English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2007-2008

   
   
   
   
   
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Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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All different words have different meanings and different uses. The word warrior is the same way.
Warrior has a total of six definitions and around twenty or so spellings along the time it was
brought into different languages. The common thoughts when someone thinks about the word
"warrior" are that it has something to do with war and fighting. On the other hand,
certain romances written by famous authors such as Dickens and Shakespeare show that it can have a
positive and relatively identity. The word "warrior" has been floating around in Literary
works since the year 1297 and is fighting to stay alive by the its warrior-like ways.

I conducted an informal survey among women and men of a variety of ages. The differences in
the definitions offered were for the most part predictable. For example, I asked my father, James
Donovan, how he would define the word "warrior" and he said, "it is a fighter,
someone who engages in gruesome war". The sentence he gave using the word in context was,
"The warrior celebrated his victory on the bloody battle field". A friend, Christina
Gregg, defined "warrior" as someone who stands up and fights for what they believe until
they can no longer fight". Her sentence was, "the warriors entered into organized
battle". This survey revealed some differences between younger and older people, and between
men and women. It became clear that the older generation has a more generic definition of the word,
while the younger people gave a more detailed definition. Also men tended to have a slightly more
masculine definition. For instance, my father mentioned that instead of simply a battle field,
which he referred to as a bloody battle field instead of just saying the battle as Christina did
when she was questioned.

Every word has definitions that are used in different situations and at different times. OED
currently has six definitions for the word "warrior". The most commonly used definition
is "one whose occupation is warfare:a fighting man, whether soldier or airman. Words also have
definitions that are known as "obsolete", which means that they are still used, but not as
often. An example of this would be "one who makes war upon: a prosecutor. Another definition
that is occasionally used is "a south American humming-bird of the genus Oxypogon. Another
aspect of a word that can change over time is the spelling of the word. Warrior has had about
thirty different spellings, usually changing depending on where the word was spread to. In early
Middle English, warrior was first spelled "verrour", which is not only known as a vulgar
word but as stated before can be known as a respectable and honorable thing in the early times.

A very important and fascinating part of searching for information on a word is the fact that
many famous writers have used the word in their previous peices of writing. I will be giving the
three most famous literary authors because of the immense variety to choose from. The first author
who was found to have used the word "warrior" is Charles Dickens. He used
"warrior" in Pickwick papers when he sprang like an ardent warrior from his tent. Another
early author was John Milton, who used the word "warrior" in the Paradise Times. He used
it when saying "there are whole communities of warrior ants". The last literary author is
Edmund Spencer who used the word in a work of art known as the "first principles'. It
seemed that in these writing that the word warrior was used in a sentimental way. As I entered this
assignment I figured that it would be used in a rather negative and vulgar way, but soon realized
that it can be used in positive terms throughout the older years.

The word is used by all different languages around the world as if for alot of other English
words: however its meaning is slightly different coming from an international student or someone who
was not born in the United States. I asked a couple of the foreign exchange students what they
thought about when they heard the word "warrior" and their responses didn't very much
from the general idea of the the word. Alex, the first kid who was questioned, replied to the
question by stating that he thought " the word means a man or woman who works hard to et what
he desires". However, along with them saying how it has to do with fighting for something,
some of them related it to sporting events, particularly soccer. I found this ironic because of the
fact that one of my researched examples was using the word "warrior" to describe the plays
of a soccer game as well.

This word has been used for approximately 700 years in several literary works of many famous
authors. The word has recently as of 2007, been used to describe people of different occupations
instead of only talking about one who fights in war. For instance, in the London Times< Damon
Jones was said to be known as the "fiercest warrior". In this case, "warrior"
is being used to describe the way that Damon Jones approaches the game of soccer. In the research
of the NY times.com I found an example of how the writers used the word in the paper. The writer
labels his story "How to be a afternoon warrior", which in this case is referring to the
idea of how football is usually played in the afternoon of Sundays. In the recent years of the word
"warrior" history,you can come to the realization of the fact that it is being related
with sports very frequently to describe the players "will" to achieve greatness.

The future of the word "warrior" in my mind is extremely bright for basic reasons.
First of all, the word has been used in writing since the 1300s, and had had no problems with the
word becoming obsolete. THe meaning of the word has changed slightyly, only in the case that the
word does not only pertain to a fighter in war or someone who fights, but yet to describe
people's ways. As for the English language and its future, I believe that it will stay
dominant language for a while. Something that was interesting to me was the fact that English has
been made mandatory at various different Korean schools. I found this out when asking fellow
student, David, how he has learned the English language so quickly. This is just another reason why
I believe it will last a long time, along with the fact it's been strong for so long, so why
end it now?
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 


Dear Mr. Shakespeare:

Thank you for presenting Prentice Hall with your play called Macbeth. I appreciate that you
considered us to publish your play in our text book. I regret to inform you that I must decline your
offer. This was not an easy decision to make but I don't feel that this play will fit in with
the curriculum of our textbook. I feel this way for the following reasons there were too many
hallucinations and predictions. Also, Lady Macbeth is too pushy and unlikeable character.

