Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America


















The oldest story that I can remember being told is that of how my parents, Ron and Martha met. I was told this once many years before, but I didn't pay much attention to it because I wasn't really interested and didn't understand how this affected me. But, now I am older and wiser and have a better appreciation for the impact that their meeting, had on me. I had to ask them again for the story, so that I could clarify the details and make sure that I had the story straight.


My parents met twenty one years ago in Hyde Park, Massachusetts through mutual friends. This was a blind date because they knew of each other, but had never met before. One could say that they were fortunate because whereas most blind dates end up in disaster, my parents saw something in each other and knew that they were meant for each other. My father realized that he couldn't let her get away from him because he saw something in her that made him feel like she was the one for him. They continued dating for several months, until one day when my father felt that the time was right to get on one knee and propose to her. Obviously she said yes and on October 11, 1981, Ron and Martha Daneault were married.


This has greatly impacted my life because if my father hadn't married my mother than the Daneault family name would have ended with him and he would have taken it to the grave. This is something that everyone can learn from because this is living proof that blind dates are successful and you shouldn't shy away from the chance to go on a blind date. My parents have affected future generations of Americans because what happened to them on their blind date.












As Ralph Waldo Emerson said of nature, “I became a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all.” I took these words to heart the past twelve days, as I was observing my
spot in nature. The spot that I felt was greatly undererappreciated is a giant rock  in my front yard, this has always been sitting there ever since I moved into my house ten years ago. Why has nobody paid much attention to the rock before? Do people even recognize that it’s there or if they do, then do they even care about it? I care about it and everyone else will see why they should care after this.

     When I first came out to my rock, it seemed lonely, as if it had been neglected for years and was looking for a little attention. It has been sitting out there for years never
asking for anything, just a little attention, but it never gets it. I wish that when I was a little kid I had spent more time with it because it seems like the perfect place to play with some
friends. I guess now would seem like as good of a time as any to sit down on it and just reflect on my youth and what I could have done different.

     One of the many things that I noticed was that my rock’s color seemed to change with the mood of the day. For example, if it was cloudy and raining out, the rock’s color
looked like a very boring gray which was very depressing. But, if it was sunny and warm out then it seemed very bright and picked my spirits up. I don’t know why this is, but maybe I was seeing what I wanted to see, depending upon how I felt at the time. I never noticed the decaying leaves on my rock until the last of observation, it seems that no one ever notices these little things unless they have a reason to look. Maybe this is why my rock is not appreciated, no one noticed it because they had no reason to.

           During my time of observation I never once saw any animal interacting with my rock. I guess that even they knew that it was underappreciated and didn’t feel like spending any of their busy day with it. Seeing this I then realized that Americans aren’t the only ones that avoid going to places that don’t feel right to them. On one Monday afternoon I noticed that there was a puddle of water in one of the many crevasses of the rock. It had rained on Saturday night, but the puddle was still here on Monday. I felt that it was kind of odd that the water didn’t evaporate by then.

     People don’t pay much attention to this rock because they take things in nature for granted. You see something so much that you forget that it’s even there. This even happened to me during my observation because on Thanksgiving I almost forgot that I had to come out and see it. But, luckily I did remember to come out. I think that people do actually care about special places in nature, they just have too much going in their lives to realize how beautiful nature is. Because as the famous song goes, “you don’t know whatcha got til it’s gone.”














One day I was walking down the street, when I remembered my friend Mike, some people might call him insane or dumb, but i think he's funny. When you look at Mike, you think to yourself what an odd looking child because he laughs at himself and at jokes that make no sense. He can also be counted on to be the ice breaker when you meet some new people because he says things like, " What was I supposed to tell my parents that his parking lot was full?" This is a favorite of mine because he'll say that to anyone who parks their car in front of his, this might be paranoia. It's scary to think of how messed up he is because he has the learning capacity of an 8 year old. He's unpredictable, he's crazy and he's funny. One time when I was out with him during a hot summer day, he wore sweatpants and his mom's sweater, I swear I am not making any of this up. Everyone else that it was strange, but i thought it's just Mike being Mike. I guess you could sum Mike up, by saying you never know what he's going to do next because if you spend even 5 minutes with him, you will be baffled. I can guarantee it.












      Walt Whitman traveled the country observing the diversity of America’s landscapes and people. These experiences helped him to create the poem, “I Hear America Singing,” this is one America’s greatest poems ever because it breaks away from the traditional form of a poem and sets out to make its own rules as it is not written about nature. This poems emphasizes that no matter how small or significant a job might seem, it contributes to how this country functions as a world power. Today Walt Whitman is recognized as one of the greatest and most influential poets that our country has ever produced.

     One way that Whitman makes this poem easy to read is that it doesn’t follow any rhyme pattern or rhythm, it goes where it wants to go without any barriers.

