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Creative Writing Portfolio 20062007 Forest Park

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Title: Creative Writing Portfolio 20062007 Forest Park


1
Creative Writing Portfolio 2006-2007Forest Park
  • Matthew McCracken
  • 11
  • Mrs. Dowling

2
Introduction

Thank you for taking the time out of your life to
view my work that I have done over the year in
Creative Writing. I have put my best pieces of
writing in this portfolio, and I hope you enjoy
them. God bless.
3
Table of Contents
  • Portfolio 1
  • My Scary Dream
  • Nemesis on the Court
  • Laughter Equals Happiness
  • Why I Cant Stop Going?
  • The Court on a Hot Summer Day
  • My Father
  • Acrostic Poem
  • Reflections
  • Portfolio 2
  • What I Desire
  • Realization
  • Superstition
  • Meaning of Success
  • Message from Father to Son
  • My Life or His
  • White vs. Blue
  • Reflections
  • Portfolio 3
  • Waves
  • Number 23
  • Stranded on an Island
  • My morning
  • Meaning of Failure
  • Smoking
  • Stand tall
  • Tardy Sweeps
  • Future
  • Guilty Conscience
  • Maturity (Monologue)
  • Childhood (Additional Piece of Writing)
  • Reflections

4
My Scary Dream
I once had a scary dream that I had lost the
championship game in basketball for my Forest
Park team by missing a wide-open lay-up. To some
people, this might not be scary but to me,
basketball is my life. My teammate Andrew Butler
missed a 15-foot jump shot with thirty seconds to
go. The Osbourn Park Yellow Jackets called
timeout to organize on more play to try and come
out with a win against us. Coach told us in the
huddle not to foul, but to play aggressive
defense. I always thought that I would someday
have a chance to win a game by playing good
defense! Andrew and I doubled teamed the
opponents point guard at half court, and were
slapping for anything other than his arm.
Finally, with 5 seconds to go, I felt my hand
strip the ball from him. As I was dribbling up
the court with the ball as fast as I could, you
could feel the tension building. It was just the
basketball hoop, the ball, and me. I knew I had
to get there fast enable to make it to the basket
before time expired. With less than a second
left, I jumped in for the lay-up, and saw it roll
around the rim like it was doing a swirley!
Luckily, I woke up in time before I got booed,
but for a second, it felt like it was real. I am
thankful I woke up before coach would have a
chance to yell at me in the locker room after the
game!
5
Nemesis on the Court
Dear Magic Johnson, I don't want you to take
this letter in a negative way. I really do
respect your game when we are on opposite sides
of the court. All I've got to say is bring your A
game, buddy! This should not be taken as a letter
written by your rival just for trash-talk. I
really do wish you the best of luck on friday
night. You are an outstanding ball player, and an
inspiration to little kids around the world. I
mean, you even have my own son wearing your
jersey on his first day of kindergarten! I hope
after our battle on the court Friday night, that
we can remain friends. Magic, I also want you to
know there is no reason to be worried at all.
Your only going against one of the best ball
players known to man. Why would you possibly be
scared? I know there is going to be a lot of
people in the Staples Center, and your game will
be broadcasted on National Television, but you
just need to play your game. That is how you got
into the N.B.A, right? I think I better get to
the point now because I am running out of ink in
my pen. I just wanted to say that I will be
guarding you, and you will be my personal pet on
the court. Not only will you not score a point,
but I am planning on beating Wilt Chamberlain's
100-point game. In all seriousness though, good
luck to you out there, and don't break an ankle!
The Opposition, Larry Bird 33 P.S. Bring your
umbrella because my shot is going to be like rain
through the net!
6
Laughter Equals Happiness
People have always told me that my best quality
is being able to make people laugh. I love it
when I make people crack-up out of nowhere it
gives me a feeling of victory. If you know me,
you know that 99 of my life is filled with
laughter. I always have jokes with everyone, and
I do funny things to make people laugh, too.
Many times, when I make people laugh, it is to
make them feel better. When people arent in the
mood, I try to make them get in it because life
is too short to stay mad at. Nine times out of
ten, I would sacrifice my reputation for one of
my friends feelings. If the only way to get
them into a good mood is by making myself look
like a fool, then I guess I must be the next Jim
Carey! Youre not as funny as you think you
are, says my dad every time I make a corny joke
at dinner. This line defines why I love making
jokes, and making people happy. I am the
corniest guy that you will ever meet in your
life. I do things that, if you just met me, you
probably wouldnt want to hang out with me again.
The good thing about me is I can be corny one
minute, but the most mellow guy youll know the
next. I adjust to whatever is going around the
room. If everyone is sad, I try to make them
happy, if everyone is bored, I try to entertain
them. My mother said I am a natural entertainer.

