Letter from a 17th Century Citizen

Dear Abigale,

How are you?

Please consider reading what I have to say. I know you want to throw out this letter, but it would mean a lot to me if you would at least read it once.

I changed since the last time you saw me. I know that before, you thought of me as a cruel, merciless killer who cared nothing about his daughter. The image that you possess of me, is a different person than the one writing this letter. About a year ago, I dropped my identity and started anew, far away from Manningtree where people would recognize me. Now, I live an ordinary life among the common people. I run a small business, earning off trading and supporting myself in a humble home. I know before I was against the arts, but now I recognize and encourage it. I personally find music and theater quite enjoyable.

I heard through some sources that you own multiple coffee houses in an unnamed town a few miles from Manningtree. I’m glad things are going well for you, and I apologize for not being there for you as a father figure. I’m proud that you made your own path and stayed a strong young woman. I hope that you recognize I’m sincere.

I will be blunt and upfront to you. The reason why I sent you this letter is because I’m dying. I have an unidentifiable illness… not the black plague, but something else. My lungs are failing me, and there is no way to cure it. I spoke to some professionals about this matter, and they estimated I have about a year left to live.

I know you’ll never forgive me for what I did, but please, give me a chance. At the time, I believed I truly helped to protect people, but now, I know I acted wrongly. I am no longer the famous witch hunter that killed hundreds of people, but a humble citizen who hopes to make up for his mistakes.

Please, please forgive me for all the wrongs I committed. I want to start fresh with you, and let you know that I can’t die without telling you how sorry I am. I know you will never forgive me for what I did to your mother, but I beg you to give me another chance. I swear I will be the best father you could ever have. I want to make up for all our lost time together.

I understand if you don’t want to see me again. I know that you hate me for hurting you, and we will never have the same relationship as we did before. I hope you will at least send me a letter back. Like I said, I can’t live with myself for what I did to you. I want to let you know that I love you and I am so sorry for all the wrongs I committed in the past. I hope you consider everything I just said.

Your father,
Matthew Hopkins


Animal Farm DOL 1

What conditions are needed for revolution to occur? Based on your readings so far, what is the single most significant factor leading the animals to revolution?

For a revolution to occur, the majority need to collectively agree there is a problem in their society that they need to solve. In Animal Farm, the problem the farm animals face is that Mr. Jones, their human owner, doesn’t provide them with enough food and care to live a sufficient life. The animals are also aware that once they reach a certain age, Mr. Jones slaughters them and they fear that. To solve this problem, the animals band together and “[chase] Jones and his men out on to the road” (7). “The Rebellion […] successfully carried through, Jones was expelled, and the Manor Farm was theirs” (7). This was a team effort and it only happened because they all collectively worked together to fix the problem with Jones.

Some specific conditions that are needed for a revolution to occur includes the need for a strong leader. The leader needs to hold the same values as the group, and show confidence and be convincing. The leader, or the group in general, should have a clear solution to how the problem should be solved. This isn’t necessary but it helps to motivate the group and align their values and beliefs. In Animal Farm, Old Major meets these conditions. He convinces the group that “nearly the whole of the produce of [their] labour is stolen from [them] by human beings” and by “[removing] Man from the scene, […] the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever” (2). Major clearly and convincingly states and provides a solution to the problem, so the farm animals decide to listen to him. The last condition needed to start a revolution is a co-operative and willing group. Even if they agree with the idea of revolution, there some people are unwilling to take action. Without people who are willing to take action, a revolution cannot occur. Overall, there are many factors that are needed for a revolution to occur, but the main one is that a problem in a society has to be identified by the majority of the people, and taken action to fix.

STEP Wheel Of Revolution


SpaceX made history by launching a rocket into space and landing the first stage booster. The event happened four years ago, on December 22, 2015. The rocket, named the Falcon 9, successfully landed at Cape Canaveral. SpaceX tried three times before they succeeded. The third try had a 10% chance of succeeding than the first two tries. During previous attempts, the booster touched the ground but leaned over and crashed on it’s side.

By successfully landing the booster, we advanced our progress in space travel. SpaceX created a new technology that other companies could use for their rockets. Reusable boosters are just the first step in rocket reusability. Once all parts of a rocket become reusable, the exploration of space will become cheaper and people can explore space and setup colonies on the Moon and Mars.

