Author Topic: Sample essays - 1900 words  (Read 1891 times)

Offline Spell Chick

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Sample essays - 1900 words
« on: January 04, 2009, 08:32:15 PM »
I am trying to gather together the courage to send in samples of my historical essays to newspapers in order to get them published for pay. If you could give me your thoughts on these samples, I would appreciate it.


January 4
Not the British Empire Yet

January 4, 871: The Battle of Reading (rhymes with bedding) is fought between Ethelred of Wessex and Viking (Danish) invaders. Ethelred and his younger brother, Alfred, attacked the Danes encamped near Reading in the central southern portion of what is today England. Reading is situated where the River Kennet meets the Thames River, west of London.

King Ethelred was the fourth son of Ethelwulf who reigned from 839-856. Ethelbald took the throne from 856-860 with the next brother, Ethelbert ruling from 860-866. Next Ethelred led the Kingdom of Wessex from 866 until his death on April 23, 871. He was defeated at Reading but the attack weakened the invading forces considerably and was considered a Pyrrhic victory for the Vikings. Ethelred was able to reform his armies and win at Ashdown. He again lost at Basing later in January and was killed in battle in April at Merton.

He was succeeded by his brother, Alfred who ruled from 871-899 despite Ethelred having two sons. It was felt that an adult with military experience was needed to rule in this time of strife. The Danes had taken control of half of Mercia (today central England) leaving Wessex isolated. The Vikings were continually advancing on the region and by 878 Alfred was pushed into the marshes and worked mostly through underground connections. By the next year when King Ceolwulf II of Mercia died, Alfred had enough clout to install his own son-in-law on the vacated throne.

In 886 there was a formal recognition of boundaries where the Vikings and Saxons retained  control. Danelaw went to the former and Wessex to the latter with each side taking half of Mercia. The struggle did not end and there were continual skirmishes and changes in control. Finally in 924 Athelstan became king or overlord of all England and the principalities of Wales and Scotland with the exception of the Scandanavian hold of the Kingdom of York, thus keeping Athelstan from being the first king of England.
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Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own. - Seneca

A nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and by common hatred of its neighbours. - William R. Inge

The stench of the trail of Ego in our History.  It is ego - ego, the fountain cry, origin, sole source of war. - George Meredith

Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided Republic. - John A. Logan

 

January 9
Going to the Dogs

January 9, 1929: Nashville, Tennessee sees The Seeing Eye established, a way to train dogs to assist the blind. Dorothy Harrison Eustes, philanthropist and dog breeder, was an American living in Switzerland when she saw German Shepherds being trained to assist men who had been blinded while fighting in World War I. She wrote an article about this amazing feat which was published in The Saturday Evening Post on November 5, 1927. A blind man from Nashville contacted the author and asked for her help.

Most guide dogs today are German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, or Golden Retrievers. Some other breeds are used rarely, such as Boxers. Most of the guide dogs in the US come from a breeding center in Chester, New Jersey. Some dogs are donated. The puppies are raised by volunteers who give special attention to obedience training and socialization skills for their charges.

After the puppies reach 18 months of age they get another 4 months of training for the task of being a guide dog. They are given harness training in order to learn the requisite behaviors to certain movements of the harness. They learn how to respond to curbs and traffic. And they are also taught to "intelligently disobey" in order to keep their handler safe from harm. Finally, dog and person are united for another 20-27 days of training where they learn to work together. Should problems arise after returning home, both human and dog can come back for remediation training.

Assistance dogs are no longer only for the blind. There are also hearing dogs to help deaf people and service dogs to help with mobilization assistance, seizure response dogs to help epileptics, and psychiatric service dogs that help people with debilitating mental diagnoses. In the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 included text that makes it illegal to bar service animals from entering places of business. Service animals are not pets, but workers who help their handlers enter more fully into society.
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He was a really excellent guide dog. He was very stoic, very professional, very aloof. He had a charisma. He just had something about him that I've never seen in another dog. - Moira Shea

No one should be denied housing because they require a guide dog, an assigned parking space or some other reasonable accommodation because of a disability. - Kim Kendrick

There are a number of people in the community who are handicapped and rely on guide dogs. They are working dogs and this would give them a place to play. Every worker needs time to play. - Ginger Lowe

A blind bloke walks into a shop with a guide dog. He picks the Dog up and starts swinging it around his head. Alarmed, a shop assistant calls out: "Can I help, sir?" "No thanks," says the blind bloke. "Just looking." - Tommy Cooper
 


January 17
Our Loss

January 17, 1945: Raoul Wallenberg is arrested in Budapest, Hungary. Raoul was Swedish and a member of the industrialist/banking Wallenberg family. They are the wealthiest family in Sweden and in 1990 controlled one-third of the country's Gross National Product. Raoul's father died of cancer three months before young Raoul was born. He went to America to study architecture at the University of Michigan. While in the US, he learned to speak English, German, and French. Even though wealthy, he worked at odd jobs, including a World's Fair.

Wallenberg had difficulty obtaining work after school and moved to South Africa to sell construction materials. He moved to Haifa and entered the banking business. In 1938, Hungary passed anti-Jewish measures and Kálmán Lauer, Wallenberg's Jewish boss in an import/export business, was severely limited. Wallenberg learned Hungarian and traveled several times between Stockholm (where he worked for Lauer) and Budapest. Wallenberg was made joint owner of the company by 1942.

