English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  The OED cooks the definition of cooking into many different phrases and words. Although the word had
been used in ancient times in different languages it always meant the same thing. Scholars and
historians believed it came into existence around the year c.1000 used in the sense "KOK".
Used by an old English writer known as Aelfric, then not used in writings for another thousand years
(c.1205) by a writer called Lay. Today we mainly keep the same use of the word, as in to prepare or
make edible. Even in the ancient times the word was used in a similar definition, to make something
using fire or mixture of substance from nothing. Even if this word has been used with the same
meaning for thousands of years, it shows how much one language can switch only minor details of the
word because looking at the word "KOK" then looking at the word "cook" you can
obviously point out the striking resemblance.

The Oxford English dictionary depicts the word cook into a long paragraph, but bolds a sentence
which is what many use for the definition for cook today "To create an edible substance by
mixing a sum of heat or even a certain sum of cold. and preforming an equal amount of potential to
equal out to an edible substance." I believe this definition is quite ridiculous, due to the
length and the choice of words, all you need to point out is the to make an inedible or a minor
edible substance (condensed with heat) into a larger proportioned edible substance. That is my full
length definition of what I believe the word cook to mean, or to define as. From the American
Dictionary there is a definition that isn't as long as the OED reports or mine it is simply,
"to created a edible substance using the talents of heat". I actually despise this quote
due to the lack of word us and not adding enough information, heat is not the only congruent
substance which can transform food.

The second definition for the OED gives the person who cooks, in other words a chef or culinary
artist. The definition goes as, one whose occupation is the preparation of food for a table. This
definition has to be the worst definition I've ever read for a chef in my life. What I would
call a chef is, one who has been educated in the art of culinary and is able to prepare a full
course; edible meal. Not to mention the amount of names you could give a cook: Chef, Culinary
Artist, Food Proprietor, etc.

The last definition the OED gives for the word cook is, "a tradesman who prepares and sells
cooked food, the keeper of an eating house or restaurant. Compared to the definition for in the last
paragraph this definition is like a parable from the Bible. This is one of the best definitions
I've ever heard for the use of the word cook/chef in my entire life. This definition
doesn't only blow mine out of the water, I think this is the best definition I've ever
heard in my life. This definition was found by the author of Barbour in the year, 1375 used for his
literacy description in his story translated (from Latin) "A Mid-Summer morning with Pie".
Although that name for a title is ridiculous I believe the definition is greater than any other
I've ever read.

The word cook/cooking will always be used, maybe in a different spelling but it will always be used
in the same meaning. Cooking is an essential need in life, it defines a way of life in eating and in
a way to live. Without cooking food that is inedible may not be able to be made edible, which will
eventually kill man. Certain fish, meat, vegetables, wheats, starches, pastas, etc. which some up
probably 95% of what humans need to live. To me cooking will be in my life everyday and even after
college if I fulfill my dream to be a Culinary Artist, and create my own restaurant.














Dear Mr. Scribe,

I would like to inform you that we've taken your writings out of our 2008 version of the
British Literature text book. Your writing is very inteligent, in it's uses and phrases but
lacks what we want in our new version of British Literature. Your writings contain three subjects we
dislike which are too much violence, , and choice for characters weren't good. The plot
isn't the greatest, especially how the entire town it is based in is basically a few houses and
a mead hall. The characters had the worst names I've ever read in a story, Beowulf, Grendel,
Hrothgar....the list goes on. I know a long time ago they had weird names but I doubt anyone named
their children Grendel or Beowulf.

Violence is great, but the amount of violence you keep in Beowulf is ridiculous. Ripping an arm off
using only your bare hands....it has its limits. Not to mention the gruesome scenes when Beowulf has
to fight Grendel's mother which was also teriffyingly outragous. "From the rafters where
Beowulf had hung it, was the monster's arm, claw, and shoulder and all."(48).
In this quote you can just see how the overuse of violence could bring down a story or even
unneedingly used gore.

