English Portfolio

Throughout my ninth grade year in Science Leadership Academy, I have overall progressed to different stages of writing. Here in my English portfolio varies my multiple pieces of work that show I have progressed in many categories in finishing the school year. 

In the beginning of the year, Ms.Dunn assigned us the project of creating a "Me Magazine”. The magazine contains articles, pictures, and facts about your life. In my magazine, I put three articles that are written on my inspiration for music, passion for the Twilight Saga, and Christmas that my family attends each year. A reason for creating this project was so we could reflect on our work at the end of the year. After reviewing my magazine in May, I seen how much I improve on my academic life. 

In the second quarter benchmark, we were learning about vignettes. A vignette is a story that illustrates a short episode in life. We read multiple examples of vignettes and we were assigned to create a vignette about an important part in our lives. I chose to write about my third grade year. The vignette explains important details in the year that lead up to my two front teeth being chipped. These important details have changed me to become who I am now and for that I titled this piece Karma.


January 2005

             I was in third grade when I perceived this world as unfair and confusing. Being the victim of damage changed my perspective on how I labeled people. Being nine years old supplied me with happiness and a peace of mind of my surroundings. I never expected being shattered in half by people I knew and respected. I figured that no matter what I did in that moment, I would still get hurt for what I did wrong. But what did I do wrong? Was that consequence necessary for picking that choice? I say no, but what I think doesn’t matter. Karma has that funny effect. What goes up must go down.

And I did.

September 2004

When I came into the classroom the first morning, I stopped and they stared. Finding a seat was harder that year considering the fact that I tripped on the walk there. After about two months of the stumbling issues, the laughter stopped. My classmates realized that I didn’t have the best sense of equilibrium. Yet they could tell my intelligence carried me to the honors as if I was on a magic carpet ride. (Simile) That was what kept me from recognizition the first month.

             Even after Halloween passed, we were still getting new classmates. They came, they sat, and then fought and argued. But there was one classmate that stood out from the rest. She was my new friend and the class tease. The thing was that she wasn’t my best friend. That was someone else, the class popular Danielle Ashford. There were others too and we stuck together to survive the grade and the school as if third grade was a real war. (Simile) The thing that I didn’t ponder upon until it was too late was that it was.

 December 2004

Ms. Whaley finally got through a class lesson without interruptions. The reason why was because half of the class was asleep. We were supposed to have one partner to complete the assignment with. The awkward problem was which partner. During the lesson, only so many of us were awake. Destiny and I were the most wide-awake. So automatically we should have worked together. But that’s not how it followed through.

Tap, Tap, Tap!( Rep-for-affect)

Danielle woke to me banging on her desk behind me. I told her as quiet as I could to wake up so we could work together instead of the new girl and me. Yeah, it was wrong but usually when I stood beside Destiny, I drifted away from the social group I belonged- or though I belonged- in.

“Danielle, wake up!” I shook her lightly.

“Huh, what you wake me up for?”

“ We have to work together, hurry up before she hear me.”

“ Who?”


“Oh good, I don’t know why you even talk to that little girl.”

I lied completely. “ I only do it cause I feel bad for her.” The honest truth was that I enjoyed Destiny’s company and it was a lot healthier than Danielle’s or the rest of my friends. Though I would never admit that to them.

“Its not fair to her to have to be here and get messed with.” I added in for my benefit.

“Jordan, its not fair to us to have to smell her.” Danielle laughed harshly.


What was even worst than her comment was the fact that Destiny heard that. She heard our whole conversation and the only thing I could do was continue to look at her with guilty, pleading, and worried eyes. (Magic 3)

             I knew I did a bad thing by turning away from Destiny. I made it worse when I talked about her even though it wasn’t true. I was changing in a bad way, being easily influenced by the anger and hatred around me. The poison was affecting Destiny too, she looked into my eyes and knew I was sorry but didn’t care. I was just another label to her, and I was labeled Liar.

