English 10: Writing Portfolio

Essay the first: Origins  
Essay the second: Literature  
  One time on a cloudy July day my family and I were on our way to New Hampshire to go visit my uncle at his cottage on Lake Winnapasaukee. We had just gotten off the highway and we were about 20 minutes away from the cottage, when my father decided to take a little detour. From this trip I learned that my Dad likes to sight see. This day was defiantly one of the funniest days of my life.

We were well on our way when my Dad decided to go on a little tour of the area. He decided to go down a small private dirt road. As we were going down the dirt road, the minivan and all the luggage on top was bouncing all over the place. My Mother started to get frightened because she thought that all the food she packed was going to be ruined or smashed, which is just like my mom. We were driving down the road very slowly but we could still hear many bangs and rumbles around the car. We were about halfway down the road when all of a sudden we heard this enormous bang! My Dad hit the brakes and came to a stop. At first, I thought that we may have popped a tire, but that was not the case. My father got out of the van, I heard a few vulgar words come out of his mouth, and then he called my mother. After my mother got out of the van, I heard her laughing hysterically! The storage container on top of the van had fallen off and was on the ground. We were in the middle of the road trying to put it back on top, but it was just too heavy. It was so heavy that we had to take half of the clothes out of it, put it on top of the van, and then reload it. This took about half an hour to do. Not only did we have to unpack half of the clothes but we were causing a traffic jam. We were in the middle of a narrow, one way, private road! There were two cars that had pulled up behind us, and were waiting to get by. Seeing this my mom jumped back into the car and pulled to the side as my dad and I pulled the container to the side of the road. About fifteen minutes later we had gotten it back on to the van and were ready to go.

This was such a funny incident to happen to my family. The trip to New Hampshire was suppose to take about an hour and a half, but it turned into a two hour ride because of the small detour that my dad made. This incident proves how much my father likes to sight see. This also proves that as long as it may take we will get to where we are suppose to be. I also learned that as long as it may take, dad was going to get to where we were going, and none of my siblings were going to complain about it. This is what I learned from this experience.


















Dear Mr. John Gardner,

I believe that a good text book should consist of various short stories, poem, etc. that are easy to follow and keep the reader interested. I regret to inform you that your works have not been chosen to be part of my English Literature text book. Your work in Grendel did not meet the standard of quality work that I want to include in my text book. I feel that your work in Grendel was very hard for the average 10th grade student to follow because of the complex vocabulary, and the way the way the story line skipped around. I believe that this type of writing would not keep the student engaged in the story.

One of the main reason that you were not chosen to be part of this text book was due to the vocabulary throughout the story. One example of this would be "Soul of fidelity, decorum." (144)This type of writing causes the reader to be interrupted in their reading, because they're trying to figure out what you mean by that statement. Your type of writing is too "deep" for the average 10th grade student. The typical 10th grade student has not been exposed to this type of writing, which in turn makes the story line hard to follow.

I also felt that your storyline in Grendel seemed to skip around frequently. When a student has to focus on trying to absorb that storyline as well as trying to comprehend what some of the vocabulary used, it causes the student to become disinterested, which is exact opposite of what I am looking for.

Like Claire Kirch I too felt that your writing was not appropriate for lazy readers who would not be able to comprehend what was going on in the story. I also felt that your writing style used to many complex words that would stall the readers progress when reading the book. The last reason that I felt you do not belong in my text book was because it was a very hard book to follow along with. But please send me some of your other for future consideration.


























There are many British poems, plays, and short stories that have to do with superstition. One example of this that we have read this year is “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Two other examples would be “Lady of Shallot” by Alfred Lord Tennyson, and “The Signalman” by Charles Dickens. A work that we have not read that gets us to believe in superstition is “Song of Amergin” by Robert Graves who was a Twentieth century Welsh poet from London.

In Song of Amergin it supports the concept of a system of physical laws that go beyond those of our own world. These laws and their effects are commonly called magic. In the poem it says “ I am a wonder:among flowers”, which means that what ever it is is very beautiful. Another example would be “I am a thorn:beneath the nail”. This means that the being that is with you can also be bad and harmful if called for. One more quote is, “I am a wizard:who but I”, which shows that the poem is talking about someone of a higher being. This poem tries to get the reader to believe in magic, and some kind of God or greater force that is always with you.

This poem shows us a little bit about the British and there society during the 20th century. This shows that people do not have a strong belief in magic during this time period. This poem also shows that the people in the 20th century did have a strong belief in religion though. This poem reveals these two things about the people and society during the 20th century. Robert Graves often tried to write about religion to give everyone involved in World War 1 time some thing to look to as hope.

This poem is not a very well known poem. I believe this is because it was written in the 20th century. At this time the first world war was going on and he may have lost some audience because they were not that interested in magic during the war time. I also think that this poem is still not well known people today are not into magic that much so it is less likely that they will read this poem.

One critic that writes about Robert Graves is Peter L. Sanders. He says “Robert Grave’s writing is a his lifelong journey for the meaning of existence.” You can notice this in the Song of Amergin. This poem shows many forms of superstition in it. The Song of Amergin is a poem about a quest for finding God through magical experiences.




































Language is possibly the most important thing in the development of man, and English is one of the languages that has evolved over time. There are over 800,000 words in the English dictionary today, and the number rises every day. We live in an age where language, particularly English, is one of the most creative, organizational, inclusive forms of expression and helps us become more truly human. There are some words that do not help us evolve as humans, but the word “faith” is defiantly not one of them. Faith is one of the words because it is a word that gives us something to believe in.

