Tag Archives: guy smith

New Students Get in the Know

by Khalics Bryant

Horizon Reporter

With a new school year come hundreds of new students. With each student there are possibly hundreds of questions that require answering to ensure students aren’t confused when the quarter begins. To assist in making the transition from high school to college less painful, Whatcom Community College hosts Running Start Orientations each year for new Running Start students.

These tours take place during the first two weeks in September and provide Whatcom’s youngest students with important information on how to use college resources, tips for success here at Whatcom, procedures for registering for classes, ways to enjoy your time on campus, and much more.

Sarah Pearson, Running Start Program Manager, and Guy Smith, a communications instructor, spoke with new students and some of their parents about the many ways they can ensure they will succeed at Whatcom.

“I’m a nerd,” said Smith with a big smile as he addressed the more than 50 Whatcom freshmen sitting in the Syre Student Center auditorium. “ I say hello to you fellow nerds out there.”

Smith spoke about some of the decisions he made while going to college and the benefits of applying what your learn to your everyday life. He also spoke about how he “could use what I learned in umpire school,” to solve disputes, giving the new students an example of using what you learn.

After the speakers finished, students were given a tour of the campus to ensure they can make their way to and from classes when the quarter begins. The large group in the auditorium was broken down to 10, or more, smaller groups each lead by a student leader. Parents were given a separate tour as they received information from Pearson on tuition and payments.

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Public Speaking

by Alex Bigelow

Horizon Reporter

Many national surveys found that public speaking ranks higher than illness, flying, and even death as our greatest fear. Jerry Seinfeld once joked that, “at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” Avoiding public speaking in college is darn near impossible but learning a few quick tips can help you become a more confident and poised public speaker.

In Tony Will’s introduction to communications class, preparedness and practice are at the forefront of being a good public speaker. During presentations, Will says he always knows whether someone had spent time outside the class preparing for their speech. “The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become,” he said.

Practicing aside, having strong organization and a thorough idea of what you plan to present is important, said Guy Smith, a communications instructor at Whatcom Community College. “Tell us what you’re going to tell us, tell us, remind us what you just told us,” said Smith.  With a final tip Smith said, “dress appropriate for the situation with a suit or something other than jeans and a t-shirt because it’s your first impression.”

Much of preparing for a speech is finding a topic that both you and the audiences are interested in said Will. “You will be a lot more confident and comfortable when you have a well targeted audience.”

Will recommends that to become a comfortable public speaker, you have to present in front of  diverse groups venues, “getting as much practice in front of different audiences, different audience sizes, and different venues to become a more comfortable and confident public speaker.”

“Get to know your audience,” said Shane Sanders, 18, a student at Whatcom who is comfortable giving presentations and speeches. “I make note cards and jot down some notes for the speech in case I forget.”

Whatcom student David Kappele, 16, said the speaker is the most critical of himself. “People have a negative image of what people think of them while they present, but when you mess up, really only you notice,” said Kappele. He added that we have to stay outside of our minds so we don’t get too nervous. He also said he goes over a presentation in his mind before hand, but doesn’t want to over-prepare.

With these tips at hand, maybe public speaking can move beneath fears such as spiders, snakes and heights the next time we’re asked to stand in front our peers.

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Not Your Average Guy

by Alexander Bigelow

Horizon Reporter

On a spring day, communications instructor Guy Smith, dressed in his customary Hawaiian themed t-shirt, eagerly awaits the start to his Intro to Communications class. As students begin to filter in taking their seats amongst the perfectly neat rows, Smith is chatting up a storm with the students in the front row awaiting class to begin. Time ticks away as the hour grows near to the beginning of class. Today’s topic…..listening.

            Though hour-and-a-half lectures can be boring regardless of the topic, Smith delves into his inner entertainer to gain and keep his students’ attention by the use of humor, as he explains. Throughout the lecture, Smith commonly uses humor as a key component by using jokes from various characters such as Bart Simpson as well as a playful Michael Jackson dance move while singing “I’m bad, I’m bad” (You would have to be there).

With laughter streaming from the students, it seems his tactics are working. Student Alexandria Perezchica says that the mood of the class is both “friendly and playful” as well as “laid-back and involved.”

Student Jason Vasquez describes Smith as “enlightening” and “he stretches the boundaries of your mind.”

As Smith approaches the end of his seventh year here at Whatcom Community College, he says his philosophy on teaching has never changed. Smith believes that involvement and engagement are pivotal in helping students succeed. Smith said he considers himself an entertainer. “In order to inform, I have to first entertain,” he said.

            As his lecture on listening comes to a close, Smith decides it’s time for a fun class activity. Smith often uses class activities that involve such things as PlayDo and Gestures but today was something a bit different: impromptu speaking. Don’t let the name fool you. The game is: you start with an idea, and each person in a row builds upon it addressing different specific criteria. The topics Smith chose were elephants, Charlie Brown, and light sabers (he almost chose Pokémon wielding light sabers).

“It’s fun,” said Zorina Chou, an international student. Chou also said that though she enjoys the class, Smith tends to speak a bit fast.

            Smith’s ability to relate students may seem difficult to fathom but it actually comes from years of being a student himself. All in all, Smith tallied two bachelor’s degrees, one teaching certificate and one master’s degree, as well as being just mere credits away from receiving his Ph.D. All of his degrees were earned at Washington State University.

            Aside from teaching, Smith is regularly involved in out-of-the classroom activities and clubs such as being the advisor for the communications club which he refers to as his “baby”. Currently, Smith and the communications club are gearing up for trips to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho and Rochester, N.Y. in the coming weeks. The club has also traveled as far as Portland and Hawaii representing Whatcom.

Aside from the communications club, Smith is also involved in a Shakespearian play based on Richard the III and is playing George, Duke of Clarence (brother to the king) which he is very excited about. Smith can also be found umpiring the occasional little league baseball game and is involved in the campus skeptic’s society.

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