Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America


















My great grandfather, John Gannon was born in Boston, MA in 1901. He worked at the Boston Naval Shipyard, in Charlestown MA. He was president of his union, local 1088. He fought for better working conditions and benefits for his union members. My great grandfather was a true leader for the workingman as he defended their rights. He was president of his union for over thirty years. My great grandfather had six brothers Thomas, Joseph, George, Walter, Francis and Richard. He also had a sister named Mary.

My great grandmother, Mary Riddler was born in Boston, MA in 1907. She worked for the telephone company. She met my great grandfather at a dance in Roxbury, MA. The dance was held at the Mission Church. They married at the Mission Church in 1927. My great grandmother had no brother or sisters.

My great grandmother is 94 years old and she lives in South Boston, MA. My great grandfather died in 1981 from a heart attack. His brothers and sisters have also passed away.

I learned of this story when I was very young. My great grandmother told me about how she met my great grandfather. She told me about how great of a man my great grandfather really was, he fought for his union members so they would have better working conditions. I can tell that my great grandfather was a great man and lived a great live.

I wish that I got to know him because I know that it would have been memorable. My family talks about him all the time and it really makes me feel good to know stories about my great grandfather John Gannon.















People take many things for granted in life. Nature is taken for granted the most. In these times people don't seem to have enough time to take a good look at the things going on around us. But for twelve days I was given the opportunity to see what was going on in nature. I got to see things that I never took the time before. Alot of things went on in my yard during the time of observation.

          In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson " I have become a transparent eyeball". During the twelve days of observation I spent a total of one hour. During this one hour many changes occured. One thing that occured was one day having no leaves in the yard and the next day the yard is full of leaves. Also I found a cup in my yard that wasn't there the day before. Also the branches of trees falling down one day and the next day no branches falling down.

        Also there was another major change it was the weather . Going from a few hot days to a very cold day. Then having a nice sunny and then having it rain the next day. Another thing that goes into the weather is the wind factor that is what brings down the leaves from the trees. Also their are changes in the leaves and the grass. going to winter changes the leaves brown and the grass dies from the frost. Also I have 10 plants that are dead in my yard from the cold weather.    

       My spot doesn't really have much human interaction with it. Most of the time people just walk right by the yard. my family goes into the yard to take out the trash. Also sometimes I play I play catch with my brother in the yard. But my yard is a part of nature because all different types of aniamals and insects interact with my spot. I have birds, squirrels, racoons and once in awhile maybe a skunk. So I see my yard as a big of nature.  












During the cafe studies here at Catholic Memorial there are alot of things that go on. The cafe studies at Catholic memorial are suppose to be for studing and doing your on work but it is the exact opposite. I will try to explain what goes on at the cafe stuies in my story.

Jim left the table and went up to the lunch area he grabbed a water and a hamburger and then he threw them in his pocketand then he just walked out of the luch area with a free lunch. There were about 5 people that work behind the lunch area and not one of them noticed the stealing of the food. Crazy Roberto who works in the kitchen probable wouldn't even care if he saw somebody take something because he has been stealing food for years to try to feed his family come on you really think you can put food on the table with one job and that being a cook for Catholic Memorial. But any ways when Jim got back to the table he asked Chris how much money do you think CM losses a year in stolen food  and Chris said, probably $100,000 dollars. Then Chris asked Jim for his homework. Jim reached into his bag and grabbed his cemistry homework and then he handed it to Chris and then Chris starting copying the homework.

After Chris finished the homework he gave it back to Jim. So about 5 minutes later Bobby came over to Jim and asked for the Cemistry homework Jim gave him the homework and then Bobby took it back to his table. John was a look out for Bobby to make sure no teachers were coming. It was a close when Mr. Wiggins came into the cafe and he almost caught Bobby cheating. Once the cost was clear Bobby took back the homework to Jim.

Hal was sitting in the corner of the cafe when he decided to pull out his Newports. He figured that none of the teachers would catch him. He was on his 2nd Newport when Mr. Buckwheat came over and caught him smoking in school. Hal thought he was going to me brought down to Brother Gagne and be suspended. But then Mr. Buckwheat decided to sit down and have smoke with Hal and he asked if he had a lighter ao then hal let Mr. Buckwheat use his lighter Hal was absolutly shocked. When Mr. Buckwheat finshed the cigarete he got up and went back to his classroom. So Hal ended up getting away with smoking right in school.  











