English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2006-2007

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  .
   
   
  Dear Wendy Cope,

I believe that British Literature is important in understanding the history of the English
language. My teacher also believes that to since my class is called British Literature. My name is
Lovensky Valmond and I live in Boston, Massachusetts. I go to a school called Catholic Memorial.
In class and for homework we have to read stories and poems from British authors. To help the class
better understand British Literature I believe you should visit and talk to us. I like the stories
you have written and they can help us understand the class better. What better way to learn about
British Literature than to have an author that writes it, come and speak to us in their point of
view.


It seems that you like to write about your feelings about men. At a point in your life you
thought most men were an annoyance and were a nuisance in your life. However, later you started to
like men more and you thought they were not so bad after all. I wonder what made you change your
thoughts about men? I also wondered did it have to do with you meeting Lachlan Mackinnon?” You also
said that there was a very troubled time in that you expressed in your poems, such as Serious
Concerns. Then you seemed to stop when your life started getting better. So it looks like your
passion for writing was mainly based on your hardships in life but when you life got better you did
not have much to write about. It would be very nice if you could come to our class and explain your
writing and life to our class.


One of your books I admired was “Engineer’s Corner”. In it you expressed your feelings about work
and the country. You thought that the country was “going down the drain.” You also thought there
was no need for some of the jobs that exist and you did not like some of the poetry that was made:
“There's far too much encouragement for poets.” You write what you truly mean and your not
afraid to speak what you feel is the truth.


I thank you for reading my request in visiting my class. I hope you are able to come and speak to
us about your work. If you were not able to come, we would not understand about the truth and
expressions that come from British Literature.


Sincerely,


Lovensky Valmond

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The author of my letter is Daniel Defoe. He is the famous author that wrote the famous novel
Robinson Crusoe. He was an English writer, journalism, and a spy. He also helped a war and wrote
during the times of the war. He was said to be one of the founders of the “English novel.” Daniel
Defoe also wrote a book called The Letters of Daniel Defoe, which is where I got my letter. In his
letters, he shows how much he enjoys the sights of England and so he writes about his experiences.

The Letters of Daniel Defoe was written throughout the years of the 1700’s. During the early
1700’s is when England, Netherlands, and Austria waged war against France, Bavaria, and Cologne. So
Defoe was also writing about the war and working for the government.


The purpose of the letter is to give a description of the South coasts of Hampshire, Wilts,
Dorsetshire, Somersetshire, Devonshire, and Cornwall. He tells about what he sees and gives a
description about everywhere he went. He also tells about the people that he encounters while
exploring England, like when he met the prince and princess by the river: “The prince and princess
indeed, I remember came once down by water.” On his journey, he saw some places that reminded him of
the queen. From his letter, it is very noticeable that he knows a lot about the Queen: “Her majesty
had here a fine apartment, with a set of lodgings, for her private retreat only, but most
exquisitely furnish'd; particularly a fine chints bed.”


He makes his letters to make it easier for the readers to understand the beauty of England. He has
fascinations for cartoons that he saw in paintings on his journey. He mostly admired the school of
Oxford. He spends a great time talking about the great aspects of the prestigious school and how it
was well built and disciplined. He also shows that he knows England very well. In his letter, he
explains all the places he visited in great detail.


Through his letters, Daniel Defoe expresses his love for England. It is greatly seen through his
great knowledge about the many cities he visits. He also writes fourteen more letters about other
cities that he has visited. While working undercover for the government and writing his famous
stories, he does not forget to spend time in expressing his love for England by traveling through it
and telling his readers about it.

   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man named Dogu Perincek, head of the nationalist Turkish workers Party, was charged and put on
trial in Lausanne for racial discrimination. He denied the 1915 Armenian massacre as“genocide”.
The Armenian genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, was the slaughter of millions of
Armenians by the Turkish army. Some governments deny it as genocide but as a disease and Famine
from turmoil of WWI. Dogu Perincek is on e of the believers that it was not a genocide. Recently
Perincek has appealed the courts verdict. He was suspended a fine of $7,336. Perincek abused his
power as a head nationalist and racially discriminated against a country that has been massacred.
Dogu Perincek calls the Armenian genocide “an international lie.” He boldly believes that the
Turkish had nothing to do with the Armenian deaths in 1915. He also says, "The fact that the
Swiss authorities have opened such an investigation is a serious concern for Turks living in
Switzerland. It tells them that they must keep quiet." He thinks the government knows there is
some truth to what he is saying, but they want the public being aware of what they know.
Perincek was fined $7, 336 and can avoid imprisonment if he does not make the remark about the
genocide. I think the punishment is basically saying that they are taking away his freedom of
speech for two years. He did not physically do something bad, he was only expressing his freedom of
speech. However, freedom of speech is only a “U.S.A” law and does not affect people in Europe.
“What is truth?...count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as
in acting.” said Francis Bacon in his book “The Essays”. Francis Bacon was an English philosopher,
statesman and essayist. This connects to the Dogu Perincek case because it speaks about expressing
free will in thinking. Dogu Perincek was only expressing his belief in the truth. “That if there
were taken out of men's minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations
as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds, of a number of men, poor shrunken things,
full of melancholy and indisposition.” Bacon is saying that a man cannot be a man if they were
deprived from there freedom of hopes, imagination, and most importantly Freedom of Speech.
Genocide is a big topic to speak about and to deny a country’s past can be very hurtful. However,
to accuse another man’s country of committing a disgraceful act can also be painful. Freedom of
Speech belongs to everyone, but it must be used wisely and not inappropriately. I believe Dogu
Perincek had the right reason to say what he did to defend his country off an accusation. If I had
my Freedom of Speech taken away, I would be angry because it would be taken away my beliefs.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many good words in all languages in the world, but where there is good, there is also bad.
While most Americans use good English everyday, a lot of them use the bad just as much as the good.
An example of a controversial word is the word “Nigger.” Nigger in the past was used as an
offensive word, but in the new century, many people use it as a non-offensive word. The word dates
back as early as 1555. I believe the word “Nigger” is not beneficial to the world or make the world
a better place.


