Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America


















How Laurie & Scott Met

My parents are what you call high school sweethearts. My Dad Scott and my Mom Laurie met in Dedham Middle School and did not date until they went to the Dedham High School.

My Dad needed a date to the junior prom and asked my mom and she accepted. After asking my Mom to the prom he realized he did not get her phone number which was unlisted. Upon mentioning it to his friend, his friend chuckled laughing and said she was his next door neighbor. My Dad always jokes it was only for two weeks then he was going to dump her. My mother told my father in the same two week period they were going to be married someday right in front of the house they own today. My father laughed at my mother then, who's laughing now? They dated from then on without breaking up attended parties, dances and various other events together.

After Mom finished college and Dad had started his career they were married. My parents set a goal of buying their first home within a year of their marriage and prior to having children. They both saved enough money to purchase a house and on the day they passed on the house Mom told my Dad she was pregnant. I am their oldest son and I have four more siblings preceeding me.

Upon having all five of us and one of my siblings critically ill, my Mom chose to retire from her job as a computer graphic design artist to spend her time caring for us. My Dad and his brother own an electrical testing company and last year started a software company to sell a product my father designed. His job takes him all over the east coast, he has offices in Canton, MA, New Haven, CT, and Union, New Jersey.

I have no desire to follow in the family business at this time. I have not chosen a career yet, but my interests are leaning to my mother's former career as a graphic art designer, but as years go by I just might change my mind and enter the electrical field.

I am still learning about my parents as years go on and am proud to say they have a strong relationship with each other. Eighteen years of marriage and seven years of dating sure is a long time. My parents seem to be following in their parent's footsteps. My Mom's parents have been married for almost forty-eight years with nine children and my Dad's parents are also high school sweethearts and have been married forty-two years with four children. Both my father and mother say that marriage takes a lot of commitment, hard work and the desire to make it work. Some day I hope to follow in their footsteps.















A rock wall is made up of rocks of all shapes and sizes. They usually were built by people to either separate their property lines from their neighbors or to use as a decoration around their yard. Some are really intricate in design, while others are just mounds of rocks piled on top of each other. In my neighborhood there are a lot of rock walls of all types. One in particular is near my driveway. It is the biggest and the longest rock wall in the neighborhood. This rock wall goes the length of my driveway to a picket fence that is next to my brothers' basketball hoop and a big pine tree.

When my friends and I were younger this rock wall had many purposes to it. During the summer we used the rock wall to find snakes, rodents and anything else we could or could not find in it. In the fall months the rock wall was used to jump from into a large pile of leaves that we had raked from the front lawn which had all the trees on it. The winter months we used it as a ramp to go tubing off of or a barrier for the old snowball fights. But the best time of the year was the spring when all the flowers were in full bloom and the many vines were growing over it. I am sure that was when the rock wall appreciated itself the most when we were not all over it. This rock wall looks like it has been here for a long time and has had many uses for it. I do know that it has been here long before I was born and could possibly have been here for thirty-five years or more.

Have you ever taken notice of something you did at a younger age? Did you enjoy it? When I reflect on this rock wall my memories start to resurface. When President Nixon took the trip to China in 1972, he visited the Great Wall of China and was quoted as saying "so this is the great wall of china". Sounds like he wasn't the least bit impressed but then in magazines later when interviewed he was impressed and he did have his memories of his visit to it. I am sure now he looks back on it as a reflection of his past, just like I do when I see the rock wall here in my driveway. I am sure to take notice of the rock wall and share with anyone the memories of my friends and I with that rock wall. I guess we all take some things for granted until we are reminded of them. Now I will be sure to take special notice of things that have come and gone in and out of my life.












