English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2007-2008

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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  "Sports" are spoken and lived everyday by people of many stripes.
"Sports" are a major part of culture and economy and almost every country in the world.
When the word "sport" is talked about, most people think of some kind of game or activity
involving two teams playing on a field. The five most popular sports today are Hockey, Baseball,
Basketball, Soccer, and Football. Althought this term agrees with the first definition of the word
"sport" ever, which was founded in the year 1472, history tells us that the word
"sport" means many other things. For example, one of the less common definitions is, a
young man or fellow. Like the dramatic change and development of English history, the word
"sport" has also has been changed because it has been used for over five hundred years.

I took a survey to get definitions that ordinary people would give today for the word
"sport". According to the sports survey, respondents #1 and 2, Meaghan and Shane, defined
"sport" as an activity or game played by two teams. Respondents #3 and 4, defined it as
some sort of competitive activity involving rules and points. However, respondent #5, Pamela,
defined "sport" as a kid or young man who plays a sport. Eighty percent of the
respondents in the "sport" survey defined the word as some kind of competitive game.
Twenty percent of the respondents, defined the word as something irrelevant to any game or activity.
This shows how important and dominant sports are to people.

The OED has found many definitions for the word "sport". The first ever written
definition was a pleasant past time; entertainment, or amusement, which was founded in 1472. There
are many different and uncommon definitions for the word "sport". For instance, in 1604
Shakespeare used the word "sport" as an amorous dalliance or intercourse. This was the
second ever written definition for the word "sport". In the 17th century
"sport" was being referred to as an act of killing or hunting a variety of animals for not
only food, but also clothing. The word "sport" has been associated in the Middle Ages
with many kings and queens. Of course the first sports ever played were in Ancient Greece at the
Olympics. These games included; the marathon, wrestling, and boxing. In 1571 "sport" was
thought of as a theatrical performance or play. This would make sense because this was around the
time of the Elizabethan Era, where plays were an important part of everyday life. In 1935
"sport" was defined as a familiar form of address used to a stranger. The word
"sport" has been defined on many ways over the past six centuries.

Through the development of the word "sport", amny famous authors have included it in their
works. While using the word, they have also changed the definition and the way people understand
it. In 1596 Shakespeare used the word "sport" in his Taming of the Shrew.
Shakespeare used the word in the line, "I haue some sport in hand." Shakespeare is using
"sport" in a positive way as a pleasant past time, entertainment, or amusement. In 1837
Charles Dickens used "sport" in his Pickwick Papers. Dickens wrote, "I am
delighted to view any sports which may be safely indulged in." Dickens was using
"sport" as a game or some sort of bodily exercise. In the Harvard Episodes,
written in 1897, Flandrau used "sport" in the sentence, "I don't suppose
they're "cheap" sports." Flandrau was the first person to use "sport"
as a young man, or a fellow.

Today almost all newspapers use the word "sport" everyday. Most of them even have a
certain section specifically for sports around the world. These sections allow fans to stay up to
date with their favorite teams and how they are doing in the season. On the Boston Globes website,
boston.com, there is an individual subsection for sports around Boston. On November 3, 2007, Globe
staff man Mike Reiss wrote, "If the Patriots are able to beat the Colts at the RCA Dome, they
will have a shot at becoming one of the best sports teams ever to compete in the National Football
League." ESPN is also a great source of sports news in the world today. ESPN is strictly
focused on sports and hilghlights from different games played the day before. This is a great
chance for people to see a recap of the games if they missed them. On November 4, 2007, ESPN
writer, Brad Edwards, talked about the National Hockey League and how they are getting close to
where they were before the Lockout Season. Edwards wrote, "With lower ticket prices and great
young talent in the NHL, franchises are beginning to get the fan support they had before 2004."
Seeing how so many television shows and websites are all about sports, you can see just how big
sports are in every culture.

Most words in the English language have been deprived from other cultures in Europe. However, some
foreign countries have difficult times pronouncing the words that everyday Americans use.
"Sport" is not one of these words. The idea of sports and what they mean are understood
in every nation in the world. So, people of different speaking languages don't have a hard
time understanding the word "sport". I asked my neighbor, who came from Italy, how she
would define the word "sport". She defined it almost exactly the same way my sister
defined the word. This shows you how easy people recognized the word "sport", no matter
what language the speak.

