English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  The history of the word block reflects the history of England because it shows that over the years
in like the 1400's the English had control over a lot of areas and then during the Renaissance
it changed to Italian and French started to control the world start to shift to the French Roots and
then a few hundred years later it changes its path and goes back to the English roots when England
starts to have a huge empire that is when the influence shifted and that is when the word came back
to the English roots. The actual date of the word block refers back to the year 1645 and that is a
pretty old word rooted in French. The common perception of the word block is a cube or to hinder
someone and that is the exact meaning that I have found in my research over the years it has been
around. Many believe the word block to have meanings in a confined area but in fact they do not.

On my preliminary research I asked five people to define when it first comes to their mind what they
think of block and to use the word block in a sentence. The first respondent Mr. Cerbo a teacher at
Catholic Memorial responded with the way the Catholic Memorial blocked last game they will not win
again this year. The next person I asked was my sister Heather Vignali and she said a part of a
neighborhood. She said that my mom walks around the neighborhood. The next person I asked was my
mother who said something that hinders you from doing something else. I experienced a block while
writing a story. So according to the survey 66% of the people said block was to hinder or ward off.
The 33 % means that a part of the neighborhood. I then interviewed my dad who grew who grew up in
a first generation immigrants home speaking French. HE said that he could easily pronounce the word
and used it in a sentence, " by saying that by hindering someone." So we could see that
French and English are closely related and that they have common roots.

I then went to the Oxford English Dictionary and i found diversified meaning and some common
meanings that i have seen in the past. Some of the common meanings of the word block are to hinder,
invest, bargain, and to plan. They came from the book Browning Ballast by Sir H Upton in the year
1591. The next came from the Bishop of St Andrews from the 16th century. The next came from the
Massachusetts Spy a periodical in the year 1829. And some famous authors who have used the word
block in their writings have been Daniel Defoe from his masterpiece Robinson Crusoe so we see that
the OED has some great roots in some of the masterpieces.

I looked in some recent newspapers and I have found the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and the
London Times and I have realized that the general meaning of the word has not changed and that the
history of our word block and the english language is here to stay.

I then asked my dad who do not speak English as their primary language to think of the word in their
sentence. I asked my dad who spoke French immigrants home to use it in a sentence. He said to
block means to hinder which means that a French speaking household is similiar to growing up in an
English Speaking household. I then asked a chines women to use the word in a sentence and she had
no clue what i was talking about so she did not. I then asked my aunt to use it she grew up in a
French speaking household and she had easy time. SO 66% of the people had no problem and 33% had a

In conclusion I believe that the word block or the English language will never die out of be over
run by another language or super power. My reasoning for this statement has to due with that over
600 years the word block has never changed meanings once and neither has the English Language ever
been replaced or changed to the common language of the world like many people think China will be
some day. So i believe that if the word block can stay around for many years like it has and never
change then the same is for the English language. This great language will never crumble and never
be a inferior language.























Dear Mr. Chaucer,

My name is Matt Vignali and i am the editor at Prentice Hall. It is with regrets that I have to
inform you that you work the Pardoner's Tale and the Miller's Tale will not be included in
the next edtion. We have great respect for you here at Prentice Hall and we encourage you to submit
more work to us. We like your work as evidenced in us using other works just not these ones. The
three principal reasons for us not accepting your work is that of in the Miller's Tale there
seems to be an infatuation with sex and love outside of marriage and we at Prentice Hall cannot
stand for that. The second reason is that of the Pardoner's Tale is they have too many
drinking references and how they lie and cheat. And the third is that in the Nun's Priest Tale
there are too many animals talking and we find that pretty illogical to a story.

The first reason in the Miller's Tale is that of a enormous amount of sex and love outside of
marriage. This is a Catholic School and we cannot stand for that. An excerpt that shows this point
is from lines 3281 - 3287 which states, " Or I will die, so save me God!"And she sprang
as a colt does when restrained And with her head she twisted fast away, And said, "I will not
kiss thee, by my faith! Why, let me be!" said she. "Let me be, Nicholas
Or I will cry `out, help' and `alas'! Take away your hands, for your courtesy!" And
the critic from Help Me.com also agrees with this point, " This is conveyed in her adultery,
during the first confrontation between Alison and Nicholas she does not withstand Nicholas for a
very long time nor does she declare her love for John and use it as a reason for her not to commit

The second reason is the use of drinking references and unmoral references of lying stealing
gluttony and suicide in the Pardoner's tale which we at Prentice Hall cannot stand for. This
is what we mean, " "By Saint Ronan, it shall be done," he said, "but first I
will drink and eat a bit of bread here at this ale-house." This is what we mean and we cannot
stand for it.