7
Why I Cant Stop Going?
I have just realized how selfish I am being. For
the past month, I havent attended my church for
many reasons. It is true that sometimes I do
have other obligations and responsibilities on
Sunday mornings but for this month, I have no
excuse other than my own greediness. I have
always loved going to church ever since I did a
Christmas play for it in 5th grade. I loved the
singing, the prayers, the communion, and the
church itself. My church has always been like a
2nd home to me. Ive been skipping church by
saying that I was sick, tired or busy, when
really, it is because I dont feel the way I once
did about my other churches. I dont like the
old-fashioned look of it, or how far away it is
considering the fact that I live in Manassas and
my church is in Lorton. I dont like how my dad
is always like this church is historic because he
went there as a kid, and the fact that GEORGE
WASHINGTON used to attend this church back in his
day! The reason that I feel selfish is because
of the way I have approached this whole church
situation. Ever since I moved to Virginia back
in 8th grade, I havent really given my new
church a chance. I never attended any youth club
meetings, I decided that I was too old to be an
acolyte, and I havent made a real attempt to
make friends. Even after church is over, when we
have a light refreshment as a group, I tend to
stay with my brothers instead of trying to meet
new people. I have realized that it isnt church
that is boring, but my attitude. It isnt the
church that is old, but my attitude towards it.
I need to realize that anything is going to be
boring if I do not give it a chance. Maybe I
should actually try to be a part of the church
rather than trying to get away from it, or making
excuses not to go to it. My father helped me
realize this before he left. Son, there is
nothing to not like about church, everyone is
going there for the same reason, remember that,
preached my dad before he left for Afghanistan in
late August. I hate to admit it, but I was
wrong. I need to be more involved with my
church, or at least give it a try. I cannot
imagine how people must look at me now that it
has been a couple of years, and I still havent
made a real attempt to be part of the group.
The good thing about church is that no matter
what you do, you always get another chance,
thanks to God!
8
The Court on a Hot Summer Day



