English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  Dear Gordon Banks,

Hey Gordon, how is retirement treating you? My name is Mike Kelly. I live in West Roxbury,
Massachusetts. It is a strong predominantly Irish neighborhood of Boston. I like to play sports
like basketball and football. I used to play soccer, but I gave that up to play football. I go to
school at Catholic Memorial, which is in West Roxbury. I am a sophomore there and studying British
Literature with Mr. McGonagal in English class. We just finished the unit of living or recently
deceased authors, and now we get into all of the boring stuff. I was wondering if you would like to
come to our school and speak to us about your work and life, because we will not be doing any other
living author’s works.

A few weeks ago on Monday morning, I came into Mr. McGonagal’s class around 8:15. We sat down and
after we wrote our homework down in our plan books, he got into the subject of our new project on
contemporary authors. While online searching, I came across your name, and was interested once I
found out you were a professional soccer player, and a good one at that. All the other authors I
saw were boring and seemed to have no flavor to their writing, but when I saw you wrote about
yourself, I was extremely interested.

Did you know that you were born in the same year as my grandfather? That’s pretty interesting. I
noticed that you were a stud athlete when you were a young boy. This is kind of like me, except I
have not yet traveled to another country to play. When you played for the English national team,
you made one of the greatest plays in the history of the world cup, when you saved that ball against
Pele. I wish I could have seen it because according to all of the reports I read, it was just

Your book Banksy is an awesome autobiography. While scanning through the books I saw the line, “As
I stood up Pele, ever the great sportsman, came up to me and patted me on the back.” This line
stood out to me because it shows me that you were the best, because “the great Pele” complemented
you in the misted of battle. Your save against Pele is the climax of the book, in my opinion. That
is a save synonymous to all soccer fans around the world. I love reading about your times on the
English national team. It was very interesting to read about the 1966 world cup championship. This
was an interesting, fun fact filled book.

I hope you come and join us. It is really nice here at Catholic Memorial, and I think that you
would fit right into the C.M. community. One of my classmates is a die hard soccer fan. He was
born in England and used to talk about how you were the backbone of England, when it won its world
cup in 1966. He is struggling though. He got injured and had to sit out the soccer season. It was
a crushing blow. If you come that would be like a dream come true to him. It would also help me
and my classmates miss some class time to learn about you, British Literature, and the game of

The one and only,
Mike Kelly

  When I was scanning the online world, I found an author by the name of Sir Thomas Mallory. I was
intrigued by the fact that his name had a sir in it, because that probably meant he was important.
I took a look at one of his letters, and I loved it. It is a love letter to an unknown girl. He
wrote it during his middle ages years, which was sometime during the early 1800s. He wrote it from
his home, which was in England. He wanted to show her his love for her.

The early 1800s was time of many different crazy events happening all over the world. America was
just a new born country, barley twenty five years old. Many people were just getting around too
becoming big fans of novels, because they were becoming more affordable. Many people were reading
books chapter by chapter printed in monthly magazines. It was a time for independence and
prosperity for many people in the world.

“I can not begin too explain my feelings of love for you,” is the second line of the letter. It
shows that Sir Thomas Mallory is a mushy individual deep down inside. It really showed me how
anyone can be romantic, no matter how many they come off on the outside. During the poem he called
her “beautiful” and mentioned that “your fragrance was better than a bundle of roses.” This shows
he is truly in love with her.

This letter changed my opinion of Sir Thomas Mallory. It showed that his personal style of writing
was not fiction, but romance. He really showed a lot by writing this letter. It showed a softer
more gentle side of him and it leads me to believe that he is an individual who had truly found the
woman he loved, and was not afraid to tell it to her in this letter.

Sir Thomas Mallory is now one of my favorite writers. I am now in the process of searching for
more of his works and letters to read. This letter I read really opened my eyes to letters. I know
hope I can become a man of letters myself.

















Sergeant Ray Girouard was once a very highly respected member of the military community. He was a
highly decorated veteran of war who was a key part in the war on Iraq. However all of that was
whipped out when he sadly ordered 3 Iraqi prisoners to death. Whatever took over his mind May 9th
2006, we will never know, but do to his inappropriate actions, 3 prisoners of war have died. It
happened in a base of operations for Girouard and his troops. The most prominent reason behind
these killings is most likely to show his power. On that day he stooped to the level of the enemy,
and brought shame to our country.

The details behind the case are gruesome. One of Girouard’s men, Specialist William B. Hunsaker,
testified against Girouard. He recalls Girouard saying, “ They're going to cut the ties, tell
them to run, shoot them.” This is just sick. He wanted to show his troops how powerful he was.
Hunsaker said in later testimony ”after the detainees were shot, Girouard cut him with a pocket
knife, and said it's got to look good.” This shows how he thinks he is too powerful and smart
to get caught. He is too powerful to obey the law. He is a sick human being.

The soldiers who shot the Iraqi’s are guilty like Girouard is. Although they were following the
orders of their commanding officer, they take a little of the fault. These individuals listened to
Girouard as they were supposed to, except when it came to slaying these people, they should have
stopped and said no. Girouard was using his power that he had over his soldiers to have three Iraqi
prisoners of war executed. He took advantage of his power to use people to commit murder. He is
not a true man.

This crime appears in British literature a few times. The most clear example is Silvia Plath’s
“Mirror”. In the poem a woman poisons a young girl. She is helpless and shows all the power over
her that she has. This is like when Sergeant Ray Girouard sent his troops out to kill Iraqi
detainees who were completely unarmed running from a group of American soldiers. The crimes are
somewhat similar but the motive for power behind them bears a striking resemblance. You can take
any crime committed now and find it in British literature.

As of March 20th, 2007, Sergeant Ray Girouard was going to serve at least 10 years in prison for
negligence homicide. He could possibly face up to 21 years in prison depending on how he is
sentenced. This just goes to show how much power can change a person. If he had used standard
military procedure he would not being going to jail and the soldiers would not be dead. It really
lays out how much a crime can be driven by power.