Sound Bites - Issue 14 - October 2014

 
 


This Month's Topics:

 

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

New School Year, New Plans!

Managers play a key role in the success or failure of any organization – and unfortunately too many managers fall short in their positions. But SMC Community Ed is seeking to help change that with a new Leadership Training Certificate program, to be launched next spring.

Every year, thousands are hired for or promoted into management and most often the results are less than positive. Many have minimal or no training.

Our program will offer two separate certificate tracks, one for new managers and another for the more experienced manager who is seeking to advance his or her skills to increase productivity.

Each certificate program will include six separate learning modules that will be completed in six weeks. Courses will include team development, dealing with difficult people, and mastering the art of conflict management.

I’m excited about this program because it is yet another step in the college’s commitment to workforce and economic development.

For more information, call (310) 434-3400 or email us at commed@smc.edu.

Our sincerest wishes for a professionally successful school year!

Warm regards,

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:  Candy’s Bridge Club

I will profess I am not a big fan of any games: board games, card games, Mahjong, you name it and I have little interest in any of them. However, that is not to say that I am oblivious to their appeal – the thrill of the chase and heat of the moment, that kind of thing. After all, I did play Mahjong all night once on a trip when I was in college and won, and my father used to teach us to play 21 after dinner because no one wanted to finish the leftovers (long story, but suffice to say you do not want to be on the losing end of that stick.)  Nevertheless, it still surprises me just how passionate people are about playing cards, especially bridge, in this day and age

I observed Candy Scott’s Intermediate Bridge class in the Spring Session and was deeply affected by the camaraderie exhibited in that room; it reminded me so much of the ease of social life enjoyed in a bygone era, when people just sat down, played a game, and talked about everything under the sun. They were content to be in each other’s presence, all without the assistance of a smart phone. I felt like I had slipped through the rabbit hole and entered into an entirely different world, and I was oddly enchanted.

As I talked to the ladies about the class, the unanimous request of that day was that they want to play more. They wanted to know if I would consider creating something for them so they can play this beloved game here at the Bundy campus. After discussing at length with Candy Scott, the instructor, I realized that devoted bridge players are facing a dwindling number of venues for their passionate pastime.

beginning bridge

Candy’s Bridge Club was thus born – a supervised play for these ardent players. On the day I visited the class, it amazed me how one lady was waiting for almost a week to ask Candy a question about a particular move she made in another game, and when Candy answered, I could see the players hung on her every word, their minds working furiously to make sense of her advice. It became crystal clear to me at that moment how important it is for these devotees to have a place to hone their skills, to have someone as expert as Candy to “supervise” and answer each and every one of their questions that rises out of the fascinating combinations of cards that cannot ever be predicted.

We piloted Candy’s Bridge Club this past summer and it was so well received and appreciated that we decided to incorporate it into our regular scheduling. Norma Carter came in just the other day to register for the club and we chatted about her journey as a bridge player. She told me about her recent cruise trip to Ireland and Scotland where, when not out and about on land, she was playing bridge constantly and couldn’t get enough of it. Wow. That is not just enthusiasm; it is passion.

Candy’s Bridge Club is ongoing. Whether you are a bridge aficionado or just marginally intrigued, come and find out for yourself by checking the latest listing on our website: http://commed.smc.edu

 

 

First Look: The Irrepressible Amin Sadeghpour

Amin Sadeghpour is front and center in this 2013 group shot of Basketball for the Rest of UsAmin Sadeghpour is front and center in this 2013 group shot of Basketball for the Rest of Us

Amin Sadeghpour is legally blind and developmentally challenged but that doesn’t stop him from taking basketball and other classes at SMC Community Education, writing a novel, performing in plays, studying the law on his own, and singing and playing instruments.

And his irrepressible personality charms everyone.

“Amin is a joy. Everybody loves him,” said Joe Bock, his teacher and coach in Community Ed’s “Basketball for the Rest of Us” class. “He’s like the soul of the class. He definitely has a lot of charisma.”

Amin, 31, of Santa Monica is now in his third year of taking the basketball class. He dribbles, he makes baskets and he engages enthusiastically with his classmates.

But the sports class is just one of his many activities in a whirlwind life. When penning his self-published mystery novel, “Where Is My Sister?,” he took two creative writing courses at Community Ed to improve the narrative. He also took a piano class through Community Ed.

And that’s not all. Through Culver City-based L.A. Goal – an arts-drama-work/study program – he was recently in a play that he wrote with other students that was performed at the prestigious Actors Gang theater in Culver City.

He is constantly learning – whether by taking classes or performing or studying the law on his own, said his mother, Anne Sadeghpour. It’s been that way most of his life.

Amin Sadeghpour is front and center in this 2013 group shot of Basketball for the Rest of UsIn September, Amin returned to the Primero Pasos pre-school in Leon to talk to the youngsters.

Amin, the second of five children, was born in Nicaragua with a number of health problems. His left eye was deformed and needed to be removed and replaced with a prosthetic eye. (He is legally blind in his right eye but can see with glasses.) He had two heart surgeries – the first at 6 months and again when he was 7 years old. He was born developmentally disabled and with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has also developed hearing problems.

Moving back and forth from Nicaragua to the U.S. for medical assistance for their son, the Sadeghpour family sent Amin to a public pre-school when he was 6 years old, but moved back permanently to America when he was 7.

He attended public schools in Santa Monica, including Santa Monica High School, as a special education student but was mainstreamed in half his classes, his mother said. In the fifth grade he took up the trumpet and played in the Concert Band at Santa Monica High, as well as singing in the school’s Chorus.

He also developed a passion for theater. “I love musicals,” he said, rattling off “My Fair Lady,” “Westside Story,” Sound of Music, “Oklahoma” and others in quick succession. Recently, he played the role of Officer Krupke in “Westside Story” in a production mounted at the Westwood Recreation Center through the Los Angeles Parks and Recreation program, and has appeared in other plays there.

Amin at a book signing for his novel, “Where Is My Sister;”Amin at a book signing for his novel,
“Where Is My Sister;”

Another important part of his life was Camp Bloomfield in Malibu, run by the Foundation for the Junior Blind in Los Angeles. For six years, he attended the camp and took advantage of its many activities, including rock-climbing, horseback riding, beach outings, arts and crafts, singing, campouts, and plays.

He also attended a special ed high school program in Montebello, where his family lived for a time before moving back to Santa Monica, and took classes through the program at Rio Hondo Community College.

Graduating from that program at 22, he then attended the Disabled Students program at SMC, taking a full curriculum.

His 169-page novel, which took him three years to write with great help from his creative writing classes, has sold 80 copies, recovering his investment for the book’s printing.

Anne Sadeghpour said her son lives on his own in a complex near SMC owned by the family with 60 hours a month of assistance for cleaning, cooking and doctor’s appointments. He rides public transit and navigates his way through life independently and enthusiastically.

“Amin has a wonderful life,” Anne said, “thanks to SMC Community Education and other programs that enrich the lives of so many people.”

To register into Basketball for the Rest of Us, call (310) 434-3400 or go to http://commed.smc.edu. You can also email commed@smc.edu