English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  

Dear Paul Farley,

My name is Christopher Lynch and I am from Milton Massachusetts. I go to Catholic Memorial High School located in West Roxbury Massachusetts on Baker Street. I am 16 years old and I am in the 10th grade. I will like you to come and speak to my 10th English class because of many different reasons.

I read a chapter from your book The Ice Age. I liked the quote “Speared among the larder of the shrike’, he sees ‘the wrappers of extant / extinct brands, / unspooled cassette tape, a cash-till cartouche, all snagged because they had a lot of detail. It was great how you related the characters to the modern day society.Your work has very detailed words and your choice of words are inspiring. I thought that it was very interesting and I think that my class would like to read it too.

I would be proud to invite you to come and speak to my English 10 class because we need to be educated about your books and about contemporary authors. Why aren’t you in our history text books? We need to find out more about your books and more about yourself. If you don’t come and speak to our class, the we won’t be able to learn anything about you and we won’t end up buying your books to read and learn about.

Well, thank you for reading this letter and taking time out of your busy schedule to think this over. There is no rush, but my English class would like you to come speak to us and educate us.

Thank you for your time, Chris Lynch




































Back in the early 1900’s, music was starting to flourish all over the Britain colonies and all over parts of Europe. Folk and Country genres of music were starting to be a great hit in Ireland. In 1912, Folk and Country were such a big hit that it inspired a man named Ernest Ball to write a song. This song is called “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.” This song was a huge hit and spread through parts of northern and southern Ireland. This song teaches us about philosophy and history of the beautiful Irish land. This song attracted many people all throughout many of the British colonies. This song has great symbolism. It provided hope and encouragement for the Irish citizens who were living in rough times. Ball was very pleased and went on to write more top sellers in the nation.

According to the Song Writers Hall of Fame, Ernest Ball was born in Cleveland Ohio on July 22, 1878. He wrote the son in 1912 in honor for the Irish people. The people in Ireland were going through hard times with money, their families, and their jobs. There was limited money and families were being split apart because the lack of jobs and money. The people needed a boost of energy so that they could look forward to each day and the struggle to survive. Once this song “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” became popular, it provided the hope and energy that the people of Ireland needed. The song was a total success and it encouraged other musicians to write about what they feel, just like Ernest Ball.

This song has great historical and cultural significance. This song was written in 1912. It discusses the hard times of the Irish people. It expresses the teardrops falling from the people in the line. This song relates to the tears in the eyes of the Irish people. It’s a cultural song, because it give hope for the rough time that the people are in. But the song suggests wiping the tear from your eye and looking and reflecting on the good things that are in your life. This is expressed in the line: “So there’s never a teardrop that should fall, when your sweet lilting laughter like some fairy song and you’re eyes twinkle bright as can be…” This song gathered so many people because it related to the everyday life of an Irish person looking for hope in the future.

"When Irish Eyes are smiling" is somewhat popular today. It has been covered by many rising artists in the music industry today. The song has been covered so many times and by so many people is because that the song is so important to the Irish culture. It has a great background because of how effective it was back in the early 1900’s. One of the musicians who wrote this song is John McCormack(1848-1945). The Irish culture preserves this song because it is a piece of history that the people can remember for the rest of their lives. Hopefully this song will b past on from generation to generation and that people will recognize the significance of this song.

In return, Ernest Ball was known as a hero to the Irish people. Ball knew that the people were looking for some hope in the future, so he created “When Irish Eyes are smiling” to encourage the people to move on with their life. In conclusion, this song teaches us about philosophy and history of the beautiful Irish land. Ernest Ball was a great songwriter and he moved most of the British colonies with his work.




















Last week on February 14, 2006, in Huston Texas, another drug charge was being taken over by the U.S government. The two suspects weren’t any ordinary people. These suspects were 38 year old Shawn Ray Nguyen and 32 year old Burlie Sholar. Both of these men were federal air marshals and they were smuggling cocaine onto their planes and shipping them across the country. Both of these men worked in smuggling the drugs and then selling these narcotics in other countries. What motivated these men to use their authority to commit a crime is the need for power. Even though there is money involved in this case, the Marshals were motivated by power. The charges are very serious and could be life changing. The upcoming trial will be a long process because this investigation is ongoing and there is so much evidence to be looked into.

These men were convicted of smuggling $15,000 cash and 15 kilograms of cocaine out the United States. The thing was that Shawn and Burlie were doing this multiple times, so the court is putting multiple charges on them. The charges can be trafficking and they can serve anywhere from 10 years(a minimum) to life(maximum) in prison. They have also lost their job forever to work for the U.S government. There are no excuses for these actions preformed by these two men.

The U.S attorney’s office accuses these men of agreeing to use their official positions as federal air marshals to bypass airport security and they were able to smuggle drugs across the United States. They smuggled cocaine on board their flight from Huston to Las Vegas, Nevada in exchange for money. These men used their jobs to commit a major and serious crime. While the men were smuggling drugs on their planes, the security had never checked the bags and luggage of the men because security never thought the men would do anything so illegal. That is why this crime is so serious.