The word "sport" has a tremendous history dating all the way back to the first Olympics,
in Ancient Greece. As far as written records, "sport" has been used in text for five
hundred and thirty five years. Based on history, I believe "sport" has a very bright
future. Seeing how every single culture around the world plays some kind of sport, people will be
playing and speaking about sports for as long as human life is around. Generations after
generations will learn to adopt the great sports of their fathers and their country. So, as long as
people are still living, sports will always be a majority activity on earth.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

The Oxford English Dictionary dates the word “running” back to the year 1450. Running is
one of the most popular exercises and hobbies people do today. Marathon running is also a major
event in competitive sports, the biggest stage occurring in the Olympics. Marathon running is a
growing sport in Britain. London is the home of one of the five biggest international marathon’s in
the world, the London Marathon. The London Marathon was started in 1981, where 7,500 athletes
competed. According to the London Marathon website, in 2007, 36,396 athletes ran in the race and
there was about 120,000 applicants. This is an example of how much the sport is growing in Britain.
As a nation, England has been in thousands of wars in its history. Based on the hundreds of wars
in the ancient world, medieval times, and in the present, we know it involved extreme running and
stamina. One could argue that this has a direct effect on English people today.


Marathon running dates all the way back to ancient Greece, and the legend of
Pheidippides. He was a Greek soldier, who was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce
that the Persians were defeated in the battle at Marathon. According to the World Book
Encyclopedia, it is believed that Pheidippides ran a total of 26.2 miles, this is where we get the
total miles in a marathon. When Pheidippides reached Athens it is believed he let out a cry
screaming “Nike”, which translates to “victory”, in Greek. Legend says that after he said those
words he collapsed and died. Pheidippides is a hero of Ancient Greece, and is the central figure to
the story of how we get the current sport of Marathon running.


Britain has many world class runners including, Paula Radcliffe. According to her book
Paula: My Story So Far, Radcliffe was born on December 17, 1973 in Davenham near Northwich,
Cheshire. Despite suffering from asthma and anaemia she took up running at the age of seven. Her
early running success was in cross country events, including the 1992 World Junior title. Paula
also writes in her book that she was a sliver-medalist in the 1999 World Championships in Athletics,
and was a gold medal winner in the 2000 Olympics and 2001 World Championships. In 2002, Paula made
her debut in marathon running. As it turns out her debut race was in her home land, at the London
Marathon. Paula Radcliffe did not upset, winning her first marathon race with a time of (2:18:55).
This time is also currently the fastest time for any world women’s race. Radcliffe expressed her
love towards the sport when she was interviewed by Don Riddell of CNN saying, ‘I can’t imagine
living and not running.’ Radcliffe married her coach, Gary Lough, in April 2000. At age 33, she
gave birth to her first child, a girl named Isla. Running requires great stamina and training, and
this is one thing Paula Radcliffe is known for. She commented on, this quoting in her book, ‘Every
time I go out and race it’s a goal to go out and run faster than I’ve done before.’


Marathon Running and the Olympics are hot topics in Britain and the world today. One
article in the London Times talks about the Olympic Games in Beijing, and how the air quality will
affect the athletes, and specifically the runners of the Games. Ashling O’ Connor, the writer of
the article, talks about the use of Anti-pollution face masks and said this, ‘Anti-pollution face
masks for athletes competing in Beijing are “unnecessary”, according to the International Olympic
Committee (IOC) after analysis of the air quality around the Chinese capitol’. Another article on
the London Telegraph’s website, talked about the same issue and of effects on runners. David Bond
also says that most athletes will be unaffected by the smog. But said this about long distance
athletes, ‘But endurance athletes, such as Britain's world-record holding marathon runner Paula
Radcliffe, could be hit by the smog, along with competitors in road cycling, mountain biking,
triathlon and race walking.’


“Marathon running” does not appear that much in British Literature. This could mean that
the foundations of "marathon running", were not set up or it was not that popular, when
most famous British writers wrote. However one poet, Katy Allen, of Carshalton, wrote a poem about
running. Here is an excerpt from her poem,’ Running, running to catch up, But I’m never fast
enough, Always left behind, Slowly dying inside....,’.


Marathon running has a great future in British culture. With the large number of British
people picking up the hobby of running, the sport will only grow. Evident already in the growth of
British people going out for the London Marathon, marathon running will only get bigger. Also, the
dedication and passion towards other sports, such as rugby and soccer, show that the British people
love being involved and active. This will only help marathon running in Britain. Once, someone
tries the sport and gets into it, they will not want to put it down. Overall, marathon running in
Britain has a great future, because of the love and passion British people have.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thing that separates Britain from the rest of the world, is their rich history in literature,
literary authors, and poets. Britain has such a strong form of literature because of its various
styles of writings. These styles include: poetry, prose, and drama. All these styles have many
famous writers associated with them. British literature has been identified by its five major
devices used throughout its works. These five devices are setting, theme, resolution, form, and
gender. Without these devices, literature in Britain would not be as renowned as it is today.
From outrageous forests to old school mansions, setting has always been a vital part of any
British literary work. Setting is something that attracts people to a story and keeps them excited
throughout. Joanne Rowling mentioned many creatures and fantastic figures that populated the school
in her book, Harry Potter. "The Whomping Willow, is a very large, magical, and violent tree
found in the center of the school." John Tolkien responded talking about the elaborate places
in his books such as Isengaurd and Helm’s Deep. England plays a great setting because of its
beautiful terrain and landscape. Mark Shea criticized both the authors, saying that too many authors
have used England as a setting for historic wars and mythical tales. He also said, "The
constant changing of setting and dilemma towards the ring, in The Lord of the Rings, could confuse
the author into putting the book down."


