English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2006-2007

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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  Dear Mr. Jacques,


I am writing this letter on the grounds of praise and with a request. Although first, I should
introduce myself. My name is Mark Hedberg and I am currently a 10th grade student at Catholic
Memorial high school in West Roxbury MA. I write to you today to ask you if you would be so kind as
to come and do a reading of one of your books to our class.


First I would like to say that you are a man of extreme creative genus. You must have a great mind
to think of all the different animals in your books and all the different personalities that go with
them. One of my personal favorite characters is badger Lord Broctree in the book Lord Broctree. I
think that since badgers are such cunning and vicious creatures that it was very smart to use one as
a main character. Now, I was also wondering if any experiences in your life have influenced either
what you write about or the characters in the stories. Since I am not from the United Kingdom, I do
not know the landscape or the type of people in your hometown of Liverpool. What I do know is that
being a little boy in the 1940s must have been hard because of WWII. Also, did any of your jobs
influence your writing, like your time as a merchant seamen or a truck driver.


Now, was it an exciting time having your first book Redwall published even though you didn’t know
it would be? Redwall is one of my favorite books in the series next to Lord Broctree and Taggerung.
My favorite part in the book Redwall is when the animals inside the abbey find a way to disrupt the
ram that is hitting their gate. The first part of there plan is to use “a hornets nest in a barrel”
as Basil calls it and then throw vegetable oil on the ram once its dropped. I think the way you
thought of this was brilliant. Plus I think the line of creative thinking that you use is why your
books are published in 19 countries and 16 languages.


Now I understand that you must get hundreds if not thousands of these types of letters a year. Now,
if you could make to my school I think that the students and the teachers could really benefit from
a reading of your work. Since you express such genus and creativity in your writing then I hope you
could maybe pass on some of that creativity to our classes and it could improve there thinking
process and there ability to formulate great ideas like you do. If you don’t come then I think the
students and faculty will really miss out. I think the students could really learn from a person
with such creativity and for you not to come and share that creativity would be almost criminal.
Plus they would really miss out on how good British writing is and if you come you might break some
stereotypes that people have about the British and how they live and work. So I implore you, please
come to my school and share your creativity. If you don’t then that students of America will stay
ignorant toward the British (not to mention they wont hear one of the best authors in the world
speak to them directly). So please find a way to come and educate the youth of Catholic Memorial.


Sincerely,
Mark Hedberg

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The names Bond, James Bond”, almost everyone in the world knows of James Bond as a great action
hero and super spy. One thing that many people do not know is who created Bond before he was on the
big screen. The author Ian Fleming was the first person to think of Bond and put his ideas to
paper. In this letter we see Fleming trying to get his facts straight by sending a letter to
Geoffry Boothroyd on May 31st 1956, from his London townhouse. In this letter, Fleming asks the
advice of the Armour on Bonds weapons and if he should purchase a new one for Bond. Also in this
letter Fleming revels to us his technical capabilities. It also reveals that he likes to put a lot
of time on detail. The most revealing part of the letter is the end where we see that Fleming
addresses Bond as a real person and not some fictional character.


When this letter was written the world in the fifties was one of great change and excitement. Only
a few years after WWII the country of the U.K. was still trying to revive itself back to a normal
post war life for its citizens. Since there was so much going on in the fifties the events that
happened in the real world greatly influenced the writing of Fleming and his novels. In most of his
books Fleming has Bond pitted against the Russians. This seems very fitting because of the Cold War
and the world’s outlook on the Russian communist state. Also the Korean War was happening and new
weapons and technology was being produced for the U.S. to combat the NKA (North Korean Army). I
believe that Fleming was very interested in these new weapons and technologies and he incorporated
them into his books. In this letter Fleming is writing to a weapon smith, presumably because he
wants to update the weapon of Bond to the latest high tech standards and he has no idea what they
might be, I.E. range, stopping power etc. So the 1950s were a changing time and Fleming capitalized
on all the new things being produced by putting them in his books and drawing in audiences to see
new, mind-blowing weapons and gadgets beyond people wildest dreams.


In this letter, we see that Fleming has written to a weapon smith. Now there are many obvious
reasons that Fleming can do this but the most particular reason is that he wishes the technical
specifications on the .38 Air weight Centennial. In most of the Bond books Bond uses an Italian
made .25 Beretta and since he almost died using it, Fleming wanted to change to a gun with more
stopping power and reliability. Fleming also says “but I think M. should advise him to make a
change in the case of the .357” basically saying that for a secondary gun he change to a .357
Magnum. Also Fleming says that he wishes the opinion on the Berns Martin holster and if he should
change to it. Last Fleming asks for the specifications on any Russian made weapons that the Armour
knows of because he claims that Bond wishes to know all he can about his adversaries. The letter
achieved its purpose: giving Fleming specific facts about weapons so he could weave them into
another book.


