English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  .Dear Allan Ahlberg,

My name is Michael Grant and I attend Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury Massachusetts. I am writing
to you to see if you are interested in speaking to my English 10 British Literature class.
Unfortunately my class will not be able to read any of your work this year but I have done some
research on your work and enjoy it very much. I believe that your work is well done and enjoyable
for all ages. I would love for you to speak to my class this year.

After doing research on you I decided to write a letter to you. The first reason for the letter is
because of your background in life. I think it is interesting that you did not know what you were
going to be when you grew up. You worked previous jobs and found them boring and not interesting so
you began to write. Fortunately, you were a good writer and were able to get published. You went
through great schools to get to where you are today. When you got married I thought that it was nice
that you and your wife both wrote children’s stories separately and together.

One thing that I like about you is that you write stories that will make kids want to read. Your
work is great and makes it fun to pick up a book. Also I like that you have a variety in your
writing. It is not all just repeated and boring to read. Another great thing about your work is that
you spend time relating and feeling about the books that you write. One of your most enjoyable
pieces is Please Mrs. Butler. “Please Mrs. Butler This boy Derek Drew Keeps copying my work. Miss
what shall I do” This book and line can relate to children in a school and is a fun and silly school

In conclusion I hope that you will be able to come to my school and talk about your work. I can
understand if you are not able to make it because of your busy schedule. Hopefully I can hear back
from you in the weeks to come.


Michael Grant
  The author that I chose and found a letter by them is Stephen Spender. He is not a very popular
author but his work is well done. The letter was written by Stephen Spender in November 1957, to Mr.
Wesley Hartley and his students. We found out that Mr. Spender did not expect a letter to him about
his work and was happy to receive it. The main purpose of the letter is to respond to Mr. Wesley
that he has received the letter from him and, appreciates the letter and is happy to know the
students are interested in his work.

Stephen Spender was born in London February 28, 1909. As a young child he grew up around smart
people. His father was a journalist. As a young schoolboy he showed interest books and politics. He
attended the Gresham’s School, Holt University and the Oxford University. There he began to write
his first major novels. In 1941 he married a pianist Natasha Litvin. He enlisted in the military
services. After the war he works in the congress of freedom. Some popular work by Stephen Spender
includes books like, Poems of Dedication (1947), The Edge of Being (1949), an autobiography, World
Within World (1951), The Creative Element (1953), The Struggle of the Modern (1963), The Generous
Days (1969) and Love-Hate Relations (1974). In 1970 he became a professor at English University in
London. Sadly he died in 1995.

The function of this letter is to let Mr. Hartley and his students know how he felt. He also wants
to know if they are interested in his work if they wanted to check out his autobiography World
within World.

After reading the short letter by Stephen Spender I can tell a few things about him. One is that he
is talented and a fun author to read, because it is hard to get students into a boring author’s
work. Another is that they were so interested in his work that he must do excellent work. He is very
happy to hear from a teacher, “I was most interested to hear about your students and the kind
interest they take in my work”.After reading the letter by Stephen Spender I learned something about
him. He takes pride in his work and is hardworking. He is very happy and excited to know that other
people especially children enjoy reading his work. While reading the letter I found out that he
wrote a few other novels that are interesting to read. Mr. Spender was a man who began to write
books and got better and better at it and his work got published. He is so happy and proud that his
work was being viewed by so many people. It seemed like Stephen Spender was a nice quite down to
earth man just from reading the letter.

In conclusion I think there are a few things to be said about the letter and the author Stephen
Spender. I enjoyed reading and writing on the letter by Mr. Spender. It was interesting to see how
people respond when they are complemented on there work. Also I started to look at some other pieces
of work by Stephen Spender and thought that it was nice to read that type of work for a change. All
in all I enjoyed my experience researching and writing about the letter and Mr. Spender.















A newly born baby that was kidnapped from the hospital in Lubbock, Texas on March 10. The baby was
just days old and had a few health issues and the authorities along with the parents are franticly
looking for the baby. Luckily the baby was found safe and sound a couple of days later in New
Mexico. Police say that a young woman dressed up as a nurse and entered the Covenant Lakeside
Hospital and grabbed the baby right out of its bed and walked out. This sparked a nation wide
search, and led to the arrest of the woman and her accomplice. The authorities say that the motive
is thought to be, that she wanted a baby and just took the quick way out. This crime is has power
involved in it in a few different ways. She must have thought that she could get away with her crime
and thought that she could have a baby to keep. The power in the story is that she took a child and
did not want to give it up, so she thought that she had total power and that the baby could not be
taking back from her. She was untouchable.