1.
Too many hallucinations such as Act II (44-45) "Mine eyes are made the fool o' th other
senses, Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still" Macbeth says this when he sees a bloody
dagger floating before him, and he can't believe what he is seeing. Act II (47)
"There's no such thing" When Macbeth convinces himself that there is no such thing as
floating bloody daggers. Another is Act V (30) Yet here's a spot." This is when Lady
Macbeth is so full of guilt that she thinks there is blood on her hands and there isn't. But
she keeps trying to wash it off. This use of hallucinations, make the story hard to follow.

2.
I found the story bogged down by too many predictions such as when the three witches tell Macbeth in
Act IV (80) "The pow'r of man for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth." He thinks
no one can hurt him so he has a lot of confidence. Then in Act V (15) "Tell thee, Macduff was
from his mother's womb Untimely ripped. This is when Macbeth learns that Macduff was born by
caesarian section and this is how he knows that he is going to be killed by him. I think the
predictions confuse the reader about what might happen and what is really happening.

3. I found the character Lady Macbeth very unlikeable and pushy. Act I (55) "I would while it
was smiling in my face, Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, And dashed the brains out,
had I so sworn as you, Have done to this."This is an example of Lady Macbeth forcing Macbeth to
keep his promise to kill the king, by saying if she had promise to do something, like a kill her own
baby, she would go through with it and not try to back out. Another example is Act II (65) "A
little water cleans up the deed." Lady Macbeth comes across unlikeable by acting like just by
washing the blood off your hand erases that you just murdered the king. Lastly in Act III (55)
"Are you a man. " Lady Macbeth yells at Macbeth because he is acting strange by talking to
an empty stool and making faces. Lady Macbeth is afraid the guest will notice, and wonder way he is
acting like that. She is not a very nice person and I don't feel the reader would be interested
in her as a character.

I do not think there is an interest for such a violent and tragic story in my textbook. Although I
have enjoyed your earlier plays such as, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry IV and Romeo and
Juliet and they have fit in well with our past textbook. I don't consider this play on the same
level, and it's not what I am looking for at this time.

I know from working with you in the past that you are a very talented author, and I'm confident
you'll write great things in the future. But I will have to reject your offer of Macbeth. If in
the future you write a comedy or something not as tragic would you please consider us again. Thank
you for thinking of Prentice Hall. Your copy of Macbeth is enclosed.

Sincerely,

James Donovan

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word "soccer" has a history of spelling
changes from "socca" in 1889 to "soccer" in 1895. The word apparently evolved
from University slang, which was created by shortening the word "association" and adding
"er". Soccer as a sport was first played in the 8th century as a violent war game. It
was played with a head of a wriior and with a lot of violence according to World Book B.2. The
popularity of the sport is demonstrated by the fact that there are 6 leagues of soccer in England
alone. According to the FA Official Website there is said to be 96 professional teams, which is
greater than the number of any athletic sport in the United States, which is also considerably
larger than England.

For a while in the history of soccer there were very few rules and regulations. According to
FIFA, in 1848, as the game started to become very popular in the public school system and private
club teams, Henry de Winton and John Charles Thring organized a meeting at Trinity College in
Cambridge, with several representatives from other colleges who were invited.The rules were then
looked at again in 1863 at the FreeMason's Tavern where several weel-known club coaches and
representatives met and created the first organization in the World, called the Football
Association(FA). Two months after the FA was formed, another great step in the history of British
soccer was taken, namely the birth of the laws of the game itself. These are to this day a major
part of the rules and laws of Major League Soccer in England despite minor changes.

Organized clubs began to be established in 1855, and the Football Association was establish
in London in 1863. In 1888, the first soccer league in England was created by Aston Villa, which in
those years was being managed by William McGregor. Clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United,
Sheffeild United, and Portsmouth are among the teams that have the best players on their rosters.
It is players like David Beckham and Wayne Rooney that make the game as exciting as it is. Wayne
Rooney is the player that has had the most hype because of his young age and entertaining play.
Rooney was quoted in the London Daily News saying "It is true that Football has been growing
more and more popular in England, which only makes me love the fact that the fans count on me to
score goals to allow their favorite team, Manchester United, to do well in the league." Wayne
is loved because of his generic background, coming from an average England family and growing up
playing soccer in the parks with everyone else.

