English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  The word “stalemate” has been around since the 1700’s and means “a position in which the player
whose turn it is to move has no allowable move open to him, but has not his king in check”. Chess
was an extremely popular game back in the 1700-1800’s. Chess was used to settle disputes and
forfun. Today Stalemate is commonly used to describe a conflict between two groups. Often used in
political debates and in trials  where a jury cannot decide if a person is guilty or innocent. Other words that have the same meaning would be draw, standoff, or deadlock. This word has taught us how
English has changed over time.

According to WordReference.com “stalemate” means “drawing position in chess: any of a players
possible moves would place his king in check.” The second definition is “a situation in which no
progress can be made or no advancement is possible; "reached an impasse on the negotiations.”
According to YourDictionary.com “Stalemate” means “any situation in which it is impossible for one
of the players to move without placing his or her king in check: it results in a draw.” The second
definition is “any unresolved situation in which further action is impossible or useless; deadlock;
draw.” According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary “stalemate” means “a drawing position in
chess  in which a player is not in checkmate but has no legal move to play.” The second definition is “a
drawn contest: deadlock; also: the state of being stalemated.” All of these dictionaries say that
if there are no moves open to a player then the games ends and  the player that received the stalemate loses. These dictionaries all have the second definition of “stalemate” as a deadlock, or of an unresolved conflict.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the first known use of the word stalemate was by
“Lambe” in 1765. “When the king has no man whom he can play, and is not in check, yet is so blocked
up, that he cannot move without going into check, this position is called a stale-mate”. Stalemate
originally started as “draw” in the early 14th century in Italy. “Draw” soon spread throughout
Europe. In the early 17th century “draw” was just  used as “stale”. Later in the 17th century “mate” was added on to form “stale-mate”. Today we spell it “stalemate”. The evolution of “stalemate” is fascinating. It is amazing how a word such as “draw” could evolve into “stalemate”. The original meaning of “stale” is to have gone bad.  “Mate” meaning to be a good friend with. It seems that the word “draw” would have best fit what is now known as “stalemate”. The second known use for “stalemate” was in 1847 by “Staunton” in
“Chess Players Handbook”. “He places the adverse King in the position... of stalemate”. This is a
move that a player likely made and was written down. Most chess moves that were used in the
1700-1800’s were written down. As used in the first known use, the “Chess Players Handbook” relates
to chess Modern rules state that the game ends when a stalemate is drawn. In the  early 17th through 19th century the player that received the stalemate won.

A recent definition of “stalemate” would be by USA today 10/18/07 by Nick Hornsby. “such as
relationship breakups and career stalemates.” This could be a problem in life that has come to a
stop. Nick Hornsby likes to write about young men that have a tough time with adult issues so it
could be an appropriate definition. A career “stalemate” would be something that does not resolve
itself and needs to be dealt with. Jaikumer Vijayan wrote in computerworld “Despite the stalemate
being a setback among privacy advocates, companies and law enforcement agencies welcomed the news,
since they depended on the protocol when going after online miscreants. This means that the
“stalemates” are being an unresolved conflict that is setting back advocates, companies, and law
enforcement agencies. This is a good use of “stalemate’s” second definition. How long will the
word “stalemate” last? No one knows. We do know that “stalemate” has been around for hundreds of
years and continues to be used daily. “Stalemate” is a major part of an ancient game that is played
each day. With the way that English keeps  evolving, “stalemate” could be gone any day now. This word has taught us how the English language has drastically changed over centuries.
  The sport of Cricket first appeared in the British Isles in 1774. Its origin can be traced to
southern England during that time. Currently, Cricket is the second most popular sport in Britain
according to the London Times. Since Cricket is a sport played in the summer months, it receives
more coverage because the Football season is over. Since Cricket has such a formal dress code. The
popularity of Cricket tells us that the British may like to dress formally.

