Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America
Contents

Origins

Nature

Humor

Literature

Sport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remember those family Christmas's that we wishe dwould go on forever. My Grandmother would be so happy and would remember her past Christmas's with her family. She always seemed to focus in on her mother and father's voyage to America. She also told us about her Christmas memories with her family.

Everyone knew what was to come at the end of the night.. We would all be sitting around talking when she would begin her story. She wouuld always tell the same story each year, although she never understood that she did. Most people would get up and go to another room and start talking again. It happened every time that she told her story.

This aprticular year though, I thought that I should stay and listen to her story since I could barely remember it. I had always just gotten up and walked away with everyone. Around midnight she began the story, it was like she planned it every year, it always started around midnight. She told us about how her father had been a poor farmer over in Ireland. He was barely able to support himself each day. When he got married he knew he was not going to be able to support a whole family.

My grandmother began to go off on a side note at this time and then she pushed on with her story. Her familyand friends saved up enough money to send them to America to start a new life. They came over and he found a job in manufacturing. He had to work two of the three shifts in order to support their growing family. He was tired but he always seemmed to make time for, and support his, family. He could buy the children presents for Christmas even though it was tough enough to keep himself fed. She told us htat he was actually sacrificing things for himself to make abetter life for her and her siblings.

I am glad that on that Christmas night I stayed to listen to her story. It taught me a good lesson. This is a lesson I will never forget and I hope that everyone learns. The lesson was that parents ake so many sacrifices for their children. In this case he moved to America and worked most of the day for my grnadmother. That night I had realized how many sacrifices my parents had made for me and I am extremely thankful for it. I hope that everyone can learn this lesson and be thankful for it too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ralph Wlado Emerson once said, "I become a transparent eyeball...I see all."  That is exactly what I did for the past few weeks.  I examined a spot of nature, a lone tree in my backyard.  It was a great spot because people rarely came near it.

When I got there it seemed as if the land was happy.  The smell of the air was the best smell ever, the scent of oak and  pine trees mixed together.  The huge tree loomed over everything causing many shadows to appear dancing all over the ground.  There were small beams of sunlight radiating through the bushy, colorful leaves.

The leaves were like a bright colorful box of crayons.  The leaves were yellow, as bright as the sun, orange, just like a pumpkin patch, and as brown as the bark that could be found on the tree.  There were so many leaves that had started falling and blowing in the wind like how the snow falls.

There was no interaction from the humans with the lone tree.  The only interaction with the tree was with me and the animals scurrying around and burrowing around the tree.  Bushy tailed rabbits, striped chipmunks, and birds chirping sweet melodies.  No one understands that all of nature is to be appreciated.  People may admire it for a little while, but then we go back to living our lives not even giving it another thought.

All backyards have a tree like this.  It just sits right back there for hundreds of years unnoticed by the many generations of different families who live there.  America itself has forests all over the place receiving the same amount of attetion that was given to this tree.  The forests are being preserved, but not admired or even noticed by many human beings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Over the summer a few kids and I were doing nothing.  Just sitting on the porch
complaining about how hot it was, and how we had to find something to do.  Then this kid
Jimmy said, “How ‘bout we go down ta the town pool guys?”  
     Everyone agreed that it was a good idea.  So we went and got everything all set
up, and then piled the seven of us into the car.  We drove down the street to the center of
Plainville and went to go to the town pool.  But when we all got out of the car, which was
a fiasco in itself, we saw a sign it read:
POOL CLOSED
THERE HAS BEEN AN OUTBREAK OF
JUNGLE FEVER OF PEOPLE WHO ATTENDED
THIS POOL RECENTLY
     So this kid Tanner said, “Oh, great who’s big idea was this?  We should not have
wasted our time coming here.”  
     Jimmy replied, “It was my idea how was I supposed to know it was closed?”
     “You should have known, maybe you should read the newspaper more often,”
retorted Tanner.
     Under his breath Jimmy said, “Well where was your idea?  I did not hear you
coming up with any ideas.”  
     Someone quickly broke in and suggested that instead we go to the Lake Pearl
Beach.  Everyone agreed that it was a good idea.  So we went and got everything all set
up, and then piled the seven of us into the car.  We drove down the street to Wrentham
and went to go to the Lake Pearl Beach.  But when we all got out of the car, which was a
fiasco in itself, we saw a sign it read:
LAKE CLOSED
THERE HAS BEEN AN OUTBREAK OF
JUNGLE FEVER OF PEOPLE WHO ATTENDED
THIS LAKE RECENTLY
     So once again the argument started about who’s idea it was  and what a stupid
idea it was.  And we all piled into the car again to go back home.  When someone came up
with the idea to go get an ice cream.  Everyone agreed that it was a good idea.  So we
went and got everything all set up, and then piled the seven of us into the car.  We drove
down the street to the local ice cream parlor.  But when we all got out of the car, which
was a fiasco in itself, we saw a sign it read:
PARLOR CLOSED
THERE HAS BEEN AN OUTBREAK OF
JUNGLE FEVER OF PEOPLE WHO ATE THIS
ICE CREAM RECENTLY
     So we got home and by this time the argument had seemed to turn into a war.  We
pulled into the driveway thinking that we would just get something cool to drink.  .
Everyone agreed that it was a good idea.  So we went and got everything all set up, and
then piled the seven of us into the car.  We pulled up the driveway.  But when we all got
out of the car, which was a fiasco in itself, we saw a sign it read:
HOUSE CLOSED
THERE HAS BEEN AN OUTBREAK OF
JUNGLE FEVER OF PEOPLE WHO WERE
HERE RECENTLY
     Finally all of us had just had enough of the Jungle Fever Signs.  We went into the
house and we all got an ice cold glass of water and sat down.  Within a couple of minutes
we all thought we had Jungle Fever.  When my mom came down to see what all the
yelling was about we told her we thought we had Jungle Fever.  She laughed as we stared
blankly at her wondering what was so funny.
     She said, “There is no such thing as Jungle Fever.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        Walt Whitman is one of the great American poets of the nineteenth-century.  Even
Ralph Waldo Emerson regarding Whitman’s  poems as “the most extraordinary piece of
wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed.”  Whitman’s poems brilliantly intensify
the jobs of common people to important jobs.    They help to bring a sense of equality to all of the American culture.


