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THE MONROE ART COLLABORATIVE

The Monroe College Art Collaborative Club

There is No Peace–4th Place Fall 2017

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.

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The Help–3rd Place Fall 2017

 

3RD PLACE WRITING CONTEST FALL 2017
The Help
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.

 

What Does Community Service Mean to You?–2nd Place Fall 2017

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!

The Connotation of Community Service–1st Place Fall 2017

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.

References
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

Fall 2017 Writing Contest Winners

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

 

Congratulations students!

Fall Open Mic/Art Event Was a Hit!

Last night, Monday November 27th, we had a spectacular open mic with some very talented Monroe students! Michael Allen read excerpts from his story, “The Dried Up Dream”, Ricardo Gayle read a poem entitled, “Come one, Come All”, and Gabriel Abdul-Karim and Sharma Lewis sang beautiful songs.

 

studentstalking
Natasha Padilla and Gabriel Abdul-Karim talk before going up on stage.

 

paintingswithroses
Art-in-progress from the Art Therapy Club on display for students to see. The flowers will be painted and attached to the canvas.

 

abdulwithpaintings
Singer, song-writer, and artist Gabriel Abdul-Karim with four of his original works.

 

sharmalewis
Student Sharma Lewis sings an India Arie song.

Monroe Students Attend Play, “You For Me For You”

Last Friday night, Monroe students, along with Professor MacDonald and Professor Troshanoff, visited Sarah Lawrence College to see the highly acclaimed and controversial play, ” You For Me For You”.
The play is set in North and South Korea and it conveys important political issues during the regime, as well as, themes of political freedom, human rights and self- identity.

Annie’s Art Therapy–November 16th

This Wednesday, November 16th at 5pm on the New Rochelle Campus, the amazing Analyis Rodriguez led a group of enthusiastic students in making clay flowers. She then had them pick a canvas and begin to paint! We are so excited to start working with the materials under Annie’s guidance. Look out for the art they create–all art will be posted here and displayed at the Open Mic and Art Event on November 27th!

 

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Open Mic/Art Exhibition–November 27th!

Come to the Barnes and Noble on Campus on Monday, November 27th at 5:30pm!

The Monroe Art Collaborative Club

Join the Monroe Art Collaborative Club!

FALL WRITING CONTEST!

Take a look at the Fall Writing Contest!

Acting Workshop a Success!

By Professor Elizabeth Troshanoff

On Monday, October 16th, Monroe students joined Sarah Lawrence College for an Acting Workshop at Gaddy Atrium. The workshop included Myra Mc Phee and Giovanni Kavota, both graduate performing artists at Sarah Lawrence.

The students took part in various acting and theater performance games, including: concentration, pronunciation and diction, scene work and performance improvisation. Many of our Monroe students marveled at the similarities between presentation work and scene work and shared how helpful it was with their current classes. This is the second Sarah Lawrence workshop this year, as earlier in the year, another two performing artists came to join our school. Thanks to Dean Genese and Alina Nazari, it all went smoothly and we hope to continue our relationship with Sarah Lawrence and the performing arts!

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