The Winter 2018 Open Mic had many talented performers. Take a look at the photos below, and we’ll see you at the next one!
The Winter 2018 Open Mic had many talented performers. Take a look at the photos below, and we’ll see you at the next one!
Please come to the Open Mic at the Barnes & Noble on the New Rochelle Campus!
By Thapelo Makofane
They killed him with their words
I kept quiet.
They buried him with their chortles
I kept quiet.
His eye full of rage hoping it
Will all come to an end.
I couldn’t move nor speak.
I didn’t try to,
It’s not my worry.
His eyes full of dysphoria wishing
I would say something.
But I didn’t.
My face down, eyes down.
All I could wish for was to disappear.
They killed him with their laughs.
I could have done something.
But I didn’t.
Thapelo Makofane is a Criminal Justice major at Monroe College.
By Anne Lebrun
You never think it can happen to you
The winds of life hit you from the left
Then from the right
You just pray day and night you see it through.
The test you take
The food you make
and the air you breathe
Feels still and fake.
They say to try your best
But all you do is
Stress, stress, stress.
Just praying to God your heart won’t break.
The anxiety and doubt
Fills you up like water
And turns you blue.
But you just pray
Day and night
That you see it through.
All the things you say you can’t do
Just pray to God you see it through.
What you need
Is to see it coming
See it coming from near and far.
See it coming no matter where you are.
See it coming day and night.
See it coming when you feel like there’s no light.
See it coming in the air.
See it coming everywhere.
See it coming in your hear for the truth.
Just pray to God you see it through
Follow the word and your heart
Through the storm
In the end it is what keeps you warm.
When you thought it could never happen to you
Just thank God you prayed day and night to see it through.
Anne Lebrun is a Criminal Justice major on the New Rochelle campus of Monroe College.
By Christie Jean
In 2010, my family and I had hoped that we would have a beautiful year. The last one was not really enjoyable because of so many hurricanes and the economic crisis in Haiti. On this day I had a sensation. It wasn’t a great feeling and I called it the “bizarre day” because I was not ready for this unexpected moment. Later at school, I was sitting on a bench and I heard something that I couldn’t explain. I tried to make sense of that particular noise. At first, I thought that it was the beginning of a second war around the world, and that it was a horrible helicopter above me. Finally, when the earth had shaken me like a drum in the sky, I got scared and started to call the powerful name of God because the people were gone, wanting to save themselves. I concluded that it was the end of world. I might have done something bad that God had come to discuss with me face to face.
Rapidly, I took out my spiritual gun, asked God for his forgiveness, and walked away to see if it was a dream or if my imagination was in the air like a spy on another planet. During my reflection, I felt a hand on my shoulder. My aunt tried to explain the situation to me, but when we arrived in front of the principal’s door, what I saw was terrible. Many people were covered in blood and crying. Their faces, their bodies, their souls were not in the same place. In my mind, I had the impression this was desperation because they had lost their families, their friends, parts of their bodies. The population was crying, asking for help. My country had been hurt, my flag was crying red because it couldn’t do anything for his children waiting to be saved. The ancestors were mad and they probably died many years ago, but they wanted to do something for their sons. My white house was included among the other houses that collapsed in the earthquake. In addition, evil and the angels were in the area, and death also was looking for people to take and some of them went to the invisible world, according to mysticism.
Two days later, we received a visit from my neighbors. They couldn’t find their daughter, Nae. They were filled with sorrow. Their faces showed us how parents can be devastated by losing a child. With only a pair of sandals and dirty clothes, the mother was asking us to give her her daughter, and the father with his bandaged arm was trying to stay strong. Personally, I can tell that in every country we find the bad side; the side we want everybody to talk or argue about. On this day, the solidarity was unbelievable. We assisted Nae’s parents as we could, even though we didn’t have enough water or food. As a family, we shared what we had. We gave them a place to stay with the access to a shower. We were divided into groups: one group with Nae’s parents with the objective to find her, the second consisted of old people with disabilities and those who could act as nurses, and the third were volunteers for search and rescue missions.
We spent the whole day but we didn’t find her. During the night, we heard someone screaming in the neighborhood. Everybody was ready to go and see what the problem was, since we were living as a small community because some of us had lost our houses and didn’t know where to go. When we arrived, a circle had been formed by the small community. Someone was inside the circle moving as a snake until the spirit of Nae came and asked for some help. Before Nae started, she told us that she had a few minutes to talk and that we would need a mystic person to find her if they had been interrupted.