THe third reason is the talking in the Nun's Priest Tale. We find it Illogical and do not find
it at all necessary. The following is an excerpt from the Nun's Priest tale illustrating my
point, " deere,Shewas aghast and said, "Dear heart,What ails you, to groan in this manner
You are a true (sound) sleeper; fie, for shame!" That was an excerpt of a chicken talking. The
following critic is from Help Me.com he agrees, " This story has good meaning but should not
include animals talking use something else to make up the dialogue."

In the end we are very sorry we could not include your work we encourage to keep writing and submit
for next year. We respect you as a writer and thiss is only because it was such a competition.
Thank you and we hope to hear from you again soon,

Matt Vignali













According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) the origin of the word basketball was in 1892 when
the founder of the sport James Naismith coined the word. According to the Kansas heritage.com Dr.
James Naismith, a Canadian physical education student and instructor at the YMCA training school,
sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students and instructor occupied and at proper levels of
fitness during the long New England winters to keep his students in shape. According to the Kansas
Heritage.com After rejecting the other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to keep in walled
gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket to a 10 foot elevated track.
According to Kansas Heritage.com the origin of the sport happened in 1892 at Birkenhead YMCA. The
sport has always been somewhat popular in Great Britain but not on the same level as cricket and
rugby. It is on the second tier of popularity which means that the people enjoy it but it does not
receive major media coverage. The development of basketball reveals the adventurous spirit of the
British people to take up a new sport and also how they love nature; exercise is a quality of the
romantic novel.

The sport in England is pretty popular but not as a high profile sport. According to the British
Basketball League Official website there are several amateur and professional basketball leagues in
England. There is one professional basketball league in England called the British Basketball
League and has teams all over England and Scotland. According to the British Basketball League
website there is one player named Mike Martin who plays for the Guilford Heat. He is from Great
Britain and has played on numerous teams in the BBL (British Basketball League). There are also
several amateur organizations in England which give every player to a chance to play the sport they
love. According to the British Basketball there is no trading between the two leagues because the
professional league operates on a franchise system where teams have to buy into the league.

The sport last appeared in the London Telegraph on 7/18/07 when Richard Bright from the Telegraph
talks about the British Olympic Team making the first preliminary steps towards qualifying for the
London Olympics. Another one quoted is Alistair Gray, chairman of the BPB saying, “ This marks
another important milestone in the development of British Basketball. We have a clear mandate, a
clear goal. We are not a governing body. We do not give grants. We are about performance,
producing teams, who will be given the tools to be successful this summer.” This article talks
about how England has to play some teams in order to go to the Class A qualifications and if they
win that then they will be entered in the 2012 Olympics in London. It is a lofty goal but anything
can happen.

The sport of basketball can even be found in Poetry. The following poem was written by Lucille
Clifton and its entitled Praise Song. The following is an excerpt, “I had never seen a woman hurl
her basketball of a body into the traffic of the world.” This poem reflects my theory on the
romantic poem which is that exercise is an element of the romantic novel. It shows how a woman
rolled down a hill and just avoided some cars this shows my theory is correct.

I feel that the sport of basketball can grow rapidly across and through the British Empire. If the
country were to in fact qualify for the 2012 Olympics then the sport would grow an immense
important. Also with the NBA trying to grow across the world would also help British with their
growth. But in fact the only way for the sport to grow is if the people see stars on television
playing it and enjoying it, then children will play it in their backyards, leagues and local gyms.



















