Capstone: Interview

Capstone’s end is rapidly approaching and soon, we will start presenting our information that we have learned. But before we could end, there were two things that stood in our way; the interview and site visit. Luckily now, I’ve done both of those and I can relax.

The interview and site visit are too requirements to complete Capstone. We have to meet someone who knows about our topics that we picked and visit a place about it too. For my site visit, I chose to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But that’s another story.

I’m not going to lie, I was really worried about my interview. I was doing Sparta, which was an Ancient Greece civilization and I decided to interview a teacher, Mr. Salmon from my old school who taught Greek history in sixth grade. But while the idea came quick, arranging the interview was the hard part.

I sent Mr. Salmon an email which told him everything about what I needed his help with. Sadly, he was out for a sometime so I had to wait a week for him to respond. The whole time, I was fretting that he would say no or that we wouldn’t be able to get together.

Finally, he sent me an email saying that he could interview me. I breathed a sigh of relief and was so happy. So I sent him another email which asked him the date and time and place of the interview, but he was coaching a softball team so I had to wait another week for a response. Finally. Mr. Salmon asked me for my number so he could interview him over the phone at Greenville, my old school.

But my problems still weren’t over. Mr. Salmon got a surprise meeting at the last moment and had to cancel. I was really nervous and the deadline for our interview was creeping up on me. All I wanted was for this interview to be over.

We arranged to meet on Friday, May 26 at Greenville school. But, surprise surprise, something else popped up.

You see, Mr. Salmon was able to see me at Greenville because that was where he worked. But then another meeting popped up and he had to switch to Seely Place, the other school in the district I used to go too. The worst part was, his meeting came up so suddenly, that my mom didn’t find out till she picked me up. And my school ends at 3:10, while Greenville ends at 3:00. So Mr. Salmon scheduled our meeting for 3:15, five minutes after my school day ended. I probably would have made it, except that I forgot my instrument at school so I wasted ten minutes running to fo and get it.

My mother and I raced to catch Mr. Salmon but we reached Seely place at 3:30, fifteen minutes after the interview was supposed to happen, I was so nervous that he wouldn’t be there and that he would have left.

We ran outside and I saw the Mr. Salmon’s car backing out slowly from his parking spot. He was about to leave! Luckily he spotted me. I was so happy that this interview would finally happen and that I could get it over with,

The interview went well. I was nervous that Mr. Salmon wouldn’t be able to answer the questions, but he did and well. One of the responses he gave that shocked me was when he told me that Sparta probably respected Athens, its rival state because enemies are enemies for a reason, usually because they are both great. If they’re both great, the must respect something about each other.

Some of the questions I asked him were;

  1. What do you think Sparta should be known for? I used this answer as a good intro in my speech about Sparta, when I introduced it.
  2. How do you think Sparta helped Greece in the Persian Wars? Instead of telling me what most of the websites did(which was Sparta was a great leader) he said that Sparta’s army helped a lot too.
  3. Which allies did Sparta use? Mr. Salmon told me that Sparta didn’t like to be allied but he gave me the names of some allies, such as Thebes.

I got tons of new information out of this but I’m still so  glad that this interview is done with. I hope I never have to do it again. It is way too stressful.

Me and the teacher I interviewed, after this interview

Capstone: Site Visit

Our Capstone research is coming to an end! Soon we will go on to presenting and then it’ll be done! But there are two important things that we have to do before we finish our research; the site visit and interview.

The site visit and the interview are ways to help you gather extra research on your topic that you are doing. They are requirements to complete Capstone properly.

I think that the site visit and interview are the most stressful parts of Capstone. For my site visit, I had to search through tons of places, finally decided upon the perfect one and for my interview, I had to email a lot of people and had to wait for a long time for a response.

When I first heard about this, I was a bit nervous because my topic was Sparta, an Ancient Greece civilization so I didn’t know where to go for my site visit. But my teacher suggested a museum or a restaurant. I looked at a lot of museums but nowhere was too close by and related to my topic. It was a bit stressful when I was searching, but finally I found the perfect place to go. I decided upon the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I talked to my parents and they thought that the MET would be a great place to visit. At first I was nervous that they’d forget and I’d never go, but that didn’t happen. My family was really helpful with this and they took me on a weekend to NYC.

The minute I came into the Greek section, I started to second-guess my thoughts on coming to the MET. Sparta was a warrior society, not an artistic one. There were about two artworks that even mentioned the word ‘Sparta,’ in them. It’s rival state, Athens, was an artsy one though. So I learned more about Athens and its decline of power, through it learning a bit about Sparta.

