Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America


















The story that is the oldest known in my families heritage is when my grandparent had met. When my father told me to ask his mother and father I thought that it would be a good idea. I went to my grandparents house and asked them if they could tell me how and when they had met. My grandmother was more than happy to tell me but my grandfather didn’t feel the same way. The firs thing that they asked me was “ what is this for” and I told them it was for English class and then my grandfather was more than happy to tell me whatever I wanted.

The first time that my grandparents had met was when they were children. My grandmother thought that he was crazy and weird. My grandfather didn’t even pay attention to her. They saw each other every day because they lived right down the street from each other. As they got older my grandfather started to get strong feelings for her but she still thought that he was immature.

Then after high school he went into the service and it had changed him completely. He was still smart as a wipe and now mature and knew what he wanted in life. When he returned home he still had feeling for my grandmother. Then he asked her out and she had said “yes”. That made him the happiest man on the face of the Earth. They have been together ever since and they still love each other as they did when they were younger.

Even when two people are complete opposite children when they are younger they can grow up in a certain amount of time and fall in love. This can still happen today because some girl can think that you are the most immature kid one day and the next she is falling in love with you the next.










The place that I had chosen to observe is the kind of place that not many people even know it is there and might even drive by it three or more times a day.  This place was once a place that was filled with flowers and bushes.  It is a large plant pot on a traffic island that is located in the middle of Mill Street in Randolph.  Imagine living in a house for so many years and not even know that there was a huge water stain on your ceiling and you walked by this stain so may times and not even realize that it was there.  That is how people just drive past this traffic island and not even recognize a large plant pot with no plant in it.  

     When I first walked by this flower pot and saw how bad it looked it almost looked like I was looking at a dump where people throw their garbage.  Around it there was wrappers and paper cups.  Inside it was more cups and a lot of cigarette butts.  The inside of it reminded me of an ash tray.  Every time I see a person throw something in it I want it make them pick it up and maybe have them clean out the whole pot but I never see anyone do it when I am standing there looking at all the different things that have happened to it after twenty four hours.  

     While I am standing there each day I could smell the women across the street baking something.  Whether it be cookies, pie or the barbecue.  It always smelt so good while standing there writing down all the different thing that had happened.  Sometimes people that were walking bye would ask me what I was doing out there in the middle of the road look in and around such a pitiful sight.

     When you think of a traffic island you would think that  flower pot in the middle of it would be in good shape.  But it is the exact opposite, it is completely empty of flowers and full of sand.  Also down the side there is a crack that has made the whole pot useless.  When it rains the water and sand runs out the crack and sometimes makes it worse.  It is at that point that it is not fixable which is a shame because someone could have really made something of it.

     I have just gave up all hope for this spot.  It just seems to get worse and worse and never seems to get any better.  This just shows how much people care about there surroundings.  I would think that people would want to make something of the town that they live in.  But I guess that people just don't care and would just worry about themselves and not the things around them that some people did take the time to make this town look good but people today just don't respect what other people have done.