I live in Ashland, which is right across the
street from Forest Park High School. Sometimes,
during the summer, it is one of the most
beautiful places to live in. Couples are seen
walking their dogs, community pool full of little
kids, and of course my favorite, the basketball
court. This is where you will find me at 12, the
hottest part of the day. It is not the best
equipped court considering it only has one rim,
no fences to stop the ball from rolling down the
hill, and so many cracks that it could probably
break every mommas back! But, to me, in the
middle of the afternoon, while everyone is at the
pool trying to get their fake tan on, that
court is my home. Ashland is filled with little
parks with swirley, plastic slides, with so many
cross-walks it could make a figure eight, and
with so many places to play football that the
community is just asking to have a permanent
Ashland team. To me, all of these places are
fun, but the basketball court is where its at.
This court is my home, but it is also like my
brother because I have been through everything
with that court. I got into my first fight at
that court, I beat a high schooler in front of
everyone, I also even broke up my first fight,
right there at that same court. People are known
to let people down by not showing up places, but
my court has never let me down. It is always
there when I need it to be even during bad
weather. It might not be the best equipped
basketball court, but to me, it is the best. I
love going to the court in Ashland because no
matter how bad I feel, basketball makes me feel
better. I have learned that it is not just
playing basketball that makes me feel better, but
playing basketball at that particular court. I
grew up on that court, and hopefully one day, my
kid can grow up and learn the same lessons that I
learned. Only in Ashland, and only at the court,
can a kid grow up.
9
My Father
One of the worst things that can happen in life
is when a close family member must leave you for
a long period of time. Most of the time it is
for divorce, death, or other horrific things, but
sometimes it is for their job. My father, John
McCracken, was sent to Afghanistan this August,
and is stationed there until next November, my
18th birthday. He is my inspiration, and is the
reason I have all the good attributes I have as a
person. Without him, I could just be another bum
on the street not caring about my future, but he
taught me different. Its hard not be able to se
e your dad for over a year, especially when
youve had a strong relationship with him for
almost 17 years. Itll be OK Matt, youll get
to talk to him on the phone everyday, says all
of our close friends who mourn for us. To me,
this is not true. Every time I get to talk to
him, it cannot last longer than 10-15 minutes
because he is busy, or we get disconnected
because another call is claimed to be more
important. I am not mad at my father for
leaving because, as a soldier, it is his job to
protect our country but I am angry at my self
because of how selfish I am being. I was mad
that he had to leave at this point in my life.
Its my junior year in high school, which is my
make or break year. Without my father, I did
not know how I was going to survive in school or
in sports. I am finally on varsity football and
every game during the National Anthem, I think of
him. I think about how he wont see me play
until mid-season my senior year and I think about
his safeness.
10
My Father Continued
Things changed when someone like your father
leaves for over a year. You express your
feelings towards each other quicker than you
would if you lived with each other. I remember
the day he left. It was a regular typical day
considering that all of the McCracken family
overslept. I had to go to football practice so
the goodbye was about 3 minutes long. I came
upstairs, gave the usual flicker of the lights to
wake up my parents. My mother was in tears as
she saw that my father had to say goodbye to me.
You and your father look exactly the same now
that youve grown up Matthew, says my mom every
time she looks in my eyes and sees my father.
Son, I just want you to know that I am proud of
the man you have become, and I love you,
whispered my dad as we hugged longer than any
girlfriend I have ever had. Those words right
there are the exact words that keep me determined
to succeed to show that my dad is right I am a
good man. The last words I ever said to my dad
were, I hope I can be just like you dad, and
dont worry Ill take care of mom and Hannah, I
love you Dad, I said as I realized this was it.
I showed up late to football practice that day,
and had to make up for it. I probably could
have gotten away with it if I had told my coach
why I was late but I didnt for a reason. I do
not enjoy sympathy I just want to be treated
like everything is the same. I miss my dad with
all my heart, and pray every night for his
wellbeing and a safe return home. Until that
day, I will live life just like I would have if
my father was still here, waiting up for me at
night if I was out with my friends.
11
Acrostic Poem
M uscles are big by A thletic skill by T rying m
y best T o be good in all sports H e succeeded i
n many E xcept on category W ater sports M yste
rious behavior C racks up on funny jokes C ripp
les himself by doing R ough play A lways showin
g off C ause he likes to make people laugh Kill
s them with his funny songs but
E ventually is not funny so he makes up
N ew funnier jokes
12
Reflections
  • The most challenging assignment was the Conflict
    Story. It was hard for me to pick what type of
    conflict I was going to do whether it was person
    against person or etc. I worked hard at it, and
    felt that I did the best job that I could do.
  • I am also proud of my conflict story. I was not
    very excited about doing it because I knew it
    would be hard. But after working hard, I feel as
    if it was one of my best pieces of writing all
    year.
  • I chose not to put my autobiography in my
    portfolio because I wrote it in the beginning of
    the year. I felt It did not portray my best
    writing ability because it was so early in the
    year.
  • It was just the basketball hoop, the ball, and
    me. Bring your umbrella because my shot is going
    to be like rain through the net! If the only way
    to get them into a good mood is by making myself
    look like a fool, then I guess I must be the next
    Jim Carey! The good thing about church is that no
    matter what you do, you always get another
    chance, thanks to God! But, to me, in the middle
    of the afternoon, while everyone is at the pool
    trying to get their fake tan on, that court is
    my home. Until that day, I will live life just
    like I would have if my father was still here,
    waiting up for me at night if I was out with my
    friends. How does he expect me to follow his
    orders when he is making me do things that is
    downgrading to my image as an up and coming
    officer. I felt that these were my best
    sentences because they were written with my
    feelings, or written in well, put together
    english.
  • I would assume that this writers strength is
    expressing his feelings, and writing about things
    he loves such as basketball. His weakness is
    probably sentence variety because he seems to
    alwasys have the same type of sentences.
  • I would extend the story about my father because
    It is easy for me to write about him and how I
    feel about him being gone.
  • I wouldnt mind changing my historical fiction
    story because you can write it in so many
    different ways.
  • I would say the journal entry about the court on
    a hot summer day expresses my personality the
    most because that is what I do. I play
    basketball, I love basketball, my life revolves
    around basketball.
  • They said that I am good at expressing my
    feelings in writings which has made me try to do
    that more to make the audience happy.
  • Mitch Albom from Tuesdays with Morrie. I think
    that he would appreciate how I express my
    feelings, but would say to use more variety in my
    words, and to take more time on my writings to
    make them more effective.

