English 11: Writing Portfolio    
Essay the First

Essay the Second

Essay the Third

Essay the Fourth



















      We wound our way around the worn asphalt and up and down the infamous mountains of New Hampshire. The sun is absorbed by the car and the humidity is getting to a point of exhaustion. Your mind is now on one track, thinking and anticipating were the worn asphalt meets the dirt road. You know that when you reach the dirt road, your in the clear, there's nothing but fun. Once you taken that sharp right onto the dirt road you can see the lake and the cabin that my grandfather bought for a mere $6,000.
           Once in the cottage, you are typically greeted by one family relative or another. The cottage is a family place that is shared by the 10 children (my mother is one of them) of my grandmother and grandfather. It is a very large cottage that has slept roughly 25 in the past on the long July 4th weekends. The cottage is a place that has been shared and respected for 4 generations. In some way each person has or will have put forth some form of physical labor to maintain the cottage. It's a place where people recognize the importance of it, so everyone trys to keep it in good condition. Once the car is unpacked for the weekend, you look with anticipation at the beach. As a child, born one day shy of the birthday of the nation, you were raised in the hot weather and the cool water of beach three. Beach three is the "best" beach as refered to by our large family, it's the private beach that is 50yds away from the deck on the cottage.
           There are many fond memories that involve the beach. There was always swimming and any form of water game you could think of. Then there's always the tubing, knee boarding and water skiing that came with the aid of a motor boat. For the older crowd the beach meant gossiping with the other familles and sun rays. For some, such as I, the beach represents the departure place of the all day fishing excursions. Those were the days were you would pack your fly rod and a lunch, in the all day pursuit of a trophy fish. The beach is the place were you lived from 10 am to 5 PM.
           Once the beach day came to a conclusion, there was a family barbecue. Were all the uncles and would gather around the grills, to stake there claim as being the better of the chefs in the family. As the food settled, the family would gather once again in the living room to gossip amongst themselves. The conversations ranged from sunburns, to sports.          
           All my summers where spent in Alton, N.H., they were some of the best experiences that  I had as a boy. Growing up around the city of Boston, it was very nice to get away from the city occasionaly. I lived a life of two extremes, I lived in the city, and I lived in the mountains of NH. I think that broadening yourself is a very important part of being American. You should as a person experience changes in your life and be able to adapt to them like an Americans have done in the past.


























