English 11: Writing Portfolio    
Essay the First

Essay the Second

Essay the Third

Essay the Fourth




















       Grandma Heavey sitting in her chair, rocking back and forth, while my brother and i play with are toy cars. A cool breeze goes by while we look down at the park across the street with all the children going down the slides and swinging on the swings. None of that compares to me as the house with the wooden floors and wonderful porch which i would come to and play on in Brookline.
          This house holds some of my favorite memories that i still hold from my childhood. The many days that i spent there meant so much. Everyday after school i would have to go there to be babysat by my grandmother since both of my parents were always off working till late in the afternoon. She would bake us cookies while we played in the dead end street, riding our bikes up and down it for hours.
     The significance of this piece of land to our family is very important, it is the first house we ever lived in. Its where i spent most of my childhood and lived for a few years of my life. Its where the family always met for holidays or for a family gathering on special occasions.
    This piece of land shows what America means by everyone being united. This one house brought together all of our family which is what America stands for.




























Its day one and I am sitting here at the spot I have chosen as the Roslindale woods. Located on Whitford Street between the houses forty-five and forty-seven. I am here to realize how the world seems to be connected to nature in some way or another. I take a seat and the first thing that I notice is the amount of garbage that has been laid here. This land is usually without people walking through it but some reason there is garbage all over the place. Beer bottles, cigarette boxes, even a christmas tree that appears to have been sitting here since last December.  
I decide to take a seat on a rock nearby and begin to look at a huge boulder that I have always noticed when I walk by it. I begin to look at this odd shaped gray figure and notice it has several splits in it as if its been going through several hardships from over the years its been there. Looks like it has had to go through so many hardships but is still somehow able to stand there. In a way like human beings and having to deal with all the problems they face. Growing older and the hardships give us problems such as wrinkles and gray hair but we are still able to survive like the rock with all its splits.
 Here I am standing in the freezing cold weather. I look at all the colored leaves, red, orange, yellow, brown, and green. I see another leaf begin to fall from the tree. I look at the bare tree. I can hear the branches scrapping against one another. The twigs seem to be shaking in the wind as if they were freezing and are begging for someone to warm them up. The twigs seem to be weak and vulnerable without their leaves. I go to grab a branch and it makes a huge crack as if screaming in pain. In many ways we are the same as these trees. In winter we tend to get in worse moods rather than in the warm weather. We also don’t feel as well in the coldness.
 The ground is covered in leaves but there is one patch of dirt revealed. But there lies a new set of glass bottles shattered all over it. Different colored ones to brown bits of glass and green ones. They seem to not belong among all the other beautiful nature that surrounds them. Looks as if they seem to bring the whole forest down. Surrounding them is just a puddle of mud while leaves and grass are around everything else. This one place looks like the one problem that we are always facing in our life that seems to be bothering us. It makes us look like that one dirty place as if were aggravated and we get an attitude, which makes us appear to look like that one dirty place.
 I notice a dead tree that has fallen since the last time I was here. Its bark is chipping and it has lost most of its branches. I look at the tree and it seems to me that the tree is still young. I try to break off a branch but it is hard to pull it off so I know that it still had many years left in it. I look at the trunk and it tells me that the tree was old. Roughly about forty-five rings if I counted correctly, telling me the tree was old but there are so many more trees that have lasted longer than that one. The tree just like many of us has fallen rather than the time we are do to go. Maybe something bad happen to it that forced it to fall or an accident that caused it. Nobody knows such as so many things in life that we as humans have to deal with. Just like death a surprising thing to many people everyday.
 It’s snowing outside and I can feel the snow hitting my face making it feels as if it burns. I put on my hood and continue walking down towards the Roslindale woods. I walk into them and it seems as if the whole entire place has changed. Everything seems to be so much nicer and happier than it had been before. No more glass bottles cracks in rocks or the stump, which showed how old the tree, was. The trees that were shaking before were covered in snow as if it was a blanket trying to keep them warm. I look over and notice that everything is more peaceful and looks less active than it did before. As if everything is problem free. We can experience this many times in our life with such joyous events as birth and even marriage. In life people always go through the hardships but there are always ways that we can reach that perfect moment that we want.

