But the main thing about our site visit is to take pictures. So I photographed armor and vases that had war scenes on them. There were a lot, so tons of pictures were taken. I also found some maps that gave me nice ideas of Spartan territories and information about the Athens-Spartan rivalry. I learned that Sparta’s victory in its battle of Athens completely devastated Athens. I also learned what types of armor warriors used and why. Fun fact: Armor was heavy so it made it hard to walk and you couldn’t flee. Instead it only gave protection. This was because Spartans didn’t believe in running away from battle.

I came to the museum not expecting to get too much, but I got a lot of information. The best part was, though, that I got to explore other exhibits like the Chinese one which I’ve always loved. So I’d definitely say that my visit to the MET was a success.


These are examples of the armor that I saw.

This is me at the museum.

These are examples of the vases I saw.

This is what I learned about Athens during my visit to the MET.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe #2

In the book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, By C. S. Lewis, we meet four young siblings named Edmund, Lucy, Peter and Susan. They journey into a magical world named Narnia. Currently, we learned that Aslan, a powerful lion who can save Narnia from the White Witch, an evil woman who has taken over Narnia, is in Narnia and he wants to meet Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy who can save Narnia alongside him. But Edmund has gone to tell the White Witch about this and betrayed his siblings. When Edmund got to the White Witch and told her about Aslan arriving in Narnia, she was terrified and rushed about doing things to prepare to leave at once. But we learned also that her power was weakening because in the beginning of the book, we learned that the White Witch made Narnia “Always winter, but never Christmas.” Yet soon enough, the other children run into Father Christmas who has escaped the White Witch and he tells everyone that the White Witch’s power is slowly weakening.


I think that Aslan has the power currently. Before this, the White Witch had power because she ruled over Narnia through fear and bribed Edmund to help her by betraying his siblings to her. But now that the White Witch knows about him, she has gotten all scared and nervous and her power has started to weaken, so I think that now he has grabbed power in the book from the White Witch.


Also, Aslan has more people on his side. Everyone wants to help him, they were just waiting for him to arrive. The White Witch has few followers who are loyal to her and that will continue to help her once Aslan arrives, because everyone hates her for her cruelty and wishes for her to be dead, while Aslan is loved and many hopes ride upon him. Currently, she has had power because no one knows who they can trust; everyone is following the White Witch because if they don’t they could lose their lives. This has made it hard for our heroes to survive because the White Witch has spies posted everywhere, all trying to catch them, so the children must work through secrecy and questions who they can trust. But once Aslan comes, the children will all be safe with him and the White Witch will have no power and no way to threaten the people who are under her rule, so they will all go to Aslan and the White Witch will be left to die all alone and unsupported.


Finally, we know that Aslan is more powerful than the White Witch in many ways. Mr. Beaver, who has been helping the siblings said that he would be surprised if the White Witch could even stand up in the presence of Aslan and look him in the eye, meaning that Aslan is incredibly powerful, much more than the White Witch. So since the Witch has gotten scared as she knows she will be defeated soon enough, the siblings and the whole of Narnia, have more hopes of freedom which they didn’t have before while the White Witch was ruling them unfairly and cruelly. That means the she won’t be able to threaten them much longer and force them to do what she wants because Aslan will come in to save the day.


This is why I think that Aslan has power over the White Witch and that soon, her horrible reign will come to an end. While previously the White Witch has had power by controlling all of Narnia mercilessly, if Aslan and the children come to kill her they will have the power. Obviously, she gained support through threats and bribery, so she never had people who actually supported her to the end. The children and Aslan both do and they gain support through kindness. That’s why the kids will save Narnia. But since the children can’t save Narnia by themselves, they needed Aslan so he will have the power now though the children were still essential. That is why I think that Aslan has power right now.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S Lewis, there are four children named Susan, Peter, Edmund and Lucy.  They discover a magical world named Narnia. Lucy has went there, but her siblings don’t believe her about that. But one day, Edmund got sucked in. Currently the White Witch, who has now taken control of Narnia, has bewitched Edmund by feeding him magical Turkish Delight which makes him always want more of it. Then the White Witch told him to betray his siblings by bringing them to Narnia. So, when Edmund got back, he lied to his siblings and told them that he’d never went to Narnia even though he had, just to spite Lucy who’d seen him and wanted him to tell his siblings. So when the siblings found out, they got really mad at Edmund and made Lucy the leader of the expedition in Narnia which made Edmund very annoyed.


I think that maybe Edmund’s spot in the family turned him spiteful. Maybe all Edmund wanted to do was become a leader because he doesn’t like to listen to other people, but as he’s the middle child, he can’t.