 It is a place like no other. It is located on Oregon Road in Ashland, Massachusetts. The dimensions of my place are 588 square acres. This place is only traveled by myself this time of year. I travel a small path that is three feet wide with bare bushes that engulf you and force you to stay on the trail. The climate consists of frozen tundra, harsh winds and stirring leaves. It is the least traveled place around me because the place is not very people friendly; it’s a harsh environment that is not very forgiving. It is a place where someone goes to push themselves, to see how far they can go. This place is called the trail of the future.
    It’s 9 pm, and I am sitting on a flat rock that acts as my chair, I have designated it as my observation place. This time it is much colder, my hands are numb and my feet are cant move. Nature has caught me off guard and not prepared me for her ever so changing conditions. The wind has also has also picked up, it blows on my face. It cuts through the trees like a knife through butter. There is no sufficient place to be protected from the wind, which seems to be everywhere. This time on the rock I focus in on one standing still image. It’s the image of a porch light on, at a man’s house about 150 yards away. The light acts like a dagger to the forest, the light seems to have the most effect on the trees. The light singles them out; it defines the contrast of white and black outlines of the bases on the trees. They look like sticks that are standing up and have been shattered in this one small area were the light cuts into the forest.
     It’s 10am and I am sitting here in the usual spot of the rock. Today is a change; it is my first experience or observation that I am witnessing in the light. The temperature is very misleading. On the road roughly 150 yards away, I see the light and the warmth of the sun. The road is a small area that is not overshadowed by tree, so the sun freely gets at it and illuminates it with warmth. In the forest the sun does not cut through the trees. It maybe the same chemical temperature as the road but it feels colder with the sun not shinning through to me. It’s almost like the sun is trying to find the forest and illuminate it with warmth but the trees act as a camouflage and protect and hide the forest and I from the sun. In some places the suns force is able to break through the week spots of the camouflage of the trees. The sun casts a beam of light and illuminates that one section even more then the rest of the forest.
     It’s 5pm as I sit here on the ever so familiar rock, the landscape around me physically is begging to change. The darkness of the night is begging to set in on the forest. At this moment I question myself and become very agitated with the darkness setting in around me. Could it be true that a 16 year old, almost a man can still be made nervous by the dark? Yes it is true, partially, I feel myself sitting here on the rock watching the darkness slowly creep in and devour the road and only leaving behind a measly street light. I make many attempts to clear my mind but all I can think of are horror movies, Blair Witch Project, anything involving a werewolf, and anything that involves a deep dark unforgiving forest. I visualize leaving the forest and making it home alive.
     It’s 9:38 pm, I am extremely tired as I sit here on this rock. I sit here in great exhaustion and it feels as though my senses have become impaired. I sit here in darkness, not looking at anything specific. I feel myself drifting off into sleep, and keep getting awakened by the knife cutting sharpness of the blowing wind on my face. It finally comes to a point where I can’t fall asleep and I don’t feel the wind anymore. I am numb as a result of extremely cold weather. I watch my breath light up like a foggy cloud in darkness. The only thing I feel is my butt on the cold rock, the coldness of the rock seems to penetrate through my clothing layers to my skin. At this point all I can think of is how that 15 degrees difference it makes from transitioning from 45 degrees in Boston to 30 degrees in the suburbs.
     It’s around 7:50 and I am sitting here t the rock where all my previous observations have taken place. Tonight is extremely cold, my face feels numb and I san see my breath, it looks like smoke in foreground of the black forest. The moon is extremely bright tonight; it shines down on the forest and gives it partial illumination. The path I walked to get to the rock had ice on it and the moon reflects the path I took. The path looks like it has been painted over with silver, and it winds its way around the jet black trees of the forest. I sit here and think about the images that appear to you as you move. They are constantly changing, depending on what angle you see something from. Many times we look at nature from one side, and often forget what’s there to see from the other sides or angles. This makes me think, how much of nature have I missed over the 16 years I’ve been here?
 There is so much nature around us and we don’t stop and catch a glimpse. What would it be like to watch nature in another region of the world? I’ve only monitored it from a suburb region in central Massachusetts, and I have witnessed so much. What about watching nature in all 50 states just think how many different environments are there, there must be tens of thousands? That means tens of thousands of different environments that you as a person are not experiencing or passing by in your life.






























  The short story, "hills like white elephants" is an extremely in-depth piece of literature. The uniqueness and individuality of this short story is focused on the in-depth dialogue which exists between two characters.  There unclear relationship of the dialogue to the title makes this Ernest Hemingway piece of literature unique. The complexity of the dialogue in this story is remarkable; it really forces the reader to analyze every word in the short story. This story is unique in the way that Hemingway makes a link between the dialogue, the characters relationship and the title, which is unclear and it pushes the reader to a further in-depth analysis of the three. To me there is no other author and text like this that makes the reader think more in-depth about the characters and there relationships to the title of the book.  
      After reading Hemingway’s piece thoroughly and concisely, I have only come to one concept in the story that linked the dialogue, characters conflict and the title of the book. That concept was that the lady that was accompanied by her husband was in fact pregnant. Hence the title "hills like white elephants", which was maybe a reference to the woman's pregnancy. As a one time reader of the short story I realized that this may have been a little far fetched, but after reading it over and over the concept of pregnancy becomes more realistic. This would give a stupendous motivation for the heated yet interesting conflict between the husband and wife at the cafe in the train station.  
      Hemingway does such a tremendous job with the dialogue that it is incomparable to anything else written. No other author that can entertain a reader with dialogue such as his and at the same time keep the reader occupied in which he or she has no idea about its meaning. This quote demonstrates the man’s attempt to coax the woman out of pregnancy. “They look like white elephants”, she said, “I’ve never see one,” the man drank his beer, “no you wouldn’t have” (p.1). Hemingway puts the reader in a constant struggle for the understanding of the relationship of the people and there conversations.
   This brings up one of the more premium titles of a short story that really places itself in a whole separate category from others. Only an author such as Hemingway could give a title of a short story about pregnancy and disguise it as "hills like white elephants". Hemingway and this work are truly pioneers of the short story.  The short story is unique from all others because it sets a conflict of modern day problems while at the same time hiding that conflict from the less comprehensive. This quote shows the conflict between the man and the woman, “Yes,” said the girl, “everything tastes if liquorice. Especially all the things you wanted for so long, like absinth, ‘oh, cut it out” (p.2). If you could not tell this quote was based on the woman wanting the baby that she had always wanted and the man is trying to avoid the subject and not become involved in the situation. This quote demonstrates mans devotion to his wife if she decides to go through with the abortion, “I’ll go with you and I’ll stay with you all the time. They just let the air in and then it’s all perfectly natural.”(p.2)  
      I have looked near and far to find a present day form of Hemingway’s short story, Hills like White Elephants, but I have found myself unsuccessful. It turns out that there is no “cop cat” of Hemingway’s masterpiece or anything that resembles the way that he linked conflict and dialogue with the title of the story. Hemingway’s writing is truly unique.


























