English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  Most people think of the word Onion as a vegetable or something that you could put on something that
you might get at a red sox game. The way others use the word is a nickname. Some people also might
think of the word Onion.

In the Random House Unabridged Dictionary there definition for the word Onion is "A Plant of
the Amaryllis Family, having an edible, succulent, pungent bulb". So in theis definition they
are putting the word into meaning as a vegetable that is edible to eat but it may not be very tasty
to eat. In the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language the first definition for the
word Onion is "Abulbous plant cultivated worldwide as a vegetable". So this is pretty much
the same thing as the first definitition from the random House Unabridged Dictionary. This
definition says that the plant looks like a bulb like when you plant a flower bulb and it also says
in the definition that the plant is known worldwide as a vegetablle. The final definition that I
have is from WordNet. The First definition that they used for the word Onion was "A Bulbous
plant having hollow leaves cultivated worldwide for its rounded edible bulb". In this
definition they are just describing the shape and the appeacrance of an onion.

The first time that the word onion was ever written down was in the year 1356. The first person to
write down the word onion was an author by the name of J.T. Fowler. The Word was used in the Book
called Extracts Acct. Rolls Abbey of Durham. The sentence that was used was "In Cepis et
unyonnsede". As you can see the wod onion in this sentence isn't spelled the same way that
we spell it now. The reason why it isn't spelled the same most importantly is because it is not
writen in English. The last time that the word was writen down that the Oxford English Dictionary
has it writen down as was in 2001. The Article was in Times Magazine and the sentence read
"I'll start a new onion bed at the far end of the patch...". The Article was
published on September 29th 2001 and it was writen by Nexis.

While I was looking threw the Definitions and found my word I saw some signs saying that some of the
definitions were dead. Some of the dead definitions were "A pearl, A bulb, A bunion,
Slang" The two deinitions that the OED gave me that are still used daily were, "A. the
edible rounded bulb of Allium cepa, which conissits of fleshy concentris leaf-bases with a
strong pungent flavor and smell, varying in colour from dark red to white, and is used as a culinary
vegetable, eaten raw, cooked, or pickled". the second definition that they gave me was "B.
The plant Allium cepa itself with long rolled or strap-like leaves and spherical heads of
flowers, which is a cultigen that perh. Originated in central Asia and is now widely grown in most

The word Onion is still today live and well. After being around for over 650 years the word Onion is
still used today but not necessarily the same way they used it in the 14th and 15th century. Today
we commmonly think of the word Onion as a Condiment, or a plant that you can grow in your backyard
that doesn't very good raw, but excellent when fried!












To Whom It May Concern:

Over the past couple of years we have worked with you and have been publishing your book, Beowulf.
I regret to inform you that we will no longer be able to work with you in publishing your book. As
you know our book is sent to thousands of different schools throughout the United States including
private, public, and parochial school. It has brought to our attention by some of these school’s
that there are multiple adulterous scenes, too much fantasy, and to much violence all in one story.
Schools have contacted us and said that they will begin to remove our books from there classrooms
unless we take out your story.

The most important reason of why we are removing your story is because there are to many adulterous
scenes. The night after Beowulf kills Grendel his mother comes and kills men including Hrothgars son
at Herot. The reason why these men were killed is because Beowulf was sleeping and having adulterous
affairs with the queen. From this quote the thought is put into your mind. “Beowulf was elsewhere.
Earlier, after the award of the treasure, the Geat had been given another lodging.” After re-reading
this I realized what all the complaining from the schools was about. This is extremely in
appropriate for a young immature teenager to be reading. Just take a second to think about all the
thoughts that come into your head after you read the paragraph over.

The next reason that I would like to address is that there is way to much fantasy in this story.
There are no such things as monsters. Some people believe that some kinds of animals are monsters
but they truly aren’t. When Beowulf and Grendel mother fought he had to swim to the bottom of a lake
for several hours which is not true because it is impossible for most people to hold there breathe
for more than 5 minutes. In this quote it talks about how Beowulf is swimming to the bottom of a
lake for hours. “…For hours he sank through the waves; at last he saw the mud of the bottom…”

The final reason that has come to my attention is that the violence in this story makes me sick to
my stomach. In this quote you can see how disturbing and disgusting this story really is. “But fat
that night intended Grendel to gnaw the broken bones of his last human supper.” To me that is the
third strike on top of all the other strikes that you received for the other adulterous scenes and
the fantasy of this story. This is just like baseball when the umpire says three strikes your out!

We apologize that we had to end our long term relationship. As you can see in my letter to you we
have some extremely valuable reasons for letting you go. Maybe if you do some editing to this story
then maybe we can possibly put you in a future addition.

Brian Keeley
















According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “sail” was first used in the English language
in 900 C.E. The Encyclopedia says the word sail was invented in Ancient Greece around 1500 B.C. The
Greeks are credited with the first use of the sail. By catching the wind they were able to power
their vessels. Before sail power, boats had to be rowed, so boats could not travel far on manpower.
Sails allowed them to explore further. The sail-boats they created were used by powerful Greek
city-states like Athens . It was the Athenian Navy that defeated the Persians and drove them out of
Greece . The use of sails and boat design continued to grow far throughout the Mediterranean area
and Europe for thousands of years.

