Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America


















The oldest story in my family is the story of my grandfather building the house of which I live in today. I found the history of my house in a cut out newspaper article and decided to ask about the history that the paper did not tell.

The age of the foundation is not known, it is presumed to be from the first landmark which was there, which was a schoolhouse. Years after the schoolhouse, it became the first firehouse of Waltham Massachusetts. Some of the old features of the firehouse such as the engine garage and the heavy brick walls still are in place today.

My grandfather coming from Italy and wanting to build a home to raise the family bought this piece of land and built the house I live in today. Although the house isn’t exactly the way he left it inside, the outside holds the resemblance of the way it was over 50 years ago when he built it.

This is a story of an Italian immigrant like thousands of others that came to America. A story of a person that wanted the best for the future of the family. Coming from another country starting over and facing what others thought and proving to everyone that he could do it is what this is all about. A dream coming a reality in a world that is becoming tougher and tougher to live in each and everyday.











People and places have a purpose in the world no matter how minor. However, there is a garden in the end of the lot near my house that has no purpose, it is an unappreciated place. For 12 days I observed this place: thousands of falling leaves, hundreds of falling red and green apples, and a plethora of bees and squirrels. Emerson said, “Perception is not whimsical, but fatal.” Things are different to different people the real beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
     On the way to school every morning I drive pass this old deserted garden. I imagine once there was someone who used that garden, someone who that garden provided for. Who knows how long ago that garden was filled with vegetables and plants everyday of spring and summer waving in the breeze of the hot summer wind. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and more all lined up in rows ready to be picked.  
     On one day, driving by this place there was an empty feeling. Although there was and empty space filled with fall debris, this was only to the human eye. For people who take the time to look they see a place in nature that every American should be apart of. This is an American place nowhere else in the world can you see the beauty of this fall filled event then in this place, the garden.
     Have we got caught up in the new technologies in the world so much that we have forgotten about nature and where we really came from? What being Americans is all about? We are evolving to the times. People no longer plant gardens they buy food in the stores. People are so busy they don’t have the leisure time to maintain a garden, and so the garden, empty in the lot, sits and waits for the time when maybe again it will provide for one person on this earth.














One day two first graders, Chris and Pat were talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Now we all know little kids with there gigantic imaginations wanting to be anything and everything they see. So anyway Chris and Pat are out on the play ground one day.
     “I’m going to be GI Joe one day” Chris says, “That was the best movie I have ever seen in my whole life”. ”No way man, Superman was a better movie, I’m gonna be him when I grow up, fighting evil villains”. “GI might have a cool haircut, but superman has spider scene and webbing”.
     For hours and hours they argue about their future. They will grow up to be rich and famous, every ten minutes they change their professions and futures. It is funny how these two kids act because we all know that when we were young we did the same exact thing.













Whitman grew up being part of the American workforce. He worked in journalism and newspapers his whole life yet through it all he still was part of the American experience.  “I Hear America Singing” shows what America really is and why we are America. Whitman shows that each person no matter what job he has is important in making up America. Each man no matter what job takes pride in his work and enjoys what he does. It shows the American man, the workers who make America what it is, the people who build up the country and make America great.

     America is shown as great by key words such as freedom. Whitman captures the image that each of the men is just part of what makes America but they each show the greater picture that they are free. Freedom is what makes America great; they are each free to do what they want. “The boatman singing… ”, “The shoe maker singing…” each mans sings as he does his work which he loves. “Each singing what belongs to him or her and to no one else” each person has their own things to be thankful for and their own special traits.

      “I hear America Singing”, is a good poem about the sought after American freedom. After September 11th American freedom and prosperity have a greater meaning to everyone. When our freedom and our way of life was threatened by evil we stood together in defense of our freedom and sung one song just as each mans sings his song. We will do anything for our country because our country has done so much for all of us.

     People may not agree on everything just as each man has a different job but in the end each man knows what they want is the same, they join together in one song, “Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.” “I Hear America Singing”, about the unity of people when they need it most.
Each person has their own identity but when they, they join together to fight for what they believe. The men singing each their individual songs each with one goal but a different purpose in life. “I Hear America Singing.”


























      A sport is an activity, in which one or more persons put all their skill, form, strength, and mentality to the test in a game in which there are rules. Soccer is a sport, which for centuries has been changed and played all over the world by different cultures. A sport in which you must have good speed, agility, ball handling and must have a lot of practice to become good at. Soccer is a sport in which you must put everything you have into it to get anything out of it.
     Various forms of soccer-style games have been around since Roman times, and the United States was the first British colony to start playing soccer-style games. Some form of football was played in the Colonies as far back as the start of the original Jamestown settlement in 1609. The first written accounts of football in the US centered around contests in the major colleges and universities of the Northeast. The freshman and sophomore classes at Harvard had started an annual intramural football contest in 1827, played on the first Monday of the new school year. These games were evidently quite rough, as the event was known as Bloody Monday. The modern form of soccer originated in England in the early 1830's. The sport grew among working-class communities and was seen as a way of keeping young kids out of trouble at home and in the school.
     When soccer first started in the United States, it was played primarily by high school and college teams, and was largely an upper-class game. The Oneida soccer club, formed in Boston in 1862 is often cited as the first soccer club to consist of a regular team of players, as opposed to the pick-up games commonly played at the time. It consisted of a group of Boston secondary school students from fairly elite public schools in the area (Boston Latin, Boston English, etc.). This club would play matches against pickup teams throughout the Boston collegiate community and went undefeated, and unscored upon during their entire four-year existence.
     By the 1980’s youth soccer had gained a firm foothold in mainstream America, and the youth game was growing rapidly. Soccer did not require great strength or size, and the outlay for equipment and uniforms was minimal compared to sports such as hockey and football. For many kids growing up they want to be professional athletes, but only for a few does this come true. Del Piero for team Italy says, “Even as a child I was obsessed by the prospect of playing football. Nothing else ever interested me. It was just football. Now I can echo what Gianni Rivera once said – I’m a happy man because my hobby and my profession are one in the same. (Del Piero)” Soccer created life for many people around the world, soccer became life. Soccer created some of the greatest rivalries between countries all over the world.
“Soccer has long been much more than a game in many parts of the globe. El Salvador and Honduras, whose fans showed their colors at RFK Stadium two weeks ago, went to war after a World Cup qualifying match turned ugly in 1969. And so it is in Rome's capital, as is made plain by the Lazio-Roma rivalry. Over the last two seasons, as each squad has won Il Scudetto, the national championship, the feud has reached fever pitch.” (McKenna)

     For a view from an amature player I asked my cousin Renee who is not only an armature but a girl. As to why she plays the sport she said simply, “Because its fun.” (Boudreau). For this simple reason millions of people all over the world play soccer, even in the poorer third world countries with a ball made of tape and two trash cans. The sport equipment might be different but the same rules and concepts of soccer apply. Maybe that is why soccer is such a well-liked sport because of it accessibility. You don’t need much, just your feet and a simple round sphere. So even if you don’t have the money to buy a real soccer ball you can still play the sport no matter who you are or where your from.
     Soccer has largely grown from its first playing in the Jamestown colony and has become part of our social lives. Soccer has become one of Americans favorite sports and is still growing everyday as more of our nations youth continue to play. Our Americanism of sports and styles can always be found in the youth of America. Soccer has always been and always will be a sport to untie.