English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2007-2008

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  Many people slove problems everyday, but most people connot solve this problem: How old is the word
"solve"? The common perception of "solve" is that it usually means "to find
the answer." But, in centuries past "solve" is used to mean things like "to
untie, loosen" and even other meanings. However, mathematically, the word "solve" is
567 years old. According to the Oxford English Diictionary, which includes the first year that each
word was printed in history, the word "solve" was first printed in 1440. This simple word
"solve" has about 570 years of history. From this word's history, we can learn a lot
about English and how it has changed or how it has become a modern language.

A few dictionaries have some information about "solve." In ordinary dictionary did not
givwe more than definition of the word. Most dictionaries give me a similar definition of the word
"solve" which is "to find the answer." This definition is very common and
familiar to us. 100% of dictionaries have this definition of the word "solve" However,
around 30% of dictionaries which are probably big in size have some other definition such as
"to pay, clear or resolve." The word "solve" has some several meaning that we
might konw or not.

However, the Oxford English Dictionary has various meaning of "to solve." Among those
definition, some of those might not be used in modern times. When the word "solve" was
used in print about 570 years ago, its meaning was "to loosen ot to unbind, unite."
Approximately 100 years later, "solve"was used in common definitions which are "to
explain, answer." Also there is few more meaning of "solve", for example, "to
clear off, to pay or discharge, to dissolve, to melt." The word "solve" changed its
meanongs a lot of tiomes in last 500 years.

Many authors have used "solve" over the years. For instance, John Milton who is famous
british author has used "solve" in his book. In 1667, Paradise Lost by John Milton, Book
8, he writes, "Hee ... would .. solve high dispute With conjugal Caresses." At this point,
he used "solve" meaning as "to dissolve, put an end to, settle." Also, it was
first year that this meaning of solve used in print. In 1671, Paradise Regained, by same author,
Book 4, at page 573, "That Theban Monster that propos'd Her riddle, and him, who
solv'd it not, devour'd." In here, "solv'd" means "to explain,
clear up, answer." For other example, Ralph Emerson who is famous poet also used
"solve" in his poem. In 1847, Threnody by Ralph Emerson, "My servent Dearth, with
solving rite, Pours finite into infinite." At this, meaning of "solving" was "to
dissolve; to melt." According to these famous authors, "solve" is used in specific
ways which are poetic and creative ways over the years.

Although famous authors used the word "solve" through 1847, nowadays it is still used in
global range of meaning. In last few years, author have used the word in several new ways. In a
recent, Boston Globe article, from October 25th, John Laidler wrote, "... the leadership of the
town needs to solve its budget problems ..., " with "solve" meaning "to find the
answer." Also, in Republican Debate on Fox News, Mitt Romney used "solve" in his
speech, "We solve the problem of health care ..., " as meaning "to figure out the
way." In addition, at New York Times article, by Sednern Arsu and Graham Bowley, one finds
"solve" in part of this article, "to present its ideas about how to solve the
crisis." In this place, "solve" means "to put an end to." Nevertheless,
"solve" is used in similar ways, it was used in very serious ways to descibe major
problems in modern times.

Can we solve the question of how long the word "solve" will be around? We can make a
guess. "Solve" has various meaning compared to other words that have similar meaninf with
"solve." So, a good guess is "solve" will be around more than those words. If a
word as simple as "solve"can have such a rich history and we cannot know about its future,
how much more can we leave about an entire language? In mobern times, English is a world wide
language. So many people are trying to learn English. Therefore, English might be used for least 500
years. However, things in current world are changing so fast that we are not able to accurately
predict it. Thus, we actually cannot know how long English will be around in this world as a
dominant language.
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Dear William Shakespeare

My name is Jin Houng Kim and I am the editor of Prentice Hall Literature: The British Tradition. I
am really glad to write a letter to one of the best writer in history. However, at the same time, I
feel sorry to write this letter to you. It was not easy decision which is we determined to cut your
play, Macbeth, from our next edition of book. Because of following three qualities; one is the play,
Macbeth, itself is so tragic that its cover entire play with concept of dark setting. Another reason
is about violence which can easily find in the entire play. And the last is one particular
character, Macbeth, has so much conflict that it makes his part so complicated.

