Celebrating unique talents


November 24 is a day specially set aside to celebrate any talents or skills that are uniquely yours. Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day is a great opportunity to share your unique gifts with family and friends.

Senior Michaela Harris, senior Allyssa Burdine and paraprofessional Jonas Tuck are three of many people here at Ben Davis who have unique talents.

Harris started knitting scarves about a month ago, and even though she still considers herself a beginner, she likes the challenge of learning this unique talent.

“I saw how pretty different scarves were and I like keeping myself busy, so I decided to teach myself how to knit,” Harris said. “I like the outcome that I get and I like the challenge of trying different stitches and seeing how they work out for myself.”

Burdine’s unique talent is making personalized cupcakes. She started when she was about ten, but she went professionally about two years ago. She is currently the President of the Creative Cooking Club. Her favorite part is decorating her cupcakes and then seeing the smile they put on people’s faces.

“I became interested in making cupcakes mostly because I love watching the television show Cupcake Wars,” Burdine said. “From making cupcakes, I have learned that patience and practice work best when trying to accomplish something new.”

Tuck’s unique talent of making hip-hop music started back in the late 1980s when he was inspired by his brother’s group called DJ Rell and the Lyrical Composer. He gravitated towards beat/song production and eventually made an album in the late 1990s with his group called Wide. Open. Spaces.

Tuck’s unique talent has benefited him in numerous ways, including forging lasting friendships and exposing him to all sorts of new and interesting places.

Tuck has met all kinds of talented artists over the years, including Chuck D. and Flavor Flav from Public Enemy. His favorite memory was meeting DJ Quik, who listened to his demo and gave him some useful tips when he was a sophomore in high school.

Because of music, Tuck went to audio engineering school and learned about audio recording and live sound. It eventually led to him doing music video recording and editing for his group.

Tuck hopes to write, produce and record a song featuring some of the students in Life Skills classes for National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March. He believes that this would be great to showcase our students’ fun and creative sides.

“I didn’t know much about making hip-hop music back in the eighties. I just knew it sounded fresh and different, and I had to be a part of it,” Tuck said. “I’m able to create something that’s never existed before and something other people can enjoy. It’s also given me a positive way of expressing myself or getting things off of my chest at times.”

Burdine and Tuck both encourage anyone who wants to discover or try out a new talent or hobby. Even though taking up a new talent or hobby takes a lot of hard work and devotion, it definitely pays off with the feeling of success in the end.

“Never give up on something new,” Burdine said. “Keep trying until you succeed.”

“I encourage anyone who’s passionate about a career in music to keep at it,” Tuck said, “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to see it through, but as long as you believe in yourself and enjoy what you’re doing, it can be attainable.  Make up a business plan for yourself and stick to it.”

During this year’s Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day, take the time to show off and share your special skills. Who knows- you might even inspire someone to try out a new talent.