The CLUW video offers the students a break from the 19th century, but also makes a link between some of the issues experienced by the women workers in Lowell and women workers today. This connection is highlighted by an in-class writing exercise before showing the video. Following a discussion of the readings, the students are asked to assume they are a woman worker in Lowell in 1834 and to write a letter to women workers of the future describing their present conditions, hopes, and fears for the future. Each letter is passed to another student who then answers the letter by describing working conditions today and what has changed as well as the role of the union in their lives. This letter writing exercise mimics the style of the mid-term questions. Since many of the students have been out of school for many years, the mid-term combines questions that ask the students to write in the first person about conditions of the past with traditional compare and contrast essay questions.