Over the many years the British Language has evolved and therefore the literature that goes with it
has to evolve also. Over the many years the authors have varied from the unknown author in Beowulf
to Master Anonymous in Gawain in the Green Knight up to George Orwell and beyond. The people crave
good stories so the authors have to keep producing them and that is how some of the best works of
all time have been produced. Over the years also there have been 5 devices that the authors have
based their stories around. Form, gender, resolution, setting, and themes and that are how they
have created their masterpieces as if they themselves are there. The setting is a very important
part of a story it tells you where you are and a good one even makes the reader feel The topic of
how many stories find themselves out in the middle of no where in the deserted farmland. In
George Orwell’s 1984, “He came to the footpath where she had told him of, a mere cattle track which
plunged between the bushes.”(118) Another author JRR Tolkien also likes to use the country setting
while developing his Lord of The Rings Trilogy while traveling through the cities they have a major
battle at a country location, “ The battle raged on to the country location which I have mentioned
before.” According to Martin Jones, “Tolkien likes to develop the setting very much including how
nature occurs to mostly everything.” The author JK Rowling author of the Harry Potter series also
states, “Nature adds to the mysterious and suspenseful endings to my stories.” The author Lewis
Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland also has a big deal with nature. The whole story is set outside with
nature as a backdrop. “Nature is the major impact to my novel, without it, the novel would not
have the same affects on the readers.” And in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein the setting of the country
farm locations are seen throughout. “And the monster moved into the little hut on the farm to keep
him hidden.” And the critic Martin Swanson says that, “In Frankenstein without the detailed
descriptions of the setting the story would not have the same impact.” This is so important because
of the fact that one of the qualities of the romantic novel is the setting and that plays such a
major part in Frankenstein. The scenes of the rolling mountains that Victor encounters, and that is
where the monster goes to keep himself quiet.

Also another major part of the literature is that of the themes or topics that we can be stressed
ughout the story. We see in most stories the authors trying to stress points throughout the book
and that in a nutshell is the theme. In Charles Dickens story of Oliver Twist the theme of poor
people being happy is seen. “Even though Oliver was very poor he had a light that people could see
that he was a happy young boy.” In George Orwell’s 1984 everyone in the society did not have much
but they seemed to all be doing aright and surviving just fine. “Winston seemed to realize that in
the community most people did not have much but they did not seem to mind.” The critic John
Lombardi states, “Orwell’s book does not come to terms with reality.” Which means that man believes
that Orwell’s book makes this society not believable? Sir Thomas Mallory’s Arthur’s Tales even
though the King is very poor he is such a noble and just man. The critic Henry Powers states, “A
major element of British Literature is how the authors love to depict poor people as being as happy
as were in real life they would not be.” In Mary Shelley’s’ Frankenstein the,” people that the
monster is staying with do not have much but even though they don’t they seem to have a smile on
their face.” And in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales the chicken that sings is not always feed
but it still sings away which means it is happy.

The critic John Barry states that, “Chaucer has a command of the needy being happy.” Another device
that is very important especially most recently is gender with woman’s rights most importantly. In
Virginia Wolff’s book, “Street Haunting, A London Adventure.” “Discomforts that they endured and
the sunsets they admired in Greece When Queen Victoria was a girl.” In Doris Lessing’s book “the
Golden Notebook” which states, “the lady is so much better at doing her job than the man.” Mike
Redman writes on Doris Lessing’s book,” she is so fixed on making men and women equal that is the
main point of her book and her topics don’t even get developed fully. Charlotte Bronte who wrote
Jane Ayer writes that, There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering,
indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there
was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so somber, and a rain
so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question.”

The significance of this quote is it shows how Bronte loves nature and would go into such detail to
explain even the smallest of deeds like the garden. And JK Rowling has the topic of the gender is
the leader of the school if a woman so therefore the author has a unique opinion with a woman
author. Jim Leonard writes that J.K. Rowling uses the unique approach of being equal which is a
main part of the story.

Another important element to the novel is the form or the way the author writes his stories.
Dickens, where the story ends happily. “A Christmas Carol is that the form is free form, while the
formation of Geoffrey Chaucer is in the Canterbury Tales is Iambic Pentameter which is a 10 formed
line, and Charlotte Bronte which uses the thing of Free Form also. The last of the topics is
resolutions or endings. In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” the ending of the book ends
happily. . Also in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings the story also ends happily with Frodo
destroying the ring. Also Sir Thomas Mallory’s King Arthur’s Tales also end with happy endings.

In conclusion British Literature has evolved much over the last few many years and that is why there
have been many different types of stories and many devices that people have started to use most
importantly gender, resolution, form, theme and setting. We have seen over the years 1200 – to
present that even though many things have changed whether it is from iambic pentameter to free form
or other evolutions the authors still have the same mission which is to entertain audiences with
their magical storytelling abilities and to create pictures in their minds.

Works Cited

Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. New York Penguin Books. 1977: 256-292.

Henderson, Bill & Bernard, Andre. Rotten Reviews and Rejections. New York: Pushcart
Press, 1998.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. New York : Penguin Books. 1974

Kinsella, Kate et al. Prentice Hall Literature: The British Tradition New Jersey : Pearson
Prentice Hall. 2005
Orwell, George. 1984. New York : New American Library. 1961: 297-325.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. London : Bloomsbury Publishing. 1997