13
(No Transcript)
14
  • You are now entering the second part of my
    Creative Writing Portfolio. I hope you realize
    the major steps I am taking this year to become a
    better and more creative writer. I hope you
    enjoy my writing, and have a great day.

15
  • All my life Ive wanted only three things,
  • One of them consists of a finger and a ring,
  • The day I get to see the one I love,
  • In her beautiful dress the color of a dove,
  • My wish is to keep loving this girl with all my
    heart,
  • Stay in love until death do us part,
  • Happiness is all I desire,
  • An attribute that I so much admire,
  • To be able to live life to the fullest,
  • My life known as neither the greatest nor the
    dullest,
  • My wish is to live life like there is no
    tomorrow,
  • To live life in happiness instead of sorrow,
  • I wish to become a big-time journalist,
  • Much better a profession than a young man whose
    only option is to enlist,
  • To be able to do what I love and get paid,
  • Most people would say that Ive got it made,
  • All in all, I just wish to be me,

16
  • Why didnt I treat my parents the way they
    deserved to be treated? I kept asking myself at
    an altitude of 10,000 miles. With my skin being
    pulled back like a rubber band about to be shot,
    I thought to myself, Is my life over? All I
    could think about was if I had accomplished
    everything I wanted to in life. Did I try my
    hardest in high school? Did I find the person I
    wanted to spend the rest of my life with? Have I
    been a success or failure? Let alone the fact
    that my body had become a perfect sculpture of
    Mr. Stretch, I couldnt stop myself from thinking
    about my life. As questions contemplated in my
    head like a pin ball machine, I saw the light.
    With smiles bigger than any Mr. Potato Head ever
    made, I saw my brother fly by me through the air
    with two thumbs up. I realized that this wasnt
    the end of the road for me, it wasnt the
    beginning of the end, it was just skydiving!
    Sometimes, in life, we tend to get too
    philosophical. Thinking about when we are going
    to die, and how its going to happen. When
    people think about this, like while skydiving, it
    takes away from the fun in life. You live to
    die, not die to live, so make the best out of
    life while you still have it.

17
  • I love basketball more than I love kisses,
  • When it comes to my sport, Im very
    superstitious,
  • I never play without stretching first,
  • Getting injured is like a never-ending curse,
  • Youll never feel one-hundred percent again,
  • No matter how many times you pray and say amen,
  • An injury, big or small, lasts forever,
  • Will I ever not be superstitious
  • NEVER!!!

18
  • When you think about becoming successful, you
    usually think about the amount of money one has.
    That is the problem in todays society- you
    arent successful if you arent rich. Success to
    me is something way more than making money. If
    one family has a father whose a rocket scientist,
    makes over one million dollars a year, has two
    kids, you would probably think to yourself,
    Damn, I want to be part of that family. If
    another family has a father whose a kindergarten
    teacher, makes roughly 40,000 a year, and has
    five children, you would probably say, Damn, he
    should slowed down with the making of the
    children! Most people that are rich today
    arent happy. They dont give back to society
    that much, and many times have to actually look
    for ways to spend their money. That might sound
    bias, but these same people are bias towards us
    because we cant pay the bills in time, or cant
    afford to buy our kids cars. They laugh when
    they see how our fathers dont come home from
    work until late at night, or they laugh when they
    see single mothers working their asses off just
    to make ends meat. But you know what, people
    who are in situations that rich people laugh
    about you can really laugh in their face. Even
    though they can buy any dinner they want, have
    anyone come with them, and wake up anytime in the
    morning, they still cant have dinner with your
    family. Id much rather have Brurger King with
    my family than to have a T-bone steak with Bush
    or Puff Daddy. I like who I am, and how I was
    made. I like having to work hard to get what I
    want. I like being challenged by others. I like
    having to work for money, not inherit it. Even
    though I will get frustrated at times, Im human.
    It would be weird if I was happy with not
    getting straight As, or not making a sports
    team. I strive for perfection. Im successful
    because Im happy. Think to yourself, are you
    happy with who you are, what you are, how you
    are, and where you are? If you are, than I
    consider you to be a successful person. If not,
    maybe you are rich.