Fleming is just like his books, composed, matriculate, and attentive to detail. First, Fleming is
not very technically competent. We learn this because if he were a very technical person he would
never have sent this letter in the first place. This seems very ironic because of all the complex
weapons and gadgets that Bond uses. Also we see that Fleming is very matriculate about the detail
in his books. We know that he cares a lot about detail because near the end of the letter he asks
about the technical specifications of Russian weapons, saying “at the present moment Bond is
particularly anxious for expertise on weapons likely to be carried by Russian agents and I wonder if
you have any information on this” and I can only assume that he did this because he wants write
about the weapons that Bonds adversaries use. Last and probably the most reveling thing about the
letter is the way that Fleming addresses Bond. Fleming addresses Bond in the first person. He
claims to be Bonds biographer and that he only writes about Bond’s exploits because they actually
happen. I can only assume that he talks about Bond in the first person because it is easier to
write about a real person that he can talk to than a fictional character.


The difference in Fleming’s letter style and his book style are large. In his books Fleming can
write about whatever he wants. He can make up people and twist world events to be whatever fantasy
he wishes. Yet in his letter he must talk about real people and can only comment on things that are
actually happening. In the Bond books Fleming turns his creative genus into a book. The Bond
novels have many twists and are choke full of action. Fleming literally becomes Bond and gives
himself all the impossible weapons and gadgets that one could never get in real life, as proved by
this excerpt from a 1950s Bond novel “Bond went down in the lift to the Arlington Street entrance. A
man at the news stand got a good profile of him with a buttonhole Minox” (mini camera). We have
them now but in the fifties come on!! Yet in his letters he must act himself, this, I believe, is
the reason that he talks of Bond in the first person. Also in his letters he doesn’t add action or
twists he just simply states a point and asks for the persons advice. So I believe that Fleming’s
Bond novels are like his outlet for his secret identity. In real life he is mild mannered writer
Ian Fleming but in the novels he’s “Bond, James Bond”.

   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hells Angels Motorcycle club is considered by the U.S. attorney’s office to be one of the most
violent motorcycle clubs in the U.S. today. The only reason many law enforcement offices don’t try
to arrest any of the club members is because of lack of evidence and the club often threatens
witnesses. Even with these large obstacles authorities have managed to build a case against the
Washington state chapter of the Hells Angels, the Nomads. The chapter’s presidents Rick Fabel as
well as one of his right hand men Ricky Jenks were brought up on racketeering charges. The two men
were arrested after a raid on the chapter’s clubhouse in Spokane Washington. The two men are also
being charged with murder for the death of rival gang members of the Mongol biker gang. The
prosecution said the motive for these crimes was power over territory. They wanted to control and
extort all of Washington State so to extort the state business as well as corner the stolen bike
market in that area. This would be hard since the Los Angeles Mongols don’t want to lose territory.
The whole case started to get built after a deadly brawl in Harrah's Laughlin Casino in Las
Vegas where the Mongols and the Hell Angels clashed and eight people were killed and forty people
were wounded including innocent bystanders. After this event the U.S. attorney’s office swore that
it could never happen again. They authorities soon learned that the main instigators of the brawl
were members of the Washington chapter and thus started their case with them.


When asked how the case was going the prosecution said “well”, but there would be a long road
ahead. They did say though that they had just finished their jury selection and the trial is set to
begin in the mid spring and last well into the year. The defense of the bikers calls this case
“totally unfounded”. The bikers themselves said that it was no more of a fishing expedition to
learn more about the workings of the gang so they could implant more undercover agents. The
chapter’s president Rick Fabel himself said, “The only reason that I am being charged is because the
government is afraid of my pastime, and the pastime of my fellow bike enthusiasts”. Many of the
members of the defense also say that the witness being brought against their clients are totally
unfounded. They say that many of witnesses are only there to get better deals on prison terms and
that they all have an axe to grind with the two men and will say anything to get them convicted.
The prosecution said to the jury, “these men must be convicted for the good of society, so they may
not continue their mayhem and hurt any innocent people”. They also said that they have nothing
against these two men but instead they must send a message to the Hells Angels that they can’t do
whatever they want and they must abide by the rules of society.