England also has many amateur organizations throughout it's country. The goal of the
amateur organizations is to increase the number of young people playing Soccer in the nation. Much
like the United States, there are clinics and schools for children to start playing soccer at a very
young age. According to YMCAs national site they think, "that sports can also help develop
self esteem and confidence in working on personal skills and as a team." An amateur player by
the name of Frank Gerard is quoted saying "The British developmental teams are a great step
into becoming what I have always dreamed of being, a professional Footballer." This shows that
he beleives that the leagues that are non-pros play in are a great way of getting better in order to
try out for the actually professional programs.

Football is a very big part of the news in England throughout all their major newspapers. In
countries like the United States and Spain, players are the ones who are being payed the big bucks
while the coaches are working hard for not as much. However, according to the London Times teams
such as LiverPool and Arsenal are looking to pay alot of money for the Spaniard coach, Rafael
Benitez. This coach has brought such great success to teams like Atletico Madrid, Valencia, and
Barcelona that the FA teams of England are interested in persuading him to visit their teams with
great pay with the idea of bettering their teams even if it comes with a large fee. The sport is
also mentioned several other times because it is what the average reader wants to be informed about.
The next big conflict in the news is the fact that Ronaldhino is a free agent and is looking to
switch teams. According to The London Mirror, "He has been heard talking to Arsenal delegates
and is interested in the money there", which may be his destination for the 2009 season of the
talented midfielder.

As you learn more and more about the importance fo the sport soccer or football in England
you start to see it in more and more places. For the most part, Football is mentioned several times
in books but in this day in age it is more noticed in music. There is a white female rapper by the
name of Lady Sovereign who is from England at the age of twenty-two. In one of her songs titled
"My England", which contains a line "Cricket, football,croquet, nah PS2 all the way,
in an English council apartment." This line to me is saying that Cricket,Football, and Croquet
have an immense importance to most of England but to her she just enjoys relaxing in her apartment
and playing videogames.

Soccer is a sport with great potential in the years to come. Every year there is increased
focus on the FA cup tournament and smaller organizations' tournaments. Soccer is a rapidly
spreading sport and I can speak first hand about the fact in the past years my brothers went to
Catholic Memorial, it was almost impossible to fill a roster, and now Mr. Finn finds it almost
impossible to choose from the applicants. From this fact you start to see similarities of alliances
between the United States and British countries for the future.

   
   
   
   
   
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Good afternoon President Sheff, welcome members of the Board of Trustees. I am a Sophomore
attending Catholic Memorial High School, and I am honored to be chosen to address you on the
importance of studying British Literature while in the 10th grade. To be honest with you I
struggled with the required summer reading of Grendel, so I was not looking forward to English 10.
Initially I felt that British Literature was confusing, outdated, and had little or no interest to
me. We started off by studying the epic poem Beowulf, which is the first English literary
masterpiece written in native tongue instead of Latin. It was necessary for us as students to
understand British Literature in order to fully identify with the complete English Program at
Catholic Memorial. It’s difficult to summarize all our experiences in British literature we studied
poems, plays and sonnets. We worked on three different kinds of essays, Essay 1 was researching a
word. Essay 2 was writing a letter of rejection to an author of one of the plays we read. Essay 3
was to research a sport, mine was rugby.


It is interesting what other sophomores have learned this year in British Literature. When
I looked at portfolios written by other students, I see that they have benefitted from this class
also. I choose Chris Conley the quote from Essay 1 in which Chris researched the word “magic” he
found that it is an old word , and he also discovered that “The Word Magic was first used in 1387
by Geoffrey Chaucer in "Canterbury Tales Prologue", "He kepte his pacient a ful greet
deel in houres by his magik natureel." This quote demonstrates that Chris has well researched
the word magic and found an example of it in the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Another
student Eric Butts skillfully examined “a clash between two religious themes in this story. First
you show Christian beliefs, but suddenly you reveal Pagan themes.” If it had not had British
literature would he have learned about the epic poem Beowulf, I do not think so.


Other schools in my neighborhood towns teach their Sophomores British Literature according to
the Website for Fontbonne Academy British literature is taught in chronological order Anglo-Saxon,
Medieval, The English Renaissance, The Jacobean Era, The Restoration and then the Romantic Age.
Milton High School teaches English literature which introduces students to major English writers who
are the basis of British literature.


