English 10: Writing Portfolio

Essay the first: Origins  
Essay the second: Literature  
  This story took place before I could even walk or talk. It was me the entire family and most importantly the Priest. I was at the alter getting baptized at which point something totally bizarre but funny happened. This story reveals that my family and I have a great sense of humor.

 It all started when I was first born my mom told my dad that I was going the bathroom a lot more than my brother ever did when he was baby. So with that being said I was at the alter getting ready to take a picture with the priest who was going to baptize me, and all of a sudden I started urinating on him. The funny thing was that he didn’t realize this till about 1 minute later when it started dripping down hands and all over his robe. He said shortly after that, “ It was the longest pee I have seen a baby have before in my life.” As a joke he wore a pair of gloves to my cousins baptism, and still to this day the nickname my family gave me is, Pee-Pee.

Something that I learned from this story is that a sense of humor is always good to have in a family and we certainly have that. Also I think that this story reveals that my family can turn something serious into something we end up laughing about down the rode.




















Dear Charles Dickens,

I am sorry to inform you but you will not be in next years British Literature Text Book. This decision was very hard but after reviewing your work I don’t think it is good enough for this years edition. A textbook should always have creative writing and not serve as a story the students should fall a sleep too. Because your stories were boring, make believe from start to finish, and the words you are out of date, I cannot include you in next years book.

After reading your short story Hard Times, I was very bored and not interested at all. For example, you say "In this life, we want nothing but facts, sir; nothing but facts!" I love your ideas but they need to be more creative. If I were to put this story in next years book, the boys and girls that read it would not enjoy it in my opinion. Also, I did not like the plot because you did not explain the characters, and it does not fit as a story for sophomores to be reading.

Continuing my reading of your stories, I started to notice that most of them were fiction and make believe. I think that a good textbook for sophomores should not have make believe stories. Here's what a critic had to say about your work, " Last winter I forced myself to read Dickens Tale of Two Cities, it was a sheer dead pull from start to finish, it all seemed so unclear, such a transparent make believe, a mere piece of acting." As you can see im not the only one disagreeing with your work.

I also thought that the words you use in your stories are out to date and do not keep up with the times of a sophomore in high school. For example, you use words like gout and frivolous, which any average person would not know what they mean. The traditional writing just is not going to cut it these days. Your word choice would have to change if I were going to except your work for this book.

In conclusion, I am very sorry again for not excepting your work for the British Literature Text Book this year. There were many authors that I had to choose from and even though your writing did not make it, I still saw great things from you. The only thing I can say is to work on the creativity and word choice.






















Many great works in British Literature deal with curses and mythical figures. In some ways these stories have effected our view and belief in myths. For example, William Blake’s “Poison Tree”, deals with the theme of poison and shadows. One work that not many people have read but gets us to believe in curses is Elizabeth Turner’s “Poisonous Fruit.”

The curse that this work gets us to believe in is that if you walk down a shadowy lane, you will die by eating the poisonous fruit. This message is displayed in this poem. For example she writes, “Poor Jane and little Tom were taken sick to bed, and since then, I’ve heard they both are dead.”This means that the author was trying to get us thinking that eating the fruit will kill you. As a result Jane and little Tom died.

This curse told throughout the poem revealed that the British people at the time of the late 1700's most likely were afraid of shady places and believed that food was cursed. I say this because Revolutions were spreading throughout Western civilization and they probably heard stories and myths about poisonous fruit and believed they were true.

This poem has not been taken seriously because the meaning to it is very unoriginal and cliche. It should be recognized as a children’s poem or an easy understanding story for kids to read. It should be recognized in my mind because it was mysterious and after I was done reading it, it kept me thinking as if I was in the little boys shoes during the poem.

A critic by the name of John Donovan has discussed Elizabeth Turner’s work by saying, “Her ability to recognize the mysterious aspects of poetry makes her writing interesting to read.” I completely agree with John on this one. Her poem the “Poisonous Fruit” is a perfect example of how she connects myths and curses to her poems.



