According to geocities.com, in 1805 the development of sailing ships perhaps reached its highest
point when the British Navy lead by Lord Nelson, defeated the combined French and Spanish naval
forces of Napoleon in the famous battle of Trafalgar. Of course, long before the battle of Trafalgar
the British Empire stretched around the world. It included North America, the Caribbean Islands ,
Australia , Japan , Hong Kong , India and South Africa as well as others.

According to americascupnews.com, after the American and French Revolutions, England ’s power began
to decline. Their long and proud sailing traditions took on a new form. The America ’s Cup is the
most prestigious Regatta and Match Race in the sport of sailing, and the oldest active trophy in
international sport. The Regatta started in August 1851 in the United Kingdom when the English
yachting clubs challenged America to a race. The Regatta was originally called the Royal Yacht
Squadron. The name was later changed to the America ’s Cup. It was named for the first boat to win
the race America. The yacht was owned by a group of American investors who were members of the New
York Yacht Club. Fifteen boats participated in the first race. The boats raced around the Isle of
Wight off the English coast. After World War II, the huge and expensive J-class yachts which
measured 90 feet or more were replaced by the much smaller 12-metre class yachts, which measure from
approximately 65 feet to 75 feet (20 to 23m) overall.

On alexthomson.com it said, today England sailing tradition continues with champions like Alex
Thomson. Thomson is an international yachtsman from Great Britain and one of the most formidable
young talents in sailing. He made his first impression on the sport in 2000 when, at the age of 25,
he became the youngest skipper to win a round-the-world yacht race. In the same year, he won the
Round Britain & Ireland Race in a record time of ten days, and in 2003 he set the 24-hour world
speed record for solo mono-hulls at the Defi Atlantique Transatlantic Race. According to the London
Times, he became the first skipper to sign up for three round-the-world races in three years,
entering the 2006 Velux 5 Oceans and the Barcelona World Race that began this month and the 2008
Vendee Globe. During the Barcelona World Race this year Thomson said to the London Times “The
weather has been terrible the past few days, with the wind blowing hard.”

The most recent article about sailing published in the London Times was on March 20th, 2008, the
article talked about the planning for the upcoming America's Cup races this summer. Sailing
does not hold the prestigious position that it once did in the sporting world. It has become the
sport of the rich. Football (Soccer) as well as cricket and boxing are the dominant sports today in
the United Kingdom.

History and popular culture are dotted with reminisce of musical history. The United Kingdoms
national anthem Britannia speaks of England's naval history. From "Yo ho ho and a
bottle of rum" to the Beatles 1960 hit song "yellow Submarine" the influence that
England's sailing history has had on the world is very broad.

The future of sailing as a popular sport is over shadowed by the more popular televised commercial
sports. Sailing will always hold a place in both British and world sporting venues. There are
approximately four categories of recognized Olympic sailing events. They may not recieve the same
popular following or recognition that they deserve. However, sailing is just as important to its
participants as any other sport may be.















The following letter reveals the true facts that we have learned in the last few months in our
English 10 British Literature class. I believe that the British Literature class should be removed
from all grade levels and should not be taught at Catholic Memorial ever again! The class itself is
very entertaining and enjoyable because of our intelligent and humorous teacher, Mr. McGonegal. The
subject of British Literature on the other hand is very hard to comprehend. The British authors are
not easy to understand because of their way of writing. The first story we learned about this year
was Beowulf. When we received our copies of the story it was not written in comprehendible English.
The writing looked like a bunch of lines all mushed together on one page. The British authors are
very hard to read and understand. This is why I believe it should be abolished from Catholic

Let’s say we are comparing British Literature with learning a foreign language.
We expect difficulty and frustration as we begin the new language for the first time. We know it is
going to happen just like we know we will fall off our bicycle when we try to learn to ride. So if
we know it will happen then we are prepared for it and the disappointment or frustration isn’t
really that big a deal. But in British Literature the author speaks English. So why doesn’t anyone
understand it? The words don’t make any sense. Some of the words we don’t use any more. We have
never heard them, so we don’t know what they mean. You must read the sentence and sometimes the
whole paragraph to figure out what the one word means and some times that doesn’t work. It’s not a
foreign language it’s English yet I can’t understand it because the words don’t make any sense.
Because I speak English I don’t expect this high level of frustration. So the agony of defeat is so
much harder. There is no anticipated possibility of failure.

A fellow classmate of mine named Mike Kostarus had wrote an essay earlier this year about the word
fight. When a civilized person today hears the word fight they first think of a physical altercation
that they know about. The paper itself is a well written paper but the concept of writing a whole
paper about one word does not seem to tie in well with the course. The following is a quote from
Mike Kostarus’ paper “Horror, sadness, fears, or maybe even excitement, can describe the word
“fight.” As I stated earlier in this paper, writing a whole paper about one word does not seem
necessary in a British Literature class.

After reviewing some websites of local school’s in my area, I was astonished on the information
that I received. I was informed by the student that as a sophomore at Boston Latin School there was
no British Literature courses that could be taken. He agreed with me that this was a wise decision
on the school boards part.

I don’t believe the class provides me with information that I would need to succeed in life. The
class consists of information that would be more helpful to me if I were a contestant on Jeopardy.
Learning how the English language came to be was helpful but not as important as certain things I
should be learning such as grammar and vocabulary. British literature has a value in learning. I
just believe it should be an elective not a requirement at Catholic Memorial.