Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America

















My dad was working his second custodian job of the day with his father. His first custodian job was at St. Mary’s the school he was attending at the time. My grandfather never once complained in his life from what my dad told me.

It was during their break that my dad asked about his grandfather and why did he come to America to begin with. Of course my dad was really thinking why did he come here when I could be doing this in Ireland. To put it bluntly he was sick and tired of working his tail off after school and having to wear rags to school. He wanted to go play after school like the other kids instead of doing this crap. Although the real reason for this question was that it happened to be a short time after President Kennedy was shot.

The nation as my dad put was in a state of depression and was asking questions left and right. My dad for some odd reason thought of his grandfather in a time like this. Just like in our current crisis I asked my dad about his grandfather. I said to my dad what tell me a story about him and what he is about as a person. My dad gave me a little smile; I began to look at him as if he had two heads. Like his father told him he told me that my great grandfather was a big believer in faith and good things will happen to those.

One day he my great grandfather packed his gear and took a boat to America. He landed in Boston and bought little land in East Boston. Then he decided to move to Newton and live there. The money was short and he lived a bad life, but America was the greatest thing that happened to him.

He was a free man. Freedom was the reason for his journey. Unlike many people he can call himself whatever he wanted to call himself. Nobody had the right to order him around and that is more valuable than all the money in the world.











The night is upon us with a certain sense of urgency to it. The night acted like it had something to do or go to a meeting to get to. The night was fading right before my eyes and it was angry. The question is why is it angry? Is it because it must leave know that it is dawn and day is coming. On the another hand is it jealous that the day gets all the glories of life. Dawn is approaching and it’s about to become and all out war.
     Thoreau said “Men think that it is essential that the Nation have commerce and export ice and talk through the telegraph and ride thirty miles an hour”. The items he is talking about deal with the growing technologys. America should not be so concerned with issues such as these. As a nation we recently learned this lesson on September 11th. Thoreau means that we should enjoy nature and life for what it is. People should be enjoying the wonders of nature instead of the advances of technology.                  When I was at the same place the day before all I could see was daylight and the beauty of the woods. At night I feel as if I am in a black hole and about to get attacked by some crazed lunatic. In the day it reminds me of what America is all about. Patriotic, beautiful and free are just some of the characteristics of “American Hickory Glory”. However at night it seemed as if Osama Bin Laden has taken over my woods and turned it into “ Tal Alban Terror Country”. Like all Americans I am afraid of those woods in fact I am petrified of them at night. Every time though the night ends and day comes and rises to the occasion just like it always will do. Just like after awhile all Americans are no longer scared.
     “American Hickory Glory” is more than just some hickory and oak trees in the front of my yard. The woods are a representation of everything that is American and that will always be American. Just like America it is going to have to take a powerful force to knock down these trees. The trees are old, powerful and rule over the smaller trees and will continue to do so as will America.









The following story is based on actual events. Although the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Bullies rule our young adult society, but what happens when theses bullies make mistakes, who bullies us then. Geeks need guidance in the world; they need that person to push them to become even more of a geek. This early bullying makes them billionaires. If Bill Gates didn’t get pushed around he wouldn’t be where he is today. America needs bullies because our country’s history shows that we are indeed bullies as well. When a smaller country does something that we don’t like we bully it. We tell it to what we want or else. Bullies one can say are part of a food chain and without them everyone is affected.
     Tom was a 10 year old boy at Benedict Arnold Middle School. Everyday the Bret “the hit man” Hart and his gang called the Hart Foundation would take Tom’s money and bully him. Bret needed to pull of something so daring that even Tom would give him some props. Bret and their gang had a meeting in their offices (back alley of Dunkin Donuts).  They agreed that the mother of pranks would have to do. The gang was going to plant a kick me sign on Tom’s back.
     The next day Tom was making his usually walk to school. The gang decided to walk with him and they talked to him like they were interested in what he had to say. Then Bret had the sign perfectly made it up. Last night he put it on bright yellow construction paper. It took him over an hour to perfect the words and make them visible from a mile away. Bret made the sign instead of doing his homework. This is how important this sign was to him. If he pulled this one off he would be an idolized forever.
     Bret came up to Tom and had the tape all ready. In an instant he taped the sign to Tom’s back and put his hands in the air like a champion. Then they all told Bret something that he never expected. The tape was not sticking, over and over again he tried but it would not stick. They went through several roles of tape and still nothing happened. When word got out to school about this Bret and his gang was ruined. Kids now made fun of them and bullied them.
     Bret and his gang recently filed a two million dollar lawsuit against the Scotch tape Company. They claim that because of Scotch that they are emotionally scared for life. People no longer see them as bullies they are just has been pranksters and this affects them a great deal. “All we want is our lives to go back to normal, beating up kids, taking their money and they occasion public humiliation” said Bret. At a recent press conference Bret and his gang hid their heads in shame. Tom has stepped forward as a witness for their claim. “I honestly hope justice is served and they can retain their honor as bullies” quoted Tom. Bullies are becoming rarer nowadays. The country needs big kids to step forward and take responsibility as a neighborhood bully.  So please if you are over six feet and in the fifth grade be a bully for your country.











Walt Whitman was a patriotic poet. Many of his poems deal with a country struggling and overcoming the struggle the nation deals with. Whitman shows in all of his pomes just how American he is. O Captain My Captain is no exception to Whitman’s other poems. Whitman takes Abraham Lincoln and shows that he is a captain of our country. O Captain My Captain theorizes that Abraham Lincoln is a patriotic man who stood for union over popularity.

     Lincoln as we know freed the slaves during the civil war. The main goal of Lincoln was to preserve the union at all costs. Lincoln freed the slaves knowing that not only would it heat the South but a lot of the North did not agree with him. Lincoln did not care he did what he believed what was best for not only the country but for mankind all together. “O the bleeding drops of red” are a sign of the blood shed that our nation went through to become one nation again. The many young men sacrificed just as Lincoln sacrificed his career.

     “Rise up for you the flag is flung”. In this particular line the flag is up for Lincoln.  At the current time Lincoln is long dead. If he were alive at this moment Lincoln would have wanted the flag to have risen when he was there. The flag above all must come as important as ourselves. Whitman is showing also the respect that Lincoln has. The idea that he is being compared with the flag is an honor.

     The people of the country all changed because of Lincoln. He taught them to be more patriotic as well. We as a nation followed Lincoln through the civil war. With his guidance our country survived. “For they call the swaying mass”. The people are calling for Lincoln’s next move in the Reconstruction process. Lincoln’s patriotism also showed when he decided to be lenient to the South rather than punishing them.

     John Adams would be proud to see the patriot that Abraham Lincoln has become. Lincoln like the original patriots fought against their brothers, only at the time it was England not the South. Lincoln fought for principles just as Adams fought for taxes. In the end patriotism wins over all, when you have a force so strong on one common goal nothing can stop it.