Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America

























My Grandmother

Iíve lived across the street from my grandparents since I was six years old. Every vacation my cousin Pat would come up and sleep over my grandparents house.

When I got together with Pat it wasnít too long before we would do something grandmother mad. She would always threaten us by saying she was going to tell our parents, bust she would never actually do it because she never wanted to cause trouble. I am always going to remember my grandmother for always trying to make peace with everyone. She is known for keeping secrets to keep someone from getting into trouble.

No matter what happened she would get mad, but she would never turn you in unless it was serious. I always thought she was only like this with Pat and I, but after talking to my mother I guess she has been like that ever since she could remember. I remember one story about my grandmother. It was around the time my mother was in her early teens. It was during the early 1970ís and my uncle Charlie had received a car from a distant relative that had passed away.

During one Saturday night my Uncle Charlie was our past his curfew driving around with his friends. On his way home his car broke down so he called his mother and she met him at the Faulkner Hospital, where his car was. When she got there she ended up pushing his car up to weld street while he steered it. Even after being out after his curfew he never did get into trouble.













The beeping and the sounds of cars buzzing by are the only sounds heard in this single spot of nature. I have spent the last two weeks visiting the rotary that connects the West Roxbury Parkway and the V.F.W Parkway. Emerson said, "I find somethin more dear and connate than in the streets or villages.

During the two weeks visiting the rotary I was able to experience something natural while at the same time was in the middle of the city. The rotary is only right up the street from my house and I never really noticed it before I started visiting it. It seems like im not the only one because no one else really seems to even notice it. They are too busy rushing off to work or some other meeting to notice this oasis of plants and trees found in the middle of the city. Stepping on the carpet of wet leaves covering the rotary's ground brought back some childhood memories. I remembered being a little kid and playing cops and robbers in my back yard during the fall. My friends and I use to rake the leaves into piles then we would hide in the piles and try to ambush one another.

Each day the trees would shed more of their leaves to get ready for the heavy snow loads on their branches. It seems everything in nature prepares for winter in one way or another.The trees drop their leaves, squirrels gather acorns for their winter supply of food, and the birds start migrating south. Once in a while I see someone walking their dog or jogging by, but they don't even give the rotary a second look. They are most likely more concerned about finishing whatever they set out to do so they can get back home or go about whatever other plans they scheduled.

I also noticed the amount of people that go around the rotary varies throughout the day. There seems to be more people on the road when it is dark and showering than on a sunny day. Don't ask me why this is because im still trying to figure that one out myself. The rotary represents what our country, America, is about. It is an open and free natural space. We are able to visit these places in nature without having any restrictions holding us back. We are able to experience everything that is part of nature.











Pat needed a car to get back and forth from school and work so he decided to
check out some used cars before he went looking at newer models. He decided to go to
the used car dealership that was down the street from his work.
     When he finally had time to go to the dealership he noticed that there wasn't many cars there that were under 6 years old. There was one car there that he was kind of
interested in, it was a ‘94 Honda Civic. Pat went over to the car and started examining it.One of the salesmen saw this and came walking over while wearing his cheap gray suit and tacky tie. The salesman said, "I see you have good taste in cars."
Pat looked up," "Yeah it's not a bad car." The salesman introduced himself and said his
name was Bob.
     Pat went over the car some more and told Bob it was a little too expensive for it's
Bob said, "Pat I see you're a man that knows his cars so I'll take $100 off to bring it down to $9850"
Pat  looked at Bob with astonishment, "No thanks that's still too high."
Bob just shrugs his shoulders and says, "Sorry that's the best I can do."
Pat tells him sorry he isn't interested and starts to walk away and then Bob yelled over to Pat, "Wait um oh ya I just remembered there is a special sale on Hondas this week so its only $9000 even" Pat stopped then looked at Bob and said, "you never mentioned any sale before and you said $9850 was the best you can do." Bob came back with, "Well I forgot about the sale and my boss wouldn't be happy if I let
a good customer go. "Pat responded, "whatever, that sounds like a good deal to me" Bob then went over to Pat, shook his hand and said, "Great that sounds good to me, so
lets go to my office and fill out some paper work."












