English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2006-2007

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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  While searching in the attic for my winter clothes, I came upon something I have only seen in old
fashion movies. This five fingered object smelt of oil and was made out of smooth brown leather.
The old fashion baseball glove, probably from the early 1900’s, was one of the most interesting
things I have ever seen. I knew exactly what it was, however I had no idea where it came from and
who was the owner of this glove. The search for the answer was about to begin.

Examining the glove was the first thing I did. It looked like an old plain glove that any old
timer would have. To my grandfather I would go. My grandfather had lived in the house before my
parents took it over. But while talking to my mom, my grandfather had never played baseball,
meaning he would never have owned a glove. It did not stop me from asking him some questions
anyways.

When I got to my grandfather's to show him the glove he was mesmerized. Why did this glove
appeal to him? He looked at it and put the biggest smile that I had ever seen on his face. “I
thought this was long gone and never to be seen again.” Then he lifted up the flap of the glove as
much as he could. There it read "Robert Foy #31 Brooklyn Dodgers". He then explained to
me how his father played baseball for the Dodgers, but retired at a young age due to back problems.
He thought he lost the glove but his wife put it deep into the attic so he could not think and get
depressed about the game he loved to play.

So the mystery was cracked. I found out what the glove was and where it came from. But wait, why
I wasn’t ever told about him and his professional baseball career. And why was the glove still in
my house over 80 years later? Looks like I need to look into yet another mystery.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  The world today is very hectic and full of news. We never really have a chance to get away from all
the chaos of the world. However, in Quincy Massachusetts there is a place I like to go to too relax.
This excluded area is less then a mile from my home, and about ten miles from Boston. From my house
I walk down Pontiac road, and take a left onto Samoset Ave. From there I walk about five hundred
paces till I arrive at Rabbit’s Path. About a five minute walk through Rabbit’s Path, I arrive at my
location, M2 Wall. M2 Wall is a very relaxing place. Over looking Merrymount Beach and into Boston,
it is a place where I like to get away from all the madness in the world, and be by myself to think.


Today as I look out into the ocean, the water is calm and not making its usual splashes against the
wall. The water is a light blue, and when you look very close to the wall, you can see some life
under the water. The tiny fish swims across the water with ease. I keep my eye on the unattractive
grey fish. This fish is not like tropical fish you have in your tank at home; it is an outsider, a
grey tiny fish that no one wants to claim. As I look further out into the water, it gets darker and
darker, by the time it looks flat, and it is the darkest blue I have ever seen. The sky is blue,
with few clouds in the sky. Birds are flying around aimlessly and with great speed. I am around this
place, and wonder if I am as peaceful as the water. Can such a simple place have so much affect on a
man’s life, that it changes them as a person?

As I approach M2 wall today, I am shivering from the cold rain that has fallen earlier in the day. I
get to the wall and it is a totally different seen. The black waves are slamming against the wall,
and I am unable to sit on the wall to observe, and I need to stand in front of the wall. There are
no birds today, for the have seem to have gone to a more calm place. The trees across the way to my
left are swirling in the wind, and it has lost all of its leaves from the long fall. The tree looks
dead from the fierce winds that have swept through the past couple of days. My fish is disappeared
under tha black water, and I have no idea if he will be back. As a fish, is it possible to leave
your home and come back the next day? I no as a man, I must protect my home from the bad climate, no
matter what.

The air is chilly today, and i do not know why. The past couple of days at M2 wall have been
perfect. Now as i sit here, I look into the sky and see the dark clouds overhead. It looks gloomy
and sad. I can see the birds blending in with the sky, because they look grey and dark. As I look
across the way, I can see the trees swaying in the wind. The bark of the tree is white and grey and
all leaves are gone. The water has some sort of like in it; however I can not tell what it is. The
creature is swirling around uncontrollably and seems to be very small and uncertain of what is
around him. The water itself is a little wavy and not very clear. It almost looks like a grayish
crystal that is a little transparent. The jetty is soaked in sea water and covered with seagulls.
There also are barnacles and snails snatching on the sides. I feel as if I have to hold on in life,
to make sure everything will be alrite in the end, and safety will be promised.

