English 11: Writing Portfolio

Catholic Memorial High School

2005-2006

Research
Creative Writing
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“The Whipping Stick”

While rummaging around my attic one day while I was searching for old pictures of my family from when I was a little kid I became startled when something struck me on the head as it fell from the shelf above me. When I? looked to see what it was I noticed it looked like a small, poorly made wooden baseball bat with no barrel on the end. Covered in dust, this object looked to be about 1 ft in length and about 4 to 5 in wide. It had a dark brown color to it that seems to be fading with its old age.

So I decided to pick it up. I was breath taken by the feelings that I got as I held it tightly in my grasps. It gave me a powerful, sorrowful, and painful feeling. I could not help but ponder what this piece of wood could have been used for.

After pondering for a few minutes I finally realized what it was and what it was used for. It is said that back in the colonial times in the town of Roslindale there was judge by the name of Judge Matthews. He was especially known for his punishment of those who steal. If a man, woman, or child was caught stealing and put into jail he or she would be forced to be taken to the courthouse and sit in front of Judge Matthews and place their hands in front of him. Judge Matthews would then whack their hands as hard as he could 20 times for each hand. He would make the do this every day as long as they were imprisoned.

The results of this punishment were great. The crime rate in Roslindale went down about 85 percent. Not only did the rate of stealing go down but other crimes as well in fear of a more severe and more agitating and annoying of a punishment that Judge Matthews might give them or sentence them to. He was known as a great judge and enforcer of the law. His reputation spread quickly and he soon became the mayor of Boston. during his time as mayor he made all the judges in Boston do the same as he, punishing criminals the same way ah he did when he was judge.

This worked well because since the crime rate was down so low the people felt safe with him as their leader and he was elected president. As president he made all judges in the United States do as he did and the crime rate remained low all throughout his presidency. Criminals feared him because the “whipping stick” as it became known as was known to after a while break a few knuckles and fingers and the criminals did not get very good medical treatment so most of their bones never healed right and they were forced to either amputate their hand or not be bale to use some fingers correctly or as they would not be as useful as they once were.

What makes this object so special is that according to legend, I have Judge Matthews original “whipping stick”. His is known to have the initials J.M. carved into in. The one that I found in my attic had those exact initials carved into it even though it is hard to see I am able to make it out. This so-called “whipping stick” is a piece of history that was just sitting my attic. It is kind of funny to realize that some of the most important possessions that we have jus fall out of the sky or in this case off the top shelf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Walt Whitman is one of the first people to write about Boston. He uses a Boston man to talk about the city as he walks through it. He talks about the beautiful street and the sound of fifes playing yankee doodle. This poem praises Boston and all its glory. Whitman uses a naturalist style with his writing, describing every little deatil of what surrounds him at every moment.

He describes the soldiers walking down the street in a parade. "every man holds his revolver, marching stiff through Boston town." He gives this man some kind of super power to be at all these places in jsut one day.

Whitman uses his naturalistic style to write this poem. His description of all the surrounding objects are amazing and he almost personifies each of them.