English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  The origin of the word in Middle English "random" which means change at great speed. It is
also from Old English(randon) which means "speed, violence" and also German origin(randir)
which means to run. Sometimes people will say "Did you randomly just say that?" This word
has developed from it's original meaning. When I use the word random I mean out of the bluw,
without planning it, it just happened. According to the Oxford Englsih Dictionary, this word has
changed quite a bit from it's earlier meaning of "Impetuously, great speed, force of
violence." One of these original definitions still implies. This shows how words have changed
their spelling and their meaning over time.

The three dictionaries that I looked up the word "randomly" in were the American Heritage
Dictionary, Webster's New World Dictionary, and Webster's Dictionary. The American
Heritage Dictionary defined it as "having no specific pattern or objective; hapazard". The
Websters defines it as "of or designating a phenomenom that does not produce the same outcome
or consquences everytime it occurs under identical circumstances", Of or designating an event
having a relative frequency or occurence that approaches a stable limit as a number of observations
of the event increase to infinity. Of or designating a sample drawn from a population has an equal
chance to be drawn. Of our pertaining to a member of such a sample. Authors have used over time,
with different meanings depending on how long ago it was. The word randomly is a basic word that is
used in everyday conversation, an example is " He randomly picks players for the team." In
math when talking about statistics. Three uniques uses of my word in recent years. In the Boston
Globe, "NBA randomly selects one of the fourteen teams that do not make the playoffs to the
first fourteen picks", written by Charles Euchner on October 14th.

In New York Times, "phone numbers were generated randomly to reach households", written by
the associated press on October 16th,2007. In the London Times, "Peel's fiddle and his own
keyboard began randomly belching", written by David Ford on October 14th 2007. Clearly randomly
means the same that it always has.

It gets you thinking about where the word comes from. And it also gets you thinking that words you
use in everyday conversation actually meant something completely different or had different meanings
along time ago. And lastly I thought it was interesting to look up how old the word was, and when it
was first used. Also to fid out the different authors that used it. How long will the word
"randomly" last. I think the word "randomly will last for two hundred years













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.

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.

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.


James Donovan















Today Rugby is one of the third most popular sports in England. Rugby developed from the
English 11th century game called “mob football” it was a very rough game with few rules. In 1486 the
Oxford Dictionary records the first written use of the word football was to describe the ball not
the game.

Football was very popular with school boys who played the game one the grass with a pig’s
bladder in cased in leather. The story of rugby is that this sport originated in England in 1823
when William Webb Ellis picked up a ball and ran with it in his arms during a football match at the
Rugby School. The new game was a hit and was named rugby after the school, the first of many rules
were written down.

The rules of rugby continue to change and a split occurred because there was difference in
opinion between those who felt that rugby should remain and amateur sport and those who felt that
players should be paid for time taken off from work to play rugby the game divided into two groups
Rugby Union and Rugby League. The RFU (Rugby Football Union) was founded in 1871 it is more popular
and is considered to be more of upperclass game, rugby league is a sport for the working class. I am
just going to discuss RFU. Ruby union play on both a professional and amateur level, and is played
in more than 100 countries worldwide. The easiest way for me to described the rules of rugby union
is to compare it to American football, except player tackle, run, pass and make touchdowns through a
goal post. The field is slightly larger and the ball is fatter than a football. The biggest
difference between rugby union and football is protective gear. rugby players don’t wear any, not
even helmets. Rugby is a rugged game, with a reputation for attracting a drinking and partying
crowd, which sounds similar to our football.

England’s national rugby union team is nickname is the red and whites, their emblem is a red
rose and their theme song is Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Rugby’s popularity in England took off when
the RFU won 2003 World Cup. The English describe Rugby union as a running, handling and kicking
football code game for hooligans, but played by gentleman. England’s Jonny Wilkinson is considered
one of the world’s best rugby players. He was a member of the 2003 Rugby World Cup scoring the
winning drop goal against Australia. Wilkinson’s is the first English player to score 1000 test
points, and became an international rugby record scorer. There are many sports magazines and
articles written about rugby so it’s obvious how popular it has become and how it has it has bridge
ties with other countries that play the game. I think the development of rugby tells as a lot about
England. Rugby union isn’t just played by universities and private schools anymore. It’s a
professional spectator sport representing England against a hundred other countries internationally.
Rugby has a huge following of faithful fans. I think rugby is an indication that England isn’t as
class conscious as it was a century ago. Rugby player are considered celebrities and
During the course of researching rugby I found least two poems about rugby Rugby and Drink by
Naveed Akram and World Rugby Cup Preview...2007 by Christopher Higginson. Rugby has also been
included in some literary works. Such as T. Hughes’s famous novel Tom Brown’s School Days (1857)
which included a chapter entitled The Last Match, devoted to rugby. The atmosphere of an English
public school, in rugby’s pioneering days is depicted, together with unique rugby terminology. In
1963, one of the most famous novels of the angry young men intitled, This Sporting Life (1960),
became the basis for a screenplay of the equally famous film, under the same title, directed by L.

My prediction is as rugby continues to grow in popularity, it will begin to attract fans more
from the United States. This will cause the US to form its own professional rugby team to compete





















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.