English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2006-2007

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  It was a cold and windy day in the winter of ’82. Everyone was getting ready for a warm Christmas
dinner when everything in my live turned right around. I chose to help with the making of the apple
and blueberry pies. My job was to peal all of the apples for the pie. And then I remembered… That
tool used to peel the apples. No one knows about that apple peeler accept for me. My grandmother
asked me to go find the peeler. I knew what happened to it, but she didn’t. I said we must have
thrown it out. I decided to use a knife to cut the apples because I didn’t want to waste anymore
time thinking about what really happened to the apple peeler.

This was no ordinary apple peeler. This peeler attaches to a counter or a table top. There was a
sharp end where you would stick the core of the apple right through it. There is a sharp blade that
rests gently on top of the apple’s skin. Then there is a crank that turns the apple, and the apple
skin peels off. This is a sharp and shinny object. It is too big to fit in a pocket but it is small
enough to fit in a small handbag or a small duffle bag.  It could be used as a weapon, and can be used to threaten/hurt someone. And that is exactly what it was used for.

Everything in John’s life was perfect. He had a great apartment, it was spacious, he had a
beautiful girlfriend, great plans for the future, nice car, great paying job, and plans for
retirement. Everything was going great until he met Mike. Mike Jacobs was a great kid, but with a
terrible past. His parents split when he was four, he was an only child, and his dad died when he
was 8. His mom was addicted to prescription drugs. John met Mike in a bar in Chicago. He was lonely
and needed help. John started to talk to him, and to make a long story short, John rented out a room
to him in his house. He set up some rules with him, no parties, keep the room clean, respect my
property, no drinking, and no drugs.

No drugs, that is where John’s life changed greatly. He later found out that mike was a known drug
dealer in town. He hated and was hated back by some people. One day, John got a knock on my door. He
was looking for a kid by the name of Mike. He asked if I saw him around. He said his name was
Hutchie. He said Mike owed him some money. I said he was staying here but he was out for the
afternoon. That was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I decided that I would forget what
happened, and that I would take my girlfriend out to dinner. When we came home we arrived to several
police cars in front of my home. I got out of my car and an officer came to me and said “Are you the
owner of this house?” I said “yes.” He then said “Ok, you are under arrest for the murder of Mike
Jacobs.”

Before I could anything, I was handcuffed and brought to the station. My girlfriend was crying and
I was confused with the situation. I arrived at the station and was held under questioning. One
detective said a very dangerous weapon was use to kill mike. He asked me if I could describe the
weapon. I said I could not because I had nothing to do with the murder. I was put on bail, and one
week later detectives brought me to the station again and explained that they found finger prints on
the weapon. The fingerprints on the weapon were the finger prints of Hutchie. I asked the detective
what the weapon was, and he said it was some sort of apple peeler. I was released soon after.

I learned two things from this situation choose your friends wisely, and have someone you can
trust close to your side, every moment of your live. This applies in my life and in the life of
everyone in the world. Trust your friends, and never turn your back.
   
   
   
   
   
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  Today I walk to the “The Blue” located on the shoreline of the Neponset River near my house. Today
was a gloomy sunny afternoon. The sun was just about to set, and the sky was a pinkish color. Every
step that I took was loud because the leaves had completely fallen off of all of the trees around
me. I heard a crunch and crackle after every step. As I set upon a large rock looking over the blue
water, I notice that the water is completely silent. There was no noise from the water splashing up
against the rocks. I noticed a group of geese fling in a “V”, heading for the south. You could tell
that winter was approaching. The forest looked bare. You could see for a mile. Unlike where in the
summer you can’t see at all. The Blue looks boring. There is not much going on because of the
winter. Then the weather is warm, there is lots to see. A man should not have to live a life with
the energy of The Blue. Everyone’s life should be full of joy and energy and should never have a
dull moment.