19
  • Life is full of obstacles, both small and great,
  • Changing constantly from child to adult,
  • Do what you want before its too late,
  • God looks as unfulfilled lives as an insult,
  •  
  • Changes are both bad and good,
  • Take what you are handed,
  • No excuses after life about I should, would, or
    could,
  • Strife for perfection, demand it,
  •  
  • Without dreams, life will go by like quicksand
  • I'm telling you this now while you're still
    young,
  • Life and death go together hand in hand,
  • But, Succeed or fail, I'll always love you son.

20
  • I cannot take this anymore, I shouted. How
    am I ever supposed to become a respected officer
    if I am being trained by the biggest imbecile on
    the face of this planet, I questioned to myself
    as he told me to clean the ship for the 3rd time
    that day! Son, you will be a private with your
    own son if you do not clean those dishes like you
    are told, shouted Colonel Jason Carlos into my
    ear as loud as he could. How does he expect me
    to follow his orders when he is making me do
    things that is downgrading to my image as an up
    and coming officer? If he would give me the
    chance to do some real work and lead in some sort
    of way, he would see that I am the future, and
    that he will be the past.
  • It is 207 in the morning, and yet again, I am
    the only one awake on the ship. I just cannot
    seem to get used to sleeping on these little box
    cushions that they call beds. Its either that,
    or the fact that I am working my ass off 12 hours
    a day for nothing other than a lousy salary. I
    joined the navy because I have dreamed about
    sailing since I was little I figure why not
    protect my country while doing what I love the
    perfect 2 for 1 deal. I love the ocean, it makes
    me feel as if there is nothing else on earth, and
    that you are free as a bird in the sky.
  • It is 604 in the morning now, and I have
    officially gotten the most sleep I have gotten
    since I entered the navy 2 hours and 23 minutes!
    This morning doesnt seem regular to me, it
    seems a little too quiet. Usually, 604 am to
    the Navy is like noon for children outside during
    Summer break. I love looking out into the docks
    off of base, and seeing the power of our navy
    ships as they are lined up by their type, I
    thought to myself as I took my usual 2-mile run
    down the boardwalk. GET DOWN! RUN! ITS THE
    DAMN JAPS! I heard as you could see unanimous
    planes crashing into our ships as if they did not
    care. It is not that they didnt seem to care,
    but why in the world would you kill yourself to
    hopefully kill another human being talk about
    hatred!
  • Flying directly towards my home, I see missiles
    coming for my ship. My ship is my home, my home
    is my life, my life is going to end if I do not
    get my butt up and fight! I wondered to myself
    as I heard missiles flying around like birds when
    migrating south. Although I complain about
    living there about every second of the day, there
    is no way I am going to let our new enemy sink
    it. No way, not as long as it still says U.S.
    NAVY on my uniform. Running left and right
    shooting at whatever didnt have navy blue on, I
    found my obnoxious colonel laying down on his
    back, fighting to stay alive. He had been shot
    in the knee and foot making it impossible for him
    to survive and escape on his own. I knew that I
    had to make the biggest decision of my life safe
    myself from the Japs, or risk my life to safe
    another soldiers life. Usually, saving a
    soldiers life would be easy without questioning,
    but Colonel Carlos has been getting on me since
    Day 1. Save yourself Son! I refuse to abandon
    my ship! screamed Colonel Carlos in ordering
    form at me once again. Thinking to myself to
    follow his orders, I remembered what my father
    taught me when I was little. Leaving a man
    behind is like leaving your brother behind
    because you are all one, and fight for all.
    Without contemplating what to do, I yanked
    Colonel Carlos onto my shoulders and ran so fast
    I could have won the Olympic 500 meter sprint
    that day!
  • Till this day, I will not forget how Pearl
    Harbor ended for Colonel Carlos and me. It
    taught me the meaning of brotherhood. Even
    though Colonel Carlos wasnt my favorite person
    in the world, saving his life was the best thing
    that has ever happened to me. It taught me what
    kind of character I have, and that I am a good
    man. Not to sound too cocky or confident, but
    after saving Colonel Carlos, I have changed for
    the better. I see the good in people no matter
    how small or hard it is to see.

