One Book, One Community discussion began with a film shown in the library

by Cynthia Hernandez// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College and the Gallatin community have simultaneously read the book “The Other Wes Moore.”

Vol State is partnering with all Sumner County Public libraries and high schools on the “One Book, One Community” project.

The community-wide book read will be accompanied by a special lecture series aimed to reflect and relate about what is relevant in the book and in current society.

The series began Tuesday, Feb. 10, with a feature film that was shown twice in the Thigpen Library.

The documentary “American Promise” observes the lives of two young black men as they grow up in the American school system.

For those that missed the film, the library has added it to their collection.

“We’re hoping for a better turnout at our other events,” said Julie Brown, a Vol State librarian.

Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, director of the office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, was scheduled to lead a discussion on “deadbeat dads” in the Wemyss Auditorium Monday, Feb. 16, but due to the inclement weather which closed the Gallatin campus for three days, the deadbeat dads discussion has yet to be rescheduled.

Vol State will host a panel discussion today at 12:30 p. m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Carpeted Dining Room (CDR) of the Wood Campus Center.

The panel will consist of faculty and campus police and will discuss the tense relationships between the African-American community and the police and possible solutions.

Dr. Michael Torrence, assistant to the vice president of Academic Affairs, will lead a discussion on the ìEffects of Hip-Hop on Society” on Monday, March 2. at 9 a. m. in the Pickel Field House.

Various Sumner County high schools will be on campus for this event.

There will be another lecture focusing on low expectations of young African-American males on Thursday, March 19, at 12:30 p. m. Bill Ligon will lead this discussion in the CDR.

The final discussion will be on the selected book, ìThe Other Wes Moore.î

The community is invited be a part of the discussion to reflect upon the themes and learning points found in the book.

The culminating event will take place from 6 – 8 p. m. on Tuesday, March 24. in the Rochelle Center and Gallery.

The event will include discussion, spoken word artists, music, and student art exhibits said Yarbrough, the project manager.

Apart from these Vol State events, the Sumner County Public Libraries have book clubs that will discuss the book.

Host, Sally Ream, said that Gallatinís book club meets this Wednesday.

The Portland Library is offering a lunch/discussion on March 21.

The Vol State Library has several copies of the book available and offers a two-day rental. The Gallatin and Portland Libraries still have copies of the book available.

Harper Lee’s new book about grown up Scout to come out in July

by Brittney Mace// Assistant Editor

Harper Lee, a world-renowned author, has announced the release of her second novel, and sequel to her first novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

According to Harper Publishing, the novel will be titled “Go Set a Watchman” and will be released in July.

According to Associated Press, the book will be published in its original form and has already hit the top of the best-selling charts, months before its actual publication.

In a statement released by Harper Publishing, Lee describes her novel and choice to publish.

ìIn the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called “Go Set a Watchman.”

“It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort.

“My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel, what became “How to Kill a Mockingbird”, from the point of view of the young Scout.

“I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told.”

“I hadn’t realized it [the original book] had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer, Tonja Carter, discovered it.”

“After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication.”

“I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years,” said Lee.

Carter described the moment she discovered the novel to Washington Post, saying that she found the manuscript stapled to the manuscript of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and immediately rushed over to Lee, who then identified it as the sequel.

Because of Lee;s declining health, and her clear opinions on not publishing another book throughout the years, many have questioned whether or not she was pushed to publish and seemingly taken advantage of.

According to Slate.com, Carter said Lee is “hurt and humiliated” by these claims and that close friends say she is genuinely excited about the publishing process moving forward.

“When I read “To Kill A Mockingbird” as a high school assignment in the early 90s, I remember the teacher making the comment that Lee had only published one book and for years, even at that time, the public and the critics awaited her producing another work,” said Joshua Hite, instructor of English at Volunteer State Community College.

“Saying America has been awaiting this to occur would not be an understatement; however, we must take the entire situation into consideration.”

“The book was reportedly shelved after it was written in the 1950s, prior to “To Kill A Mockingbird” being published.

“This is strange enough, but when mixed with the reports that the manuscript was found by Lee’s lawyer, a recently new council to Lee who had used her own sister’s legal services for years, and secretive meetings occurred between Lee and the lawyer just prior to this announcement, a student of publishing and literary works must think “who has anything to gain from this?” and “why now?”

“While the circumstances are strange around the entire situation, literary scholars will be able to sift through this history once they can not only read the book itself but also view the manuscript.”

“I would not be surprised if the book will be a disappointment.

“I am not sure how it could not be since the news of this upcoming book in early February carried such weight. Finding a manuscript is different than publishing a book.

ìMany manuscripts went unpublished while the author was alive but were published after his/her death, possibly because the permission would not be granted while the writer was alive.

