Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America
















Everyone knows that America is the land of opportunity, and that anything can happen in America. Having that in mind both of my parents and they’re families decided it would be best to move the families to America.

My mother’s side of the family came to America when my grandparents wanted to get out of Jamaica. Like every other parent they wanted their kids to have a much better life than they had. My grandmother was the first to make the move to America. She left my grandfather and my aunts and uncles with the idea that she could make some money and send for everyone else. She had up to a high school education so the only thing that she really could do was to be a housemaid.

So way that she was making the money was that she was a housemaid, she was cooking and cleaning trying to save up every penny that she had earned. She had been doing this for quite some time, and after she had saved up a good amount of money, and my grandfather in Jamaica saved up enough the rest of the family came to America. It was very tough on my grandfather he was raising six girls and two boys on his own. He had to wake everyone up and make them lunch and walk them to school, then go to work. When they had reunited in America they had to cram into a three-bed apartment in mattapan, Mass.

My grandmother continued to be a housemaid and my grandfather got a job as a carpenter. It was tough but they did it. Both of my grandparents are church going and they knew that they would make it because of their faith in God. Now both of my grandparents are retired and still live in the same house that they first moved into.












     My place of interest is my backyard. It is somewhat like anyother backyard.It has millions and millions of pieces of grass and dirt and a couple of trees in it. Everymorning on my way out of the house on my way to school for the past two weeks I took some time and observed the yard with my five senses. Henry Longfellow once said "life is but an empty dream! And things are not what they seem.
   Something that I noticed in my two weeks of observing was that most people did not trat this place with much respect. There was one morning when i had come out there and had seen a styrofoam dunkin donuts cup on the lawn. That right there just showd me that someone does not care about my backyard or our environment. There was a second time that i had realized that people do not show much respect for the yard was the next morning when I had come out side I had noticed a plastic bag blowin in the wind. Then after a while of looking I began to realize that this place only got cleaned up but once a year.
     After some more obersvation I had beagn to realize that this place is an american one. I thought that this place is an American one because even thought i may look dirt and look like noone cares about it, there is someone that does really care about it but they might not shpw it all the time.
     Through observing for a couple of weeks I have noticed some changes that have taken place. I have been observing the grass starting to freeze whic ment that there is snow soon to come. there were leaves all over the place, which ment that fall was pretty much done and it is soon winter time. Another observation that I had made was animals. there were birds flying, and I was asuming that they were going south, and there were squirrels running around gathering food. On my last day of observation i had noticed that someone might have done a little cleaning up. There were four piles of leaves and the bags and cups were gone. That showns that someone does care about this place and it is an American one.














It was a typical Saturday night at the local Chinese food place when a couple of hungry teenagers came in after a long day of playing games. Everyone waits out side of the restaurant upon the arrival of others and everyone walks in together. Two boys were the first outside of the restaurant and they realized that everyone was taking a long time. They exchanged a couple of words to each other saying
"Where is everyone" and
"If they don't come soon I'm gonna go in and order my food."
     A couple of minutes of waiting outside a little bit longer one by one the cars started to pile in and everyone was now at the Chinese food place. After a couple of minuets of waiting around for the food to come the guys started calling out numbers and the food was ready. After enjoying the meals for a while and conversations was dying down someone had gotten up and called out that they had seen a rat run behind the coke machine. No one believed them, since that person is known for lying, so to make sure that they were telling the truth one person had taken one of there spare ribs and put it next to the coke machine. A couple of seconds later sure enough a rat had run from behind the coke machine and taken the food.
     Everyone had gotten loud and hysterical from seeing this happen and everyone had run out of the restaurant screaming and yelling things like
"I'm never eating here ever again" and  
"That was the nastiest thing I have ever seen."
That was the last time that they had ever eaten at that Chinese food place and that was the talk around everywhere that everyone had seen a rat and that that place is dirt and don't keep there place clean.














     Walt Whitman, arguably America's most influential and innovative poet, was born into a working class family in new York, near Hempstead, long Island. One of his great poems is "when I heard the Learn'd Astronomer." Some thoughts that had come to mind after reading this poem was that some things that may not be interesting to people at first can grow to like new things. The poem was not long but I was a very well thought out well-written poem and it was short. It got right to the point. Whitman did a great job at getting that point across, to give things a chance, to not always follow the crowd, to do what really interests you. Some people may think that it is not "cool" to look at stars,but  Whitman gives it a chance and liked it. This poem makes us think and takes what we use in the class and use it in the real world.

