Christina's Portfolio

English 9 Pineda-Spring 2015

1. Journal Reflection

If you could go anywhere in the world, for free, where would you go for a weekend get-away?

There is a place in Mexico at the Sierra Chincua reserve, where the monarch butterflies are so abundant that the trees they land on appear to dance with orange fire. Some people may say that its like being in an orange blizzard at times. To get there, you must hike or ride a burro up a mountain. I'm told the reward is both breathtaking and awe- inspiring. The reserve hosts up to one billion butterflies each year, after they have made their migration from North America in a 2,500 mile journey to the warmer climes of Mexico between October and March. If I could go one place in this entire world it would be here because of its spectacular sight and it would be an experience I could never forget.

2. Student Choice Short Essay

Is love stronger than hate?

In Shakespeare’s classic play, Romeo and Juliet are two lovers from different feuding families are being pulled apart. After Romeo commits an accidental murder he is banished from his love’s city. Attempting to keep their love together, Juliet goes to Friar Lawrence in desperate need for help. He gives her a potion and she ends up in a comatose state which Romeo finds her in and he is led to believe that she is dead. Upon Romeo thinking his love is dead he drinks poison to be with her once more. Romeos love for Juliet has caused him to think irrationally enough to commit suicide.

Love and hate are two of the most powerful emotions, but which one is stronger? Which emotion is strong enough for Romeo and Juliet to commit suicide? In this case, love is much stronger than hate. Romeo feels as if he can’t live without his love Juliet, and he dies to be with her. When Juliet finds her love Romeo dead with a poison bottle in his hand she wishes he would’ve saved enough for her. She decides to follow Romeo’s path and die. This is yet another case where love is stronger than hate. Although these show that love takes a hold of these two lovers, it also takes a hold of their feuding families as well.

3. Student Choice Short Essay

What is a Hero?

Many believe that bravery or taking heroic actions are the main traits a true hero should follow however, people often forget about the immoral character traits one can have. In The Odyssey, an epic by Homer, Odysseus is the king of Ithaca who goes through a long and dangerous journey back home to his family after fighting in the Trojan War. A true hero should not only take brave actions but must also be a role model with admirable characteristics such as honesty and being merciful. Instead, his true characteristic traits are revealed to be a cheating, merciless man who can’t be looked up to by others, failing to meet the true qualifications of a hero. Even though Odysseus’ wife, Penelope, had always been faithful to him, Odysseus still had commit adultery not once but twice during his travel. As Odysseus makes his way home, he explores an island where he meets Circe, an enchantress goddess who “restores his heart” with “many seasons of feasting and other pleasures”. Odysseus voluntary stayed with Circe for a whole year instead of carrying on his voyage to his family. Without self-control, he continued to be with her for certain “pleasures” leading to unfaithfulness towards Penelope. Not only did Odysseus cheated with Circe but also with Calypso, a beautiful nymph who kept Odysseus as a prisoner on her island for seven years as he would “lay with her each night”. She kept Odysseus for herself as Odysseus didn’t do anything to avoid “laying with her each night” while Penelope stayed faithful with suitors begging to marry her at home. Odysseus’ dishonest act portrays him as an unworthy cheater which is unheroic. Including to Odysseus’ unheroic traits, his merciless character is shown through the dreadful murders of the suitors and his maids.

4. Note To Self:

This school year started off great. I was able to push my way through and try my best this year at Bayside High School as a freshman. In English class I've learned how to write stories, make journal entries, answer the simplest of questions, paragraph by paragraph. We threw back to our comas and semi colons. We've read books and plays that would amaze you at first read. I feel like I've come far from when I walked in that classroom the first day, I've improved and I'm thankful for that. The best part about my English 9 class this school year was that we got to read one of the most famous play written by Shakespeare himself, called Romeo and Juliet. A classic play between two star crossed lovers with fueding families. The reason why I like this specific work we did is because it taught me that not only is love written in play and in stories, love is complicated to say the least. I like the idea of being able to connect to what I'm reading today. That is what I liked most about my class this year at Bayside.