21
  • The worst feeling as a ball player,
  • Not getting any tick no matter how much you do,
  • Coach seems to pick favorites like hes the
    mayor,
  • Wont get a chance as long as I wear white
    instead of blue,
  • Quitting is out of the question,
  • Its not in my blood to give up Im on a
    mission,
  • Practice on my game is what Im told to do,
  • But I wont get a chance as long as I wear white
    instead of blue,
  • 46 Seconds of pity playing time,
  • Not enough tick to even drop one dime,
  • Just play your game, Matt. Thats what people
    say to do,
  • But I wont get a chance as long as I wear white
    instead of blue,
  • As long as Im on white, Ill be part of the
    key,
  • White is where I belong, we are family,
  • Ill never suck up to play, that I refuse to do,
  • Until playing time is given fairly, Im proud to
    be white instead of blue!

22
  • Over these last couple months, I feel I have
    developed into a much better writer. I feel as
    if I use my strengths to my advantage, and as you
    can see, have gotten into poetry. I have gained
    the strength of not repeating, using stronger
    vocabulary, and my sentence structure has gotten
    better. I still need to work on length,
    word-choice, and being versatile and original
    with my writing subject.
  • Most of the lessons I have learned from this
    class are useful when it comes to my AP classes.
    In both AP US/VA and AP English 11, I am required
    to develop full, well-written essays at the
    college level. The lessons of grammar,
    punctuation, structure, and word-choice I have
    learned in Creative Writing give me a slight
    advantage in developing these writings in my
    other classes.
  • My favorite piece of writing so far would have to
    be my poem, Message from Father to Son. By
    far, I love this one the best because of its
    rhyme scheme, and just the overall feeling about
    a father sitting down with his son talking about
    his future. Every kid has had a talk with his
    father about his future, and I really was proud
    of how I put that realization into a poem.
  • The most-useful strategy of mine for this
    semester is writing while I have the time.
    Creative Writing class gives me a chance to put
    everything out on that paper with that pen. I
    play multiple sports, have a big family, and have
    other class requirements that I must attend to,
    so I usually dont have time to write. Creative
    Writing class gives me that opportunity to write
    during every class, and develop better skills as
    an aspiring writer.
  • My strength in my writings is being able to write
    about what I love. A lot of people force
    themselves to write about stuff that they arent
    interested in, but think their teacher will enjoy
    it. I want to get a good grade, but I believe
    you must love your own writing before someone
    else can love your writing. This is why I write
    about sports, family, love, etc. My strength is
    sticking to my strengths!
  • I need to continue to improve my word-choice,
    structure, and originality as a writer. I love
    writing about basketball, but I want to be the
    type of writer who can write about more than just
    one subject. Also, my writings tend to be short,
    so I need to work on my length. Last, but
    certainly not least, I could always work on
    word-choice for the rest of my life since Im
    still young.

23
Matthew McCracken Period 7
24
As I awaken, I smell salt water from all around.
I open my blue curtains, and see water rising
upon the sand, palm trees swaying side to side as
if dancing, and imprints of feet in the sand. I
wonder to myself why the water rises and falls on
flat land? Then, I realize, these waves are
symbolizing the path of life. Life is full of
obstacles, both great and small, both that rise
and fall. Some affect your life more than
others, but yet, all are significant in the
success of your path. Waves come in different
sizes too. Although waves are not actions in
your life, in order for them to survive, they
must rise to fall, and fall to rise. Some waves
affect people in both good and bad ways. Whether
it is a good wave for surfing, or a tragic wave
like a tsunami which is known for killing all of
its prey. So, As I walk down the beach of the
soft, brown sand, I look out into the ocean. I
imagine heaven is on the other side of the ocean,
where from my view, looks like paradise. I
imagine to get to heaven, you must first go
through the obstacles (waves) in life.
25
The number 23 to me symbolizes success. Michael
Jordan wore this number for almost his whole
basketball career. He was my idol because he
never gave up on what he believed in. He
believed in himself even when others didnt. He
was cut from his own high school basketball team
because his coach didnt feel like they needed a
short point-guard. The number 23 to me
symbolizes hard work and dedication. Michael
Jordan didnt become the best basketball player
to ever live just by going out and playing. He
had to practice and work hard to become what he
is today. He had to take time away from being a
regular teenager to practice his skills on the
court. He had to try harder to keep his grades
up to be able to play basketball throughout
childhood. He was an athlete. Last, but
certainly not least, the number 23 to me
symbolizes growth. From 2 to 3, you must
develop and grow. This is why I believe the
number 23 symbolizes success and growth in life.
26
My island is an island where everyone is free.
Whether you are black, white, spanish, yellow,
whatever, all are equal. With the smooth waves
crushing upon the soft sand, your feet feel like
they are in paradise. Not only do you feel like
youre in paradise, but you see paradise too.
With blooming coconut trees to the vast ocean
surrounding you, you feel free from all bad
things. You feel free from segregation, from
discrimination, and most of all, from war. My
island is a place of peace and harmony. A place
where you can realize where your heart and soul
is really at instead of being distracted by the
business world. No individual will be told to
work, we only except volunteers. The only rule
on my island is that you respect each other.
Remember, to get respect, you must first give it.