This crime is related to the book “Drug Smuggling: A forbidden Book” by K. Hawkeye Gross. This book relates to all sorts of problems that Europe and British Countries are facing with drugs. This book gives a good description of the everyday life of a drug dealer and smuggler. It shows the risks that they take and it shows the problems that they face with the law. On the back cover of this book, it states that “the U.S government devoted more than $11 billion to combat the illegal drug industry in fiscal 1992, and it has public opinion and the arsenal of the U.S military on its side to boot.” This quote directly relates to the government and the government having to deal with drugs everyday. This is the exact kind o crime that Shaun and Burlie have committed.

The only other people that are involved in this crime are the people who are buying drugs from these two men. Also the people who want these two men to smuggle drugs are the culprits too. The two men aren’t talking to the press, but they are letting their lawyers do the talking for them. The lawyer of Nguyen said that “the charges are serious, but we believe he should be released on bond.” He also said that Nguyen has a history of serving our country. The men are due in court next week and the judge and jury will make up a decision to how many years to send these two men to jail. This crime was motivated by power because these men used and abused their power to commit a very serious crime. Now they have to pay the consequences and will spend many years in a federal prison. The trail is still in continuation, because the judge has not yet found a sentence to fit the crime of these two men.




























Rage is a common obstacle that people have to overcome either at work or in your car. The definition of the word rage according to the O.E.D. (Oxford English Dictionary), is madness or insanity. This word was first used in history in 1297, when you say this word, people immediately think of road rage because road rage is actually a common thing seen everyday. Rage is furious anger and craze. This word is definitely a hurtful/negative word because many, many people have died as a result of rage. Rage happens all over the world and it is in everyone. That is why this word is such a meaningful and enormous word.

Rage is such a broad word, but it still has many unique meanings. The definitions could be anywhere from madness to insanity, according to the American Heritage Dictionary. Rage means violent and explosive anger. According to the Merriam-Webster’s medical dictionary, rage means violent an uncontrolled anger. Lastly, according to the word net dictionary, rage means a feeling of intense anger. These three examples prove that the word rage has many different meanings.

The Oxford English has many different records of rage appearing in literature over time. The first record that they have is in a novel by an author named shaks. He uses rage in his book Lom Err. IV part 3 on page 88. “The reason that I gather he is made, besides the present instance of his rage.” The second author that used the word rage is Dryden in the year 1700. He used this word in his novel Paul, and Arc. In line 542-Mousful Mopings, which pregage the loss of reason and conclude in rage. The third author is Shelly in her novel “Peter Bell 3rd” in the year 1819. She used this a line-“To wakeful frenzies vigil rages, as opiates, were the same applied. Those are the three authors that used the work rage according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Rage is used differently in the English language everyday. I interviewed a few family members and asked them the same two questions: “What comes to your mind when you hear the word rage.” And “Can you use the word rage in a sentence”. The first person that I interviewed was my brother Connor. The first thing that came to his mind was road rage. The sentence that he used was “The man was driving his car under the influence of his road rage.” This was a common use of the word rage. The second person that I interviewed was my brother Matt. He thought of a different form of rage. He thought of “roid rage” which can be a result of using steroids. His sentence was “The man was angry because his road rage was taking over his body.” Those are two examples of how rage is used in the English language.

The Oxford English Dictionary has many different meanings for the word rage. The first definition is “Madness, insanity, a fit or access of mania. This use of this definition was first used in history in 1325. The second definition is violent anger, furious anger. This was first used in literature in 1297. The third definition was vehement, violent or impetuous action. This definition was first used in literature in 1325. Those are three definitions of the word rage in the Oxford English Dictionary.

I interviewed three people that speak English as a second language. My uncle Joe Grogan speaks Spanish as a first language. He said that he had not used rage or “rabia” until he was in his middle teenage years. He said that he didn’t use “rabia” amongst his family. My neighbor Bob Dunn spoke Russian as his first language and English as a second language. He said that he had never spoke or wrote the work “peotic” which is rage. Growing up, he said it was hard to pronounce this word. The last person that I interviewed was my aunt, Brenda O’Donnell. She is fluent in French. She said that the only time that rage was used in French was in newspapers. Those are three foreign speakers inputs on the word rage.

The word rage has appeared in titles in newspapers over time. The author of the first article is Jillian Cohan. She wrote an article titled “Myspace.com is just so last year”. This was written on 5/8/2006. The sentence that rage appears in is “When it became all the rage to have a myspace page.” The second source of an article that I had found is an article called “Fight construction zone”. The sentence that this appears in is “ Road rage is aggressive driving”. Rage appears in newspapers and articles as well as Englis/British literature. As you can see, Rage is a popular word in all types of literary works.

In conclusion, rage is used often everyday in the English language. It is not used much but still exists in Russian, French and Spanish. All in all, rage has a hurtful/negative effect in the English language.