Nae said that she was fine and everything was ok, but she wouldn’t be able to come back until her faith and her family had grown. She asked everybody to pray for her. This was the only way she can find her freedom. If not, she would have to stay where she was and take a different form every day and her parents wouldn’t be able to talk to her as a daughter but as a stranger. Sometimes she might also be a dog or anything because she lives with the Devil, and that way she will work to continue to go to school and more.
When she was about to go, the principal drum for the community was played by an invisible hand and everybody who believes in spirit was dancing. Their bodies were on fire, their eyes had a mysterious light, and their feet danced with the rhythm of this instrument of happiness for more than one person. Suddenly, the old tree fell down and all of the people who were dancing had been kidnapped by the root of evil. Immediately, the mystic called Nae with power and asked her where she came from. She said, “I am coming through the storm.”
Christie Jean is a 1st year Business Management student on Monroe’s New Rochelle campus.
Right before the break, Annie and her talented student artists finished their flower paintings. Please take a look at the three displayed below, and stay tuned for more meetings!
On Thursday, November 30th, Annie and her group of budding artists continued with their rose paintings.
4th PLACE WRITING CONTEST FALL 2017
There is No Peace
By Thapelo Makofane
My home. My mother land Africa
There was no peace
The love and hate I received
Shaped the future me which
I still fear to meet.
The different colors on our faces
killed our humanity.
I found no peace at home.
Lands of gold and silver far away
from my mother land presented no peace.
I cut my hair. it grew back.
Still there was no change.
I made a deal with the devil,
that would be crucified in shame.
Because he knew peace.
From the young to the oblivion we know no
Peace. It died and we buried it with
guns because we were afraid
to understand the different colors on
our faces. All is gone and what’s left is peace
in the graveyards.
3RD PLACE WRITING CONTEST FALL 2017
By Chantel Bunting
A helping hand that stretches both far and near,
The act of giving of thyself a few times a year,
Being a blessing to the helpless, the ones in need,
Making a difference, rendering countless good deeds.
There was a man crippled by pain, yet he wore a smile,
Each morning I stopped, and we spoke for a while,
If not a monetary contribution, I would lend a hand,
Putting aside my pride for the love of a fellow man.
Willingly giving up my seat on the bus to an elder,
It is helping someone despite their race or gender,
Seeing the community as an extension of my family in need,
Serving with an open mind, letting compassion intercede.
Volunteering has made me step outside of my comfort zone,
To assist my fellow brothers and sisters to stand on their own,
Offering to the community a heart that listens and ears that care,
Restoring hope amongst the people and removing unwanted fear.
WRITING CONTEST 2ND PLACE FALL 2017
What Does Community Service Mean to You?
By Jeanie Farris
Community service as defined by wisegeek.org is anything you do that benefits your community. Good examples of community service would include: tutoring children, building homes in low income areas, assisting the elderly, helping out at your local shelter, or even cleaning up your community area. Some persons see community service as punishment, being that many judges turn to this alternative instead of giving a small time offender imprisonment. However, the way I see it, Community service should be seen as nothing less than absolutely wonderful. I’m under the impression that anytime we engage in any of those activities above, we are truly being good Samaritans. We are spreading the necessary love to keep this world from becoming a bad place, and enlightening the lives of persons who we are able to help.
I’m from an archipelago in the Caribbean known as The Bahamas. While many persons see my country as this very nice vacation get away, while it is, it is extremely different for its residents. Much like many countries across the globe, The Bahamas is a struggling nation that suffers from hurricanes. You see so much poverty in some areas because of hurricanes that hit, and the occupants are left suffering with a bunch of extra expenses. A lot of the younger Bahamians who still have a chance try to do their best in school to make better lives for themselves elsewhere. In contrast, I wanted to do well in school so I could at some point go back to my country and make it a better place. I want to be a part of the cause and not add to the withstanding problem.
I do not come from a rich nor poor family. My parents worked all their life to take really good care of my siblings and I. We attend Our Lady’s Catholic Church and we do most of our volunteer work at the church and in the surrounding community. We have an event every month that is similar to a soup kitchen except the incoming persons are given plates of hot food. We call it Damien banquet which is named after Saint Damien of Molokai who devoted his life to missionary work and volunteerism. Persons in the church are asked to donate whenever they can, but my family and I put the expense into our annual budget so we can donate every month. It warms my heart when I see the persons that come in enjoy a nice hot meal.
The Bahamas also has a lot of shelters, mainly for children. There are children in there that lost their parents, were abused or were just left in the hospital as babies. When I was younger I would always get nice clothing and toys for birthdays and Christmas. If I got clothes that I didn’t like I would send them to the shelters. Not to be ungrateful but if I didn’t like something I wouldn’t use it or wear it. Instead of it “catching dust” in my closet I would give it to someone who could put it to good use. One time I sent a large bag of toys and got a letter back. I was in tears as I read what the child had written. One of the things in the letter that I read that was most memorable was when the child wrote you shared your toys with me so I’ll share my story with you. I was able to visit and hang out with her for one day and it made me feel really good about myself. It gives you a greater appreciation for what you have and what you’re able to share with those in need.
