English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  .Dear Peter James,

I am a sophomore at Catholic Memorial high school in Boston MA. My name is John Keough I live in
Dorchester. You are probably already wondering why I am writing to you. My English class and I have
been learning about contemporary authors for the past few weeks and I have chosen you to research.
It gives me great honor to write to you. I would like to known if it is not too much trouble for you
to take some time out of your busy schedule to come to my school and to give a presentation of your
work to my class.

I see you were born in Sussex, and your house was haunted by four ghosts! How was sharing a home
with four ghosts? I have been studying your work for a few weeks now and I am very interested in it.
I see that you have won many awards for your works as a director and author. Is it hard to handle
being an author and director? I see you have had 13 books published that are very impressive.

I haven't gotten a chance yet to read any of your books but I have seen your move the Merchant
of Venice starring Al Pacino and I really liked it. "How far that little candle throws his
So shines a good deed in a naughty world." I enjoyed this quote from the movie it shows that
there is something good which can conquer the darkness of the world it symbolizes a sort of hope.

I hope you can make an appearance for me and give me and my peers a few words about your works and
life. I think if you choose not to show up you are missing out on a good opportunity to share some
of your work and advice to a
good audience.

John Keough







This letter was written by Charles Dickens to Elizabeth Gaskell on January 31st, 1850.
Charles Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period.
He wrote books like A Christmas carol, A Tale of Two Cities, and David Copperfield. The purpose of
this letter is for Dickens to try to persuade Elizabeth to write in his weekly journal. What is
revealed in this letter is Dickens in a way we have never seen him. He is trying to phrase his
words in way to persuade Elizabeth to write in his journal. When this letter was written there were
many important things happening in history. World War I was raging, Germany announced that
unrestricted submarine warfare will resume the next day, and the Treaty of Naples; King Louis XII of
France cedes the kingdom of Naples to Ferdinand II of Aragon. The Wisselbank of Amsterdam opened
the first public bank in the United Netherlands, and AA Milne, British writer and creator of
Winnie-the-Pooh died. All of these things could have had to do with why Dickens found it so
necessary to have Elizabeth write in his weekly journal. This is the main function of the letter in
which he tries to persuade Elizabeth Gaskell to write in his weekly journal. I believe Dickens
achieves this goal by sweet talking Elizabeth, for example "Your book profoundly affected and
impressed me". Also another quote "I should set a value on your help which your modesty
can hardly imagine; and I am perfectly sure that the least result of your reflection or observation
in respect of the life around you would attract attention and do well". He even goes as far
as to offer to meet her in person "If you could and would rather speak to me on the subject, I
should be very glad indeed to come to Manchester and have a few words with you". This is the
evidence of Dickens trying to persuade and sweet talk Elizabeth into writing. Dickens style of
writing letters differs from his style of writing novels. In his letters he uses ordinary phrases
and casual talk unlike his very proper writing which he uses in his novels.







Bill Maelia, 48, was convicted in 2005 of grand larceny and conspiracy for acting as a no-show
security guard at the Southwinds retirement home in Middletown. His co-conspirator, former
Southwinds chief Barry Pehrsson, also was convicted. He allegedly did this crime in order to make a
profit off of the criminals who robbed the retirement home.

Maureen Kane, Maelias sister's 19-year career as a Middletown cop ended with his
felony conviction. She testified at the trial over the objection of her lawyer. She was afraid if
she testified to help her brother during his trial she would lose her plea-bargain agreement. She
said, "I was afraid of a lot of things" she told the jury. Then she continued by saying
"I was afraid of Pehrsson, afraid of the board and Pehrsson telling me, 'these people
aren't your friends and they're nothing but a bunch of self-serving (expletives).'
"This means that Bill Maelia and his friends were seen as not a good group of people.
Maelia's crime was obviously for a lust of power. He knew he had power over the protection of
the retirement home and he abused it.

Bill Maelia affected his sister Maureen immensely. Her longtime police career ended
because of her brothers mistakes. Maelia also affected his community by this act of crime and he has
embarrassed the police force in Orange County. He also embarrassed his family and friends who had
never thought he would ever stoop this low as an enforcer of the law. Robin Hood is a good example
of a story which Bill Maelia can relate to. Sure Robin Hood is portrayed as a good man who stole
from the rich king John and gave his money to the needy. But lets be honest he was committing
felony's. Maelia may have not had the good hearted intentions to give the money to the poor but
him and Robin Hood had one thing in common they both committed felonies. Also Robin Hoods acts of
stealing and giving to the poor was a lust for power. Robin stealing from the rich and giving to the
poor was his way of getting more power from the people. So bother Maelia and Hood both has lot in
common but just different motives,

Maelia's crime was not the first felony. Felonies have been going on for ages.
Crimes commonly considered to be felonies include, but are not limited to: aggravated assault and/or
battery, arson, burglary, some instances of drug possession embezzlement, grand theft, treason,
espionage, racketeering, robbery, murder, rape, cannabis cultivation and fraud. A third offense for
drinking and driving is also a felony in most states. These felonies stated are committed many times
a day and over the past have been committed countless times. I have a personal connection to this
because my old next door nieghbor who made him out to be a good guy turned out to be a felon and was
caught and tried and prosecuted a few years ago. So felonys will happen but that’s why we are lucky
to have the police making sure it doesn’t. That is what makes this case so moving is that an
officier of the law would actually commit this crime.













