dukeengageseattle2012

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The End is Nigh and Beautiful Beginnings

With a week left to go in Seattle and at Cherry Street, it’s been both a time of closure and new beginnings.  Yesterday, we had a small gathering over food to celebrate Justin’s (resident parkour expert and American ninja warrior) new job in IT.  Today, we’ll be wishing Don (from donor relations) a fond farewell as he begins the next chapter of his life in Portland.  At the same time, Laura is settling into her work as the new Partner Programs coordinator and I’ve settled into my editing work (I should be able to finish 5 videos so look out for those!).

Although cumbersome at times, I’ve really enjoyed going back to the videos and stills and creating cohesive end products.  Memory can be a fickle friend, and I’ll be the first to admit that I have a difficult time retaining many things—something which frustrates me to no ends.  The editing process has been really valuable in helping me recapture some of the insights I thought I’d lost.  Repetition and immersion into people’s phrases, thoughts, and ideas have made these passions and dreams into my own reality.  So without further ado, here’s the first best practice video I’ve completed! :

In terms of a brief summary, Yvonne speaks about how she advocated against the farm bill, and then offers us advice so we can become more engaged as well.  She discusses some of the challenges she faced, chief among them privacy, but she ultimately expresses that the time she spent with her clients, the time spent drafting her letter to senators, were valuable on so many levels.  The video is shaky throughout, so I’m sorry for that! (you’d think editing software would be more friendly?).  Nevertheless, there’s a lot of great content and I think we can all learn a lot from Yvonne.  It’s interesting that I’ve kept going back to her video and thoughts a lot during the course of my blogging experience; yet, it’s not very surprising.  Hers was the first video I shot, the first questions I drafted, the first bit of pre-interview agony and excitement I experienced, and now the first video I finished editing.  The first, whatever it may be, is always a formative experience that directs and powerfully defines the direction someone goes in, the mindset which someone carries into the activity or action at hand.  I’ve been quick to respond to feedback and I do change a few things each go-around, but having a consistency (in terms of questions, in terms of angles, etc) has been really helpful over the past seven weeks.

Honestly, I’ve had a very enlightening experience.  I’ve learned that being an advocate for change doesn’t require a hundred hours each week; a few focused hours are just as effective.  I’ve become exposed to unique shopping systems, and come to realize that “limitations” (i.e. food bank size, serving a diverse clientele) are barriers we construct out of our fear of failure, our fear to be bold.

Dale Chihuly, glass sculptor extraordinaire, dared to be different and through passion and persistence has created some of the most stunning sculptures in the world—even after his glass blowing days came to end.  We all have master pieces in us, so here’s to our own grand beginnings.

Dale Chihuly:  Through the Looking Glass

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This entry was posted on August 3, 2012 by .
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