English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2006-2007

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  I happened to be shuffling in one of the closets in my house and saw a rather large box pushed off
in the corner. It was a normal cardboard box but for what ever reason it appealed to me. I pulled it
over and it was rather light. I opened the taped flaps and there it was. It was a rather small
figure wrapped in white linen. I picked it up and unwrapped it slowly. It revealed a small doll. Her
soft features and delicate beauty caught my eye. It was apparent that she was aged but her beauty
still shined through it. Her dress was soft as silk and her dark hair braided. She was delicate and
her story seemed one filled with sorrow and confusion. Yet this would have been hidden by her deep
eyes and elegance. My mother happened to be walking by when I was looking at the doll. Her eyes
opened with awe and amazement. “The Armenian Princess.” Was all she said. She took it and looked at
it longingly. I asked “what is she?” She shook her head. “I don’t really know. No one really knows,
all we know was that she came from Armenia.
 

So this is where my quest had begun. I was sitting in my room with her in my hand. I closed my eyes
and felt a warm sensation run through my fingers. I kept my eyes closed and allowed what ever to run
through my veins. With in an instant a name was revealed, Giselle. I opened my eyes and her put her
to eye level and said “Hello Giselle”
 

That night I placed her on my shelf.. I readied myself for sleep and before I went into a daze I
caught her eye.
 

It was dark but was drawn to continue. Soon light came and I was in a foreign land. Large windows
to the east were draped with fine cloth. A large table streamed down the room. I was in a palace of
some sort. I continued to inspect this kingdom of kingdoms until my eye was drawn to a little shadow
hidden under the large curtains. I went to move the curtain and felt the fine beaded jewels among
the fabric. It was rough and heavy so effort was needed. Yet before I could move it a women’s voice
called out “Giselle” A little girl ran out from the curtain, smiled waved her little hand at me then
ran down the deep hall. The warm light that was on my back seemed to become cold and a large shadow
came apparent. I turned slowly to see a large man, grizzly and animal skinned. I stood my ground but
it seemed as though he couldn’t see me. He shoved his way through me. I was non existent my body
scrambled into a dust like quality as though an apparition. But before my body could adjust I was
jolted awake. Back to my bed and back to my room. There she stood on my self still smiling back in
her innocents.
 

Well that was it, inspiration.. I took the doll and examined it. Underneath her foot was carved a
strange symbol. With this information I took to the internet but with no luck. Giselle continued to
daunt me with her strange history and hidden story. That night as before opened her world again.
Everything happened so quickly and this made everything hard to focus on. Yet I was capable to catch
glimpses of this history past. A long dark haired woman sat on a cold damp dungeon floor clutching
her torn clothing. Three men of high clergy ranks stood before her pointing and scolding. Then
sucked to another phase there the same women stood in a large dress fit for a queen and worn by one.
One of elegance, she walked down the large lavish isle to her king. Again taken to a placed by the
bed side of this queen. She sat at her window holding her flat waist. She shook her head and then
watched as her husband made his way into the lavish carriage. “My chance” was all I heard.
“Chance for what?” I asked in a dull mist of a voice.
She looked at her stomach and smiled. My next insight was that of a forest were the queen stood
talking to a strange woman. Behind them was a blazing fire with dancers. They then took hands and
walked closer to the fire. My sight went dark but when it returned, she sat on the soft scented
earth holding her now round stomach with one hand and cradling the Armenian princess with the
other.
I awoke form my sleep of insight and It all mad sense. Sacrifice and perseverance despite all the
odds births a special gift to the next line.

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  As the moon sits over head and the dark sky lays stagnant. A glimmer appears to the west. it’s a
star one that has drawn my eyes from the darkness.


My eyes were drawn to the little forest that sits in slumber in my backyard. Two trees greet you to
the entrances of the wood. Its quiet and the air is moist. The forest reaches from boundary to
boundary. Its almost entirely empty. Except for a large hawk nest that sits in the tall oak, at the
center of the forest. Its floor is littered with leaves and has soft moss instead of grass. Tall
trees cover the sky and hide its inhabitance.


I enter with secrecy from the world and continue to walk within the wood, Natures deep history
stamped upon the stones and her age age written within the bark of trees. The wood are quiet and the
sky, a deep endless blue. The dead leaves of autumn have made there leave, and only the bare limbs
of trees caress the atmosphere. Squirrels rustle with the restless livings and the song bird of
spring has taken flight. Deep with in my oak wood, deep behind my home insight can be given, yet
only to those of the clear sight. Our world has become barren and dark, metal beams and paved roads
become our forests and intuition is replaced with the mechanized thought of society. But far from
there dark details I wander in my forest where the patches of flowers once sat and the sapling once
stood. Yet for now its lost in frost such as our minds have become.


