Q4 Final Benchmark.

As a 9th grade student, my writing portfolio shows a growth in me. A type of growth that doesn't determine my size as a person, but who I am as a person. As you progress through all three benchmarks and all the projects in order, there is a change in how I write. From immature to an understandable young adult with his opinions. Don't be mistaken, all these writing pieces are still me, but each one shows a different side of me. 

            With growth, there comes strengths and weaknesses. As of right now, some strengths that I have as a writer is the ability to imagine and be creative. So naturally, writing formal essays and papers that require a serious tone is difficult. However, as I continue to grow throughout my years, perfecting the art of writing a serious and very important writing piece has become my main goal. No one has ever got a professional job by being funny and making up stories that are untrue, none that I know of anyways.  

            Producing this portfolio was no easy feat. The most problematic part of constructing this portfolio was making the projects that are contain in this portfolio. Each one had it's own problems and issues. I can't remember a majority of them because I choose not to. All I really know, and can really advise, is to never procrastinate. It will be the end of good quality work and sleep, as you know it.


(Q1 Benchmark)

Henry Poeng


Thesis: Macbeth change of heart at the beginning of the play cost him his life.


The Three Weird sisters in Act One, Scene 3, approach Macbeth and Banquo.  They hail Macbeth first as Thane of Glamis, then Thane of Cawdor, and finally King.  Macbeth and Banquo are mesmerized in many more ways than one.  Macbeth then says “The Thane of Cawdor lives, why do you dress me in barrowed robes.”  This line shows how Macbeth feels about being addressed as the Than of Cawdor. Shortly after the question is asked, the witches vanish without answering anything.  Macbeth and Banquo are left to interpret what the meaning is.  Macbeth sees the witches prophesy as good news and is very happy but also very confused at the same time.  Macbeth just does not know in what way he will claim these titles.

King Duncan officially proclaims in Act One, Scene 4 Macbeth Thane of Cawdor.  At that same time King Duncan proclaims his son, Malcolm, Prince of Cumberland or in other words his successor.  Macbeth, who is very surprised when hearing this, goes aside and starts speaking to him self.  “Stars hide your fire; let not the lights see my black and deep desires” was one of his lines.  This line that Macbeth said translates to, Heaven, please don’t let anyone see my deep and dark desires.  This specific lines shows that Macbeth is shocked to hear that Malcolm was going to be king instead of him self and there fore he is going to do something about it.  Then Macbeth’s ambitions start to show. He was going to be king one way or another even if he has to kill someone for it.

In Act One, Scene 7 Lady Macbeth confronts Macbeth and tells him of her plans to kill King Duncan.  Macbeth goes aside and weighs out the consequences of these actions. After some seducing performed by Lady Macbeth, Macbeth changes his mind and goes with the plan.  At the end of the scene Macbeth says, “False face must hide what false heart doth know.”  This line means to be a flower on the outside and be a serpent underneath.  In other words, look nice and innocent but conceal your feelings from the public.  At this point Macbeth becomes hesitant about what he’s getting himself into but his ambitions start to take over.

In Act Two, Scene 2 Macbeth has killed Duncan.  He and Lady Macbeth are flooded with guilt.  Macbeth says that he heard voices shortly after he killed King Duncan.  The voices said,  “Glamis hath murdered sleep, therefore Cawdor shall not sleep”.  In direct translation it pretty much means that Macbeth killed someone who was sleeping, therefore he doesn’t get to sleep as a price to pay.  At this point Macbeth is starting to go a little bit crazy, as well as Lady Macbeth.  The guilt is going to impact everything from this point on.

In Act Three, Scene 2 Macbeth has hatched a plan to kill Banquo.  He indirectly tells Lady Macbeth who doesn’t really understand.  While telling Lady Macbeth, Macbeth says, “O, full of scorpions is my mind dear wife.” This quote explains just hwa tkinds of things are going on in Macbeth’s head. This indicates the type of thoughts that are going on inside of Macbeth’s head.  Evil scheming thoughts that plan to destroy all his enemies.  At this point in the play, Macbeth is planning to kill anyone in his way without hesitation.

In Act Three, Scene 4 Macbeth has killed Banquo.  After slaying Banquo, Macbeth is not guilty and doesn’t really regret what he has done.  Macbeth killed Banquo because Banquo has a gut feeling that Macbeth was attaining all this power by unfair means. Macbeth says this after the deed is done.  He says that he is, “Stepped in so far that, I can wade no more.”  In direct translation, this means that Macbeth has gone so far into his evil deeds that he can’t turn back so he just going to keep on going.  At this point in the play Macbeth has become pure evil and nothing can stop him, not even him self.

