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Sound Bites - Issue #32 - April 2016

On the Cover 
Simply Magnifico - Paola Barcaccia

Italian instructor Paola BarcacciaItalian instructor Paola Barcaccia

Paola about to serve tiramisu to her studentsPaola about to serve tiramisu to her students

Paola Barcaccia is from Pesaro, a small town on Italy's Adriatic coast, south of Venice, and she takes delight in teaching her native country's language and culture. A Southern California resident for the past 21 years, she has taught Italian through SMC Community Ed since 2013 but has also been an instructor and lecturer at UCLA, Italian Culture Institute and Fondazione Italia in Los Angeles.

"Paola Barcaccia has a very engaging and entertaining method for teaching the Italian language," said student Carlos Campos." All of us in her class love all the fun exercises and interactive Italian conversations in which she so effectively engages us."

She has also combined her love for language with her passion for art. She started taking art classes as a child and, as an adult, expresses herself through drawing and printmaking.

She has taught art to children at the Fondazione Italia, and has been an invited lecturer to UCLA on the topics of "The Art of Making Venetian Masks" and "The History of Italian Carnival."

In addition to teaching Italian I & II at Community Ed, she also teaches "Italian for Travelers," which she says is popular because "I give them lots of tips."

What do you like best about teaching?

Knowing new people and sharing my language and culture with them.

Italian is not widely spoken in the world, yet you get many enthusiastic students. Why do they take your classes?

Some students have Italian origins, others are travelers who want some tips on the language and customs, and still others are interested in Italian culture. They seem particularly drawn to art, fashion and cuisine – people are crazy about Italian food. They also like the Italian lifestyle and are curious why the Italians seem to enjoy life differently than Americans.

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

I love travelling. Once, I traveled 700 miles by bike in a week across Italy from the Marche region to Tuscany, to Elba Island (I didn't swim, though!). Every year, I try to learn something new.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

Relaxing surrounded by nature. Doing nothing.

What is one of the best compliments you ever received?

I wouldn't make it without you! My sister and a friend both told me this.

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

A photo of one of my students making a presentation.

Paola Barcaccia will teach Italian for Travelers this summer beginning July 7.

What's New
Summer Classes Just Got Better!

Alice Meyering

Graceland TourGraceland Mansion will be included in a new summer tour, "America's Music Cities"

Drawing MangaDrawing Manga" is a new summer class taught by Neal Yamamoto

from the desk of Alice Meyering
One of the many wonderful things about Community Ed is that every session – through a perfect blend of student demand and instructor creativity and expertise – we offer a new crop of intriguing classes, tours, lectures and more.

This summer is no different – and we urge you to explore all our offerings and get an early start on registration. The Summer Session begins June 20, and you can register now online.

Here is just a sample of the new classes and one-day workshops we've slated for the upcoming session:

Mindfulness and Fiction Writing. A perfect blend of meditation and writing that bring awareness and help us remember who we are and where we come from.

Introduction to Palm Readings. A discovery of what your hands reveal about you.

Summer Design Lecture Series: "The Moderns". Thanks to the success of our "Palaces, Princes & Paramours" lecture series we launched in the Winter Session, we're continuing this fascinating series on design and architecture. For the summer, the series of lectures takes a look at the 20th Century's new visual force in architecture, design, and art that has profoundly changed the way in which we view our lifestyles and living environments today. 

Manga Drawing 101. In this class you will learn how to draw monsters, heroes, samurais, pretty girls, cutesy characters and giant robots in the popular Japanese-manga style.

Nutritional Value of Popular Herbs. This class examines the amazingly nutritional value of common supermarket herbs and how they can promote good health by reducing the use of salt and sugar in the diet.

Day tours, meanwhile, will include Santa Barbara, Big Bear and the San Andreas Fault, and, for the first time, we will offer multi-day tours "America's Music Cities" (in Tennessee) and "Canadian Rockies & Calgary Stampede."

Classes begin and end on different dates throughout the Summer Session, and we have calibrated our schedule – based on demand – so that some classes are offered on different days or time slots than they have been in the past.

