Artists share personal identity through performance

Amy Thompson reads a book called “Bee Makes Tea.” At the first Open Mic Night of the semester, students, faculty and staff shared stories, photos and art that related to their personal identity. Thompson, speech instructor, explained this story related to her personal identity by her family’s love of tea.

Laura Gillespie, Copy Editor

Students came together to share their personal stories of identity Wednesday night for the first official Open Mic Night of the year. The event was hosted by the Seward County Community College English department and the inclusivity committee as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Brianna Rich, a journalism major, was the first student to sign up and share some of her more personal photographs. The first image was of her younger brother Bradon. 

Megan Berg

“It was a funny story because I was taking pictures of people moving in and he just saw me with the camera and started posing. We never get him to do that so now my mom says I will always take his picture because he doesn’t smile for anyone else,” Rich said.

Rich’s next two images were of her boyfriend Abel Ochoa. The first picture was of him welding and the next was him holding a rosary against the setting sun. The third image of the rosary was Rich’s favorite picture she has ever taken. She claimed it was an accident.

“We had a photography assignment and we were just out in the road in front of my house. He [Abel Ochoa] had his rosary and I wanted him to wrap it around his hand. I didn’t think about doing the sunset and that is how it is accidentally but the sun was behind his hand. I had him move his hand in front of the sun so it would be more focused on his hand. I thought it made it a lot better,” said Rich. 

Dennis Le, Liberal alumni and student at SCCC, who shared his poem titled Noodles which is inspired by his Vietnamese heritage. Le has never taken part in an Open Mic Night before but wanted to share something about Vietnamese-Americans. Le wrote this poem for two reasons. 

Megan Berg

“I love noodles and it’s just my defining trait – it’s one of the things everyone associates when it comes to just talking about Asian people,” he said. “The second is two years ago I wrote this poem for my creative writing class and I thought about the thing that made me comfortable the most and throughout my life noodles have been there through my worst and best of times.” 

Megan Berg, a business major, nervously walked up to the podium after Le to share a more personal piece named I Am Not Me. Berg wrote this piece for her creative writing class last year. Berg wrote about the aftermath of sexual assault, depression, self-doubt and toxic relationships.   

One of the most impactful lines to Berg was “Of the sleepless nights crying because I am not wanted, worth it, loved.” This line has such an impact on her because of her history of battling depression through sleepless nights of crying and feelings of not being worthy of love.

“There have been countless nights especially when I was in high school. Where I was deadbeat exhausted and I was crying myself to sleep because of my depressive thoughts and all these feelings I had. That’s probably the most impactful line to me,” said Berg. 

Other students shared bodies of work that inspired them and their identity. 

Jonas Mathiasen, an international student from Denmark, shared a passage from a Danish book called Elite Training

“First, I will read a little part in Danish just because I think it will be fun for you [the audience] to hear. You won’t understand anything, but I will tell you afterward what it is about,” said Mathiasen.

The passage Mathiasen shared was about recruiting individuals for the military. Individuals that are seeking something better for the people they are helping. Relating this to his life because of the elite training he faces in tennis and the fact his father is a military man. 

Noah Burton, a tennis player from England, presented a passage from The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien. Having read the entire series of the Lord of the Rings as a young child with his grandpa has left an everlasting impression.

To see individual performances of students, go to the CrusaderNewsVideo channel on YouTube.