27
Every morning is the same for me,
I wake up wanting to go back to sleep,
Then I realize that I need to go pee,
I dont walk to the bathroom, I creep,
I dont want to wake up my brothers and sisters,
I eat breakfast real quick before Im late, I s
ay goodbye to the mother and kiss her,
Sarcastically saying This school day is going to
be GREAT! I arrive at school and notice the sa
me thing, Coming to school this much should be a
sin, I rule this school, I am the king, SHOOT! I
m going to be late to 1st again!
28
In my eyes, for an individual to fail, is an
individual who does not want to succeed. Failure
happens because lack of heart, determination, and
belief in yourself. You cannot fail if you put
your heart and soul into whatever it is you want
to succeed in life at. You cannot fail if you
refuse to lose whether it is in sports, or in
overall life. You cannot fail if youre
determination overpowers your questions. What
Im trying to say is that the only factor that
makes individuals fail is the individuals
passion for what they are doing. If you work
hard at something, and still dont get what you
want doesnt mean that you have failed. It is
more like you have learned and witnessed what it
takes to get what you want. If you dont work
hard at something, and dont get what you want
does mean that you have failed. By not working,
you are brought no hope for future success. Only
you can bring that upon yourself.
29
Why must we ruin ourselves by smoking some weed?
Just because you don't have to steal it doesn't
mean it's a good deed, Seems like to be cool you'
ve got to hit a J, Cant do it just once, got to d
o it everyday,   What do they mean when they say
their high? I guess it means they can see their
lives flying on by, I haven't smoked anything sin
ce I was born, I'm not perfect I've stolen, foug
ht, and sworn,   Nobody is perfect this I know,
But I believe some just smoke to be "part of the
show," True, some do have serious addictions, Bu
t 1st, Let me give you my prediction,
  Most smoke just to feel a buzz, Whether it's w
ith their friends or just their cuz,
There shouldn't even be a smoking section,
Because smokers strife for attention,
  I'm not just talking about potheads, I'm talki
ng about the drugs that bring on the feds,
Why must we ruin our life just to feel a simple
sensation, It's not only in Virginia, its all ove
r the nation,   I have a lot of close friends th
at smoke, I'll always be cool wit them, but I hop
e they don't choke, On overall life, that is, I'
ll never rat nobody out, it's none of my biz,
  So keep smoking I don't mind, But maybe when i
t's hard to breath, you'll see the sign,
That Smoking leads to death, You can still stop
now, your life hasn't ended yet.
30
I sit with a feeling of lonesomeness,
I feel alone in this world of scars,
I am cursed while everyone else is blessed,
I must survive this planet earth, this place is
no mars. I stand tall with bravery and no remor
se, I feel tall above all in this harsh life, I
am blessed while everyone else is cursed
Battle of life is won I won the fight.
Do not coward from challenges in life, Dont si
t like the rest, stand up for yourself,
Stand up and fight against this life of strife,
Only you win in life you need no help.
For I do not sit alone in this world, I stand t
all above all with confidence,
I need no male or female, boy or girl,
I will not stop in life till I finish.
31
Every time it makes my day worse and worse,
Instead of going forward, I tend to go in
reverse, Not a single teacher shows any remorse,
Getting to class on time is what Im
taught, Make it upstairs in a minute? I think not
, For me, It is impossible not to get caught,
Another tardy, another day, From beginning of Sep
tember until the end of may, Tardy sweeps are her
e to stay!
32
People always wonder what theyre going to be,
In life that is, Am I going to be a doctor or a M
C? I wonder to myself. I guess Ill just have to
wait and see, Whats happening next, Until then
, Ill just try to live life happily
33
I hear my mother yelling across the room,
And the tone of her voice is like a booming
thunder, I wonder what have I done? Retracing my
steps of the previous days, My mother? What is i
t you want? I apologize for whatever Ive done,
But nothing was done? It was just dinnertime,
But now that youre here, Do you have something
to tell me son?
34
Can you believe what John did?! He just
graduated from college two weeks ago, and is
