Alia Toscano

“You know? Probably the best thing about SMC’s Main Campus is just how pretty it all is. It makes showing up for classes a lot of fun.”

Europeans and others around the world are quite mystified by how migratory and footloose Americans can be. Case in point? Chandra DeSantis. “I’m actually from Ojai, but then I moved to Colorado, and now I moved back here, because my dad is here, and it seemed like a good opportunity. My dad is completely supportive of what I’m doing now, and he’s always encouraging me to learn new things. Which isn’t hard to do at SMC.”

But even though Chandra is a relative ‘newbie’ at the College, she’s already been through some eye-opening developments. “My English teacher is Professor Goode, and she is really, really excellent. The way she handles class discussions is very energizing because she knows how to ask the questions that get things kicked off. It gets people very involved,” says Chandra. “And I’ll confess that I’m basically a visual learner. So when these classes get so excited, I feel like I’m really part of the process. And I never liked English at all until I got to study with Professor Goode.”

You might think that—having lived in Colorado—Chandra would be totally comfortable on skis. “But I never skied or snowboarded back there. It wasn’t until I came back to California that I discovered it. And now I’ve been to Big Bear and Mammoth, and I might even get good at it someday.” But only rarely does skiing provide much of a future. “I know that I want to be involved in the arts someday,” says Chandra. “I tried out fashion for a while, but that was too materialistic. But SMC is giving me a lot of chances to explore what I might become good at. I only know that I’m never gonna be chained up in some cubicle!”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​