Please join us for what promises to be a great summer of enrichment and discovery!

More information is available at and you can contact us by calling (310) 434-3400 or emailing

Behind the Scenes
"The Director's Six Senses"

Film instructor Simone BartesaghiFilm instructor Simone Bartesaghi

Simone with Actor Adrian Pasdar on Set of RUN (2013)Simone with Actor Adrian Pasdar on Set of RUN (2013)

Simone celebrating beneath the Hollywood SignSimone celebrating beneath the Hollywood Sign

The following is an excerpt from film and screenwriting instructor Simone Bartesaghi's new book, "The Director's Six Senses."  The book has been receiving great reviews.

By Simone Bartesaghi

A director is a storyteller. No more, no less. We must start with pure and simple storytelling. No camera yet, not even pen and paper. 

However your story starts, with a "Once upon a time" or "In a galaxy far far away," whether it's a story you've come up with or real events that happen to you, we all do it the same way. 

We tell our stories by selecting words that our audience can understand. We try very hard to make sure that the story that begins in our mind will eventually become the same story in our audience's mind.

When two people from different countries meet, if they keep speaking their own languages, they won't be able to communicate. The communication part — it's the key. This is why a good director chooses carefully the images and the sounds that are going to tell his story. Shooting a movie is like breaking down an image into pieces for a puzzle. The puzzle is then assembled by the editor and the director with the intent to maintain the integrity of the original story.

When the movie is watched by the audience, it's experienced again piece by piece, shot by shot, sound by sound, and it's important that the pieces of the puzzle are going to be put together with the same meaning by the audience. 

There are people who are gifted at crafting fascinating stories; they are able to engage the audience with precise words and intonation while avoiding dull moments and irrelevant details. 

You might be thinking, I've never been good at telling stories, so I'll never be a good director. Here's the great news. When you stand in front of an audience and tell a story with your voice, you may be shy and self-conscious but that doesn't apply to moviemaking. You won't perform your movie in front of every audience, right? 

And now a warning. If you want to be a director to become rich, save your time and your money; become a lawyer, a doctor, or a plumber. Directing doesn't easily lead to fortune and glory. Most of the time, even when everybody applauds, you still feel disappointed because what you've achieved is just a pallid reproduction of what was in your mind. 

Becoming a director takes hard work, research, and faithful commitment to your dreams and inspirations. 

But if somewhere deep inside, you have a fire for storytelling that won't stop sparkling, then this is the book for you. I'll show you how to feed that fire and make sure that you won't have to work for the rest of your life. After all, we don't call it "work" when we would be willing to pay to do it, right? 

Bartesaghi's summer class Introduction to Screenwriting begins on June 22.

Preferred Partner Program Stimulates Local Economy

Michelle King Michelle King, Director Career & Contract Ed.

Cisco Certification Networking ProgramCisco Certification Networking Program

Customized Business TrainingsCustomized Business Trainings

As part of Santa Monica College's Office of Workforce and Economic Development, Community Education is always looking for new ways to assist employers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. 

The SMC Extension "Preferred Partner Program" offers a new means by which local organizations and businesses can leverage the resources of the College.  This unique program has been designed to ensure that the College is successful in its mission to offer relevant programing that serve to advance the skills and productivity of the local workforce.

The Preferred Partner Program offers the opportunity for employers to promote "Lifelong Learning" via special discount pricing.  Based on the specifics of the partnership agreement, individuals and or groups can participate in a wide range of high demand continuing education courses such as:

  • Workplace Spanish
  • Vocational ESL
  • Conflict Management
  • Time Management
  • Dealing with Difficult People and other courses

The beauty of the Preferred Partner Program is that the classes/ workshops can be uniquely customized and provided at off-campus locations.

It's always exciting to forge new relationships and we are looking forward to engaging new partners.  For more information or to refer a potential collaborative partner, please contact me directly at 310 434-3323 or send emails to

Warm regards,

Michelle King
Director of Career &
Contract Education