First Years: Lesson 3

As soon as the first years arrived to class and took their seats, Octavia wasted no time. "Good afternoon, first years," she greeted them with a smile as usual, "Let's get right to it." She went behind her desk to skim over the basics of today's lesson, before she went to stand in front of her desk to face the class. "Please take out your quills and some parchment to take notes, or pen and paper if that's what you prefer. Today's lecture is on the Salem Witch Trials. The trials took place in 1692, in Salem, as the name suggests, in Massachusetts." She took a breath here.

"Now, bear with me, it will be a long lecture, so if you need to take a break from writing, try to do so in a manner that won't make you fall behind. Or if you do, you can check your notes with a classmate, or with me." She didn't think any of them couldn't write for the entirety of the lesson, but it could take time to get used to.

"Salem Village had a colourful history before the famous witch trials. It was not exactly known as a bastion of tranquility in New England. The residents were divided into two factions: those who wanted to separate from Salem Town, and those who did not. The residents who wanted to separate from Salem Town were farming families and those who wanted to remain a part of Salem Town were economically tied to its thriving, rich harbours. Many of the Salem Village farming families were strict Puritans, and believed that Salem Town's thriving economy made it too individualistic. This individualism was in opposition to the communal nature that Puritanism mandated. Thus, they were out of touch with the rest of Salem Village. One particularly large farming family who felt that Salem Town was out of touch with the rest of Salem Village was the Putnams." Octavia made sure she was speaking slowly and clearly enough for the students to keep up.

"The Putnams were the leaders of the separatist group primarily because they owned the most farmland in Salem Village. They hoped to solidify a separation from Salem Town by establishing a congregation unique from it. So in 1689, a congregation was formed under the Reverend Samuel Parris and began worshipping in the Salem Village Meetinghouse. The Reverend Samuel Parris was married and had a nine year old daughter, Betty, and a twelve year old niece, Abigail Williams, who was an orphan. He opposed the girls playing hide-and-seek, tag and other childhood games because he believed playing was a sign of idleness, and idleness allowed the Devil to work his mischief.

"Puritans believed that witchcraft was a sin because it denied God's superiority, and a crime because the witch could call up the Devil in his or her shape to perform cruel acts against others."
This didn't sit right with the woman, considering the wizarding world did exist. Muggles were simply scared of it because they couldn't handle something so big being real. But their fairytales had to come from somewhere.

"The trouble began when the two girls began to have fits, and the muggle doctor could find no evidence of any ailment. Unknown to Samuel Parris, Mary Sibley ordered his slave Tituba and her husband, John Indian, to bake a 'witch cake' in order to help the girls name their tormentors. A witch cake is composed of rye meal mixed with urine from the afflicted. It is then feed to a dog. The persons are considered bewitched if the dog displays similar symptoms as the afflicted. The girls soon spoke and accused Tituba, Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good.

"All three women were prime candidates for the accusations of witchcraft. Sarah Osborne was an elderly lady who had not gone to church in over a year, and poor church attendance was a Puritan sin. Sarah Good was a homeless woman who begged door to door. If people failed to give her alms, she would utter unknown words and leave. Residents would often attribute her visits to death of livestock. They believed the mumbled words she spoke under her breath were curses against them for not showing her charity. Since Tituba was Parris' slave and well known to Betty and Abigail, it is no surprise then that her name was the first to be called out by Betty. The negative reputations and low social standing shared by these three women made them believable suspects for witchcraft.

"The trials eventually resulted in the execution of these women and seventeen others. It is unknown whether any of the women accused were in fact witches. Later the same year, the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy was created by the governments of the wizarding world."
Octavia glanced at the clock to check how much time they had left. "I'm terribly sorry for the long lecture, but I hope you all took notes, because some of these facts may come up in the final exam. For your homework I'd like you to write an essay on anyone associated with the Salem Witch Trials. 'A History of Magic' is an excellent source. You can find this book in the Library. Thank you very much for your cooperation today; I'll see you next class."

Homework:

Full Marks: RP the lesson.
Extra Credit: Essay on anyone from the Salem Witch Trials. This essay should be at least 150 words long. I would like all work to have resources; I do not allow plagiarism and if I find someone who does, they will get an automatic T=0.​
 

Rhys Garner

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Rhys was fully prepared for another lecture as he sat down in his usual seat, pulling his things out on the desk in front of him so he could take as many notes as possible. He'd heard of the Salem Witch Trials, of course, but it was not really something that had ever been spoken about in much detail in his old history classes, so this was sure to be interesting. He kept his head down as the professor spoke, occasionally looking up in between writing his notes as he paid complete attention to what they were being told. There was no joke, it was a rather long and information-loaded lecture, but Rhys really didn't mind that. At the end of the lecture, he was feeling quite satisfied with his note-taking, scribbling down the essay they needed to do for homework before diligently packing up his things and leaving the classroom.
 

Elizabella Drake

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She had only recently started school and it was now October. It was incredible as time went on so fast. The first Halloween at school will be soon. She wasn't sure or would have a chance to go because she also couldn't decide what she really wanted to pull. It is possible that she will be dressed as Slytherin's house. At least she wanted to show Parker that the green tone suited her.


