English 11: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  


The scarlet xyz

First I saw it as a little old lamp, not that old, maybe just a little dusty but it turned out to be two hundred to two hundred fifty years old. This old odd piece of mechanical genius, this flame creator, was just there waiting for the right time to shine once again. It is about six-inches wide, sixteen-inches high, and about seven-inches long. This yellow green and blue lamp was very colorful for an old piece of history. Since it was old it started to chip the first time I touched. Its got a black handle that is pretty wide and it is misshaped to a point where you can hold it anymore by the handle. It weighs about 5 pounds. it also has a crack in the glass. I found this in the very dirty attic of mine. This was thrown away like trash even though it has a priceless tag on it.

It came form the around the time of the American civil war area. It is said to have led hundreds of slaves across the south to the north to be free. One in particular was the case of Jeremiah he had a very rough time through the war. He was a runaway slave who was caught up in the war and didn’t know much. He was from Africa and he didn’t know anything about English things or the English language. He always had his lamp that was his only buddy all the way.

His whole ordeal started after he left with five other slaves and one compassionate white girl gave him this old trusty lamp she said “ may it give you a guiding light to the north the whole way.” This was the first bit of compassion that he got for the next few weeks. Before he saw the next helpful white man to hide him and the other five from the police that were after them it was very treacherous times. When he was on his way he took the lamp and the five went too but the five were caught one day while he was away gathering food from the forest and wood for the fire. He was very lucky of this that he was away when the others were caught. All he had was the lamp and the very few whites that ran the underground rail road on his side. The crack happened during the raid when the others were caught it was stepped on and left with all the other belongings of all the slaves. He waited to get it back for a while. After a few more months of help from compassionate white people and the underground railroad and, swimming and running through muck and swamps and forests he finally made it through, to the north from the south.

After Jeremiah had a successful time making it to the north he was free but had to keep a low profile a be as discrete as possible until he had an affair with a white woman and Jeremiah had kids with Lucy. He was hunted once again and had to leave the north of America and travel far away. He never once forgot about Lucy his love affair and he died with a broken heart. He moved way out to Canada and was accepted as a free man and he could do as he wished from then on “he was free” by his loving standards he was a free man. From then on he could own land and live with the white society so that is exactly what he did. Then he used that great lamp as a keepsake lamppost out in the front porch he always kept it lit while he was there to signify to himself his great achievement. Jeremiah always kept that lamppost until his death. The had meant so they just threw it in the attic and it was lost for some time. This is a very hard to handle and very weird lamp it was never here before I found it. That is what my mom said she never saw it before. That is weird considering jeremiahs kids never sold the lamp to any one. Now I had found a journal inside the handle of the lamp. But that is a story for another time.

This lamp may be just a lamp but it also has lived through many great respectable eras of time and can tell a story of a man name Jeremiah.. What it can tell from that time is so great that it should not be just stuffed away is someone’s attic and it is so precious. The great times of this country and the lowest times of them all this has been through. It has gone through many great hands. Jeremiahs went through many hard journeys and hardships trying to just have equality for himself and be free. So this is how it came to be in my house. This great piece of American history that could have been over passed many more times unless my eyes had seen it for what it was and could see right through to its core.




























As I begin my evaluation of a place that is just so random and pointless to most people I notice that it is a piece of valuable land. At a Loner’s Land it’s a bright day with mild weather, not too cold but not very warm and the wind is blowing softly causing trees and branches to wave back and forth. The first thing that catches my eye is a stump of a tree, three feet long and about one and a half feet wide. I turn it over and the bark begins to peel because of the moistness of the ground. Life is so similar to this because as each year passes one year is peeled from however many years we have left on this earth. The wet leaves under the stump and the peeling bark is evidence of the rain storm that passed the night before, and this area has a very musty smell. A bit of advice is not to pick up a water logged stump with your bare-hands, it’s not the best feeling.

