English 11: Writing Portfolio    
Essay the First

Essay the Second

Essay the Third

Essay the Fourth























    Paul and Margaret Hynes looked up at the sizeable white and red house. “Congratulations, you’ve just bought a house” said the realtor as they shook hands. The sun glazed down through the sky on a beautiful October weekday in 1948. Paul and Margaret entered their new home with a look of pure rapture on there faces. For it was their first house and they filled with feelings of adventure and excitement.  
 The house was purchased for $15,000. By today’s standards, this may seem like nothing more than a chip in the bank, but in those time’s, this was a substantial amount of money. Paul, my grandfather, was a Boston firefighter. It took an ample amount of time for him to save enough money for the down payment. Through his hazardous labor, he produced the proper amount of funds to get the house. My grandmother's loves this house. She always tells me stories about the start of her family.  
 The house was purchased from a close friend of the family. This allowed my grandparents to get the best deal on the house. My grandmother loves this house. She considers this house a personification of her American dream. She has an archive of memories and stories in which she shares with me everyday. I will always remember this house as my grandmother’s humble retreat from the world.
 This house is a first for me, because it is my first actual house. I had previously lived in an apartment, but with the arrival of my brother and sister, the apartment was just to diminutive. I moved into the house at the age of four and still live there to this day.
 I have countless memories within these walls, some of  which  are of my father moving various pieces of furniture into my new room and my grandmother making her famous cookies and  me, eating them right out of the oven.  
 That house will always have a place in my heart. I hope the house will remain in my family, but if it is sold, I hope the new occupants have as many memories and good times as I have had. No matter what happens in the future,  I will always have the fondest of memories of my grandmother and that old house on Temple St.































There is a small clearing of woods along the Charles River  known to me as the bend. A small area only about 20 ft. wide that is warm in the summer the freezing in the winter. I first visited this area with my father to do some fishing, but quickly realized there was more to this place than just fish. I called it the bend, because the Charles takes a sharp turn from a long straight away.    
     My trip to the bend begins with me tripping over a rock and falling flat on my face. Thankfully, I was the only one around and was not to embarrassed. It is a nice November day. The trees have abandoned their leaves and are preparing for winter. It looks like its going to be a long winter.  
     On this day, there is a cool breeze which cuts through my skin like a warm knife through butter.  I approach the water's edge and immediately notice a tire breaking the water surface I can only see half of the dull black tire, as the other half is submerged. The tire is covered in various forms of aquatic plant life which reminds me of the cooperation between nature and man.  The tire seems out of place, but it looks like nature has adopted it as one of its own.  We must at taking care of nature or we will lose it.  
     Today, as I walk down the path to the bend, I notice a deceased squirrel.   I am overcome with a feeling of depression. The squirrel looked so innocent as if it did not deserve the fate in which it received. I grasp a fallen branch and push the tiny body into the brush. I then approach the waters edge only to step in the soft, yet rocky mud. My shoes are now covered in the wet dirt. What is mud’s place in nature? Its not dirt, but it also isn’t liquid. Why was mud created? To what higher purpose does it serve? All these questions I ask myself. I leave the bend and return to my car. I leave that day with mixed emotions, realizing the bend has changed my mood.  
     I start yet another journey to the bend keeping the first three trips in my mind. I thought it would be cloudy, but nature threw a curveball and made the sun come out. The weather was mild with only a slight breeze. I look down and see a jagged rock. I pick the rock up and throw it into the center of the Charles. To my surprise, hundreds of ripples spawn from the point of impact. The ripples increase in diameter only to disappear as if collapsing. The splash seems to have disturbed a crow who flies off cawing. The ripples could reflect society; growing increasingly large until and eventual collapse.  
     On my last documented trip to the bend, I see a fish jump from the waters surface. I suppose the fish was a bass, but could have been a simple sunfish.  Fish are lucky, they don’t have to deal with gravity. They just spend there days swimming carefree. If society only mimicked their sense of carelessness, this world would be a much better place. Fish don’t fight wars, or worry about money. I zip my jacket as a cool breeze rushes through the trees. I see a squirrel digging, most likely looking for his winter stash. Squirrels prepare for winter, I should as well.  
     The bend is the bridge that connects me and nature. I have learned many things just from sitting there in the thinking. We must realize the importance of nature to our society, or that could be a fatal mistake
























