Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America



















When I was assigned a family history project in 4th grade, I had to do a research project on how my family first arrived in the United States of America. The only person that I could think of that knew the whole story would be my grandfather.

So I went to my grandfather and he told me about how my family first arrived here in the United States. He began to tell me the story about the whole journey and how he actually arrived here in the United States. My grandfather told me that, "his great grandfather cam from Euorope a real long time ago from France, he lived there and didn't have much money to do anything there. He lived a low class life over in Europe and needed a way to get to America." He continued to explain the whole thing and told me that "he was desperate to leave France and to come across the Atlantic away from all his troubles and debts.

So he became and indentured servant so he could work for someone and they could feed him and pay his way to the United States." "When he first arrived from across the Atlantic Ocean, his master first arrived in Nova Scotia, Canada and first lived there for about 5 years. After staying in Nova Scotia, he picked up a few hobbies like learning how to be a good farmer and how to carve or "widdle" wood into all different things. After those many years of working for his master in Nova Scotia, Canada, he left Canada to come to America.

He ended up coming to Boston, MA and settling here and starting his family here. That is when my grandfather ended the story and told me this is how we ended up in Boston. And if it wasn't for his great grandfather, taking a chance and enslaving himself just to get here, I might not be here today and am very greatful that he took a chance on coming over here to find a better life.










Over the past two weeks I have been observing a spot in nature noticing any changes that happen. This spot in nature is a small tree in the corner of my yard that looks very old. I watched the tree go from a great deal of flowers, some dead, some alive, to completely bare with nothing at all. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "At a certain season in our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possibe sight of a house." And throughout these two weeks I have seen squirrels and birds use my little tree as there home and I enjoyed this. Throughout the observation it changed from looking alive to looking completely dead, and from lonely to crowded with animals and flowers. Here in detail is what I observed throughout these two weeks.
         When I first started to observe the tree it had a great deal of flowers all over it and some were beautiful and alive, and some were rotten dead waiting to fall of the tree. But after a few days the tree was losing the dead flowers and it looked a little odd. There were five flowers on the tree that I counted that were bright pink purplish flowers that were alive on one branch of the tree. After a week or so the tree was completely bare and just looked liked a gian stick stuck in the ground. It was a small skinny tree and looked like an eye sore in the corner of my backyard. And at the bottom was a ton of dead flowers surrounding the base of the tree. That made it look a little nicer with the bright flowers at the base of the tree. But even know they were fallen dead flowers scattered around the base, it still was a unique spot in nature.
    Then on the second last day of observation it was cold and raining hard. And when I went on my back porch and looked at the spot, my backyard was muddy and flooded, it was very windy also. The flowers were all gone from the bottom of the tree except for a few floating in the smal dark, murky puddles. Throughout the two weeks almost everyday I saw either a bird or squirrel resting on the small branches of the tree and it felt good seeing that the small little tree was a good use for something in nature.
      This small brittle tree in the corner of my backyard represents America as a country that started very small like the tree and continues to grow onward and getting to be the best it can be. This tree grows and gets a little bigger everyday just like this great country of America and is a small symbol of our great nation.
       These past four paragraphs have explained in detail what I did in the past two weeks and what were the most important things I obsrved on this small spot in nature. I feel I have learned a great deal from this project and learn that we take nature for granted and that we only appreciate the nice beautiful things in nature and do not take a second to take a look around at the small things and you can realize how beautiful these spots really are.











