English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  Dear Mr. Richard Dawkins,

I recently read an article about you in a science magazine and became very interested in your
work. My name is Sean Doolan, and I'm a sophmore at Catholic Memorial High School in West
Roxbury Massachusetts. I think you are are very powerful man in the field of science, and it shows
with the impressions you made at Berkly and Oxford. Because of your work, some would call you the
"apostle" of science. I understand you were born in Nairobi, what first striked you
interest in science?

You have published many scientific books such as 'The Selfish Gene', 'Unweaving
the Rainbow', and 'The Blind Watchmaker'. Today, you are one of the best-selling
popular science author. How does that make you feel? What do you think is correct and/or incorrect
about Charles Darwin? In your field of work, religious groups have criticized you, do you think
theye have reason to?

I personally find you book 'Unweaving the Rainbow' the most interesting and mind
catching. You wrote: "After sleeping through a hundred million centuries . . . isn't it
sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born?" I think this quote means we
should appreciate the beauty of life and what we have been given.

Many of my fellow classmates have done this subject and still have many unanswerwed questions.
I think it would be great if you could come to my school for a day and share your thoughts on
science and hopefully answer the other students questions as well.

Your Reader,
Sean Doolan






Beyond what most people know about Sir Philip Sidney through his previous books and poems, Sidney
also wrote many letters. In one letter, Sidney asks the Queen of England, Elizabeth I not to marry
to Royal Arch Duke. In the late 16th Century, in Liverpool, England, Sidney began writing this
letter on what he would call “the dampest evening of evenings”. In 1572, he traveled to France as
part of the embassy to negotiate a marriage between Elizabeth I and the Duke D'Alencon. He
talked about how he wrote the letter in secrecy and told Elizabeth that she deserved a loyal and
more dutiful husband.

Sidney was born on November 30, 1554 and became one of the most important people during the
Elizabethan Age. Sidney became widely known as an excellent poet, loyal courtier, and courageous
soldier. Sidney was educated at the Shrewsbury School and Christ Church in Oxford, England. He is
the author of some of the best selling English novels still today. Astrophil and Stella was
published when Sidney was only twenty. Some other works include The Defense of Poesy, The Countess
of Pembroke’s Arcadia. As Sidney traveled, he met many prominent writers and poets that influenced
him to continue to write.

In this letter, he tells Elizabeth I that she is an embracing royal power, a beautiful woman with
straight forward elegance. He implies that the Duke doesn’t deserve a woman like her. “A marriage is
not necessary between you both, you know and I know that it is an inevitability that you step down.
He does not love you, this continually happens with royal families. This is not about love, but
about money, wealth, and power.”

When Elizabeth I received this letter, it was only a week before the cerimonies would commence. She
said that she took into deep consideration as to what Sidney said. Although she kept the letter
hidden, she continually brought up the fact to her family that she does not think the wedding would
be right. She knew the letter was about Sidney’s opinion on what should happen to the wedding and

In Sidney’s poems such as Astrophel and Stella, he writes about how a girl has mocked his love
towards her:

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That the dear She might take some pleasure of my pain:
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain .

Perhaps Sidney understands the situation that the Queen is in and has done everything he could do to
help her.






In the early morning hours in the small town of Yonkers, New York, a group of vandals spray painted
swastikas on the sides of local synagogues. The swastika was discovered on an exterior wall at
Temple Emanu-El, at 5:24 a.m. The vandalism comes just five days before congregation members, along
with Jews all over the world, begin celebrating the weeklong holiday of Passover on Monday. Rabbi
Allen Kaplan of Temple Emanu-El said that the congregation has experienced nothing like this during
its 40 years in the building. Yonkers police believe this crime may be linked to another synagogue
spray painting in Nassau County, located just six miles from Yonkers, which happened just two days
ago. The two police departments have begun to work together to find the criminals or find where the
next hit will be.

"This is a hate crime," he said. "They chose a swastika, a red swastika. That is a
statement. This is a hate crime!” said Rabbi Kaplan. Two police officers from the 3rd Precinct
discovered the swastika while on patrol, Yonkers police Capt. Edward Geiss said. The
department's Special Investigations Units is investigating the vandalism as a bias crime, he
said. The swastika was the official emblem of the Nazi Party, which oversaw the Holocaust of
millions of European Jews during World War II. Since then, it has been used as a symbol of

Nassau County police are investigating a red swastika that was spray-painted on a bulletin board
outside a Valley Stream synagogue and Jewish outreach center on Long Island late last week. No
arrests have been made, police said today. In March 2006, three Rockland County teenagers were
charged with spray-painting swastikas and male genitalia on the Kehillas Bais Yehudah synagogue in
Wesley Hills two months earlier. In September 2003 in Yonkers, a few days before the Jewish New Year
of Rosh Hashana, an unknown vandal spray-painted swastikas on the side of the Midchester Jewish
Center and a nearby city sign. "There is always hate, but what happened here is certainly not
representative of the community," Kirschner said today. "We feel it is an individual act.
But we will keep our eyes and ears open."

“The history of this American-born church is filled with persecution and sacrifice. Soon after the
Church was organized, Smith sent out missionaries to convert new members. In New York and
Pennsylvania, members of the new religion were mobbed, persecuted, and tormented. Smith was
arrested, tried, and acquitted (found innocent) twice for his beliefs. According to Smith, God then
told him to leave New York with his disciples and gather with his new followers in Kirtland, Ohio.”
An excerpt from Kenneth W. Godfrey’s ‘Joseph Smith’ shows us that crimes have happened over the
centuries identical to this.