|Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America|
I was nervously sitting in the floor master’s office on a Friday afternoon. I was waiting for the floor master, Mr. Pratt, to lay his academic discipline on me for cutting class. Today, I was supposed to take a huge English exam.
Last night I didn’t study, so naturally I had no intention of taking the exam. My friends told me that I should just skip class and take the test the next day so therefore I opted to cut class and leave school early since English was my last class. However on my way out, Ms. Montez caught me and brought me to Mr. Pratt. So there I was. I had already been questioned by Mr. Pratt and know he returned. I was sentenced to five days in detention. He warned me that if I ever cut class again, the penalty would be a lot worse. Since I didn’t have to start my detentions until tomorrow, I quickly ran to my locker to get my books and after out to the bus.
“Hey Brian”, I called, “I got caught leaving school. Pratt gave me five days.”
Brian replied, “Wow, Mark that’s terrible!”
I sat there on by myself for the remainder of the ride contemplating exactly how my dad would react when I got home. I knew that he would be mad, but most of all he would be disappointed. I admit that I was scared to go home. I got off the bus at my stop and walked up the hill to my house with my neighbor, Pat. I took a deep breath and slumped up the front stairs of my house and into the kitchen where my father patiently awaited me. I could tell that by the way he looked at me, I was in for something bad. Mr. Pratt had called my house after I left his office to tell my dad what had happened. Therefore my dad was aware of me cutting class.
“Sit down, Mark” my father said. I sat down glumly and listened to what he had to say. He asked, “Did I ever tell you the story about when I cut school?”
I replied, “No, you didn’t.”
“Well, Mark”, he continued, “I was walking to St. Augustine in South Boston. I was in first grade and I was only seven years old. It was a beautiful day out. As I walked down the street I noticed a construction site. I suppose that they were building a new house, but I couldn't tell because it was to early in the process. I was fascinated by all the machines and how they worked. I thought that I would just take a peek around and then continue on to school. I marveled at the size of the bulldozer and the trucks. I was so distracted that when I came to my senses, I though that I had spent the entire day there. I thought that for sure school was out, so I headed home, sad to be leaving my construction site. I arrived home and I walked into the kitchen where my father was. I greeted him with a friendly ‘Good Afternoon.’ But he just sat there quietly and said nothing. Then I noticed that none of my siblings were home and I looked at the clock to see if I was early.
"To my surprise it was only 9:30. I had been gone for only two hours, not the entire day. He marched me right out the door and straight to school and said that we would talk later.”
“Mark, I don’t know exactly why you didn’t go to class today. However, I do know that sometimes temptations are to strong hold back and ignore," my dad concluded. He sent me off to my room to do my homework and said that we would talk more at suppertime.
I believe that it is only human nature to make the wrong decisions. I think that no matter how hard people may try to do the right thing, there is always the little devil over our shoulder tempting us to do wrong. In my case, I was tempted by peer pressure. My other friends told me to cut class; therefore I thought that I had to. I thought that skipping class was the cool thing to do. In my father’s case, he was tempted by mere childish curiosity. Even in the Bible, Eve was tempted by her curiosity to eat the apple from the tree from which God commanded her not to eat.
The question remains, how do we as people attempt to avoid these distractions and temptations that seem so inevitable, so unavoidable? We must tell ourselves that we will do the right thing. We must plan out ahead of time exactly what we will do in these situations. Therefore, when we are faced with them, there is no thought into what to do; what is right or wrong; we know what is right, and we just do it.
leave home everyday and go to work, and come home from work everyday from
work. They never miss the familiar warm look that their house gives off;
they see it everytime they walk by. They enjoy every aspect of their home
such as the door, the stairway, the garden, and the backyard. Each of
these triggers their own memories of family and friends. Thats what makes
a house so homely. Thoreau once said, "A familiar name cannot make a man
less strange to me." Aspects of a house make the house less strange and
more familiar. However I found a place that most people seldom find
attractive or important. It is a place where most people go everyday no
matter what. A place that can offer just the same amount of memories that
a backyard or a doorway can offer. This place is my driveway!
I had just finished a beautiful weekend at my
friend Ethan's house in New York. It was the end of the summer and I was
heading back to my summerhouse on Martha's Vineyard for my last week. I
was sad to leave because this meant that vacation was almost over, but I
was getting a little homesick. On that day Ethan had track practice early
in the morning, and since he lived about a half-hour outside of the city,
his father, Steve, had to drive me into The Port Authority Station. We
thought that we had enough time so Steve decided to park the car about 10
blocks away and walk up to the station from there. We stopped at
Starbucks on the way for coffee, and we reached the station with about 10
minutes until my bus left.
Walt Whitman was proud of the spirit that
Americans showed through their work. Whitman observed America as it was
changing from a predominantly agricultural society to a great industrial
economy. Transcendentalists, like Thoreau, saw the industrial revolution
as being harmful because it was dehumanizing America, and taking it away
far away from nature. They wanted to retain the simple style of life and
maintain a greater man-to-nature interaction. On the other hand, Whitman
saw that the change from agriculture to industry was in and of itself a
natural thing. To him what was important was the spirit of the American
people, and that spirit was best shown thought the work of the people. “I
Hear America Singing” praises that spirit.
An American sport is one
that is part of every citizens life. Old men crowd around the television
to watch and parents sit on the sidelines and watch as their child runs
back and forth. It is a sport that has high school state title matches
that are almost as important as the Red Sox, or the Patriots. Lacrosse is
played in over 2,000 high schools and 500 colleges. A true American sport
is one that originates in America. One that is started on American soil.
Lacrosse was started by the Tuscarora Iroquois. The semi-sacred sport
was known to them as, “Little Brother of War.”(Conover, 32) Lacrosse is a
sport that has been in the America’s long before the white man set foot on
the continent. However, Lacrosse's popularity has increased because of
the white man’s domination.