English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  Dear Mr. David Cannadine,

Hello, I am an average 16 year old American student in the 10th grade currently studying British
Literature. At first I was disappointed that it couldn’t be a different subject but as the year
went on I began to enjoy it. We then received an assignment from are teacher to find an English
author we liked, Soon after I came across a piece of your work “the Rise and fall of the Class in
Britain”. I was just wondering what made you want to write this book. I have not started reading
the book just some here and there because I am so busy with school and sports already; I plan on
reading it as soon as I get some free time on my hands. My name is Marc Campea and I go to Catholic
Memorial High School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. I have decided to write this letter to you to
ask some questions if you don’t mind, I was doing some research on your life and I saw you were born
and raised in Birmingham, England in 1950. What was it like growing up in Birmingham, would you
suggest visiting it sometime because I’ve always wanted to visit Europe?

You were educated at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Princeton; I was just wondering
which one you liked the most. It’s not important or anything but I was just wondering. It must
have been great being able to receive and education from one of those top schools let along three of
them. You have now gone on and work as a director at the Institute of Historian Research in the
University of London. You married Linda Colley in 1982 who is a historian; you must have met her at
your job. I was reading one of your books online “History in Our Time” and I came across a quote
that I found really interesting “It is my firm conviction that man need take no milk at all beyond
the mother’s milk that he takes as a baby.” I do no fully understand because milk helps build
strong bones and a man is not a man without strong and healthy bones. Well I hope you receive my
letter and I was hoping you may find time in your busy life to maybe take the time to come out to
Boston and visit my classmates and me and we could learn more about you and your work. Thanks.

Marc Campea









William Blake was a great British poet in the late 1700’s early 1800’s. William was born in London
and spent most of his life there. He began writing poems at just twelve years old. At the rip old
age of fourteen Blake was an apprenticed for seven years to a man named James Basire. In 1800, at
the time my letter was written, he was taken up by the wealthy poet named William Hayley, the man
that my letter is written to. Blake lived in Hayley’s house at Felpham at Sessex but he was only
there for three years. The letter was written on May 6th, 1800 to the man he lived with William
Hayley. Mr. Hayley had just lost a loved one and William writes the letter to him to help comfort
him during his tough times. What my letter shows to the audience that everyone might not have known
is that Blake is a very gentle and kind man, he cares for others and is a true friend because he is
there when you need a friend most.

In the year 1800 William Blake had just moved in with William Hayley that year when Hayley lost a
loved one and when my letter was written. Blake moved in with Mr. William Hayley to take up a job
illustrating the works of Hayley. It was here in Felpham at Sessex that William wrote the poem
Milton which was later published (between 1805-1808). Around 1802 Blake began not liking his new
patron, Will believed that he was not getting paid as well as he should have. Blake returned to
London a short time later in 1802 and began to write and illustrate the poem Jerusalem.

The purpose of the letter written by William Blake was to help his patron deal with his great loss
of a loved one. Blake writes the letter to help comfort his new friend during such a trying time.
Blake shows compassion and love in his letter to William Hayley. He starts off by saying “I am very
sorry for your immense loss, which is a repetition of what all feel in this valley of misery and
happiness mixed.” William even shares with Hayley about his great loss of his beloved brother just
thirteen years ago. He says “Thirteen years ago. I lost a brother and with his spirit I converse
daily and hourly in the Spirit and See him in my remembrance in the regions of my Imagination. I
hear his advice and even now write from his Dictate.” Will shares with Hayley how he dealt with his
loss and how he had to cope with it. Blake then goes on to write “that every Mortal loss is an
Immortal Gain.” Mr. Blake tries to help by saying how they are in a better place now, in heaven
were they rest easy now.

What we read and find out about William Blake in this letter is that not only is he a great poet but
he is a great person and friend. Blake went out of his way to write to his patron a letter during
Hayley’s troubled times with dealing with a lost loved one. What we now know is that Mr. Blake was
a very caring man and shows his gentle and kind side of him. You can see in the letter that William
shares a story of a loved one and he is very open about it. He is there for Mr. William Hayley even
though he left just two years later.

Blake’s style of his letter from the style of his poems is in this letter it’s straight from his
heart. He wants to be there for William Hayley. He holds nothing back and even goes on by telling
him about his brother that had passed on. In this letter we see the softer side of William than in
his poems. He tries to comfort him by saying how Mr. Hayley’s loved one is now in a better place.



It was a Sunday evening, August 20, 1989 in Beverly Hills, California. Jose and Kitty Menendez were
in the family room watching a movie when two masked men came into the room with a twelve-gauge
Mossberg shotgun. Two shots were fired at Jose repeated by more shots fired at his wife Kitty
killing them both. Erik 18 and Lyle 21 were both out that night hanging out with some friends.
They later told police that they went to go see a movie but the lines were to long so decide to come
home when they then found their parents dead bodies in the house. Lyle Menendez called 911 and told
the operator what had happened, you could hear Erik in the background going crazy over the lose of
their parents. At first the brothers were not suspects but it soon became evident that they were
both had killed their own parents. Erik was a wreck for several weeks but his brother Lyle was more
calm and cool about it. The death of his father Jose meant that Lyle would know take over as head
of the Menendez family inheriting the family business and all of the family’s money. Lyle wanted to
assert himself as a replacement for Jose and by killing Jose Lyle could do that.

