Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America

































One afternoon, Philipp Kloeber was told the oldest story his grand host mother knows. It was about the journey of her relatives who sailed from England to the colonies in order to expect a better life, religious toleration and a better economic situation. During their journey, the ship crashed on a rock and all passengers died in the heavy sea. But not the relatives of Philipp Kloeber’s grand host mother because they promised god to publish freedom in their colony.

And so they did.

They survived the crash and they published freedom in their colony. In addition, they lived a long and peaceful life.

This story represents America in a lot of ways like it is today. Most people still have a strong believe in god and they try to live their lives with full of grace, peace and freedom. The consequence of this “way of life” is that America is today the “representative” number one for freedom and toleration in the world. In former times, people also had a very strong believe in god and they lived their lives in respond to god. But not only the religion represents America how it is today, but also the great variety of different cultures makes the U.S.A. what is today. People from all nations especially from Europe make the population of America today.

So all these different cultures from all over the world were mixed together into one new culture finally called the United States of America. Also the way how the people first came to the colonies was very popular namely by ship. Journeys from Europe i.e. took the passengers more than 2 months and they were mostly quite dangerous and stressful. In addition to that there were a lot of illnesses on the ship which cost a lot of people their life. So in the end, you can see that this story which was told Philipp Kloeber by his grand host mother includes a lot of “history” and former common “things” which tell us a lot about the people who made America what it is today.













Normal living areas usually have small places of nature in them. In front of my house on Howes Street in Boston, there is one of these small places of nature with an big old tree which I observated for 2 weeks. The area around my place is like many other areas in suburb cities of Boston, some what dirty and turbulent.

With using my senses of listening, watching, feeling and hearing I observated an American place of nature surounded by the normal way life of a busy city.Like Ralph Waldo Emerson said in his writing "Self-Reliance", "The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do , nor does he know until he has tried". For two weeks in autmn I tried to experience some interesting  changes at my "place of nature".

On one of the first days of my observation, when I was just beginning to observate my place of nature, I was quietly listening to a conversation between two rubbish men who were cleaning the area around my tree. They spoke a broken english and that's why I just understood some sentences which where from now on always running through my hat,when I observated my place :" Just leave the rubbish in this area! Nobody will recognize it!Look, this place is always a mess, it doesn't matter if there is little bit more or less! That's not our job, the guys from the other rubbish station will do this. Common, I wanna eat something,let's go." My opinion about that was totally different, because now the area around my big old tree looked very dirty. Like Emerson said in his work "Self-Reliance","What must I do is all that concerns me, not what the people think".

Another important event of my observation was recognizing that my tree had almost no leaves . This made not only looking at the place worse, but I also felt a kind of sadness surrounding it . From now on my place of "peace" was not a healthy, clean one anymore but a place of contaminated nature. Still surrounded by rubbish and dead leaves I could feal,smell and also hear that my tree was very sad and suffering.                                              

Was this the idea of the American way of life? I asked myself that question and I came to the answer that, the human-interaction with our environment is very sad and terrible. Every single day, when I looked out of my window, I saw people walking by my dirty sad place without even looking at it. Shoudln't we treat the nature more nice, like our mother or father? One day we will have to suffer the same way, like my tree was suffering as a consequence of ignorant human behavior towards the innoncent mother of earth .  











When Bill was on the way to the bar where he always goes , Joe had
already his third beer there. Joe and Bill always meet in the bar "The
Drunkyard" after their hard work on the construction side of Boston.
Almost every single night they get drunk in there and they are telling
themselves stories about their regular day and life events.

Bill entered the bar and went straight to Joe who was already sitting at the
bar and he was chatting with Eddie, the owner of the club. "Hey Bill,
What's up, how was your day?"asked Joe, and Bill responded kind of
tired:"Ah,I had a hard day, the boss was yelling at me again and my wife
disturbed me because she wants me to get the children a new television".
Joe asked Bill:" So tell me, your wife bothered you again during
work?",Bill anwsered with a helpless face :"year, in the last time she is really getting on my nerves, I don't know why, but I guess it is because of Cindy who has her first school day on monday and David who has trouble with the teachers".Joe responded laughing:"Oh,haha, thank god, that I don't have children".  

After a while and six more whiskies, Bill suddenly said:"Oh no, it is
already  12:00am again, oh god."Joe just had this relaxed smile on his face
and answered:" So what,are you afraid of anything?" Bill answered wet
from the sweat on this forehead:"hmm,not really, Helena is just going to kill me again, because I didn't buy the new television, than I didn't come home on time, and finally I'm kind of drunk again, oh no, no problem joe." Joe just smiled and didn't say anything.