In Act four, Scene 2 Macbeth is talking to his subjects, who are of course working for him out of fear and not love, when he realizes something that the Weird Sisters had done to make him be in this situation.  So he says “Time thou anticipates my dreaded exploits.” In the quote he says “anticipates”, which means predict, “Dreaded exploits,” which means evil deeds.  This means that time or another thing has predicted his evil deeds. Therefore he accepts his that this is “fate” and continues to go forth with his plans.

In Act four, Scene 3 MacDuff and Malcolm are ranting off about Macbeth in England where they have fled off to live.  They are venting their anger towards each other. This anger would have never started if Macbeth didn’t betray them. With all this ranting MacDuff says,“ No one in the legions of horrid hell can come a devil more damned in evils top Macbeth.”  This quote means that, no one sent from hell can be more evil than Macbeth.  This quote shows what other people think of Macbeth.

In Act Five, Scene 3 the 10,000 men from England are approaching.  Macbeth is mad at all the servants that keep coming to warn him.  In an attempt to shut them up and maybe bring courage upon himself, Macbeth says, “I’ll fight till from my bones my fleshed be hacked” This line means that Macbeth will fight to the death no matter what.  He has nothing to lose and is blinded by his ambitions to realize what he’s getting into.

In Act Five, Scene 8 Macbeth is fighting Macduff in a final attempt to protect this throne.  After some intense fighting Macduff is on the verge of winning. Realizing he’s going to die on the spot, he says, “I throw my warlike shield.”  This means he’s going to sacrifice him self and die here and now instead of facing the consequences and bowing down to Malcolm. In a final attempt at attacking Macduff, Macbeth is slain.  At this point in the play, Macbeth is dead. This just proves that since Macbeth is so stubborn and naive, he threw away everything he had for everything he wanted but ultimately failed in the end.

In conclusion, Macbeth had a very dramatic change of heart that widely influences the whole play.  Just one act and all his inner ambitions are arisen.  Throughout each act, his cold-heartedness grows.  Towards the end, his thoughts are clouded with evil, and he has nothing to lose.  Therefore, Macbeth has the meatiest change throughout the whole play. As a secret message towards any potential readers, Shakespeare show how taking all the wrong turns to get what you want will bring failure upon your life.

(Q2 Benchmark)

Henry Poeng

Orange Stream


An Ordinary Day In The Neighborhood


            Uncle, are you okay?” My dad’s response tone to this question showed both surprise and shock. “Yeah I’m fine” he said reassuringly. “What wrong?” then asked. “I just had this horrible dream… there was a shooting in front of your store and someone died. I couldn’t really make out who the person was but he was important.” My dad’s face went grim. “Alright calm down, we are all fine here. Chill out and get some sleep okay?” Click. My cousin had hung up and my dad put the phone down.


            December 30th, 2010. 12: 47 am. Everyone in the family except for me was ready for some sleep. (opener) It was tiring just like any other day. My dad just got out the shower, when he got a phone call. It was my cousin, who was planning to visit soon from Connecticut. His voice was heavy, he was breathing deep, and he seemed shaken. He explained to my dad that he just experienced a nightmare. In the nightmare, people were shooting each other in front of our store. My dad was surprised to hear this but laughed it off nevertheless. My dad comforted him and told him to go back to sleep assuring him that everything was fine. My cousin warned my dad to be careful. I was in my room starting a recently assigned English benchmark project. (Foreshadowing)

December 31th, 2010. Not much was expected on this New Years Eve. It was just another boring day of hard work and some extreme grumpiness. The previous night, I didn’t get enough sleep, but that didn’t stop the customers from flooding in like there was no tomorrow.  Just what you would expect on a party night, right? Little did they know. (Foreshadowing)

It was around 7:45 pm when the most unexpected thing happened.  I was taking care of a customer and brooding(vocab) about how to get out of work, all at the same time. Work being: selling customers whole cases of beer, candy, cigarette, soda, etc. I live in a beer store so this is an everyday thing.  All this brooding left me bemused and started an awkward situation. The customer I was serving got angry and started to become insolent(Vocab) towards me., which was perfectly fine until it got way out of hand. He kept going on and on, screaming, cursing, and trying to escalate the tension. (Magic 3)   Being very adept(Vocab) at conflicts like this, I just ignored him and went about finishing the transaction. Then, just outside the front of the store, BAM! (Onomatopoeia) Sirens blared, breaking the awkward silence that followed.