“Why would Lee grant permission now?

“This all seems a bit shady, but this will all be answered in about ten years when literary critics are able to analyze the text and sift through all the evidence surrounding this upcoming book,” said Hite.

“I am really looking forward to reading it. It will be interesting to step into the future of that world and see how the characters turned

Vol State reopens after three day snowbreak

by Ann Roberts// Editor-in-Chief

The Gallatin campus for Volunteer State Community College was reopened after three days of inclement weather which left most Vol Staters snow and icebound.

On Thursday Feb. 19, the campus was reopened at 9:30 a.m. and closed early at 4:30 pm.

That day, Coffee with the Prez took place according to plan at 10 -11 a.m. Students, faculty and staff were able to speak with Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State and enjoy free coffee and breakfast biscuits in the Mary Cole Nichols Tiled Dining Room (TDR).

At noon, The French class hosted a Mardi Gras celebration that was originally scheduled for the Tuesday before but because of the snow, it was rescheduled.

The French class handed out pieces of cake to people in the TDR and if anyone had a small figurine of baby Jesus in their piece, they were given a paper crown and had their picture taken.

The figurines, in Mardi Gras tradition are meant to symbolize good luck for the next year.

There were also tables for anyone to create their own mask.

Also during the noon – 1 p.m. hour, there was a Lunch and Learn in the Carpeted Dining Room (CDR).

The lecture was about the history of black theater and was given by Edmon Thomas, associate professor of communication and theater.

On Friday Feb. 20, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) recognized Vol State as a Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) campus.

The event was in Great Hall of the Ramer Administration Building at 10:30 a.m.

Among the attendees, was William Lamberth, Tennessee state representative for Sumner County, and members of the general counsel of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) who presented the plaque to Faulkner.

“It’s really exciting for us to be the first community college in Tennessee to receive this designation and I give all the credit to Ken Hanson and our team here that work with our veterans,” said Faulkner.

“[We are] impressed with Vol State’s programs and services [that] they provide to veterans and itís just very impressive evidence what the designation acknowledges that they really have stepped up to the plate and fulfilled their responsibility to students.

“It’s obviously a team effort  you can see that a lot of work goes into making this a campus where veterans feel comfortable and feel drawn to. We’re impressed and very proud of them,” said Dr. Russ Deaton, interim executive director at THEC.

Professor Thomas lecture at Lunch and Learn for black history month

by Lauren Cieler// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College is hosting a Lunch and Learn Thursday, Feb. 19.

The event will take place in the Mary Cole Nichols Carpeted Dining Room at 12:30-1:30 p. m.

Edmon Thomas, associate professor of communication and theater, spoke about the arts and history tied it into Black and Women’s History Month.

“Lunch and Learn was to celebrate Black History Month so I decided to talk about black theater.

“It started with the minstrel shows and how the minstrel shows started after the Civil War and continued to be popular entertaiment throughout all of America,” said Thomas.

Students, staff and faculty were invited.

People were encouraged to bring their own lunch. Dessert was provided.

The office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives (SLDI) staff said this is the second year doing this event and that last year it was called Reflections of Black/Women’s History Month.

It was changed to Lunch & Learn because it was shorter and the name clicked more.

“It is interesting because everyone comes together to take the time to learn about the diversity within Black and Women’s History Month,” said Lori Miller, secretary II of SLDI.

“It is nice that the speaker relates something about black and women’s history,” said Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator of student activities in SLDI.

Local Musician Spotlight: Wesley Winters

by Makenzie Border// Staff Writer

There are a number of students at Volunteer State Community College who have varying types of talents.

One of these students, Wesley Winters, is a musician who has been earning popularity for some time now.

“I decided to do music when I was 15. I played in a couple talent shows, and when the response was positive, it sparked.”

“Music brings joy to people in a most personal way, and that is what I love to do,” said Winters.

“I’ve been doing this part time for about 4 years. I play a new age sort of blues/rock/soul/folk. Quite a big mix.”

“I’m still trying to pinpoint what type of song I like to play best, but as of right now you can hear a lot of sounds from me.î

Regarding his current success, Winters said that it is hard to take off as a college student, but that he is still focusing on his goals.

ìThe biggest thing I’ve done is play a few shows downtown in Nashville,î said Winters.

Winters also gave mention to a few of his professors that have given him support.

ìI wouldnít say I’ve been particularly pushed by any of the professors here at Vol State, but Lynn Peterson, Ben Graves, and Professor James Story, [department chair of visual and rerforming arts], have all brought a lot of encouragement my way,î said Winters.

For those who are hoping to see Winters perform, he has a few shows coming soon this month.

“I’m playing at a place called the Slider House in the Vanderbilt area off and on,” said Winters.