Nathaniel Hawthorne who wrote The Black Veil in the mid 1800's writes much about symbolism and the pain that people fear inside hiding it from the outer world. He does this by the black veil the priest wears and by the scarlett letter which is "burned" into the other ministers chest in his other novel The Scarlett Letter. He uses alot of symbolism in this novel along with characterization which he uses strongly.
 In The Black Veil for the first time in American literature he uses a black veil to describe someones sins. He covers up their face with a veil so as to reveal him from everyone to what he has done. He tells of all the rumors and feelings in everyones mind. Even to his death he doesnt allow anyone to take it off even after his death. He gets buried with it and it shows that if you have committed a sin that unless u forgive yourself that you will live with that sin your whole entire life.
 Hawthorne gives very specific details in the features of people and in the thoughts of people. The people of the village begin to shun away from the priest and act differently toward him tha nteh yever did before. Hawthorne tells us about the pastors smile and how it looks like a rather sad smile but gives people the warm feeling that they have inside. Many people begin talking about how they belive that the minister is maybe a ghost sent from another world that cannot show his face. His presecne has a mysterious way to him and when people are aorund him they get a feeling of awe and in the presecene of the lord.
  Never giving an exact description of the minister we get many little clues about him and the way he was. We are told of how his smile is the only thing that you can see under the black veil. Just from his mouth we can tell that he has a special feeling about him because of the way people say they feel when they see him smile underneath the veil. They way he use to teach his masses  has now changed due to the veil he now wears. Many people are freightened now because of the mask even though he hasnt changed but just now has somehting covering his face.
   This is the first time i have seen any author of american literature use a black veil to cover up the face and use it as a symbol to describe a sin. No other piece that i have read from this time period has used a black veil there has been a letter used in The Scarlett Letter but no other symbol i have seen.































What is sport? It is an activity in which people take part in a competitive nature or do just to enjoy something they like doing. Teams compete in an organized fashion to decide who the better athlete is, which is what the people who play the sport are called.  
   Tennis which is a game in which two to four people can play one another. You can play on a court made of clay, grass, or dirt. It is in rectangular shape with a net cutting it off between. The object of the game is to continue hitting the tennis ball over the net without letting it bounce more than once or going out of bounds. The back and forth hitting of the ball is known as a volley. A racquet which is used for this is a metal rod with space in the middle filled with tight plastic so as the ball gets a good bounce to it. Though mostly known to be a wealthy class sport it can be played by either women or men. Also a rather inexpensive sport to play it can be played by all ages or races.  
   Tennis and its popularity remains mostly over seas and in Britain. So how would this be an American sport? You could say that it is now dominated by American athletes such as Pete Sampras or the Williams sister. If you wanted to you could compare it to the beginning of the United States. Just like tennis you continue to face obstacles and hit them away till one wins the match, just like the U.S. was able to do with the problems they faced with the British. Tennis does not seem to be much of an American sport it doesnít require much team or togetherness which many people see as a sign of Americanism.
     Different views can be taking on the topic of tennis. Many consider it to be a rather girl sport since there is no physical contact or pain involved in it unless you turn an ankle trying to stretch for a ball just out of reach. Talking to a fellow classmate and tennis player at Catholic Memorial, classmate Anthony Strong had this to say about tennis: "Tennis actually requires skill and talent. It isnít a typical girl sport. You must have power in your legs and arms to give the ball certain strength to get pass the other opponent. Endurance is a huge factor involved in tennis just like any other sport. A ball is coming at you 100mph at times, and to be able to hit that would take some serious talent." Asking him how he thought tennis would be an American sport he gave me this response: "Tennis like America is played on different sources just like the U.S. is made up of many different races." To me that seemed like he was just giving an answer to give me one, I donít see how any way possible that was a description of how it is American. My dad on the other hand had a completely different view of the game. Here is what he had to say on the topic, " Tennis nothing more but a women sport, takes no athletic ability at all, as long as you can run back and forth and move your arm you can play tennis." As far as it being American a simple, "No" is what I received from him.  
    Tennis  still in my eyes is a rather boring sport and in no ways can I find it to be that American at all. It could be that I'm use to playing sports that give tons of physical pain. Maybe I like the hard work ethic that comes with these sports. Even though I hear that tennis takes endurance I still donít believe that there is anyway it could add up to the power of baseball or football the two most Americanized sports.