English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  .Dear Patricia Michelson,

How are you? My name is Cam Dunbar and I attend Catholic Memorial High School in Boston,
Massachusetts. I am 15 years old and I am a sophomore, This is why I am writing you. In our 10th
grade English class we are studying British literature and we are covering all types of writers from
the British areas. So our assignment was to find a famous author or poet from the either Britain or
Ireland and write a letter to them asking them to come to our class. I went on to penguin.com and
came across you. I was very interested in your books and that’s why I chose you to write to.

I see you opened your own company in London called La Fromagerie and this is a cheese shop, this is
very interesting. How did you think of making this shop and why did you? Did anyone own this shop
before you like your parents or anyone in your family or did you start it yourself? I know this shop
is located in London but what part of London is it located in? This is cool I think if I came to
London I would probably visit your shop because I like cheese and I am interested to see what
different kind of chesses you have than we have here in Massachusetts.

I see you have wrote books on cheese also. You have written books such as the cheese shop and the
cheese room. What are these books about and did you write these books thinking of your own cheese
shop? How long did it take you to write these books and what is the difference between the cheese
shop and the cheese room. My favorite is the cheese room I think it is very well thought out and
that you really worked hard on it.

The cheese room is my favorite book of yours, I love the passage “ cheese is like a human being it
comes in many kinds and shapes and sizes, some are sweet and some our sour but deep down they are
all good.” This line is so true and it is really well thought out in your part. You are really
talented and in this book you really throw your words around in good ways like a good author

Thank you Patricia for taking time to read my letter and if you don’t come I can understand why
because your probably a very busy lady. But if you do come it will make me very happy and I think
you would inspire the kids in my class to become writers like you one day. So again thank you for
reading my letter and have a good day. Im looking forward to seeing you soon!

your fan,
  The writer I am doing is Jonathan Swift. He was a successful writer and poet but he also wrote
letters. He wrote his letter on December 1, 1720. He was writing to a young poet giving him advice
on poetry and what to write a poem on. When most people think of Jonathan Swift they don’t think of
him as a teacher, but now we know when people used to ask him for advice he helped them out and gave
them advice. I bet this only one of the things that you didn’t know that Swift did when he was
alive. In the following paragraphs I will tell you other things he did and what was going on in the
world around him at that time.

In 1720 when this letter was written a lot of things were going on in literature. The English
nursery rhyme "Little Jack Horner" is published for the first time. Horner is believed to
have been one Thomas Horner, who was sent by the Abbott of Glastonbury to Henry VIII in 1543 with a
wonderful gift of a pie containing deeds to valuable manors owned by the monastery since
Horner's family soon came into the hands of a manor it is thought that Horner got one deed from
the pie for himself. Maybe Jonathan swift got ideas about his poetry from this. This is what was
going on in 1720 that maybe triggered the boy to write poetry and to ask Swift for help and to have
Swift help him.

The purpose of this letter was Swift was writing a letter of advice to a young poet at that time.
Swift says “ you have entirely bent your thoughts to English poetry.” Swift is saying here that
maybe he is doing a good job but he needs so work in this category and this is something he can work
on. Swift also says “ I am not yet convinced.” he is saying that maybe is poetry is a little blank
and that he needs to work more on what he is writing to convince people to believe what he is
writing about. So as you can see the main purpose of this letter is giving this young poet advice on
what Swift knows himself and helping him make it in poetry writing.

In this letter Jonathan Swift is like a teacher figure. Most people don’t think of him as a teacher
they think of him as a writer and a poet. But you can obviously see that he had some teaching
qualities in him, and he taught fairly well. Also you can see in it that Swift was a little openly
spoken everyone would think he a nice guy and tells everyone what they want to here, but if you have
something wrong he comes right out and tells you and tells you what you need to fix. For example he
says” you need to make a quaint motto.” This is telling him what to do and what to fix. This what
people wouldn’t really think of Jonathan Swift when they read his poetry and his writings.

So as you can see Jonathan swift had many great qualities. He was a great poet, writer and now we
can see an advice giver. He has similar writing styles in his writing and his poems that he does in
his letter. He used very good English vocabulary that most people today wouldn’t understand that
well and he is somewhat a smooth writer in his letter just like he was in his poems and stories.
This is what Jonathan Swift wrote about in his letter and why he wrote to this young poet.








A lot of people commit crimes to gain power. This is what Michael and Carolyn Riley of Hull did to
their 4 year old daughter Rebecca. 3 months ago in Hull, Massachusetts these two parents murdered
their daughter at their home by overdosing her on the prescription drugs she was taking for her
A.D.D. They did this because the Government said “NO” to paying them for her medicines because she
did not have serious disabilities. They did not have to pay for their other 2 kids because they had
disabilities so the state paid for the prescriptions. So they got mad they had to pay, and they
killed their daughter to shove it back in the governments face proving they didn’t have to pay the
fee of the prescription because now she is dead.

The Riley’s other 2 kids had serious disabilities and Rebecca didn’t so the state paid for the
other 2 kids, in a form of welfare. But since Rebecca didn’t have these disabilities, and she only
had A.D.D the state didn’t pay for her medicine like the other 2 kids. They told the government “ we
will not pay for her anymore” and the government said “ you have to or we will not supply her with
anymore medicine”. So when this was said the Riley’s overdosed there daughter on those pills and
killed her so they didn’t have to worry about that money anymore. They thought this made them
powerful over the government, they thought this was a big “slap in the face” to them.
The Riley’s lived in Hull with themselves and the kids aunt and uncle. The aunt and uncle had
nothing to do with the murder but they heard what the parents were doing to the kids and they did
not stop it, when they could have. Not only the little girl was effected by this but her whole
family, they are all sad because they loved Rebecca very much. Obviously the parents didn’t, they
cared more about money than their own kid. I know that the Riley’s are still under trial but, I hope
they get life because anyone that kills a 4 year old girl deserves to be put away for life or to be
killed themselves it is a very sickening thing to hear about and to read about. So if the Riley’s
get life in prison I will definitely agree with that punishment.

