language or even the world a worse place because it has not meaning of being bad. It helps many people in this country and even in this world find different things, and also the biggest thing that a street does for us is enables us to travel easier.