First of all, Macbeth, the Scottish play, which is one of the best plays, has the setting which is
too dark and makes people's feeling displeased. It seems that you did not consider much about
the audience. Because, it can be quite gloomy and disagreeable for student. In Macbeth, dark setting
is all over the place, in particular line such as "When shall we three meet again? In thunder,
lightning, or in rain?"(301) Although it is the opening of the play, it makes the ambience
really melancholy and depressed. Usually, thunder, lightning, or rain predicts that some negative
things are going to happen in the future. In here, there is no difference, bad things will occur
later on such as murder or deception. For another example, the first scene of Macbeth, one dominate
character of this play, he says this, "So foul and fair a day I have not seen."(305)
Before he appears on the play, he won the battle between his country and a betrayer. In general, if
one defeats other in the war or battle, it should be a good sign. However, at this play, you make
foul day when he led his army to victory. Thus, these factors become the dark setting of entire play
so that I want to refuse your play at next edition.

Moreover, this play is the bloodiest play I have ever seen. What I wan to talk about is there are
too many violence in Macbeth. Again, our textbook is aiming for high school English class, so we
have to put on something is helpful to student. We cannot publish one play that really did not care
about standard of danger. When I looked up your play, it is completely different with our purpose.
For instance, it was not done on the stage but we can know that happens by this line, "Is this
dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee."(322)
Macbeth is going to murder Duncan while he is sleeping with his dagger which is leading him to
Duncan’s bed. It could be pretty brutal for students. Example number two, at the very last of this
play, finally Macduff kills Macbeth that is obviously fine because, by this time, Macbeth is not a
good noble man anymore. He is the greediest man in the play. However, the way you described this
scene was not pleased to me. It is showed up at this line, "Hail, King! For so thou art:
behold, where stands Th' usurper's cursed head. The time is free."(387) He slashes
Macbeth's head and he brings it on the stage. It might be harsh to young audience. For other
examlpe, "My hands are of your color, but I shame To wear a heart so white."(326) Lady
Macbeth is saying that her hand is covered with blood. I can imagine the hand with red dusty blood.
Also, she talks and thinks that her feeling was not even close to guilty about doing this job.
However, after this scene, she will be always making the gesture which is rubbing her hand.
Therefore, in my point of view, this play is absolutely unacceptable to print at the textbook.

One last thing about Macbeth, who is the main character, is He has too many conflicts are going
around him at the same time. This complex progress makes reader or audience confused and it will
bother them if they do not know what is going on the stage or in the story. Here is some good
example to see how this play is complicated. "Art thou afead to be the same in thine own act
and valor as thou art in desire?"(316) At first, he and his wife had one conflict, Lady Macbeth
is trying to make Macbeth tough and wild so that he will be able to kill the King. Meantime, Macbeth
has own discord which is about killing the King. "Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou
couldst!"(326) This line means that after Macbeth kill the King, he hopes that Duncan can wake
up with that knocking sound which is impossible from now. Moreover, after few scenes, suddenly he
feels that Banquo will threaten him. So he decided to kill Banquo, I see that in here, "Our
fear in Banquo stick deep .... There is none but he whose being I do fear."(338) At this point,
he actually used the word "fear" so that shows to us Macbeth have troubled with Banquo.
For the last, Macbeth meet Macduff and they are fighting to relieve their conflict. Macbeth said,
"Lay on Macduff; and damned be him that first cries "Hold, enough!""(387) In
here, eventually they are going to solve their problem by trying to kill each other. You can easily
see that Macbeth has a feud with many other characters at the similar time. Among these many
conflicts, I cannot figure out what is the most important conflict. It is troubled between Lady
Macbeth and Macbeth? Or discord between Macduff and Macbeth? What is the main theme of this play? it
is unclear. I am sure that it will be ambiguous to some people who try to find what they have to
focus on.

As a result, I apologized again for cutting your play, Macbeth, from our next edition. However, it
is already decided so I cannot turn over this conclusion. Perhaps, you may submit other plays that
you wrote. For instance, some other happy stories like The Merchant of Venice or A Midsummer
Night's Dream. These are more considerable to put into the textbook. I guess it is time to say
good-bye and take care yourself.

From editor of The Prentice Hall
Jin Houng Kim

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In modern days, one of the most worldwide sports is tennis. There are many different kinds of tennis
Opens in various countries. According to Oxford English Dictionary, the word "tennis" was
first used in 1400 in the book. The website deals about tennis, www.lta.org.uk, lta stands for Lawn
Tennis Association, said that around 12th century, the game called "Paume" was played by
players hitting a small ball over the net. During 1874 in Britain, Major Walter Wingfield acquired
the patent rights of the equipments and rules for the game, which bore close resemblance to modern
tennis. Nowadays, tennis is very popular sports in the world, especially in Great Britain. For
example, on the London's newspapers, tennis has a separate section under the sport category.
These article related to tennis are frequently updated, reflecting the importance of the sport in
Britain. Since its inception, tennis has deeply infiltrated British people's lives and helped
them build strong bonds with each other by providing a environment that is conducive to their active
social interactions.