already spending money like he is somebody.
What happened to the old belief that people
mature through college. John is the same old
John who would beat me up for even looking at his
Fruity Pebbles. Dont get me wrong, buying those
redskins tickets were the best investment of my
life, but for John, the worst. He should be
saving up to get his own place so I can have the
basement to myself again! He better get out of
this house soon because after momma finds out
about his spending problems, she is going to beat
him like he stole something!
35
Daddy, Daddy look what I did, Dad is working, go
tell your mom kid, Mommy, Mommy, where are you,
Not now baby, Im sick, go tell one of AAACHEW,
Johnny, Johnny, look at my shark,
Matt, I got homework go tell Sara or mark,
Sara, I made a shark out of a banana,
Matt, Im busy, go show it to Hannah,
But Hannah is only 6 years old,
She wouldnt know what it is even if she was
told Matt, you are getting too old is what they a
ll say, Probably because yall wouldnt give me th
e time of day, Matt, your gonna be a senior next
year, they all yell in excitement,
The same people who wouldnt stay with me in my
new clark kent tent, Matt, you are too independen
t for your own good, this is what they feel,
Maybe its because you dont notice that Im there
at almost every family meal, But you know, I forg
ive but I dont forget, Ill love my family for l
ife, and I plan to die with no regrets,
But I havent grown independent on my own,
Most of my childhood was with my friends or
alone, So dont say Im too independent for my ow
n good, If only you would have had the time of da
y for me, If only you could of seen how much I n
eeded yall there, why couldnt you see
But you know the same people who I wish were
there, Are the same people who deep down, will al
ways care. Thank you.    
36
  • I have become more mature and original throughout
    this year in writing. I have learned that to be
    a better writer doesnt mean to write the same
    style, or about the same things. Variety is the
    key to success in writing.
  • In other classes, I apply my writing skills to
    succeed. In history, when writing facts, I use
    my skill of having a more advanced vocabulary
    than others. In English, I know the different
    techniques that can be used to show instead of
    tell a story. By using different techniques
    and vivid vocabulary that I have learned in
    Creative Writing, I succeed in other classes as
    well.
  • I feel that I have a lot of great pieces of
    writing in this portfolio because they are all
    written from my heart, but I would choose My
    Father as my favorite piece because it was
    written right after my father left for
    Afghanistan. Every time I read it, I can feel my
    emotions through the words I used in the piece.
    I am very proud of that piece of writing, just
    like all my others.
  • One strategy that I have used to overcome the
    challenges of writing this year is having the
    state of mind that I am learning to become a
    better writer. Although some of the pieces we
    were told to write were not in my best personal
    interest, I knew that in the end, it would all
    make me a better, all-around writer.
  • My strengths in writing is writing with passion,
    and rhythm in my poetry. No matter what I am
    writing about, I try to write with the same
    passion that this could be the last time I get to
    write. Writing keeps me calm, and makes me happy
    both inside and out. In poetry, I am very good
    at being able to rhyme and keep a rhythm
    throughout my poem. It is probably because the
    type of music I listen to is the same concept.
  • I have learned that I am not nearly a good a
    writer as I had thought prior to this class. I
    do have some strengths in writing that others
    dont, but I have a lot of weaknesses that
    Creative Writing has lead me to find. I now
    understand what it takes to be a good writer.
    You cannot just wake up and be the next Emily
    Dickinson. You have to work at it just like
    anything else in life.
  • I need to keep working on mainly my poetry as a
    writer. Although I am good at rhyming, I am not
    that great at other types of poetry such as
    Haiku, or free verse. I cannot always rely on a
    pattern of rhythm in my poetry. If I do, I am
    selling myself short as a writer, and to my
    audience.
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