English 10: Writing Portfolio

Essay the first: Origins  
Essay the second: Literature  
  When men get attached to something they tend to spend a lot of time on it. When spending so much time with it you make friends around the area. This perticlular situation is at Dorchester Yacht Club, with my father and his friend.

It all began on Sunday afternoon when they were each cleaning up their boats and having a couple of drinks. All of a sudden my father heard a splash, he looked over and saw that Joe had fallen off the dock into the water. The way the docks are made it is very difficult to climb out of the water without assistance from someone on the dock. Since there was no one else on the dock at the time, Joe was looking to my father for help. Before heading over to assist Joe, my father went into our boat and grabbed a camera and took a couple of pictures of Joe in the water, then him up onto the dock. After that both guys had a couple of laughs and then just went about their business. A couple of days later my father turned on his cell phone and had fifteen messages. Now you have to understand, my father never has even close to that many messages on his phone. As he started listening to his messages he was getting very confused. Each message mentioned our boat and asked if there was anything that he wanted to tell them or if he was trying to tell them something. Later that afternoon my father went down to Dorchester Yacht Club and found a very large "Gay pride flag" flying from the top of our boat. It didn't take long for him to find out from other members of the club that Joe and his wife had taken a ride to Provincetown on their boat. Well my father decided that this meant war. After a little thought he came up with what he thought was the perfect pay back. The next morning my father called the Want Ad newspaper and put in an ad for Joe's boat. In the ad he described the boat, which is very nice, and listed all the electronics that he had on board. He then said, "Marital Problems - must sell ASAP" and put in a very low price and gave Joe's work cell phone as the contact number so he had to answer it. Well, needless to say, because it was a really nice boat and a very low price Joe started getting calls as soon as the Want Ads hit the news stands. The calls kept coming and Joe was very confused and very aggravated. He finally purchased a copy of the Want Ads and saw the ad for himself. I guess it was around that time that he figured out who did it.

I have learned from this story that my family is obsessed with winning and can be creative with their comebacks. The thing that is funny about this story is that two friends played some practical jokes on each other. This teaches me where I got my scence of humor from.





















Dear James Joyce, I am the editor of the Pretence Hall Literature the English Tradition textbook. We are making some changes for the 2005 edition and I am very sorry inform you that you will not be featured in it. It was a tough decision but your writing seems a little to complex for our readers. A good textbook has stories that fit to the readers level and interests them. Your stories are to confusing to our young readers. Teachers have too much of a hard time teaching it because most student don’t understand it and are easily confused. Sorry for taking you out but you just do not fit into our idea of the perfect textbook. Mr. Joyce we are not criticizing your ability to write a story but it simply does not fit our level of readers. More knowledgeable literary people would probably appreciate it more than some high school student. For example you said “the shrill litanies of shop-boys who stood on guard by the barrels of pigs' cheeks.” The words are not words that a high school student would know or even understand and what are pig cheeks. With their reading level and choice of reading material you just do not fit into what we are trying to do. The style of writing does not appeal to our readers and we cannot keep you. The teachers are also having a hard time teaching your story. The students were easily bored and not paying attention to the reading. We are not the only ones who think this way. Jameson Conrad said that you work had, “No plots. No moral views. Plenty of complexity and contradiction”(41). This kind of work even he agrees is too hard to follow, and teachers agree with him. You cannot teach something people aren’t interested in. Again, we are sorry. You definitely would fit into another company’s book that has higher reading level then high school students. We would love to keep you just do not fit into the curriculum of the textbook. Sincerely, Sean Donegan

























British literature is filled with superstition, the supernatural and authors ideas on life’s secrets. All the famous authors have dealt with one of these at one time or another, most frequently. William Shakespeare wrote many plays that deal with the supernatural, including The Scottish Play. Jeffery Chaucer, a great poet wrote about superstition many times. William Butler Yeats wrote a great poem “The Ghost of Rodger Casement” it is less known but it shows how the British use the supernatural in their work. We may not notice it but superstition plays a big part in our literature. “The Ghost of Rodger Casement” is a poem that tries to get us to believe that we can have contact with the dead. It is about a dead man Rodger who helps a man John Bull who is a politician on his religious journey. He is looking for his dead family members. Rodger in the poem guides him to the tomb in India, but he never actually touches him or lets him know he is there. William Butler Yeats is trying to let us know how the dead are there with all the time without us knowing. He shows us this with lines like “The ghost of Rodger Casement is knocking at the door I poked about a village door and found his family tomb.” This line is proof that William Butler Yeats tries to get us to believe in the supernatural. This poem was written in 1938, during the time of the beginning of World War II. This poem shows us that at this time they were trying to change the world and find out knew ideas. John Bull the main character travels to 4 different countries in this poem to find his family’s grave. But he is also a politician so he could have been traveling to find out knew ideas for England to use in the war, to modernize their country or to spy on others. He talks about the “bitter men” in the other countries showing they did not like each other. This word use shows us how these countries thought of each other during the time around 1938. This poem has not been taken seriously or well read because of its crazy ideas. It tells us that people who die can have an influence on out lives. People rarely take story of the after life seriously because no one could know them. He also talks about how John talks to the sea and it is his friend, when you say something like this no one will take you seriously. This should be read more because it gives us some things to think about, such as our after life or why things happen the way they do. It also gives some good morals like to never give up and to look at history to make decisions. This poem is a great one and should be read more and taken more serious even though it doesn’t involve scientifically proven ideas. In conclusion, superstition plays a big part in British literature. It is shown all over the place, but rarely taken seriously. It should be read more and taken more serious because it shows us a lot about the unknown. Allen Grebe also agrees with me saying, “English authors use the supernatural.” We talk about it and use it everyday maybe we should listen to others and ourselves more carefully because we never no what we can learn.





