It is almost four-thirty, the sun is ready to switch shift, around a Loner’s Land is very quiet. I can hear the whistling of the cold, crisp winter winds swirling through the leafless trees. The winter has come and the snow is descending, it reminds me of life, changing dramatically every so often, equivalent to the winter eventually turning into spring, spring to summer and so on. As I approach a Loner’s Land from a different view, tonight I notice little footpaths, and as I followed them, they lead me to a handy house. A human resource, another human has invaded my own personal space, my scenery of natural observation. I don’t appreciate how town officials think nature is a place for storage, a handy house belongs at some type of outdoor get together, not thrown carelessly on a Loner’s Land. The sun has now completely disappeared, the moon lighting the world in its place along with the stars. It’s much harder to observe the beauty of this land, but I find myself walking along another set of footprints, not in any way similar to my feet. I was looking at a twelve-inch footprint sided next to my eight in a half inch sneaker. So too with man, because nature is gargantuan compared to man, in every way. But back to the footprints, they are leading me to believe that there might be an ascetic living in a Loner’s Land. However, I see pigeon faeces and feeding lying around, bread crumbs and what not. It’s like my life, filled with nonsense and a bunch of worthless, scattered and unorganized things. It’s always a better idea to be organized rather than be unorganized and discombobulated.

Marks of footsteps are imprinted in the snow, the rigid zigzag pattern of the bottom of my boots lay stiffened, about twenty zigzag lines. It’s like something I don’t like to think about on the weekends, specifically being in school, and the lined paper we write on. Following the footprints of my previous walks through a Loner’s Land I notice the snow is slowly fading away. And as I approach the furthest part of a Loner’s Land the ground is no longer just a white surface. It’s like the world blended elements of snow, rain, grass, dirt and mud. The randomness of the elements shows me how nature is like a chemistry laboratory for the world, because there is always room for disaster.

The sun beams through the bald branches of these monstrous trees, I cans till smell the dew from the wet bark and moistened grass. A tree is such a beautiful piece of nature, why does man insist on cutting them down, stopping dead in my tracks I can see roughly fifteen trees lifeless and on the ground. I am looking at a Loner’s Land’s “intensive care unit for nature.” On my retreat from a Loner’ Land, tracing my footsteps from where I came from, I’d say a five minute walk, something kept me from leaving. I first see black than a line of white and than two beady eyes and a tail about eight inches. Finally after shock wore off, my brain finally registered that a skunk lies in front of me. I ran and escaped, almost safely until I slipped and fell, who exactly is in charge of laying rock salt?

My journey through a Loner’s Land is ending on this day. Parent like it is hard for me to walk away from it and let it be by its lonesome. It feels like it was yesterday when I first walked through this piece of land, and now I am saying goodbye to it. A Loner’s Land is my high school graduate. Looking back at the first day I met this place, I notice it has come such a long way from just being a piece of useless land, it was green, and now once again as it has happened many times is filled with white. At first I saw a Loner’s Land as a piece of useless land and to tell the truth it was pointless, but I can now see the beauty of it. In the winter it looks like a wintry dream land. Like a child’s imagination. Now I know that this isn’t useless land it is a place for the world’s creation. Never judge a book by its cover!



















Their have been many great written works since the dawn of American history. Since the Onondaga to The Modoc tribes with their great writings. These were Great Native Americans works, now American literature focus' on the new immigrants to America. Emily Dickinson writes many great and intuitive poems. The Most intuitive poem is “The Mystery of pain?” Dickinson takes a simple word out its original environment, examines it, and scrutinizes it down to the last detail. Through this short poem, she tries to get down to the core of pain and give us the answers to its mystery or at the least a small amount of insight into the real mystery of pain. She takes a normal word and feeling such as pain and personifies it and shows how anthropomorphic pain is. She also questions, through foresight, Will pain be there in the future?

Looking into the future is used within this poem trying to show that pain will most likely be here to stay, but the poem is also questioning: 'will it be here forever.' The poem is trying to see, was there a day that pain never was? Or will there ever be a day that pain is no more in our near future? "A day when it was not." (4) This shows that there is a small amount of evidence or at least a doubt that it was here since the beginning of time. The poem states “It has no future but itself,” (5) “New periods of pain.” (8) These give an in depth look into pain and states maybe this poem is really like a scripture telling us the future. This can be compared to Nostradamus, and how he gave insight into the future without any precise example(s) to the T. this leaves a little wiggle room for suspicion. The suspicion could be that she is leaving a thought out of her poem. The foresight in this poem is trying to get into the mind of pain and see was or is there going to be a day that it will be nevermore. Will there?, This is the real question being asked throughout this poem “The Mystery of Pain.”

Dickinson writes about pain and goes very in-depth to talk about "pain" in this unique poem. She does not just write about pain as just plain old pain, she gives it human characteristics. This is personification of the word “pain.” The word “pain” is not just any word to a writer such as Dickinson, she gives pain a life of its own. She tells how “it cannot recollect” (2) when it began. She shows how "pain" has " an element of blank;." (1) It is almost as if pain itself has been personified to a persons thinking, such that it is having selective amnesia or a mental defect that does not allow it to recollect anything. Within the poem pain is given many characteristics and Dickinson shows how human and how unbiased pain is.