     “The Carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,” is a great example
of what Whitman does.  A carpenter at that time was not the greatest most important job,
but here he is seen as an American still.  In the poem he does not mention  presidents or
Senators.  Instead he bases his poem on the common folk which is seen as the base of
society and the whole American nationalistic pride.


     Another example of this is, “The delicious singing of the mother...”  At this time
woman were not at all a big part of the working force.  Whitman is expressing through
this that women are just as equally important as men in the world.  He is expressing his
understanding of the American diversity as the founding for all American beliefs and such.
This is exactly what everyone at that time, the Progressive Era was thinking.


     This helped to evoke a great sense of nationalistic pride in America.  It works well
especially after September 11th.  It connects the great melting pot of America with a song.
They are all singing different songs, but they are still connected through they great pride a
nationalistic feeling that they have.  The whole poem is about how America is so diverse
and yet so connected to each other and interrelated through many different things such as
songs.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Volleyball is a much more complex sport than it seems.  It is not just a sport about hitting a ball back and forth over the net.  There is much more involved such as spikes,sets, faults, aces, etc.  There are also many different types of volleyball: beach, indoor,
outdoor, two-out of-three, and three-out of-five.  Another proof of the complexity of
volleyball is the officiating crew it takes many people to do this job.
     A "sport" is a game which can be played competitively and requires some sort of a
skill.  Volleyball is just that.  Volleyball is played competitively around the world by many
different races and ages of people.    It also requires the skill to do things such as
deceptive shots, spikes, blocks, and sets.  Also there are many people who can back up the
validity of volleyball as a sport.  Some of those people are professional players, amateurs,
and people who write about volleyball.
     A professional player is Nick Desautel.  He has been playing the sport for eight
years.  He said, "Volleyball is a great sport, that many people play, but they do not enjoy
watching it."  This is true for mostly Americans.  Americans want to be right in on the
action.  Americans do not like to have to sit around.  If Americans are in the game and
playing it is a very enjoyable game.  However, if they are just sitting there it becomes dull,
and monotonous to watch.  So it is the competitive nature of this sport that makes it so
American.
     Another reason that it is American, as told by my brother Joe, an amateur, "It is
just fun to be able to slam a ball at high speeds."  So not only is it the competitive nature
of Americans, but also our "need for speed."  Americans need for speed is easily
identifiable in volleyball.  It is also an aspect of the game that makes Americans love the
game so much.  So much so that it is played almost everywhere in America the beach,
gymnasiums, pools, and backyards.
     A critic of volleyball is Tom Angeloni, who writes in the local newspaper.  He
wrote, "Volleyball is becoming a much more enjoyable sport, to a much broader group of
people."  He based this on the fact that Parents are passing down the fun and enjoyment
that can be had when playing volleyball.  This helps to point out another reason that the
sport is American.  Americans like games in which they have a solid shot at winning.
Americans hate to lose, and going into a volleyball game as long as there is teamwork the
outcome can be greatly unexpected.
     So volleyball is an American sport because Americans are all competitive by
nature, it is played at high speed, it is easily enjoyed, anyone can play and win ,and is
based on teamwork.  Americans are drawn to all of these things individually so when they
are brought together it is a sport that all can enjoy.  Another reason it is an American sport
is because is was created in Massachusetts.  Proving that even though it has become an
international game it will always be an American favorite.