On a warm Sunday morning Shawn had waken up around nine AM and was really tired.  His mother had yelled up to him to see if he was up and he cried out "Yes Mom" and got out of bed.  When he put both feet on the floor he noticed that it was wet, without even hesitating he screamed out "Peter".  Peter came as fast as he could when Shawn called him.  Shawn asked, "what is all this water do in on the floor.  Peter said "I don't know".  Then suddenly Shawn realized that there was a leak in the ceiling.  This was the beginning of the worst day of his teenage life.
     When Shawn finally got dressed and went down stairs he had sat down while talking to his mother and bit his tongue.  At the same time Peter was walking out of the kitchen, when he trip on the dog and screamed out "look out" and suddenly he spilt his cereal all over Shawn.  Then he went upstairs to get  showered and changed .  
     Suddenly Shawns boss Rick from work had called and was wondering where he was because he was supposed to be a work at nine o'clock this morning.  So he hustled to get dressed for work when he could not find his work shirt so he frantically asked his mother where it is and she said "it is in the bottom of the laundry bin".  So he squirted it with some cologne and went to work.
     On his way to work he realized that he had forgot his wallet which contained his punch card.        When he walked in his Rick started to give him a hard time and asked him "what happened"  "why are you so late" Shawn replied "don't ask, please".  Shawn got right to work making the sandwiches.  After about an hour or so his cell phone began to ring it was his girlfriend Terry.  She asked him "why haven't you picked me up yet" Shawn replied "what"  Terry said "don't tell me you forgot already.  Shawn all of a sudden realized that it was there one year anniversary and it completely slipped his mind.  He told her that he was working till 5:30 and that he would be at her house around 6:00.  
     When he turned around to start working again he saw that Rick was right behind him.  Shawn replied "I'm sorry it was my girlfriend".  Then started to tell him the story and there was no way in making Rick understand what was so important because he was gay.  Rick told him to get back to work and to turn off that cursed phone.  Then he went back to making the sandwiches and came to find out that he had 8 orders to finish in less that twenty minutes.  All that he could say is "I'll never be able to finish all these orders by myself".  Some how he finished them and he made it through the rest of the day without any problems.  
     When he left work he went to look for his keys and then opened the door.  When he got in he realized that his gas tank was as empty as a bank on Sunday.  The nearest gas station was three blocks away.  He reached into his pocket for his cell phone and it wasn't there.  He started to panic.  Then he ran back inside the store and looked around and it wasn't there.  He went back outside and saw that he had put it on the roof of his car.  He called his mom to ask him to pick up the gas tank from the garage and get it filled .  By the time that he got the gas in his car it was already 6:45.  Shawn couldn't believe it.  He immediately called Terry and explained the situation to her and she had a hard time believing him.  
     When he got home he took a quick shower and got dressed.  He drove up to the gas station up the street and got some gas.  Then he stopped at a flower store and got a dozen roses and a large bow of chocolates.  By the time that he had got to Terry's house it was 7:30.  When he knocked on the door she answered the door and saw all the things that he brought her and forgave him right away.  This was the happiest that Shawn was all day.  
     When they finally picked a place to go out for dinner it was about 8:00 When they got to the restaurant they were seated right away.  While looking at the menu's for a little while a waitress had tripped on a loose rug and dropped a whole tray of food and drinks on Shawn.  The waitress immediately said "I'm sorry" Shawn replied "it's all right don't worry about it.  But when he turned to look at Terry she was in hysterics and nearly fell out of he seat.  So they had decided to end the night at about 9:30 and Shawn couldn't help but look back on this day and laugh.















 Oliver Wendell Holmes I find to be quite an extraordinary poet.  In this poem he brings out the true meaning of patriotism.  He had shown people that this battle ship later to be called Old Ironsides was a great part of American history.  He was a Boston native and he knew how important this ship is to the people of Boston.  It was only right that he bring out the true character of this marvelous ship in a poem that explains it in such detail and really gets the reader to think how incredible this ship really is.  
     The poem allows the reader to get a real image of what this ship was really like so many years ago.  A quote that really show how old it really is,
“Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;”
This was said because this ship has done so much for us in the past that we owe it to ourselves and to the crew that died and survived to keep it intact and honor it for what it has done for us as Americans.  This is such a historical ship that not only the ship should be honored but the crew as well.
     The crew was what made this ship such a success that they didn’t stop to rest until the battle was one.  They never gave up because the ship never gave up on them.  The men on board fought just as hard as the ship except some men fell but the ship never gave up hope.  A quote that shows this is “her deck, once red with heroes’ blood,” this showed that the men that were killed were the real heroes because they were willing to put there lives on the line to win the battle.
     The poem ends with such strong and touching words that makes the reader put the poem down thinking about these men that fell and how much of an inspiration this ship must have been to this crew and the people of its present time.  This inspiring quote is as follows,
“Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!”
What this mean is that this ship has seen enough battles and that this ship is know a historical ship of its time.  It has been honored for its accomplishments and now it is time for it to rest for a long time.
     In conclusion this poem is truly an inspiring and patriotic piece of history.  I really enjoyed this poem and look forward to reading many more poems by this author.  Holmes really made me think and allowed me to get a clear visual of all the pain and agony this ship and it’s crew went through.















