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Sound Bites - Issue #56 - April 2018 - #285

On the Cover
John Lynch, CPR - Heart & Soul Certified

CPR instructor John Lynch

Instructor Lynch demonstrating in class

1986 to 1998, John Lynch had a career in music

John Lynch has been teaching American Heart Association Heart Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes for 20 years, 13 at SMC Community Ed. He will teach a 3 ½-hour "AHA Heartsaver CPR with Automated External Defibrillator (Adult, Child, & Infant)" class on Aug. 2.

For the last 23 years, he has served as Administrator for a nonprofit serving the special needs population. From 1986 to 1998 his career was in music in the Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo) Jazz Department and in numerous touring bands, as well as doing studio work, tech support and instruction.

Why is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) important for people to know?

In this day and age when heart disease, stroke and medical emergencies continue to claim more and more lives each year we need the tools to safely respond to such events in hopes of saving a life. As recent events of mass casualties' take place around the world, I believe we have a responsibility to be as prepared as possible. Online CPR courses are convenient, but such courses lack in that they do not test the individual's partial skills of responding to an emergency "in the moment." Working directly with an instructor who understands the fundamental skills required for CPR, along with learning ways to prepare one's mindset to protect ourselves first, gives the victim the best opportunity for survival.

How did you become interested in CPR?

I am an administrator for a nonprofit located in Los Angeles that supports developmentally challenged individuals, and the state of California requires that all of my 50 employees have CPR certification training every two years. In the past, I would hire a CPR training group to come and work with my group, and after one very poor year of training that we received, I left the course feeling that if someone had a medical emergency right now after the course, I wouldn't know much what to do. From that feeling of dissatisfaction of the quality of CPR training I had received I was determined to become a certified trainer to provide a better quality of CPR course. I have been teaching for the American Heart Association for the last 20 years and have been in the healthcare field over 25 years.

Have you ever saved a life?

Yes, three. One when I was lifeguarding at a community pool when a victim was attempting a trick off the diving board and he struck the back of his head on the board and went unconscious and fell limp into the pool. I rescued him, pulled him onto the pool deck and performed CPR and he recovered.

Another was in the community, on my weekend, at a local area where people gather to exercise and an adult victim fell to the ground, hit his head and began to have a seizure. It was such a relief knowing I had a very good understanding of how to safely support this victim whom I'd never met before and didn't know anything about his medical history. You just never know when you might be asked to lend assistance to someone in need and you want to be smart about what actions to take and what actions not to take.

What kinds of students do you have?

At SMC we have a wide variety of students that makes the classes fun and interesting when we learn about cultural differences as they relate to emergency education. I also teach privately to doctors, nurses and dentists, as well as to teachers and to all of our employees affiliated with our nonprofit.

What is one of the best compliments you ever received?

I was awarded The Heart and Soul Award for most outstanding support for the developmentally challenged population in 2015. Hearing parents who have special needs children that I support express their gratitude for my help has been my greatest achievement and the best compliments imaginable. I spent the early years of my life playing music professionally as a drummer and I thought playing music is what I did best, turns out I am best supporting others in need, particularly those with special needs.

John Lynch will teach a 3 ½-hour "AHA Heartsaver CPR with Automated External Defibrillator (Adult, Child, & Infant)" class on Aug. 2.

What's New
Plan a Summer Reset with Community Ed!

Alice Meyering

Eleanor Schrader’s "Treasures of Asian Decorative Arts" lecture is July 14

Smartphone Photography comes back this summer

from the desk of Alice Meyering

We all know about New Year's resolutions, but I happen to believe that mid-year is also a good time to take a look at what you might want to do for the rest of the year. In other words, a perusal of our rich offering of classes, workshops and special programs this summer just might get you thinking more deeply about your personal and professional goals and desires.

I'm excited about our lineup for this summer, which will include several new classes as well as some of our "Oldies but Goodies" that we are bringing back.

Here are some highlights. First, our "Greatest Hits:"

Eleanor Schrader's hugely popular design lecture series returns this summer, with a focus on Asia. In "Treasures of Asian Decorative Arts" (July 14) you'll get to explore the rich aesthetics of Asian design within the cultural histories in which they were created. Through lecture and slide illustrations, find out about the decorative arts of China, Japan, India and Korea, and the richness and variety of materials and techniques utilized by the artists and craftspeople.

