Lens-Artist #118: Communication – Right from the Horse’s Mouth

Anne Leueen and Baisini the Horse host this week’s Lens-Artist Challenge #118. I’m super late getting in my entry, but when a horse encourages you to enter, you have to oblige even if you are tardy, right?

Manny, from California, and Justin Beaver, from Queensland, meet up again in Hawaii after years on the road and miles apart.

As a blogger, a photo blogger to be more exact, an insatiable drive impels us to communicate. We hope for someone, but definitely putting ourselves out there in the world.

Do you remember how hard communication was when you were in middle school? Yet having friends, sharing secrets, laughing, and listening is how we all learned to communicate. How sad we are that children can’t enjoy this intimate kind of communication without risk. Our schools are distance learning until further notice.

High School and clubs gave students further chances to learn to communicate. These FFA students, Edith and Rogelio, went to the National Competition with their FFA projects and came back to present at a Kiwanis meeting as if they had been making presentations for years. (Which they had been.) Aren’t they adorable?

While I don’t want anyone to get sick and die of COVID or anything else, I wish there was another way besides Zoom to insure that students would not have to miss out on these opportunities for the rest of this year. They can never make it up.

Learning new skills in communication doesn’t stop when we age. Our friend Jack Pizura decided he would learn how to paint after he turned 80. For a while he poured himself into communicating his ideals and what he loved through his art. He showed his paintings in a local restaurant and explained the meanings of some of them in case we missed the nuances. Yes, I had missed the hidden meanings on all of these, but I loved many of his paintings and enjoyed the evening.

These band students had a chance to play during a veteran’s program last year. Every time people assemble they communicate. They plan, they practice, they goof off, and make friends for life. All canceled this year.

In small schools students mingle frequently with the community often during programs. They are a community asset and it is their responsibility to perform and do their best.

The number of badges on this young man’s sash communicates that he has already taken many steps to become a leader. He prepares to lead the flag salute at the Woodlake Veteran’s Day program.

At our Kiwanis meetings, experts and professionals inform us about how their profession contributes to the well-being of our society. On this day the chief of the emergency room from Kaweah Delta Hospital and one of his staff members met with us at 6:30 am to tell us about care at our hospital. That communicated concern and going the extra mile (literally – Woodlake is 20 miles away from the nearest large town, Visalia, CA.)

I want to go out with a bang. Why is that? Because I am glad I live in the United States, in spite of the turmoil we have had, the COVID scare. We have come through so much.

"The bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there." -Francis Scott Key

We look to the skies for a sign. These fireworks give proof that we enjoy freedom for yet another day.

Tomorrow I will go back and enjoy others who joined in this week’s Lens Artists’ Challenge and I hope that you will do the same. Looking ahead to next week, Ann-Christine of Leya will lead the challenge, so be sure to visit her site on Saturday, October 17th at noon.

If I’m still slow next week too, my excuse is that I’m still in the moving process. We are counting down to November 14th. I packed one more room up and secured a moving van to move 20 years of accumulated stuff. Negotiating between companies took all day!!! I still don’t know for sure that I made the right choice, but I paid money, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

In case you have to move in the near future, you can check moving company’s reputations beyond YELP at the Department of Transportation website using the company’s DOT ID number. This was helpful communication because all I talked to were brokers and they all had nice things to communicate about their companies. Yelp did not always agree.

Don’t Forget

You have until next Monday to submit your Double Ennead for the Carrot Ranch Poetry Contest.

How Focus on Doing Something Well Leads to Success

Focus, Train, and Succeed

Kiwanis Club International focuses on “changing the world by serving children, one child and one community at a time.”Kiwanis focus on catering

Over the years Kiwanis Club of Woodlake has learned how to modify the world by focusing on doing something well. This active service club of around twenty members runs a tight serving ship. Kiwanis members have helped caterers for the public, service organizations, and private parties.

Kiwanis focus on cateringServing at weddings and events like the Awards Dinner involves much more energy and hands than the Kiwanians can provide. So they partner with their sponsored youth groups, Key and Builders’ Club, the high school, and middle school service clubs.  As a result, students work hand in hand with experts in the field. Each time the students serve, their organization earns money which goes towards scholarships.

