Leighia Eggett - Electronic Portfolio

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Theodore Roosevelt Collage
Poem
Literary Narrative
Tall Fescue
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Created in my Adobe Flash CS3 class, this animation represents my go-green attitude. Through this project I learned the basic skills in which to animate various pictures.
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Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was a conservationist and created many National Forests and Parks. I respect the precedent he set for modern day conservation. This collage was designed in my Adobe Photoshop CS3 class. This collage used all of my Photoshop skills I learned in class.
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Theodore Roosevelt Collage
Poem

Written in my Honors English II class, this short poem is based on the Greek story of Daedalus and the wax wings he gave his son Icarus to escape the tower he was confined in. I used a mad-lib like template and inserted various words. I learned the vastness of one's mind via writing this poem; I really did not realize that I knew this Greek Myth.
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I ran like I was running from the devil himself
I flew with waxwings
I felt the air gliding through my fingers
I saw a plane in the distance
And tasted its smoky exhaust fumes
Geese flying by smelt like the sea
As I heard them honking onward
I smelt danger as I soared closer to the sun.
Daedalus had built the wings in Helen, Georgia
He actually only designed them
But as I coast on the breeze the world forgot me
Because I forgot the world
For I dropped out of school and became intelligent
The black bird of denial roosts heavily upon my soul
The darkness shines brightly
I flew up to heaven and conversed with the angels
Icarus could have done anything with his life
He will do great things
Three yellow crows will guide him
They teach him nothing yet he will become wiser
His wings tell him to retire
As they melt beneath the smoldering heat waves
Escaping the red sun. 

--Leighia Eggett

Also available in PDF or Word 97-2003

Literacy Narrative

This reflective piece shows my growth as a writer, and reader, in my education thus far. This piece was composed in my AP English Literature and Composition class to go into my Senior Writing Portfolio, required by Kentucky law. I never really analyzed my literary experience until this composition. It was a great reflective senior project for my English class.
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My Literary Being

Literature is not my favorite form of entertainment; however, it is not the most irritating activity of my life.  Knowledge is the most powerful element of the world; therefore, I am thankful that I have participated in the Honors English program in high school, for without that class I would practically be illiterate.  I have read many novels, stories, and poems that I absolutely loathed to read.  Moreover, I have read pieces that were the pure brilliance of humanity at work. 

Generally, I tend to compose a narrative with a slightly older diction than most writers my age would do today.  This is based on the main type of literature that I tend to enjoy reading, which are mainly old English stories.  When I was a younger, my mother would take my siblings and me to the local library to pick out books to read for that week.  My brother would choose books of the science fiction genre, my sister would choose picture books, and I would choose classic and wilderness adventure novels.  Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, and Jean Craighead George were among my favorite authors.  These stories were of brave protagonists that weathered against all and finally conquered using their intuition and cleverness.  They were not fierce brutes, but generally children taking the place of an adult situation.  Hence, my respect for educators and my strong will to succeed educationally.
 
I read and write about things that are relevant to my values and beliefs.  Everyone has different reasons for choosing the genre/themes of literature he or she reads for enjoyment.  My favored themes are those of mental ingenuity defying physical strength.  Therefore, I try to learn from books with this principle concept and defy the physical world in order to engage in the mental orb of life.  One of my favorite novels is My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.  It is about a boy who survives in the Catskill Mountains.  He finds a way to make acorn pancakes out of normally poisonous nuts.  For shelter, he carves a hole in the tree big enough for him to live in during the harsh winters.  Sam Gribley, the boy, uses his ingenuity to survive the wilderness.  This novel combines keenness of the mind and Mother Nature’s cunningness, which affect everyone’s everyday life. 

My parents have played an important role in encouraging me to read more than assigned during school. For example, my father enjoys reading just about anything he can get his hands on to read; this is because both of his parents are avid readers who consistently have a piece of literature they are enjoying.  In fact, my grandmother writes book reviews for various books.  This deciphering of texts has been passed on to my father and down to my siblings and me.  My mother, on the other hand, rarely reads for enjoyment.  She primarily reads for her job or like reasons.  Her parents came from simpler means and did not engage in the literary world as often. 

