Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America
























I went to school one day and was assigned to find out the oldest story known in my family. So I approached my mother Lisa, and I asked her about how she and my father Mark, met. I explained to her that it was for English class but I was inquisitive about how and where they met. I'm also interested in finding out their feelings toward each other the first time they saw one another.

"Me and your father met through friends" my mother said. "The very first time I saw him I was at a club in town with one of my friends. My friend had brought her boyfriend George who happened to bring his cousin. That guy ended up being your father" my mother told me. "To be completely honest with you the first time I saw him I thought he looked like a punk and didn't think he was a guy I was interested in going out with. However, he started to talk to me and come to find out we had a lot in common so I gave him a chance."

The first date my parents had was at a Chinese restaurant in town and they started to like each other and spend more and more time together. Come to find out they fell in love and go married. This story proves that two people can meet at any time and in any unexpected place. This story is important to me because it is how my parents met each other and if they never met I wouldn't be here to tell you this story.














Have you ever passed by a place in nature and actually took the time to admire its beauty and grace? If not, you along with many others aways seem to take nature for granted. In South Boston on Telegraph street is a tree that is commonly misunderstood and unappreciated. People constantly disregard this tree and don't recognize the purpose of it. Emerson states, "To be great is to be misunderstood." This seems to be the case about nature in America.
    Every day for the past two weeks I have been observing the changes that took place. The tree outside of my house is a maple tree containing many conjoint characteristics that other trees have as well. It is tall with different colored leaves due to the season of autumn. This tree consistently appears to be full of life because the branches and leaves blow in the wind while squirrels and birds prance around chasing each other.
    However, many changes occur. The leaves weren't only changing colors, they were slowly falling onto the pavement below. Also, the animals living in the tree were attempting to gather food to prepare for the winter. Throughout the course of the time i viewed the tree and its surroundings many people went by treating it like it wasn't a work of God. The people neglected it and didn't apprize the importance of the tree. But there was one old woman who decorated it nicely for the upcoming Christmas season. I have come to realize that something as simple as a tree is a special source of life and should be perceived with care.
    Most Americans don't apprehend just how much the human race depends on trees. It is an inception of life and is very substantial. Furthermore, American citizens always disregard non material items. Americans are perpetually occupied with working and making money to try and live a wealthy life with valuable things. People never take the time to reflect on the importance of nature and what it accomplishes for us. This is not only common amongst American citizens but individuals all over the world.
    Nature is a source of life that is easily taken for granted. I have learned that simple things such as trees are misunderstood but have a big impact on our lives. Also, being able to have the ability to admire nature is moe important than material items.














There was a man named John who walked into a police station. He was greeted by a police officer that stated, "Hi, how may I help you."
 "Can you hand this envelope to your supervisor. He called me the other night and requested additional information about the accident report."
 "Oh your that construction worker guy right?" the police officer said, giving him a funny look.
 Embarrassed John said, "Yeah that's me,"
 "Can you tell me what happened, I'm dying to know."
 "As I stated in the accident reporting form I put trying to do the job alone as the cause of my accident. I'm a bricklayer by trade and I was working by myself on a six-story building. When I had finished I discovered that I had about 500 pounds of brick left over. I thought it would be foolish to carry them all down by hand one by one. So I decided to lower them in a barrel using a pulley, which fortunately was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor. Securing the rope at ground level I went up to the roof swung the barrel out and loaded the brick into it. Then I went back to ground level and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent. As I stated in the accident reporting form I weigh 150 pounds."
 "What does this have to do with anything about you nearly killing your self?" asked the police officer.
 "Well due to my surprise of being jerked off the ground so suddenly" said John, "I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say I proceeded at a rather rapid pace up the side of the building and in the vicinity of the 3rd floor I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone. I continued up the side of the building not stopping until my fingers were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately by this time I regained conscientious and I was able to hold on tightly to the rope. Unfortunately the bottom of the barrel broke the barrel now approximately weighed 25 pounds."
 "Don't tell me that you went flying down six stories!" said the police officer hysterically.
 "As you might imagine!" yelled John, " I flew down the side of the building and met the barrel which was now coming up. This explains the two broken ankles, a bruised hip, and lacerations all over my lower body. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough that I didn't completely break my back when I slammed into the ground. The doctors said that I was lucky I only escaped with three cracked vertebrae. So I was just laying there helplessly in pain."
 "That is some story," said the police officer.
 "Yup, and as I lay there on the ground in pain, I watched the empty barrel come done. I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope."














     Emily Dickinson was a remarkable poet who was extremely reluctant to reveal herself to the world. Only close friends and family knew of her poetic genius and unbelievable writing ability. Her poetry was appreciated for its unique style, concrete imagery, and forceful language. She was greatly admired for her eccentric use of punctuation, meter, and rhyme. In addition to this, Dickinson displayed a talent where she was able to write about death from the grave with pinpoint precision. In the poem, "There is a Solitude of Space" Dickinson reveals these gifts and has the ability to leave the reader with a sense of loneliness.