            Everything was dropped. “Holy Shit!” (dialogue) screamed a good majority of people. My mom and I went to peek out the window to see what was going on. It wasn’t the most pleasant sight. A green dodge mini-van looked like it was going down the wrong way on Walnut St. and went into a sudden halt not far off from the intersection of Walnut St. and Frasier. Strange thing is, a patrol vehicle looked like it caused the crash. Imagine this, a Green dodge minivan pointed towards Jehovah’s Witness, which is directly left of my store, at a 90-degree angle, a good size dent in it with a police car perpendicular to the vehicle.  (Imagery) The first thing that came to my mind is, “This is not good.” (Dialogue) So I walk back to attend to the waiting customers.

            Fireworks went off, or at least that’s what I thought it was. Running back to my mom I asked “What’s going on out there?!” The response blind-sided me in the face like somebody was running and just tripped into a wall. (Simile)  The driver of the green Dodge mini-van gunned down two cops! My mom and I ran to the back of the establishment and notified my dad and my brother of the situation. My brother looked at me like he just watched a good show of SNL and said, (Simile)


“Please… it was only fireworks don’t get so worked up” (Dialogue)

“But, Richard! Come look!” (Dialogue)


With some proper begging he came and took a glance.  Turns out, the scene changed, and there was way more then just one police car out there. Around 25 + vehicles, Officers out, and guns pointed. It looked like a lustrous (Vocab) clump of red and blue in the night, which was very appropriate for New Years. (Imagery) Then they open fired, emptying about a magazine into the suspect’s car, at least that’s what the news said. POP! POP!  POP! POP! POP! (Onomatopoeia/ Rep 4 Effect). I was scared out of my mind. It looked like an old western movie. A standoff was happening right in front of my house! I was in shock and awe. So many things raced through my mind. Will we get out of this alive? What happened to the cops who got gunned down? Are they okay? This is exciting! I’m hungry, so tired… sleepy, sleepy… and so forth.  (Rep 4 Effect)­

The fun part is how stupid we all acted. My dad, who arrived rather late, ran outside and looked into the car, as did about 15 other bystanders, my-self included. Dumb move, I know. Difference was, I was about a quarter-block away from the car. The cops started yelling and shooed us all away from the danger zone.

Everyone pretty much piled up in the store. A good majority of them were very irritated because they were disrupted from their holiday festivities. The customers pretty much notified their family, sat around, or tried to make a quick transaction so they can get out. (Magic 3) Just goes to show you that even in crisis some people are still extremely selfish. My dad, who did not want to close shop just yet, decided to play along with the selfish customers and go sell them ice. This involved him going back outside again. Bad mistake. He was held outside behind a wall in safety. My dad called shortly after we noticed that he was missing. He told us to be wary (Vocab) of the situation and to lower the bulwark (Vocab) that is the front gate. Daring not to disobey, we evacuated the store and lowered the gates.

A mere five minutes later, my dad called on the phone. He told my brother and I to grab a case of beer so we can sell it to a customer who was buying it the “back-door” way. We thought he was joking, until we saw our dad approaching the back yard with a customer in tow. After making the transaction, we all went back inside. Around this time a copper chopper arrived to the scene rather low. Using the mounted spotlight, it circled around the suspect’s vehicle and made light of the situation. (Pun Intended/Humor)

Naturally, in situations like these, you want to feel safe right? You know that feeling when you want to grab something sharp and deadly, or just go hide somewhere to feel safe? That’s exactly what I did. Upon re-entering the house, I ran to my room and totally missed the light switch. Groping (vocab) around in the dark, I grabbed my metal softball bat and a metal baseball bat. I know it seems stupid, but it made me feel secure. Others didn’t think so. A cop noticed me with the bats and told me “What are you going to do with those bats?  Going to hit a bullet out the park? You can’t even swing with one hand!” (Dialogue/Humor) That comment made me feel stupid, but I felt safe so it was okay. Putting the bats away, I went to go watch what else was unfolding.