I personally do not loathe reading for entertainment, but I generally do find other activities to occupy my time.  Sometimes, on a rainy day, I will crack open one of the many volumes in our makeshift library/family room and retreat to another world.  As my high school years have passed, I progressively have embarked into a novel purely for enjoyment during my leisure time.  As more books have been put on my read list, my vocabulary has grown expansively in shorter amounts of time, which have improved my writing abilities tremendously.  With a broader lexicon, I can compose better pieces of composition in which to express myself. 

Throughout my life as a student, I have learned a great deal from word of mouth; however, books generally contain more retainable information.  My introverted demeanor permits me to understand text better than spoken words.  In the new age of computers, I have found that I would rather read a physical book than a text via the Internet.  When I read a book, I need the whole effect:  the smell of ink that has resided on the pages for some time (the longer the better), the swooshing sound that every page makes when each are turned, the feel of the leathery paper binding, and the times new roman text covering the book from the inside out. 

There is no composition without literacy and no literacy without composition.  This is the main theme of the world:  without one thing, there cannot be another.  As my reading ability grew, my glossary of terms doubled, and thus as a direct correlation my writing ability expanded.  I am not a Rhodes Scholar or professional novelist; however, I am closer now than I have ever been and continue to inch closer day by day. 

Also available in PDF or Word 97-2003

Tall Fescue

This essay, composed in my AP Biology class, describes the effect of tall fescue being introduced into America. Through this assignment I learned how to think scientifically and make judgements accordingly.
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Tall Fescue—Introduction into the United States

Origin/Historical Area
Tall fescue was introduced into the United States from Europe and North Africa during the 1800s.  In Europe, fescue is a less desirable plant for the choice perennial is ryegrass.  The date of the introduction is not known, but it is speculated that tall fescue was a contaminant in meadow fescue seed.  Meadow fescue was imported from England prior to 1880, therefore as was tall fescue.  Tall fescue was not planted widely until the 1940s and 1950s.  The two major tall fescue varieties were and are Alta and Kentucky 31. 

Benefits of Introduction
Since tall fescue was “accidentally” brought over in the meadow fescue seed from Europe, there was no actual reason for the initial introduction.  However, during the 1940s tall fescue was recognized as a grass that remained green all year and could withstand drought rather handedly.  Dr. E. N. Fergus, a University of Kentucky professor, discovered Kentucky 31 in his pasture.  It was the first cool season perennial grass available to the southern United States.  
Tall fescue is remarkably drought resistant.  This is due to the symbiotic relationship the plant has with a fungal endophyte.  The endophyte, scientifically named Neotyhodium coenophialum, helps tall fescue keep insects away, survive harsh environments, and tolerate grazing by livestock.  The fungus produces three alkaloids: loline, peramine, and ergovaline.  Loline alkaloid is a natural insecticide and helps the grass survive during a drought.  Peramine wards off insects by tasting quite nasty to possible invading insects. 

Effect on Animals
The endophyte causes animals that grazed on the grass to gain less weight than normal.  It also causes hormonal imbalances, birthing problems, and occasionally the gangrenes of the animal’s limbs.  The fungus endophyte is a hybrid of three other endophytes from other fescues and ryegrasses originating in Europe.  The fungus produces three types of alkaloids, one of which is the cause of the toxicosis in livestock.  The loline alkaloid and peramine alkaloid protect against drought and insects.  Therefore, the third alkaloid, ergovaline alkaloid, is the toxin-causing agent in the fungal endophyte of tall fescue. 
Another way tall fescue is negative to animals is the clumping nature of the grass.  Tall fescue grows in bunches of ten to thirty stems that can grow up to six feet tall.  Small animals, such as quail and grouse, find it harder to run through the bunches of grass.  Native grasses are more loosely packed, which allows more movement within its stems.  Smaller animals need to be able to move freely for they are the prey escaping the predators.  Hence, tall fescue disrupts the natural food chain. 