There are more people that suffer in the crime than those that benefit. Some people that suffer
are the rival gangs, local businesses, large farms in the state, and any unlucky passer through of
the clubs high traffic areas. There are those that benefit from these crimes other than the men
accused. The Hells Angels society in general will benefit by being allowed to use any of the
territory that the Washington chapter seizes. The theory is actually pretty simple if the chapter
takes any territory then the other Angels can move through it without the fear of being attacked by
other gangs because attacking a gang on there own turf could be considered an attack against the
whole state chapter or the whole gang. Also a portion of the profits goes to the chapter’s coffers
so they can pay for any of the chapter’s “expenses”. Also since Washington State is next to Canada
it is easier to smuggle stolen parts and property out of the country and overseas to the foreign
chapters of the gang so they may fence it. So mostly the only people that really benefit from the
crime is the Hells Angels nation


As you can probably guess the Hells Angels aren’t people that will willingly say their story to
anyone. With this in mind most of the literature we have on the gang is mostly American and comes
from either personal memoirs undercover agents that have told there story to the general public.
One such story is Under and Alone, a story told by an ATF agent that infiltrated the gang in 2001.
There are though some poems written by foreign parities. The Hells Angels have spread all over the
world as late because the claim not be crazy outlaws but instead just a club that people can join to
enjoy bikes. Although how to join the club is unknown there are almost 300 chapters all over the
world. With chapters all over the world including London and the entire U.K. as well as South
Africa, Jamaica, and Mexico there was bound to be a decent writer in there somewhere. One such
writer is Allen Ginsberg, a British national who wrote about a party held be one of the chapter in
the U.K. These parties often happen frequently and most always have police presence. The Hells
Angels directly connect to Britain but not so much British literature. There is one connection
though in the play Macbeth. Lady Macbeth persuades her husband to kill Duncan just to benefit
herself. So in conclusion these two people have a lot in common. Lady Macbeth persuaded her
husband to kill Duncan and Ricky Jenks persuaded/forced people to give him their money. Another
connection is the chapters in Britain and Europe. These chapters are just the same as the ones in
the U.S. They are violent and abide by the same code as all the Hells Angels. They will extort,
hurt, take over, and fight just to benefit the club.


POWER. The five-letter word that motivates more crime then hate and love combined. People want to
be the best, they want to control everything and have all things go their way. The only way to make
things go your way is to force people to believe your way is the best, either by persuasion or
force. Ricky Jenks chose force. He and other members of the Hells Angels hurt people, took their
money and even sometimes killed them and didn’t care. They did it just to benefit themselves.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Without language people would be unable to communicate. They wouldn’t be able to express their
feelings or even say “hello”. Now even though there are many different languages they all serve the
same purpose, to help people communicate. One such language is the English language. English in
itself didn’t just pop out of the blue, but instead was derived from other different languages. I
have chosen to focus on one word in English and that is “hello”. “Hello” is one of the most
important words in the English language. Without this word people would be unable to greet each
other. Also if this word never came about most likely the slang derivatives would not have come
about either. So, yes, this word has greatly furthered the development of the world by allowing us
to greet and speak to others.

First to better understand the word people need to know what it means. The American Collage
Dictionary defines “hello” as “an exclamation used to express a greeting or to get ones attention”.
The Universal Dictionary of the English Language calls it “a exclamation used to draw attention”.
Last the classic Merriam-Webster Dictionary calls it “an expression or greeting”. Therefore, with
all these terms I believe we can safely conclude that “hello” is used at the beginning of a
conversation to get someone to recognize you and if we did not have it the English language would
suffer because people would have to yell random saying to get peoples attention.

Now all of those definitions may be all well and good but to get the most world-renowned definition
I must go to the dictionary that has EVERY word in English and that’s the Oxford English Dictionary.
The OED defines “hello” as an “exclamation used to call someone’s attention, also to express some
degree of surprise”. They also have another definition saying that it is “used to answer a
telephone call” (keeping up with the times)? Also not only does the OED have definitions but also
they have the date when the word was FIRST used in English. I have found that the word “hello” was
first significantly used in 1883 in the novel Breadwinners in the sentence “Hello, Andy You asleep”.
So now, we can see that the word “hello” has furthered the language of the world by allowing people
to great each other properly.

Now we know how the word is defined in a dictionary (several actually) but is that really how common
people on the street use it? I had the opportunity to talk to several people from various
backgrounds and see how the used the word. The first person I talked to was my dad Brian Hedberg.
A typical adult who grew up in the 1970s he was a good first choice. He defined the word “hello” as
“responding to another persons greeting”. When I asked him to use it in a sentence he used “Hello,
how are you doing today”. Another person was my brother, Matt Hedberg. He is a well-educated Honor
Role Student at CM. He defined “hello” “yeah, what do you want” (responding to another’s greeting).
When I asked him to use it in a sentence he said “HELLOOOO….. What were you thinking”? And finally
I asked my friend Sean Naughton. He was the same age as me and about had the same ideas. He
defined “hello” as “who’s there” (once again responding to another person). He used the word in a
sentence as “Hello, is anyone there”. I concluded that from all of these people and many more I
talked to that people mostly used “hello” to respond to another person saying “hello”