Further, Anthropomorphism is given to the word Pain. Dickinson shows how omnificent pain is throughout the poem and shows how like god it is. By using anthropomorphism, we see how pain, with it’s like god characteristics, has come down to us in the form of an expression and an emotion that we can comprehend. Pain does not know where it came from or "A day when it was not."(4) This shows how omnipresent and ubiquitous Pain is and how it has always been and may always will be. This is like god who created the world and never states that god was never just like pain.

The poem of “The Mystery of Pain” is a curveball of poems. This poem shatters the vale of darkness and gives us a look at some secrets of pain. It captures Pain as an omnificent being. Then it captures Pain as a human. Then it tries to see with these two characteristics of God and Human in one will be around for long through foresight. these three themes work off one another to show Pain in its true realistic form. Will Pain ever change within our lives, or will it be forever stuck in a deep sleep of nothingness forever, or will it one day wake up and wreak havoc on us all.



























Rugby is a very intellectual game, it is not just wild brutes going at one another and having a mindset to smash the other one up to have them get hurt or bleed. Rugby is a derivative of football and its roots are very easy to see. There are many derivatives of Rugby and many sects and clubs, Tag Rugby, Rugby League, Wheelchair Rugby, Rugby Union, Touch Rugby or (Six down in South Africa). As we can see Rugby has really caught on over the years. Rugby is definitely not just an American sport, because not many American's are into the game of Rugby when they are young or old. Rugby really is a European sport.

Distinctive features common to most Rugby games include a lot of features not usual to Americans. The Ovoid ball and the ban on passing the ball forwards, so that players can gain ground only by running with the ball or by kicking it. Set-pieces of the game include, the scrum, the lineout, and the touch-line. Scoring in both games occurs by achieving either a try or a goal. A try involves grounding the ball over the goal line at the opponent's end of the field. Three different types of kick at goal can score points, the goal kick, the drop kick; and the penalty kick. The points awarded for each vary between the games. These rules are a little hard to grasp as a little kid and even now in high school it is a little hard to understand for some students that play Rugby. These rules are why Rugby is not an American sport.

Now that we have seen some rules of Rugby its about time we see how the player's see it. This interview of Jonny Wilkinson tells us how he fells and how he has coped with the game of Rugby. Interview by: Newsround's Lizzie Greenwood. April 28, 2005.

Why did you choose Rugby over football? “ When you get that whole team togetherness coming through against all the pressure of winning a big game there's no better feeling than having everyone there to share it with. That to me has always been the most prominent thing in Rugby, because there are quite hard-hitting tackles, you learn how to make friends you get to know very closely. I've always liked that about Rugby, very fast game, full of different skills - there's passing, kicking, tackling, scrums, and line-out's for the forwards. I'm never bored.” What would you say to a Newsround viewer who thinks they want to be Jonny Wilkinson? “ I think it's a case of finding something you love doing and being ambitious to achieve something in your chosen profession and giving it everything you've got.”

I interviewed ten men and women and there was a very mixed poll throughout the interviewers. In the interview only a few out of the ten men and women I interviewed knew any of the rules. Not that many said that Rugby was popular either. Mr. Joseph Mc Gonegal said "I do not think Rugby is an American sport because its not a youth sport." Patsy roach said " I do not think Rugby is popular because the rules are so outrageous. Laura Kisor also said " I don't think Rugby is a popular sport because the rules are stacked as high as the sky they are to much to learn. Rugby to The American population is not very popular at all . About 50 % of the Americans that I interviewed knew nothing at all of Rugby except that it was a sport. The other 50% knew very little of Rugby's rules.

Primary source interview of Rugby Amateur player. Pat Castello, Catholic Memorial. May 12,2006

Why do you play Rugby? " I like the really hard sports where you get the full on experience and attack the other team its like football with no pads." If you did not play Rugby what would you play? " Nothing at all. The only sport I like is Rugby and this is the sport i could ever play. If Rugby did not exist I do not know what sport I would play." Why do we not see Rugby on ESPN at night? "I think we don't see it because we really have no interest's in Rugby as much as we do in Baseball or Basketball."