Effect on the Soil
Tall fescue grows best in heavy to medium textured, moist soil with considerable humus.  However, tall fescue will also grow in soils that are:

  • fine textured with moderate to slow permeability
  • moderately coarse to medium textured underlain by a fragipan
  • moderately coarse to fine textured that are poorly drained
  • deep but medium to extremely acidic or moderately to strongly saline alkali and usually imperfectly to poorly drained
  • shallow to moderately deep, well drained over materials that prevent root penetration. 

This wide variety of soils that tall fescue can survive in lead to its further spread throughout the United States. 
During the 1940s, tall fescue was used to stop erosion and help improve pastures.  Many plains states started growing tall fescue to stop the spread of erosion.  Tall fescue grows best in the transition zone of the United States.  This includes the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.  The transition zone lies between the cool and warm zones.  Generally, the winters are cold and the summers are hot and humid.  The hot, humid summers did not allow many cool-season grasses to grow and the harsh cold winters killed all of the warm-season grasses.  Hence, the arrival of a cool-season grass that survives through hot, humid summers was a miracle.  This miracle was used widely before the discovery of the endophyte in the 1970s.  Since then it is still widely used as an agricultural product.

Effects on Native Grasses
Tall fescue is a very invasive plant that takes over native grass habitats, such as savannas, woodlands, grasslands, and other high light habitats.  Since tall fescue has the assistance of the fungal endophyte, it can survive in more extreme conditions than most plants.  This “unfair” advantage permits the takeover of habitats from the more susceptible native plants.  Thanks to tall fescue’s agricultural benefits, it has been distributed throughout the United States.  Tall fescue is reported to be invasive in the natural areas of Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Idaho Louisiana, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, New Jersey, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

Conclusion
Tall fescue is a very beneficial plant to the United States.  However, the fungal endophyte creates both positive and negative outcomes.  It does help the grass survive harsh conditions and ward off insects, but the effect on the grazing livestock outweighs the positive.  Therefore, tall fescue that is infected with the fungal endophyte is a better turf grass than pasture grass and tall fescue that is not infected is best for pastures.  The introduction of tall fescue into the United States from Europe was an advantageous choice because it has different adaptations for different functions


Bibliography
“Tall Fescue On-line Monograph” 18 May 2008.  http://forages.oregonstate.edu/is/tfis/book.cfm?PageID=124
“Tall Fescue” 18 May 2008.  http://forages.tennessee.edu/Page10-%20Cool%20Season%20Perennial%20Grasses.html
Applegate, Roger D.  “Tall Fescue” Plant Conservation Alliance’s Alien Plant Working Group Least Wanted.  June 2006.  30 April 2008.  http://www.nps.gov/plants/ALIEN/fact/loar1.htm
Duble, Richard L.  “Tall Fescue” 15 April 2008.  http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/turf/publications/tallfesc.html
Lacefield, Garry and J. Kenneth Evans.  “Tall Fescue in Kentucky” 18 May 2008.  http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/agr/agr108/agr108.htm
Schwab, Greg.  Telephone Interview.  12 May 2008
Smith, Ray.  Email Interview.  16 May 200
Tracy, Benjamin J. and Ian J. Renne.  “Reinfestation of Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue in Renovated Endophyte-Free Pastures under Rotational Stocking” October 2005.  30 April 2008.  http://agron.scijournals.org/cgi/content/full/97/6/1473#TBL1
Weckman, Randy.  “A Plant Pathologist Takes on Tall Fescue’s Endophyte” 15 April 2008.  http://www.ca.uky.edu/AGC/Magazine/2003/WinterSpring2003/Articles/htmlfiles/plant_pathologist.htm




Also available in PDF or Word 97-2003

 

©Leighia Eggett 2008
MCATC Web Design Student
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