Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America
















About four years ago or more my mother told me the story of how and why her grand father came to this country. She was telling me this story to make me realize how easy I had things, and how tough life could be for some people. My great, great grandfather James was an Irish Immigrant to this country. He arrived in the United States in 1904.

James was born in the 1880’s I am not sure of the exact date, or even the year. Jim was the fifth of nine children. Young James, his parents and his siblings lived on a farm in southern Ireland. It was a fairly small plot of land compared to some farms, and not bringing in much money. The family was in severe poverty, and times were not good for the Griffin family. The whole family worked on the farm so there was no other source of income. The standard of living was low for the griffins.

When James was old enough to work, he decided he would look for employment to help his family. After looking hard for many months’ Jim realized he would not soon find work. He decided he would just stay at the farm which was barely scraping by, he stayed their for six more years. When James was about twenty years old he started thinking strongly about going to America, the land of opportunity. After some thought he decided he would go and nothing would change his mind. He managed to get a ticket on a ship bound for America, I am not sure of the name of the vessel.

In 1904 he landed on Ellis Island and moved to Boston. He searched for any kind of job that he could possibly find. He eventually became a Boston Police officer. He lived in the mission hill section of Roxbury. He met a woman named Mary who was also an Irish Immigrant. James married Mary a few years after coming to America. The settled down and lived happily ever after.










    In Nature there are many places that go without the recognition of the general public.  For many of these places that is the way it should be.  However some of these places deserve more appreciation.  An example of this is a spot along a small river in Hyde Park.  I am not sure of the name of it or even if it has one.  It is located along River St.
     Over the Duration of two weeks I visited this American place daily for about five minutes per day.  The first day that I was their was the first time I had been their in many moons.  As one first arrives they notice the river, and a small pedestrian bridge passing over it.  One side of this spot there is some vegetation, which covers up a barbed wire fence.  At the two ends are the paths leading out.  Under the bridge is a small man-made waterfall, sometimes its on other times it not due to a low water level.  The water itself is brown and looks somewhat polluted.  I also noted the level of the water changed from day to day.  Each day I was their I noticed that very few people visit this spot, in total I probably only saw two people in their, and this spot is not in the middle of nowhere its located near a residential area.
     While visiting this place I noticed many a change had occurred of fourteen days.  Early on I noticed some trees still had leaves, but that soon changed.  The grass had gone from green to brown in those two weeks.  A large buildup in trash seemed to have occurred overnight one day, mostly beer cans and such.  It seems as though people use this place to dump their trash sometimes.  One day I saw a shopping cart in the river.  I then realized that this truly was an unappreciated place.  Maybe this is because of its location it a busy area.  This spot deserves more recognition because of the wonderful landscape.  From the bridge you get a scenic view of the river.  This spot is surpassingly peaceful for its location.  
     In conclusion there are many spots in nature that go unnoticed.  People should start trying to notice these spots and appreciate them for what they are worth. And at the same time realizing there are many others like it.















   The New poem that I have chosen to write about is entitled “ The Brain is wider than the sky”. The author of this magnificent piece of work is none other than Emily Dickinson.  This poem is very philosophical in dealing with natural things, for example the brain. This poem is not meant to be taken literally, in most cases.  I think that this poem reveals the deep philosophical side of Mrs. Dickinson.  The first stanza of the poem is written below for analytical purposes.          

           The Brain-is wider than the sky-
           For-put them side by side-
           The one the other will contain
           With ease-and you-beside

     The first line of this piece of poetry is “The brain is wider than the sky”. This means that the brain is a vast endless expanse with the ability to learn and comprehend countless things.  The human brain is not physically wider than the sky, in fact it is much smaller.  The abilities of the brain however are wide. Wider that the sky. That is what Emily Dickinson is saying in this first line of the poem.  The brain is as wide as its owner wants it to be.  Meaning the  sky is only as wide as the earth .  “The One the other will contain” This is the third line of the poem. I think it means The brain will contain the sky in a philosophical sense, meaning that the brain can understand the sky.  In another way I think it means that the sky physically contains the brain.  “with ease and you beside” this is the fourth line of the poem, and it means that one will easily contain the other.  For analytical purposes the second stanza of the poem is below.