At the beginning, tennis has a long history over the centuries. According to www.wimbledorg.uk,
tennis has a particular history in Britain because it had the place where the British first started
to play tennis called Wimbledon. In Wimbledon, they hold one of most famous tennis Open, in the
world called the British Open, Wimbledon. In1875 Marylebone, which is an area if central London,
England in the City of Westminster, Cricket Club made significant changes to the game. They added
Deuce, Advantage, and two chances per serve which are still used for basic tennis rules. The very
first World Tennis Championship was held in 1877 at Worple Road in Wimbledon. Although British have
some special history about tennis, there is only one special rule in the British Open. It is a
tradition for only British Open that is all player who are playing in Wimbledon have to wear a white
shirts and pants. As you can see above, tennis has some uncommon history over the years or
particular rule because I assume that Britain is one of the starting point of sport, tennis.
Therefore, it seems to be significant to the British people and to change their culture.

Andy Murray, a member of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) which is the most famous and
well formed association, was born at Scotland in 1987. In www.atptennis.com, it said he started to
play tennis at age three. He won several junior titles when he was young. Finally, he was turned
into professional player in 2005. However, since 2003 was playing tennis among the pro-tennis player
at pro-tournament. At the same year that he turns into pro-tennis player, he made the biggest jump
of any player in the Top 100 from previous year, claiming 449 ranking spots. So, now he is number
one tennis player in United Kingdom. Moreover, recently he defeated the world number one tennis
player, Roger Federer, in the 1st round of the Dubai Open. After the match with Federer, he said,
"I've been really mentally weak for such a long time and nor held up in pressure
situation, and I think I showed tonight that was not going to be an issue. I stayed calm the whole
way through the match." Thus, in the United Kingdom, there is some good professional tennis
player.

Although the professional organization of tennis is quite decent, there is no such an amateur tennis
organization in official. If one plays tennis and proclaim that he or she would be a pro-tennis
player, at that moment one begins to play tennis as a pro-tennis player in professional tournament.
However, if you are playing tennis but did not process that progress, you would be an amateur tennis
player; not only the adult player but also students are amateur player. According to www.lta.org.uk,
there is a league for the amateur player who is under 18 years-old that is called
"junior." The entire junior tennis player is perfect example for the amateur player, for
instance, Beth Askew in champion of British junior nationals 20007. In Liverpool Echo, there is an
article which demonstrates how she became the champion of this tournament. She applied for 12 and
under age and a week after Amy who is her big sister took the 14 and under title, Askew who
qualified for the championships, raised the 12 and under girl's trophy at the West Hants Club,
Bournemouth. She beats Anisha Rahman 6-2, 6-1 in a final match. Both Askew and her sister train at
the Bolton Arena and Askew has her eyes on her sister's trophy next year. After she won the
match, she said, "It was a really good experience and I played really well. I was a little
nervous at first but I soon got into my game. I'm going to come back next year and win the
14s!" Therefore, in Britain, there are not only pro-tennis player but also amateur player are
constantly playing tennis in their own.

Moreover, some recent articles teach us about tennis in sport section of the British newspaper.
Although now there is no such tennis tournament going on in Britain, Andy Murray, who is British, is
doing a great job in the ATP Masters series, Indian Wells. In London Times, the British article has
title "Andy Murray edges past Karlovic in Indian Wells" that discuss about his
circumstance and it is about Murray got into the quarter-final of the Pacific Life Ocean by
defeating to a 7-6 6-7 6-3 over world number 20 Ivo Karlovic. However, Murray admitted he had
allowed himself to lose his temper against Karlovic. During the interview, "I was disappointed
with my attitude during the match, I was getting really angry and I have not done that this
year," he said. Also said "I was just happy with the way I came through in the end because
I was not focusing as well as I should have been." Thus, tennis news is issued in British
newspaper which means this kind of event is interested to British people.