Than Bill started :"Hey, you know what I think is a little bit strange?"Joe shruged his shoulders, Bill continued:"Well, when I'm on my way home at night from here, I already slow down my car two blocks away from our house. Than maybe, thirty yards in front of my home, I already shut off the motor, and I push the car to the garage. I don't use the automatik thing to open my garage, no I always open it manually. After I push the car into the garage, I already put off my shoes before I even reach the front door. Looking for my keys I try to avoid to wake up the dog, who is always sleeping outside in his little house. After I careful and silent open the door, I don't even switch on a light, and I go direclty up the stairs as silent as not even a cat can be. Than when I finally get upstairs, Melinda is already waiting there. And I don't even want to tell you, what always happens next!" Bill moaned very hard, aware of that he was in big trouble again.Than Joe started :" Well Bill, you are doing something completly wrong here. When I get home, I don't slow down a couple of blocks before, no I drive like "hell"
to my garage,                                       stepping on my brakes, which always wakes up
our neighbors. Than I try to make my way to the front door.First I ring the
bell, because I'm often too lazy to get out my keys, but never somebody
opens it. Well, than when I finally get in, I stamp up the stairs like a
strong earthquake which would smash our house.
And then when I finally get upstairs, nobody
is waiting for me and Helena is still sleeping."

After their conversation both of them went home as usual, waiting to face
their two different kinds of "welcome at home again,honey".















Robert Frost, one of the most famous poets in United States history, made himself famous with his unique works. His poems, which are almost always about nature, are full of hidden messages and metaphors. Some of his works are,”Mending Wall”, “The Outright”, “Acquainted with the Night” and “Stopping by woods on a Snowy evening”. All of these works are unique in its style but “Stopping by woods on a Snowy evening” is a good repetition worth of it. It represents Frosts’ works best above his others, because of the hidden messages, and the connection of nature and death within the poem. The poem shows human love towards nature in an unusual way and the relation of nature towards death.

 This poem has its simplicity, but also its hidden ideas behind it. The simplicity can be seen in the form how it is written. In every line of the four stanzas, there are eight syllables. The rhymes are always exact rhymes, like “queer” and “near”. The rhyme scheme is: ”A,A,B,A,B,B,C,B,C,C,D,C,E,E,E,E”. The words chosen by the author are simple and not very difficult to understand. But what really makes this poem unique is the fact that there is a meaning behind its rhyme scheme. When you put the rhyme scheme together in a different way and than draw lines, it gives a chain, which characterizes this poem (see English 10th book written by Cornelsen).

 In this work Robert Frost connects nature with death. The poem shows this connection by using metaphors. Below the surface, in the last two lines, it is quoted: “And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep”. The repetition of the word sleep has a message behind it. The first time is stands for “sleep” and the second time for “death”. This is the sleep/death metaphor, and the undercurrent of gentle longing for death tinges the surface with a melancholy that reinforces and plays off the night and winter images. A winter image is shown in the third stanza, line 13: “Downy flake”. A night image is shown in the second stanza, line eight: “The darkest evening of the year”.

 The narrator has an unusual way to explain the forest which is his paradise. Probably the best example to make this statement clear is shown in the last stanza: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep”. Usually somebody who admires something wouldn’t choose these kinds of adjectives. For example the narrator takes the adjectives “dark” and “deep” to describe his “paradise”, which is very strange. Wouldn’t somebody describe his paradise more like “sunny” or “bright”? “Dark” and “Deep” have more a dangerous and evil reputation, while “sunny” and “bright” have more a warm and safe one. But this is exactly what makes the poem so unique, and my favourite piece of literature. For the narrator, exactly these facts make it his paradise.

 Many people admire the author’s work for its uniqueness but also for its simplicity in style and grammar. This poem has several hidden messages, which give the meaning of this work more importance. And finally, the vision to imagine nature as a paradise makes this poem my favourite one.




















