Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America

My Mother and Father



















My Mother and Father

My Father was born in Norwood Massachusetts in 1957; my mother was born in West Roxbury Massachusetts also in 1957. My mother lived in West Roxbury until she was 12 years old then she moved to Willow St in Norwood. My mother’s name is Joanne and my father’s name is Michael. He was born and raised on Pellana Road with his older brother Ron and his younger sister Barbara. My grandfather’s name is also Ronald, my grandmother on my father’s side, Barbara, died of cancer when my dad was only 17 years old.

Pellana Rd and Willow St are two intersecting little back road streets; my parents lived about one hundred yards from one another. My grandfather was a Plastering Contractor as was his father, and my father was lined up to be. So my father said he would go with my grandfather to different jobs all through his adolescence and he would learn the trade. Switching subjects for a moment, my mothers new house that she shared with her mother Isabelle, her two brothers Steven and Michael, and her two older sisters, Patricia, Beth, was in need of some patching up. My mother has never told me exactly what happened to my grandfather on her side, all I know is he was in a car accident when my mother was about 16.

The house that my mother’s family moved into was is a big, brown, colonial that had an amazing encircling farmers porch. The inside needed to be revitalized with new plaster and paint so my grandfather was called to do the job. There were patches on the walls and the ceiling that needed renewal. My Grandfather went over on a Saturday morning to look over the job so my father tagged along as usual. When my Grandfather and my Father got to the job they introduced themselves and that’s when my Father met my future mother. They were only in the 7th grade and they acted as kids would when you meet a new person from the opposite sex. My Mother says that my Father was all flustered and that they used to flirt up until freshmen year when they started going out together. They went to the Norwood JR High School in South Norwood until freshmen year.

All through schooling they never broke up, my mother went to Framingham College until she could no longer afford it; she only went for 1 semester. My father never went to college; he went to work right out of high school as a plastering contractor. My Father asked for my mother’s hand in marriage when they were 21 years old. They have been together ever since and my father is now a plastering contractor as he was taught as a child. My Father is a very successful Contractor, he has always worked hard at what he does and he always will.

This story shows how people can stay together if they truly love each other and trust one another throughout their life times. People always say that you find the right someone later on in life usually but not all the time, my parents are a prime example of true love in our country.














Jack and Mike

     It was December 26, 2001 at 10:30 in the morning. Jack was half asleep watching T.V. still in his pajamas when his good buddy Mike strolled in. Mike and Jack have been friends for as long as they both can remember, so it was not an unusual thing for Mike to just walk into Jack’s house uninvited.

Mike grabs a soda and sits down next to Jack with a stupid little smirk on his face. “So how was Christmas old buddy” Mike says, “did you have fun at your party last night?” “Ya I had a lil’ too much fun last night if ya know what I mean” mumbles Jack. “We partied all night and everyone left at around 3 this morning, I have a wicked bad headache too”

Jack and Mike have always been friends yet they are very competitive together. Every year at birthdays, and especially Christmas they try to out do the other with what they got for presents. It is usually pretty even but Jack usually gets the best gifts and rubs them in Mikes face.

“So what did you get for Christmas this year?” says Mike. “Well I don’t mean to brag but I did get a brand new, unbelievable, state of the art computer from my Grandmother” Says Jack, with a smirk of pride on his face. “Ya you can’t get much higher on the technological level than what I’ve got now.” “So, what did you get for Christmas Mikey boy?” adds Jack. “Oh nothing really, just a full 2 week vacation to Aruba with everything included!” laughs Mike. Jack stiffens up a little bit and says a little more humbly “well who got you that?” “My parents did” says Mike. “Ya I fly out on Tuesday and I’m staying there fro 2 weeks”

Mike goes on and on about how great his trip is going to be, just loving to rub it in Jack’s face until Mike said “Not to mention I’m gonna get all the ladies down there.” Now Mike has never been a ladies man by no means and he everyone knows it. “HAHA ya right dude, you couldn’t get sunburn down there, never mind a woman, the ladies down there would rather talk to a tree than talk to you!” exclaims Jack. “Ya well, how about ill take pictures of all the girls I hang out with down there and prove it to you!” retorts Mike. “I bet you a hundred bucks that you can’t even get a date in Aruba” Jack says. “Ok that’s a deal” replies Mike.

Well surely enough Mike went to Aruba and he had a great time, but he couldn’t get a date for his life. So two and a half weeks later Jack was sitting pretty with an extra hundred dollars in his pocket.












Emily Dickinson was one of, if not the most talented poets of all time. She not only wrote thousands of poems but also helped rewrite the laws of poetic writing. Dickinson was a self-educated woman who lived in Amherst Massachusetts her whole life. She wrote very short quatrain poems and she never published a single one, all of her poems were included in letters to friends and family. Some of her masterpieces include “The soul selects her own society”, “There is a solitude of space”, and “Water is taught by thirst.” The most perfected and meaningful of her works is “The brain- is wider than the sky-.” In this poem Dickinson is able to get the point across that is people apply themselves and are given the opportunity that the sky is the limit.