Tennis is often appears in literature such as poem or movie. Wimbledon is one movie that is written
by British author, Jennifer Flackett or Mark Levin, and mainly deals with tennis in the movie. It
starts with the one old professional tennis player was appointed to wildcard for the British Open.
His name is Peter Colt and his rank is 119th. However, he met the woman American tennis star, Lizzie
Bardbury, while he was practicing for the match. As we expect their relationship, they get closer
and closer during the tournament. At this point, what they show is getting more and more close throw
the tennis, just like ordinary people do while they were playing tennis. Moreover, before British
Open gets start, Peter went to his family. In here, his father said to him, “Tennis is the gentleman
game.” It means when one plays tennis, he or she has to be polite and nice to the other player even
you have to defeat that person. While people were playing tennis, if they show respect to each
other, they should get familiar with each other. As a result, not only in the real life but also in
the imaginary such as literature, in this case movie, many British people treat tennis as an
important sport. Because one movie that is primarily focused on one sport is roughly none. However,
this movie took place in Britain, was written by British author, and was directed by British
director. It shows tennis is significant to the Britain

How will this sport, tennis, be change in the future? Based on what I found about tennis, it seems
to live as a popular sport for a long time. Nevertheless, if one thing that is so constantly
unchangeable that could easily make people boring, therefore it might become the least interest
thing to those who did like that thing. Because people want to see some change so that they do not
fell the same thing that they watch before. If tennis has not been changed for a long while, it
might be not as popular as now. The change might be very small thing such as string of tennis racket
or it could be an epochal discovery that might give a huge different with before. The pint is tennis
need that change to keep the popularity of modern time. As a result, the future of tennis,
comprehensively all things, is unpredictable to figure out just for looking at the past and present.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Nowadays, British Literature is mainly taught in English 10 which is taken by sophomores. At,
Catholic Memorial, we have definite English courses from ninth grade to twelfth grade. Freshman
year, we learn about World Literature and the course offers initial exposure to the areas essential
to producing a well-read graduate. In English 10, the class deals with British Literature by
covering all genres such as short stories, poems, novels and plays. When we move on to the junior
course, students focus on the thematic study of the American Literature. Lastly, the seniors are
required to analyze major works in American and British Literature. What I underwent at the
beginning of this course through this moment, my experience in English 10 was great because it
helped me in not only improving my English skills but also providing a large amount of information
about British Literature and how it changed over the centuries. As a result, we should keep our
tradition of this English course.

Many sophomores, who take English 10 class, have learned a lot in British Literature. Although it is
right to say that most of this class is reading and interpreting others work, we also write research
of our own. Writing these English papers has certainly helped us to learn about British Literature
in diverse ways. For instance, Andrew Jagelski wrote a research paper about the history of the word
“word,” and how its meaning has changed over the centuries. In his essay, he wrote, “it was spelt as
word, but that does not mean it stayed as being spelt word, and it meant to give an order.” I would
never know that the original meaning of “word” was “to give an order.” He also wrote, “Another
interesting definition I found for ‘word’ was that it can be of one mind.” I am sure that many
people who speak English do not know this definition of “word.” By researching about a word we
already know, he found some new or uncommon things about the word. Moreover, Jonathan Lott, who
penned a letter with regret to William Shakespeare, wrote, “… it really is not necessary to the
image that Prentice Hall wants to project about the Middle Ages in Britain. Furthermore, the images
you portray in Macbeth are false and deceptive. Macbeth is a violent, savage, and bloody play, too
violent for even 10th graders.” In order to write this letter, Lott read the play and found the
appropriate reason to reject the work from the textbook. He had to analyze that reason to make it
his word. While he was doing all this work, he was reading the play, finding out the themes or
settings that are not proper for the textbook, analyzing the reasons, and criticizing the greatest
writer in the history of the world! After finishing, he should and will be better at understanding
the literature. Lastly, Brian Keeley wrote a paper about the sport “sail” in Britain. In his
research paper, he wrote, “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.” Because he researched about sport to write
this essay, he learned the most important sea battle of British history. Even though writing these
research papers looks just as boring as doing daily homework, they definitely elevate our English
skills and help us to learn about British Literature.

