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MC Voices

Lately my heart has been warmed by messages like the following (this one from the Anacostia Playhouse – a really great theatre and music venue nearby in the District):

“A special message to the doctors, nurses, grocery clerks, delivery drivers, pharmacists, caregivers, first responders, and everyone else working in an essential business and sacrificing for all our safety: we say thank you. Words cannot express the debt of gratitude owed to you. We hope you can join us this next season…”

And then there are the TV commercials, which show the heroes of our day:  the medical staff, exhausted both mentally and physically yet somehow able to turn their attention to the next in an unending row of very sick patients; the police and firemen; the truck drivers; the food producers; the speakers of truth and compassion.

Who amongst us isn’t proud of Andrew Cuomo? Even if you aren’t a New Yorker like me (full disclosure:  I voted for his dad Mario for governor!) you have to love Andrew. A voice of reason. Of intelligence. Of humor even. He talked about his daughter’s boyfriend in a very human way, like any Dad would. Did you hear him describe making spaghetti and meatballs for Sunday dinner? Didn’t you wish you could be invited to that table to taste some of his tomato sauce? When he talked, it transported me back to my Italian grandparent’s table on a typical Sunday afternoon to enjoy a very similar meal. He made me feel like a little kid again, basking in the warmth and love of a communal family dinner. Thank you, Mario’s son. I really needed that.

On Friday, I braved the dangers and went to Whole Foods. I waited for 45 minutes before I could enter the store. Most of the people in the store were Amazon workers or shoppers from their booming delivery service. I saw one young man frantically loading the selected groceries, for someone he didn’t know, into his delivery car, and I said, “Thank you for shopping for someone who can’t get out for herself.” He looked at me as if I had given him a gift that would last all day.

But there is one huge group of people whom nobody thanks. That’s the 50 million schoolkids and the 15 million college age students who are struggling at home, trying to learn, lacking support, perhaps in an unstable or toxic environment, maybe hungry, certainly cut off from friends and normal activities. The Montgomery College students are part of that larger group. Nearly one-third of our nation is missing out on the education which they were fully committed to only 8 weeks ago. Please, let us thank the children and young adults of our great nation for trying! They see opportunities slipping away and an uphill climb for everyone. Their lives will be affected forever. We need to support them and to thank them for their essential role as citizens of our future. Thank you, students!


Arleen Seed

Hi! My name is Arleen Cannata Seed and I’m studying Fine Arts here at Montgomery College in Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Originally from New York City, I studied Art as an undergraduate years ago, but chose to spend my career in a totally different field, working for the United Nations and traveling all over the world bringing technological solutions to global problems.

Once I retired, I had the time and mental space to practice Art again, but I knew I had forgotten the fundamentals. So, I enrolled in 100 level courses in drawing, painting, and sculpture at MC. This was just the catalyst I needed! The professors at MC, in both the Community Arts and the regular credit courses, provided a course of study and opened my eyes to the different ways in which Art is taught in the 21st Century.

This blog is about my journey, my transition from working adult to pursuing an earlier dream, and I’m hoping this story resonates with young people thinking about their career choices and older people yearning to rekindle pursuits which have always interested them.

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