When I interviewed Mil Millington a British author I asked him if he felt if British literature
is beneficial as a course for 10th grade English, and if it should be preserved. He answered “Though
I am an author - I make my living writing novels - I make no claim *whatsoever* to be an authority
on literature, British or otherwise. I have no doubt that, if British literature were removed from
Boston’s schools entirely, the clocks would continue to tick, wheat would still grow in the fields,
people would fall in love just the same. Nothing is indispensable. This must be recognised - whole
of literature, art or sport - could be taken out of schools and society wouldn’t collapse.” I’m
surprised that a writer would feel this way, but he’s right nothing is indispensable.


“The question then, is what does British literature bring that, if not vital, is still spiffy
enough to make including it attractive? That’s almost entirely subjective, but... Pleasure, Sheer,
wriggling pleasure. Austen is delicious, for example: a joy to pour into your head. Yes, Charlotte
Bronte is ghastly - but you don't have to read them: you get to choose what to cast away
yourself, rather than the whole area being excluded. But is that a good enough reason to deny
yourself, for example, Dickens? Who is also fab. The volume of potential happiness you'd be
shut off from is colossal. Things you'd never guess - such as Treasure Island actually being a
hoot, rather than the silly, 'Oh-arrrrr, Jim lad' caricature one sees in its film
adaptations. I agree with this because it’s true people read just for the pleasure of it, books can
transport you to any place or time.


“Another plus for British literature is History, development, context and influence. It would
be hard to think of a more influential book that Robinson Crusoe. There can hardly be a more stark,
and humbling, illustration that we and our tastes are the products of our times. Yet, on other
occasions, the sheer depth of British literature lets you see feelings and observations that,
though they were put down centuries ago, could easily have been expressed today. British literature
allows one to see both the bigness and the smallness of the passage of time.” I agree with Mr.
Millington because as we were studying British literature we were also studying Western
Civilization, and many times during the year they coincided with each other. A few examples are:
Charles Dickens stories involving workhouses and factories when we were studying about the
Industrial Age. Another was reading the poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth” which was about young men
dying on the battle field, when we were studying World War I. Studying them together gave me a
better idea of that period in history, which was great.


“Yes, there are other sources than British literature, but British literature is a darn good
one for the task. By excluding British literature and replacing it with performance pieces and
literature filtered through, you'd be doing high school students no favours at all.” I agree
that it would be a mistake to remove British literature as a requirement for 10th grade English.

I also interviewed Loretta Shelton, Prof of English Literature at Roger Williams University, I
asked her way she taught this subject her answer was “I teach British Lit I, II, and III because
without studies in British Literature, students cannot begin to understand, much less appreciate,
the tradition of literature that gives rise to American and contemporary literature. We need British
literature in order to understand American literature.


Moreover, the craft of making literary art and the craft of writing literary criticism derive
from the British tradition. Even beyond this, British literature has from time immemorial integrated
into its tradition the previous and seminal traditions of western civilization and the literature it
produced, namely, the Old and New Testaments, and mythologies from the Middle East, Greece, and
Rome. Students arriving at college already suffer from a deficit of general knowledge which used to
be in place as a result of habits of reading and studying the cannon; one serious consequence of
this deprivation is that they do not recognize traditional allusions and symbols and this alone
limits their knowledge and ability to become fully educated adults-worse, it is exactly the way
traditions and the values they preserve are diminished and eventually erased from life. For
all of these reasons and because we have a duty NOT to dumb-down or Americanize the cannon of
English literature, British Literature needs to continue to be at a minimum( It used to be 2 years
of study) a full year of study in high school. Moreover, it must NOT be a course of study that
emphasizes 20th century British literature to the neglect of the 2000 or so years of literature that
gives rise to it; nor may it pander to some notion of “what students like” or “what they can–without
good guidance and hard work–learn to read and read well.”This said, the entire faculty of the high
school needs to participate meaningfully in the celebration and elevation of the importance of a
tradition that certainly shapes, along with other intellectual forces, our quality of live and
ability to live productive lives.” I understand what Prof. Shelton is saying that British literature
is necessary in order to make our high school studies completed if it’s removed it we will be
denying our students of a valuable learning experience.


My proposal is that British Literature is a must for English 10. British literature is the
foundation of modern literature and gives students an understanding their literary beginnings.
British literature involves stories of King Arthur which parallels Western Civilization study of
medieval history. Throughout the 10th grade these two classes continually overlap and support each
other, by studying them together the student develops a better understanding of the period. To offer
one without the other would be a disservice to the student, because both courses compliment each
other and are fundamental in understanding how we came to be.