     Each of the stanzas in “The brain is wider than the sky” starts off with its own statement then it is elaborated on. In the first line of the poem which is the name of the poem she is trying to get a serious point across that not to many people were familiar with. We always here the saying “a mind is a terrible thing to waste” well this is the beginning of that statement. With the following lines in the stanza Dickinson explains or goes into detail about her statement, she shows us what she means, not just tells us about what she means. “The brain is wider than the sky,” this is showing us that with help and nurturing with the right upbringing a persons brain is unstoppable and knows no limits.

     Throughout Dickinson’s poem there is three stanzas, everyone beginning with a new statement, yet they all get the same point across in the end. The second stanza begins with “The brain is deeper than the sea” is saying the same thing as she did in line one, but with a different point of view. Again after she makes her statement she elaborates and fills us in on what she means. These lines really make you think about yourself and what you have and still can accomplish, whether or not you have given yourself and your brain the opportunity to become as deep and the sea or as wide as the sky. When you think of something as deep as the ocean you never fathom the thought of comparing it to something like your brain, there is no real connection between the two, but Dickinson pulls the two together to make us think differently.

     The third stanza of this poem is “The brain is just the weight of God” is a little more difficult to figure out the meaning. When we hear this line we think of God being omnipotent and all-knowing, and we can draw the comparison between being all-knowing such as God is and then striving to be all-knowing as a human.

     Emily Dickinson is getting a very y important and modern day point across. She is saying that our brains are things that have no limit to them. Imagine if all the people in the world had a great education and everyone tried and strived to become as full of knowledge as possible. The world would be decades and decades ahead of where we are now. Who knows how many geniuses and how many problems would be solved if we had everybody wanting to be as intelligent as they most possibly could. Her point in the end is that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”






















    A “sport” is defined as “an activity usually involving physical exertion and having a set body of rules; a game, an active pastime” .When we as a nation think of a sport we think of things such as Hockey, Baseball, Basketball, or Football, this is what we think of as a majority. Our nation is a high paced, physical, in your face kind of country and that is why we love the sports that we do. These types of sports that are loved nation wide are because it reflects the type of society we live in. We love Hockey, Football, and Basketball because of its high speed and the rush it gives us; we love Baseball, our national past-time because of its skill and gracefulness, but at times can be explosive. We love sports such as Boxing and wrestling because of its physical violence and we are attracted to this violence as a nation. The Sport of Billiards or ‘Pool” as it is more commonly known is not as popular in our country but is starting to catch on rapidly. “The object of the game is to get all of the object balls into the pockets before you opponent. Other areas in the world such as continental Europe, Latin America, and Asia play a different style of Billiards; they play a pocket less version of the sport. On a pocket less table, points are scored by caroming the cue ball off one ball into another, sometimes with cushion contact required of the cue ball. The version of Pool where you put the balls in the pocket is more predominate in English speaking countries.” This passage was by an unknown author, found on billiards.com.
     Superstar Cory Deuel who is the leading money winner so far this year said “There is nothing more relaxing and nerve racking at the same time than playing a competitive game of Pool”. So Cory is saying that even though he is in front of thousands of people when he plays Pool he still has to be as calm as possible and have nerves of steel. This could be one of the main reasons why we as Americans are starting to enjoy Pool more than before, because of the tension it brings to the room and the precision at which Pool is played.
     My Uncle Steven Walsh who is forty-nine years old and considers himself a decent Pool player couldn’t say enough about the sport. When I asked him what he thinks about Pool and why it isn’t very popular in America he had a different response. He said “Sure Pool isn’t too big on TV and on the news but ill tell you this, almost everyone I know plays pool either at home or at the bar all the time, so it is popular on a more personal level.” I never really thought of it that way but he was right, Pool was like Ultimate Frisbee or Wiffle Ball, it is not a national sport but almost everyone has played it at sometime. Steven and my six other Uncles along with My Dad always play Pool at family get togethers and parties, my father has a Pool table himself in the basement.
     A man named Cornbread Red, yes Cornbread Red, and ex-pool superstar now writes about Pool in newspapers and magazines. In one of Cornbread’s statements about Pool on Billiards.com talked about Pool. He said how “Billiards is like Golf on a lesser level, its and individual challenge against yourself to see how good you can actually get, and there is no one to blame but yourself.” I like that quote because of the truthfulness about it. In a sport like Football and Hockey you can always blame your teammates, but in Pool you can blame no one but yourself.
This sports popularity in the United States is growing, it has professionals such as Ralph Greenleaf and Willie Mosconi who gained popularity in the 1970’s as being some of the world’s best. The game has such precision and accuracy with nerves of Steele attracts many American spectators. This sport has been Americanized in the way it is played and it has gained much more respect and attention than it has in the past. The lack of support but the American people show our true love for more physical and high tempo sports, this is what draws people away from Billiards.