There are different definitions for the word “Nigger” but they all revolve around the same meaning.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language gives the meaning of “used as a
disparaging term for a Black person.” I also checked the Random House Unabridged Dictionary and it
said “a victim of prejudice similar to that suffered by blacks; a person who is economically,
politically, or socially disenfranchised.” The Webster’s Third New International Dictionary stated
that it was “a member of any very dark skinned race and is usually taken offensive.” All three
dictionaries defined the word as an offensive term for people around the world to use. If it is so
bad, then it is obvious that it will not make the world a better place.


I looked in the Oxford English Dictionary and I got the same results on the word. The first
definition was “Loosely or incorrectly applied to members of other dark-skinned races”. Two people
who have used this word in their books are Thorne (1990) and Spears (1981).


I asked many people about what they knew about the word “Nigger”. I asked all of them the first
thing that came to their mind when they heard the word and to use it in a sentence. I asked my
father and he said the first thing that came to mind was “a derogatory term” and his sentence was
“You stupid Nigger”. My mother said “racist” and in a sentence, “the nigger works on the crop
fields”. A fellow CM student, Brennan Williams, said “Chicken” and his sentence was “so this nigger
IM’s me when I’m trying to study, and the next day I make him pay. A friend of mine, Alex Buckley,
said “black people that worked on the farm” and sentence was “Damn Niggers”. Delroy MacDonald said,
“black people” and “I am the flyest nigger you will ever know.” Christian Pabon said “black person”
and “hello nigger.” Some of the people I surveyed use the word in good ways, the world will still
see it as an offensive word. Even if when they say the word in a good phrase, the sound of the word
still sounds bad.


Mark Twain is an example of a person who used the word in literature. He used it in Huckleberry
Finn about 213 times. No one found it offensive because they felt it was appropriate in order to
make the story more realistic. Harriet Beecher Stowe also used the word in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. An
example of him using it: "Come," said he, "ye nigger, ye'r ready? Servant,
ma'am.” Joseph Conrad wrote The Nigger of the Narcissus in 1897. He had no intent on making
any racial remarks; he just felt it was the best title for his story. None of these authors had any
intent on making any racial offenses. The word can sometimes harm people but it can be used if it
is need to accurately describe what is needed to say.


People that had ESL and that had to learn the word had no difficulty learning it. I asked a couple
of people, who had ESL on there introductions to the word “Nigger”. They all understood it as an
offensive word against African-Americans. I asked my father and he said learning the word was easy.
He said it was easy because “people only use the word in one way and you can’t misinterpret such an
offensive word.” A CM student, Kurtis Bonnet, also said it was easy because many people have used
it. He said it has been associated with the word “Nigga” which has been used as a greeting amongst
African-Americans. A friend of mine, Stephanie Melrose, said learning the word was easy because
mostly all her friends uses the word on a “minutely” basis. She used the word nigger in a sentence:
Only the flyest nigger around can get a chance with me.” Half the people I interviewed were shocked
because they would not expect my word to be “nigger” for a class assignment. The rest just thought
it was funny and felt comfortable answering my questions.


There has also been written down in many different types of literature. The New York Amsterdam News
posted an issue on the word “Nigger” about “Find More Like Teens Debate City's Symbolic Ban on
'N-word.” They asked many teenagers about how they felt about the word “nigger” and if it
should be banned from being said. The Ebony magazine published an issue about “A Brief History of
the Word "NIGGER.” In Teen Ink by Stacia Moore, she writes a story called Childhood Hate,
which is about her friend calling her a “nigger”. The word “nigger” has been used in ways that the
dictionaries do not use. In one article by Armstrong Linda, called “Black mans bluez”, she tells
how the word can be used as a greeting between African-Americans. Most critics do not use the word
in a different meaning then it usually is, because it has such a specific meaning. Changing the
word does not help the world be a better place. People have tried to change it and make it seem
good, but people in the world still see it as an offensive word.


It is obviously seen that the word is not helping the word be a better place. It is wrong for
other people in the world that have to learn English to come across an offensive like “Nigger”.
However, there are some exceptions, which have been made by African Americans to make it so only
black people can use the word nigger, whether white people like it or not.















Works Cited

Alex Buckley, Personal Interview, 5/2/2007
Armstrong, Linda, Armstrong, Armstrong, Linda, Black Man's Bluez. Vol. 94 New York: New York
Amsterdam News, 2003. 40.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Random House, 2006
Brennan Williams, Personal Interview, 5/2/2007
Christian Pabon, Personal Interview, 5/2/2007
Delroy McDonald, Personal Interview, 5/2/2007
Hubert Valmond, Personal Interview, 5/2/2007
Kurtis Bonnet, Personal Interview, 5/2/2007
Marie Valmond, Personal Interview, 5/2/2007
Moore, Stacia, . Childhood Hate. Vol. 18. Teen Ink, 2006. 18.
Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Stephanie Melrose, Personal Interview, 5/2/2007
Teens debate city's symbolic ban on 'n-word'. Vol. 98. : New York Amsterdam News,
2007. 18
The American Heritage. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. Merriam Webster, 2002.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  .