Opportunities for Students to Succeed

Kiwanis focus on catering
Figuring out the logistics of the appetizer table

Through their combined expertise in serving, Kiwanis of Woodlake has developed awesome opportunities for individual and groups of students.

Students benefit in many ways.

Professional Training Provided

Kiwanis focus on catering
CEO of Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber, Armondo Apodaca, trains Key Club and Kiwanis members about formal etiquette.

This year about twenty students from 6th-12th grades attended a training session with a former restaurant manager, CEO of Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber, Armondo Apodaca. After instruction in table setting, students divided into groups to put their learning into practice. Each group served one portion of a five-course meal. When they were not serving, they engaged their table mates, which included adults in dinner conversation.

Kiwanis focus on catering
Each group had to set their table first.

After the training, the service club members had multiple opportunities to serve at various events. In a short time, these students established a name for themselves. Working tirelessly for as many hours as the adults, they provided polite and excellent service with a smile.

Each Event Is On-the-Job Training

Kiwanis focus on cateringFor the most part, the events at which Key and Builders’ Club students serve and the adults who supervise them are the community leaders. Besides earning community service hours, which they need to graduate, students learn essential skills that will guarantee their success as productive citizens.

  • Kiwanis focus on cateringMore than contributing to a general Kiwanis scholarship fund, each student learns a valuable trade, social management, problem-solving and communication skills advancing them far beyond their peers.
  • They have time to observe and learn how their friends work with deadlines. They act as a team. It is almost like a coeducational sports team.
  • They are busy. Because students are busy doing adult work, they have no time or inclination to get into trouble. Most of these students end up with hundreds of hours more community service work than they need for graduation.Kiwanis focus on catering
  • Adults rely on students’ problem-solving skills. When you provide service for caterers, all kinds of detail issues arise. Adults may not have the best answers. What happens when there are no water pitchers, or the food service providers are late? What happens when there are too many or few appetizers for the table space, or you can’t find them. The person who solves the problem is the hero for the minute.Kiwanis focus on catering
  •  Tight management is essential. Although there is an adult in charge of every event, students learn to manage each other as well. Given an overall task, the Key and Builders’ Club students subdivide so that no logistics fall through the cracks.
  • Politeness is essential. When one adult orders a student to do a task followed by a second command by a different adult, students are taught stop and explain to the second or third adult what they are doing and who gave the instruction and not to be confused and jump on every command.
  • Adults learn their names and the capabilities of each student. Many of these same adults make scholarship decisions, interview students to go to leadership conferences, or grade graduation portfolios.
  • Students have real work experience to add to their resumes for scholarships and employment.Kiwanis focus on catering
  • They develop relationships with influential people who can give them honest recommendations.
  • Many of the students in Woodlake come from farm labor families. They work very hard and see their parents and grandparents working long hours for minimum wages. Numerous other employment opportunities could open for Key and Builders’ Club students who work with professional and volunteer servers.Kiwanis focus on catering
  • Although few of these students will go into the catering business, many of them may work their way through college as servers. Most of them go to college. Their home backgrounds and work in providing service for caterers has prepared them for hard work, getting along with all kinds of people, solving real-world problems, and has earned money for the Kiwanis scholarships.
  • Most of all, serving at parties and events is fun for kids.

    Kiwanis catering focus
    Kiwanis serves events of all sizes.

    They are treated as adults as they work with peers they enjoy.

About Kiwanis

Although Kiwanis of Woodlake is part of the International Club serving children, it is unique. Woodlake’s Club participates in District, Regional, and National Campaigns, such as Miracle Mile of Quarters, Read Around the World, Key Leader, Special Olympics, and Bowl-a-Thon. Kiwanis puts on the Pancake Breakfast during Rodeo Week, sponsors a Run for Hunger to benefit the Woodlake Food Pantry, the July 3rd Blast to entertain the community as we all celebrate Independence Day, and many other single events.

I am proud to be a Kiwanis member. But I have a request. Kiwanis of Woodlake needs adult volunteers who want to serve the community as members. You are welcome to join our weekly meetings at 6:30 am at the Presbyterian Church on Naranjo. Three out of four weeks a month we invite a community member to speak to the group. If you are interested in joining, please fill out the contact form, and someone from the club will meet with you in person or over the phone to give you more information.