The trees have become numb with frost and the air crisp. The once soft ground has become loud with
the sounds of a crunch. The sky is clear blue and the sun is high. Despite the efforts of the sun
the ground and the air still freeze. The wind holes and the tops of trees rustle. Life seems absent
except for the sleeping flora, and the distant lonely call of an unknown beast. My breath can be
seen as it escapes from my lips to the atmosphere. It is such as words of humanity seen for a short
while only to fade amongst the others.


The air chills my face and despite the sun’s rays kissing the earths surface. The earth is quiet
except for the rustle of trees whispering in my ears. A surprise slithers at my feet and darts
into the warmth of the sun. Despite my one encounter I feel the presence of other life. The souls of
life dances among the forest. Vines now suspended in time cling to their mother tree as their still
green leaves quench themselves with the rays that tough their faces. The dark and tangled trees to
my left hold secrets that even their not willing to share with me. Their owner shifts among the
shadows of the trees waiting my next move. What lurks in the shadows and awaits humanity’s
willingness to learn. Even the wisest can not tell only the fates of time can reveal to us the power
of nature.


Natures child stands to my east quiet and nimble. I at first unaware continue my voyage deep. Yet
her cry stops me and turns my direction. There she stood still and quiet only looking down to
nimble. Her body lean and her eyes deep brown drowned me in the majesty of nature. She bows her
head as do I and then makes her leave. Despite her physical state now no longer her prints still
score the earth’s core. I too hope to score the earth with my thought and power.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its July 4 1804, In historical Salem Massachusetts, a son was born to a new England puritan family.
Yet such a warm invite was countered by the death of his father, forcing his mother and sisters to
move. He was home schooled for his early life but enrolled in college. He was uninterested in formal
ways of work and desired the unconventional role “for support upon my pen.” --Nathaniel Hawthorne.
He was uninterested in the formal style of writing a novel. He eventually developed a style of
romance fiction which dealt in his own beliefs. Although his writing style was often viewed as
outdated, he conveyed the modern themes of the psychological effect and the ways of the human spirit
and nature. He did this by using symbolism and somewhat mysterious endings to a scene.

His literary techniques were not only in his novel The Scarlet Letter but can also be found in The
House of Seven Gables. The psychological and historical assets of this novel are a continuation of
his themed works. Hawthorne is known for his earthy, human hearted works but also the pieces of
magic and historical truth which he weaved amongst it. The House of Seven Gables continues in his
home of Salem and the theme of a cursed life. It has its historical accuracy such as the home itself
and the pieces of magic with the curse placed upon the bloodline of the family. House of Seven
Gables truly deals with the subconscious power of the human mind. An evil house, cursed through the
centuries by a man who was hanged for witchcraft, is haunted by the ghosts of its sinful dead,
wracked by the fear of its frightened living.

The Pyncheon family, of the Gable home, are plagued with the constant fears that dwell both within
the halls of their minds and the realities of the curse. “You are but doing over again, in another
shape, what your ancestor before you did, and sending down to your posterity the curse inherited
from him!" Their past tainted by the witchcraft of Mathew Maule. Though his body hangs with in
the mist of history, his curse still slithers amongst the halls of the Gable home. There it works
its power killing old Jaffrey Pyncheon and damming Clifford for its action. Poisons filter with in
the aging face of the inhabitants and the walls of the Gables crawl with the stains of the past.


Such as Hawthorne’s own genealogy, his ancestor’s doings still haunt him. Such as Alice Pyncheon’s
playing. The sounds of her harpsichord still haunt the house of the seven gables. The strings of the
past still echo within Hawthorne’s core. His lineage holds at the Salem witch hunt judges. His
great grandfather, one of the many, who brought the lives of many to the gallows. His psyche tainted
with the sins of his fathers. He holds his worth low and his standards in the literary world
minuscule. He like the characters lives in a tainted house which confuses and hounds his soul.
Fragile is Hawthorne’s soul as is the lives of the Pyncheon family. Just as the chickens who scratch
and peck at the soil, Hawthorne and the pycheon family hope to scratch the fortune out from under
the course cursed earth.