The next day was a better day at The Blue. The snow had just melted and the sun had come out. It
was cool out, enough to bring a jacket. The ground was soft from the melted snow. There were patches
mud from the water. The water was a dark blue and looked warm. It didn’t look like winter at all. It
looked like the first day of spring. I started to see the animals of the forest again, rabbits,
squirrels, chip monks, and a hawk. The grass was a light shade of green, but there were patches of
burnt grass from it being in the constant sun. For a second I started to wonder if the seasons would
ever change this year. It was been cold one day and warm the next. The water seems to follow this
pattern, one day it is dark blue, one day it is almost a grayish color. Many lives revolve around
this theory. One day they could be fine and enjoying life and the next a bad day and not enjoying
their life.

A week later, it was a very interesting day. I had seen something that I have never seen before at
blue. A large female deer ran rights through the woods as if it were being chased by something. It
ran so fast that I didn’t have time to follow it to see where it was going. That was the first
interesting thing. The second interesting thing that I saw was that there was some sort of animal
that has been sitting on the same rock that I sit on. I noticed paw prints to a rather large animal
such as a coyote or a fox. Today was a dark and cold day. The water was gray and cold. There was a
group of ducks floating in the water. It seems that life is formed around water. When it is cold,
the water is dark, gray and cold. On a cold day people stay away from water, but when it is a hot
day, people are near and even in the water.

Later on in the week was no ordinary day. I wanted to take a different path to blue and see if I
could still make it there without getting lost. I followed a small creek that I knew would lead to a
large body of water, so I followed it. The water was crisp and clean. It looked like drinking water.
As the creek led to an end, I saw blue and realized that I was a few yards away. Today was a cold
and brisk day. I wore a jacket, gloves and a hat. You could tell that winter was definitely
approaching. I could not stay long because it was very cold. I notice that there were no animals
around, no birds flying and singing, and no paw prints on the ground. When I took the different
path, I thought that a lesson in life would be to not do the same things in life everyday. Change it
up a bit to make your day more interesting.

The last day of the month was the nicest day of the week. It was sunny and cool. There was a nice
sea breeze that smelt of seafood, and salt water. It doesn’t feel like winter and December weather,
it feels more like the fall. The ground is damp from the morning mist. You can hear the sound of the
water trickling down the large pure water creek. The wind is causing the water to look a dark gray
color. It almost looks as if a storm is approaching off the sea. This weather is depressing to some
people because most would like to see a winter wonderland for the Christmas season.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn” is a very unique poem and is like no other of its kind. This
poem follows the standardized poem with the rhyme scheme of abab, cdcd, efef, ghgh. This poem was
written around the time of the American Revolution. This poem even relates to the shot herd round
the world, which was the official start of the American Revolution. The reason why this poem is
unique is because it is one of the first poems about the American Revolution and Emerson applies his
love of nature to this poem.


Emerson continues using his major theme of nature in his poems in the Concord Hymn. He includes a
description of the air and the cool breeze blowing the American flag. Emerson has a history of
including nature in his poems. “Down the dark stream which seaward creeps” is an example of nature
in this poem. He loved to describe in detail everything that he notices during the day. In his
earlier poems, Emerson never really related to the outside world, he usually just stuck to
describing what he saw in nature. He described the products of nature. Here he describes a major
battle In United States History, this is very unusual and unique of Emerson.


Concord Hymn honors and respects the heroes that died during the American Revolution. “And fired
the shot heard round the world” explains how Emerson relates to the Revolutionary War. Emerson pays
his respects by saying that our nation will never forget for those who fought for our country. Even
when honoring those who died, Emerson includes nature. Through this poem, Emerson lets the reader
know how much respect should be granted for those who fought for the stars and stripes of our flag.

Emerson set the tone for authors and their works that come later on. Emerson was one of the first
to write about the war and he expressed his love for nature in a poem that has a major historical
event. This poem is like no others of Emerson’s. He never really wrote about modernism, but in this
poem, he breaks his own barrier and writes about a major historical event. This was a positive step
forward in Emerson’s career as a writer.


