Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America
















The Night My Parents Met”

When I asked my parents the other night to look back and tell me the oldest story of their lives, they decided to tell me the story of the night they first met. They told me this one because it was the oldest story of them together that they could remember. When they told me the story it went a little like this. Well they were at a high school dance. The dance was in 9th grade and it was a Worborn High dance but it was at the YMCA.

The reason that they didn’t know each other was because my mother went to Worborn high and my father went to a private school in Cambridge call Matignon high school. At this dance both of my parents were friends with a girl named Roseanne. Roseanne did not like the girls that my father was at the dance with because she was though to be a “slut.” So what Roseanne did was she told my father she did not ask him to go over and meet a friend of hers that she thought was perfect for him. This girl was a nice girl and was definitely not like the girl he was with. When she told him to go over there he was about to say no but, then he thought to himself and made the right decision to go over because Roseanne was a tough girl. She was the kind of girl that guys didn’t want to mess with.

Instead of getting beat up by a girl my father decided to go over and meet her friend, whose name was Deborah. She is now my mother. Ever sense that dance they have been together and they are happy with each other. What I am trying to say is without that night I would have never been born. What this has to do with the country is a lot for my family. If that dance never took place or Roseanne didn’t make my father go over they may have never met. If they never met my family may not have been part of this country.










Watch and Learn

 There are a lot of places in America that change everyday and nobody notices them. They can be really big things like hills or mountains, or they can be reallt small things like hills or bushes. So I decided to take advantage of one of these places. What I did was I watched a cliff behind my house for about two weeks. This cliff is covered in bushes and dirt. At the bottom of the cliff there is a little pond but from my observations I this it could be a sewer system. There were a lot of changes over my two week observation. When I first started my observation I had feelings that nothing about it was going to change, however, it did. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, " At a certain season in our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possible sight of a house." I feel that this cliff behind my house is the home for many living creatures such as animals.
 One of the main changes that I had noticed was the falling of the leaves from the trees throughout the time period which I had watched the cliff. When I first began my observation there was a drastic amount of change because now after two weeks are over there are no leaves left on the trees at all. This was the main part of the season where all the leaves feel from the trees. Now when I walk slowly down the cliff I can hear the fallen leavs crunching under my feet. This was one of the main changes I saw throughout my observations.
 Another drastic change which I observed over this two week period was the chirping of the birds. At first, I noticed that I could hear the birds quite frequently, but as the weather got colder they migrated south for the winter and can not be heard. As the days went on the birds got softer and softer. The last few days I observed the cliff, they could not be hear at all, not even from a distance.
 Many things in nature can relate to America. I feel that the two things which I described can both relate to Anerica. First I can say that the leaves falling off the tree can relate to America because that is something which happens every year around the same time in the same area. Also those trees are so big that they could have possibly been there since the start of the country. Those trees could have been there since before Columbus came over when the Indians were here. I also feel that the birds relate to America because they live, here, they share this country with us. Also , they could have anscestors which have been on this earth long before we can determin. They may have even been here before man. We know this because scientists have discovered that the bird resembles and are related to some dinasours such as the taridactle.
 This experiment was a good one. It turned out to teach me that I take nature for granted. It also taught me that there are a lot of things that relate to America we just dont take the time to think about it. These were my best observations from the two weeks which I watched the cliff behind my house. By watching them I determined that they do relate to America and add to American society and culture.











On one late Saturday night, two high school juniors got a craving for Chinese food. Their names were Steve and Ryan. The two teenaged boys were on their way home from a friend’s party and since they had the craving, they decided to stop and fulfill it. Steve and Ryan stopped at PuPu, a local Chinese restaurant in their town, and got a quick bite to eat. Upon their arrival, the two boys saw a bunch of their friends their whom had the same craving. After conversing with their friends for a while, the two boys ordered the sat at a table to be startled by and unexpected surprise.
     Out from behind the coke machine came a little black mouse. The mouse was just scurrying around on the floor looking for scraps of food, which people had dropped. At first the site of the mouse startled the two boys, they screamed. However, the more they saw it the funnier they though it was and wanted to play with it.
     Steve said “Hey Ryan, lets get it to come back out”.
     In reply Ryan said “ Yea that sounds like a good idea, lets do it.”
     What the two boys decided to do was once they got their food, they were going to walk very quietly over to the coke machine and very slyly place a boneless spare rib one the floor. At this point, their friends thought they were crazy because Ryan and Steve were the only two the saw this mouse, no one else.
     One of their friends, at the table behind them saw their actions and said “ There is definitely no mouse in here, are you sure you two are alright”
     The entire time they were eating, the boys watched their rib on the floor. Except for the one time, they turned their heads to talk to their friends. When they turned back, the spear rib was gone.
     “Oh my God, I can’t believe it” Ryan quickly replied in astonishment.
     “I know right when we look away he came back” Steve said with a tone of disappointment.
     After that, the two boys could not stop laughing. Not only did their friends think they were a bit crazy but they started to question themselves too. However, in spite of that the tow boys continued to laugh for the rest of the night because they could not understand how something so small was able to move something that was about the same size of itself.  Ryan and Steve look back on their night of amusement and still find it one of the funniest times that they have ever had.












     Emily Dickinson is arguably one of the best poets ever. Even though she only lived
for 56 years, she touched many of our lives with her poetry. In my opinion, "The Soul
Selects Her Own Society" is one of her best works. This poem is about a path, which can
be chosen in our lives. It describes how we will live and what our life will be about. By
reading this poem we can predict how our lives will be lived and what we will grow to be
like as people.

