English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  Dear Ricky Gervais,

My name is Mark Anderson and I am a sophomore at Catholic Memorial High School. For sophomore
English we are studying British Literature and as of recently we are studying contemporary authors.
So far we have studied and read from authors such as Shamus Heaney. We have yet to study or read
any of your work. I am writing to you to ask if you would come and either talk to us or read one of
your works to my class.

As I have told you I am a sophomore at Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury, MA. I play hockey and
lacrosse and watch TV and go on the computer all the time. This is my first year studying British
Literature and I find it very different and interesting compared to modern English writers. So far
most of our authors that we have studied this year have been authors that have only written books.
Having written the comedy show, The Office, you are different from all our other authors. I have
your show and have seen both English and British versions. The show is absolutely hilarious and
relatable to most working people.

I am very much puzzled how you graduated from London University with a degree in philosophy but
then went onto work at the University as entertainment manager for the university Students Union.
What made you change your mind as to what do to for the rest of your life? Are you happy with your
decision? If you could change it, would you?

By having you come to our class and speak to us, it would very much broaden our point of view on
British authors. It would allow us to hear from some one who has written both books and TV shows. It
would give us the experience of just hearing a very well-known author speak. We could really learn a
lot from you and you could share with us all your success that you have had. My classmates and I
hope to be hearing from you soon and maybe you could make the trip here to see us.

Mark Anderson








Percy Shelley is one of the most well-known British poets. Percy has become famous for his poems
such as “Ode to the West Wind,” “To a Skylark,” and “Prometheus Unbound.” Shelley was born in the
year 1792 on a country estate in Sessex, Britten. He attended the finest schools including a
boarding school called Edon. Growing up, Percy was a loner and a rebel, causing a lot of trouble
where ever he went. Shelley also moved a lot as a child and young adult, but moved for the last time
to Italy with Mary Shelley. It was here where she began her famous novel Frankenstien. It is also
here that Percy writes a very interesting letter to a man named Peacock. Through this letter we
discover many things that we never knew about Percy before now.

The background of this letter is very simple. Percy wrote this letter to a good friend of his named
Peacock. This letter was written on July of the year 1887.

The function of this letter was simply for pleasure. Percy talks about his travels and what problems
he encountered during his travels. One quote that shows us this is in like 148 “ and through the
valley we continued” Another quote that shows us this is “ After resting for some time we continued
on.” We also find out though this letter that Percy does not like cold weather. We find this out
through a quote in line 153. “The Alps were straight ahead covered with white snow that I despised.”

This letter reveals many things about Percy that we never knew before. We find out that Percy likes
to travel. Through his poems he gives off the impression and tells us that he doesn’t like to move
or travel. He also reveals a more intimate side of his personality by the way he talks to Peacock
throughout the letter.

Percy Shelley wrote this letter very differently from the way he writes his poems. We find out many
different facts about him by reading this letter to Peacock that we do not learn from his poems. I
enjoyed doing this assignment and have learn a lot.

  On Sunday March 11, 2007, Chris Simons of the New York Islanders set a new NHL record, a suspension
of 25 games. Three days before, Chris brutally hit New York Ranger forward Marty Mcsorly in the face
with his stick. Mcsorly was taken out on a stretcher and did not return to the game.

“ I want to appologise to my team and to the Islander fans everywhere,” Simons said Saturday at a
press conference. “My actions Thursday night played a major part in our team loosing a crucial game.
I also want to apologize to the National Hockey League for the damage I have caused to this great
game of ours.” The following day, the leagues disciplinarian Colin Cambell replied, “The National
Hockey League will not except the use of a stick in the manor or fashion in which Mr. Simon used
his. Our decision on the punishment will be released tomorrow.”

On Sunday the punishment was decided. “ As a consequence, Mr. Cambell has given up the privileges
of playing in an NHL game again this season, regardless of how many games the Islanders ultimately
play.” This relates to power in the following way. The playoff season is arriving very fast and
players are willing to do anything to have a shot at the Stanly Cup. However this is not the first
time that Chris has been suspended due to his acts on the ice. He was suspended for 3 games in 1997
for illegal contact on the ice to another player.

In conclusion, in the pursuit of the Stanly Cup, a violent act was commited that never should have
been committed. Chris Simons is suspended for 25 NHL games which is a league record.

The world that we live in today is comprised of numerous languages, English being one of them. The
English language is the most difficult language to learn and understand. We take for granted this
fact and don’t realize how complex our language is. English is made up of over 800,000 words and one
word that adds to this astounding number is the word “sailing.” The word “sailing” was founded in
the year 1431 and has survived to today. The word “sailing” makes the English language more profound
but does not make the word a better place.

The Oxford English Dictionary is a dictionary that is compiled of every word in the English language
and its history. It is constantly adding new information every few years with new definitions and
new usages of each word. The very first time this word was used was in 1431 and was defined as
vessel with sails. However in 1597 the word was further developed when it was redefined as a vessel
traveling on water by the usage of sails and the power of wind. Throughout time this definition has
grown and has developed into the word that we use and know today throughout the world

Over time I conducted a survey to random people and asked them about the word “sailing” and how
they would define it. Just about everyone in my survey provided me with the same information and
definition with minimal variation. Darren Gazelle, a freshman from Martha’s Vineyard defined the
word as “taking a trip on water in a boat.” Kayla, a fourth grader from Easton, MA, said that
“sailing is being out on a boat in the ocean.” When asked to use the word in a sentence, Ryan Quirk,
a sophomore at Catholic Memorial High School said, “I would like to go sailing this summer.” By
sharing the knowledge that we know about this word it helps us and the world develop.

All the people that were involved in the survey were educated and English was their first language.
It showed greatly when I looked up the word “sailing” in numerous dictionaries and the definition
did not change significantly. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the definition of
sailing is “to move across the water by means of a sailing vessel.” The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary
defined the word as “the skill required to operate and navigate a vessel.” Lastly the Encarta
Dictionary defined the word as “traveling in a vessel with sails.”

Some foreign speakers like Jane Anderson from Poland found the word very easy to learn when she
arrived hear in the States. She says that when she thinks of the word “sailing”, she immediately
thinks of Cape Cod, Mass which was the first place she stayed in here in the United States. Carlos,
a sophomore at CM agreed that it was not a hard word to learn. When asked to use the word “sailing
in a sentence he said, “I would like to go sailing.” Even people from around the world have come to
know the word “sailing.”

Throughout the history, the word “sailing has been published is countless books, magazines and
other types of media forms. One example is in the book The Wanderer by Sharon Creech. On page 129 it
was used in the sentence, “It was their fourteenth day sailing and yet there was still no sight of
land.” Another book in which the word “sailing” is used is in The River by Gary Paulsen. On page 14
it was used in the sentence, “they asked me to walk back to where we had crashed and the go sailing
back down the river.” In both cases the word “sailing” is used as it is defined in modern
dictionaries from around the world

The word “sailing” has come a long way since its founding in 1431. The definition has varied
throughout time. People around the world have perspective on this words definition and what
accompanies it. I believe that this word helps the English language, however I believe it does not
affect the world. The word “sailing” is just a word. However the action that this word stands for I
believe helps the world tremendously. Words are just a way of naming but the effect that we feel and
react to is the meaning and action of these words.