 January 2005

             Accusations were being passed around being the new trend in the catalogue. (Metaphor) The sweetest gossip however was that boys were stronger than girls and were undefeatable.

It was obvious that that statement would be tested soon. Recess was next on the schedule and I chose to be alone that period. I knew play fighting would turn into serious fighting and that someone would get hurt. I knew my own strength and didn’t have to prove anything. But apparently, boys don’t know their’s.

A classmate of mine got suspended for hurting a girl during the game. Recess was taken away from us all and now the staff had an angry case of 10 year olds to deal with. For the rest of the week, the contestants decided to play in the classrooms or afterschool. I still couldn’t be convinced to play and that was the final answer. No.

January 2005

Tuesday 2:25 pm

English Class

Room 325

“Jordan come on I got your seat” Danielle tells me.

“Thank you”


It was the last class of the day. I wanted to go home afterschool and do homework and eat. That was how I planned to fix my worries. Instead my solution was delayed.

I was sitting with my friends while doing my work when the terror started.

“Destiny, girl I like your hair! Who did it your little brother?” Shamika shot out.

Oh no. I thought to myself. Please just leave this girl alone today.

“No one did anything to my hair, Shamika.” Destiny replied tiredly, she could tell she was being sarcastic and sassy.

“That’s what I thought, but I just had to ask.”


This was pointless; the bickering didn’t make sense enough to understand but enough to make someone cry. And that’s what Destiny did, she cried. She was fed up with the comments that were undeserved.  I couldn’t help her, like before I turned my back on my former friend and continue with my crowd. The only difference was that I didn’t comment at all. Not to defend her or embarrass. For this decision I knew I was even worse than before.

Beep, Beep!!

The bell rung signifying that the school day was over. I packed my books and went to stand in line.

 “Okay everyone, make sure you have all of your work complete and have a good night-”Miss Finch was cut off and the life for me began.

The boy who got suspended took his anger out on Shamika. He pushed her into the wall and she pushed back. Danielle head-locked him and the rest of the class joined in. There I was trying to get out of the commotion with a few others and got trapped.

I was tripped and brought to the floor. I tried to get back up but I couldn’t. Someone-a boy- stomped my head into the floor.

“Stop, Stop everyone!” The teacher screamed.


I rolled over on my back with tears in my eyes and blood in my mouth.

“Jordan!” Danielle cried. “She chipped her teeth!”

These words were foreign to me, but I couldn’t make since of them because I was hurt. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and verbally.

“Help her, get her up.”


“Oh god”


“Ha ha ha”

They screamed all these things and yet I was still on the floor. It was my best friend- my protector, the influencer, -Danielle that helped my up and shielded me through their staring eyes.

It seemed like when we passed Destiny on the way to the nurse that we knew this was coming. My terror, she served hers. She didn’t deserve it and now she wouldn’t get it. It was my time to stand by her and protect just like Danielle did for me. I was in third grade when I perceived this world as unfair and confusing. Being the victim of damage changed my perspective on how I labeled people. Being nine years old supplied me with happiness and a peace of mind of my surroundings. I never expected to be damaged and cautious about every step I make throughout life. Now when I smile I know that its because I‘m happy but others see the story behind it. They see a person who has been broken in different sections and in different ways. But they still see me smiling and that karma didn’t keep me down.

In the middle of the school year, independent reading assignments were assigned to us all. I choose to write my review on the book Eclipse from the Twilight Saga written by Stephanie Meyer. The book is the third book in the series and because of that, it answers the questions that left readers in suspense. This is a book that I recommend to many.


Third book in the Twilight Saga

By the author Stephanie Meyer, creator of the Twilight Saga and also the best selling novel “The Host”.

Movie Release Date: June 30, 2010

DVD movie release date: December 2, 2010

Eclipse is the third best selling novel in the Twilight Saga.


