Month: May 2019

Capstone – The interview!

Hello again! So, for this project, you are required to have a interview, as one of your sources. So, I decided to interview a man who was a child in world war II. His name was Andy Sarkany, and he turned out to be a really kind and caring person. He actually speaks at schools about his experiences.

So, I did my interview! He lived in Budapest, Hungary’s capital. But, not only was he a child in world war II, but he was also a Jewish Person. He had to live in a ghetto, which is a place where they enclose Jews with little food and resources, and a brick wall making sure no one was getting out. So, you know, I’m doing my Capstone topic about world war II and the resistance, and I couldn’t find a interviewee who was in the resistance, so, I found someone that was alive in world war II. But, unexpectedly, he had a story that kind of related. It was this: One day, he was playing at school and he hit his head severely, his injury could lead to death if not treated right away. Everyone working at the school, all the teachers, were jews. Except for one who had permission to go out, unlike all the others. He was bleeding, gushing blood, and the one Catholic teacher removed the star from his jacket, and took him outside the ghetto, and took him to the hospital. She saved his life. While risking her own.

The interview, it was pretty exciting, and I was a little nervous, but I got a lot of information. Actually, five (printer paper sized) pages of notes. That story I just told was one of many. His dad went to a concentration camp – Mauthausen, and survived. Some days, when he was walking the two blocks to school, random Hungarian strangers beat him up, or verbally abused him, because he had the yellow star of David on his “outer garment”. He had a sad life, but there were some happy things about it too. The only problem with the interview was that he never really stopped talking. I didn’t expect this, I thought it would be fifteen minutes, but it ended up being an hour. My mom wasn’t surprised, because, as you know, he speaks at schools about his experiences in world war II. I could never really get him to stop talking. When he paused, which was about every five seconds, he did it for about four seconds. And every time, I thought: Is he finishing his thought? Should I ask him the next question? And every time I started asking the next question, as I would be doing it, he would start speaking again, about the same topic as before. I was planning on asking 7 questions, because he’s old, 86 years old, and I didn’t want to bother him all that much. Here were my planned questions.

  1. What was your experience in World War II?
  2. What was it like living in the Ghetto and what was the tone in it?
  3. Did you ever hear about Resistance fighters during the war? If so, what about them?
  4. Do you have a story that you really never forgot, that is on your mind still sometimes?
  5. At what point did you realize you were in danger because you are Jewish?
  6. According to your bio, you were about eight when your father went to Mauthausen: can you tell me more about that? I read a book about a boy who’s father came back from a camp and was a whole different person, what was it like when your father came back?
  7. Are there things in the world today that make you worry that something like the Holocaust will happen again?

But, I didn’t really have to ask all of them, because he kind of leaded to them by himself. He had some really great quotes, and as you know, my mom was writing the notes, she quoted the stuff that she thought was meaningful and important to have it in his words.

Anyway, that was the interview, and it was pretty fun and interesting! And, soo, in a few days, I will be going to my site visit, and that is going to be a place called The Holocaust And Human Rights Education Center. I’ll do another blog post as soon as I visit it! I’ll update you as soon as possible!

Capstone – Questions!

Now, there’s another requirement that is due soon. So, the next step is to think of a main inquiry question and some subquestions.


Now, you guys probably don’t know what that is. In capstone, you are required to have a main inquiry question. It’s a question that you ask and then answer during your presentation. Then, you need subquestions. Sub questions are easier. They’re smaller questions that add up to the big one to make it more knowledgeable. I was a little bit stuck for the main one. I didn’t know what to do! There were so many things out there, millions of things to choose from, but only a few good ones. But I’m thinking, are they actually good? Or is it just that I want a question that I can rely on? I’m still pretty nervous. But I ended up doing the one I thought I should do in the first place, but I still don’t really know if it’s good! My final main inquiry question is this: “How did the World War II Resistance affect World War II?” I hope that’s good. Well, I was one of the first ones to pick my final question. So, the people who were first to finish look into some subquestions. So, I thought about that!


Now, I was a little nervous. And I still am a little bit now. But less. Because… subquestions make it so much easier! You don’t need to talk about your main question the whole time! I realized that you talk all about your topic and then wrap it up with the answer. Now I feel much better. I feel like subquestions are my best friends. I feel covered, taken care of. Actually, thinking about it, I feel excited! How I did it is I got a Google Doc called Gracie’s Sub Questions and I put a table on it and then I did on one side: Sub question #1, Sub question #2, Sub question #3, Sub question #4, and Sub question #5, and then on the other side, I list the question. My sub questions are What is the World War II Resistance?, What did the Nazis do to make the resistance do the stuff they did?, How have they impacted the future?, What is the illegal camera?, and What is the punishment of being caught in the resistance?.


I’ll update you when something else comes up… which will be very soon! Wish me luck!

Capstone – Starting!

Have you ever done a big research project? Well, I just got assigned the biggest project of the whole elementary school! It’s called Capstone, and I mentioned it in my last blog post about my immigration project.

Anyway, the first thing I needed to do is pick a topic that I want to learn more about. This was a little bit tricky. I was a little unsure because there are so many things I want to learn more about. I love reading books about World War 2, and I had just finished a book about a girl in the resistance. People in the resistance did stuff like taking railroad tracks out of the path that the train goes on, and the train comes, with Nazis and their artillery, and it goes off the track. They hide so they don’t get caught, and it’s a little bit of sabotage to the Nazis, because the people in the resistance don’t agree with what they’re doing. They resist. I read the book and was inspired to learn more about it. So, I decided to do it on that!

So, for this project, everybody needs an interview. I have no idea who I am going to interview, but Mrs. Cooper, my teacher, had a meeting with everybody in the class, and she said: “You shouldn’t pick a topic based on who you know to interview. If you have no idea who to interview, it’s OK. You don’t know how much connections us staff have. We will find someone for each and every one of you.”

So, I’ll tell you what happens next!