          “Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.”

This line appears to be more like a sentence than a line from a poem, Whitman wanted to make his poem enjoyable for everyone and make it so that everyone could follow the poem. For Americans, mentioning the word poetry makes people cringe because they think of Frost, Shakespeare and thingyinson, the traditionalists who followed the set rules of
poems. But, Whitman’s is different because you can read this like a story, not just as a poem.

     Whitman’s poem still has residence today it makes our country more patriotic and unified, paying more attention to the working class and the laborers. “I Hear America Singing,” has helped to bring about national unity because the jobs being described are the traditional American jobs that require skill and hard work.

     “The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank  or  beam"

In this line Whitman is showing how even craftsmen enjoy their work even though it might not be the most important job, but they feel that they are contributing to the growth of the nation. These are traits that every American holds dear because we respect hard work no matter who’s doing it.

     One thing Walt Whitman has successfully captured in this poem is the unique importance of the jobs to each of the workers. They take pride in what they do because it is who they are and many people can relate to that. Even though these crafts might not be the most important or significant jobs in America, like a CEO or the President, Whitman makes it appear as if they are on the same playing field. Although he can’t really hear America singing, Whitman can interpret how much everyone enjoys their job by the growth of our country into one of the leading world’s largest economic and industrial nations.

     Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, Americans have begun to admire this poem even more because it shows how important and precious the traditional craftsmen jobs are and it’s apparent that at this point our nation needs words of comfort to help ease the pain of the September 11th attacks. Walt Whitman is able to convey his feelings of how great and important every individual job, no matter how insignificant it might seem. This is why, “I Hear America Singing,” can be called a favorite American poem of everyone.

















   Lacrosse is one of America’s fastest growing sports, only in the last ten
years has it began to become popular. Before then, lacrosse was just barely
hanging in there, only popular in the Mid-Atlantic states, but it is moving across
the country.  The sports’ rich tradition is proudly cherished in the lacrosse
community, but it's the fast-paced action of lacrosse that hits home with
today's youths that makes it popular.

          Lacrosse is the oldest sport still played in America, the exact date that
lacrosse was first played is not known, but it can be traced all the way back to
the early 1800’s when the French settlers moved into Canada and upstate New
York, where they adopted lacrosse from the Native Americans. The sport was
originally called “baggataway” when the Native Americans invented it as a war
training and spiritual exercise, at the time the game had very few rules and was
very violent. In 1856 the Montreal Lacrosse Club was organized, rules were set
in place, the games’ name was changed o “lacrosse” and its popularity began to
take off. (“Lacrosse” 21839.) The sport is truly American because it was
created by Native Americans and has been played the longest out of any sport
started in this country .

            Despite lacrosse’s increasing popularity, the players don’t make much
money, the average Major Indoor Lacrosse League player earns only $450 per
game, this might seem like a great deal of money, but when compared to
baseball or basketball players, this is almost nothing because they earn
thousands of dollars per game. According to Scott Gabrielson, one of the founders
of the Major Indoor Lacrosse Players Association, the players devote themselves to
the game, not for financial gain, but for “the sheer love of the game.” (Wertheim 32.)
It's so refreshing to hear a statement like that in this generation of athletes. Most
of the players are forced to hold down second jobs to support their families and                                     themselves. It’s a shame to see players who are such good athletes who devote                                     themselves to the sport they love, have to find other ways to find financial support.
Paul Krome, a writer for Lacrosse Magazine, said, “Lacrosse players play for the sport
they love, not for the money.” I feel that the multi-millionare athletes could learn a                                 valuable lesson from lacrosse players because it’s truly not about the money with them,                           it’s more with playing the game they love. (Krome 44)

          Amateur lacrosse players around the country have noticed the dedication of
the professional lacrosse players and many say that it is one of the main
reasons why they love the sport and play it all the time. According to Tad
Nunez of Hartford, Vermont, “The sport combines many of the elements of
basketball, soccer, and hockey. The game requires and rewards coordination
and agility, not brawn. Anyone can play lacrosse -- big or small. It’s an
exhilarating sport because it features sprints up and down the field, precision
passes, dodges, and goal scoring.” (Logue and Allen 68.) The fact that
lacrosse combines basketball, soccer and hockey makes lacrosse even more
enjoyable and entertaining is because anyone who plays those other sports,
can easily understand and pick up the finer points of lacrosse at any time.
          There is nothing that can stop lacrosse from becoming one of the top sports
in America and the world is that the sport can be played by anyone at any age
and knows how to play either soccer, basketball or hockey, three of the most popular
sports in the world. Considering that it’s the oldest sport in America, more
people should embrace lacrosse and try to give it a chance because once you
start playing, you will then become hooked on the sport.