“It keeps you hooked from the outset in the same direct and spellbinding way as the previous two books.” Says Catherine Roberts
Read more at Suite101: Eclipse - Twilight Saga: Plot & Overview of the Third Book by Stephanie Meyer http://www.suite101.com/content/eclipse-twilight-saga-a106019#ixzz19HD3VIPW


Main Characters

Isabella Swan- The main character who is in love with a vampire.

Edward Cullen- A main character who is in a vampire and apart of the Cullen Family.

Jacob Black- A main character who is a werewolf (shape shifter) and apart of the Quileute tribe.


  Eclipse is the third book in the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer. Eclipse sees the couple Bella and Edward reunited from there separation in the last book New Moon. Bella has chosen to live the rest of her life eternally with her love Edward Cullen who is a vampire. Edward requests that they get married before any changing is done to Bella. However, Bella is sensitive on age and doesn’t want to get any older. But she is also sensitive on the marriage subject.

  The conflict in this book is that Victoria is in morning from her love James being killed by Edward (which occurred Twilight) because of Bella. She seeks vengeance against the Cullens but mostly to Bella. Victoria thinks it is fair to kill Edward’s mate rather than himself. She sees that she can defeat the Cullen Clan if she creates a newborn vampire army. The newborns are stronger than mature vampires and she creates 19 of them.

  Alice Cullen has a vision of the army is coming soon and realizes that it isn’t enough of the Cullens to protect themselves or the town. The Cullen Clan makes a truce with the Quileute werewolves giving them the advantage to protect Bella. The groups are natural enemies but they decide to work together to protect what they cherish.

  This book revolves on the many conflicts of Bella’s choice on immortality and her love for Edward and Jacob. She must choose whom she will be with. Jacob who began as a friend who stood by Bella in her time of need, grow deep feeling for her and fought for her love through the book. Before she can have peace in her life, she has to live through Victoria’s multiple attacks with the ones that love her, protecting her

 My Personal Opinion

 I could relate to one of the characters in this story. I relate to Isabella Swan. She sees the world in a different way than most. I can also relate to some of the Cullens and Quileute tribe. They protect they’re family and what is important in their life. I felt the same about providing security for the people that are most important to me.

 I love the Twilight Saga. My favorite books are Twilight and Eclipse. The strengths in the book are the love between the characters and how far they will go to protect each other. I wouldn’t change anything in this book because it is that interesting to me. I would recommend this book to plenty of people. If they read mystery, drama, fiction, or fantasy, they will like these books.

The third quarter of English, we focused on reading varies of literature. A major book that we read was The Odyssey by Homer. After analyzing the book the class was assigned multiple assignments. One major assignment was our third quarter benchmark, and another was the myth project. For the benchmark, we had to create a comparison essay between a character from The Odyssey and another from a different piece of literature of our choice. I choose to compare the character Penelope from The Odyssey with Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga. In the essay, the thesis-Although Penelope & Bella are left behind, Penelope is stronger and uses her intelligence to survive- is supported.

Jordan Hairston

Penelope & Bella Comparison Essay

3rd Quarter

March 11, 2011

Two important female characters in literature are Penelope and Bella Swan.  Penelope is the wife of the King of Ithaca, Odysseus. He leaves home for years leaving Penelope behind with multiple problems. Bella is the main character from the Twilight Saga. She is in love with the vampire Edward Cullen who leaves her side in the second book New Moon.  Being separated affects people differently as it affected Penelope and Bella in different ways. They fall silent at times when they’re alone, they scream and cry. They’re adjusting to the separation at different paces. Penelope is wiser and clever as she faces the obstacles that come her way for twenty years. Bella on the other hand is dependent and reckless as she tries to get over the Cullens’ departure. So although both Penelope and Bella are left behind, Penelope is stronger and uses her intelligence to survive.