The plot gets me angry in this story, I mean a town that probably only has limited amount of
permanant houses (that aren't mentioned alot) and a huge mead hall in the center. The mead hall
is basically the most terrible hold up against a monster like Grendel explained to be able to kill
thirty men with on swipe of his hand. It would have been better to have a castle, a mansion, or even
a dam for all I care but a mead hall full of drunks....good luck. "The best if all mead-halls,
deserted and useless."(45). It shows how this town relys on this mead-hall which is not the
best thing to outline a story with, a castle or mansion would have been more appropriate.

The characters names also basically killed this book for me, the names were ridiculous with a
capital "r". Beowulf if you were name your kid Beowulf that would be as bad as naming your
kid after a fruit....like apple. Anyways the names like Hrothgar would be so bad even in the older
days, Julius Caesar was a normal name, Jesus Christ was even a normal name, it's just because
every character that has names is ridiculous. Not only that but their characteracion is the worst,
Hrothgar is an alcoholic but he is also their King. Beowulf is their only hope and he fought Grendel
unarmed, sounds like a pyschopathic thane. "Beowulf lies awake, eager to meet with
Grendel."(46). Beowulf had been partying since his arrival and he hasn't slept either now
most likely under the influence he awaits to fight a monster that was told to kill thirty men with
one swipe of his hand. Beowulf to me is not a great role model and honestly not a good priest at

In Conclusion, I apologize again for having to take you out of the British Literature text book but
your writing is too violent, badly located, and poorly characterized. The British Literature has
better uses for writings than an overly violent scenes, especially for teaching to students. Overall
if you write anymore writings or stories and they are less violent with better role models or heros
we will think about including it in 2009 version of our British Literature text.

Editor John Houlihan













The sport baseball, as many know, is "America's favorite pass time" but this sport is
barely recognized professionaly in the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom baseball can be related
to Cricket of Rounders, which both have extreme similarities to the sport of baseball. In the United
Kingdom, Rounders has literally almost the same characteristics and rules as American baseball does.
The sport of Rounders originated in Ireland, and was created by the Gaelic Athletic Association
(GAA) and adopted about ten years after it's creation by the British Sports League. Maybe in
the near future the sport of Baseball, like Rounders, could become a professional sport in the
United Kingdom.

According the the Mirror, a local British magazine, A unique British sport, known as British
Baseball, is played in parts of Wales and England. Although confined mainly to the cities of
Cardiff, Newport and Liverpool, the sport boasts an annual international game between representative
teams from the two countries. Although the game known as British Ball is voluntary therefore not
known as a profession, but it is played as seriously as a professional sport. The international gam
between the team from two countries is one of the biggest attractions in Wales, where the British
Baseball stadium is located. Although the British Baseball stadium is about the same size as a Minor
League baseball team's field...not like the 300 or 400 foot fields in our American stadiums.
There are also famous players of the British Baseball League, but they don't have their own
cards or jerseys like America does.

An anonymous author of the Telegraph states, Aiden Carwin had the most consecutive hits of the
entire seasonal length including he is known for his nickname "Nitro Carwin" for his
speedy runs on the base lines.

The most important fact that stood out to me was in the British Baseball female players are allowed
but there only has been fifteen female players since the league started almost twenty years ago.
George Eaton of the Metro writes, Out of the small amount of fifteen female players that played in
British Baseball, Brittany Scarborough (other known as "Scar Face" for her tough exterior)
was the most commited player to the sport. She loved her fans and she was always noticed as the
first one on the field before the game to practice and the last one off the shake hands with the
other players.

Recent news on any baseball subject in the United Kingdom is mostly of American Baseball players,
although what I've noticed was there extreme like of the Red Sox player Dice-K. I searched for
the name of the Red Sox in all the newspapers and magazines listed and all I found were three
articles based off of Dice-K, one stated how many fans of him in the British Isles were nervous
about his return to Japan. When I saw this I was actually surprised than angery because, I knew he
was gonna play good on his first day back on the mound and even better that he was back home in

Chapman Yule of the Evening Standard wrote a comment to the editor stating, "My family, my
mates, and I are nervous about Dice-K's return to Japan because it's his first time back
to his home with a new team. Although my brother is lucky enough to go to Japan, to watch him pitch
and I have to listen to them play on the radio back home."