     Through her works Dickinson portrays the strength of a persons inner soul. Only
on person can choose how his life will be. That person is you. "The Soul Selects Her Own
Society" is the first line of Dickinson’s poem. The meaning of the first line of them poem
is that the soul is the part deep down inside a person, which describes the way a person
will live their life. The inner body is what decides this. This is because in the world we are
faced with choices and of these choices we are able to pick one way or another. We are
the only people who have the power to make these specific choices. No one else has the
power to do so for you.

     The poem captures the feeling of what should be expected as we journey to our
destiny. God is always watching us and knows every move we make. When our lives have
ended we will have to show ourselves to him. This is where we will be judged for how we
lived as a person on earth. "Unmoved - Un Emperor be kneeling." This is a line from the
second stanza. Personally, I believe that this describes how we will be at the end of our
paths as we reveal ourselves the almighty God, letting him judge whether or not we have
been what he has intended us to be or just the opposite of that.

     Dickinson’s poem shows that once God has made a decision it is everlasting. After
God judges us, He has to make a decision. God has to decide whether or not we will be
allowed to enter into his kingdom. The third stanza helps to illustrate the decision making
of God. "Then- close the values of her attention," "Like stone." This quote helps to show
that God is paying attention to all we do. However, he will no longer have to do so
because the values are closed and what God says is echoed in stone.

     Emily Dickinson’s poem is a view is a view of your life in our eyes as well as in
Gods eyes. It is us choosing the right path and God is always watching us and at the end
him judging us and finally seeing if he lets us into his kingdom or not. It is all about us
making the right decisions that we want to make in our lives and God is just observing.


























Rugby is a sport, and a sport is a competitive game that has to do with hard work and usually involves a score.  This sport can be associated with American football. In this game, which began in the mid 1800’s, requires footwork such as dribbling and passing as techniques (Carlton Books). However, this sports most featured characteristic is frequent passing. The main focus of this game is for each team to ground the ball past their opponents goal line and score as many points as possible within two forty minute periods. Rugby is played with an oval shaped leather ball. This sport does require full body contact yet there us no protective equipment worn. All that the players wear are jerseys, shorts and boots. This could hardly keep the players from getting seriously injured.
A rugby match is played on a field, which extends 110 yards long to each goal line. The matches are broken up into two periods, each being forty minutes in length. There is a five-minute half time, which allows the opposing teams to switch sides of the field. Also, there are only two minutes allowed to each team for time outs or delays. On the field fifteen men participate in the game, eight forwards and seven backs. The forwards in rugby are equivalent to the linesmen of American football (Origins of Rugby). Along with the players, there is one referee and two touch judges on the field. The ref is the one person in charge of applying laws as well as the time. The two touch judges follow the ball with flags and signal when the ball crosses either side of the field. During the games there are no substitutions allowed. If a player is disabled or is asked to leave the field then that team must play with one less player (Origins of Rugby).
A Rugby School boy, William Webb Ellis, during a soccer game in 1823, developed this sport. The founder of this game can be considered an amateur. During this soccer game, Ellis showed a new style of ball carrying. This new style quickly spread and became quite popular throughout the English school system. In 1839 at Cambridge University, intramural players gave this a try. This trial grew to a new game given the name Rugby derived from where Ellis had gone to school (Carlton Books).
Throughout this game there are not only amateurs such as Ellis but professional players who dedicate their life to playing the game. Jonah Lomu, a 27 year old from New Zealand, can be considered a professional and dedicated player of Rugby. While being educated at Wesley College, Lomu sporting talents could not go un-noticed. Not only was he strong, but also he was astonishingly fast. At the age of fourteen, he was invited to join a Rugby Squad for promising teenagers. This is where he became the most mobile forward over a five-year period. His amazing abilities came to national attention in 1994 where he took the Hong Kong Sevens tournament by complete surprise where he showed a combination of speed, power, ball skills as well as amazing tackle breaking.
In 1995 Jonah was named player of the Tournament at the Rugby World Cup when he scored some of the best running tries known to rugby. However, the next year Jonah Lomu was faced with heartbreaking news. He was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome, a rare and serious kidney disorder. Determined that this would not be the end of his career and dream, he said “I won’t let this be the end, I will play again,” Lomu did everything possible to get well again so he would be able to do once again what he loved and he did. In 2001, Jonah once again showed the world what he was able to do. He defended is global name at the World Cup where he again displayed the best talent know to the rugby world (Jonah Lomu p.1-2).
John Plummer, is a well-known critic from Canterbury.  He writes many articles on rugby games and the stories of rugby players.  He once said, “I love to be part of the game.”  This is because he once played the game of rugby and he loved to do it, but one day like Lomu he got injured but it was different.  In his case he tore all of the cartilage in his knee and the doctor told him he could never play again.  After trying hard to come back and discovering that there was no chance he decided that he would try to find another way to become a part of the game.  Seeing that he had a hobby of writing he wanted to try being a journalist of the game.  After a little bit it he became a hit and one of the best writers to ever be part of the game (Sports/Rugby p.1-2).
Rugby is not a sport, which is only known throughout Europe and Africa. This game is followed throughout most of the countries in the world. It was introduced to the United States around the year 1875 (Origins of Rugby). This is where the idea of American football derived from. The longest attempt to the popularity of Rugby in the United States was in the San Francisco Bay region. However, this sport has never become excessively popular in the United States. It can be said that the Americanized form of rugby can be seen as football. These two sports although being quite different carry some of the same regulations and rules. The lack of popularity of this sport shows that the Americans did not recognize it. It can also be a view that the Americans are not as strong as these players. For example we wear pads and protective equipment to keep from injury in football where as rugby players do not. Many Americans love to be the best and the toughest at everything they do.  We are the best in a lot for example military and overall intelligence, but rugby is probably the hardest sport to play physically wise and us Americans don’t play it very much.  I feel that some of us long to play it because it is harder than football and yet we don’t have it in America.  This is why Americans play the sport of rugby.