A poem that relates to this crime is Garden Of Stone by Michael Kaner. He wrote this poem because a
young kid has died. This relates to the crime of the Riley’s because a young child has died in this
situation too and the poem is in memory of a little boy. The poem is also a very sad poem to read
because the little boy was so young, just like the Rebecca Riley articles are sad and hard to read
in the paper because this child died so young also and for no reason at all. This is how this Poem
by Michael Kaner relates to the Rebecca Riley murder.]

This crime affects me because I go down to Hull every summer to go to the beach and swim and some
of my friends live down there, so now every time I go down there I am going to be thinking about the
tragic events that happened there this fall. Also Rebecca went to my sisters school and every time I
pick her up from school and see the plaque that the school has up for Rebecca I am going to be
thinking about this crime. This is how this crime has affected me.













English doesn’t need us, we need English. English is spoken as a native language by around 375
million people and as a second language by around 375 million speakers in the world. In my own
opinion English has allowed me to express myself ever since I was able to speak as a young child.
Today English has such a dominant control over the worlds society, but individually can its words
affect the language? Many words either help or hurt a language by giving it a stereo type or generic
mood. I believe the word “control” in general helps the English language draw a connection between
when old English was spoken to modern English today.

In a survey I conducted by myself with 10 people there were many different things said about the
word “control”. Michael Woodson a sophomore here at CM said that the word control meant “power over
someone” and this was the first thing that came to his mind. When I went home to ask my mother a 35
year old woman, she also said to have “power or authority over someone“. So I was guessing now that
two people have said something about power relating to control that control in its definition may
have something to do with power. All ten people I asked had power in their minds, not one person
said anything different to power or authority. The definition to “control” in the American Heritage
Children’s Dictionary is to “ have authority or influence over”. In the Merriam- Webster dictionary
online it said control meant “ to exercise restraining or directing influence over. So the people in
the survey were remotely close to the definitions in the 2 dictionaries.

In the OED there are 6 definitions for the word “control”. The first one is “ to check or to
verify”. The second is “ to check by comparison”. The third is “to handle by force”. The forth is to
“ take to task”. Another is “to overpower” and lastly is “ to overrule”. The first time the word
“control” was used in English was in 1310 by Hanseh, in old English. The word he used was actually
“controlle”. And then in changed to control by 1639 by Fuller. When he used the word “controlled” in
one of his stories. Some other important authors that used this word were Harclay, Strvpe and Dryden
and Jonathan Swift.

Many people use the word “ control” in speech today talking about someone who has authority over
people. People would use control when talking about G.W Bush, saying “he is in control of our
country”. Others would use control when referring to their guardians saying they are controlling and
they never let them do anything, kids might also refer to their teachers as controlling. Many other
people use control when they see someone take over like “ look how that guy just took control of
this situation”. Others might use it referring to a police man or fire fighter or EMT they have to
take control of people and people’s lives everyday. So this is how people use the word “control” in
speech today.

People use the word “control” in books and magazines and newspapers all the time. The usages of the
word control in literature are enormous. The word “control” has been used in literature since 1310
and that’s when it was first used. The newspapers have to use control all the time when talking
about the politics and running of the country by George Bush. In one of Jonathan Swift’s letters he
uses the word control and people continue the tradition of control today in their writings. This is
how people use the word “control” today in literature.

When talking to 3 foreign people about my word I asked them what they thought about my word. I
asked 2 people from Ireland and 1 person from Scotland. Mrs. Lynch from Ireland said the word
“control” was not very hard for her to learn. When I asked her to define it she said “demanding”
When I asked her for a sentence with control in it she said “ northern Ireland is very controlling”.
I then asked Ms Forester of Scotland. She said this word along with many other words was very hard
for her to learn because she spoke with a very strong accent and not many people understood her.
When I asked her to define it she said “ helpful”. When I asked her for a sentence she said “ the
man was in control of the woman”. And lastly I asked My great grandma Brogie of Ireland. She said it
was hard because she only used to speak Gaelic and its hard to switch from Gaelic to English. When I
asked her to define it she said “powerful”. And when I asked her to use it in a sentence she said
“he had control on his country”. So as you can see even foreign people have pretty much the same
definitions as us but the words are harder to learn for them, and this is what they thought about
the word “control”

When looking at a simple Google search and the EBSCO site. I found many articles having to do with
“control”. One article had to do with cancer control in Africa and this article was from The medical
news. This article is about people trying to control or prevent the number of people with cancer by
stopping it early. They have control in this article meaning “under control” so saying they are
saying stopping it or “helping it.”

Another article is Predator control for wildlife stirs debate. This is saying they are trying to
control the amount of predators or trying to keep them where they are and not letting it get to
crazy. They are controlling and “helping” it. These are the articles I found for the word

What does this data show? Is our language evolving out of its old roots, creating new “slang” words
that will soon become definitions. Many of our parents believe so, but would it be a bad thing. The
English Language is so predominant that nearly ever country teaches it in their class rooms in any
culture in any country. A Language that is over one thousand year old and is being taught all over
the world will change, but what is what makes English Unique. The word “control” is a word that adds
to this uniqueness. It derives from old English or middle English as we call it, But over the years
it has advanced into a modern English word and is now a very popular word throughout the English
language. But I bleive the word “control” helps the English language by helping us see where it came
from and connecting it to its middle English roots. It helps the English language connect to its
beginnings giving English both an original yet new and up rising ability. Giving English a taste of
the old and a taste of the new.