The Jonestown Massacre Podcast

“Just take me. Just take me and just lay me down next to my grandmamma.” And she went up to that Kool-Aid, to that death barrel and she just, I mean — didn’t hesitate, just took it and drunk it and then told me to hold her, to take her, and I did. And she died in my arms.” ~ Hue fortson 

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A few weeks ago, in Design Studio, we were told to research a topic that we were interested in. This topic that we had chosen would later become written into a script and then produced into a podcast. But why a podcast you may ask? We were told to do a podcast so that it would’ve been different from anything else we had ever done. What was the point of this project? The point of this project was that it could be different from a class presentation, or speech, whereas through audio nobody can see who you are.

After researching a few historical topics like the murder of John F. Kennedy and other historical topics, I ended up choosing the Jonestown Massacre. But what was the Jonestown Massacre? 

In my podcast, I first introduce Jim Jones. The religious leader of the whole massacre itself. I then talk about his psychological mindset, his physical condition and behavior before everything first started.

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I go into talking about the people who had found out about him, outsiders, investigators, and journalists. In my podcast, I illustrated what happened to them, and then talked about what happened on the day of the massacre.

When you think of a massacre, the first thing that you probably think of is the Boston Massacre, because it’s known. But the Jonestown Massacre is different. It’s a piece of history that not many people know, a history that seems to go untold.

In my podcast, I give the Jonestown Massacre the recognition it deserves. Listen to it here:

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After producing my podcast, I had realized that it’s harder than it seems. Many people seem to think that since nobody is watching you recite the script, it’s easier. Although, that’s not the case. For the first couple tries of recording different sections, I began to stumble and stutter over my words. Later causing me to laugh at myself. Something that my dad also does as he makes his own podcasts as well. Although, after trying and again and again I gradually became better at my speech and things started sounding like a real professional podcast. I am proud of my work and I hope that others are as interested in my topic as I am.




Presentation Of Learning (POL)

What is a Presentation of Learning? 

That’s the same exact question I thought to myself Sophomore year in Innovation Lab. Sure, I understood that it was a presentation of some sort but what would I say? What is the prompt? what are we supposed to talk about?

In this year’s Presentation of learning, I had planned what I had wanted to say. The Greenwich High School has a document called the: Vision of the Graduate.


And this vision is how Mr. Winters and all of our teachers hope that we can achieve and later become. The document listed many different capacities, some which stated, “pursue their passions, interests, and curiosities”, or one that says, “pose and pursue substantive questions.” Those capacities were the ones I had ended up talking about. Everyone created their own prompt, wrote their own personalized speech to present in front of their teachers. Not one was as similar as other students.

Each student had to choose four of the capacities in the vision of the graduate to write about, in an essay format. For this, my essay ended up being six pages. But for the presentation, we only had to choose two capacities. And the ones that I had mentioned earlier were the ones I had chosen.

Back to what we were supposed to talk about…. the answer is, that each presentation and subject was different. Sure, we had to include both STEM and Humanities into our presentation but each individual had a very individualistic take on their presentation. Maybe we all had similar nervous reactions like playing with your hair a lot (which I did a lot!) or walking back and forth (which I also did). But, we all talked about different things that had made sense to us.

In my presentation, when I had talked about the capacity, pursue their passions, interests, and curiosities, I talked about volunteering and how that has become such a big influence on me. I began volunteering my freshman year. I was once a camper at the Camp Simmons day camp in Greenwich and I really really enjoyed being there. So, I went to the camp director and asked to become a volunteer when I could no longer be a camper. As I was a volunteer I learned more about leadership and responsibility. But at the same time, I learned about different personalities, cultures, and a lot of different aged kids and how they are as an individual. As I learned about these kids, I took the skills that I had gained and used the knowledge of different cultures and personalities and used my strength of that skill in an everyday classroom. The leadership side of things helped me with public speaking and letting my voice be heard. Through that experience and many other volunteering experiences (Camp Simmons volunteering sophomore year, cos cob summer school volunteering, Camp Hazen Leadership Program, and babysitting) I learned about myself but also learned about other people.

In the second capacity, pose and pursue substantive questions, I also talked about public speaking. Although in this case, interviewing others, and talking to other people about academic research and things that I am curious about. This year, for the National History Day Project I found the confidence to go out and interview a woman by the name of Camille E. Broderick. She is the Greenwich Scouting Board Member and knew a ton of facts and information on my project topic, Ernest Thompson Seton. I prepared a few questions and went to the Scout Reservation in Greenwich to Interview her. Not only have I interviewed her but I had also gone to the Greenwich Historical Society and talked to the Archivist Christopher Shields about Ernest as well.

Throughout being in Innovation Lab I’ve completed and succeeded many of the different capacities on the Vision of the Graduate. I’ve learned how to reach towards my interests, become academically knowledgeable, let my voice be heard and my curiosities be asked. After the success of my presentation, all I hope is that I keep achieving different goals of mine and to keep growing personally and academically.