Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America














"Hey ma let me know a story about Granky!" I exclaimed to my mother. The story I was about to hear would intrigue me for the rest of the night and days to come. I was looking for an old story about my grandfather who was an immigrant from County Kerry, Ireland. And I was soon to find that the Irish immigrants were hard and strong workers. Owen Conway came to this country in the 30's to live with his uncle in Boston.

When he came to America he was trained as a third class Fire Marshall and soon recieved a job from the Fanny Farmers Corporation in Cambridge, MA and was quick to take the opening. As a third class Fire Marshall my grandfathe was in charge of maintaining and inspecting the boilers that ran the candy making machines that produced the famous candy that Fanny Farmers was famous for. One late night shift under his usual rutine my grandfather was checking on a boiler when a steam line faltered and sent a shimmering shower of scalding steam towards his face and chest. Granky was scalded on his chest and his face. His burns were so severe that hi plain, white work shirt was burnt to his bear skin.

"Your grandfather is a strong Irish brute." my mother exclaimed to me that Sunday afternoon. I soon learned that my grandfathers hard work ethic made him to remain in the factory, his shirt burnt to his skin, out of respect towards the company and the fact that he was the only man in the factory and had his obligation to complete his job and shift. "I am Irish, hard working, we came here to work, and the hard work we did Dan" my grandfather told me that night.

His hard work ethic showed me many important aspects of my life, who I am, and where I live. I learned that I was under a long line of hard working Irish fishermen from the area of Valentia Island. I learned that the Irish were hard workers and came to this country for its wonderful oppurtunities. My grandfather was the average American, a hard, blue coller worker. His qualities and work ethic inspired me and showed me what it was to be a great American, Father,and Grandfather. I am proud to have such a story to pass on to my kids in the future, and also to have such a wonderful man to call my Granky.











   Nature will forever be here, all around us, never leaving us.  Nature is seen with the keen sight of the aware eye.  Never will the human be able to notice all of natures minute details looking for the obvious.  For when you look between the lines does the true beauty of American nature lie.  This beautiful American nature is found in the most obscure places, for me it was between a brown fence struck with the black decaying force which slowly eats away at its rough wood texture and two enormous oak tree’s.

     The leaves rustle with the brawny New England wind that carries the smell of the fall season. The squirrels collecting their storage of chestnuts to store for the upcoming winter scuffle across the fallen leaves.  The oak tree now begins to show signs of its slow winter death.  From the changing off leaves to the death of the grass, death is found all around us.   Death comes in many forms, some may be seen as such a beauty that thousands of people from around the world come to our New England areas to view the foliage of our tree’s.

     Why is such beauty found in places that we least expect it?  Thoreau and Emerson both saw nature as it was meant to be.  This type of transcendentalist thought has brought my mind to see what for years the two famous authors scribed about.   To look at nature is to look at the natural beauty of the natural way of life.   The orange, yellow, and red tapestries in which the tree’s display around us bring peace and beauty through the deliverance of death.   For this type of death is that of a quiet stalker which comes in the form of a cold, bitter New England wind and the harsh snow which acts as a blanket covering all that is to be dispersed in the upcoming spring.

     For my hidden wonder of nature has now been struck with the quick death of the upcoming winter.   This placed may not be noticed at all by any people but sitting and watching the natural way of life opens the eyes to the true beauty of nature.  But not just any nature, our American nature land of the free and home of the brave.  I am proud to have such a wonder of American nature just a five minuet walk from my front door.












Another Normal Day Down the CM Cafe

Hey Scott, how ya doing today? Another day at Catholic Memorial begins on this usual light question.
          Oh not bad! Exclaimed Scott as he was about to explain to me his usual weekend rutine with the girlfriend and innapropriate stories which cannot be told in this essay.
"Listen Dan I was out wicked late last night with Christina and I didn't have any time to do my homework, let me see your work kid."
          "Yeah Scott do ya ever do your own work man? I mean comon' you take my homework every day kid!"
          The normal CM response I know here! "Dan remember this is CM, why would I do my own work!" exclaims Scott as begs and moans for my daily Mr. Lane math homework.
            "Of course Scott, because as you know cheating is the strong point in our society and is totally accepted."  As Scott copies all of my homework he does not realize that he is basically ruining his life for cheating seems all right and ok to him when the reality and truth is that when you cheat you only cheat yourself.
       Yes indeed most students here are a bit lazy and seem never to do there own work, but of course where there is bad you may always find good.  Cm has this sort of lable as a kick-back, simple school where honor roll and great grades is a simple and mere trask.  
       Maybe the chants of "Hey let me see the math" and "man you think I am gonna actually read chapter 4" is what gives us this name.  Its ok for some but to others this name that is tacked onto CM starts from the students themselves, cheating on all your work is no way to exterminate this name that is tacked onto the pride and honor of our school.
        "Yeah Dan, I understand where your coming from, but today will be my last day I copy your work, I promise!"
       As every day I hear this same typical comment from his mouth and yes I am a are greater for falling for his normal day stories but maybe I will help him understand that the path of cheating is not one he wants to be one.  Especially with college coming up in his future!













      Walt Whitman is the average American, and his background is seen throughout his long poetic life. He has loved his home land since his childhood and remembers all the great days of his childhood growing up in the American society. Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” displays the pride, courage, and unity of the American people.  It displays the pride in the American way, our strong courage as a people, and the unity that each American possesses is widely displayed throughout this poem. Whitman uses the art of language to bring across the morals and character of the American people.

     Through his crisp and precise descriptions of the American workforce and work ethic Walt Whitman brings across the strong central pride that Americans all posses in their daily lives.  “Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, The day what belongs to the day-at night the party of young, robust, friendly”.  This phrase displays the respect that the American has for each other and the pride in their lives and industry.  The American in this poem has his own pride in what he does and only what he does, for he understands that everyone has their own place in order to make up their unique society. Whitman understands the feelings of the average American through his writings of the character and feelings of the many different craft workers that make up America and its strength.

     Whitman’s words are presented in a manner that displays the true courage and honor of the American worker.  His use of language shows them to be the hard workers that are not the millionaires of America or the CEO’s of a major American industry, they are hidden and are what builds the backbone of America and its people.  “The woodcutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown.”  Whitman’s description of the American and his trade brings across the courage of the American worker and entrepreneur. Through explaining the individual tasks of each worker their courage is seen through their dedication, they seem to think that what they are doing is honest work and strong work and they have the courage to look past that some day they may lose their job or their profession may not be needed.  This poem is filled with symbols of the American people that strikes many Americans in the after light of September 11th.

     The unity of the American people is passive through Whitman’s description of the American people and their love and care for each other. “Singing with open mouths their melodious songs”.  Whitman’s feeling of love is shown through their respect for each others professions, for each American sings his own song and not of one of another profession.  Whitman loves America and his characters also love each other, for it is unity that makes America so strong in times of sorrow and pain.

     Together these ideals of American society make up the backbone of Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing“ . Whitman allows his art of poetry to express his ideals and feelings of American pride on the pages of his poems throughout his long life. Whitman is the classic American poet, his poems show his strength as a loving American through his praise of the American worker throughout his poem, “I Hear American Singing“.