When I arrived back at the place of entertainment, anyone who was viewing the little show had a face that could make even the most secure in mind cry. Amassing (Vocab) some courage I peeked over the window, heart racing. The scene had changed. With the spotlight illuminating the car, some of the higher ranked cops gathered in a circle at the intersection of Frasier and Walnut St. They appeared to be scheming on how to handle the rest of the situation. Out of nowhere, down the dark alleyway of Frasier St. was a heavily armed officer, otherwise known as a S.W.A.T (special weapons and tactics) operator. Walking down slow mo, or at least that’s how I saw it. He looked extremely intimidating. This man was dressed in all black with armor and bullet proof pads spread across evenly all over his body, thick helmet on his head, attached with a helmet visor. In his right hand, a riot shield, in his left, an assault rifle. I can only guess that it was a M416, but that’s just from background gaming knowledge, which made it even more exciting. (Imagery)  His face was made of stone. (Metaphor)

They call him the crisis negotiator, negotiator for short. His job was to approach the suspect and cause a diversion for a S.W.A.T team to arrive, or talk the suspect into surrendering, or both. From my perspective, it seemed like both. I can only assume that being a negotiator, you needed to be shrewd (Vocab) and conscientious (Vocab) of the suspect in critical situations.

My dad, my brother and I took this given opportunity of peace to talk to my dad’s friend who happened to be an officer at the scene and likes to visit the store when he’s off duty. My dad was at the door speaking to his cop friend, who coincidently had his patrol vehicle right in front of the store entrance. My dad was chatting away with his friend, while I was talking to my brother, who was just as excited. He told me to go and listen in. Being his younger brother, I had to comply.

While I listened in, my brother was broadcasting what was going on to my other brother who was in Florida at the time. I found this superfluous, but what the heck, it was exciting.  Apparently, the showdown on Walnut was being shown live in Florida, which I found extremely strange. My dad was talking to his friend. We got the gist of the situation. Apparently, the cops were waiting for S.W.A.T. to arrive, there were 200+ personal surrounding the perimeter and all branches of law enforcement were deployed. This was the first event in Philadelphia law enforcement history of its caliber. All of a sudden, the radio exploded with a sharp command that was lost in a sudden burst of confusion. We ran back inside. “Don’t panic, don’t panic, don’t panic!” I constantly told my self. (Rep 4 Effect/Dialouge)

After a quick break, we all resumed our position in front of the window and stared at the scene. Nothing interesting happened just yet so I went to back to getting some work done. Unable to keep myself away I ran back just in time to get blinded by a burst of flares. The flash looked like a firework that had gone wrong. It looked like an extremely bright light with flares coming out the sides with a loud pop that is redundant now and days.  This special item causes disorientation of anyone unfortunate enough to witness it. Good thing I was behind the window.  I just witnessed a flash bang. (Imagery) I peeked back up to examine the next set of events. Assuming that the suspect was disoriented, S.W.A.T moved towards the car and took out the suspect. He was dead and covered in blood. It looks like someone missed a paint ball gun filled with red paint balls horribly. (Imagery) One can only guess how much anguish (Vocab) he suffered in that one-hour period, barricaded in his car.  The scene at the time was surreal because so much was happening at once. I was inept (Vocab) when it came to things like this, but this has only made my mentally stronger. After the dramatic event over, all the bystanders went back to what they were doing, including me.

Refreshing the page on a news site for 10 minutes straight wasn’t the smartest thing, but it was worth it, just to see what was going on from the news reporter’s perspective.  The reports say that the two officers that got shot were in good condition and had been released from the hospital. A sigh of relief went around the crowd that was around the computer. (Imagery). All the excitement left me tremendously enervated. Crawling to bed, I took the time to reflect on what was just witnessed.

With this reflection came inner thoughts. What you do will follow you for life, but how you repent for it is what makes the difference. Shooting cops will be the end for you. Be prepared for the unexpected because this is the type of world we live in. Think of the possible consequences before doing anything. As I slowly drifted to sleep, I whispered to myself “This is just another ordinary day in the neighborhood.” (Dialogue) and dozed off.





Down here!







This is just for kicks: :D









Now this is the story all about how
some guy got flipped, turned upside down
and I'd like to take a minute just sit right there
I'll tell you how I almost pulled out all of my hair.

In West Philadelphia born and raised
In a beer store is where I spend most of my days.
Selling, taxin, relaxing all cool

And enjoying this day off from school.
When this one guy, who was up to no good
Starting causing trouble in my neighborhood.
He robbed one gas station and the cops got scared.
They said “get out the car with your hands in the air”

The cops called for some back up, when it came near
The crazy driver shot the two cops with a frightening sneer.

If anything, I could say this scene was super rare
but I thought oh heck no, it’s safer in there.

Then back up pulled up round seven or 8.
came out and said “yo dawg get the tazer.”