The OED also has the word “hello” in many different pieces of literature written by famous authors.
In 1973 J. Wainwright used the word “hello” in the book Pride of Pigs in the sentence “she picked up
the receiver, waited for the S.T.D. pips to stop, said ‘hello’ and recognized her brothers voice.
Obviously in this story the author uses “hello” as a telephone greeting. Also in 1897 Mary Kingley
used “hello” in her book West Africa in the sentence “the amount of ‘hellos’ ‘are you theres’ and
‘speak louder pleases’ are often left on def ears in a telephone conversation”. This author too
used the word in a telephone conversation. Lastly the most important author to use this word in the
OED used it in 1889. This author was Mark Twain in the book Connecticut Yankee in the sentence “the
humblest hello saying girl could teach the highest Duchess”. Mark didn’t use it in a telephone
conversion but to describe a kind girl acknowledging you.

Now that we know how the English people use the word what about other cultures and other languages,
how do they use it, do they use it differently? I spoke to a few people that did not speak English
as there first language. One person I talked to was Ilya my Drivers Ed teacher who is from the
Ukraine and didn’t speak English as his first language. He defined “hello” as “one of the first
words I learned in English”. He used it in the sentence of “Hello, how are you doing”. Another
person I spoke to was my grandmother who is originally from Poland and learned English in the 50s.
She said “hello” was a “nice telephone greeting” and used it in the sentence “hello, who is this”.
Last, I asked my grandfather who is Finnish. He defined “hello” as a “word used to start a
conversation”. When asked to use it in a sentence he said, “Hello, how are you doing”? So now that
we have taken a glimpse into other cultures I believe I can safely say that the word has the same
meaning in English as it does in Ukrainian and Polish. So this just furthers my point that the word
has greatly improved public relation in the world and thus furthered world language.

Now all people know the correct definition of the word “hello” but what they don’t know is that
every day people are trying to find new uses of the word “hello”. A writer for Country Living
Bethany Lyttle used the word hello as a color called Hello Yellow. She called it this because of
the vibrant color it was. Another writer for PC Magazine Lance Ulanoff, used “hello” to talk about
fiber. He called the morning fiber Hello fiber. Last a member of the Christian Science Monitor
used “hello” to mean have you eaten when he was in Chile. He would say “hello”, and the person
would reply, “no thanks, I already ate”, Amazing. This shows us that the word “hello” is furthering
the world by changing its meanings to fit the time.

In this paper we have learned the meaning of the word, how the word is used in casual speech, how
people find new uses for it and last how people from other countries use it. Let me get to my
point, I set out to prove that this word has done the world a favor by coming around. The word
“hello” has helped the word by allowing anyone that speaks English to greet each other and thus
engage in casual or very serious conversation. This word has helped the world indefinitely by
letting people begin a conversation nicely and not just jumping into the topic and thus being rude
and un-professional. How would you like it if I said “WHAT THE HECK DO YOU WANT” instead of “hello,
how may I help you?

 

 



Works Cited


American Collage Dictionary. Washington D.C. Universal American Press. 1984

Anonymous. Hello=Have you eaten. Christian Science Monitor. December 22, 2004

Hedberg, Andrew. Personal Interview. April 9, 2007

Hedberg, Brian. Personal Interview. April 9, 2007

Hedberg, Harold. Personal Interview April 10, 2007

Hedberg, Helen. Personal Interview. April 9,2007

Hedberg, Kevin. Personal Interview. April 10, 2007

Hedberg, Matt. Personal Interview. April 9, 2007

Ilya. Personal Interview. April 12, 2007

Joyce, Connor. Personal Interview. April 9, 2007

Kingsley, Mary. West Africa. The Modern Library. 1897. 203

Lyttle, Bethany. Hello Yellow. Country Living. April 4, 2001 122

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. New York. N.Y. Press Syndicate 1990

Nabstedt, Jimmy. Personal Interview. April 9, 2007

Naughton, Sean. Personal Interview. April 9, 2007

Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford. Oxford Universal Press. 1989

Prozesi, Rozali. Personal Interview. April 10, 2007

Twain, Mark. Connecticut Yankee. Pocket Books Inc. 1889. 84

Ulanoff, Lance. Hello Fiber. PC Magazine. September 6, 1999

Universal Dictionary of the English Language. Los Angles. L.A. State Press. 1933

Wainwright, John. Pride of Pigs. Gold Book Publishing. 1973. 152

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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