   A sport in my opinion is anything that can be considered competitive.  Whenever it is a team event or if it is a one man team.  Especially if it involves hard work and determination for the specific event they are doing.  Another way in which I consider anything to be a sport is if the people doing it or that a one man team is having fun and is trying their best every time they compete.          
     There are many different types of swimming as well.  The most popular is probably the over hand stroke.  This is when your hands move in a wind mill formation,  while keeping your head above water and kicking your feet all at the same time.  The next is the backstroke.  This is when the swimmer lays on his back and does the same stroke as the hand stroke, but backwards.  The third stroke is the breaststroke.  In this form of swimming the swimmer leaves his  hands underwater and uses his arms as if he had wings.  The final stroke is the butterfly.   The swimmer is using a variation of all the different types of strokes.  But in this one, the swimmer goes underwater and comes up fast repeatedly like a dolphin.
     The pro swimmer that I had gained information on is Ed Moses.  He was a regular kid while growing up in Burke, Virginia.  He had loved to play many sports such as golf, soccer, baseball, basketball and of course swimming.  But at the age of ten he had quit swimming to play other sports.  “ I played golf, soccer, baseball, and basketball, too, I decided swim practice wasn’t the activity I wanted to do after school.”  Though he still continued to swim but not in a club through high school.  But in his senior year of high school he had began swimming on his schools team.  He loved golf but it wasn’t going to give him a scholarship so that is why he went back to swimming.  The first time that he had competed after ten months of training with coach Pete Morgan.  In his first meet against world competitors he swam the breaststroke in 1:02:29 and placed fifteenth in 1998.  This was only the beginning for this outstanding athlete.  
     The amateur swimmer that I got the chance to talk to face to face was my cousin Steven.  He was a varsity swimmer at BC High School and graduated in 1999.  He had the chance to compete against some of the best swimmers in the state.  He said that “I had a great time being around kids that had the same interest as me and where just as good or even better.”  He also swam on the same team as a state champion swimmer that had gone on to compete in the Olympics the following year.  As a child he always loved to go to the pool and the beach.  Though he never was on a team or club till he was in high school he always did it for fun and exercise.  He says that “It always kept me healthy and I didn’t even think for a minute that something I enjoy so much could be so good for me”.  After his first year of college he gave up swimming because of doctors orders but he still loves the water and continues to get SWIMNEWS magazine.  It doesn’t matter if it is fresh or salt water as long as people are enjoying it.
      The critic that I got information on was a man named Wayne Smith.  He is a writer for news.com.au.  He has been writing for them for the past four years and for those four years he has been a sports writer and his main topic of choice has been swimming.  He loves the sport of swimming and use to be a competitive swimmer when he was in high school.  
     Swimming has also become a competitive sport as well.  There are leagues for younger children who enjoy swimming a lot.  Also when kids get into high school there is usually a team that they can be on and is competitive as well as any other sport.  This is a tough sport because you have to be physically fit and strong to swim for a long time.  The biggest competition is at the Olympics.  The people who compete in the Olympics for swimming are people who swim all the time and it is most likely there life.  But these people are going up against the best and fastest swimmers in the world.
     Before I started writing this paper I thought that swimming was a joke and something that everyone did for fun.  But after writing this paper I realized that swimming is just as competitive as any other sport.  This really opened my eyes because for some people it is a job for them and it is adifficult one at that.  I enjoyed talking and learning about these people and hope that they do well down the road.  Now I give all the swimmer I know a lot more respect then before.  I now know how hard they have to work and how physically fit they have to be in order to be a threat to the others they compete against.