NewsNew Semester Welcomes New Classes

nancy-agbenu
el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">NANCY AGBENU
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Imagine it is Saturday night, and you and your date are eating in a scenic restaurant near the beach. The music plays softly, the lights are dimmed, the food is delicious, but suddenly you find a long spider leg in your dessert. It is easy to get upset if you are the guest, but what is the wisest way to handle the situation if you are the restaurant manager?

If you aspire to work in the hotel business, a good place to learn about employer responsibilities is in the Hospitality Law course (HRM 230, ticket number 8075) that is being offered this semester for the first time.

“This class is fun and mentally stimulating with excellent guest speakers from all areas of industry,” said instructor Michael Lao, who was a consultant
for 52 restaurants and held
executive positions with Marriott,
Hilton and Holiday Inn.

For the layperson, it is difficult to ask an intoxicated guest to leave, to deal with a situation involving sexual harassment, or to effectively respond if your employee complains about another employee’s advances. GCC student Fredrik Tigerklo who has worked at the Hilton and the Radisson SAS in Sweden has “just quit thinking” about the hotel business.

“I’ve been working both during the day and night and in two different chains,” recalls the 22-year-old. “To take a class like HRM 230 in advance would have helped a lot in tough situations,” said Tigerklo who now majors in Fine Arts and Dance.

In the three-unit class, restaurateurs-to-be will not only learn how to deal with guests-tripping-over-loose-carpeting scenarios, but also find out about preventive measures and manager rights.

The class that is geared for the hospitality industry student meets Mondays from 6 to 9:23 p.m. and covers management ethics, contracts, safety issues, liquor laws, personal liability, truth
in advertising, and situational topics.

Let’s say you would rather pursue a degree in Business and you want it fast. Let’s also say that at the same time you are holding a 30-hour job and have become a full-time family man or woman. No worries. With the revised Business Project for Adult College Education (PACE) classes, you can now pick up your dream again.

“You’re like in a car, but in a very fast car,” said Bob Taylor, head of the dynamic PACE program. “Most full-time working students can’t take 12 units,” said Taylor. “And when they try, normally, after the 10th week they hit the wall and have to drop classes.”

With class meetings Wednesdays from 5:45 to 10:45 p.m. and every other Saturday from 8:30 to 5:30 p.m., students are now able to do the same number of units a daytime student would take in four days.

Taylor said the program is intense but doable because the teachers are considerate. “We are like a family. When we meet after a long work day, we are all hungry, hot and tired. So, we kind of sit all in one boat.”

PACE graduates about 60 percent of the students. “Sometimes students come to me and say, ‘the only reason that I made it is everybody hung together with me,'” said Taylor.

Taylor once had a student who worked in an executive position at Disney. “She was just about to get fired because she didn’t have a degree,” said Taylor. Starting PACE she had no units, but was motivated. “Now, next June she’ll receive her doctorate.”

“My best experiences are at graduation when students come to me and say PACE changed their lives,” said Taylor. Business PACE is like a train, a very fast train, and every two years GCC students have the opportunity to jump on. This fall you may still apply until October.

In case you are not majoring in business, but still enjoy office work, you may explore the revised Business Communication class.

It’s free, it doesn’t require a book and in the end you will walk out of the classroom with practical experiences and a
certificate for any completed portion.

The non-credit Business Communication course could be your foot into an open door. “A few of our students had been laid off,” said Barbara Keegan of the Continuing Education Business Department. “It is really helpful in job interviews.”

Students learn concise writing, filing, and how to commun-
icate confidently. Business Communication is offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at GCC’s Adult Community Training Center.

Have you ever experienced an earthquake and always wanted to know what exactly caused your kitchen cups to jump up? Then you might be interested in the new environmental Geology 112 lab class. For the first time at GCC, the lecture class Geology 102 is paired with the one-unit Geology 112 (ticket 3409).

While you fulfill your physical science lab general education requirements, you will also gain hands-on experiences learning about volcanism, climate change, hurricanes, flooding and other geological hazards.

“Like it or not, earth is the only place we call home and earth environment is what affects our present as well as future,” said geology instructor Poorna Pal, who taught at universities elsewhere in California, Montana, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Libya and India before joining GCC 12 years ago.

According to Pal, Environ-mental Science encompasses business, economics and finance, social studies, real estate and law.

“In the ultimate analysis, environmental hazards affect us all equally, whether we understand them or not,” said Pal. “Understanding [the causative forces and processes] only prepares us better to face them when they affect us.”

The class is mainly intended for non-geology majors who are interested in knowing how the geological processes impact their daily lives.

“The class will look into the practical or nuts-and-bolts aspects of earth environment, hazards and resources,” said Pal, who holds a doctorate in Geophysics and
an master’s in General Management/Finance.

The Geology 102/Geology 112 lecture-lab combonation will include topics such as detection and scaling of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, soil pollution, water availability, scarcity, slope stability, river erosion and coastal flooding, groundwater utilization, air pollution, energy resources and energy alternatives.

Starting today, one Geology 102 class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 10:02 a.m. and is taught by John Mack (ticket number 3408). The other is offered Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:53 p.m. and is taught by Pal (ticket number 7694).

He is also teaching the lab on Thursdays from 2:30 to 5:53 p.m. Both classes transfer as part of the physical sciences requirement that students need to transfer to UC, CSU, and USC.

Whether you want to tone-up your body, find out the latest environmental trends, speed into an Associate of Arts degree with Business PACE or if you simply want to know what a hotel manager would do if you ever found a foreign object in your food in his hotel restaurant, the new fall classes are worth taking a second look at. It is still not too late to jump on the train and explore them.