Hey Look at that! S.W.A.T is finally here.
Extracting the body with guns in the air.

(Over exaggerated)




(Q3 Benchmark)


Henry Poeng


            Odysseus: Great teller of tales, Trojan War hero, and main character of The Odyssey. Everett: Master Tactician, Leader of the Soggy Bottom Boys, George Clooney and main character of O Brother Where Art Thou. Odysseus and Ulysses are both selfish at times, and overcome their conflicts in the same manner. But, it’s how they are assisted on their journeys that make the difference.  Although these two are very similar in their personalities, they have a different approach to their respective journeys.            

Everett and Odysseus show similarities in their selfishness during several points of their adventures. In the movie O Brother Where Art Thou, Everett risks the life of his crewmates in a vain attempt try and persuade Delmar and Pete to go and get his hair gel from the back of a burning car. Everett shows that he’s going to put himself first instead of considering the life of his loyal crewmembers. This had to potential to get all three of them killed. In The Odyssey, Odysseus said “Cyclops- if any man in the face of the earth should ask you who blinded you, shamed you so—say Odysseus, raider of cites, he gouged out your eye, Laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithaca!” (Book 9, Lines 558-562).  Unlike Everett, Odysseus actually puts his crewmates in grave danger. As a result, he got them all killed in the end. But, this also shows how they are like in their thinking, and how selfish they both can be. 

            O Brother Where Art Thou  is heavily based off of The Odyssey. There are several hints that show this in the movie. One would be the prophet, who tells Everett how to get home, much like in The Odyssey.  However, they are actually different. The Odyssey Odysseus was thrown off course so many times that it is hard to keep count. It is believed that the main source of all his interludes was, for the most part, the Greek gods. Poseidon, earth shaker and king of the seas had a deep grudge on Odysseus for blinding Polyphemus, his son, and being associated with Athena. As you may know, Athena and Poseidon HATE each other very much. Using everything in his power that didn’t involve direct interaction between him and Odysseus, Poseidon further delayed his return trip home via storms, monsters, etc. Athena on the other hand was on Odysseus’ side, protecting him and only him throughout a huge chunk of the epic. If you think carefully, do you see this happening at all in O Brother Where Art Thou? Nope. In O Brother Where Art Thou there aren’t any gods, or some supernatural other worldly power to veer Everett and companions off course, or further then along for that matter. He got home all by himself without the need of the Gods.

            In The Odyssey, Odysseus overcame his challenges by first, thinking of some well thought out plan, then eventually needing Athena’s help towards the end of executing the plan. For example “Naked threats- and Athena hit new heights of race, she lashed out at Odysseus now with blazing accusation: “Where’s it gone, Odysseus- your power, your fighting heart? The great solder who fought for famous white-armed Helen, battling Trojans nine longs years- nonstop, no mercy, mowing their armies down in grueling battle- you who seized the broad streets of Troy with your fine strategic strokes! How can you- now you’ve returned to your own house, your own wealth- bewail the loss of your combat strength in war with suitors? Come, old friend, stand by me! You’ll see action now, see how Mentor the son of Alcimus, that brace fighter, kill your enemies, pays you back for service!” (Book 22, Line 234-246). As long as this quote might be, it has a huge significance. Without Athena, who knows where Odysseus might be right now. Some might argue, that without the Gods, Odysseus might have not gotten home at all or vice-versa. This may be true, but we haven’t really seen the famed Odysseus “Master of tactics, Great teller of tales” in action without the help or intervention of the Gods. In O Brother Where Art Thou, Everett gets through all his challenges by himself. From escaping the chain gang, to making “old timey” music and sort of getting his wife back. He did it all himself that is what someone should be respected for. That is a huge difference in terms of showing character traits and applying it.

In conclusion, Odysseus and Everett might share the same qualities with each other, but the manners in which they achieve their goals are quite different. Sure you might think, “Oh, well if Odysseus didn’t have Athena, he would have never got home.” or, “ Oh, well if Poseidon wasn’t messing with him so much then we would have gotten home safe and sound.” which could be very true. My point is, if your going to talk about someone else’s abilities and what they are doing, then talk about it right, not with some sort of handicap. That to me is just plain unfair. It’s just like saying “Yeah! I totally made this turbine with the help of my twenty friends so appreciate me more because I want more credit!” It’s the same deal with Odysseus, but must admit that he is insanely smart and strong. Although these two are very similar in their personalities, they have a different approach to their respective journeys.