English 11: Writing Portfolio
Catholic Memorial High School
Thousands of years ago back in the time of cavemen there was an eruption that took place in space. Out of the dark gloomy sky in space were a million stars in the shape of what we call a tool. Then one day over a million models of this tool had just randomly dropped out of the sky and landed in various parts of the world. My family was fortunate enough to have one fall into our family heritage and my father had protected and saved this ever since. It is now framed upon our trophy wall in my basement.
This extraordinarily different looking tool has a wooden handle with a double-sided head. On the front side of the head it is shaped like a point, as you would see if you looked at the bottom of a nail. But, it is an inch and a half thick and two inches long. Then on the other side of the head it is just a flat surface of metal, which is used for precision hammering.
This hammer has an outstanding back round through a family that has worked in construction for many generations. This hammer has been used for over a hundred years passed all the way down from my great grandfather, to my dad and his brothers and I was privileged enough to use it before it was finally put to rest in a remembrance trophy case that hangs in appreciation of everything my family has accomplished. This tool has been used in everything from banging in nails to tearing down houses. For example, my father and his brothers had shared this tool in the making of my house so I can proudly say that I am living under something that my whole family built together in appreciation of one tool the hammer.
Not, only for myself as well as my family but throughout the whole world this one tool had made a life changing difference. This aided humans in the building of houses for shelter and protection of human beings as well as the production of automobiles. If it werent for both these materials that we are fortunate to live by in our every day lives we would not know how to live and probably wouldnt make it through everyday. Just look at how fortunate we are and how easy we have it!
Overall, I truly believe that this was the true change in American history. And if you are fortunate to own the hammer then you must be willing to make a difference in the world today in making it a better place. This tool can change lives! Start working!
This place is like no other, it is original, calm, dark, and gloomy. But, yet this is still just another breathe takingly cold November afternoon . I found this particular place in the mid summer when I just needed to get away and think for a while. This place is located in Jamaica Plain and its original name is Larzanderson Park. In all aspects of this park it is basically a large hill that overlooks the city. At the bottom of this hill is a museum and an outdoor skating rink; but I stay away from those because there is just too much going on. I dont want anybody to know about my spot. No one ever thinks to take the back way up to the top. It is the most peaceful and calming place, when I sit on the top of this hill I cant help myself to realize the beautiful city that is light up like a Christmas tree. In lack of better terms I generally like to refer to this place as my home away from home.
My home away from home has currently changed since my last occurrence here because it is raining now. And I stand above the world as it seems, as I watch the mud slide down the side of the hill at such a high pace of speed and intensity that I feel as if I am watching Niagara Falls. The thickness of the mud begins to change on the different depths of the hill as it swings around the oversized oak trees that generally resembles a telephone pole but with hundreds of little arms also known as branches. The trees are now in the dying state from the current weather change of being in late November and the pollution from the city. As, If a human were to stand here bare for as long as the tree does then they would most likely freeze up and die as well. Standing alone at the top I comprehend into my ears is the sounds of the rain droping on my jacket constantly one after another not knowing when mother nature will stop .
As last week was rain; today there is about 7 inches of snow upon this gigantic hill. Today, all I can see is white for miles and miles. As I look at the covered branches I began to see that them dyeing from suffocation of the thick glittery ice. As does the trunk of tree as it is also covered with ice but slowly begins to melt as the sun beats down on it creating a glare strong enough to blind you. As the ice begins to melt it secretly drips down to the ground where it then creates a puddle filled with water, mud, and sap. This puddle now creates a stream and makes its own pathway through the snow to the bottom of the hill as did I to get up here. As I watch this happen I begin to realize how this sort of relates to a ghost town when I stand up here alone abandoned from society and all human activity but begin to appreciate how much bigger nature is than I and all of its surroundings. So, I thought to myself that there would be no better way to have a feel for this hill if I did not put it to use. So, I grabbed my tube and then tubed down it from a running start. I observed that all though it is very steep it is as smooth as paper. And was as cold as arctic water as I had a taste test for my self from the snow. Im not going to lie it was rather refreshing! Just as if you were to take an ice cold drink of water on a scorching hot day in the summer time to refresh yourself.
This hill also known as my home away from home is generally a Walden of my own personally. What is generally significant about this hill is that it will never leave me or society for whenever I need it to be by my side. It will always be here for that one special person that needs a place of peace even if it is not me. But, I wish the best of it to whoever finds it in the future after I am long gone and hope that the new finder of this hill will feel as pleased of it as I did.