In high school I was a part of the Good Samaritans club and what we did was go to various non-profit organizations and do whatever we could to help. For example at the Humane Society which is the animal shelter, we cleaned cages, and helped to groom the animals. It was so much fun! One time we did a huge beach clean-up along Montagu Beach. After we were done we went swimming, played on the park and soaked up some sun. This goes to show how rewarding it can be to participate in community service and volunteer work. I admire the many people who dedicate their lives to volunteering and nonprofit organizations. Many college students are motivated to volunteer because it’s an important box to check on the college application. This is something I wish I could do more of right now. Volunteering gave me memories I know will last a lifetime and the satisfaction of checking off the box on my own personal resume under Small Acts of Kindness. This is what community service means to me!
WRITING CONTEST WINNER FALL 2017
The Connotation of Community Service
By Nathalie Waldschmidt
Community service, as an institution, was formally established around 1914 (Chacin, 2015). While the denotation of community service has been consistent—helping others who are in need, the connotation of community service has transformed significantly. And not in a good way. Today, community service is widely viewed as a requirement; something that we have to do for a day to make us better human beings. Doing community service is more like a chore to enhance a resume or fulfill a course requirement, and too often, an offender is required to do it instead of going to prison. This shouldn’t be the case. I personally believe people should view community service as enhancing someone else’s life. After all, it should be a selfless act.
As part of the Honors Program at Monroe, I have been very active in several service events over the past three years. I cleaned the streets and parks of New Rochelle, danced with seniors, and dressed up as a witch for a Halloween party. All of these experiences have, without a doubt, shown me how important it is to give back to the communities we live in. But one recent experience made me rethink the term community service completely.
As part of the Honors Program Community Weekend 2017, I went to a charity in the Bronx to spend some time with children who are not able to live at their homes anymore due to family matters. I was told that some of these emotionally traumatized children had been placed in witness protection programs because their home environments were not safe enough; some parents were unable to care for them or they were sentenced to jail time. Unsafe and even violent home environments were the norm for some of these children.
I already had the privilege of running a very active field day at the same institution in 2016, and I was excited to go back this year. But I didn’t realize how different it would be. Instead of running around for two hours, we got to sit down with a group of girls, do crafts, and hear their stories. And this was the point where it became more than just community service. This is where my understanding changed, and I felt that I would never want to use that terminology again when spending time with children.
When asking them what they usually do on the weekends, one ten-year-old girl, Maria, told us that volunteer groups usually come in and play with them. Almost every single weekend. She has come to the understanding that people spend time with her because they have to do it as part of their requirements at school, as parts of their jobs, or because they feel they have to give back to the community. She said it with such sadness on her face. Her tone conveyed the disappointment that people were coming because they had to and not because they wanted to. This made me reconsider my purpose immediately. I even wanted to take off my shirt, which said “Community Service Weekend 2017” in big letters on the back. Because why should I tout doing good for others like it’s something special?
Maria made me realize that community service does not always have to be labeled community service. She has shown me that while people’s intentions might be to help others, she simply views the activity as people coming in to play with her because they had to. Therefore, the true value and meaning of community service has clearly gotten lost, and we should consider that this approach might create more damage than help when a young girl sees the world like that.
While there is no doubt that community service has become an important part of helping the community, school requirements and job applications have made it harder to recognize these good deeds. People should realize that going out into the community is so much more than just doing service. It means impacting another person’s life. Bringing a smile on someone’s face. Distracting people from their everyday problems. These are the merits of doing community service, not making a good impression on a resume. What really matters is the intention to help others and make their lives a little better for a bit. Maria has shown me that I never want to refer to community service as community service again. Because it isn’t work for me. I enjoy spending time with other people and bringing smiles to their faces. It is all about improving their days, and not about whether it makes me a better human being.
Chacin, N. (2015, September 18). A history of volunteering: Call to community service. Retrieved from http://business360.fortefoundation.org/2281/a-history-of-volunteering call-to-community-service
The winners have been picked! This semester we asked students to write about compassion. We had some excellent entries! Below are the top four:
1.) The Connotation of Community Service by Nathalie Waldschmidt
2.) What Does Community Service Mean to You? by Jeanie Farris
3.) The Help by Chantel Bunting
4.) There is No Peace by Thapelo Makophane