 Both Penelope and Bella are weak when their loves leave them. Odysseus the King of Ithaca, had reason enough to depart from home. He had to serve in the Trojan War not knowing exactly when he would return. However Penelope was left home to take care of their son Telemachus and face a house filled of suitors. It’s hard for Penelope to deal with the suitors who want to replace Odysseus. But Penelope still believes that Odysseus will return even though it’s been a really long separation.  In Book One, Penelope retires to her room after the Bard sings and Homer writes, “…She fell to weeping for Odysseus, her beloved husband, till watchful Athena sealed her eyes with sleep” (Book 1, lines 417-418). This shows that Penelope is stressed and holding out for Odysseus to come home and solve this situation. Penelope is easily reminded of Odysseus by the Bard’s singing in the same way that Bella saw Edward everywhere she turned.

 When Edward left Bella, he promised her that she would never see him again. However he asked her not to be reckless and to stay out of trouble. Bella reacted very strongly to the departure. She had nightmares, cried a lot and was always easily reminded of the family she once almost belonged to. Bella ran to her room and found her pictures of Edward gone. She realized that she really would never see him ever again. In sadness, she falls to the ground and narrates, “The waves of pain that had only lapped at me before now reared high up and washed over my head, pulling me under. I did not resurface.” (Chapter 3, page 84) This shows that Bella had a strong hold on Edward and his family. She was pulled into a state of depression for four months.

 Eventually Bella came out of her depression, and began to depend on distractions to help her through the pain. She’s not as independent as she was before. When she’s alone, she spends the time remembering things that went wrong. In contrast, Penelope is clever and manipulative. Penelope starts a web that she knows she will never complete. Doing this tricks the suitors and stalls her answering to the multiple proposals.  She says to them“ Young men, my suitors, now that King Odysseus is no more, go slowly, keen as you are to marry me, until I can finish off this web.” (Book 2, lines 104-107). She weaves her web by day but at night she unravels it to buy herself time. This shows her ability to trick the men for a while. However, her idea is only good for a couple of years because one of her maids tells Antinous that this was happening. In anger, he yells, “For three years now, getting on to four, she’s played it fast and loose with all our hearts building each man’s hopes dangling promises, dropping hints to each but all the while with something else in mind. This is her latest masterpiece of guile: she set up a great loom in the royal halls and she began to weave, and the weaving fine-spun, the yarns endless, and she would lead us on,” (Book 2, lines 96-104).  Antinous does this after Telemuchus cries in outrage that the suitors have ruined his house. Antinous blames Penelope for all that is wrong in the home.  She’s not weak for her trick has been revealed; she’s stronger because she knows it she’ll always be with Odysseus.

 Penelope was waiting patiently at home for Odysseus. For twenty years, she still believed that Odysseus was coming back. She was reminded of Odysseus constantly, through songs that were sung and by the way he was being discussed. Bella found that see could remember Edward when she was doing dangerous things. She was reaching out to Edward in her memories. Doing dangerous things and having adrenaline rushes caused her hallucinations. “ So the hallucinations must be triggered by something else… I felt the adrenaline coursing through my veins again, and I though I had the answer. Some combination of adrenaline and danger, or maybe just stupidity.” (Chapter 8, page 185) Bella figure out how to trigger the velvet honey-sweet voice that belonged to Edward. Doing extreme sports brought back the voices and faces he would make when her safety was at risk. That was her secret way of being with Edward.

 Penelope has a better survival method than Bella does after the departure. Even though they both get sad at times, she’s still able to function alone. She almost knows that her husband will return because his goodbye was not forever like Edward’s was. Penelope uses her intellectual skills to know how to cope. However Bella depends on the memories to get her by. She chose to be reckless and this shows that she is not nor ever will be over Edward. Separation affects the ones left behind differently. Some find their way back wisely, while some still wait and wonder.