           The Brain is deeper that the sea
           For-hold them blue to blue
           The one the other will absorb
           As sponges buckets do

     In the second stanza of this poem the first line of the poem is “The brain is deeper that the sea” I think what this line means is that the brain is more diverse that the sea and that countless things occur within the brain.  This line is similar to the first line of the poem.  Repetition seems to be an element of this piece of poetry.  “The one the other will absorb” is the third line of the second stanza.  This means that within the vast expanse of the brain it will be able to absorb, or comprehend the ocean.  “as sponges buckets do” the meaning of this line in the poem is quite simple it means the brain will absorb the ocean as sponges absorb water.  For  reference the third paragraph is below.

           The brain is just the weight of god
           For heft them -pound for pound
           And they will differ- if they do
           As syllable from sound

     I think this part of the poem has a different meaning from that of the first two.  It is not meant to be as easily comprehended. I think the first line of this stanza “The brain is just the weight of god” means that the brain and god have much in common.  But some differences like a syllable from a sound.
     The Rhyme scheme of this poem is really unique.  It is a-b-c-b-d-e-f-e-g-h-e-h.  I think that this Rhyme scheme symbolizes the uniqueness of this poem. And in conclusion this was a wonderful poem to read.
























  Tennis truly is an American sport, played by professionals and amateurs alike all across the country.  Although in recent years its popularity has been waning, perhaps replaced by other more popular sports.  Tennis is a game that has been derived from other sports including court tennis, squash, racquets and badminton and maybe even volleyball.  The game is Played by either 2 people, knows as singles of four people called doubles.  Usually tennis is played on either grass or concrete.  Some might ask me how I would define sport.  And for me a sport is physical or athletic competition in which 2 or more people compete to win the particular event.
    Many people who have knowledge of the matter think that modern tennis was invented by Clopton Wingfield a British army officer in the year 1873.  Originally people called this game lawn tennis, to distinguish it from court tennis, which eventually changed to just tennis.  The first ever tennis championships were played at Wimbledon England in 1877 and the men’s champion was Spencer W. Gore an avid player who deserved the title. In the year 1884 the first women’s Championships at Wimbledon were played and as you might have guessed the winner was Maud Watson. By the end of the 1800’s tennis was gaining headway in the world of sports and now being played in many other nations specifically ones linked to Britain.
The game of tennis was brought to the United States in 1873 from Bermuda by Mary Outerbridge.  In 1881 The United States Lawn Tennis Association was created which made a set of rules and regulations for this game.  In 1881 the tennis singles championships took place in Rhode Island but were later moved to New York in 1915.  Tennis was becoming a major sport in the United States, but it was also big in internationally as well and as a result many people played at the recreational, or amateur  level .
     Jane Pero, an amateur tennis player, had only positive things to say about this sport. She said “It is a fun sport to play, especially in this warm weather, its also great exercise” Jane has been playing tennis for about five years now and has yet to get any better.  Amateur tennis players are found all over the country, some play for fun, some for exercise, and some just to get outside. Tennis courts are commonly found in country at playgrounds and health clubs.
    Professional tennis began in the United States in 1926. A man named Charles Pyle started a traveling organization, in which the players were paid to compete.  You were paid significantly more if you won.  Professional players were not allowed to compete in many of the big competitions such as the ones at Wimbledon and the French open. As a result many tennis players started their careers as amateurs then changed to the professional league to make money. In the United States the major organization that regulates professional tennis is the ATP tour, there is also the Women’s Tennis association. Today tennis competitions are dominated by professional players. I was Able to reach a small time Pro-tennis player, she said “Tennis is the game that made me complete, without it I would Probably be sitting in some miserable office my whole life”  This is the same reason many other Pro-tennis players love the game so much.
            The scoring of the game is rather unique.  The first person to get a score of forty wins, and you must win by two.  If you tie it is called a deuce. But anyway the scoring goes 0,15,30,40,game. In order to win a set you must win six games.  In my opinion they should score the game in a different way, perhaps in the same way that they score the game of volleyball. Some People who devote their lives to writing about the sport would argue otherwise.  Matthew Douglas a sportswriter says “The Scoring of the game of tennis should be left as is, so that we do not forget the origins of the game.
            Millions of people play tennis as a recreational sport worldwide, however a select few are able to become professional tennis players. Tennis is played by all different kinds of people all over the world.  Most of whom play on the Amateur level.  All who Have ever played the game of tennis Come to have a love for the game. I have recently tried playing the game and found it to be quite entertaining.  I would strongly suggest to anyone looking for a sport to play to try tennis.