Highlights From Black History Celebration

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Four Lessons We Can Learn From Dasha Kelly

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On Wednesday morning, some lucky DASH students were offered the opportunity to attend a workshop and poetry reading by Milwaukee-based poet Dasha Kelly. As students and as artists, we are sponges for the kind of inspiration that Ms. Kelly brings to us. The following is a list of lessons that we can take from Kelly’s words.

1.) You never know what will inspire you. Kelly self identifies first-and-foremost as a lover of fiction. Her relationship with writing began with spinning tales on her mother’s typewriter, though she admitted to having an aversion to poetry in high school. It was only into her adult life, when she first heard the honesty of slam poetry, that she saw its potential as a medium. Suddenly, the poetry form forced her to condense an enormous story into only the most important words and sounds. The message? That as artists, we may believe we know where we are headed, but the possibilities remain perpetually open before us.

2.) You can make a living out of this. One comment of Kelly’s that hit home is that she had been told that one does not make a living off writing. Despite that, today she travels as a keynote speaker, works with musicians to create poetry, publishes novels, and works with the arts outreach program she founded. This is hardly the life of a starving poet. Rather, we should take from Kelly in her ambition to not only create her art, but to find new ways to incorporate it into people’s lives.

3.) It’s not just me. Between sharing her musical, lovely, captivating poems with us, Kelly spoke candidly and asked how many of us were “people watchers”. Upon seeing a room full of hands raised, she said, “I love that moment when you realize that other people do something. You think to yourself, ‘it’s not just me.'” This lesson of the relatability of art and its power to bring people together is one of great importance. Whether your art is about finding connections or breaking them, it is always wise to be aware of its potential to bridge ideas between people.

4.) Be a genre-bender. Dasha Kelly is not merely a poet. She worked with a symphony orchestra to produce a poem in conjunction to a musical score, among other collaborations. In her novels, she mixes short stories with her poetry. Not to mention her influences, which range from an apology for watching too much TV, to the experience of sitting next to someone on a plane, to love. Dasha Kelly reminds us that our art is an extension of our person, and there is no reason to limit that to a narrow band of our lives.

Missed her at DASH? Want to see her again? Dasha Kelly will be performing at the Coral Gables Books&Books on February 28 at 8:00 pm.

Service Spotlight: Silvia Galdamez

DASH junior Silvia Galdamez is organizing her fellow students to support a group traveling to Quito, Ecuador for a Global Mission Trip. The group hopes to provide an engaging week-long educational program for the children in a school there, but they need supplies to make their vision a reality.

For that reason, Silvia will be giving four hours of community service to each student who brings a supply packet filled with the items of one of the numbers below. To help out, simply bring your donation to Mr. Shanoskie’s room, leave it in the drop-off box, and sign your name so that Silvia can deliver your community service certificate to you. Help make education a priority in the lives others, and donate today!

#1
3 pom poms
2 bags of pipe cleaners
2 bags of googly eyes
5 boxes of crayons

#2
3 packets of construction paper
2 packets of glue (white glue)
4 pairs of safety scissors
1 box of popsicle sticks (min 50)

#3
3 ( 10 per set) of markers
3 packets of construction paper
5 boxes of crayons
1 box of rubberbands

#4
1 box of popsicle sticks (min 50)
2 bags of googly eyes
3 bags of pom poms
Tie dye bottle pack (1)

#5
3 bags of beads
3 bags of bracelet string
3 different colors of duct tape (happy colors)
2 packs of sharpies

#6
4 bags of pipe cleaners
3 bags of beads
4 balls of yarn
Tie dye bottle pack (1)

#7
3 sets of paper plates (min 25 plates)
2 bags of feathers
4 different colored balls of yarn
2 packets of sharpies

#8
3 different (happy) colors of duct tape
3 bags of bracelet string
5 boxes of crayons
2 packets of sharpies

#9
2 packets of glue (white glue)
2 bags of googly eyes
3 bags of pom poms
1 box of rubberbands

#10
2 packets of glue (white glue)
1 box of popsicle (50 min)
3 packets of construction paper
5 boxes of crayons

Service Series: Miami Children’s Hospital

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A student’s perspective on volunteering at Miami Children’s Hospital by Doga Tekin.

What you do: There’s a huge variety of volunteering opportunities at Miami Children’s, but I’ve mainly been part of the Hospitality Cart, so I’ll explain what we do there. Every day the Hospitality Cart is carried out to the units in the hospital twice by volunteers; once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Once we get to our station, we set up the cart with the goods prepared by the cafeteria, necessary utensils, coffee and hot water. We take the cart around the hospital to serve the complimentary food items and drinks to patient families who aren’t able to leave the patients’ rooms to get food. After we run out of food and drinks, we empty the cart and clean everything up.

Where: Volunteers mainly work at the main campus of Miami Children’s Hospital, but it is possible to volunteer at other off-campus locations. Generally, off-campus locations only have two or three specific areas of service.

How often: Generally, high school volunteers will volunteer once a week for at least three hours. However, as long as you have time in your schedule, you can volunteer multiple days as well. Also, you are allowed to miss up to two days every three months unless you have a valid excuse to miss more. If your absent too often, you be asked to leave.

Fun Rating: Volunteering at Miami Children’s is a lot of fun. In the Hospitality Cart, you work with a group of 4 to 6 people, which enables you to learn cooperation skills, and have an excuse to make new friends. Although during afternoon shifts most of the volunteers are high school students, every now and then an unexpected adult is added to the group, which is nice because how often does one get to work with an adult who isn’t their boss or supervisor? Another great aspect is the happiness the cart brings to families. Very often the parents mention that they had been waiting for us and their faces light up when they see us. It’s also a great way to get your hours done since it becomes part of your schedule and the hours accumulate without realizing. Volunteers also get a $7 meal card at the end of their shift, which you can use to buy anything from the cafeteria.

Service Series: Adrienne Arsht Center

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In the second installment of this series, we talk about volunteering at the Adrienne Arsht Center. If you have ever been to a performance there, you may have noticed the army of ushers helping guests around the performance hall and to their seats. Did you know that all these people in green vests are volunteers? You could be one of them!

What you do: The main job for volunteers is ushering people to their seats, helping people to restrooms during intermission, and making sure there is no cellphone use during the show. For this you will need to attend a preliminary orientation so that you will learn the way the seats are numbered, how to properly hand out a program, etc…

Where: Performances take place both at the concert hall and the ballet opera house. Both of these are in Downtown Miami, accessible through public transportation, and not too far from DASH.

How often: There are shows almost every day of the week. At the beginning of each season you are able to reserve a spot for the shows you would like to work, which makes the schedule very flexible.

Fun Rating: The volunteer staff is primarily of the elderly persuasion, but that doesn’t make the work any less fun. Even if you aren’t into bonding with seniors, getting to watch the shows is a huge perk. Mind you, it is impossible to see an entire show in one volunteer session, but you can work a certain performance for two or three days running and eventually see the entire thing. Not to mention the fact that volunteers get free a set of free tickets once they hit seventy hours. If you have any interest in Broadway, jazz, theater or opera, this is the volunteer job for you.