By 1944, with the German defeat a foregone conclusion, a mass deportation of Hungarian Jews was begun. President Roosevelt sent a representative to Sweden looking for someone willing and able to go to Budapest and rescue persecuted Jews. On July 9, 1944 Wallenberg arrived in Budapest as First Secretary to the Swedish legation in Budapest. Wallenberg issued "protective passports" and persuaded, cajoled, and bribed officials to treat holders as Swedish citizens. He rented 32 building for passport holders and declared them extraterritorial and covered by diplomatic immunity. He named the buildings, i.e. Swedish Library, and hung large Swedish flags over the doors. He rescued almost 100,000 Jews.

The Soviet Red Army took Budapest in early 1945. They arrested Wallenberg as a spy on this date. He was 32 years old. He was moved to Lubyanka prison on January 21. A cell mate testified in 1955 that Wallenberg was removed from his cell on March 1 and was never seen again. Rumors of both his survival and his death have been around ever since. Some records indicate he may have died of a heart attack in July 1947. Some say he was executed at that time. We may not ever know how Raoul Wallenberg died, but there have been thousands who gave testimony to how he lived.
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He bluffed his way through. He had no official authorisation. His only authority was his own courage. Any officer could have shot him to death. But he feared nothing for himself and committed himself totally. It was as if his courage was enough to protect himself from everything. - Tom Lantos

Don't think you're immune just because you're a diplomat and a neutral! - Adolf Eichmann

For me there’s no choice. I’ve taken on this assignment and I’d never be able to go back to Stockholm without knowing inside myself I’d done all a man could do to save as many Jews as possible. - Raoul Wallenberg, one week before his arrest

I'm going to Malinovsky's ... whether as a guest or prisoner I do not know yet. - Raoul Wallenberg's last recorded words
 


January 28
Serendipitous Find

January 28, 1754: Horace Walpole coins a new word, serendipity, in a letter to Horace Mann. Walpole, author and cousin to Lord Nelson, wrote to a fellow Englishman then residing in Florence, Italy. Walpole referred to a fairy tale called The Three Princes of Serendip and their fortuitous discoveries. He went on to explain how these accidental discoveries were, in fact, a perfect example of "serendipity" thus creating the new word meaning "accidental sagacity."

English is the third most spoken tongue in the world. There are about 1.8 billion people who speak it either as a first or second language. Languages are living things; they grow and change over time. Words are added or lost and meanings are altered with time and place. Words enter the vocabulary in various ways. They are brought in from another language such as chaise lounge from the French. They are proper nouns that turn into common nouns, such as the trademarked Kleenex and the name Mrs. Malaprop from her role in a play where her constant misuse of words eventually led to the term malapropism entering the language meaning a Freudian slip, another example.

Words sometimes originate as acronyms such as LASER, RADAR, and SONAR. Backronyms are words that are given meaning after the word is chosen such as Yahoo, Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle. Words enter via science, literature, politics, commerce, as well as pop culture. There are web sites that keep track of new usages of words. For example, spider, the insect, because spider – a bot that ran across the web searching for items to display in a list, such as a Google search.

Some neologisms, or new words, have a meteoric rise and then crash and burn into oblivion. Other words enter slowly and become part of the mainstream language. The life cycle of a word may follow a course of instability (new, used by few people or a subculture), diffused (spreading but not yet widespread), stable (gaining recognition and probably lasting inclusion), and finally dated (not only no longer new, but heading toward cliché). Both Lewis Carroll and Dr. Seuss enlivened their stories with abundant words not found in any dictionary – at the time they were written. It might be fun to let The Lorax read Jabberwocky.
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Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for. - Lawrence Block

Serendipity is looking in a haystack for a needle and discovering a farmer's daughter. - Julius Comroe Jr.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!', but 'That's funny …' - Isaac Asimov

Yesterday's neologisms, like yesterday's jargon, are often today's essential vocabulary. - Academic Instincts

Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

good_stuff

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Re: Sample essays - 1900 words
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2009, 01:34:46 AM »
These are very good formal essays, well structured paragraphs and quotes at the end which empowers your point.

I think if you want to go for publishing these for pay, there is a good chance of acceptance.


Offline Spell Chick

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Re: Sample essays - 1900 words
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2009, 09:41:21 AM »
thank you
I was beginning to think they were unreadable or unsuitable.

I really need a little more confidence in my writing.
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Offline ma100

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Re: Sample essays - 1900 words
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2009, 12:48:41 PM »
These are very interesting and well written essays
Patti. Don't doubt them.
Ma :)

Nelodra

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Re: Sample essays - 1900 words
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2009, 01:08:07 PM »
Cool essays. Patti!

The one about Raoul Wallenberg sent a shiver down my spine.
Great job!

Offline Spell Chick

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Re: Sample essays - 1900 words
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009, 01:09:59 PM »
Cool essays. Patti!

The one about Raoul Wallenberg sent a shiver down my spine.
Great job!

Wasn't he amazing?
Thanks
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Nelodra

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Re: Sample essays - 1900 words
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 01:12:33 PM »
He was a real hero.
And you're welcome. :)