Emily Dickinson, a native of Amherst, Massachusetts, is regarded as one of the greatest American poets, though she didnít become known until after her death. While she was
alive she wrote about 1,775 poems, but she never wanted any of them to be published. The last ten years of her life she refused to leave her house and garden. During that time
her poems reflected her Calvinistic beliefs in predestination.
    Dickinson shows the reader with this poem that none of us can actually plan our death, but instead it is chosen for us. ďBecause I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for
meĒ. Americans are often so caught up with work and how much money they have that life passes them by without them actually having a chance to enjoy themselves. They live
life as if they can plan out their own death, but it can happen at any time so its important to enjoy yourself. Dickinson uses the analogy of death being a living person to describe
what it is like when we die. Death is the person that we all think we can avoid and put off until another time, but Death eventually catches up with us.
    Americans often put their work and their belongings first instead of the more simple things in life. ďAnd I had put away my labor and leisure too for his civility.Ē People believe how
much money they have is all that matters, but it doesnít because we canít bring any of those things with us when we die. Dickinson shows us that we do not need material things
to be happy because when we die we leave all of our belongings behind. Even though Dickinson didnít own any valuables, she left a behind a legacy. She had written over 1775 poems which eventually led her to be regarded as one of the greatest female poets.
    Throughout the poem Dickinson gives a description of what she sees and what she is thinking when she dies. It is clear  to the reader that Dickinson is reflecting back on her
life and remembering when she was young. She does this by describing a school that she passes on her way to the after-life. She used the school to make a comparison between
herself and the children that go to that school. He life was ending and the childrenís lives were just getting started.
    It is obvious to the reader that Dickinson felt as if she was already dead when she wrote most of her poems. Everyday was like death to her because she would be stuck in her
house while life was continuing on around her. She regretted spending the last years of her life stuck in her house. She restricted herself to just her house and garden so in a sense she was socially dead. In order to get a better understanding of what her poems are about you have to familiarize yourself with her background because without that you will be lost.





















 "Sport" could be defined by an American as a
physical game that is both competitive and fun. When
people think  of the word sport they automatically
think of basketball, hockey, and baseball. People
often forget about the less popular sports like squash
and tennis, but they too are just as much a sport as
baseball. People often look for constant action and
physical contact, so a lot of other sports are less
active are often forgotten.
   Most people think Rugby is a sport only played by
people in foreign countries, but in fact it is one of
the most popular sports played by men and women on
college campuses. There are actually 75,000 rugby
players in the U.S. today.
   Our "American football" comes from the original
game of rugby. Rugby union football is the traditional
version of the game. There are eight forwards and
seven backs on each side and the objective is to
advance the ball into the opponent's endzone for a
"try"  that is worth five points. A conversion kick is
worth two points and field goal is worth three.
(Ledsema 106) The rules of rugby are some what similar
to our football, but it does have its differences such
as the penalties.
   Rugby is some what a tougher sprot than American
football for a number of reasons, one being that rugby
players don't wear any protective equipment. Unlike
football there are 40 min. halves with no time-outs and
no substitutions.(Ledsema 106) In order for anyone to
play like that they would have to be well trained as
well as tough in order to go through such a grueling
game. If you try to play it when you are out of shape
you might as well forget it because it's likely you
won't be able to survive those 40 min halves.
   Rugby is constantly growing with popularity in professional fields. It will even debut as a sport in the 2004 Olympics. (Ledsema 106) More and more Americans are starting to enter the sport including Dan Lyle. Lyle turned down offers from the Minnesota Vikings to become a professional Rugby in England. (Wahl 15) He is now considered to be among the best in the world. " It was the greatest thrill of my life", Lyle said, " Here was a combination of every sport I'd ever played, a port that was all about attacking. This is what Americans look for in a sport, constant attacking." (Wahl 15) If you look at all the popular sports in America like hockey, there is constant physical action.
   There are also a number of amateur leagues and clubs that people from the ages of 6 to 60 can take part in. The general manager of Belmont Shore in Long Beach, California. Comments on how the sport has grown. "Competition for out starting 15 players is extremely fierce, but there's a place for every athlete willing to make the commitment." (Ledsema106)
   Rugby players remain to be among the most skilled athletes. A reporter for the Sunset comments on Rugby players abilities, "The surprising lack of serious injuries is a tribute to the players skill as well-trained athletes" (66). Considering all the major injuries that occur in football, rugby players have to be well-trained as well as highly skilled to keep the number of serious injuries low.
   Before you put off Rugby as being a boring sport that only Europeans play, think again because our American football originates from Rugby. It is becoming a strong force spreading throughout the world including the U.S.