Creative Project

The myth project was an assignment that allowed each person from the class choose a myth from The Odyssey. I choose the Muses to focus on. More than that, I focused particularly on the fifth Muse Terpsichore. Terpsichore is the goddess of choral songs and dance. I presented this project in a paper and also on a poster board. The project tells her myth and gives more background information for better understanding.


 Terpsichore is the goddess of choral song and dancing. She is represented by a plectrum and lyre.  Terpsichore was taught to sing by the god of music Apollo. Its said that her songs rang so pure and fine that birds fell silent to listen. Those who have honored her in dances are dearest to her. Terpsichore is the mother of the Seirenes, the half-bird, half-women fathered by Apollo.

 Terpsichore is one of the nine Muses. The Muses are goddesses of music- song and dance. The Muses are the daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus. Mnemosyne is the goddess of memory and remembrance. The Muses were assigned to inspire poets, artistic and the sciences. The Muses were created because Zeus laid with Mnemosyne for nine nights. He did that because he needed someone to sing of his glory. His glory was establishing himself as supreme Olympian. The Muses sung mostly for the gods. They also sung at the funeral of the fallen Trojan hero and the weddings of Peleus, and of Cadmus & Harmonia. Multiple sacrifices offered to the Muses in return for their sensational inspirations. Libations of water or milk, and of honey.

 Hesiod the ancient writer said of the Muses, “They are all of one mind, their hearts are set upon song and their spirit is free from care. He is happy whom the Muses love. For though a man has sorrow and grief in his soul, yet  when the servant of the Muses sings, at once he forgets his dark thoughts and remembers not his troubles. Such is the holy gift of the Muses to men."


I think the myth of Terpsichore and the Muses still exist because they have peace in there art of inspiration. Ancient people might have enjoyed the myth, music and poetry because there art guaranteed happiness. The Muses are listed below and there qualities.


Calliope was the Muse of epic poetry

Clio was the Muse of history

Euterpe was the Muse of lyric poetry

Melpomene was the Muse of tragedy

Terpsichore was the Muse of choral songs and the dance

Erato was the Muse of love poetry

Polyhymnia was the Muse of sacred poetry

Urania was the Muse of astronomy

Thalia was the Muse of comedy

 All of the Muses are important to me and not only Terpsichore. They have inspired the art and music and that offers me a lot. The Muses are wise, beautiful, talented and sensational.





The following journals are my reflection to the questions and topics that came up in class throughout the entire school year.

1) What are some expectations that are put on you as a person?

Most of the time, a lot of pressure is put on me. Most of the time I can handle it. Some expectations that are put upon me are success, and being depended on. My personal opinion on the pressure and expectations is that it should be thrown away a little at a time. My family is successful in their careers and overall life. For me, that success feels promised to me when its not fully guaranteed.  My expectations of myself are success and doing the right things in the right ways. I also expect myself to know certain things and to act certain ways to maintain the most important expectations. One of my most self-expectations is to never get hurt or lose. I know that even if I don’t perform to at 100%, that it’s coming later. Sometimes it just takes patience to see it.


2) How does your environment shape who you become?

My environment meaning my surroundings and the people I am around. These things affect me by easily influencing me. If the people I am around are a bad influence then sooner or later I will pick up bad habits from them. Bad habits like cursing or slacking around and not worrying about what may come next. Eventually I will loose those habits by picking up better habits from better environments. If I am in an organized, clean and safe place then my world will adjust to that. A working environment has the best affect than them all. That way I am easily influenced to be hard working, happy and at peace. I was shaped mostly by a hard working and dreaming environment yet I was easily influenced by opportunity abused habits.

After reviewing my ninth grade English portfolio, I see that I have improved in many ways. Working hard in many areas of work used to be a dread to me, something that I struggled with, but now I see that once I have a topic that is enjoyable to me, I can easily get things done. Working in this class this year has made that possible. With a little more focus, I know that I will enter tenth grade prepared with a smile on my face and inspiration on my mind. 

Me Mag for Portfolio