Language is a power and privilege which we are given from the day we are born. Our parents help us
sculpt gibberish into a beautiful way of communicating through many different ways. Our English is
then perfected once we enter school. The English language has over 8,000 words in it today, and has
been around from the beginning of time. There have been many new additions to the English language;
although some of them are considered by some to be slang. But one thing we know is that it will
constantly grow. My word is "Fight" which is commonly known having to do with some type
of battle or combat. There are also other meanings to this word, but the first thing people
associate with this word is battling or combat with another person. Even though it is associated
with combat, any word that expands ones vocabulary is necessary and good. Therefore I am going to
say that the word fight helps the English language.

The word fight comes from the Latin word "pungo" which means to fight. When researching
the definition of the word fight I used the Random House Unabridged Dictionary. When used as a noun
the definition of fight was: a battle or contest, a struggle or an argument or disagreement. When
used as a verb the meanings are: to engage in a battle, to strike something, or to strive vigorously
for something. I found 30 different languages that used the word fight in the Kernerman English
Multilingual Dictionary. These languages varied from Arabic to Turkish. The word has spread through
30 different countries, so this I can say helps my argument that the word is helpful to not only the
English language but the world's language.

In the OED fight means "the action of being engaged in a battle." It also means
"hostile encounter against sides." Another definition for fight is "to contend in
battle or combat." Over time the same definitions has seemed to stick with the word fight. When
I researched fight in the OED and every other dictionary the most common definition had to do with
"battle or combat". I believe if you look at the definition of fight you would think it
was a bad word, but I think it helps the English language like every other word in the English

When I was finished interviewing my fifteen candidates, I sat down and looked at the similarities
and differences in their answers. To be honest there was many similarities and not so many
differences in their answers. Overwhelmingly people chose to answer my question with the definition
of the word fight as a battle or combat, or something similar to that. The word fight allows people
to express themselves in a non-combative manner by using the word fight instead of combat or battle
which sounds better and less hostile.

In the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer the word fight is used. The famous author who used this
word in his book was Mark Twain. He used the word in this sentence, "These two great commanders
did not condescend to fight in person—that being better suited to the still smaller fry—but sat
together on an eminence and conducted the field operations by orders delivered through
aides-de-camp." So the use of fight that Mark Twain was portraying was the common definition of
battle or combat. It was written in 1876, so this shows that the definition of fight has carried on
from there to today which is a positive thing.

For my foreign language speakers I interviewed my neighbors they immigrated from Honduras and
Trinidad. They all had the same response to my questions. They each said they picked up on the word
fight as they did every other word they had to learn. They each gave me their definition of the word
and it had to do with some sort of combat or battle. So this shows that fight has kept its
definitions strong and has helped the English Language.

I have found no new definitions of the word fight, but with the war in Iraq you cannot seem to get
enough of the word in articles. In an article on May 16th by the Associated Press in the Boston
Herald, fight was used to introduce Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute to oversee the fighting in Iraq. In this
context the word fight definitely means a battle or combat. There is no other word that could
accurately describe the situation in Iraq better than the word fight so it is very helpful to our

Although the first things that come to mind with this word are combat and battle, the English
language has definitely benefited from the word fight. Another meaning of the word is to strive for
something strongly. Sometimes it takes a lot of heart, which I suppose combat and battle are in ways
similar to the same thing. So this is why I chose to argue that fight does not hurt the English
language but in fact in its own way helps it.

Andre, Lisa. Personal Interview. May 17th, 2007
Casper, Robyn. Personal Interview. May 23rd, 2007
Chanika, Anna. Personal Interview. May 17th, 2007
Finn, Allie. Personal Interview. May 23rd, 2007
Gillespie, Eddie. Personal Interview. May 23rd, 2007
Gillespie, Joe. Personal Interview. May 23rd, 2007
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/tomsawyer/section1.html. May 15th, 2007
http://news.bostonherald.com/politics/view.bg?articleid=1001472. May 16th, 2007
Keough, Katherine. Personal Interview. May 23rd, 2007
Keough, Robert. Personal Interview. May 23rd, 2007
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary. May 26th, 2007
OED Dictionary. May 16th-28th, 2007
Random House Unabridged Dictionary. May 25th, 2007
Ryan, Kyle. Personal Interview. May 23rd, 2007
Starr, Anne. Personal Interview. May 23rd, 2007
Starr, Kelly. Personal Interview. May 23rd, 2007
Sullivan, Pat. Personal Interview. May 23rd, 2007
Vasquez, Tina. Personal Interview. May 17th, 2007