English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  .Dear David,

My name is Brian Daley, I currently attend Catholic Memorial. I play football hockey and
lacrosse and enjoy reading and writing. While reading on my own time, I have come across some of
your books and travel guides. I noticed after reading some of your guides that you have traveled to
some interesting places such as Australia and Africa.

I admire your passion to travel around the world, and make a living off making travel guides. What
is it like to travel around the world and write for a living? One guide in particular I enjoyed was
the Breeders Guide. The guide opened my eyes about how much care it takes to actually take care of
an animal the proper way. For example feeding them, cleaning, ect. Some other pieces of your writing
that I have come across were, Pubs In England and Wales, and The Adventures Under Water.
Through reading your books I learned that you grew up on a cattle farm in Great Britain since
1955. That must have been interesting, is that how you got the idea for Breeders Guide? One guide I
enjoyed reading was the guide Citizens of the World: London Merchants and the integration of the
British Atlantic Communities. One fact in the Guide that really made me think was “In Britain, golf
courses can only be found in two places and they both exist in Holland.” I did not know in Britain
golf courses were so rare.

In my tenth grade English class at Catholic Memorial we have been studying British authors. I would
find it very interesting to hear one of our lectures. If it is convenient I would like to invite you
to the Catholic Memorial High School in Boston Ma.. This would be a great experience to hear an
actual British writer speak about what it is like to be an author.

Brian Daley









Good friends are hard to find, when you come across a trust worthy friend it is important to stay
in touch. I have learned this through reading a letter a written by Arthur Conan Doyle to one of his
friends Mr. Stead on January 2, 1893. Stead and Conan had one major similarity, they were both
novelists. Mr. Stead was later killed on the Titanic. A lot of information is discovered in this
letter that isn’t normally found in text books.

The letter was written during the time period of tension between the British Empire and South
Africa. This later turned into the second Boer War also known as the South African War. The war was
about the Africans fighting for there independence from the British Empire. Conan and Stead were on
separate sides of the war but remained good friends.

Conan says in his letter, “I have thought a great deal over your big plan since I saw you last.”
This leads me to believe the purpose of the letter Conan wrote is a reaction to a plan that Stead
had mentioned to Conan. Conan later states, “Your plan will spoil the Novelist, and the Novelist
will spoil your plan. Conan is trying to be honest with his friend and is telling him that the plan
isn’t going to work out as he thought. “But I am convinced that it is impossible to make it good
from a literary point of view- it must be uneven disjoint, and superficial.” Conan is explaining why
the plan isn’t going to work out and has hinted the plan has something to do with a topic for a

Through reading this letter I have learned that Conan and Stead have a very honest and open
relationship. Conan ends his letter with this line, “I know that you would wish me to be perfectly
frank as to my thoughts.” The letter makes it seem that Conan and Stead run ideas for stories
through each other before perusing. There must have been a lot of letters written between Conan and
Stead because in the letter Conan says, “The other day you tried to define Art.” The two live in
different countries, and the only way for communication is through letters.

Conan’s letter writing is sure a little less exciting than some of his great novels such as
Sherlock Holmes. Conan seems to be very honest(frank) in his letters and gives good feedback to his
friend. The letter isn’t written in the same mysteries styles as his mystery books, it is written in
a formal letter format.

  Power is word that is often used in today’s society, whether someone is losing power or
gaining, it is a common topic. One extreme case of a fight for power is the on going terrorist war
that is being fought in Baghdad. Wednesday March 7, 2007 marks the continuation of Sunni terrorist
attacks against the Shiite Muslims. Twenty people were killed in the attack, twelve police officers
and ten civilians. The bombing took place near a popular café in Balad Ruz, forty-five miles north
east of Baghdad. The Sunni’s have continued to be relentless in there bombings. Terrorist specialist
says, “The Sunni’s are now trying to hit hospitals and health center as their number one target.”
The progress of this investigation is very small considering that innocent people are dieing
constantly on the streets of Baghdad.

The criminals to blame for these bombings are the Sunni terrorist who continue to bomb Shiite
people. The reason for the bombings is simply over political power. According to the article the
Shiites believe, “The heirs of the fourth caliph, Ali, are the legitimate successors of Mohammed”
The Sunni’s believe, “The first four caliphs--Mohammed's successors rightfully took his place
as the leaders of Muslims. They recognize the heirs of the four caliphs as legitimate religious
leaders.” This disagreement between the Shiites and the Sunni’s causing many innocent people to die.
Just one day after the 22 died in Ballad Ruz, 32 died in a Sunni car bombing during a religious
prayer service. This attack killed 12 children and 20 religious leaders.