To understand what Rugby is all about we must first take a look at the birthplace of football. Football ‘s where Rugby was born from. There is a bit of documented evidence of what is possibly the oldest organized activity resembling football it can be found in a Chinese military manual, written during the Han Dynasty, about the 2nd century BC. It describes a practice known as, Cuju, which involved kicking a leather ball through a hole in a piece of silk cloth strung between two 30-foot poles. In 2004 F.I.F.A officially acknowledged that the "birthplace" of football is indeed China. Another Asian ball-kicking game, which may have been influenced by Cuju, is Kemari. This is known to have been played within the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto from about 600 AD. In Kemari several individuals stand in a circle and kick a ball to each other, trying not to let the ball drop to the ground. There are many different ways to play rugby distinctive to the people and cultures that play it. The rules of Rugby are particular to the type of Rugby but their are some rules that transcend the sports leagues. The sport of rugby is not native to the United States and mostly grown men play the game so the Europeans have a one up on us as they have been playing Rugby since they were kids.

We see Rugby in the United States through our national team. USA Rugby's national team is nicknamed “The Eagles.” (www.washingtonrugbyclub.org./super.html) The United States have always been considered a Rugby union minnow, but through professionalism, The Eagles are making improvements in coaching, management and player development, and as a result have improved on the field. The Eagles have a potentially huge pool of players as many Americans play American football in college but give up playing afterwards. We also see Rugby in a lot of high schools in Boston or in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. However, because very few Americans grow up playing Rugby Union , with the majority of players not taking up the game until college or even later in life, The average American player has far less Rugby experience than most players of the same age in the rest of the world.

Through literature we see Rugby in the book “ The Rugby Rebellion: the Divide of league and Union.” http://rl1908.com/books/rebellion.htm This book shows how the rivalry between union and league really gets heated up over the years. Sean Fagan shows how the rivalry stretches for years and tries to show who’s who in Rugby. This book also shows how Rugby really is a European type of sport and it seems to be just getting to America and it is in its infancy unlike Europe and its long reign over Rugby. Another book is They Came to Conquer. http://www.rugbybooks.net/ They came to conquer shows through a two volume set outlining every international Rugby team tour to Australia and every matched ever played since 1884. This book also shows how European, Rugby really is because not many books have been written on the history of Rugby in America. Robert G. Price of Decorah, Iowa wrote many books on every sport and how weight training for each sport will get you to thrive for the best.


Frank Keating a writer about the sport of rugby through the scope of an American writes, "For me the jingoistic jingles jar, particularly as an extended overture to the game of Rugby, When the camera with reverence passes along a sees the line of cauliflower eared men it just gives you a sense of home." This to me shows that Frank Keating sees Rugby through the scope of an American but sees that England and other European countries have more enthusiasm and interest in the sport of Rugby. This is just another point for the argument of rugby not being an American sport.

The rules of rugby need to change to adapt to its new surroundings. The kids and youth of America need to get into the sport at a young age to keep up with European kids who play since childhood. The sport of Rugby is gaining a lot of popularity though it is moving at a snail pace, The sport needs to get a makeover to appeal to the generation that is at hand. With all of the evidence I have put all of these testimonies of the peoples I have interviewed critics and other interviews this is a sure indictment on my side of the case and my side of the argument.



Works Cited

Greenwood,Lizzie,http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/sport/newsid_2976000/2976939.stm CBBC Newsround Interview of Johnny Wilkinson, 28 April 2006 (18-26)

6 August 2005 Fagan, Sean, The Rugby Rebellion: The Divide of League & Union

http://rl1908.com/books/rebellion.htm 20, May 2006

Howell, Max ,2001 They Came To Conquer http://www rugbybooks. net/book. html

(Green Stephen, 2002 www.irb.com(http://wildcat.wsc.edu/clubs/rugby/rules/ All rules of rugby, 31 May 2006)

Thorburn, Peter,

(www.washingtonrugbyclub.org./super.html) (33) May 15,2006

Primary source interview of Rugby Amateur player. Pat Castello, Catholic Memorial. 12 May 2006

Price G. Robert, (http://www.geocities.com/bprice1949/sidprice1.html The Ultimate guide to weight training for rugby


















































  I was traveling down the desert roads of Indiana
Not a light to be seen for days, then I saw two lights
I was flaubergasted because I thought I was all
All life for now until the end, these lights
were not just lights to me they were IT

It to me was Salvation, I regret and digress
What I know no human has the ability to know
How to use it for some good
What I know is horrible for any human
to know

When I saw life, life had been ravaged
the night was cool because of winter
thought it was closer to June?
The A and H bomb had been dropped
Ten –fold on each side My knowledge
Pefected the bombs to no end
I thought it hard for us all my only
Deserted was all life