House of seven Gables personifies the power of the human psyche in both character and narrator. Many
times we try not to believe what is, do to our fears. Such as the family once you recognize its
reality you no longer can retreat to the doubts of your mind. From the shadows of your mind you feed
the gallows hills with one more soul, from past to future

 

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What makes a sport a sport? What dictates its difference between American Or European? A sport in
the dictionaries view is, “is a competitive physical activity: an individual or group competitive
activity involving physical exertion or skill, governed by rules, and sometimes engaged in
professionally.” Yet the history of it doesn’t come up.


The history of kickboxing is rather elusive. Many are under the impression that modern day
kickboxing originated in Thailand, Japan or somewhere in the Far East, in fact, the real origins of
the sport are revealed by the real name from which it was begotten, karate. Kickboxing started in
the US during the 1970's when American karate practitioners became frustrated with strict rules
on martial arts competitions. Such restrictions that were not allowed was, full contact kicks and
punches. Many questions were raised when the sport began and the high risk of injury was apparent.
As a result, safety rules were improved and protective clothing was added. As kickboxing is a
relatively “new” sport there are no long-term traditions. It has branched out from the confined
rules of karate and with it lost any traditional aspect to it. Kickboxing has undergone many changes
and been refined during the last two decades. Competitors use sparring, kicks, punches, kick blocks,
shadow boxing, and wood breaking that is learned and used under professional instruction.
During the mid-seventies many American karate practitioners became frustrated with the limitations
of the then primitive scoring system. They wanted to find a system that would allow kicks and
punches to the knockout. Full contact karate was born. During its infant years matches were fought
on open matted areas just as ordinary karate matches were. Later events were staged in regular size
boxing rings. These early tournaments produced kickboxing's first stars, Joe Lewis, Bill
Wallace, Benny Urquidez and Jeff Smith. Later the Americans began to send their new sport across the
seas and test out their new players in Japan. From there on Kickboxing made its way across the
World.


An interview with Joe Lewis was taken recently by Alireza Fadaie Khoi, of Fighting Masters magazine
“-Can you tell us about the differences between the world of martial arts and fighters of today and
your day?
Joe Lewis: In all sports, athletes and sportsmen evolve from one decade to the next. In the late 50s
and early 60s, the Asians were not as interested in competition as were the Americans and Europeans.
They stuck to traditional values, such as loyalty and personal development. Fighters today have a
wealth of great instructors from which to learn. In my day, there were few coaches that knew
anything about fighting or competition. Top black belts like myself basically were either
self-taught or you learned, working with your sparring partner, by trial and error. Today's
fighters have better technique executions in terms of their style. I feel that the older fighters
were more substance-oriented. engage, and you must have that ultimate courage. We call it your fighting spirit.

The perspective of a professional can sometimes lack the mundane roots that an armature has. I
conducted this interviews with my cousin Jerry Ferrara who practices kick Boxing as a hard hitting
hobby,
Q1: what makes kickboxing so appealing to you?
J: I think it’s the adrenalin rush you get from it. The sense of power and sheer straight. It also
Is a great way to exert frustration and stress.
Q2: what makes it an American sport?
J: well the history isn’t American at all, but then again what sport can say it is? I think its
American because it like the American spirit shows the power and doggedness of the American spirit.
The constant push to do better not to mention it’s a blending of cultures.
Q3: would you recommend this sport to kids?
J: not unless they can take a beating, this sport isn’t for those who can’t handle a good whacking.
It also can ware you out at times. But for those who are looking for a good way to release stress or
even lose some weight it’s a great way to get by it.
The voice of one who takes it from voice to page is also apparent with in the dozen of novels and
movies based on it.

The world of kickboxing is not limited to the boxing ring but also has graced the movie screen.
Such as in the movies “Million Dollar Baby.” and “Cinderella man.” in these films it personifies the
struggle induced and the fight to survive. Survival of the fitness with in the ring of life.
Kickboxing also has been placed within novels. A fighter’s heart: one man journey through the world
of fighters-Sam Sheridan also in Windy City Knights- A Ron shade Novel. Most stories dealing with
Kickboxing are non American. These two are exceptions. “I stepped ashore from the Sea Girl,
merchantman, I had a hunch that there would be trouble” a quote from Ron Shade’s novel depicts the
American view with its always readiness and preparation for any on coming.


Such as these exceptions Kickboxing is only now starting to reach the surface. On the survey that I
conducted only 4 out of the 10 saw it as being American. And out of those four only one new the
rules of the game. Most of the people I asked Saw kickboxing as a “Karate Thing” or just a game of
“horse play. Yet despite the naďve views of some, the Kick boxing world is beginning to spread into
the homes of Americans. Such as in the show The Ultimate Fighter Five , which is conducting its
fifth televised fighting.

   
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