Everyone in their life witnesses something funny or hilarious that they just can't help laughing at. Well I have witnessed some of the funniest accidents and incidents that have happened to one of my friends. The one I chose is when my friend John got hurt three times in one day and was the funniest day.
     The day started off at about ten in the morning after our hockey game when my friends John, Richie, and I went down to the local park because we got a couple of inches of snow on the ground that day. We started throwing snowballs around and started a big fight. After the fight John was yelling to Richie saying,
       "I hit you real good with that ice ball in the face,"
and we all started laughing and walking to John's house. All of a sudden Richie screamed,
              "Get down!"
and we looked and saw the older kids in our neighborhood whipping snowballs at us and hit John directly in the face. He went down hard and was hurt for a while but just got up and ran to his house.
           When we got to his house John was still recovering from the snowball to the face and we got something to eat and something hot to drink. After warming up we went back out into the cold and looked for something to do. As we were walking out from his house we were just talking and Richie went out first and whispered to me,
        "watch out for the ice, but don't tell John, it should be funny,"  
so I just listened to him because I couldn't stop thinking about how funny it would be. John came running out after us. Richie and I were just waiting for him to come out. John came running down the staircase and he just slipped and rolled right down his front steps. It was hilarious and took a beating falling down those stairs but again recovered and we continued on our way to find something to keep us boys busy.
     Throughout the afternoon it began to warm up and had nothing to do so we went and got our bikes and went riding around the neighborhood. The snow was melting and was very wet outside. We were riding down a main street and John was in front of us. We were coming up to a side street that led into the main street. As soon as John began to drive by the side street on his bike, Richie and I yelled to John,
     "John!, Stop!"
and as we yelled this, a small car bumped him from the side and sent him flying off his bike. We were very scared at first and very anxious to see if he was all right. When we realized he was okay, we thought it was the funniest thing we had ever seen. The funniest part about it was that it was our school principal that hit him.
     This doesn't sound like a real fun day but was hysterical thanks to our friend John for getting hit in the face with a snowball, falling down his stairs, and getting hit by a car riding his bike.













     Emily thingyinson wrote 1,775 poems and only seven were published. The Brain-is Wider than the Sky is only one of the few poems that ever got published from thingyinson’s work. Today, thingyinson is widely regarded as one of the greatest American poets. This poem, “The Brain- is Wider than the Sky,” is unique in that it compares the brain, the sky, and the ocean in her own personal way.

     In this poem thingyinson continues her tradition of using the hyphen throughout her poem. This poem starts off with the title of the poem, “The Brain-is Wider than the Sky,” and then compares the brain and the sky This stanza is analyzing the brain and the sky to see how they are the same in many ways.

     It continues to use the hyphen throughout the poem and at the end of every line in thingyinson’s poems. In this stanza it starts to compare the brain and the ocean. It explains how the brain and the ocean are at the same depth of the sea and how both will absorb in different things. Water will absorb in sponges and in buckets, and the brain will absorb anything it hears.

     “The Brain is just the weight of God”- is in the first line of the third stanza in this poem. It then says how the brain and God are the two most important things in life. How everyone should use their brain wisely and listen to God because He is the wisest.

     This is an interesting poem by thingyinson because it compares the human mind, nature, and God. The three things are the most important things in the world and are so different but have so much similarity and meaning.


















    Racing cars as a professional sport has not been around for that long a time in the world, not until Henry Ford started making cars in the late 1800's and early 1900's in the United States. Racing is a huge sport in many parts of the United States, including the south and the midwest, but not much in the northeast.
     Today there is a professional racecar driving league called NASCAR. NASCAR is made up of all the best drivers from around the world that race their highly equipped cars at special raceways at which thousands of fans come to see the big races. Even though these professional racers race for big prizes and money, what they do is very dangerous, people like my mother, who hates it because it is so dangerous, says, "those drivers have a death wish." These professional drivers race their cars at around two-humdred miles per hour and are always in danger to crash or lose control of their car at any time of the race. Many racers have lost their lives to these fatal crashes that occur. Just last year NASCAR legend Dale Earnhart was racing and lst control and died from a fatal crash into the wall of the track.
     I myself am not a fan of NASCAR because to me it is just a bunch of cars racing at high speeds going in circles for hours at a time which does not entertain me at all. The only time I watch it is when my friends and I watch it on sportscenter when there is a major crash because they are the only good parts of the race to watch. But NASCAR does have lot of fans who love the sport and who look at the drivers as gods and are their biggest fans. Thats why this sport is so American because the automobile was made in the United States and racing them started here also. So the only really major racing league in the world is NASCAR and it is right here in the United States.