When arriving at M2 wall today, I had a little visitor. It was a chipmunk that seemed like he had
found his new home. It was a very light brown with black streaks down the side. It was eating
something; however I could not tell what. As I approach it, it scurried off into the nearby forest.
As I brought my attention the water, I noticed the water was much more clear and relaxed today. No
life was seen in the water, but it was still very peaceful. It was like ice, no movement, until a
bird flew in the water to pick up his lunch. The jetty is full of life, mostly birds. The snails
and barnacles are still holding strong. The clouds, well there are no clouds, which is unusual for
this time of year. The trees across the way look livelier in the cool sun. Then I looked at the
forest, and saw the chipmunk approaching the wall again. Can you always run away from what you fear
and then return after it seems harmless? Or do you face your fears and take chances in life?

M2 wall is very chilly today. It is windy and not good conditions. I look out into the dark water
and see no life whatsoever. The waves are large and angry. They are smashing against the wall and
jetty. The birds are flying over heard trying to get out of the wind, but the fierce wind is
holding them back. They seem to be working together, but they still are having serious problems.
The trees are swaying in the wind and do not look pleasant. It has also come to my attention that
the weather most has been too much for the chipmunk, who is nowhere to be seen. The clouds in the
sky are black, like they are ready to pour rain down onto the earth. Earth covers me sometimes,
losing me in nature, and leaving me to myself to come to sense with what is really important.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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In 1876, one of the great American pieces of literature was written. This novel would show how the
life of a poor boy would venture off, and find friendship with another boy. The novel is known as
the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and the author is none other then Mark Twain. Twain is able to take
the youth of the 19th century and put them in predicaments that make Tom think of ways to get them
out of trouble and bad situations. Twain uses deceiving, crime, and maturation in this novel to
show what kids were into in the 19th century.


In this story, we see Tom as a young boy who loves to play tricks on the towns people and on his
aunt Polly. Right off the bat, Tom tricks his aunt into believing something is behind her when she
is mad at him, and he scurries over the fence to get away from her. After a day of skipping school,
he returns home and again tries to swindle his aunt saying that he was indeed at school that day and
not swimming. However, his half brother Sid notices the lie and rats out Tom. Tom’s punishment the
next day would be to white wash the fence. Tom had other plans. He convinced some of the other kids
in town that white washing was a great pleasure, and if they wanted to whitewash they would have to
give something to Tom in return. Again, Tom deceives the town and gets away with it. Even though
he is still a young boy, he shows that he has smarts, even if he is using them in the wrong way.


Crime is everywhere throughout the novel, whether it by as little as playing hooky with your
friends, or murder. Crime is a big part of the book, because when there is adventure there is going
to be trouble, and most likely a crime. The boys love to play games that involve crimes. It gives
them a chance to be a hero or the criminal, without actually disrupting the social order. Even when
committing the small crime of stealing bacon, the boys feel remorse and bad about committing the
crime. Tom’s favorite is when he played Robin Hood. He loved the fact he got to steal, which was
criminal like. But he also got to give back to the poor, which was heroism in his eyes.


Throughout the book, we see Tom mature into a young adult who takes responsibility for different
things. He also leads his friends into the cave and dangerous situations, but helps them and does
not show fear. He takes Becky’s punishment and testifies in Injun Joe’s trial. He puts others in
front of himself, and proves that he is maturing at a rapid pace.


There is a reason that Tom Sawyer is one of the best novels in American literature. The way the
book is written gives us a great vision of how life was in the 1800’s. Mark Twain really emphasizes
the life of kids that lived in that time period, and how they lived their lives, and how they were
faithful to each other. This book led into his very famous Huckleberry Finn, and the rest is
history.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In America, sports run the lives of many people. Sports like baseball and basketball
are both very popular. But in the eyes of many, there is no other sport that can compare to hockey.
Hockey is not king throughout the country, but in many states and cities it does rule over all. In
Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Massachusetts, hockey is king. Hockey is a great way to make
life long friends and give your life many memories. Still seen as a Canadian sport, hockey is
becoming more and more American everyday. It’s hard hitting, action packed games appeal to many
Americans, and that is why it is so popular in the high schools and everywhere else around the
United States.