The employees from the hospital said they say her and didn’t recognize her but they did not think
anything of it. The senior vice president if the hospital said, “I don’t think that our staff had
ever seen her”. Police Lieutenant Scott Hudgens told the press the baby had a slight skin issue, and
made it aware that she was not deathly sick. He said that, “At this point we do not have any reason
to believe that the family knew the suspects”. Two days later in New Mexico the baby was found with
the kidnappers, a man and a woman. The baby was found in good health and went to the hospital to be
checked out. After the baby was returned to her parents in Texas. It was a reunion full of joy,
happiness, and love. The two suspects were brought in to the police station; where she admitted to
the kidnapping and they were both booked and are awaiting their hearings.

After learning and finding about this crime I had many thoughts and concerns. I personally was
worried about the baby’s health and care. I wanted to know who would commit such an act. I think
that the people who committed the crime should be held accountable and giving a severe punishment.
The criminals caused a great concern and made many people worried and not knowing what was going to
happen. This crime is related to the poem The Kidnapping by John Allman, by that they both have a
kidnapping in them. In both stories a young child was taken away from a family. In the crime the
baby was taken from the hospital, just days after birth and in the poem the child was taken from her
grandmother at her house.

In conclusion I am happy that the crime came to a safe and happy ending. And hopefully the criminals
will receive a harsh punishment and pay for what they did. This crime could have had a much
different ending.

















Throughout the English language there are words that are meaningful, hurtful and useful.
Determination depending on the person you ask means many things. To some it means the willingness
and continuing hard work to improve on something. To others it is trying to make a decision between
different things. Personally to me when I think of the word Determination, I think of someone
continuing to work harder and try to do better the next time they do something.

The word determination has many different meanings and definitions. In the American Heritage
Dictionary they have “The act of making or arriving at a decision.” In the Webster Dictionary it is
listed as, “a decision of a court or administrative agency regarding an issue.” A third dictionary
that I used said that determination meant “the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling
a purpose.” All the dictionaries had very similar meaning, but some also had other definitions. The
American Heritage Dictionary also says a fixed intention or resolution. A sample sentence they use
is I returned to school with a determination to finish.

After looking in the OED I found many important things about the word determination. They had good
definitions, “by the way of final decision; conclusively finally.” “Another is “With settle purpose;
resolutely, determined.” According to the OED the first time that determination was used in a story
was 1553 by T. Wilson. Another time that it was used was 1581 by W. Stafford. The word determination
is a helpful word in the world for many reasons. First the word is a meaningful and has a positive
vibe. Unlike some words that are negative, violent and have no meaning at all, determination also is
a word that people use in good ways that can actually help the society out and not hurt it. Also a
word can be hurtful to society if it is used in the wrong text or way, but with the word
determination when people refer to it, it is for something good or a decision they are making.

Depending on the people you ask the meaning of the word Determination will vary. I asked people of
different age, faith and culture, their answers were different and similar. My mom said “Chosen
between two different things.” Her sentence said, “I was determining to wear the red or pink shirt
to work”. My grandfather said “The courage and will to continue to try to reach your goal.” Jong Han
from South Korea said, “Making a decision between multiple things”. Depending on the person and
where they learned the word from it the definition varies. After asking people of all different
ages, sex, and cultures the word Determination is very similar in meaning and ways of using it.

After doing some research, to see if I could find any famous authors or pieces of work with the word
Determination in it, I found some interesting information. George S. Clason said: “where the
determination is, the way can be found’. Mark Twain said: “The miracle, or the power, that elevates
the few is to be found in their perseverance under the promptings of a brave, determined spirit”. In
the book The Word, by Irving Wallace he uses determination in a sentence: “With determination, he
releases himself from this cocoon of introspection, and tried to reenter the more prosaic world
around him”.

In conclusion through the whole process of this paper, I have found out many things through
dictionaries, research, and people that I didn’t even know. I think that the word Determination is a
great word for the world and is deep in meaning. Just like many other words determination has many
meanings and uses in the English language. Finally I believe that determination is a powerful and
well known word all around the United States and world.

Citation Page
Carey William: Personal Interview May 10, 2007
Grant Susan: Personal Interview May 13, 2007
Jong Han: Personal Interview May 10, 2007
Lewis Wilbur: Personal Interview May 13, 2007
Shakespeare William: Othello, Page 440, 1886
The American Heritage Dictionary: Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.