A long time ago a famous athlete said: “Sport is teamwork”. This is part of the definition “What is sport”. But sport has so many definitions, and only one general, which states that sport, is the competition of a variable number of athletes, or teams, who measure their skill in a particular game or competition, with fixed rules, mostly against each other. Their skill and their determination to win the competition depend on certain factors. Sport, however, has taken an important role in the life of many people. This important role can be seen from two different points of views, the athletes’ one and the one of the fan. NASCAR racing goes “hand-in-hand” in the areas of moral values, competition, skill factors, and the importance in peoples’ life. In addition to, NASCAR racing had a great influence on parts of the American society.
  In an article on nascar.com by Jeff Lull “The Evolution of the Stock Car”, it is stated: “It all started with races on the famed Daytona beach/road course in the late 1940's. Throughout the 53-year history of NASCAR, its race cars have been transformed from road-going, lumbering true "stock" cars into the sleek, technologically advanced machines that we see today on ultra-modern speedways.” The speakers shout: “Gentlemen, start your engines“! This is probably the most famous expression in the NASCAR racing society, but what exactly is and means NASCAR racing? The answer to this is shown in the article “The Popularity of NASCAR Racing“by Chris Montas (nascarfans.com):”The most important race series in the United States is the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) stock cars. The sports governing body is located in Daytona Beach, Florida and enjoys quite a following in the southern United States. Some people claim that the sport originated from local men who distilled moonshine and tried to outrun the police during a raid on their still. These men were said to be the fathers of NASCAR. The major stock-car racing events are the 500-mile Daytona 500, run annually in Daytona Beach, and the 600-mile World 600, run annually in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Winston Tobacco Company supports the entire NASCAR event and thus, the series is called the Winston Cup. The maybe most famous NASCAR racer of all time was Richard Petty who won a record 200 races. He, "King Richard", won the Winston Cup, emblematic of stock car racing supremacy, seven times (1964, 1967, 1971-72, 1974-75, 1979).” In the article on nascarfans.com by Christoph Mcburns “King Richard”, Petty was asked how he made it so far, and he answered: “You need to believe in you what ever you do, than usually everything comes from itself”.
  NASCAR racing fits the sport definition in the areas of moral values, competition, skill factors, and the importance in peoples’ life. Like many other sports, NASCAR is a competition between many single athletes. But to succeed in this sport, an individual character isn’t enough. Instead, a whole team is required. In the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing the team must work hard to win first place. For example the racer needs to practice a lot to improve his racing skills, or the team as a whole needs to improve its team work together to achieve better results during a race. Consequently, to achieve victory a lot of practice is required. Nowadays, NASCAR takes an important role in many peoples life. As a fan, of this sport or of an individual driver, the results of a race affect this person in many ways. It can affect him positive or negative and so it plays an important part of his life. The fan dedicates a part of his life to this sport, like you dedicate your life to a wife. As an athlete, sport can even affect you more, than a fan, because you devote your life, time, nerves, and power, to this sport to achieve success. These are ways in which NASCAR racing fits in the sports definition.
  There are two racers who spoke about their thoughts and experiences in racing.
One of them is the very famous and high talented Jeff Gordon, who is driving for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. "The Kid" became the youngest winner of NASCAR's Winston Cup in 1995. He repeated his Winston Cup success in 1997 and 1998, and in the latter year won 13 races, tying the record held by Richard Petty (www.nascar.com). In one of his interviews in the Sports Illustrated he was asked how NASCAR racing changed his entire view of life and Jeff answered that “It changed his life in a way that motivated him to work harder, but he also got aware of how difficult it is to be famous. In addition to, it made him a more responsible person”. Sports Illustrated asked him, how he felt after winning the Winston Cup for the first time, and Jeff answered with a content voice that “He was sure that all what he has worked for in the past years has paid off. But of course it was the biggest thing in his life yet”. After being asked how he was dealing with the rapid success in his still young racing career Gordon revealed that “His girl friend is the one who keeps him with his feet on the ground. Jeff also explained that “His mother played and plays a key role in his rocketing success, because since his fathers’ dead, his mother was working really hard to realize Jeff’s dreams” (Sports Illustrated 02/01). The last two questions asked by the sports magazine were about Jeff Gordon’s future plans, on which he just gave a short but precise answer:” My team and I are going to work harder than ever the next seasons and I’m going to do my best to repeat my success of the past years. In addition to, I want to encourage all the young racers out there, to work hard, to forget losses, and most importantly to gain a positive attitude.”
Another racer, called Ryan Clom, but not so popular who is at the moment driving in a small league, is looking up to Jeff Gordon. He is very talented, that’s what people, who know him, say. He is now 17 and he has won several local championships. In a local newspaper, he mentioned that “One day he is going to be like Jeff Gordon” . In addition to, Clom promised himself that he is going to”work as hard as J. Gordon did to get into the NASCAR society “(Dorchester local newspaper 04/02). The Dorchester local newspaper asked him if his parents were supporting his plans for the future on which Ryan answered that “his family is really doing everything they can to make his big dream come true. In addition to, Ryan added to this statement laughing that “despite his racing success, his parents are keeping a strict eye on his school grades”. Another interesting question Ryan was asked was what his friends think about his future plans. Clom answered determined “Of course some think that I am crazy, but my best friend believes in me and he is also the one who always attends my races”. The last two questions were asking about what he would do if he meets his star Jeff Gordon. Ryan Clom responded ironically:” I would definitely ask him, how he got so famous” (all Dorchester Local Newspaper 04/02).  
  NASCAR racing represents the American society in a way that made them a world power: “Team work”. Without team work, there is no chance in winning a Daytona 500 race or a Winston Cup. When you compare that with the American society and look back in the past, you can conclude that there wouldn’t be a world power without team work. A good example in American history that proves that teamwork is required to achieve success was the American war for independence. In addition to team work, there is also the typical American love for the “big”, the “fast”, and the “powerful”. The powerful “race machines” are meant, with which the drivers perform their races. These cars mean power, to the American society. And that’s another point why NASCAR is American. Race driver Jeff Gordon himself stated in one of his interviews after he had one the Winston Cup:” I wouldn’t have achieved this victory without our great team and my powerful race machine”.