Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America
















One night my family and I sat down to a late dinner.There wasn't much conversation so I thought of a question to break the silence. First I asked if we had any family stories. Secondly i asked my parents if they would tell me the story. I am fortunate enough to have known my great grand parents. I knew my great grand father for ten years. My mother and her siblings called him Pop so his great grand children called him Pop also. I guess you could say he had it rough.

He came to America in 1904 from Portugal. He only had five dollars in his pocket when he came here. He was only four or five years of age. He came with his siblings and his mother as his father found a house and a job. They settled in New Bedford, massachusetts. They lived in a chicken coop converted into a house. He and his family worked on a farm for a quarter a day. He later moved to Mattapan. He worked as a police mechanic. Pop had three children and a wife and became a priest. He saved his money and moved into Milton. He bought the white house next to the Captain Robert Forbes Museum. AS a young child I remember going to his house. He had a candy jar that was always filled. under the lid there was a music box. Before he left the room he would wind up the music box.

When my cousins, brothers and I would try to steal a piece of his candy the music box would play and he would yell "got ya" and come back into the room. He always had the family parties at his house.When it was time to eat we all sat at a huge table that took up the length of the room. We always ate Cale Soup with bread and butter. When Pop passed away so did the parties and gathering around the table for his soup. However I will never forgot him or his parties. From this story my family gets part of its history. However anyone can get the message that hard work pays off in the end.












In the woods near Eliot Park I see the bare trees. The leaves resting on the ground and birds and squirrels scurry through them. I can smell the leaves andd a certain undescribable scent. I feel the leaves and plants crumble beneath my feet as the brisk wind blows by. I can hear the wind rustling up the dead leaves, leading them in a charge across the woods spilling them into neighboring yards. I see everything "I become a transparent eye ball" said Emerson.

My little piece of nature is an American one because it has been around for a long time. It has survived having houses put up around it and a baseball field placed in front of it. The trees over look the baseball field because they are on top of a small hill. This shows that it is an American spot because baseball is the "Great American Passtime."

In the winter children swarm to the hill in front of the trees like bees on a hive. There they go sledding. In all other seasons the spot is a mere short cut leading out to the park. People trudge through it on foot and blaze through it on bikes. Parents rest atop the hill under the cool shade of the trees while watching their young children play baseball in the summer months.

This spot is American because it has human interaction. It has estounding beauty in the fall. It comes alive in the spring and offers shade in the summer. And in the winter it is buzzing with the laughter of children. This is a true American spot all year long.














It was late at night and the alcohol high was wearing off after the CM dance. Brian and Matt were waiting for their ride, which was running late. "Man I hope your mom comes soon,it's freezing out here" said Brian. "Yeah it is rather chilly" Matt replied. THe two boys got bored and wanted something to do but what?
They two boys were not from the area and didn't know where they could go. Matt said "I wonder what's in that part of the building" Matt said curiously. "Yeah me to" agreed Brian. Kiddingly Matt said "lets go in through that window, keep a watch for me." Laughing Brian agreed but said to hurry up because he wanted into.
Shortly after that conversation the two boys were through the window and in the brother's house. As soon as Brian squeezed through the window a firm hand landed on their shoulders and a voice said "Can i help you?" Nervously the boys said no.
They were brought to the office to call their parents, who actually hadn't even left the house to get them yet. They had to explain what had happened. I can't imagine explaining to my mother how I ended up inside the building.













      Emily Dickinson was an outstanding poet. Her poems were written in letters to friends and family. She did not want her works to be published and on her death bed she asked her niece to burn the letters and works. Fortunately, her niece did not burn them and the works were published bringing Dickinson posthumous fame. Dickinson displays an unusual and unprecedented writing method including dashes and writting as if she were already dead. She also uses two methods of rhyme, exact and slant rhyme. Her poems offer a new view of death. Especially in the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death".  She displays death as a person. Dickinson brings the action of dying to life by making it able to do human actions.

    Dickinson allows death to gradually occur in this poem. Dickinson uses images of every day scenes in the process. For example
                We passed the school where children played
                               At recess in the ring
                       We passed the fields of gazing grain
                              We passed the setting sun

    Here we see every day objects and scenes leading her into her death. They start earlier in the day when children are in school and we see grains probably in the afternoon then we finally see the sun setting. The sun setting symbolizes her life coming to a close as the day ends with the sun setting.

    Emily Dickinson also does not fear her death but instead welcomes it. in this poem she does not try to escape from death but willingly goes along with it. Many times death is cruel and dark for example the Grim Reaper. However Dickinson portrays death to be peaceful and bright and shows no fear of it. She gives death the image of being something that should indeed be welcomed. Since Dickinson was to busy for Death, he stopped and got her. This also shows that she welcomed death because she opened the door to it.

    Emily Dickinson uses death and the theme of death in many of her poems. She also writes from the grave, as if she were already dead. This poem tells about when she finally met up with death. There is no fear but a strong acceptance and welcoming of it. Dickinson uses these unusual tactics of poem writting and gives us a new outlook on death.





























            Fishing has been around since the Biblical times and appears to be here for good. People fish all over the world for fun and for sport. Fishing has taken on some new roles through time. It was once a way to catch a meal and still is but now people use it for sport and just for fun. Many people use fishing to get a way from the city and get away from everyone else and just relax. Fishing is done on three levels professional, amateur and recreation. What is the draw to fishing? Why do so many people like it? The answer is while you’re out fishing you get to be by yourself and relax escape from the busy office and breathe clean fresh air. Its not for everyone, it does require persistence and patience.
     The top level of fishing is the professional level. Professional fisher Tom Lester II was kind enough to share a few quotes about fishing. I asked Mr. Lester why he fished and he said  “I fish because I enjoy the challenge of getting a fish to bite something that is not real (artificial lures). I also enjoy and appreciate the struggle a fish puts up when hooked.” This level of fishing is very intense and serious. These professionals make a living off the game and support their families with the winnings from tournaments.
               Amateurs fish simply for the love and enjoyment of the sport. John Albert is an amateur fisher, when I interviewed him on the sport he said “I like it because its challenging to lure a fish to a lure and then fighting the fish to bring it in.” John goes fishing once a week. I asked him how he feels while he’s fishing and he responded “definitely relaxed and happy. Makes me feel like I’m in more control.” Fishing gives people control and as stated earlier helps people relax.
                 Many Americans and people around the world find the sport of fishing as a waste of time and boaring. Others find the game exciting and relaxing and extremely fun. I was able to interview sports critic Alex Savioli about the sport. Alex jokes “Its only fun when you actually catch a lot of fish.” I also inquired about whether or not fishing should be a sport or not. He responded “No because it’s more of a social event. Most people go out in groups to talk and things along that line.” Alex happens to fall under the category of people who dislike fishing.
                 Fishing is a sport that is done through out the world on the professional and recreational level. Many people are fans of the game while others dislike it. Regardless what people think it is one of the most played and known games. This sport requires patients and persistence. Like all other sports luck is also required.