    When I went to one of my friend's homes he told me about how weird his dogs were. He proceeded to tell me about all the stuff they did to everyone and everything, but the funniest  story he told about his dogs was the last one.  I couldn't believe it actually happened because it sounded so unreal.
         He said, one day his mother ordered two large pizzas from Papa Gino's for dinner because she didn't feel like cooking that night.  My friend's mother gave him forty dollars to pay the deliveryman when the pizzas came.
         When the doorbell rang, my friend Tommy went to the door with money in hand along with his three weird dogs in tow.  Tommy opened the door and the smallest of the three dogs Tucker got out and started jumping up and down on the deliveryman's leg.  While Tucker was doing his thing the other two large Old English Sheepdogs proceeded to lick the deliveryman's hand.  The deliveryman told my friend it was twenty-two dollars he owed him.  When Tommy handed the deliveryman the forty dollars he looked down to see his dog Tucker relieving himself on the deliveryman's leg.  My friend feeling bad and trying his hardest  not to laugh told the deliveryman to keep the change.  The deliveryman was ecstatic about the tip and left with a large grin on his face thinking, Tommy said, he hit the jackpot.  Little did he know what hit his pant leg!
         My friend shut the front door, and headed towards the kitchen to place the pizzas on the table.  While inwrought his Mom called to him to come and give her the change.  Tommy went in to where his Mom was and told her he didn't have any change.  Tommy's Mom told him, I told you to give the deliveryman a two-dollar tip and return the sixteen dollars to me.  Tommy proceeded to tell his Mom about the encounter with the dogs and the deliveryman and explains that is why he gave the guy such a large tip.  Hearing the story his Mom bursts out laughing.
         In the meantime while they were laughing the enormous two dogs Maggie and Storm jumped up on the table and ate the pizzas.  My friend Tommy and his Mom after laughing went to the kitchen to eat the pizzas, when they noticed they weren't on the table they thought they just placed them down somewhere else.  After looking on the counter they looked in the kitchen area again and saw the two dogs with tomato sauce all over their faces.  Tommy said I guess thepizzas weren't meant for us tonight.













     Emily Dickinson's poem "The Brain is Wider than the Sky" is a piece of writing she is comparing the sky to the brain.  Through the poem she compares different things relating to your brain and the sky and leaves you the reader to make your own decision upon which is wider.  The main focal point of the poem is the limitations of the brain and the openness of the sky.

    In the poem "The Brain is Wider than the Sky", Emily describes bits and pieces of what she feels the sky and the brain have in comparison to each other.  The brain is infinite and the sky is finite.  She starts out with them side by side then she goes into the Blue, Blue for the sky and absorption for the brain.  She leaves you to ask yourself what you feel about the sky and the brain.  

    While reading pieces of the poem, I was left to ask myself many questions.  What does she mean, is the sky truly wider then the brain or is it the same?  Does the brain or the sky truly absorb and do they possibly weigh the same amount at times?  I found myself asking these questions as I read her poem.  "And they will differ-if they do", could this possibly be true or is it the way she views things!

    After reading the poem several times I realized the author Emily Dickinson wanted you the reader to widen your ideas like the shape of a funnel.  A funnel is wider at the top and thins out as to its weight at the end.  Emily picks certain word to leave you in this illusion, "The one the other will contain" what will it contain or how much will it contain.  She wants you the reader to expand your thoughts about everything and don't always take peoples words for granted.

    Emily Dickinson wants all of us to think of our brains as the sky, open for anything and you can absorb anything in your brain the size of the sky or bigger.  She leaves you to keep wondering is my brain capable of being wider then the sky or is it limited because I have been told this?  Only you are the judge of this and if you so choose to limit it then that is you, but expand it in her eyes as far and as wide as you want.  There is truly so much to learn out there.



























          Skiing a sport that requires snow came about in the early years as a means of transportation in regions where the snowfall was heavy.  As years went by skiing became a competitive and a noncompetitive sport for males and females.  Just as skiing changed so did its equipment.  In early years skis were made from large animal bones and as time went on they made of wood, metal or fiberglass with an epoxy coating.  Other pieces of equipment needed were a pair of poles to balance in your hands, a pair of bindings to hold your feet in place and a pair of ski boots.
              Skiing as a noncompetitive sport is when a skier skis downhill whether it be straight down, snowplowing when the skis are pointed towards one another at the tips, or two other moves a stem christie, a move where you put pressure on your right to turn your skis left or vise versa and the parallel christie consisting of fast shorter turns.  When one is a competitive skier, they choose downhill finding the straightest yet fastest route down.  Other competitive skiing is the slalom and giant slalom when one goes in between poles on a vertical drop all to have the fastest time without mistakes.  The other competitive skiing ways are jumping getting height and distance or cross country racing that tests your stamina, endurance and all around techniques.  Skiing is a fun sport, but like everything else it can become expensive.  Like any sport it is all that you want make of it.
              Interviewing my mother on the sport of skiing and her version of it was that it was for pleasure for her and her family.  They would go up on the weekends and vacations where some times they would race each other on their skis, the more daring would do the jumps, but it was something the whole family could do together.  The most exciting time of the year was when my mom and her two brothers would go spring skiing and they would put on shorts and wear all the skiing equipment needed and go plowing through the powder snow.  To them it felt like jumping through piles of feathers and never once did they complain that they were cold, but they would come home with the best tans because actually they had the best of both worlds snow and sun.  My uncles said my mom was the most daring person they new when it came to skiing, she would try anything.