English 10: Writing Portfolio

Essay the first: Origins  
Essay the second: Literature  
  The story of when my uncles got in a huge fight and knocked down there bedroom wall has to be the funniest story I have ever been told. I was told this story by my grandmother when I was over their old house and was wondering why there was a big square dark spot in the middle of the wall in my uncles’ old room. This story explains a lot about my uncles, grandmother and my aunt and how they try to get each other into trouble.

The story began with my older uncle Chris and my younger uncle Richey wrestling in their room jumping on the bed when my uncle Chris decided he would throw Richey into the wall. When he did, the wall collapsed and my uncle ended up out side on the edge of the roof. Chris always finds a way out of things and always finds a way to get everybody else into it. He promised Richey that they wouldn’t get in trouble if Richey kept quiet about it.

All was going well and they almost kept it a secret for a whole winter until finally, my grandmother complained that the food would always get cold in the first five minuets of dinner. My mother followed up on that by saying “I also have a problem. Why do you boys always come into my room with your pillows and blankets and sleep in my room.” When my aunt started to pay attention to the conversation, and by the way she loved getting my uncle Chris into trouble she yelled “Well maybe because there is a big whole in the wall” and my grandmother went psycho yelling “what whole in the wall, there is no whole in the wall, what whole in the wall.” My aunt responds “the big whole, behind the King Kong poster in the boy’s room.”

When my grandmother had herd this she marched up to their rooms and tore the wall size poster down, there she had saw the gigantic whole in the wall. She went ballistic and cursed them all night and into the next day. My grandfather even to this day claims that some of the neighbors the next day asked if everything was ok. My uncles joke about how that night, everything that came out of her mouth was in one sentence, in other words she never breathe, the whole time she yelled at them. She had told them that they would have to fix the wall and paint it so it would look exactly like the rest of the room or else they would have to paint the whole room over. I guess that it had passed her satisfaction and they were off the hook.

This explains a lot about how crazy and hectic it is when I go and visit my family. This also proves how big of a sibling rivalry was in my mother’s house. Still to this day my mother and my aunt still play favorites with their three brothers, and my uncles still do stupid things to get my grandmother excited and riled up. This also explains a lot about me because I find that every time I do something to my mother, father or sister it ends up being one of the same things that my uncles have done. So I guess you can say that I think a lot like my family.



















Dr. Mr. Hopkins, After a long, hard thinking and stressful decision, we have come to the conclusion that we must exclude you from our lineup of the 2005 sophomore English text book. My vision of a good text book, should have exciting stories, poems and plays that consist of exciting details. The authors that have made the cut have met the standards and have the right wording for the high school level, also have shown exciting lyrics in their work. However your work has not met our standards because your poems are very boring and, just not inspiring enough for teenagers in high school.

We have stated your poems as boring because you talk about, your inside feelings also your vocabulary is very hard for teens to understand. An example of this would be in the poem Hurrahing in Harvest, stating “Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise.” This is what we are talking about by not being able to understand, I am the editor and I really have no idea what that line means. Another example in the poem Spring and Fall To a Young Child, it says “Margaret. Are you grieving.” Another reason we must turn you down is your style of writing because you are not specific or you don’t give any clues of what you are trying to say. An example of this would be in the poem God’s Grandeur you state “World broods with warm breast and with ah!” again if you showed this to anybody, you would not get a good response because NOBODY KNOWS WHAT THAT MEANS!

However I am not your only critic, after reading this letter you should not be surprised. Mr. William Logan, a journalist from the magazine called Poetry he states “I can’t stand Hopkins, I do not mind his letters, but his poems taste like ash in my mouth.” This was published in volume 185 issue 1 in October 2004. I hope this letter helps you think about what you are putting in your poems and look at the big picture that you are not just writing to other poets or experts, but know that you are also picked up by many school text books. Sincerely Yours, Pat Kirrane















What is superstition? Superstition could be a myth, a curse, a supernatural individual or event, and the list goes on. A great British myth comes from Ireland on December 26th called St. Stephen’s day. On St. Stephen’s Day the Irish celebrate the first Christian martyr after the crucifixion. Although this event has little connection to the saint himself it is still a very important celebration. Each December 26th they celebrate this event by having children hunt a Wren and hang it to a pole or holy bush decorating it with ribbons or colored paper. At this time they sing a song called the Wren song. Not many people outside of Ireland know about this event, however, it gets us to believe in myths and curses.

