English 10: Writing Portfolio

Essay the first: Origins  
Essay the second: Literature  
  Every August, my dads side of the family has a big family reunion. In my family we will do any thing to get a good laugh. Most of the time it is at others expenses. It could range from a water-balloon fight to some crazy game they made up the day before. I could possibly have the most eccentric family in America. This year I think my uncle went over the top with this stunt.

This year, my uncle rented a tennis ball machine. Now the object of the game was to stand twenty feet away from the machine and try to catch these tennis balls coming at your head. Now the only catch was these balls were going sixty miles per hour. Now my aunt always said she could do anything the guys could, so she got up to the line and she tried to play. In my mind this was where it got funny. My aunt stepped up to the line and the second ball she got hit her right in the eye. At the time, we all thought it was hilarious. When we were done laughing, we got her a bag of ice and a pair of sunglasses so no one would see her eye. Twenty minutes later, she gathered up the courage to try it again, and sure enough the third ball hit her in the other eye. Right before she got up to play again gets hit in her other eye.” At the time I could not believe that it had happened and I said to my cousin, “wouldn’t it be funny she was on the ground laughing harder than I had ever laughed before. Just like before, we took out the sunglasses and ice to cover her already black eye. However, the night did not end there.

Now, as the night went on, and the keg got empty, and my uncles got drunk, my cousin and I convinced my uncles to sit in a chair with one of their many empty beer cans on there heads while I tried to shoot it off. What my uncle did not know was that I increased the speed to eighty miles an hour. It took a few minutes and few more tennis balls but some shots wide left and some shots wide right and I cannot forget the ones that left welts on my uncles neck. In the last group I shot I hit the can and the yard of my family members went crazy. When I say the yard went crazy I mean game 7 walk off homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning at Fenway Park.

The one thing that you cannot forget is that it is all in good fun. At the end of the night as we said our good byes we knew we had enough welts, broken noses, black eyes, fat lips, and bruises to keep us laughing for whole year, until we meet again. It also gives us enough time to think of some crazy stunt to top the year before. But whenever we meet it is always a great time and we know we can always get a good laugh.













Dear W.B. Yeats,

First, on behalf of Prentice Hall Literature I would like to thank you for submitting your work for to be put in The New Edition, our new textbook. On that I regret to inform you, and this was a tough decision to make. The poetry you submitted will not be used. A good textbook should have work that makes the reader want to keep reading. Your work seems to be just words and only words. A good textbook should have poetry that makes the reader think with out driving the reader away because they are too confused. Lastly a good textbook should be able to allow the reader to relate to something in the poem or story being read. We have found your work to be empty.

In your poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” your work is raw and does not flow off of the tongue. It does not sit in the readers mind after it is read. It is just words. After reading this poem there is nothing left to do, it leaves no room for thought because there is no emotion or passion put into the words. This confuses the reader because they can not figure out why some one would want to go to this “lake isle.” Like it is said in the story “And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow.” Why would he or she only have peace there and not any where else? It provides no thought. Secondly, one of the other poems you wrote “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” fails to capture the reader’s attention. As the poem goes on the pilot is in battle but somewhere along the line has a premonition about how he is going to die. That gets him thinking and so he says things that contradict why he is there and another statement that leaves the reader wondering why fight at all. The first was “Those that I fight I do not hate” contradicts why you are killing them. The second was “Those that I defend I do not love” contradicts everything a soldier fights for and confuses the reader to the point where they no longer want to read the poem any more. This piece is confusing and drives the reader away. Lastly a third poem that was written by you was After Long Silence. This gives the reader nothing to relate to. There is not one line the reader could relate to because it does not make much sense. The line “All other lovers being estranged or dead”, leaves the reader with no thought. Thank you for submitting work to be used in out textbook but because of the flaws in your writing we will not be able to use your pieces. We here at prentice hall would like to thank you and we look forward to receiving other work form you.


Rob Florentino





















There are several works in British literature that are involved with superstition. Some in different ways than others. This story is about a person names Dorian Gray who models for a painting. This book gets us to believe in a superstition that has been around for hundreds of years. He then promises his soul in order to have beauty for ever, and to live a life of perpetual youth. Other stories this is similar to comes from the Canterbury Tales and it is also about beauty being in the eye of the beholder and that it is only skin deep. It is “The Wife of Bath’s Tale.”

This story gets us to believe in a superstition that many people have believed in and has been around for centuries. That is selling your sole. This is no different because Dorian Gray sells or promises his sole so that he can be good looking for the rest of his life and be young for all of eternity. He ends up taking what ever goes into the picture so he stays youthful if the picture remains as a piece of art. He will also take on what ever damage to the actual picture it self and will show what ever is shown in the art. This is the same as other people selling their sole to be rich or successful but it does not do any good because people say beauty is only skin deep. This means that you are only as beautiful as your sole. Picture of Dorian Gray gets us to believe in selling your sole because it is not so long after the Salem Witch trials in 1692.

