English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  Dear Mr. Charles Cumming

I am a student at Catholic Memorial high school in West Roxbury Mass. I was browsing your work and
one of your novels stood out at me. “A Spy by Nature” got my attention because I love spy’s. I read
into your novel and found out some pretty cool information. Is it true you were really a part of the
Secret Intelligence Service, and if so was this book based on your life experience? I also read
that this book might be made into a movie. I think this is really cool because I think that’s a
pretty good honor.

I understand you were born in Scotland, I don’t know much about it but I heard it’s a beautiful
place and I would like to find out more. Anyways my English class is studying English authors and
you are one that was not in our book. I was wondering if u would consider coming to my class to talk
about your life and your works. I think it would be really interesting to know more about you and I
know my class and I would appreciate it.
Thanks for your time.


Gennaro Riccio













Gerard Manley Hopkins was a famous author. This unpublished letter of Hopkins was
written on June 5, 1868. The letter was addressed to proffesor Wall of Balliol College. The
letter was found in the archives of the college. He was Hopkins profesor when he attended
college. They ended up becoming close friends.

Hopkins was born in Stratford Essex on July 28 1844. In his life he was influenced by his
father to become a poet because his father was a poet himself. From there he was educated at
Highgate School and then whent to Balliol College, Oxford. He later decided to become a
preist. He later graduated Oxford as an honours student.

In the letter Hopkins asks his old profressor for his battells. He asks him to send them to
his father so they can be paid for right away. He also says “ You will remember that my
name is to be taken off the college books”. You can imply that the reason for this could be
because of his failing mark in theology.

The letter teaches us the Hopkins wanted his name off the college books for some reason,
even tho it is not explained in detail the reason. Also he tells his old proffessor that he wants
his college battells sent to his father and not him so they can be paid for as soon as possible.
Gerard Hopkins writing in the letter differs from the writing in his works. He abbreviated
sometimes and is verry formal. You can tell that he is a formal writer even otside of his
works. You can also see that he is a polite man, you can imply this because he didn’t kno
that this letter was going to be seen and he could have said nething he wanted.

Language is a very important thing in our lives and also most other living things. It’s a way of
communicating to other people, or for a monkey to communicate with another monkey. The English
language is now one of the world’s most important languages due to today’s work standards and other
reasons. English is becoming a language you need to know in this world. The word attraction is only
one out of the millions of words in this language and it helps us know what we are pulled towards.

According to the Webster’s New Pocket Dictionary the word attraction means to draw to itself, or
make notice, or like one. The Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary’s definition for attraction is an, act
or process, or power of attracting. Lastly the American Heritage Dictionary says the word means, a
feature or characteristic that attracts.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the first use of the word was in 1533 by Lloyd. The
first definition of the word was the act of drawing or sucking in, witch this definition is now
dead. The most recent definition is a thing of feature witch draws people by appealing to their
desires, tastes, etc.

I asked some of my friends how they would use the word and what they thought it meant. About 50%
of them thought of amusement parks and rides. 30% thought of lust sex and or girls, and about 20%
considered to call themselves an attraction. I also went online and looked on different websites and
see how people used the word attraction. I could not find any new ways to use it.

The Oxford English Dictionary says in 1607 William Shakespeare used the word attraction in Timon
iv 439 “The sunnes a theefe, and with his great attraction Robes the vaste sea”. He is one of the
many famous authors who have used this word in their literature.

I asked some foreign language speakers and all three speak English as a second language. All
three speakers thought it was a hard word and they rarely use it in their vocabulary, they all come
close to the actual definition though. Ryan Paui said it meant to observe. Raina Revas, a Spanish
speaker says it means to like.

The word attraction was originally French and borrowed by the English and in 1869 it became a
current word. The people I asked who spoke English as a second language don’t really use it in their
vocabulary. For English speakers it has helped us because when we hear the word attraction we know
it is something to be draw to. For example, the theme park Universal Studios is a great attraction.
The word lets us know were the action is.