British Literature has been treated as a main subject for English classes in many other high
schools. Around my local area, there are three other high schools that teach British Literature
among their four year course of English program. First of all, Lexington High school, which is a
public high school in Lexington, is teaching British Literature to seniors. The school wrote in one
of its introductions on their website, “Although British Literature is not a thorough survey course,
students read and discuss works in all genres by major British authors including Chaucer,
Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Dickens and various modern writers.” Moreover, one of the closest schools
to my home, Lexington Christian Academy (LCA) gives lessons in British Literature. It is said on
their website, “The class will explore the development of the rich, multi-layered English language
and its literature through a historical survey of British culture and literary works” and “By
studying the writing and ideas of British writers and thinkers, students will also stretch and
develop their own literary, intellectual, and expressive powers.” This instruction is fairly
attractive to those of who want to study or have interest in British Literature. Finally, Chapel
Hill-Chauncy Hall School, which is located in Waltham, teaches the subject that deals with British
Literature. It said in the introduction of English course on its website, “English 12 is an
exploration of culture using the lens of British Literature. Each trimester the course focuses on
one aspect of culture as student strive to understand the complexities of the culture of the past as
well as the culture we inhabit today.” As I listed above, there are lots of schools that teach
British Literature in their English class. As a competing school against them, if we decided to
disuse the subject, British Literature, students who want to take British Literature course will not
apply to our school and it might be our school’s weak point.

In addition, I interviewed some British Literature teacher in other high school. I put a question to
Lori Johnson, who is a British Literature teacher in Lexington Christian Academy, what would you say
about this topic and why. Johnson replied to me, “British Literature is really the basis for
American Literature in many ways. If you are in an American high school, the study of both American
and British Literature is important to understanding the history and philosophies of the different
time periods in both US and England. Also, some of the most important writers in all of history come
from England-William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, and others who were foundational in developing
the English language that is used by more people in the world than any other language(not native
speakers, but including both native speakers and English as a second language speakers).” Also she
said, “Although I think British Literature is important for study in American schools, it is also
important that schools recognize the literature from around the world that has also had great
influence on the English language and on literature.” According to what I got from interviewing
British Literature teacher, she seems to agree with preserving British Literature in English agenda
of our school.

To strongly assert my opinion, I have a more convincing reason why we should maintain British
Literature in our English class. I sent some e-mail to few other British writers about the present
situation of our school and asking for their thought or any comment about it. Among those authors,
Aidan Chambers, who is an award-winning British writer of novels for children and young adults,
relied to my question. He said in the e-mail, “The main reason for studying British Literature, it
seems to me, is that the English language on which American as well as other forms of English are
based – where they were born, in fact – is British Literature – poetry, story, novels, plays. In
order to appreciate, say, American literature fully, you need some knowledge of English Literature.
Not to do this is like saying you can cut the heart out of a body and think that the body will still
be OK and live – and live better. English literature is the beating heart of all English-language
literature, wherever English is spoken and written.” Thankfully, another British writer responded to
my inquiry, she is Gillian Cross. First thing she said was the topic I asked about her was
interesting to her because is not usually discussed in England. And she gave me her opinion, “I
think it’s very valuable to students to study literature in general, because it’s one of the ways in
which people explore the deep and important things of life, both solemnly and playfully. And it
transcends national barriers.” Moreover, she said, “Because British and American people share a
language, our literatures are very closely linked. British and American writers have been inspired
and nurtured by the great writers of the past and we can all benefit from reading what those writers
have written. It’s also true that literature does not survive for a long time unless there’s
something about it which people find enjoyable and worthwhile. Older literature often gives us a
different view of the world, which can broaden and deepen our understanding.”

Whether American people like or not, their language, English, is basically came from Great Britain.
Just as the language, the origin of their literature is also British Literature. By studying this
literature, American people can learn their origin literature and I think working on one’s studies
of beginning is quite significant to them. Moreover, in the long history of British Literature,
there are many great writers such as William Shakespeare, John Milton, Geoffrey Chaucer, Alfred Lord
Tennyson and so forth. Some people might not admit that they are not as great as writer of their own
country, those people did certainly affect many things to even modern times. Finally, because a lot
of people from many different countries are working together in modern days, the world is pursuing
the person who has various experience or knowledge. In this situation, we should follow the current
of the times not go against with it. If we discontinue studying British Literature just because it
is not American Literature, it will obviously have an adverse effect to us. Thus, British Literature
should definitely maintain in our English program as a subject. According to these factors, I want
to urge to Mr. President that the abolishment of British Literature would be not only decreases the
number of student who may enroll to our school but also prevents from learning diverse knowledge.
Hamlet as a play, considerably one of the best plays in entire history of English Literature, but as
a character he was worried about whether he would be alive or died, he said, “To be or not to be
that is the question.” In here, to teach or not to teach I think you know my answer.

   
   
   
   
   
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