The Sunni government are the ones who mainly benefit from these terrorist attacks. Also
students from George Mason University quote Osama Bin Ladin, a Sunni, in a 9-11 tape. He says,
"What America is tasting now is only a copy of what we have tasted. ... Our Islamic nation has
been tasting the same for more [than] eighty years, of humiliation and disgrace, its sons killed and
their blood spilled, its sanctities desecrated." It is not a known fact that Bin Ladin is
behind these bombings but many believe he could be benefiting from the attacks.

The Shiite and Sunni bombings are taking place in 2007, but these bombings relate a poem
called, “A Prayer in the Time of War” written by Alfred Noyes. The poem resembles the religious
struggle over power that the Sunnis and Shiites are experiencing. “How should we seek to Thee for
power, Who scorned Thee yesterday? How should we kneel, in this dread hour? Lord, teach us how to
pray.” These three lines sound like Shiites praying for help, because they do not know how much more
attacks they can take.

My personal opinion on the terrorist attacks taking place in Baghdad is, they need to be
addressed by other people than the Shiites and Sunnis. The war will not come to an end unless other
people or counties get involved. I do not see the religious war ending soon because the terrorist
bombings are and effective way to disrupt the Shiite community and the Sunni’s know it




















Language in today’s society is what holds the world together. The English language is expanding
everyday, becoming more and more popular. The work “kill” is a very basic English word that has been
use since Old English. English is now becoming the world super language, and is being enforced in
most foreign countries. “Kill” helps the English language because it is short and can be translated
in every other language.

Kill helps the world even with its negative meaning. There are many different meanings of the word
kill. In the Oxford English Dictionary kill means “to beat or knock off.” In the American Heritage
dictionary “kill means “to burry under ground, or end life.” The Webster’s pocket edition dictionary
means “to cause death or slay.” Kill can be used a verb, noun. It can be changes into a noun by
adding “er” to the end. A “killer” is some who slays people. Kill has the same central meaning in
all the definitions, which makes it an easy English word to learn.

The Oxford English dictionary defines kill in many different ways. One definition used in 1205 is “
to beat.” In 1255 the definition changed to “ cast or throw out.” After a couple years in 1330 it
was used as “to kill or to put to death.” The meaning since 1330 has not changed. The first sentence
that “kill” was ever used in was written in Old English “Ofte me hine smaet mid smarte garden, offte
me hine culde.”

“Kill” is used a lot in the English language from all different types of people. Jane Daley, 50
years old, says kill means death, kill. Greg Niles a 16-year-old African American says, “kill” means
to suffer. Victoria Laham a 16 year old says kill means to end life completely. All three people use
kill in different ways but they all used it in a negative way. This helps the English language
because it easy to learn.

“Kill” can be used is in a few different ways through out the English language in literature. One
example is in the rap song “Thank You” by Xzibit. He uses the word “Kill” as to end life. “I coulda
missed it all, I coulda dropped the ball, Mind of Metallica, motherf*ck 'em and "Kill
'Em All." “Kill” can also be used inn the Book “Indian Killer.” The word “kill” is used as
a noun, “killer” one that slays people. “A serial killer is stalking Seattle” Even though “kill” is
used differently throughout some literature pieces the word still keeps its general meaning which
makes it an easy word to understand.

“Kill” is used on basically every foreign language. When I asked Amer Chahine, a 17 year old
Lebanese male, what that the word kill meant to him he replied, “ to stop or end life completely.” I
then asked him how hard it was to learn, he answered “ not hard because I learned English at a very
early age” I then ask Vlad Galiouk a 16 year old Russian male what he thought “kill” meant he said
“to murder.” He also said it wasn’t hard to learn because it was a small word and was used in the
same way the English speakers use it in English. My last interview was with Renado Penido a 50 year
old Brazilian Male he said kill meant “to beat or slay.” He also said it was an easy word to learn.
Critics are constantly using to the word “kill” in newspaper articles and in magazines. In the New
York Times article “NBC News Defends Its Use of Material Sent by the Killer” The article uses the
word “kill” in the opening line, Bill carter states “The NBC News fought back yesterday against a
growing backlash over the way it handled the pictures and writings of the student who killed 32
people at Virginia Tech.”A6. In the Boston Globe an article called “10-hour battle kills 24 Afghan
insurgents, coalition says” on the war in Afghanistan uses the word “kill.” Alisa Tang says “Seven
people -- including women and children -- were killed, and between 10 and 15 were wounded," A5.
Both articles use kill as to end life, and both articles use it in different parts of speech. The
word “kill” helps the world because of its simple meaning.

Work Cited
Alexie, Sherman Indian Killer Audio Literature 2007(book)
Chanhine, Amer Personal Interview. April 25, 2007
Daley, Jane Personal Interview. April 27, 2007
Galiouk, Vlad Personal Interview. May 25, 2007
Laham, Victoria Personal Interview. April 25, 2007
Niles, Greg Personal Interview. April 25, 2007
Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press 2004 pg 531-533
Penido, Renado Personal Interview. May 20, 2007