     Whitman shows how too much book learning can be bad for the body. Whitman expresses this in a passage, "How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick." This sets up the contrast between inside and out, and emphasizes the balance needed between school and the real world.

      Whitman uses free verse to take the emphasis off of the rules learned in a classroom, "till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself." In that pasasage he's talking about physically learning his poetry maker in depth from the established rules of writing.

     Probably having gone through the same things and most kids go through while growing up, Whitman reminds us of he value of individual knowledge, "look'd up in perfect silence at the stars." It is only as individuals that we learn the true value of astronomy and the mysteries of the world.

     The poem "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" is a very well thoughtout poem that did not necessarily follow the characteristics of a normal poem, but it was still a great poem. The little lesson in that poem is that you should not knock on something if you have never tried it before. You may end up liking it.





















Sport is commonly thought of as a game in which a person is physically active and often is competing with someone else. Skiing is estimated to be between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, it is said to be founded in Scandinavia. The earliest skis were made from the bones of large animals and were strapped to shoes with leather thongs. (Compton learning) Not until after the Christian era wood was used. Skies were first used in warfare in A.D. 1200 in the battle of Oslo, in Norway. King Sverre of Sweden sent scouts out on skies to capture the enemy. (Compton learning)
People of all ages in nearly every country where there are mountains enjoy skiing. It is one of the few sports that enable people to move at high rates of speed without any power involved. Skiing is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It attracts an estimated fourteen million active participants in the United States alone. (Compton learning) Each year thousands of beginner’s tryout this sport and become big fans.
Anthony Garcia, a former CM student and a professional skier and is getting paid at the age of 18 when he wins tournaments says that “skiing is a easy sport that anyone can try it out, but to compete at a high lever you need to practice everyday.” Anthony tries to get out on the slopes whenever he can, but a typical day of practice for him would last about two hours. Practice makes perfect. Like Garcia said that the only way to get better is to keep on practicing, to get better at anything you have to practice in order to get better.
Recreational downhill skiing is the most popular form of skiing and is growing by the day. There are, however, variations of the sport, which are also popular. Some of these have been organized into competitive categories. Each requiring special skills and equipment.
Ski jumping is probably the oldest form of competitive skiing. In this event the jumper slides down a track and then leaps off of a takeoff platform. Jumpers are judged on the distance covered, body control, and style. Another is downhill racing. This is the most dangerous of all the skiing events. It consists of skiing from the top to the bottom of a prescribed course by the shortest and fastest route possible. The slalom is a form of skiing competition in which a skier must descend a course made up of a series of gates. The final event is cross-country races. It tests a skier’s endurance. They are held over natural terrain and include uphill, downhill, and flatland skiing.
      Greg Goldman a amateur skier has only been skiing for a couple of months but says that “I am enjoying it, and every chance that I can I tries to go to a mountain and ski” skiing is a fun and upcoming sport that such people as Greg got addicted to do and it doesn’t take much skill to do like playing lacrosse.
Jason Sobel a local Milton writer who also writes for the ski teams says, “he has enjoyed the sport of skiing for a long time and participates in skiing races when he has the chance to, and it is great to see a lot of younger kids starting to get involved in skiing.” It is better for the sport of skiing for the younger generation to start to get involved it insures people that skiing will stick around professionally and at the amateur level for a long time.
Most Americans want to make money. In sports whenever something comes, the American way to look at it is how to make money off of it. Skiing is a big business and ranks with golf in sales of equipment, clothing, and accessories. It is estimated that in the mid 1980’s skiers in the United States spent more than 650 millions dollars every year on equipment alone. (Compton learning) Most sports that are popular in America are because they are accessible and everyone can do it. For example, basketball, everyone can play it and you can find a hoop almost anywhere. Americans like to be the best in everything so if something new comes along we have to conquer it and be the best.
     The lack of popularity of skiing in America has to do with popular American sports being fast-action, contact sports. Two examples of that would be football and hockey, two very popular American sports and there is a lot of action going on in both of them. Americans have a short attention span so if there is not a lot of action going on in the sport than Americans will get board and not want to watch anymore. Damage and violence are exciting and keep your attention span. That is why the most popular type of skiing is downhill racing.