When Detective Les Zoeller and his partner began interviewing people about the case he went to Jose
and Kitty’s friends from Calabasas, Peter and Karen Wiere. Zoeller asked Peter what he thought and
Wiere’s first response was “I have no basis for this, but I wonder if the boys did it”. Zoeller was
shocked at this, Peter then said “The brothers seem too polite, too differential to adults”, and he
felt that something was off. Detective Zoeller then interview Erik’s friend Craig Cignarelli.
Cignarelli told him everything that had happened that night because Erik told Craig that night what
had happened. Toward the end of the interview thought Cignarelli the said that he and Erik play
mind games with each other sometimes, so Les didn’t know what to make of what Craig had told him so
they continued on with the investigation.

Jose Menendez had many enemies due to his big name in the busy but no one really that would go out
of their way to kill him and his wife. The brothers at first tried to play it off like they were
next on the hit list and they didn’t live in their homes for a couple of months. The went to
different hotels moving place to place after a few weeks. They ran up the bills for room-service
and would only stay at the best hotels. They got bodyguards to protect them at all times when they
knew they did not even need them because no one was after them, they had committed the crime. On
April 17, 1996 the jury decided to give the brothers life in prison. I believe that the time was
worth the deed because if you just gave them the death sentence that would be easier for them. Life
in prison means that you wake up everyday knowing that you killed your parents; I could never live
with that.

The crime commiteded by the Menendez brothers is closely related to the poem “Samson Agonistes” by
John Milton. In this poem it talks about domestic case just like the one between the Menendez
brothers and their parents. “At home in leisure and
domestic ease, Exempt from many a care and chance” is a key clue about the domestic violence in the

Killing their parents was only the tip of the iceberg for the Menendez Brothers. They were just
getting started when they committed the terrible crime. They wanted all of the family’s money all
to themselves and when they got the money they spent and spent and spent. They were no smart with
their money, they blew it on anything they might want and invested it stupid things that would never
work. Lyle Menendez was just pure evil, he wants to run the family business to himself and he did
not want to be under his father anymore. He was sick and tired of his father over him all the time
and he wanted to kill him so he did. I get anger with my father a lot but I would never want to
kill my own father. He is all over me all the time about grades and sports and it drives me crazy
but I know he does that because he loves me and he wants the best for me.


















What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the word English? The language?
Maybe even the country England? Many thoughts may run through your mind, but the one thing that is
for certain is English has become a very powerful language in the world today. The United States
and the United Kingdom, which are two world powers, both speak English as their first language. This
has helped the English language become what it is today. The word "stock" was brought
into the world dated as far back as the 1300's. It has held many different definitions through
time. Some of these definitions are still used today and some are not.

There are a variety of definitions of the word "stock". When looking the word
up in dictionaries, they all seemed to have a different definition for it. In the Webster's New
World Dictionary the first definition listed was "the trunk of a tree." In the
Webster's Classic Dictionary the first definition was "to lay in supply for future
use." These are both two common definitions for the word, so it seemed necessary to look
"stock" up for a third time. In the American Heritage Dictionary it had a definition
similar to the last which was "a supply accumulated for a future use."

When it came time to look in the Oxford English Dictionary, it was interesting to find
definitions that are not commonly used for the word "stock." Some definitions found were
very strange, such as "the shorter and thicker of the two pieces composing a T-square and an
L-square." Some may not even know what that means. Another definition was "a kind of
stiff close-fitting neck cloth, formally wore by men." A definition that is no longer used
today is "the original from which something is derived." I have never used the word stock
in a sentence meaning that before mainly because I have never even heard of it.

When I began to ask people what they thought the word stock means, I thought it was a
great idea to ask a variety of different people interested in different things. This is exactly what
was done. Three people were asked what they thought of when they heard the word "stock,"
and here are their answers. Christopher Walton, who has worked in a grocery store before, answered
with the definition "to refill." The sentence that he used was, "I had to stock all
of the items every week when they came in." Mr. St. Martin had answered with "someone who
is strong or husky." His sentence was, "That man was very stocky." The last person
asked was Joe Kane. Joe, being a big hockey fan, replied with a person, "P.J. Stock." The
sentence he had said was "P.J. Stock dropped his gloves in the middle of the game."

When I was looking in the Oxford English Dictionary for famous authors or poets that have used the
word stock in one of their pieces of work I came across Chaucer who used it in 1393 in a book called
“Gentilesse”. Another author that I have heard about was Howell who used it in 1645 in “Lett”. I
could not find too many more authors I really knew so I decided to pick one that used a definition
for stock that I have never heard of before. There were a lot of definitions I did not know but I
finally decided on Coverdale who used it back in 1549.

The first person I went to that I knew spoke English and another language was my father.
My father, being an Italian-American, was born in Italy but as a young child he came to America. He
learned English just like any other American student going through grammar school but at home he
spoke Italian and English. The word was very easy for him to learn, and he did not have any
difficulty with it. I asked his mother and his wife's mother, who lived most of their lives in
a different country growing up speaking Italian and Portuguese. They both had to learn English as an
adult. They both found it a little bit difficult to learn due to the many words they were learning
at once.

This paper contains a great deal of information, to increase your knowledge. It shows
how much can be learned by studying a word and some of it's different definitions. The paper is
also an example of how people think of words completely different than others do. Some people do not
even realize how many different definitions there could be for a single five-letter word. The Oxford
English Dictionary showed so many different definitions for this little word. The word
"stock" has helped the English language greatly and has added to its great range of