Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America


















Late evening around a fireplace in the middle of winter. My grandmother and I talking about old times, she recalls back to when her old gray german shepard was a young pup. She starts her story with "one day a big german shepard dog named Old Fashion used to chase little children up and down the street. All the children of the neighborhood avoided walking by its house. Then about when Old Fashion was about 2 years old, the lady next door bought a rooster for her hens. Then one day the rooster managed to get out of its cage and it saw the dog. Instead of the dog chasing the rooster the rooster chased the dog. Old Fashion ran squeaking, so that is why we renamed him "Squeakers".











Over the past several weeks, I have been observing a small vacant piece of land behind the bus stop near my house. This area has been for so long unappreciated, and now I thought it needed some recognition for its natural beauty that it gives to the atmosphere around it.

As this small piece of land lay under the night sky, it brings out a sense of peacefulness to everything that surrounds nearby. This almost barren land is covered with a soft layer of rocks and dirt, yet there is still a mild vegetation of grass that grows. On both sides of this vacant area are pine trees and just behind them is a fence that borders the whole area off.

Even in fog this vacant area still has a beautiful look that gives it an American look and feel, so free looking and different from traditional ways. This land shows and expresses America's new look. "My right there is none to dispute" by Henry David Thoreau best describes America's image.













One day there was a boy named. He was a small frail child about 5 feet tall. Rob didn't have many friends do to the fact that he was weird. He was really upset with this, and was worried about his first day of High school. All day long Rob kept to himself, other kids were pointing and laughing at him, bit it didn't bother him because he was used to it.
During lunch Rob bumped into this guy named Derrick. "Sorry sir, I wasn't watching were I was going, please take my money".
"Its alright kid hey whats your name"
"Rob? Thats a name for a big guy, I'll call you lil Rob."
Derrick invited Rob to come and eat lunch with him and his friends. Rob was quickly accepted and this was the start of a beautiful relationship. They liked Lil Rob so much that they adopted Lil Rob as there son. They taught him how to give dap, dance, and even how to talk to girls. But like all great things it started to fall apart. Rob started to hang out with a different crowd, and even ate at a different lunch table. This hurt Derrick's feelings. Lil Rob had turned his back on them. Lil Rob started stealing and became addicted to it, he was eventually arrested and was put in jail. Derrick was hurt and fell into depression, still to this day Lil Rob is in prison.












     Edgar Allan Poe was a famous poet that lived from 1809 to 1849. Edgar Allen
Poe’s poem “The Raven” is a wonderful piece of literature that should be studied in
every classroom. Poe is well known American poet, that some say is the best. He has had
many timely classics, and in all he has managed to say with his own unique style.
Particulary in this poem “The Raven”he uses a creative word play with a rhythmic
pattern that deals with a common, but complex situation.

     In this poem Poe uses an appoarch that misleads the readers thinking in what the
poem is all about. “Tis a visitor rapping and tapping at my chamber door.”
Then later in the poem he works his way slowly into the true subject of the poem with
lines like:
           Eagerly I wished the morrow vainly I had sought to borrow,

           From my books surcease of sorrow-sorrow for the lost Lenore
This is a clear example of how he uses that misleading approach to throw the reader off.
Poe wants to mislead you into thinking that bad  news is always carried by a human
messenger. Instead in this poem the bad news left for the individual to figure out piece by
piece. Then he describes the pain he feels by saying he would need some nepenthe to
relieve his sorrow, and to keep the reader thinking at the end of each paragraph the
Raven replies with “Nevermore”.

     Then with the creative words and the right rhythmic pattern he describes the
scene as him in the dark den all by himself, alone with his thoughts about this girl named
Lenore. This seems all to common, but Poe manages to creatively renevent new ways to
describe the situation. Therefore, because of his wonderful technique, I feel the “The
Raven” is a timely classic to be studied for years.
















   Sport is defined as a physical activity with a scoring system in which the purpose
is to win. However, I don’t define sport this way. I define sport as the love for something
that you would play day in, and day out with intensity just because you love it and you
want to play. Basketball perfectly fits this definition whether your playing on a large or
small scale. Day after day, this game is played on run down playground courts and
upper-class country club gymnasiums, but the one thing that keeps them in common is
the love and the intensity that they are played. The most skilled players such as Michael
Jordan (Guard for the Wizards), Antoine Walker (Forward for the Celtics), and Allen
“The Answer” Iverson (Point Guard/Guard for the 76ers) can always be seen arguing
with referees over bad call, and taunting the opposing teams after hustling up and down
the court to get to the basket. This shows their intensity and displays their true love for
the game. But the one guy whose passion for the game stands out from the rest is
Michael Jordan. Los Angeles Laker superstar Magic Johnson has said “There’s Michael,
then there’s all the rest of us.”(Qt. In For The Love of The Game, Jordan). When
describing this love for the game, I must mention the undisputed best player to ever play
the game, Michael Jordan. Even the great Michael Jordan himself has described love for
the game as
     “Larry, who has the same heart, the same kind of ability I do, and yet he’s only
5-foot-8. This is a guy who will still play me one-on-one in a heartbeat. Despite all I’ve
achieved in basketball, Larry believes he can win.” (Excerpt from For the Love of The
Game, Jordan)

     Another well respected voice from the game would be the regular season sports
announcer for the Celtics, Jim Durham, he also agrees that this shows a passion for the
game. He is always quick to point out bad call by referees during a game, and make calls
right along in the game.
     If this type of love for a sport does not embody what we call American then I
don’t know what does. Its creation shows a new beginning and change from traditional
ways, the same way this country was founded when the Pilgrims first came to America.
Its American roots can be seen through the different places and ways in which the game
by all people from amateurs to professionals. This also shows that this game is not afraid
of change, by which it is not and has undergo many changes since its beginning in a
small gymnasium in Springfield, Massachusetts. The game of basketball has gone
through it all, from the introduction of the 3 point line to the addition of the zone
     Since its start many decades ago basketball has become even more Americanized.
It has been done so through the amateurs who play the game. I am primarily referring to
the “over the hill” guys who play on the basketball courts at the gym, the kids that play o
the hoop on the telephone pole after dark, and the girls that play on the hoop in front of
their house. They alone have taken this game and Americanized it. They have taken the
game that is supposed to be played on a regulation hoop and court, and have adopted it
into a different style of play and made it possible so that they could play, all because of
there passion to want to play the game. The National Basketball Association has
recognized this and had decided to base their 2000-2002 season’s motto on it “I Still
Love This Game.”
     Although this game is internationally known, its popularity is mainly restricted to
that of the United States. This shows that only Americans love the gam, and many
foreign countries are reluctant to accept this game as a pastime because of its strong
American roots and its symbolism of America.