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Sound Bites - Issue #74 - February 2020 #330

On the Cover
Jasmyne Boswell: Expressing Life with Pen on Paper

Jasmyne Boswell

Jasmyne Boswell teaching a writing class

Jasmyne Boswell

In her 30 years as a writing coach, author, editor, speaker and teacher, Jasmyne Boswell has worked with clients and students ranging in age from 13 to 97 in all genres. She works locally and internationally in person or using Skype, Zoom and FaceTime. 

Boswell says what she loves most about her work is the opportunity it affords her to "midwife her clients, regardless of the field they're in, helping them successfully overcome personal stumbling blocks" to their writing projects, whatever they may be.

Boswell will join the roster of instructors at SMC Community Ed in March with her class, "Painting Your Imagination With Words," which is designed to enhance students' creativity and imagination and help them find their unique writing voice.

She got her start as a professional wordsmith in the 1980s, writing and ghostwriting for clients as part of her work in advertising and marketing. In 1995 she started her own business, Jasmyne Consulting, teaching publicly and privately, giving talks and coaching writers. Though she spent the last 23 years living in both Boulder, Colorado and on Maui, Hawaii, she grew up in Los Angeles, returning two years ago to be close to her family once again. 

As a teacher, editor and writing coach, she works with clients and students in virtually every genre of fiction and nonfiction, including children's literature and science fiction. She also has a specialty in teaching memoir writing, and is writing her own memoir that she intends to keep as a private publication aimed at her family, including her two adult sons.

And what does she have to say about writers' block? "It's fear," she says. "It's fear 'I can't do it.'"

Among the skills she teaches are how to build a strong theme, five-sense description, engaging dialogue, dynamic characterization and overcoming writers' block.

"Five-sense description taps into all of the senses and gives depth to characters and place," she says. "What I teach inspires my students and clients to enjoy writing."

In cases of writers' block, she tells her students to: Take a break. Use a prompt, such as "I turned the corner and (fill in the blank)" to write something for fun, anything to break the "writer's paralysis." If that doesn't work, take a walk, she tells them.

Boswell says she enjoys teaching community education and extension courses because the students are motivated.

In addition, she says, "I like the diversity of my students. It makes my life and the class more interesting."

She is the author of the book, "What if the Problem's Not the Problem?" and co-author of "Power of the Sacred Living Letters." She was a columnist for several years for the Maui Weekly, and her articles have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines.

Who are your favorite authors (can be fiction or nonfiction or both)?

William Faulkner, Barbara Kingsolver, Daphne du Maurier, Delia Owens, Ken Follett, Jeannette Walls.
What is your idea of a perfect day?

Meditation, a creative project, hiking or cycling in the afternoon (alone or with friends), meeting with friends or taking a class in the evening.

Boswell's "Painting Your Imagination With Words" begins March 2.

What's New
6th Annual Photo Contest - Submissions Now Accepted

Alice Meyering

Laurie McCormick - Cuban Cool

Frank Damon - I Dare You to Touch Me!

Mara Zaslove - Sand Painting

from the desk of Alice Meyering

As the annual student photo contest continues to grow each year – both in quantity and quality of submissions – we are excited to announce our sixth yearly competition. This year's deadline is noon on May 4.

I never realized when I started this competition that it would grow so quickly and yield amazing images that clearly showcase our students' talents.

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 turned into the cover of the Fall 2020 class schedule and will be featured in this newsletter, Sound Bites, and on social media.

Altogether, the 2019 contest drew 207 photos from 50 students and/or alumni. The submissions were judged at two levels to boil the contest down to three finalists for public voting, which tallied a record 1,050 votes.

The winner of last year's contest was Laurie McCormick's "Cuban Cool." The first runner-up was Frank Damon for his photograph "I Dare You To Touch Me!," and Mara Zaslove's "Sand Painting" was the second runner-up.

All current and former Community Education students – regardless of whether a photo student with Community Ed or not – are encouraged to submit their best work. Our 2017 winner, Victoria Bleeden, had not taken any photo classes at Community Ed when she entered her image for the 2017 contest.

The rules and submission instructions are at this link.  I can't wait to see what this year's crop of images yields!

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.

What's in Store:
Spring Semester Begins Feb. 18!

Beginning Digital CameraOne of the many classes offered in the spring

Dance anyone? All welcome.

Integrative Art WorkshopOne of our classes to enhance creativity

More Mindful MeditationThe second class in our Meditation series - all welcomed

Our ever popular ballet class

The theme for SMC Community Ed's spring semester is "Welcome the New Decade with a Commitment to Learning!" And there is so much to commit to – so many classes, workshops and certificate programs. That's why the theme has been expanded to  "Commit to Being Artful, Being Well, Making Music and Doing Business."

"We are proud of the eclectic lineup of classes we'll be offering in the spring semester in so many areas and disciplines," said Alice Meyering, Program Coordinator of Community & Contract Education. "From personal interest to professional development, you'll find it at our special program."

The spring semester begins Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Among the courses being offered are:

Go to the Community Ed website now and start exploring your avenue of commitment. You can also call us at (310) 434-3400 or email us at

New Perspectives:
Phlebotomy Program for the Frontline Technicians!

Phlebotomy Program

As the SMC Extension/Community Ed Phlebotomy Certification program begins its Spring session Feb. 22 since it was launched in Fall 2017, the program has proved to be a robust example of one that trains technicians in a growth profession that is crucial to medical care throughout the nation. The program, which has trained dozen of students since its inception, is offered in partnership with AUMT Institute.

Phlebotomists draw blood for tests, transfusions, research, or blood donations. Some explain their work to patients and provide assistance when patients have adverse reactions after their blood is drawn. Phlebotomists work mainly in hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centers, and doctors' offices.

"The job market for Phlebotomy is very positive," says Tania Sañudo, Business Development Liaison with AUMT, which stands for American University of Medical Technology.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the projected job growth in the field from 2018 to 2028 is 23 percent, much faster than average. The 2018 median pay nationally is $34,480 per year or $16.58 per hour.

"We are constantly looking for programs that can quickly train students, particularly those who are either unemployed or looking for career advancement, in well paying careers in a high demand job market," says Alice Meyering, Program Coordinator of Community & Contract Education. "AUMT has an excellent reputation with an 80-plus percent placement rate for students who complete the coursework, serve 40 hours in the field and pass the state certification exam."

The next training session will be held eight Saturdays, Feb. 22 through April 11, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Afterwards, students are placed in externships in hospitals, labs and doctors' offices for 40 hours of clinical practice.

Sañudo, who has been a phlebotomist for 17 years, says the work is rewarding at several levels.

"A lot of people don't realize the impact we have on the care of the patient," she says. "The majority of diagnoses and treatments patients receive are based on the blood test results that phlebotomists are responsible for drawing. That's why it's extremely important we draw blood correctly. So many phlebotomists out there currently working are drawing blood incorrectly. We want to change that. AUMT prides itself on teaching students the most recent standard and technique for drawing blood according to CLSI (Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute) standards."

 In addition, she says, the work is never repetitive and always challenging.

"Every single patient is different, every arm, every vein," Sañudo says. "Phlebotomists need good people skills because a lot of patients are afraid of needles or seeing their own blood. We even get patients who pass out."

She adds, "We're excited that we partnered with SMC. The program has taken off and we are training people and get them in the work field."


The Phlebotomy Certification program begins Feb. 22.