Drag racing's origin is unknown, but it is believed to have started in Europe. Over the course of time it has managed its way across the Atlantic to the united state and into the hearts of many Americans. People race all kinds of cars, from small imports on the streets to huge funny cars at national raceways. The object of the sport is the reach a designated area of finish before your opponent does. Drag racing is so broad that it catches the interest of many Americans no matter what there personal preferences are.  
 In such a broad sport there has to be professional circuit, where people live eat and sleep drag racing, this is called the NHRA. Since the NHRA is extremely popular and competition is intense, the association has to make rules. The rules that apply to the sport are enforced to provide fair and equal competition amongst racers. Some of these rules are limiting horsepower, car structure and individual parts of the car. While NHRA is more of refined professional form of the sport, there are many other styles of drag racing that are not as distinguished as NHRA. These can be found in car clubs, or just amateurs that enjoying fixing there cars and racing them in there spare time.  
 A prime example of an amateur drag racer is Catholic Memorial’s own Andrew Dalton. This is an interview that I had with Andrew a little over a week ago about the sport that he loves so much. ME: so Andrew what do you particularly enjoy about the sport of drag racing? ANDREW: I love the opportunity given to you, every time you race you have a chance to beat the person next to you. ME: Andrew what do you think is so addictive about the sport? ANDREW: with out a doubt it has to be the adrenaline rush that you get when you’re actually racing. ME: finally Andrew why do think that the sport is so well liked through out the U.S. and what do you think is the reason for its immense popularity? ANDREW: I think the reason why it is liked because everyone loves the adrenaline rush, and if you drive a car you have experienced a taste of it when you step on the accelerator just a little to hard. The sport is popular because there is so many kinds of drag racing that there is bound to be one that a person enjoys. ME: Andrew thanks for your time.
 American's enjoy the sport of drag racing because it gives people an adrenaline rush that they would otherwise rarely experience in their lives. Drag racing too many is a drug, it becomes a life style that people can not give up, as demonstrated by this woman who was talked to about illegal street racing in Nevada. "It's crazy," Lin says. "The street racers end up off-roading for hours, driving along railroad tracks to get away. Except the cops have helicopters."(Sports Illustrated; 5/17/2004, Vol. 100 Issue 20, p30, 3p, 5c) Those are just some of the drastic measures taken by people who race there cars illegally. The people go to such lengths to escape from the law because some of these people invest there whole lives into there cars, and there are laws that if you are caught racing,  your car can be taken as property of the government's.  
  Racing in general is the fastest growing sport in the nation. People are so drawn to racing because it is so rewarding and satisfaction giving while at the same time extremely dangerous. Another reason why drag racing is so popular is because it has no physically demanding exercises, which enables almost everyone to partake in it. The largest factor to why Americans love racing has to do with the fact that if you own a car, you can partake in the sport. It doesn’t matter if you drive a mini van, junk box, a muscle car or a funny car. You will find people like yourself that want to race. The bottom line is Americans love ability, and with drag racing everyone who drives a car has the ability to be a part of the sport.