In conclusion, the sport of baseball is in it's prime in the United Kingdom at least they have
the name baseball, in British Baseball instead of Rounders. Obviously there isn't any current
form professional sport but they have a start with the voluntary baseball. Mainly I believe
baseball's roots in America really effected it's influence on the British Culture due to
the times it became a sport. Not to mention the expansion of the sport beyond Britian over to Japan
and some of China surprised me because Britian modernly being a big allie to America I would expect
them to notice our greatest sport...like we notice theirs' (soccer). The sport baseball could
have a great influence throughout the British Isles but if it's not professional, than it
won't get noticed but hopefully the future will bring them America's Greatest Pass Time.


















Hello Mr. President, I'm glad you have taken the time to listen to my opinions on your
announcement on British Literature. This year of English 10, British Literature at times has been
insightful although I struggle with many aspects given in what we as tenth graders are taught. To
start off the year we read Grendel over the summer, being a fan of Fictional Writing I had to say
this was not a great way to open my mind on British Literature. Although very discriptive and action
packed I didn't like several factors of its true meaning and origin. As the year progressed we
past through authors such as William Shakespeare who basically took British Literature by the horns.
If I had to sum up British Literature into on word it would be Shakespeare, his enlightenments upon
the Liturary World effected every writer that followed...which obviously got extremely annoying.
It's as if a shadow was cast as soon as he wrote many of his "masterpieces" which
mainly consist in a teenage love which turns to suicide, a murderous couple which leads to iminant
death, and many responses from his mistress revealing her true "affection" towards him.

After Shakespeare we moved more onto our own styles of writing, first an essay on a word that we
picked, then a second essay on rejecting poets from our text book (that we dont even know), then as
a third essay we had to choose a sport and connect it to The British...unfortrunately I had the
sport of Baseball which was created in America, played mainly in America, and played proffesionally
in America, and broadcast on television only in America and another country Japan. The essay writing
for British Literature was a down fall, and after these grueling essays were finally finished we
moved onto more poets. Although, this one thing in British Literature, which at the same time makes
me happy and annoys me more than anything I've ever read, I found Irish poets within the brim
pages of our text book. The reason I was happy because I finally felt secreted from the shadows of
William Shakespeare when I read a poem by either William Butler Yeats, Auden, or Orwell. This
aggerated me because they had no source connecting them back to their home country of Ireland and
one of Yeats' most famous and award winning poems was banned from the book because it's
title and political reasons this was Easter 1916. The only satisfaction I received from these poets
were the reminding of the green and lushful fields of the Eire, with the InnisFree and with the
Rebellion. Mainly this topic of cowardly acts of not excepting Yeat's masterpiece of a poem,
which is way better than the garbage that Shakespeare blows out his...ear, this has shoved my
opinion of British Literature way over the line. Mr. President as black and white as the words
written upon this letter are visible, I chose to abolish this "teaching" of British
Literature and I agree with your statement.

As you can see from sentences of former essays my fellow students have written, the lack of
education through this class have foreboded their learning experience.
A segment from a bright, young man's essay forbids the correct use of words throughout our
learning experience as students:
"hockey is a very intense game that involves lots of skill."
This sentence is the most plain and informal sentence have ever read from a student's essay.
Due to the lack of descriptive and vast vocabulary throughout the confusing rhythmic of William
Shakespeare or any other British author this student has completely failed in one thing Novel
Writing requires and that is description. A perfect sentence that could be substituted for this
"British Literature" based, boring, sentence could be:
"The cold ice and hard hits from the intense game of hockey, makes the players of the contact
sport require skill that is highly accurate and extremely daring."
Schools that I've contacted had teachers agree with my opinion in every single phone call or
email sent. The schools contacted were Malden Catholic High School, Archbishop Williams High School,
and South Boston High Schhol. Each has a british literature but two of the three list it as an
elective and the one that has it as a required class teaches it to their Seniors only. Malden
Catholic was the school that required the class for Seniors, the teacher Mr. White answered two of
my questions about the class. My first question was if he thought British Literature was the most
important for a Seniors education he responded:

"British Literature is an important class requirement for Seniors becuase they will be walking
into college with the most important literature of college in their minds."
I asked him should this be taught to underclassmen such as Freshmen and Sophomores:
"Quite frankly, I don't believe this type of literature should even be taught to Juniors.
Only because college is based off of essays and major assignments due in short periods of time.
Learning British Literature as a Freshmen would require all four years of it teaching because the
assests for the class would be needed more in college than in high school."

Archbishop William's British Literature teacher taught it as an elective, but she also taught
French, Latin, and German Literature throughout the school. So I asked specific questions about
these other literature classes compared to Bristish literature, to Mrs. Jackson. My question was
about the amount of children that chose British literature over the other three classes:
"Each year, a sophomore must pick one of these four electives than when he or she becomes a
Junior he must pick another of this category. That is if he or she chooses world literature as an
elective. But the main literature picked is French, due to that being the second most popular
language taught in the school. British Literature is the second least popular in front of German
literature which I only teach four students in."

South Boston High's British Literature teacher taught the class also as an elective, but this
was the only elective for Further Literature Study (an elective program). I asked Mr. Matthews a
question based off his learning and his knowledge of the subject being past on to the students in
his class. My question was, does the students you're teaching now enjoy the subject as much as
you did when studying it?

"In some of the various students in my class, I see a future publisher or author of poems that
will change the world. And in them students I do see the same enjoyment I saw in myself when
studying the subject in college. Although in other students they seem to not take kind of the
subject as much as the others do, that is about five percent of the class."
My second question was, since you learned the subject in college do you think this is too early for
these underclassmen to learn?

"That definetly has taken notice in my mind, and I would say yes. Although that is only
because this elective class is only for the students for the excelled grades in regular English
class. The students who think they might like it that have less than average grades are the first to
switch electives."

Mr. Matthews was actually a British author as well who accomplished a book of poetry entitled: A
Poet's Destiny which is full of British Literature poems all based around the rythem of Iambic
Pentamanter (another person trapped in the shadow of Shakespeare). I asked him another question when
he mentioned the news of being an author of British Literature to me. I asked, throughout the poems
you write is there any segregation from British Literatre...like have you ever purposely avoided the
pretext of british literature?

"(haha) Now that you mentioned it there is one poem that I made up off the top of my head with
no ryhme sceme or any formation of literature wording. It was entitled: THE AUTUMN'S LEAF and
it was basically about a leaf that stood out from the rest on a hot, autumn day at school in
Harvard, when I was a freshmen in college. It is the first poem in my book, because I was trying to
state the metaphor of literature being that anything can have a story. I hope you pick up my book
someday...thank you for the questions.

This interview with Mr. Matthews proves to me and I hope to you Mr. President, that not all British
Literature is important in a young students writing. It mearly shows the main concentration on
poetry of all different kinds of cultures and ethnics. His comment on the class as an elective also
inspired the idea of learning the subject in college as he did, not learning British Literature in
high school but in college.

In conclusion, the teaching of british literature in my mind should be abolished mainly
because it's reference to the same subject of writing. With the shadow of Shakespeare lurking
over even American authors now it seems the dreadful thought of keeping it in high schools will only
keep the plain, boring, and extremely similar poems, novels, stories, or sonnets. Abolishing british
literature would be a great idea only because the separation from what has been taught for the past
centuries, learning about French or even German as they did at Archbishop Williams would be a great
new start to the liturary world. Thank you for your time.