|Essay the First
Essay the Second
Essay the Third
Essay the Fourth
It all started in the early
1900s when my grandmother Kay Cloreghty came over to America as an immigrant.
She moved to South Boston when she arrived here and lived at the base of Dorchester
Heights, which is a historical revolutionary war monument and park. My grandmother
would then walk her dog Flash up to Dorchester Heights each day. She would also sit
on the benches and watch the sunrise and set with my grandfather almost everyday.
Dorchester Heights was very important to her and she cherished her time up there.
She would always talk about the beautiful view of the water and downtown and how the
skyline had changed so much since she was born.
I was born in 1987 and grew up a stones throw away from Dorchester Heights. As a
child my grandmother would bring my friends and I up there to play and eat lunch. We
played with all the dogs up there and it was always my favorite place to be. My
grandfather died in the early 1990s and it really broke my grandmothers heart but
Dorchester Heights seemed to relieve some of her pain. The Heights as we called it
became a gathering place for our family and friends every year on July 4th, as we would
watch the fireworks burst and illuminate the sky with shades of red, blue, and gold.
Sometimes I would just go up there and lay down in the grass or I would bring a
girlfriend up there and we would sit as the time slowly passed.
My grandmother always said how Dorchester Heights meant so much to her. She thought
it meant freedom because of what it stood for. In case you dont know George
Washington won and important military battle at Dorchester Heights when the British
evacuated Boston. This became the first staple of American history, which my
grandmother never forgot. The Heights was our backyard where my family would share
the good times and the bad times. In the winter we would sled down the hill and
scurry about in the snow until it felt as if frostbite would surely set in. In the
summer we would play baseball or football for hours until mom called us in for dinner.
Games of hide and seek would go on forever with out getting old. Every once
and a while the tour guide would let us go up into the monument and climb the old spiral
staircase to the very top. We would look out and view the city to the right and to
the left there was water as far as the eye could see.
Dorchester Heights meant freedom to my family for many reasons, which cant be
described. In Ireland things hadnt been going so well but in America it was a
new start and new beginning full of opportunity. My grandmother would say " the
Heights is like my statue of liberty". My family had discovered the American dream
and the Heights played a major role in that process. After a day like September
11th, which was a day I will never forget I would venture up the Heights and look at the
buildings and watch the planes, fly overhead. It was there I noticed that everyday I
was there planes flew overhead and I didnt even glance up at them but after a tragic
event like this I watched them inventively until the would land. I couldnt
fathom how people could fly a plane into a building and I would sit on the bench and think
for an hour or so and reflect on what had happened. Since that day I have not
visited the Heights but I do not know why. After September 11th it no longer stood
for the good times but it reminded me of the bad that people could do. I also
realized how important freedom is in America and why people like the terrorists want to
take it away from us. I think somehow they did take freedom away from me that day
because I havent been up there since so in some way they achieved what they set out
My grandmother is now too old to go up to the Heights on her own so I think it has almost
been forgotten but I know it will always be there and will always stand for our freedom.
I see it everyday and I dont know how my life would have been shaped if it
werent for Dorchester Heights. I believe I am too old and I have to much to do
to go up there and just sit down in the grass but as I reflect on it I think I will go up
there soon just so I can think because when I get older I want to pass the memories I have
on to my children for my grandmothers sake. I wouldnt want to be the reason
that my family stopped enjoying the Heights because it represents all that we believe in.
I arrive at the orchard
for the first time in years. It remains relatively untouched by modern day industry.
All the memories come back of the time I spent there as a youngster. It is mid
November and the temperature is cool but comfortable. The leaves are dry and look
like they are precariously dangling from the trees. The wind whips through them and
kicks leaves up about my face. The grass is tall but looks like it is enjoying its
last day. It seems like it is drowning in the water, which it is soaking up at a
rapid pace. It sways a little in the breeze but looks as if it is saying its
final goodbyes before the winter season kills it off completely. Birds fly
about and dart from tree to tree and whisper like they are telling a joke and I am the
only one left out. I get a lonely feeling for some reason like I am being treated
like an outcast. I wish my fellow creatures could only speak so I could understand
what was going on.
The leaves are almost completely gone. The air is cold and crisp and
bites the skin beneath my nylon coat. I take two steps and already my Pumas are
covered in mud. I stop and I notice a sound, which I hadnt noticed in my first
visit to the orchard: complete silence. It strikes me as very strange
but then I see a large formation of birds shoot out of the tree, which scares the living
daylights out of me. I ponder the thought that they are flying south for the winter.
We would be lucky if we could all go south when it gets cold but we tough it out
through the freezing New England winters, cultivating our little minds through
repetition and habit.