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When the rocket booster successfully landed, SpaceX could use it again for as many as thirty more times. This saves them a huge amount of money, since each booster costs around 30 or 40 million dollars. By reusing boosters and rockets, SpaceX avoids taking up a lot of time and resources to build them. Instead, they can use the money for other things, such as making Tesla cars. As more parts of a rocket become reusable, the cost decreases dramatically.

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SpaceX didn’t launch the Falcon 9 just to land a booster. They used the Falcon 9 to deploy eleven satellites. These satellites allowed more communication in the world, additionally decreasing internet prices. By looking at the future, we can see that the Falcon 9 is a huge step in space travel. Eventually, humans will build colonies on other planets, such as Mars or the Moon. We will introduce new laws, and many people will have a new perspective of life.

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SpaceX isn’t the only one taking steps toward inhabiting other planets. The US government made the political decision to have NASA visit the moon in five years using one of SpaceX’s rockets. The progress that SpaceX makes influences other companies to take action.



Make connections to today and our present context, or other eras (wheels) of social change, or the evolution of “progress”. In what ways did your event follow the same trajectory as other events in the past or present?

This event is similar to the revolution of planes. At first, flying in the sky seemed like an unreachable goal. It was too expensive and the planes didn’t last for long distances. Over time, they became more convenient and affordable. As we invent new technologies, such as the rocket boosters that can land itself, we are make space travel easier. The exploration of space is a revolution similar to planes because both rockets and planes are ways of transportation that makes travelling easier. We hope to make space travel as easy and affordable as flying with planes.


Does your wheel represent, or end in justice for those involved? Does it remain unresolved, or does it continue into another revolution? If so, which one? In other words, were the consequences of the event positive or negative? To whom?  Explain.

SpaceX contributed greatly to the space travel revolution. Landing the booster was one of the first steps to colonizing other planets. The consequences of this event are greatly positive, for almost all people. It benefits climate change supporters because SpaceX helped the environment. It also benefits SpaceX, because it saves a ton of money that they can spend on other projects. The only people that this negatively effects is the people working against Elon Musk.

In-Depth Blog Post 5

At the start of our meeting, I put on my “blue hat” and covered what my goals were for the block. I wanted to learn about color grading and the basics of visual effects by the end of the meeting. First, my mentor asked me, “what is the difference between a graded and non graded shot?” By the example he provided, I noticed that, once you improve the colors of the film, it subtly looks better than the footage that came straight from the camera. I didn’t realize that Nathan “placed” the yellow hat on my head. He had helped me learn new values and give me a new perspective, by asking me a question rather than just telling me the answer. As he continued talking about color grading, he put on his “black hat” and said that you shouldn’t “overuse [color grading] or it’ll look bad,” because it just “looks like the camera quality was lowered.”

Once he finished demonstrating color grading to me, I used one of my filming exercises to practice it. This was the result:

Color Grading Bad Version
Original Version
Color Grading Good Version.png
Color Graded Version

There are subtle changes between the original version and the color graded version, but most people wouldn’t notice. As my mentor said, “the changes are subtle but we subconsciously register it in our mind.” When color grading this, I equipped my “red hat”, and used my judgement to make it look good. Since this was my first time, I still have a lot of room to improve.

After Nathan taught me color grading, he used one of his short films for me to practice a basic visual effect called masking. When shooting the film, Nathan used string to pull a pair of glasses off of one of the actor’s faces. He used masking to cover up the string, and as a result it looked like the glasses were magically flying off of the actor’s face. Rather than just telling me, he asked me to guess how he did it. I put on my “green hat” and tried to come up with ideas. Eventually I realized that he used invisible string. He taught me how to do it afterwards.

At the end of our meeting, we put our “blue hats” back on and discussed the next steps of my project. We came to the conclusion that I should start working on my final film with Ethan and Angelina. I will have to discuss with them about our plans. If they need more time, I will continue improving my filming skills until they are done.

The Story of my Sponsor Child

Inquiry Question: What is the story of my Sponsor Child?

Click here for pictures of my source and my sponsor child. (For Mr. Morris only, due to privacy reasons)

Source: I chose a letter from my sponsor child, as my source. My sponsor child, Nayeli, wrote it in Dominican Republic during 2018. The letter was later shipped from her home to mine. Nayeli sent my family multiple letters, but I chose this one specifically because it was the most recent one. It is a primary source since Nayeli wrote it herself and she wrote it not long ago. Her letters are important to me because it makes me happy to know that my family helps to make a difference in the world, even for just one person.