 For example, Susan and Peter, as the eldest kids, make all the decisions, like decided who would lead an expedition in Narnia,  and Lucy, as the little one, is sort of babied and humored and people listen to her, not in that much of a respectful way, but to make her feel better. For example, Peter, Susan and Edmund checked out the wardrobe the first time Lucy went in just to see what she was talking about. They didn’t think anything would be inside but they did it to humor her, which they never did to Edmund. But Edmund doesn’t get to make decisions, nor does he get Lucy’s treatment because he’s too old. That’s why no one ever listens to him, so he became spiteful so that some people would actually give him the attention that he yearns for. Also, now that he’s under the witch’s spell, he’ll do anything to get Turkish delight, so if he betrays his siblings, it’s not exactly all his fault. It might have been his fault for trusting the witch but betraying his siblings wouldn’t really be his fault.


Additionally, his siblings aren’t really helping him deal with his problem: they’re just shunning him. Peter made Lucy the leader of their expedition in Narnia, which they knew would make Edmund mad. In fact, they did it because of that. If they hadn’t and maybe talked things out, then maybe Edmund might have confessed about the White Witch and they could have helped Edmund.


In addition, they aren’t thinking about why Edmund was spiteful, so they aren’t thinking about his feelings, only why he lied. They’re not thinking about what he might have went through in Narnia which isn’t fair because he became bewitched, even though he doesn’t know it, while Lucy instead had a marvelous time.


This is why I think Edmund is spiteful. Clearly, it isn’t all his fault though possibly some negative character traits that he had might have made his spitefulness greater than it would have needed to be.

Capstone: Main Inquiry and Sub-Questions

The second part of Capstone has begun! But it wasn’t as easy as it would seem. We had to conference with our teachers, deal with rejected ideas and think up of questions from scratch! But that was only the start of it.

For my main question, I chose to do research on if the Spartans helped build up the Greek empire or just made more problems along the way, or if they did both and how. The question I wanted to research at the start was to see why Spartans were always portrayed as vicious and brutal characters and if this was even true. If this was my main question, my sub-questions would have been to learn about schooling and to see if the subjects that kids were taught made them like that, or if it was their geological place in the world. My second choice was the question that I actually chose. When I conferenced with Mrs. Cooper, she said that my first choice might have been a bit too broad, but she said that my second question would be nice. So that’s the one I chose to research.

In truth, I was a bit disappointed with what Mrs. Cooper said because I was really looking forward to my first choice. But when I started to think of sub-questions, I realized that this new question was definitely better.

For my sub-questions, I wanted to see how Sparta helped or didn’t help Greece’s empire. But I wanted 6 sub-questions. After my first four, I had a big writer’s block. This was because I wanted good questions, not easy ones. And I wanted questions that would relate to my topic in a good way, not just bad ones that would be bumps in a road.

Soon, I got 6 questions. But there were still problems! Most questions I thought up of started with ‘did.’ My teacher said that these would be too easy to answer, even though I totally disagreed! I loved all my questions. So I had to reword just about all of them, which made me really angry and just felt pointless to me.

In the end, this was what my whole main inquiry question and sub questions chart looked like;



How did Sparta contribute to the the successes and downfall of the Greek empire?


Sub Questions            
Sub Question #1 What is/was Sparta and where was it, how strong was its armies, what rules/beliefs were important to them and what was Sparta’s code of honor?
Sub Question #2 Did Sparta’s love for war, blood and theft come in the way of Greece’s harmony and cause unwanted problems? How did important Greek leaders feel about this?
Sub Question #3 Did the Spartan belief that they had to be rough to survive come in the way of other cities thoughts and lead to some cities looking down on Sparta for this? Did Sparta gain back their respect in other ways
Sub Question #4 Did the strength of the Spartan army aid Greece when fighting foreign armies? Did it ever not or did it ever not aid to the full ability? (Famous examples)

Bonus: And did Greece help Sparta right back when it needed help in battling armies?

Sub Question #5 Did Sparta’s independence raise fears about the fact that Sparta might split up from Greece or rage war on the country? How did leaders deal with this?


Sub Question #6 Did Sparta depend too much on Greece and cause problems in how the country was run? How did leaders deal with this?


I was really proud of this chart. A lot of work had gone into making it into what it was.

My favorite questions were the last two. They were opposites, and it would be one or the other. I kind of liked that, because I could compare and contrast, and no matter what, one of the questions would turn out to be true.

The hardest question was the first one. Mrs. Cooper told me to add that one because no one knew what Sparta was. But I thought it was a bad sub-question. For a long time, the question remained, ‘What was Sparta.’ Then I added the rest and the stuff about the army and I started to like the question. Before, it was boring. Then, I made it interesting. I’m happy I did that.

My easiest sub-question was the second one. I knew Sparta was a country known for its strength, so it obviously waged wars with other countries. So all I did was think about it and then form it into a sub-question.

I liked all my sub-questions, I didn’t dislike any. So my sub-questions were a success, though there were some challenges. And my main inquiry question was also a success. So, overall, I enjoyed this process. The question finding was fun. I hope that the rest of Capstone is fun too.