This piece of literature reveals to us that Brittan was an impressionable place to be in at the time especially since modern science and technology was undiscovered and undeveloped which meant that they had nothing to explain the odd occurrences and the super natural happenings. This story was written only two hundred years after the Salem Witch Trials had happened. Though there has been much evolution the minds and ideas of the devil and trading your sole for things such as eternal life and beauty have not been put to rest. This reveals that Britain was as impressionable as a five year old. The society is so obsessed with finding someone that is not like them and someone that they will make themselves believe that what they read and see is real. That is why this story is believed and thought of as something that could happen. Granted it was written in 1890 and it was part of the social construction to believe in this sort of thing it was still a big help for believing in selling your soul.

I do not think this work has been taken seriously enough because it was written about a boy who wants to be beautiful. It almost sounds like a television sitcom on “abc” on Sunday nights. However I do think this has been taken seriously at times. When this books first came out it was at a time of no scientific discovery in the fields of the supernatural. For the time period I think it was very believable however now this is just another book that fails to interest the British society of the supernatural believers.

This book is about a boy that wants to be beautiful. He wants it so bad he sells his sole to get it. He sells it to be young and youthful for all of eternity. The themes of this book have been known to vary from religious art to superstition. Critics say “The irony for the reader is that Dorian’s picture is very much a picture of religious art, one that inaugurates a new and troubling genre the “monstrous soul-life”(169). This is similar to saying it is religious and superstitious at the same time.






























Rooster’s crow, dogs bark, cats meow, cows moo, birds chirp, pigs oink, Rawding yells, and Humans speak. The English language could possibly the largest language in the world. With just about 800,000 words it makes English one of the most diverse and dominant languages among humanity. Some words are less dominant than other; however the word “monkey” has been a playful addition to our language. The word monkey has helped numerous societies and millions of young children every in the world their fun barn yard animals there for the word monkey helps our youth which helps the world.

The word “monkey” was used back in 1530. Most people define the word as a small hair animal that lives in the trees and loves to eat bananas. The most important things the dictionaries specify is that they have tails which makes them different from chimpanzee’s. because that is what separates them from other animals the American Heritage Dictionary says that it is “any various long-tailed medium sized primate excluding Macaques, Baboons, Capuchins and marmosets excluding apes. The verb usage of the word “monkey” is different from the noun usage. It is when some one will say something like “don’t monkey around” the reason for that is the definition means; to informally play or tamper with something. Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary defined “monkey” as a “a nonhuman primate mammal with the exception usually of the lemurs and tarsiers; especially : any of the smaller longer-tailed primates as contrasted with the apes.

The Oxford English Dictionary is the greatest and largest composition of words in the English language. It contains every word ever written in English and adds more words every year. The OED classifies the word “monkey” as an animal and was first used in 1530 by J. Palsgrave. When used as a noun the OED defines the word as “any numerous medium sized primate belonging to one of three families: a collilichidae, Celrde, and Cercopitecide, most of which have long tails and live in trees in tropical countries.” That is the first definition of the word monkey.

Today we have many definitions of the word “monkey” due to books, magazines, and television. This is evident because we can see it by the way we use it in every day speech. When we think of the word “monkey” we think of one thing, an animal. That was the most common answer that I got when I asked friends and family what they thought the word was. Joe Boyle a CM sophomore said “an ape or member of the ape family.” Ricky Regan another CM sophomore said “a member of the gorilla family in South America.” Thirty-Six percent (36%) of the people interviewed mentioned that a monkey was an animal that lived in a tree. My English 10 British Literature teacher Mr. Joe McGonagal said “animal, “K” strange sound and meaning, my first thought is a animal but it has a strange K sound, probably a Japanese word.”

On account of the word “monkey” first being used in 1500’s it has been given a chance to be used in text for centuries. The first person to use “monkey” in text was J. Palsgrave. He said “monkey a beest.” Other famous authors to use “monkey” in literature. In 1600 in Henry IV Shakespeare said “was the very genius of famine yet lecherous as monkie as the whores cald him mandrake.” In 1680 W. TEMPLE in Upon my Lady Giffard's Loory in Temple's Early Essence also used the word in text. It read “Such a Badeen ne'er came upon the Stage, So droll, so monkey in his play and rage.” Back in 1530 Palsgrave used the word monkey in text. 475 years later the word has not changed and we still know it as we did almost 500 years ago.

In our language there are constant critics in everything. That is no different here because there is a critic Nancy McCray who has used the word “monkey” in a entertainment review. She said “Reviews the videotapes `Monkey Moves,' produced and directed by Stephen Rosenholtz and `Move Like the Animals,' produced and directed by Stephen Rosenholtz. This is somewhat different from the other definitions both verb and noun usage. This was found November 1, 1994.

The world that we live in is constantly making up new words with slang and accents and media. That is evident when we look at almost every word in the English Language. The word “monkey” has helped the English language and the world because it has allowed young children to learn of the jungle primates. It has also helped scientists because it allows them to test new forms of shampoo. The word “monkey” has helped the world even 500 years after it was first used.