The sun is out and the singing of birds fills the air. The ground is beginning
to harden and the grass is getting shorter and the ground harder. Shrubs and
lifeless trees rustle in the breeze but yield no sign of life. Winter is definately
on the way. I see a family of squirrels running food from tree to three stuffing it
in their tiny mouths I cant help but laugh. Maybe we would be better off if we
had their work ethic.
The grass is wet again and it seems so delicate. I hear it yell at me each
step I take it says Get off us man you are heavy your killing us here. I
walk lightly and apologize to the grass, which I murdered without remorse. All is
dying and going away for the winter season. It is in the low 30s and my warm
breath fills the air like a smokestack. A light mist falls on me yet I do not find
myself getting wet because the mist is so fine. The winter is calm and dead it seems
to be going into its own seasonal depression.
A light snow falls and tickles my eyelashes. I can tell a storm is coming and
the animals are nowhere to be found. I can hear the snow lightly landing on the
grass and trees and it makes a peaceful sound. The wind whips by my face making me
shiver but all I really notice is the beauty of it all. The orchie has become a
desolate place. It looks like a ghost town after a gold rush. The wind seems
like the earths last dying breath. The beauty is still alive but has changed greatly
since the vibrant summer months. The naked trees look sad and lonely without their
leaves to protect them and keep them warm when they need them the most. I then
wonder how can a tree stand this bitter cold for 4 months and not complain or give up and
Sports are a major
source of entertainment and leisure in the world. The United States is the
sports capital of the world. Each day, dozens of sports are broadcast on
every TV channel at all times. Many sports are American because they
symbolize something bigger, something that represents all of us in a certain
light. Sports show our individuality and our pride. There is nothing
better than rooting for your hometown team like the Boston Red Sox as they
take on the Yankees. One sport which has also placed its stamp on the
country is boxing.
Boxing originated hundreds of years ago with bare knuckle boxing and other
fighting events where people would wager on who would win. Through the
centuries boxing has evolved to become what it is today. Men of all sizes
get into a ring and slug it out with their opponent for pride, honor, and a
pretty big paycheck. People from all backrounds box because they love the
competition and the battle. Boxing is truly American for this reason. It
is also American in that it simulates fighting, and America has always been
a country which was brave and fought for what it believed. Boxing also
emphasizes the individual because you control your own destiny and have to
compete on your own, which is similar to the individuals who share the
American dream and come over from foreign lands.
After conducting interviews with two professional boxers I realized that
boxing is their life and they cannot live without it. Professional Jerry
McDougal of South Boston, when I asked him what he thought was so American
about boxing, responded: "Growing up in the projects I could have went down
the good path or the bad one, and boxing made me take the right one”
(McDougall 1) For a lot of American children growing up in poor
neighborhoods in the twentieth century, boxing was a way out. The same was
true for McDougall: “It kept me off the streets and my skills helped me out
a few times when I would get myself in a jam” (Ibid.)
McDougall went on to talk about how involved boxing is for its
participants: “Boxing is a challenge, a mind game, not only can you use
brute force but you have to use strategy and wits. That is why boxing is
Although boxing has become a mainstream event in America it still has it's
many critics. Many people say it is barbaric and that it encourages
violence. Besides this many people believe boxing has many conspirators
involved with fixing fights and things like that. One of the notorious
fight fixers is Don King. It has never been proven and Don King always says
he is just a promoter but he has the forte of using young prosperous boxers
for their money and then dumping them when their marketability goes down.
It is also widely thought that judges are easily influenced because of
alliances or persoanl vendetas against a certain fighter. Since there are
now so many different title belts boxing might have lost some of it's fan
base because there is no definite champ.
Professional boxers have to take their work more seriously and the stakes
are usually higher. Mike Tyson, for example, when interviewed said the only
time he was at peace was in the ring
Lenox Lewis said of being a professional boxer that it is a battle between
two bitter rivals who share the ultimate respect for each other.
Boxing is American because it is a perfect example or capitalism. The
better you do, the more you make. You have to climb your way up the ranks
and prove yourself. You have to go into the ring knowing you are going to
win. All fighters box because they love it, whether it is for five million
dollars or for a refrshing gatorade and a slap on the behind. Your
instincts have to be keen and quick, your blows decisive. Boxing takes a
toll on your body and you can only keep it up for so many years. "Boxing is
like cigarretes, you know it is bad for you but you can't stop" said fomer
amateur boxer Adam "The KO kid" Giness (1).
Boxing is also American in that it is different from most other sports and
like boxing, we Americans pride ourselves on being different from the rest
of the world. When else can you get in a ring and try and kill the other
guy and not get charged with attempted murder? Only in a boxing match.
Boxers have the ultimate respect for each other and for their sport because
they feel like they are fighting their brother each time in the ring.