Some “special rules’ in Cricket could include to ability to ask for more time. Law 16.2 of the
Official Cricket Rules and Regulation states that the umpires may decide to play 30 minutes extra
time at the end of any day if requested my either captain. The reason for this rule is so that
there may be a definite outcome to the game. The maximum amount of extra time that can be awarded
is 30 minutes. Another “special rules” would be the Law 42.9 “Time wasting by the fielding side”.
This rules states that if the umpire has concluded that one team is “wasting time” then he shall
award 5 extra points to the other team. If there are multiple violations of this rule, the ICC may
take action against the team/players.

The major professional Cricket organization in Britain is the ICC (International Cricket Council.)
The ICC was formed in 1989 in Great Britain. Its goal was to form a league where cricket could be
played fairly. The ICC would continue to grow as the years passed. New countries joining the
council included Ireland in 1993, Scotland in 1994, Italy in 1995, and Greece, Thailand, Vanuatu,
Portugal and Nepal joined in 1996. In order to keep judgments fair, the ICC has allowed there to be
an ICC President from each country in the Council. Some include: Ehsan Mani, Percy Sonn, and Ray

Andrew Flintoff, a professional Cricket player for Britain discussed a variety of subjects in an
interview with the London times. “I'm not sure it will just yet! The public view is definitely
changing, but it's still a way before it's up there with football.” Said Andrew Flintoff,
in response to a question regarding the popularity of cricket and football. When asked if he played
any other sports he said “ I'm a natural competitor so I love football and rugby too. I'm
also learning how to play golf and getting better all the time!”

Grant Rowley, an amateur Cricket player gave an interview with BCC sport. “They wanted a seamer as
their Kolpak player, so they decided not to make me an offer. My ambition is to be a pro cricketer
in my home country, but obviously that hope diminishes with age.” Rowley said that in response to
not receiving a contract from a professional Cricket organization. When asked about his future he
said "I've got a good job and, unless something miraculous happens, I think I'll only
play amateur cricket from now on."

Cricket has been a popular subject when it comes to literature. Some popular authors that have used
cricket in their literature include A.A. Milne, J. M. Barrie, Jeffrey Archer and Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle. Samuel Beckett who even played First class Cricket won a Nobel Prize for a play that he
wrote on Cricket. Beckett’s most famous piece was “Waiting for Godot” which first appeared in Paris
in 1959.

The Sport of Cricket is extremely popular in the British Isles. Some newspapers consider it to be
the most popular sport in Britain. Cricket’s popularity has spread throughout the entire world.
With all the amateur organizations in Britain, the sports popularity will only increase. My
original thought was that the British enjoy dressing formally. I have concluded that not only do
they enjoy dressing formally, but they enjoy a calm, slow paced game.
















Dear Mr. President,

My name is Mark Mannion and I am here today to
talk to you about the cancellation of British Literature from the English 10
classes. As a sophomore I learnt so much about British Literature that I would
have never learnt before. This year I learnt about great authors like Geoffrey
Chaucer, Robert Browning, Mary Shelley, and many other amazing authors that I
would have never knew existed if I didn’t take British Literature. If you keep
the British Literature course for the sophomores they will come out of the 10th
grade class going into the junior class more prepared and more informed about
the English language itself and how it came into start from a literary
standpoint. With all do respect sir; I don’t think you should cancel British
Literature for the sophomores.

As you can see my
peers like Tim McLaughlin, Mike Murphy, Connor Lynch, Chris Masterson, and Sam
McGee have learnt a lot about British Literature. These 5 scholars have phenomenal portfolios
and you can tell that they knew and learnt a lot about British Literature.
British Literature is a must learn if you want to start and stuffy American
Literature which is what we read as juniors. Since British Literature is older
then American Literature then we need to know the basis of the English language
in literature before we read about the present of the English language. What
I’m about to show you is an excerpt from Timmy McLaughlin’s essay on sport.

