Blog Post #3 – interview prep

Later I will be interviewing Wahiba Khabood, a woman who fled the Syrian civil war and ran to the UK. I know Wahiba because she lived with my family for almost six months, not in scarsdale, but in London.She has a very interesting story from what I know of her and I am exciting to interview her because she has a backstory full of action.

I will be interviewing her on the phone and will record the whole conversation. Here are the questions I will be asking Wahiba:

  1. Where did you come from originally?
  2. Why did you have to leave your country?
  3. Why did you choose to come to the UK?
  4. Can you describe what it was like living during the civil war?
  5. What were your thoughts and feelings when you had to leave your family/country behind?
  6. Could you describe the process of coming to the UK?
  7. Did you ever encounter any smugglers during your journey?
  8. Who was the first person that you met when you immigrated?
  9. Did you know any English before you came?
  10. Where did you go when you first came to the UK?
  11. What were your thoughts and feeling when you crossed the border?
  12. What countries did you go though to get to England?
  13. How has the violence going on in your country had an impact on your life?
  14. What were the toughest challenges that you faced concerning the new language?
  15. When were you most scared during your journey?

Wahiba’s story is important because she’s a refugee and has been through so much trauma and hardships just to get to UK, another democracy like ours in the US.

Capstone #2 – Choosing a Main Inquiry Question and Sub Questions

We were told to come up with a main inquiry question. The goal of the entire Capstone project is not to put random bits of information together, but to answer the main inquiry question. Personally my main inquiry question is: What is the history of the Syrian refugee crisis, how has it impacted the children and involved what can people do to help? My first inquiry question was too political for school because I could have offended someone else with different beliefs.

We were also told to come up with 5 sub questions, sub questions are follow up questions that help to answer the main inquiry question, and I came up with 5 so here they are:

  1. What caused the Syrian War?
  2. What are the most important events of the refugee crisis?
  3. What are some stories of the children that have been affected by the war?
  4. What countries and humanitarian groups have helped refugees the most? How?
  5. What can people do to help refugees?

Blog Post #1 – Choosing the Topic

At Heathcote school in Mrs. Edwards’ fifth grade class, Mrs. Edwards is having her students do the ultimate information research project of elementary school: Capstone. Capstone is a project were the student chooses a topic that they enjoy and learns more about that topic. Her students have two months to do this project. The project includes: three web-based sources, one database source, one print source, one interview and one site visit. At the end of the project the student’s knowledge and hard work get put to use, and each student has to put together a whole Ted Talk or an Ignite Presentation with the theme of the topic that the student has studied. 

Personally, I’m doing the topic of “Refugees & Homelessness” because I thankfully have had the opportunity to be in the presence of both a refugee and a homeless person, and I had very much enjoyed talking to them about their past and what they want to do with their life in the future.

Azmara was a refugee from Eritrea who lived with us for nine months while we were in London. Even though Azmara had had a difficult life, Azmara was always the happiest person in the room and always had a smile on her face for proof.

Ali was a homeless person that I met at an event Hitchcock church where we made food and delivered it to the homeless in Manhattan. Ali had a lot of opinions about the world that he wanted to change but was not able to. He told me to fight for my beliefs, and he told the boy standing next to me to become an all star basketball player. I was struck by how self-less Ali was.

Immigration Blog post #5 – Audio

For my immigration project we had to make a video about the immigrant that we decided to interview and learn about. We were told to make a presentation/video on: Spark Adobe

The main challenge that I faced was trying to find a quiet space to recored my voiceover ether my brother was screaming at my mom or my sister was screaming at my opare or my dad was screaming at all of us there was never a quiet moment of silence. This angered me because my video was due the next day, it was 12:56 PM and I had no audio whatsoever. I decided to go outside and do my recording in the morning so I went out on the roof and there were birds chirping so for the rest of my audio I decided to have bird sounds in the background.

When I was making the video I felt self-conscious because personally I haven’t made very many videos before and I was getting judged on this one.

This is the Final Product:

Immigration Blog Post #4 – Awkward

Between the questions that I asked there were always an awkward moment of silence that both of us were continuously trying to cure. We could not stop the silence, it was just always there. When I was interviewing Gitta I found it very hard to get information out of her. I had to ask her multiple questions that only resulted in one. She seemed very self-conscious about her past. And did not want me to know much. But in the end I was satisfied by the amount of information that I got

Immigration blog post #3 – About the Interview

My interview with Gitta Silverstein went very well. She remained calm and no tears were shed, at least she tried to hide them (which is good because most of the time when people talk about their past they cry and she did not.)

The experience of interviewing a Holocaust Survivor made me feel professional. The way she looked at me forced my mind and body to look back at her in a very present and focused way. At this point I felt more engaged and interested in the conversation than before and my mind started to play out the images she was describing and I experienced the pain and emotion she felt. 

Immigration blog post #2 – Questions

My questions took longer than I thought they would. I had to think of questions that kept the conversation going, also known as green light questions. These questions can not have an answer that is one word these questions have to be full sentences my questions were simple but I tried to make as many as I could green light here are some of them:


  • Why did you leave your country?
  • Can you tell me about the government in your homeland at the time?
  • Did your age cause any problems from entering the US?
  • Did you have to leave any family members behind? If so were you able to keep in touch with them?
  • Was it hard leaving or exciting? What made it so?
  • Describe your first day and days when arriving in the U.S.
  • Was America what you expected? Better or worse?
  • How has your life changed since you came to this country?
  • If you had not immigrated, what do you think your life would be like today?
  • Did you/ attend school in the US? If so what was it like for you?
  • Describe your first job?
  • What were some of your favore new foods?
  • What do you miss most about your Homeland?
  • How did you grow as a person throughout immigrating based off
  • something that happened to you?

Immigration blog post #1 – The assinment

In Mrs. Edwards fifth grade class, Mrs Edwards is having her students interview an immigrant that immigrated to America from another country. Her students have to make a video on Spark Video (about the project.) My next-door neighbor is a Holocaust survivor and immigrated from Poland. The reason Gitta left Poland was because her mom was in the US and the rest of her family was murdered. Her dad had gone to try to find the family a hiding spot and never returned. Gitta was an only child and so it was just her and her mother. Gitta’s mother was terrified. Who wouldn’t be? If Gitta’s mother was scared then Gitta, a 3 year old little girl, must have been petrified.

Rube Goldberg #8 – The Finished Product




Making this video was fun it took a long to initially shoot it, but it was easy to edit.

It took a long time to shoot it. In fact it took my entire weekend of shooting and editing. but, it was easy because I used wevideo. In the end it all turned out great and I was finally done with the project. It defiantly was fun and felt good to finish

Rube Goldberg #7 – The Zone

In the beginning of my Rube Goldberg project, I felt very stressed because, I had done practically nothing and it took me an hours to write one blog post. What I was doing was something called not doing, instead of doing, I was worrying. Once I realized that I was worrying and not doing anything, I started doing and I got into a zone that I never had felt before. The zone was nothing I had ever experienced and made me want to do more. I started to actually do the work instead of worry and wait for it to do itself. I felt more confident that I was going to finish and I did. In fact, this is my seventh blog post and we were only supposed to do six.


The point of this blog post is that if you ever get into the zone, don’t give it up. You can get a lot done. Also it feels good to be in the zone. In fact I am writing this blog post as I am in the zone and the time is rushing by.