by Gabriella Pisano ’18
The skills that people acquire throughout their lives can be put to use in many different ways. Providence College Security Officer Chris Baxter is a prime example of this, and wants to see students achieve and become their best selves. Baxter wants to see PC students succeed in knowing themselves, and using his multitude of skills and talents, specifically handwriting analysis, he can do just that.
Baxter started working as a security officer about nine months ago. In his job, he ensures safety by patrolling campus, getting an overall feel for situations, and stepping in if anything stands out. Additionally, the self-defense class at the College is taught by Baxter. “I’m a customer service of sorts. I’m a friendly face around to be as helpful as possible,” he said.
After studying culinary arts at Johnson and Wales University, Baxter had a professional cooking career for 15 years. He later worked as a computer technician, teaching people how to fix computers. With an interest in computers, he was planning on focusing on computer forensics. He was working on certification for this when a friend told him about the available position at PC. After talking to his wife of 25 years, he decided that he would apply, with the mentality that “if it’s supposed to be then it should be.”
Along with his interests in the culinary arts and computers, Baxter was a professional fighter, teaches tai chi, and is an avid reader, hypnotist, and handwriting analyst.
During his nine months at PC, he has already been able to bond with students over his unique handwriting analysis; he has read the handwriting of approximately 200 students. “I used to do hypnosis and linguistic programming on how words affect the mind and the states you go into,” said Baxter. “As I talked to clients, I would understand what was going on with them and help put them back on their flow.”
Handwriting analysis is a complex process in which a section of writing is looked at as a whole, and also broken down into components. Where you place the writing on the paper, how much pressure you use to write, and how you make specific letters are all aspects that reveal something about your personality or character traits. These individual aspects must be looked at in conversation with each other in order to see if any traits are balanced out.
His interest in hypnosis began when he was in 10th grade and competing in fights. After it became difficult to stay relaxed during competitions, he read a book about how hypnosis works with the subconscious mind. After more research, he began practicing self-hypnosis, and was able to go from getting C’s and D’s to being on the honor role.
At a convention for hypnosis, Baxter met a man who could learn a great deal about people by analyzing their handwriting. Baxter decided he wanted to learn how to do this. After taking with basic courses, Baxter is now a certified handwriting analyst. Commenting on why he enjoys analyzing handwriting, Baxter stated, “I get to see the light go on in their eyes when they feel that someone understands and appreciates them. People tend to forget their strengths and positive attributes. Instead they focus on challenges. It’s a filter you go through life with and you never see the good things. Analyzing someone’s handwriting allows me to emphasize the positive, and give them a perceptual shift.”
Speaking of the hopes he has for his future, Baxter stated, “I had this grandiose thought that I want to have a positive impact on over one million people. I didn’t want to be a motivational speaker, but I wanted to positively impact others.”
It was upon realizing that if he were to help some people, those individuals could go on to help others that inspired Baxter to be his best self. “Now I think about being the best that I can be and go from there,” he said. With this mentality, Baxter interacts with students in the hopes of positively impacting them.
People aspire to do great things in their lives. No matter where you want your life to end up or what you want to do, it is probably safe to say that you hope to be the best version of yourself. Baxter believes that it is extremely important to self-analyze and actively choose to be the best version of you.
Giving some personal advice, Baxter shared, “Don’t underestimate belief in self. Don’t be afraid to look at where you are and where you want to go. I see this especially with students; they become so stressed out about making the wrong decision it paralyzes them. All you need to do is take one step and see if you’re close or further from where you want to be.”
Baxter believes that “to truly live, you can’t worry about what people think too much and people must instead live from within. Appreciate yourself and you will draw people who will appreciate you,” he said. “Filter your life through negativity, which is all you will see.”