But now she had entered the third lecture on the history of magic. What made Bell more happy. She wasn't sure if the muggle world had heard of Salem's witches, and she wrote them down on her notebook with a feather shaft. She wanted to be a diligent student and she hoped she would. When leason was over she take her stuff and walked the library to study about Salem wich.
 

Ivelisse Burleigh

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Ivelisse knew they would probably get another long lecture today, taking out her quill and parchment as soon as she had taken a seat at the same desk she had taken on last week. She started writing along when the professor started lecturing them on the salem witch trials, already dreading how much she would likely be writing this lesson. There were some information she felt like she already know, bits and pieces in more detail than others, but there surely was also a lot that she knew she hadn't hear about before. Which was exactly why it was important she kept her focus and took good notes, sure this would all come back to haunt them during their exam at the end of the semester. She took a secon to rest her hand after the professor spoke of the putnams, quickly continuing on when she mentioned something about two girls having fits. Surely the couple of sentences she had missed she'd be able to figure out on her own or she'd have to read up on it by the end of the semester. At the end of the lesson Iva, and more importantly her writing hand, was glad to have the lecture over and done with, writing down the homework before leaving the classroom.
 

Eugene Nestor

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Eugene had always been to his old school’s halloween celebrations - well when he didn’t need to pay for it - and they were always fun but they were primary school, he was sure that this school would have amazing halloween celebrations. He didn’t have a costume, he never tended to, since they cost money and his clothes didn’t stretch that far to be able to do anything with them. The Hufflepuff was smiling as he was getting himself ready for the day, moving and humming as he went about his morning routine. He wasn’t quite singing but he was pretty close to it. He had always been a bit of a singer and hummer in those quiet moments, Eugene was sure his dormmates were pretty sick of his singing and his dancing but he was careful to keep at least the guitar practice out of the dorm room. He didn’t do it often there and he was happy to rarely disturb them with it. Eugene was excitedly grabbing his notes and books and slipping all of them into his bag, making sure he had grabbed all he would need and was then headed out of the dorm room to grab some food before heading to class.

Eugene walked happily into the history of magic classroom and took his usual spot in the room. His gaze moved to the professor at the front of the room. He was enjoying everything that they were learning currently, it was proving to be pretty good. There was lots he needed to know, and lots that was important for him to learn this early on. He took out his notes, parchment and quill and began writing down what the professor was saying about the witch trials, he’d heard about them but admittedly wouldn’t have been able to say one thing about them other than they were bad and people died. He listened and took the odd note, he was finding shorter notes where he tried to get all the info but didn’t have to write a lot were good for him. His hand writing still very much struggled. He got things down as the professor was saying them. Eventually the lecture came to an end and Eugene was able to pack up his things and leave the room.
 

Charlie Helkovaara

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Charlie had to admit he was starting to like the school. The semester was halfway over, but he was already starting to feel antsy. He missed his dad, terribly, and Charlie found himself thinking of the man often. He couldn’t wait for the school year to be over so that he could go home and see his old man. He felt like he was at least starting to make some friends here, though, and slowly he’d started gravitating towards his roommates when he could.

He sat down next to Eugene, Kohaku sleeping happily in his pockets. He took out his quill and parchment and slowly kept a few notes, trying to listen to the Professor. It was hard for him to keep up, but he did his best. Class ended soon enough, and Charlie had to worry he hadn't got it all. But he would try, at least, and that had to be worth something.
 

Kita Spencer

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Kita entered the History of Magic classroom. Her smile clear on her face even if she did not want to be there at all. She grew up learning about 'fun' history facts from her father. Now she had to sit an hour a day listening to more. It was clear to Kita that this was not her favourite subject, but she hoped the professor could not see through her fake excitement as she took her seat in the front of the room.

The whole lesson included a lecture on the Salem Witch Trials. This was something Kita already knew about. She did not want to continue to listen, however she jotted down a few notes as the professor lectured. Some of the facts were new, and gross. But Kita did not see why it was important to learn about this time period, especially from such a muggle perspective. Nodding along with the professor, her quill moving across the parchment and a forced interested look on her face, Kita could not wait for the lesson to be over. Luckily it finally came to an end. Kita slowly packed up her items, and left the classroom. What a waste of time.
 

Max Kiefer

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It was time for History of Magic again, which was quite possibly Max's most hated subject this semester. It was all just so incredibly boring, and he didn't see why he had to know about some random people in the past. As the Professor told them to take out their quills and parchment, Max groaned, already knowing this would be a long lecture. Instead of taking them out like the rest of the students, he crossed his arms over each other and lay his head down on them, preparing to go to sleep. Which he did. Within only a few seconds of the Professor beginning to talk, he had zoned out and was only woken up again by the sounds of the students packing their stuff away and the sound of chairs moving. He barely heard the Professor assign them homework, but it didn't bother him because he wouldn't have done it anyway. Glad to be done with the lesson, he left, wondering whether next lesson would be more interesting or if it would just be another boring lecture.
 

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