      In the beginning of the poem, the author uses alliteration to try and set a soft mood for the remainder of the poem. The introduction establishes a moderate tone such as lines one and two that state, "There is a solitude of space/A solitude of sea." The ocean along with open space are isolated from all the problems and corruption in the world. The sea is one of the few places that people can go to truly find a sense of loneliness. Dickinson does a superior job of trying to get the audience to recognize a place that is forlorn.

      Whenever we think of silence or sadness we feel small and untouchable. Dickinson tries to capture a sense of loneliness by making the poem short with a quiet and soft beat. By including this Dickinson adds depth to the theme of the poem. She is known for her unusual rhyme schemes as she unveils in the poem: A,B,C,B,D,B,E,B. All of these lines that have exact rhyme have leisure words with a calm beat.

                          A solitude of sea
                          Society shall be
                          That polar privacy
                          Finite Infinity

The author wants the reader to imagine being in an open place with unlimited space and time. Dickinson wants us to picture ourselves in a place of seclusion, a place with no problems or concerns, a place without limits.

      Lastly, Dickinson tries to capture a sense of loneliness by using the dash. The dash is another element of punctuation that she is widely notorious for. In lines seven and eight, "A soul admitted to itself-/Finite Infinity" the dash can represent something infinite and never-ending. And the last line "Finite Infinity" adds to the sense of having immeasurable limits.

      Dickinson was a private person who was known as one of the greatest American poets. I believe that her decision to stay secluded from the world assisted in her writing skills. Her seclusion from the world was definitely reflected in her work. This benefited her because she was able to write about death and loneliness with great accuracy as she did in the poem "There is a Solitude of Space."
























  Tennis is a game for two or four players, played on a court by striking a ball with rackets across a net. It is a sport played professionally in the U.S as well as on the international level. Tennis is an exciting sport that can be played by men or women of any age. Unlike most sports we have evidence of how this game has become established. It was invented in 1813 by a British army officer named Major Walter Clopton Wingfield. During this year the game was introduced in Bermuda and was later brought to the U.S by an American Mary Ewing Outerbridge. The first game of tennis in the U.S was played in Staten Island, N.Y at the Cricket and Baseball club in the spring of 1874. Over the years tennis has become a fast growing sport and increasingly popular throughout America.
    Pete Sampras is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He is well known throughout the world for defeating Andre Agassi four times in 1999 at Wimbledon, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, and the ATP Tour Championships. Sampras loves to play the game and has been involved in tennis his whole life. Many of his fans like him for his competitiveness and for his dedication to the game. Sampras says that, "People know
me. I'm not going to produce any cartwheels out there. I'm not going to belong on Comedy Central. I'll always be a tennis player not a celebrity. The way I can play and some of the shots I'm able to hit, that's what I'm all about. I will never do anything different on the court to please the media, to make your jobs easier. I'll make you guys write about the tennis." (qtd. In The Pete Sampras Page) Pete Sampras is a superior athlete with great athleticism, sportsmanship, and class. He has brought a lot to the game of tennis over the past few years and will continue to do so in the future.
    My cousin Nicholas Candella is currently twenty-two years old and has played tennis for fun ever since he was a little kid. I ask him why do you enjoy playing tennis? He says, "Tennis is an inexpensive sport where you can play almost anywhere. I like to play with friends because it is an exciting sport where you can go outside and relieve stress. Tennis is good exercise and by playing it recreationally you don't have to worry about the different scoring system or how long the game has to be, you can just go out and play until you get tired." (Candella) Also, I asked him if he would ever stop playing tennis. "No I doubt it. As long as I have another person to play with tennis will never get boring." (Candella) What makes tennis unique from other sports? "Tennis is a non-contact sport that is played by people of any age. Tennis is a simple sport that doesn't require a lot of space to play." (Candella) Overall, tennis seems like a relaxing sport that is thrilling every time you play whether you're a young kid or an old amateur.  
    Cyndy Muscatel is a journalist who has included her thoughts of tennis in an article called, "The Past: From Monks to Monarchs." Muscatel states that tennis has always been a political handball ever since James V picked up the game in France and brought in back to the British Isles. Since tennis had been the game of kings, it's not surprising that it didn't make its appearance in the more egalitarian societies of the U.S and Australia until the 19th century. And when the game of tennis did arrive in America the game was altered from using the palm of your hand to using Battoirs or short wooden bats. Muscatel says that, "Ever since World War One tennis has gained rapidly in popularity and play. However the game of tennis has a weird scoring system which was developed in medieval times." (qtd. In The Past: From Monks to Monarchs)  Moreover, Muscatel has come to respect the game of tennis and its growing popularity but disagrees with the confusing scoring system used today. Muscatel loves to write about the sport of tennis because of the dedication of not only the players but of the fans. No matter who the match up includes, there is always a sell out crowd at the edge of their seat waiting to observe an exciting game.
    Tennis was invented by a British officer in 1813 and was later brought to the U.S by Mary Ewing Outerbridge. Tennis is a thrilling sport that can be played for fun by people of any age. It is an American sport that is greatly admired by the people because it is exciting to both watch and play. We are presently witnessing history due to the superincumbent efforts of Pete Sampras as well as many others. Tennis has grown greatly in popularity over the years and will continue to expand remarkably in the future.