“According to the World
Book Encyclopedia, the first bicycle ever conceived dates all the way back to sometime during the
1490’s when a student of Leonardo Da Vinci’s drew rough drafts of a bicycle and
gave them to Leonardo for one of his many notebooks. Also
according to the World Book Encyclopedia, the next
bicycle design was created by Karl Von Drais in 1817 and it was called the
Draisin. The Draisin was operated by using your feet
to push yourself along. The Draisin was wildly popular as a means of transportation and laid the
groundwork for all
advancements leading to our modern bicycle design.
According to the World Book Encyclopedia, the actual sport aspect of bicycles
did not begin
until 1868 and the first race was only a 2km path at Padre
de St. Cloud. Despite having a large impact on daily
life, bicycles did not appear in literature until 1883. The O.E.D credited a
book called “Cycling in London” as the first piece of literature to
use the word cycling when referring to riding a
bicycle. Cycling’s alternate definition, to revolve, made its first appearance
in literature in 1848 in “Two Voices.” Biking is a
popular sport in Britain
and receives a decent amount of space on most of the
large newspapers’ websites but, the only way to find articles about cycling was through the search
bar. Biking has had a large impact
on not only daily life but, also on literature
concerning travel or sports.”

As you have just read, you can clearly see how much
of British Literature had an influence on Timmy. Not only is he learning about British
history and literature but while he is doing that, he is learning very valuable
researching skills. While taking the British Literature course, you are
learning so much and adapting necessary skills that you need to have to be
successful in your life.

Braintree High they do not teach British Literature to their sophomores. They
teach English as a basic language. Braintree High from what I understand has
never taught British Literature at their school. I think they need to because
British Literature is important for your education and the development of
yourself in an educational way. Without British Literature there would be no
American Literature. British Literature was the basis of the modern day English
language and if we want our students today to learn about English as a language
then we should learn about British Literature. Two other high schools are in the Braintree area,
Arch Bishop Williams and Thayer Academy.
According to the English Department of the Archies website it says that no
grade level at the school is offering British Literature to the students. This
also goes same with Thayer
Academy. Thayer gets into
play writing and sentence structure more so then it does with literature as it
says on its website. Braintree
isn’t really a great example of why we should keep British Literature at our
school. But, it is a great example of how three great schools don’t offer
something amazing like British Literature and if we offer it at our school then
we can pass it off as something special. When you are trying to get more kids
to come the school then advertise how much of a great school we are that we
offer British Literature and not many other schools do.

had the chance to talk to one of the English teachers at Braintree High School.
Her name was Ms. Magillacutty and she said that they should get British
Literature at Braintree High because she feels sophomores in any high school
should learn about British Literature and the coming of the English language
that we speak so well today. “I believe that every high school student in the United States
should get a chance to learn British Literature in their own respective
classrooms because our children need to know what our Literature is based on
today. With no British Literature our pupils will miss out on the great authors
of British Literature who wrote beautiful writings for people to read as long
as the world is still here.” This was
said by Ms. Magillacutty who you can tell wants British Literature in our
school systems today. Ms. Magillacutty has been teaching English for about 15
years now and has had many experiences with British Literature, teaching it and
also a student of it, so she knows what she is talking about when she says that
it is a must for our high school students.

My relative who was born in Ireland wrote and got published four books of poems. His name is Decland
Mannion and he lives in Dublin, Ireland. I talked to him via-email and he went nuts when I told him
that our school was going to cancel British Literature. Decland told me that our students today need
to learn about British Literature and how the English language that we all speak today came into
existence. He wants British Literature to be taught to all children in high school because as a
British author he feels that our students need the basic fundamentals of our language.

As you can tell, I am fighting for the keeping of British Literature at our school and if you keep
British Literature at the school then the students here will be receiving a grade A education about
British Literature. Experienced teachers say that the teaching of British Literature to our students
is a must if we want to prepare them for college and every day life.