St. Stephen’s Day gets us to believe in myths and curses. For many years citizens young and old in Ireland support this event. St. Stephen was believed to die because of the Wren bird. While St. Stephen was hiding from the authorities a wren bird sang and the authorities caught him and stoned him to death. So when the children catch the Wren and hang it to the pole with decorations St. Stephen’s spirit comes down and gets revenge on the bird. While the youth march down the streets with the bird elders donate money. For this the elders are giving a feather from the bird as a good luck charm.

The people in Ireland are believed to be very superstitious and this day mirrors that theory. Also this shows us how traditional they are. British Literature is very superstitious because in this time the people were celebrating St. Stephen’s Day as well. This took place in a time were the Irish were being persecuted and tortured so this was a celebration that gets them away from the torture. St. Stephen’s day gave them hope and a sense of they are worth something!

This event is very important to the Irish citizens but it is not taken seriously any were else. Why is it not taken seriously anywhere? The answer is simple not many cultures celebrate St. Stephen or to take it a step further they do not even know who he is. It should be taken more serious because it can teach us a lot about superstition and other people’s culture.

However, I am not the only person that thinks St. Stephen’s Day is a superstitious event. An anonymous writer form the Australian Media writes “Celtic myth had it that the Wren bird which represents the old year leads St. Stephen to his death.” In conclusion St. Stephen’s Day does get us to believe in the supernatural, myths, curses etc.








































Language is one of the most important things in the world today, if not the most important thing. It is used for communication, music, movies, basic entertainment and basic conversation. English being a language is an important factor of how we live and the way we speak. There are over 800,000 words in the English language. One word in particular makes English more unique is the word “kid.” The word kid has been hurtful to the world because, it is hard for bilingual person to learn our language. Therefore, I do not think English should become the universal language of the world.

The word that we have came to know as “kid” comes from the middle ages “Kide,” and from the Old Norse “Kidh.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word as “a young goat” or “the young of a goat” by the Easton 1897 Bible Dictionary. Finally the Princeton University Dictionary defines it as “a young person of ether sex.” This is hurtful to our world because people trying to learn the language must have a hard time studying “kid” as a goat and “kid” as a human.

Over the years our word “kid” has died and brought back to life again. Its fist usage in 1200 used as the young of a goat. Kid is used both as a noun and a verb and over the years it has meant many awkward things. Things we would never think of. For example in 1847 it meant “a pannier or basket for rubbish;” what we know today as a trash barrel. Also in 1350 it meant “a bundle of sticks or a faggot.” In a more common use in 1599 the word “kid” meant “child.”And finally the most contemporary definition of “kid” to “try to make one believe what is not true,” for example “we were kidding around when we told you it was going to rain.” Let us just imagine that we were trying to learn English and we had just read this paragraph or better we have just read the definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary website, we would never be able to figure out the word “kid.”

While interviewing some of my friends and family members about the word “kid” I got a lot of the same answers. They all related it as a goat or some kind of animal. Others responded in a more kiddish way. For example “I don’t care,” “are you kidding?” “Haha you kid you.” Also from observing daily speech from sporting events I have picked up a saying that goes like “stay with it kid” or “that a boy way to block it kid.” Again after researching this word I would find this word nearly impossible to come familiar with it. Also after talking to these people this way of talking with slang language and sayings I think this is insulting the language and making us “stupider.”

“Kid” over the years has appeared in many works of art. For example in 1599 Shakespeare used it in Much Ado, Act II, scene iii, line 44 “the musicke ended, wee’ll fit the kid-foxe with a denny.” Also in Chaucer’s Millers Tail line 74 “She koude skippe and make game as any kyde.” Finally in another familiar author named John Milton in 1667 Paradise Lost in Act IV line 344 “sporting lion rampd and in his paw dandl’d the kid.” This is hurtful to our world because if a foreign language speaker who tried be an expert on this word, let’s just say they had to write a paper on this without the Oxford English Dictionary online they would not be able to understand this.

Communication is what keeps us in-touch with one another. Entertainment is what we use to brighten our days. Music and movies we all love and have favorites also used to brighten our days. None of these things would be possible if it were not for language. As it being the biggest language “English” takes on a huge responsibility. “Kid” one of over eight-hundred thousand words brings a bad name to the English language and makes it hard for English to keep its wonderful reputation in the world. After looking through various dictionaries, looking through the Oxford English Dictionary online, and through all the Ebsco and Jstor articles I have come to the conclusion that the word “kid” is killing our language and more importantly our world. Some of the experts from USA Today magazine writer Karen Thomas, defines “kid” as a child or children in its statement “…whose chums-since-kids chemistry translated into a hit TV series…” and defined by the World Almanac & Book of Facts gives “kid’s” definition as “a goat.” Biligual speakers who look up to these English speaking experts probably do not know what to think. And that is why “kid” is hurtful to our world.