When I got the topic of hockey to write about, I couldn’t wait to start. I went around
the school and my town to find out what people thought about the game. I know a lot of my friends
were lovers of the game, but I wanted to see what others thought about the game. I went to my
brother Mike, who has never played hockey in his life, and never really watched the game on TV.
Mike said that “Hockey is a great game to watch when you are at the actual game, but I cannot sit on
my own couch to watch a game, for I just venture off to another station.” I then asked Mike if he
thought the game was American, and if yes, how so. Mike’s response was, “The game of hockey is
dominated by foreign countries such as Canada and Russia. But it seems every year more and more
Americans are making it into the NHL and high levels of the game, so it is becoming more
Americanized every year.” Another person I interviews was my Quincy national team coach Jim. Jim
said that “There is no better game in the world then hockey, its fast past, hard nosed action for
sixty minutes, and you cannot find that anywhere else.” He then stated, “Hockey is becoming more
American every year. It is a great American past time that is overlooked, and it will always be a
great American Game.

Almost all the players of this great game in America are those of the amateur level.
High School hockey is loved in the state of Massachusetts, and has some very great players come out
of the state. Walking the halls of Catholic Memorial High school, I ran into Pete Starrett, who is
a CM hockey player. I wanted to see what he thought of the game and if it truly was American. He
responded saying “What makes the game so American is our style of play. In the foreign countries
they rely a lot on finesse and skill. Here and America, we are hard nose dump and chase hockey, or
like the older people like to say, ‘Old time hockey’” Then I went up to Matt Germain, who is a kid
from my town who will represent America in the Junior Games coming up next winter. “It will be a
great honor to represent my country and my state in the Games. I hope the team proves to the world
that we can play with the foreign countries, and that we are quickly Americanizing the game very
fast.”

The NHL is currently in its playoffs, which is some of the most exciting action you will
ever see on TV. Pros such as Bill Guerin and Rick Dipietro have come out of Massachusetts and made
it into the NHL. They have also had the great honor of playing for Team USA in the Olympic Games.
When interviewed by Sports Illustrated, Rick Dipietro said “It is one of the proudest moments of my
life getting to play for the United States in the Olympics. To be able to represent my country is
do uplifting to me and my family. American hockey is always overlooked, but I can proudly say we
can play with anyone is this world.” “Foreign players of the sport do think they are superior to
the United States, but we know we can play with them with out style of American play “said Guerin at
a news conference in Torino during the 2006 Olympic Games.

In literature today, many people have written about the game of hockey. In fact or fiction books,
the sport of hockey is written all over the world, especially in America. The Screech Owl series
are a group of stories written by Roy Macgregor. They are mystery stories involving a hockey team.
When the team travels to various countries throughout the world, they always seem to end up trying
to solve a mystery. The book Nightmare in Nagano is about the team having to solve a mystery about a
kidnapping that happened within their team, as well as trying to play in a big tournament. Other
series like the Wolfbay Wings are also great literature stories for younger kids. The author is
Bruce Brooks and he writes about a young hockey team and their lives.

Critics of the game are also all around the world. The biggest hockey analyst of them all is Barry
Melrose. Barry was a former player, a former coach, and also a member of the hockey “mullet” Hall
of Fame. He can be seen daily on ESPN talking about what is going on around the NHL. He also
sometimes does write ups for the ESPN website about the playoffs and regular season games. Then of
course you have the regular daily news. The daily news sometimes will cover the Boston Bruins
throughout the season, but when times are difficult they seem to shine away. Cites like Detroit
which is known as “Hockey Town” have some of the craziest and most judgmental critics in all of
hockey, their fans. Constantly they will have calls in on the local sports radio station WDNF The
Fan and talk about the Red wings as much as we talk about the Red Sox.

When hockey is brought up, you think of the great ones. Gretzky, Lemieux, Bourque and Orr are just
a few names that come to mind. But sometimes you forget the little names. They are the kids
playing on the ponds for hours, the eight year old boy and girl flying through the ice and Mite
in-house hockey, and they old man playing in the “Has Been Hockey league” at the local town rink.
They are the people who make the game of hockey so American. Without the amateurs, there would be
no more dreams of one day turning pro. Hockey is a way of life for many, and has made this country
what it is today a hard nose, tough and confident country.