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By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Wednesday, April 12, Dover-Sherborn High School held its first Seminar Day in eight years. Throughout the day, students had the opportunity to hear over 50 different speakers touching on almost every subject imaginable.
“The idea is just basically to give the kids an opportunity to attend workshop seminars about things they don’t cover in class that are interesting,” explained Rebecca Vizulis, the event’s coordinator. “They might be inspirational, might just be fun.” Topics included sports journalism, careers in high tech, a day in the life of the Peace Corps, being Muslim in America, and many more.
They keynote speaker was Boston Marathon bombing survivor, Adrianne Haslet-Davis. “It was really special,” remarked Vizulis. “The kids were just so inspired.” After Haslet-Davis’ talk, the kids dispersed throughout the school to attend the seminars for which they had signed up.
This year, the school was able to set up sign-ups through the kid’s phones, making the process much easier for everyone involved. “We did a lot of global topics this year - we had the Arab world represented, we had Russian/China speakers, we had people from the Peace Corps in Africa,” Vizulis said.
One of the more unique international speakers was Karim Nagi, who gave a talk called “Arab Musical Journey.” He presented a variety of different instruments, including what the Western world would call a tambourine, and then explained that at one of the many music conservatories in the Middle East, one can obtain a PhD just in the tambourine. “You have to convince your parents,” Nagi joked. “And then you show them that this is a fabulous instrument, not just for having fun, but also a classical musical instrument. And the reason for this is that when you play, all of the fingers are holding it, and you play in a very small area.”
An extremely popular speaker was Greg Bedard, whose talk, “Sports Journalism in the 21st Century,” drew sports fans and writers alike. Having written for the Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated, CBS sports, and others, Bedard’s expertise offered some unique insight into the field. “I brought something unique. It got to the point where people were like, ‘I need to read Greg Bedard because he views the game differently.’ It’s something you can’t get that anywhere else. That’s the way you make yourself known,” he explained. He also gave some of his own personal insight into the most recent Super Bowl game, something the students were exceptionally interested in hearing.
The event was made available due to a grant from the DCFS. Speakers included parents, Dover-Sherborn High School alumni, and local experts in their respective fields.
Vizulis explained that the students were so excited, they didn’t understand why the event couldn’t happen every year.
While perhaps not an annual event, the enthusiasm and widespread interest could lead to something perhaps every four years.