Language is our way of communicating to the world. Some animals us pitch sounds to communicate like dolphins. Our words come from all the ends of the word from all languages. It is our way of communication and is constantly growing especially with the Internet and email. Looking at English through one word like “wicked” shows us how indecisive English is. This word brings down the world single handedly. It makes the most difficult language even worse. Just to think how much “wicked” ruins our world we only begin to see how many others can reduce or bring down our intelligence.

The word “wicked” comes from the Greek word “wicke” meaning sorcerer or witch. It is seven hundred and fifty years old. It has had many different definitions or meaning over these years. Today it had a couple different definitions. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “highly offensive or obnoxious”. While the Princeton University Dictionary defines it as “morally bad in principle or practice.” These two are somewhat the same, but Webster’s Dictionary defines wicked as “strikingly good, effective, or skillful.” Now how does two dictionaries define it as bad and another meaning great. This is the same word with two total opposite meanings. This is another example of how English is such an atrocious unacceptable language.

“Wicked” in its history through 2005 has had many odd definitions compared to its meanings today. Even though it kept its original meaning of “bad” since 1275, the Oxford English Dictionary has also defined it as of a “wound or disease” in the 1400’s. Wicked also came to mean “dangerous or difficult” in the 1350’s. Maybe the most off-track definition was in the early 1500’s when it meant being “furnished with or having wicks.” With that one acceptation they all had to do with bad things. It was not until the 1920’s when it started to mean good. This was when a lot of Irish were coming to America, and in Ireland “wicked” slang for “cool” or “awesome.” All of these show us again how indecisive we can be with our words and how we turn them around.

One of the most important ways we use “wicked” is in our literature, because we all know it is the most important thing. Many famous authors used it in their works. William Shakespeare has a famous line with wicked with is also Mr. Mcgonagle’s definition from “The Scottish Play” he says, “something wicked comes this way.” He uses “wicked” in its most popular form meaning evil. He was the most famous and arguably best writer in all of history, but this was not a smart word to use. If we did not read this line in context it could be interpreted as something excellent comes this way. Colin Ramsey also uses it in his poem “Come Inside.” He says “his wicked son can slay twelve men at once.” This shows us that in the old days they were smarter then us because they at least use the same definition unlike our unintelligent selves.

We can also the how ailing English is through how we use “wicked” in our speech. In my research asking ten people their meaning I got many different answers. Some were very simple like Lidia Konomi’s definition “bad”, but also some confusing long ones like Martina Buginski’s “like a lot I guess…cause like when people say that’s wicked meaning like really mean.” They both agreed on it means bad or mean. Alysse Sylvester said “it is interchangeable with really or very” with gives us another form with is the adjective to explain something else. Joanna Crehan said it reminds her of “like a skater kid saying “sweet dude that’s wicked!” or really cool, Kelsey Walsh agrees saying “It’s a Boston term used when saying something is good.” So far I have had all types of definitions showing how one word can be so detrimental to a language.

Wicked is rapidly getting new meanings. If we want to get a word to mean something new we should make up a whole new word. Multiple definitions are the types of things that make our language worse. Through its history in the Oxford English Dictionary we have see its old ones, now lets see some new ones. David Rooney of the “Variety” uses “wicked” in a new way last December by saying “Your in for a wicked or fun night of ever edgy plot twists.” Now this one word means good, bad, obnoxious and fun. Two total opposites in one words definition. Also Pete’s Wicked Ale a beer uses wicked to say it is “great tasting or scrumptious.” We have all these new definitions of a word all the time how can we keep track of what a person means. Simply put one definition for one word is enough for me and everyone else.

We see how the ever-growing English language brings down our intelligence. Imagine if a leader of a world power uses it to mean good but we interpret it as bad. We could be at war because we are to stupid to realize our own mistakes. We should correct them ass soon as possible or we could see the end of the world if we go to war with our great weapons because of a word.