Context: By looking at World Vision, the sponsor child website, I can learn about the progress of, not just Nayeli, but her community as well. Many of them receive an education, learn important life skills, and make positive changes in their community. They are also becoming self reliant, and will eventually live independently without our support. These positive changes hopefully influence Nayeli to live as a positive, curious, and caring person.

Description: This source is important to me because it tells me how Nayeli is doing, and it shows her progress in life. The letter says that she learned about water source protection, participated in cultural celebrations, and built a safe water source with others in her community, during the year of 2018. I find it interesting to read her letters because Nayeli tells me about herself in them. In the letter she talks about her hobbies, her community, and her dreams for her community. Every year she sends a letter and overall she progressed a lot.

Inferences About Perspective: Nayeli belongs to a community in Dominican republic. She is also part of World Vision, the organization that uses our money to help her. The organization is non-profit, focused on helping people’s lives. They ask all sponsor children to send a letter to their sponsors, so that they know the sponsor children appreciate their efforts. Nayeli made the letter to show us her appreciation in helping to change her life.

Inferences About Inquiry Question: By examining Nayeli’s letters, we can learn more about her and her community. This knowledge extends what I already know because I’m learning about a different environment than mine. The letters do not tell me every single detail about Nayeli, or give me the experience of living her life, but it gives us some insight of her world.

Some questions I have:

How long does the World Vision organization predict it will take before Nayeli’s community is entirely self-reliant?

How would the world look today if every family was able to sponsored one child?

In-Depth SMART Goal #1

Today is the first day of spring break! I decided to set a SMART goal for myself to achieve by the end of the two weeks. My mentor, Nathan, sent me a list of terms we briefly covered during our meetings, and my goal is to learn more about each item and how I can use it to improve my future films. Once I learn them all, I will practice implementing them into my films. In a couple of days I will be going to Cuba and I think it would be fun to try and film something there 🙂

My Smart Goal: By April 1st, I will learn all the filming terms mentioned in the list below.


What Makes and Breaks a Good Relationship?

          Are you in a situation where one of your relationships isn’t working out and you just don’t know why? William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream answers your question. In this story, four Athenians escape into a forest in pursuit of love. When love becomes intertwined with magic, the lovers face complicated situations which they later mistake for dreams. By comparing Hermia’s relationship with her boyfriend, Lysander, and her father, Egeus, we see that empathy and good communication makes a strong relationship. Without it, your relationship can lead to misunderstandings and arguments that act as hard obstacles to overcome. 

          Lysander and Hermia show us that empathy plays a big role in relationships. If you understand your partner’s feelings and values, communication becomes much easier. Lysander believes love is “brief as the lightning in the collied night” (1.1.147). Hermia holds a different view, believing that love grows slowly and patiently from a small spark. When Lysander wants to have “one turf [to] serve as pillow for [them] both”, Hermia kindly asks him to sleep elsewhere (2.2.47). Although Lysander does not want that, he shows empathy and understanding towards her values by following her wishes. Because they both understand each other, they communicate much better and reach solutions without argument. 

          Unlike Hermia’s relationship with Lysander, her relationship with Egeus demonstrates how a lack of empathy and communication leads to damaged relationships. Egeus and Hermia’s wants conflict, which causes a relationship barrier between them. Egeus wants his daughter to marry Demetrius, whereas Hermia wants her father to give her permission to marry Lysander. They both disagree with each other, so Hermia asks “[her] father [to look] with [her] eyes,” and see things from her point of view (1.1.58). Egeus refuses to empathize and consider how Hermia feels, and selfishly forces his decision on her. As a result, Hermia runs away with Lysander. This shows that you should consider how your actions affect those around you, because sometimes, you do not realize the effects until it is too late. 

          William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream teaches us a lot about relationships. One of the most important lessons is to work with, not against, your partner. This includes honest communication when an obstacle arises, and understanding your partner’s values and reasons. Comparing Hermia’s relationship with her father and her boyfriend provides evidence for this. This knowledge is useful because it allows you to step back and analyze obstacles in your relationships. You can now think about why the problem arose, and how to responsibly solve it. Based off A Midsummer Night’s Dream, you should always put yourself in your partner’s shoes and analyze their view of the situation. You should also have a heart to heart conversation with them, to see if you can clear things up in a responsible and adult manner.