As one of my good friends always says, “This is one big world!” Yes, and in this world there are thousands of languages, but with the English language becoming one of the most dominant of these, its forms of speech and types of word meanings make it also the hardest. The only thing it is doing is making matters worse culturally and politically for our universe. Take a word like “weather” for example, not only does this word have several different definitions but it is hard to comprehend and understand. Threw studying the roots and definitions of this word I think we can come to the conclusion about how hurtful this language is to our culture.

The roots of the word “weather” and its definitions begin to show us the difficulty it creates in this world. This word is from Old English and German literature and comes from the root wetar. This word also has a variety of meanings. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word as, “the state of the atmosphere with respect to heat or cold, wetness or dryness, calm or storm, clearness or cloudiness.” The American Heritage dictionary defines the word as, “the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place, with respect to variables such as temperature, moisture, wind velocity, and barometric pressure.” The Medical Dictionary defines weather as, “to undergo or endure the action of the atmosphere.” There is no way that a foreign language speaker could understand this word when its defined in so many different ways.

The Oxford English Dictionary, which is considered the most informative English dictionary in the world, defines “weather” as the condition of the atmosphere with respect to heat or cold, quantity of sunshine, presence or absence of rain, hail, snow, thunder, fog, and violence or gentleness of the winds. The word “weather” was also defined as “to furnish or decorate.” The O.E.D. also said this word was first discovered around 725 and was first spelled “uueder.” Also at one time this word was dead. Having a simple word like “weather” be so old and put into many forms, it shows that the English language is changing way to much.

We can take the word “weather” and also compare it to how we use it in our speech today. After taking a survey of how ordinary people defined the word I came to the conclusion that 85% of the people thought it had something to do with the atmosphere and climate. The other 15% thought it had something to do with a person. For example, the first thing that came to my friend Chris Rooney’s mind when he was asked about “weather” was, “Stuff that falls down from the sky.” My mother, Maria Todesca said that this word means, “the climate and everything that deals with the atmosphere.” My brother, Paul Todesca said this word means, “A man on TV.” As you can see, by the way all these people defined the word “weather”, it shows how non-creative this language is.

The word “weather” is also used in many different literature works from famous writers, such as Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troylus III which was written around 1374. He says quote, “and if ye liggen wel to-night, com ofte, and careth not what weder is on-lofte...” In 1842 Charles Dickens also used the word “weather” in his American Notes II book, he said “The vessel being pretty deep in the water,...and the weather being calm and quiet, there was but little motion.” Having so many authors use this word in there literature it shows how ordinary the English language is.

To show how hard and complicated our way of communication really is I went to the streets to ask foreign language speakers what they thought of when they heard the word “weather.” Seeing how not one person that I asked new what the word meant it showed how difficult it is to learn the English language. After doing some more research about my word I found some critics that use “weather” in a new way which complicates thing even more for a foreign speaker. For example, I quote the Model Railroader magazine which says, “There are at least as many ways to weather a freight car as there are ways to cook a chicken, maybe more.” The author of this was clearly using “weather” in a new way.

After examining the word “weather” I have came to the conclusion that it is hurtful to our society today, mainly because it is so confusing for foreign language speakers to comprehend and it has way to many definitions for one to understand. There is no way English should be the official language of the United States because our country is so diverse that using one dominant language would not work out.


























Lines Composed a Few Miles Above the Dogpatch

Seven months have past; one fall, and one
Long winter! And again I hear
The splashing water of diving soles.
A time of joy and a time of sunny days.
We gathered by the pond
To listen to the sounds of nature.
And to look back at our fun experiences
Day by day, until summers end.
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day has come to leave the place
that I love so much.
Here, we thanks the memories
And move on as individuals,
Waiting for next years visit to the dogpatch.