There is nothing more interesting or more powerful in poetry rather then capturing the horrors and acts of heroism in certain wars. For many years Americas poets have memorialized battles from the Revolutionary war to the present war today. Among all American poets, Ralph Waldo Emerson used his heart to write THE CONCORD HYMN. Through individuality, independence, and an appreciation for the wonders of nature. These are only a few examples of what Emerson used to express our nations true identity and meaning to the American people.
The Concord Hymn was written for the unveiling of the battle monument commemorating the minutemen. Here where this monument lies they fought the British at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts of April 1775.
Emerson in the beginning of his poem strongly emphasizes, Fired the shot heard around the world. This quote is one of the most famous lines in any American poetic line by an author considering it was written 60 years after the battle. This shot is extremely significant and relevant to the war as it is the start of a revolutionary battle. One that will never be forgotten even though it was much before anyones time on earth today. As stated by author Mr. Robert Hedin from ebsco.com that most of the truly really great American war poems were written well after the fact that the war had happened. And Mr. Hedin truly believes that poetry is a medium of reflection and even of rumination. And that poets like Emerson need to take some time and reflect to try to give some shape and distance and even some texture to an experience that for many was a defining role in the soldiers lives. This is why fired the shot heard from around the world is such an influence on American war poetry.
As Emerson was extremely dedicated to writing this poem the soldiers of the Revolutionary war were extremely dedicated to winning their battle. Emerson writes, We set a votive stone. Emerson is stating that the soldiers are dedicated in fulfillment of a vow or pledge to serve like their sires. But, to remember and to never forget their dead sons. Emerson begins to portray the soldiers desire and love for their family members and their country to win this war. And will give all their might to fight for heroism and a defining line of courage.
Throughout the history of literary writings The Concord Hymn is one of the first American poems to memorialize fallen Americans in the Revolutionary war. Typically, in a good piece of writing there would be a solid ending, well this is not just some story ending. This is history ending while we watch and learn about how much the soldiers are thankful for what they have now and how brave and courageous they were in this battle. These brave courageous soldiers were not just fighting for the rite to win; they fought for their families, their heritage, and their nation. And now Lexington and Concord will forever be sacred on the grounds where so many soldiers won and so many soldiers lost.
Fishing is not just any ordinary sport brought to America to amuse people. The history of fishing goes back nearly as far as the fish. Dating back to when people of ancient times began fishing for food, when pieces of bone were used as hooks and lengths of vine as line. The oldest recording of an angler using a rod comes from Egypt and is dated from about 2000 B.C said activeangler.com. As Greek philosophers named Plato and Aristotle mentioned angling in their writings, and another Greek, named Plutarch spoke and gave tips about fishing lines. Since being brought to America and being accepted as an American sport or hobby; there are certain rules for certain aspects of the game. Whether you are a pro-fisherman or just a regular who fishes for fun or for food, or one who fly fishes, bass fishes, saltwater fishes or fresh water fishes. The main objective of this sport all originates from the rod. Now, the particular, size, shape, and name of the rod will obviously differ from what kind of fishing you are doing. But, the first step in fishing is to place bait onto the hook; which is attached to the line of the rod. Once, this happens the fisherman’s next step will be too cast the line or to throw it out into the body of water. In which will patiently wait until there is the slightest tug at the end of the rod. Then the fisherman will reel it in hoping to have attached a giant fish in which is the particular kind they are trying to catch.
Fishing is and forever will be a favorite pastime in the U.S as is all statistics coming from ESPN magazine. In 2005 16% of the U.S. population that was 16 years of age or older; which is 34 million anglers spent an average of 16 days fishing. Out, of all types of fishing; freshwater took it too the top. Rising still with over 28 million anglers, who devote nearly 467 million angler-days to this outstanding sport.
