Today's blog post comes via Communications Professor Jill Arabas! Take it away, Jill!
all the courses at Middlesex, one of the most transformative is Speech. Many
students enter the course petrified of standing in front of an audience. By the
end of the semester, they know how to command a room, get their classmates to
laugh, and persuade their peers to recycle their trash, visit the Dominican
Republic, or vote in the next election.
students have been giving speeches on some fascinating topics this semester.
Caroline Porter told her classmates about the axolotl, a Mexican salamander on
the endangered species list. She even brought two of her pet axolotls into
Guevara talked about her experience with her beloved ballet pointe shoes,
blisters and all, while Jonathan Mendonca explained how to make pizza (and made
the class hungry). Rosemary Gathecha gave a talk about her homeland of Kenya,
complete with minty candies for the crowd. Briana Serrano narrated a slideshow
of her beloved Chicago. And Chase Webber spoke about Lake Baikal in Russia, the
world’s deepest lake, which he visited with his engineer father.
class gives students the chance to learn public speaking in a safe environment,”
says Arabas. “It’s a place for students to make
mistakes, take chances, and learn not to say ‘um’ and ‘like’ long before they
give that speech that really counts – on a job interview or presentation that
can change their life.”
amazes me the skills that students already bring to the class,” says Prof.
Gordon Curry. “The activities used in this class are really tools to help bring
out what they already possess but need the right venue in which to try.”
Speech classes at Middlesex draw students from all majors, from Nursing and
Computer Science to Business and Liberal Studies. Public speaking courses are
consistently rated among the most useful of college offerings because they give
students expertise they can use immediately and far into the future.
exceeded my expectations,” says Ali Alogaili, who gave his informative speech
on happiness. “You learn who you really are and what other people think of you.
It gives you the chance to stand in front of everybody and talk about your
personal experience, hobbies and skills, and that’s not as easy as it looks.”
classmates have given speeches ranging from Facebook privacy and Siberian
huskies, to how to tell when someone is lying, to what it’s like to be the oldest
sibling. Next up are persuasive speeches, followed by everybody’s favorite, the
demonstration speech (which often comes with tasty goodies or other kinds of
on the instructor, MCC students also learn to give impromptu, extemporaneous
and, of course, special occasion speeches, so they can get practice for that
wedding toast, birthday party or eulogy that they’ll eventually have to give.
of all, they have a good time doing it.
class is so much fun,” says Adrian Gilbert, who recently gave a speech on the
basics of soccer. “I’m learning how to be presentable, talk on my feet, make
slides and make a presentation. I love being here. I get to talk about what I
love. And I get to interact with other students who share the same passions
that I do.”
To learn more about programs in the college's Communications program visit https://catalog.middlesex.mass.edu/preview_program.php?poid=2174&catiod=18