The Intensive French Pronunciation Workshop, coming back with a new instructor, Harriette McCauley, will help Francophiles tame those pesky "r's" and help them speak like a real French person.

In Smartphone Photography, students will explore Los Angeles with the wide-eyed perspective of a photographer and learn how to capture the mood and feel of the city using smartphone cameras. This class comes back into our offerings, this time taught by Ed Mangus.

We have several new classes in the offing:

Portrait Workshop: Shooting & Retouching. Most of us would like to Photoshop some of the pictures of ourselves to make us look -  how shall we say? - prettier or more handsome or skinnier or. . . well, you get the idea. But it takes skill with Photoshop, and this new class will make sure you can turn "ugly ducklings" into swans.

Blog Writing for Beginners makes its debut this summer to show you the ins and outs of blog writing - to ensure that novices attract viewership.

We don't usually add new professional development classes in the summer, but this one is a good one - Networking for Your Career: Perfecting the Informational Interview. I've learned that a lot of what we think we know about interviews and networking is no longer necessarily true in what has become a much more competitive job and career market. In this class, you will learn how to identify and start a connection with professionals in your desired field, conduct an effective informational interview, and craft polished follow-up messaging with those new connections.

Again, these are just appetizers to get you hungry for the dozens of classes we offer this summer. You can view our printed Summer catalog as a PDF or simply browse our classes online. Either way, we hope you join us for an enriching summer experience!

Visit our award winning website at to register for classes online 24/7. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our classes. You can email us at or call us at (310) 434-3400.

Behind the Scenes:
Amore, Amore, Grande Amore per l'italiano

Silvia Masera

Masera at the Television Critics Association meeting in Los Angeles

Italian instructor Silvia Masera speaking to student at Open House

Students in Silvia Masera's Italian classes are hungry for more. More of the language, the culture, the art and the food, all of which they get in her classes.

It's because of the students' demands for more that SMC Community Ed is adding Italian for Continuing Students , with its many dimensions, this summer.

"During each class the students will continue to improve their language skills in writing, reading, speaking, listening, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation," Masera says. "There is going to be more group work in class, as well as singing along, art and cultural reading comprehension about Italy."

Masera, who also teaches Italian I and Italian for Travelers classes, says her students have many different reasons for taking her courses, but all are passionate Italophiles.

"Most of them love art, and all of them are foodies," she says. "Some have family or relatives in Italy. Some, for example, are going to a wedding in Italy and they are not sure if any of the wedding guests will speak English."

Masera, born and raised in Milano, Italy, has been an Italian tutor at the British Council as well at British Institutes in Milano and Treviglio (Bergamo) as well corporations since the fall 2001.

She moved to Los Angeles in 2007 and has been teaching Italian privately to professors and doctors from UCLA and Cedars Sinai, as well as groups and individual classes at the Italian Institute of Culture in Westwood and The Beverly Hills Lingual Institute.

She is also a freelance foreign correspondent for Italian online and print magazines such as Gioia.itXL.Republica and Rolling Stone.

In addition, she is an event planner for the entertainment industry and nonprofits since moving to Los Angeles in 2007.

Silvia Masera's Italian for Continuing Students begins July 10.

Opportunity Inspired by Passion!

Michelle KingMichelle King, Director Career & Contract Ed.

Victoria Bleeden's “Golden Flight” Winner of last year's 2017 Photo Contest

Dinnertime by Frank Damon - 2016 Winner

Observatory at Night by Dean Reyes captured top prize in 2015

It's that time of year again; when I get to participate in narrowing down the winner for Community Education's annual Student Photo Contest.  I get to take in and be inspired by the passion, talent and effort exemplified by the photos submitted.  

Photography has always been my personal "I will do it one day" hobby so for now I can live vicariously through our wonderful and talented students by participating in the selection process for the Photo Contest.

While it is always difficult to set aside time to review photos and work through the layered selection process, any opportunity to engage with and showcase our students is rewarding in itself.

Open to all current and former students, the contest will have a winner and first and second runners-up. The winner's image will be the cover of the Fall 2018 class schedule and will be featured in this newsletter, Sound Bites, and on social media.

Don't miss the opportunity to have your talents displayed as the cover of Community Educations Fall Schedule. The rules and submission instructions are at this link.

View Our 2017 Annual Student Photo Contest Winners

We really do appreciate and applaud the efforts of all students that submit photos - best of luck to you. 

Warm regards,

Michelle King
Director of Career &
Contract Education