One must understand that under the category of Freshwater fishing there are a wide variety of fish to fish for. As an example, there are eight main types: Bass, Carp, Catfish, Crappie fish, Northern Pike and Musky fish, Salmon and Steelhead, Trout, and lastly Walleye fish. I am willing to bet that even if you don’t fish you probably have some idea about bass fishing, the most nationally wide known outdoor fishing sport. From a professional’s point of view with more than 20 years under his belt, Roger Lee Brown explains how easy it is too Bass fish on www.landbigfish.com. He says “anyone can do it whether you have a life’s worth experience or absolutely none at all.” And in just about any swamp, lake, river, pond, or slough you will find Bass anglers (fishers). They are in any body of water made by earth. Take this for what its worth Roger Lee Brown in fishing is the equivalent to Babe Ruth in baseball and is currently the founder and former President of the Pro-Tec school of Bassin. Hoping to instruct his students one on one, with an agenda developed specifically for that individual. As his main goal is to make champions, and to hopefully prepare some of the best fisherman in the world for the nationally known Bass tournament fishing competitions under the American Bass Anglers Association. As seen in past results of this tournament at the fist ABA nationally championship a man by the name of Morris Sheehan who once was under the command of Roger Lee Brown showed just how big the ABA’s and Tritons commitment was by giving away two 21ft., Triton Bass boats rigged with big block outboards to Angler of the year Abe Abernathy and the 2000 national champion Phillip Anderson, who also was taught by Roger Lee Brown. Both being well aware of the rules and regulations of the tournament, “following participants and their eligibility, to taking a polygraph, to guides and knowing where the off limits are, to sportsmanship, their tackle and their equipment, boat operations, official checkpoints, to scoring, ties, transfers and the point system.”
Hoping to be like Roger Lee Brown someday Amateur fisher Jake Sillins fishes in the amateur yearly bass fishing tournament in Norwood, Massachusetts for the men’s division. Here, prizes are awarded to the top three finishers of each class of fish in Hawes’ Pond. Although this may be a small tournament there are big Bass. Jake did take second in the tournament with a 12.5 lb Bass fish, but he explains, “that there is only room to improve now.” And too look forward to taking home the gold next year. Jake tells us that it may be a competitive tournament, but the atmosphere is so rather friendly. Unlike other sports and competitions, here the competitors conjugate about each other’s pasts in fishing and ask how each other’s families are. “Its just one big friendly companion”, says Jake. He also expresses his love for the sport and the great interest he has for why it is so American too him by telling us that, “fishing is the mystery of not knowing what you’re going to catch.”
Now, most women would rather sit at home and put on makeup or put nail polish on but for Amateur fisher Courtney Day that is not the case. She would rather be in some rather calm and collective area with her headphones on jamming to Mariah Carey in a lawn chair with her plastic wormies as she calls worms and her pole. She fishes for her bass because “it is the biggest hidden secret in fishing”. “You know for a fact that they are down there but, when are they going to get hungry and chomp on your line.” This is her excuse for wanting to be different from other girls. And when she actually does catch that fish she is going to eat it. So Courtney looks at is as a reward.
Everybody has idols and Courtney’s idol just happens to be Pam Martin Wells. A lady pro Bass Angler champion from the most recent Bass master tournament “elite top 50” and “beauty and the Bass”. Right from the waters of Bainbridge, GA, she won with a five fish limit weighing in at about 14.47 lbs as posted in the ABA weekly magazine. The bite was tough," she said. 'I caught a catfish, drum, white bass, six keepers and two shorts but I'm happy with my limit of bass." Well's big bass weighed 4.24 pounds. And she encourages her amateur followers to never give up and that someday if they put there foot to the pedal they could be challenging each other for a world championship. “It’s being left up to you.”
Over decades fishing has only become to be as American as any other sports played. But, not every sport has American poet James A. Emanuel from plagiarist.com write about Bass Fishing. James portrays his love for Bass fishing as he takes you on a rather extensive journey through the mountains and the ups and downs of fishing for Bass in his poem “Fisherman”. From placing the bait on the hook to waiting in the forest surrounded by trees for that special tug.
From Cheryl Lyn Dybas on Ebsco.com in her review of Bass Fishing she explains where Fishing became to be American. She clearly states that “from providing a mainstray in the diets of Early Native Americans to inspiring the nations first conservation law, striped Bass have been part of our history. Indeed, stripers play an important role in human culture in river cities and coastal towns all along the Atlantic seaboard. And today “to several million sport fisherman like me” says Dick Russell a pro; “it is the premier game of fishing to pursue: intelligent, crafty, and it is yet still the ultimate challenge.
Well, if you don’t know already my love for the adventures of fishing has come to me as a time honored family and friend tradition passed down through many years. To me fishing provides me an opportunity to temporarily clear my mind of the day to day challenges I face, and to relax and recharge my batteries so to speak. And to keep this outdoor sport alive there is only one thing that we can do and it is to pass it down to young children. The future of fishing is to what younger children do with their rods their hooks their bait and so on and so forth. As said by pro Roger Lee Brown “give a kid a fish to catch and you feed his character for a day, teach a kid to catch fish and you will feed his character for a lifetime”.