The theme of evil is a constant theme throughout novels, sonnets, and poems in British
Literature. One author who uses the theme of evil in his poems is Matthew Arnold. Evil is present in
Arnold’s poem, Dover Beach. This poem is not only about a lover’s longing for trust and faith, but
on a figurative plain it is a metaphor of constant evil, war. George Meredith scolded Arnold’s work
saying, "Arnold is a dandy Isaiah, a poet without passion, whose verse, written in surplice, is
for freshman and for gentle maidens who will be wooed to the arms of these future rectors."
Alexander Pope also used the theme of evil in his, Essay on Man. Pope said, "Evil happens
naturally, the by-product of natural fault..". George Orwell also talked about this theme of
evil. He talked about evil, with is evidence in Animal Farm. The central them of Animal Farm is that
an evil government can prevail over good as long as the majority of the citizen’s are kept
ignorant.


Poets and authors around Britain have argued about the different styles of poetry. A.E. Housman
was best known for his cycle of poems called a A Shropshire Lad. The form that Housman wrote in was
lyrical, and sometimes epigrammatic. Through his song-settings the poetry therefore became closely
associated with his generation, and with Shropshire, a town in Whales. He said how much William
Shakespeare influenced his form of lyrical poetry. John Donne talked about how sometimes he liked to
go outside the standard rules of Petrarchan form. He said, "braking the rules of strict sonnet
form often makes the poem more intense and emotional." Henry Hallam threw his few cents in on
Donne’s works saying, "of his earlier poems, many are very licentious: the ladder a chiefly
devout. Few are good for much." The discussion just showed how rich British Literature is with
poetry and the form its written in.


The part of the story that leaves the largest lasting impression on the reader is the
conclusion. The conclusion, good or bad according to the reader, will decide his view on the book.
If the ending is one expected and boring, the reader will not enjoy it and may not recommend it. If
the ending is surprising and has the reader on the edge of his seat, he or she will want to come
back for more from that certain author. Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Malory, and Virginia Woolf, sat
discussing this topic of resolution. Virginia Woolf talked about her story, The Lady in the Looking
Glass. She said, "She stood naked in that pitiless light. And there was nothing. Isabelle was
perfectly empty." This ending is surprising because, no one can ever imagine someone dying
completely empty, without any companions or anything, just absolutely isolated. Tim Jones of the New
York Evening Post shared his thoughts saying,"Her work his poetry, it must be judged as poetry,
and all the weaknesses of poetry are inherent in it." Chaucer talked about his surprise ending
in The Nun’s Priest’s Tale. The fact that Sir Gawain was not killed by the Green Knight was a major
surprise to the conclusion of the novel, argued Thomas Malory.


The role of women and gender is a major theme throughout British Literature. Three authors that
brought this theme to the party were Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and Doris Lessing. The theme
is present in Shakespeare’s, Lady MacBeth, where Lady MacBeth wants to become a man, so she will be
able to kill the king. Quote that supports this, "Come, you that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex
me here." George Bernard Shaw said this about Shakespeare’s words, "There is not a single
sentence uttered by William Shakespeare’s Lady MacBeth that is, worthy of an average tammany
boss." Jane Austen talked about her novel, Northanger Abbey, and its character Juvenilia,
saying, "I will only add in justice to men, that though to the larger and more trifling part of
the sex, imbecility in females is a great enhancement of their personal charms, there is a portion
of them too reasonable and too well informed themselves to desire any thing more in woman than
ignorance."


The five devices of gender, theme, resolution, setting, and form set British Literature apart
from any other literature. These devices give British Literature a rich history and background. With
these devices come famous writers who will learn to use one of them and make it a great part of
British Literature.







WORK CITED
Arnold, Matthew. Dover Beach:
New Poems, 1867
Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey:
Barnes & Nobles, 2005
Jones, Tim. New York Evening Post:
New York Evening Post, December 2005
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Nun’s Priest’s Tale:
Barnes & Nobles, 2004
Hallam, Henry. Dirty Rotten Reviews:
Citadel, 2002
Housman, A.E. Shropshire Lad:
Bartley, January 1996
Malory, Sir Thomas. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight:
Penguin Classics, 1999
Meredith, George. Dirty Rotten Reviews:
Citadel, 2002
Pope, Alexander. Essay on Man:
eBookbase, 2008
Rowling, JK. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:
Bloomsbury Publishing, 2001
Shea, Mark. British Literature Criticism:
Barnes & Nobles, 2000
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings:
Penguin Classic’s, 1937

   
   
   
   
   
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