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Sound Bites - Issue #20 - April 2015


  Community Education's Premiere Online Magazine

This Month's Topics:


Michelle King, Director Community and Contract Ed Michelle King, Director
Career & Contract Ed.

Summer Session Early Bird Discount in May

I’m excited to unveil a great lineup of classes, workshops and tours we have for our upcoming Summer Session. As an added bonus, we are bringing back our Early Bird Discount – for the entire month of May, get 10% off on all Health & Fitness and Kids & Teens classes!

Online registration is available now, and the Summer Session begins June 22. In all, we are offering 120 courses, workshops and tours.

One of our most noticeable additions this summer is the increased number of day tours we’re offering – and some are downright unusual. For example, our Newport Harbor Champagne Brunch Cruise isn’t on just any boat, it’s on John Wayne’s yacht. And what better way to go to the elegant Del Mar racetrack than by train?

We’ll also be offering a Santa Barbara polo excursion, an L.A. bakery tour, and more. Our community asked for more tours, and we are happy to fulfill that request.

request catalog

Beyond tours, we are offering several new classes, including Cardio Salsa, Mat Pilates, T-shirt Up-cycle, Boosting Self-Esteem, and Basic Jewelry Technique—Earrings.

Our popular kid and teen camps are coming back (Game Design, Animation, Tech Builder’s App Design, and Chinese Bootcamp), as is our Adult Ballet and Samba Raggae.

This is just a small sample of the many enrichment and professional classes we will be offering this summer. Please download and  peruse our online catalog to see which courses, workshops and/or tours are right for you. You can also order a free hard copy of the class schedule.

Happy hunting!

Michelle King
Director of Career & Contract Education



Alice Meyering, Program Coordinator, Community and Contract Ed Alice Meyering,
Program Coordinator
Community & Contract Education

What's New: Insights from Our Latest Art Exhibit

A year ago, we cleaned out the dark, dust-filled display case in the lobby of the Bundy Building and turned it into a brightly lit mini-gallery for showcasing student artwork. I was happy then – as I am now – that SMC students and employees, as well as visitors to our building, are noticing how talented our art students are.

Twelve months later, we have installed our third exhibit, and I believe this display has messages beyond the visual stimulation provided by the pieces in the case. This time we added Artist’s Statements that provide insight as to why arts classes can be so meaningful.

Barbara Adler’s mosaic shoes Barbara Adler’s mosaic shoes

In her Artist’s Statement, Barbara Adler, who created amazing mosaic shoes, talks about what inspires her and how she begins with a sketch but then “the work meanders and takes on a life of its own.”

It struck me when reading this that she’s so intensely involved in the process that it actually relaxes her. I believe that doing any art form – visual, music, writing – is a form of therapy. In this day and age, when we’re so stressed out and bombarded by so many messages, an art form becomes even more important. At Community Ed, we want our community to find that missing part that will help them lead more wholesome lives. And it doesn’t matter your level of talent.


We’ve also included in this exhibit some Sumi-e paintings, which are Japanese ink drawings. The instructor of that class, Sherry Davis, notes that Sumi-e, with its absence of color, emphasizes line, shading and tone.

Sumi-e provides, for Westerners, a different way of perceiving art – and we at Community Ed are interested in presenting new perspectives. We also want to be more global and to reflect our community, which is likely the most diverse in the nation.

And so, I invite all of you to look at the wonderful pieces in our newest exhibit, but also read the artist’s statements and see that art can be more than just pretty pictures and objects.




Irwin Thall: Saving Pets’ Lives

Irwin Thall

Irwin Thall knows that our furry friends can be lifesavers – they love us unconditionally, they cheer us up, and studies have shown they can even lower our blood pressure and boost our physical health.

So it comes as no surprise that he wants to return the lifesaving favor – first by being trained in pet emergency care and then certified as an instructor in Pet Tech™ CPR, First Aid and Pet Care.

He will teach a 7-hour PetSaver Community Ed workshop on Saturday, May 30.

Thall graduated college with a teaching degree but soon started his own business and gradually moved into sales for 30 years.

“I did a lot of speaking over the years and realized that I still liked teaching, and with my owning pets and working as a pet care professional it was natural a year ago to become a Pet Tech instructor,” he says. “This gives me a chance to help pet parents and professionals learn what they can do for their pets in case of an emergency.”

Appropriately, with April being National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, we asked Thall a few questions.

What do you like about teaching?

Watching people learn something new or accomplish a skill gets me excited to continue sharing knowledge, particularly when it can help someone help a pet in an emergency, which is particularly important because there is no 911 for pets.

Tell us about pets you have had in the past and present.

Currently we have a dog and cat, and both are great companions. We have lost pets over the years but have been lucky to have most of them live long lives. Our experience with our own pets crosses over into my presentations and helps make the topics more real for the students.

PetSavers Class

Describe a time you helped a pet in distress.

Our neighbors came knocking on our door late at night to get help for their dog that was having a seizure. Because of my training, I was able to help them keep calm, relax their dog and get her to the pet emergency clinic. Seizures in pets, dogs mostly, are frightening and knowing how to handle the situation is something pet parents should learn.

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.

That I am a cancer survivor who continues to fight it and will succeed.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Some things can’t be told, but I did “streak” in college, for those of you who can remember when ”streaking” was a thing.

Why are pets important?

Pets love us unconditionally and are always glad when we come home, so even if we have a rotten day, seeing your furry kid can make everything right. It is well known that sitting and petting your pet, cat or dog, can lower blood pressure.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Sitting and reading book with a cat or dog curled up next to me.