When looking the word “faith” up in the dictionary, one of the definitions from The American Heritage Dictionary was “Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.” This is a good definition of the word “faith” because it incorporates belief which is a strong definition on the word. Another definition from The American Heritage Dictionary is “Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.” This is also a good definition of faith because it shows that it does not always have to be rooted in religion. I also looked the word up in the Merrian-Websters Dictionary of Law. This dictionary defines the word “faith” as “allegiance or loyalty to a duty or a person” and “sincerity or honesty of intentions.” This is also a good definition because it shows that faith can mean belief or trust in a person not just a god or religion.

The Oxford English Dictionary is the oldest and the biggest dictionary in the world. In this dictionary they define the word “faith” in many different ways. The first definition to the word is “Belief, trust, confidence.” Another definition in the Oxford English Dictionary was “the duty of fulfilling one’s trust; allegiance owed to a superior, fealty; the obligation of a promise or engagement.” The word faith is also defined as a “a) Belief in the truths of religion; belief in the authenticity of divine revelations (whether viewed as contained in Holy Spirit or in the teaching of the Church), and acceptance of the revealed doctrines. b) That kind of faith (distinctively called saving or justifying faith) by which, in the teaching of the N.T., a sinner is justified in the sight of God. This is very variously defined by the theologians, but there is general agreement in regarding it as a convictional practicality operative on the character and will, and thus opposed to the mere intellectual assent to religious truth (sometimes called speculative faith.) c) The spiritual apprehension of divine truths, or of realities beyond the reach of sensible experience or logical proof. By Christian writers often identified with the preceding; but not exclusively confined to Christian use. Often viewed as the exercise of a special faculty in the soul of man or as the result of supernatural illumination.” You can tell that faith is one of the words that does help us evolve as humans because these definitions are all positive and these definitions have nothing negative or hurtful in them.

Faith can be defined many different ways by many different people. When people think of faith they first thing that pops into there head usually has to do with religion. Faith does tie into religion because of faith in God. When asking people about the word “faith” 72% of the people told me that the word “faith” had to do with religion. Mr. McGonegal defined the word “faith” as “Church, and a growing progress.” Those are all good definitions but faith is so much more complex than that. Actually 19% of the people told me it had to do with trust in someone or something. And the Other 9% told me that faith reminds them of the Red Sox. The first time faith was written down this way was in 1300 Cursor M. (Cott.). This was the very first meaning of the word “faith.” The first time that the word “faith” was written down, the meaning was “the duty of fulfilling one’s trust; allegiance owed to a superior, fealty; the obligation of a promise or engagement.” this was in 1250 Gen. & Ex. These dates show that the word “faith” has been around for many years.

In early English literature, and actually literature still today a common subject is religion. With the word “faith” being associated with religion it is commonly used in poems, stories, and plays. Some poets that we read this year have used the word “faith” in there writings. An example of this would be Shakespeare who uses the word “faith” in both “Romeo and Juliet” and in “Hamlet”. Another example of this is when Milton used faith in his work “Paradise Lost”. Also Charles Dickens uses the word “faith” in his book “Great Expectations”. These three famous authors use that word “faith” numerous times in their writing so this shows again that is has been used frequently and on numerous occasions in the past.

As word go on in time sometimes they bring on new meanings. Although the word “faith” usually is defined as religion or trust, in “Brickman Says 'Grace'.” in the May 14th 2005 edition of Billboard magazine the author Deborah Evans Price uses the phrase faith-based. She uses this phrase when saying “Reports on the release of the Christian music album "Grace," by Jim Brickman. His interest in faith-based music; Plans for his album of Disney songs; Vocalists featured in the album. Lexile.” (p43) Another new meaning of the word “faith” is in the March 28th edition of Publishers Weekly. In the article “What's Inside” by Lynn Garrett, she writes “Introduces a series of articles that examine some of the challenges of publishing and selling faith fiction.” (pS2) These are two new ways to use the word “faith” that are not featured in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The word “faith” has gone through some changes sense the first time it was written down in English which was 1250 in Gen and Ex. in the bible. The word “faith” is based off of the Latin word “fides”. The word “faith” is also Middle English, from the Anglo-Norman fed. The word “faith” has stemmed from the first using of the word in 1250 CE. The word has been used many times by many famous authors. The word “faith” is always associated with God, trust, and belief, which I feel is appropriate because it is one of those words that has helps everyone evolve as humans.

Work Cited

Albrect, Stephanie. Personal interview. 24 April. 2005

Garrett, Lynn. “What's Inside.” Publishers Weekly 3/28/2005 Supplement, Vol. 29, pS2

Houghton Mifflin Company. “Faith.” The American Heritage® Dictionary, Fourth Edition

Keenan, Bob. Personal interview. 24 April. 2005

Keenan, Nancy. Personal interview. 24 April. 2005

Keenan, Sean. Personal interview. 24 April. 2005

Mcgonagle, Joseph. Personal interview. 27 April. 2005.

Merriam-Webster, Inc. “Faith.” Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, ed. 1996

Price, Deborah Evans. “Brickman Says 'Grace” Billboard; 5/14/2005, Vol. 117 Issue 20, p43


































He’s a courageous man --- that’s always doing for otheres
He commes to all the --- grandkids sporting games,
Will not miss many. --- He’s always giving us chips,
And presents on Christmas. --- Always doing for otheres
Or whoever needes it. --- He loves all his grandkids
and would do anything for --- them. Hes a stronge man
that never quits. He works --- hard on everything
And doesn’t stop till its doone. --- He keeps his yard
Looking nicce, and loves to --- work on it.
I know he loves us --- all very much and would do anything for us.