In conclusion, this poem is so unique because Emerson can relate nature to the American Revolution,
the heroes that died for our country and nature. He does a good job at portraying the respects that
are given to these men who died. This poem is like none other of Emerson’s works, and that is what
makes this poem so unique.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many do not know about uncommon sports or sports that aren’t normal here in the United States, but
this does not make these sports un-American. But most of these unknown sports are in fact somewhat
American. Rugby is becoming more and more popular throughout many high schools and colleges in the
United States today. Some may argue that rugby is only a club and not a sport, but rugby has all of
the qualities and characteristics of being a sport. One reason that rugby classifies itself as a
sport is that there are many local and national professional teams. The second characteristic is
that there are many unique but simple rules to the game. The third reason is the support from a huge
fan nation that ranges kids to teens, adults, and even some older. So this sport may not be as
popular as baseball, but it is definitely an uprising sport.

Rugby has a unique set of rules that are simple to follow. I asked 10 people to describe rugby to
the best of their knowledge. My Father said, “Rugby is like a mixture of soccer and football.” Then
I asked Junior Mike Kinsella, who also plays for the high school varsity rugby team the same
question. He said, “Its is like a controlled mayhem.” 2 out of the 10 people that I interviewed
could not describe this sport. So to go a step further I looked up the actual rules of rugby. There
are few and simple rules. Rugby is similar to football but there are no first downs, and out of
bounds loses possession for your team. A touchdown is called a “try” and is worth 5 points, and an
extra point kick is worth 2 points. Like every sport, Rugby also has penalties, which consist of off
sides and high tackle. The team that gets the penalty loses possession and has to move back 10
meters. It sounds complicated but is very simple.

I had a 1 on 1 interview with Junior Mike Kinsella. I asked him a series or simple questions about
rugby. “Mike, how long have you been playing rugby and what position do you play? I have been
playing rugby for 2 years, and this is my second season playing at CM. The position that I play is
Lock Forward. How many points do you have in this season? 10 points, 2 try’s. What have you injured
this season? I dislocated my shoulder and my toes. I also got a concussion and I broke some fingers.
How did you first hear about rugby? I herd the team was looking for new players, so I thought I
would give it a shot. Where did Rugby first originate? In Australia I think. Breifly sum the rules
of rugby. It is a controlled mayhem. Do you think you will play rugby in college? Yes, hopefully.
Then I asked about Rugby being American. I asked ”Is rugby American and why? No, rugby is not
recognized as much as other sports. This is only one opinion on rugby being an American sport.

I did a survey with 10 random people that I chose and asked each of them the same 3 questions. I
asked, “What teams play in Boston or a town near you? How is this sport different than other sports
in the rest of the world? Rugby is appearing in local high schools and colleges around the country,
does this make rugby at all American? 3 out of the 10 could not name any teams in the local area
around Boston. 2 out of the 10 said rugby is like kill the man with the ball. 2 out of the 10 said
rugby is like a mixture of soccer and football. 7 out of 10 said that rugby is considered American,
and the other 3 said that rugby originated somewhere in Europe.

I have been lucky to observe and experience rugby in my own way. I am able to play rugby here at
catholic memorial. I started to play my sophomore year, knowing nothing about this unique sport at
all. But as the season went on, I to learn more about the sport, and I began to enjoy the sport. Now
at the end of junior year, I just finished my second season with the team, and it was great. I am
thankful for have chosen to play rugby, or I would have never discovered the sport.

In conclusion, I enjoyed researching and experiencing rugby. I took many life lessons while playing
rugby. As our coach Mike Tubridy always says, “come out to practice and give 110% effort, and it
will play off in the match. Coach Tubs pushes our team hard telling us to “hit hard and make low
tackles”, he my get mad but he knows it is good for us. He knows a lot about rugby because he has
played for a number of years and played for the Boston Rugby Club which is a professional team here
in Boston. I am very fortunate to be around rugby like the way I am because not many others get this
opportunity.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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