Walt Whitman longest poem “Song of Myself” is considered Whitman’s greatest poem of all time. This is a lyric poem told through his joyful experiences that he is endured through his long life. We are told that all that is real is sacred we all possess something great within ourselves and we can develop to our fullest by listening to all and learning from all. In “Song of Myself” it portrays Whitman as he believes himself to be.

In “Songs Of Myself” Whitman is conveying his own visions of America. Whitman believed that it is actually the shared identity of time and place that serve as the greater aspect of human connections but shared identity is always known but never learned. His attitude suggests that he celebrates himself, thus everyone should, or at least could, do the same.

In this poem we here the letter “I” a lot, sometimes I is the poet himself “Walt Whitman, an American. In other passages, “I” speaks for the human race, the universe, or a specific character. Like all of Whitman’s major poems, “Songs of Myself” contains symbols of life. For example in the poem he describes grass
as a symbol of life- “ the handkerchief of the lord”.

Whitman’s expressive art was complex. There are several aspects to Walt and his work can be interpreted in many levels: democrat, natural poet, lover and free spirit. Walt sings a “Song of Myself” but really speaks for the human race and universal harmony through his own experiences.  Walt’s free verse and rhythmic innovation stand in marked contrast to the rigid rhyming and structural patterns formerly considered so essential to poetic expressions. Whitman belongs with Emerson and Thoreau on a short list of great American poets in large part to the poem “Song of Myself”.



























          A sport is a recreational or competitive activity that involves a degree of physical strength or skill. Something is considered a sport when there is a set of rules or customs and are usually very competitive. Also in a sporting event there is suppose to be a winner at the conclusion of the event. In sports there is a referee or some type of judging for the event. We also see in sports some type of scoring system to show the winner of the event.

Nascar fits the definition of a sport because it a very competitive sport were stock cars are racing around a track and they are trying to get to the finish line first. Nascar is one of the most popular sports in the country. There are millions of fans that go out and watch there favorite race car drivers. The people competing in these races are not just competing for the win but also the winner of the race receives a lot of money depending on the race that he is competing in.

Nascar has been Americanized by Americans because people love to watch Nascar. There are millions of Nascar fans all over the world that root for their favorite drivers such as Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt Jr. President George Bush will be serving as the grand marshal for next weeks Winston at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Even the president is involved with Nascar, this sport really has grown over the last few years.  Nascar fans go out and spend millions of dollars on souvenirs and memorabilia every year. So Americans seem to have taken to Nascar since it has been brought to us a while ago.      

The popularity of Nascar says that Americans have shown their love and appreciation for the sport and the people that participate in the event. This sport show that Americans can love watching cars go fast around a track when you can just go out in you car and do the same thing. This sport shows that Americans can be lured to watching practically anything. I really see nothing good in watching Nascar I believe that is probably one of the most boring sporting events to watch on tv. If I am going through the channels and Nascar comes up on the tv I change it immediately. I believe that Nascar requires no talent. All you have to do is jump in a car and drive really fast. I think that the people who change the tires on the race car have more talent the drivers and these people receive millions of dollars for winning these races I wish I could have that job.  

This year David Coulthard was predicted to have a great season but a couple set back and he is not having as good of a year as predicted. Clearly the year hasn't started the way any of us had expected," Coulthard said. "We have been less competitive for a number of reasons and we are working through those in a logical way, in the same way that McLaren have struggled in the past and managed to get back to become a dominant force. But there is a long way to go."(espnpg.1) This shows how tough the sport is everything has to go right to have a great season. That means nothing going wrong with the car, no injuries to the driver and also a good job by the pit crew. In the amateur part of racing these racers try to make a name for themselves so hopefully they can make it to professional nascar racing. Like amateur racer Jeff Finn who says it is his dream to be able to race with the greats in professional nascar. He knows it is a challenge but he says that he is ready for the challenge.(espn.com pg.2)