       Jack London is a naturalist author in the 1800's who wrote many stories including the story To Build a Fire which we read in class.  He also wrote another short story The White Silence.  London is an author who shows how nature and man don't relate well.  This author uses irony very well and he also foreshadows what will happen using this irony.  One of his other literal devices is is symbolism and the crudeness of nature and animals.  
  In this story the main character Mason is more animal in the way he thinks.  Mason is not blinded by kindness like in the story To Build A Fire where the mans stupidity and human traits get him killed.  Mason cares for the sled dogs because they are his way of transportation.  In the beginning of the story on of the dogs is injured and Mason checks it out and then throws it aside in disgust basically.  He later whips a dog because he called it to show how healthy it was and it almost bit him.  He makes decisions based on survival unlike most humans.  
  The man also is named in this story because i think he symbolizes few people.  In the story To Build A Fire the man goes unamed because he represents all of us but in this book the name shows he is original and the name Mason makes him seem like more manly makes him seem like a survivor.  The harsh elements are cruel and so is he.  He rations food and fights hunger but knows how to survive.  Human traits do not hide his main objective and he works well with what he is given  
  The White Silence is a great example of naturalism and how different people are than animals because we have the ability to choose.  This book is basically the opposite of To Build a Fire because it features a man with a name a face because he is his own person and he does things based on his instinct.  In To Build a Fire the main chracter remains mysterious because each one of us is supposed to be able to put ourselves in his shoes.  In The White Silence Mason does things the right way and it works out because he is not blinded by normal human traits.  The White Silence is the only book that i have read that has a reverse naturalist view where nature still seems to be harsh but the human takes on the correct animalistic qualities to get throught the tought time unscathed.
































Lacrosse, a modern sport that is quickly sweeping the nation’s youth, is a unique activity. Innovated by the Native Americans, prior to the period of colonization, lacrosse was not only a sport, but a way of life. Native Americans played lacrosse for religious and medical reasons as well. It was often used as a source to resolve hostile conflicts between two Native American men. It has firm and thorough roots as one of America’s first sports.  
Lacrosse or lax for short made its way into modern society early in the 19th  
century. Canadians began to pick up the game and in 1856 the Montreal Lacrosse club was founded. This was a breakthrough for the sport because it was the first time a firm set of rules had been written for the sport.
In an interview conducted with ammeter lacrosse player Jordan McPherson, I learned why he thinks Lacrosse is uniquely American. I asked him why he though lacrosse was American. A dumbfounded look arose upon his face, but then he proceeded to tell me “I think its American, because you are part of a team. You all work together to win.” He continued, “Each individual player has a certain role, and without that player, there is no chance of winning.”  
McPherson, who has been playing for two years now, went on to say, "I enjoy lacrosse because of the how close the bond is between team members." He then grabbed his lacrosse stick and told me how it has improved his physical condition as well. "Before lacrosse, i was really out of shape. Training for lacrosse was a vigorous process, but over time, i gradually got into a better physical condition."
Lacrosse is a very physical, team oriented sport. The rules vary for age and gender, but the game is basically run on the same principal. The offensive goal is to graft a small ball with a rough weight of five ounces down the field and into the opponents net. As a defender, you must stop the opponent from scoring.  
Lacrosse is a mix of other popular sports. Most namely, hockey, football, soccer and even some aspects of baseball. Just as America is a mix of cultures and races, lacrosse is a mix of sports.  
Various organizations for professional lacrosse have been established. The National Lacrosse League (NLL), and Major League Lacrosse (MLL) are amongst the more popular. These leagues include teams from cities such as Boston, Baltimore, Calgary, Toronto and Rochester. Attendance is slowing on the incline, and each year the sport is becoming more recognized as popular professional sport.
I personally believe lacrosse is American, because the teamwork and effort required to succeed and the pride participants take in winning. It reminds me of the general American attitude. How we have achieved so much by working together.