Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America




















Every Sunday my family and I eat diner downstairs at my grandparents house.During diner I asked my grandfather to tell the oldest story that comes to mind, he said with a grin on his face “ I’ve got a good one”. Back during the summer of 1928, my grandfather and his friends would always go fishing off the summer street bridge every weekend. The thing is they never caught anything, so it was a waste of there time. One day my grandfather Dan Hurley got upset because the fish weren’t biting as usual, so he picked up a huge rock over his head and through it forward and the momentum of rock took him off the bridge into the swallow water below injuring his leg. I asked him why he told that story he said “it was the most embrassing thing that has ever happened to me and it’s funny”. I think that story has to do with a America because everyone needs patience.












     When you think of a grassy field you think of almost anything. You think of peace or harmony or you could think of some of the bloodiest battles in American warfare such as that of Gettysburg.
     This field, however, located directly behind my home, is a field of peace; peace is surrounded by gentle Mother Nature and all of her children and creations.
     When I walk on “Peace” I feel relaxed and not threatened in any way shape or form. I feel as though I am walking among the clouds, walking among the clouds with the Lord, I feel like every other American in this special spot. When I walk on Peace I am the “Transparent eyeball of Nature”. This field is a part of heaven on earth, a place where evil can not harm you, and you can be alone, alone with the Lord and His choir of angels and saints. You can do whatever you want in this special spot, there is no evil or pain and every person is equal to each other, there are no superior beings except for God.
     During my days of being on this field, I noted that there was almost always some kind of animal life on that field. There would be everything and anything ranging from large creatures such as dogs and raccoons to the smallest of creatures such as worms and other bug life.
     However, I observed that there was no human life in this field of mine. This was a greatly unappreciated spot which was rejected by human society. I owned this field because no other human had set foot on it, at least from I could tell. No other footprint was there on that spot except for mine. It was just me and the animal life on this field, we all got along, and there were no arguments like that with humans in society. It had not yet been undertaken by the rapidly growing human population; it remained pure and untouched, a place of heaven on earth.























John and Dan are both in the same History class at school. Dan is a honor roll student who forgot his study guide for the big test so he asked his best friend John for help during their study period before the test. “What do you think will be on the test?” , asked Dan with a worried look on his face.“I think all the vocabulary words in Chapter 3 and the essays on page  35.” , said John looking down at his notebook. “ Are you sure there isn’t anything
else.” , said Dan  “Well, you might have to look over the section reviews in that Chapter.”, replied John. The bell had rung, Dan and John made their way to room 24 for the
moment of truth. They sat down on opposite sides of the classroom, then the teacher passed out the test.  “ How is it going on the test.”, whispered John , but there was no
answer from Dan. “ OK don’t talk to me, that’s the last time I help you.” , whispered John has angry as he could without getting in trouble by the teacher. After the test John rushed over to see Dan,“ How did you do on the test.?” asked John. With a sad look on his face “ I did awful.”, muttered Dan , “ Why?” asked John with a confused look on his face. “ Because everything you told me to study wasn’t on the test at all!” , shouted Dan as he was pushing John. John replied “ That’s because you asked what I thought was going to be on the test, and not what was on the test , and if it makes you feel any better I did not do good on the test either.”. “ Now I don’t feel as bad.” said Dan as they began to walk home from school. The next day in school Dan and John had History first, which means they get back those dreeded tests.In class you could notice that Dan was nervous, I would be to if I never failed a test before, and to break that streak because you forgot a study
guide, well back to the story. The teacher handed out all the test up side down, so you couldn’t see the grade.He waited till all the test were passed out and said, “ OK, now you may look”. Dan and John flipped there test over with in a blink of a eye. “ I got a 35.”,said Dan with a sad look on his face,  “ What you get?” , he asked John. “ I didn’t do good.” , said John , “ What was the grade?” asked Dan, “ Not important just that I did bad.” , said John, Dan said , “ Come just tell me it can’t be as bad as mine.”. John finally gave in and said,  “ All right fine I got an 80.”, Dan said with a mean look on his face      
“ How is that bad.”,  “ Well because I lost the paper you gave me with all the test questions and couldn’t study that much.” replied John. Dan said with a confused look      
“ That’s a good reason.”. After realizing that John had stolen his study guide and that he didn’t lose it Dan yelled,” I didn’t let you borrow any paper with the test questions.”.“ Well I forgot to ask you, but I knew you would say yes.” said John.












Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California, but at the age of eleven moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts. He briefly attended Dartmouth College; he left school and worked as a schoolteacher, newspaper writer, mill hand, and a farmer. He wrote poetry and dreamed of someday being able to support him on his writing alone. Robert Frost's success as a poet wasn't easy. Magazine and book publishers rejected him for years, until finally he got success when he received four Pulitzer Prizes and read at a presidential inauguration. Robert Frost in the "Gift Outright" it is the confused British people who live thousands of miles from their so-called "homeland". What this does is give the definition of the American character.

Frost reminds us of what we were searching for so long ago, when they called us colonists.

Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living (p.812)

How many times have you been doing something, and you felt a piece of you missing, and when you found that piece you felt complete, like a whole. They were living their lives without any thought of what should belong to them. They worked this land, yet it didn't belong to them.
Frost uses possession to show the gradual strength of the country.

But we were England's, still colonials,Possessing what we still were unpossessed Such as we were we gave ourselves outright (The deed of gift was many deeds of war)

If you have ever got into a fight or argument with any one who said some bad things about your mom or someone in your family is causes a fight. Frost is saying that we have
protected her outright with the blood of many, in many different wars for her protection.

Robert Frost is making an assumption on how America will grow and what it will become.

"But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced, / Such as she would become."

This country for a long time had really no sense of itself in a literature kind of way until "Huck Finn" came out. Over about hundred years the future of this country affected the world and finally we have a sense of ourselves, our own identity.

If someone were to ask about America I would tell them to read Robert Frost "The Gift Outright", because this poem almost gives a complete history on this country. If defines America and the American spirit.
























     When you first think of the word sport survival of

the fittest comes to mind, but that isn’t true it all depends on

who wants it most. Jai alai is a fast and dangerous sport a lot

like handball, another name for jai alai is pelota. Players use

a cesta, a skinny wicker basket to throw a ball called pelota

up to speeds of 150 miles per hour, Ouch! Jai alai originated

from a game in the Basque region of Spain and France during

the 1600’s.The word Jai alai means merry festival. Jai alai is a

popular sport in Europe partically Spain and France, however,

in the United States ,jai alai became popular in Florida and is

now starting to spread to other states. This sport is heavily

surrounded by gambling, just like horse racing.(Miami jai alai).

     Oscar Goicoechea a former player who now

spends his life writing about the sport once said, “ How many

people do you know,play a sport where a ball comes at your

face at 150 mph’s. Where your life is act risk every moment

your on the cancha.” (extreme jai alai ) There is great skill

and dedication involved when you play jai alai it takes years of

practice, many people start at a young age in order to

become good at it. I think that is the reason why it really isn’t

a popular sport because it isn’t widely known and it takes time

to develop the hand and eye coordination to play jai alai.

People are just to scared of something they are not used to

that may kill you when you are trying to learn to play.

     Ramon Elordi a professional who plays on the

2002 Newport team said about the popularity of the sport, “

This game isn’t for everyone, to many people just wouldn’t

get it.”.(Ocala Jai alai) The rules of the game are confusing

combine that with the speed at which this game is played it

would be impossible for thousands of people to be watching

game. The game of jai alai is just to fast for people.

     Becky Smith is trying to become the first female

professional jai alai player.“The greatest thing that someone

has said to me was ‘I admire you for just being out there. It

take courage to play this game’ one of my opponents told me

this before our match.” (Sports Illustrated) I think she is the

defines role model, for people she competes against guys

who are faster and stronger than her, and she competes well,

this isn’t just a guys game it is for everyone.

     This sport hasn’t become every popular hear in

America, but America has brought into the country with a new

look, they have changed it from the traditional way, to a new

way, they changed the size of the cancha or court to make

the game fastest. If it’s one thing the American people like it

is anything big or fast. People have to understand the game in

order to enjoy it.