The Alex Michael Band performs at Vol State’s annual Fall Festival

by Kailyn Fournier
Those who were at Fall Festival from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., probably heard the music from the band playing in the Quad. That was the Alex Michael Band, a country music band from Nashville.
Volunteer State Community College got the band to perform at Fall Festival by attending the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) Conference where the band was being bid on by a variety of schools.
The band includes the lead, Alex Michael, along with Thomas Hassell on drums, Jonathan Warren on fiddle, Dean Green on bass, and Sam Van Fossen on lead guitar. They have been a band since 2011 and, aside from Tennessee, have played in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Texas.
At Vol State they opened with a cover of Dierks Bentley’s song, 5-1-5- 0, and over the course of the hour played 15 other songs. They had some technical difficulties, causing their lead microphone to cut out during the end of one of their songs, but the band did not let that faze them and finished the song as if nothing had happened. Once they were finished, they were able to resolve the issue
After that, Michael asked if their audience was okay with them going ahead and playing what Michael called their, “Show offy song,” before playing the tune for “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” For those not familiar with the song, it is particularly notable for its fiddle solos, which likewise show-cased Warren’s ability the most, but had a part for each member to show off.
Those who like line dancing should have been at the concert because towards the end of the show the band asked if anyone knew how to line dance. As a result
of their traveling and playing up North, where it is not common for people to line dance, they took “Copperhead Red” out of their set list. A few people knew how to, so the band played the song, and the few audience members who knew how to line dance taught those who were interested. “It’s always fun when the crowd gets into it,” said Michael.
Also in their song selections were two of the band’s original songs, “That Woman” and “Carousel.” Both songs are new and have yet to be recorded. They also took requests, which were “Dixieland Delight” by Alabama and their closing song, “Chicken Fried” by the Zac Brown Band.
“I was really impressed by the lead singer,” said Natalie White, Vice President of the Student Government Association, after the performance was over.
Those interested in The Alex Michael Band should check out their Facebook and their twitter page at @AlexMichaelBand. “For those who are interested in our stuff can go to our Bandcamp page and enter the promo code: “volstate” for 10 percent off on our music and merchandise,” said Warren. They also have their album on their Facebook page under the tab “Buy our music here.”
The band wanted to thank Ben Graves and Tabitha Sherrell for making it possible for them to be here.

Why football is so much more than a game

Football has always been a big part of my life. I have had the privilege to grow up in the great state of Tennessee since I was born.
I went to my first Volunteer football game at the age of 3 and absolutely fell in love with the team and the sport.
My Great-Grandfather played football for The University of Tennessee under General Robert Neyland. That is something I take pride in. My oldest brother also pursued a degree from UT for which I am also proud.
I plan to carry on this tradition when I transfer from Volunteer State Community College next fall. For many people football is about wining, who can be the best and who can go to the championship.
For myself, what matters is a little bit different. I care about the coaches and the players. I care about the families of players and coaches that lose time with their loved ones.
I care about the fans in those stands on game day. I care about the couple who just brought their daughter or son to their first football game to enjoy the excitement. I am aware that for most people winning is everything. So many other things go into a football program.
While the feeling of winning is something no one can really fully describe, nothing compares to the atmosphere on a Saturday in the south. Being a Vols fan means that you are prepared for anything.
You get up on game day not knowing what will happen, but you are excited to find out.
From years and years of rich tradition that graces these Tennessee hills, to specific game day rituals the Vols have it all. Running through the ‘T’ at the start of the game, Davy Crockett, the cheerleaders and dancers, the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and my personal favorite, Smokey.
These are the things that make game days so special. When you have a family compiled of players and coaches that is able to come together on a field and connect a group of people the way Tennessee does, it’s very special. I am very proud of my football team despite the three losses we have taken so far this year.
As a team they have worked extremely hard to get to the point they are at.
Even though I will always consider myself a ‘Vol for Life’ I know many other fans of various college and professional teams feel the same way.
No matter what your team is or your sport I encourage you to remember to stick with them through the good times as well as the bad.
I am sure nothing helps a team become more encouraged, and a coaching staff become more driven, than to have unconditional support from the fans.
You can expand your love for sports right here at Vol State. Although I am aware Vol State does not have a well known football team, we do have amazing basketball, softball and baseball teams that need our support.
The sky is the limit for the players at Vol State, and just like big name schools, they need our support as well. There are endless opportunities for these young men and women to transfer to great Universities and even to go professional one day.
Who knows, they may be playing for your favorite team in the near future. The Vol State website has a schedule posted for all the games that are to be played this year. You are urged to bring as many family and friends as you wish to fill up the bleachers.
Your support is always appreciated from The Settler staff.

Top 8 reasons to vote this election season

By: Cole Miller
The 2016 Presidential election has the two most unpopular main party candidates in recent American history. However, whether or not you like either major candidate, your vote still matters. Please go out and vote on Nov. 8 if you have not already voted early.

8. There is more than one choice.
Although the media primarily covers the Democratic and Republican parties, there are many other parties with candidates running for President of the United States. Some parties are more known, like the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, but there are lesser knowns such as The Legal Marijuana Now Party and the United States Pirate Party.

7. You can actually complain with some integrity.
To quote Abraham Lincoln, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the people and burn their behinds, then they will have to sit on their blisters.” Basically what this means is, if the person you did not want to become President does just that, and you didn’t vote, you cannot complain about it.

6. The margins can be very important.
The 2000 Presidential election between George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore had a popular vote margin of 543,889 votes in the latter’s favor, however, the electoral vote gave George W. Bush the win, making him the 43rd President of the United States. The electoral difference was 5 delegates.

5. There have been people who have given their lives for your rights.
As a United States citizen, you have several rights given to you by the U.S. Constitution. Voting is one of these rights. Ever since we became a country, there have been wars fought, and in each of these wars, Americans have died defending those rights. By not voting, or not practicing any constitutional rights, you are letting them die for nothing.

4. Because you can.
This may seem pretty basic, but most college students are over eighteen, and can finally vote for the candidate of their choice. Growing up, I was always excited to finally be able to vote in an election of any kind, and now I finally can. This election is history in the making, and every vote counts for your candidate of choice.

3. The emotion of anticipation.
The night of the election, Nov. 8 we will have announced to us, the 45th President of the United States of America. This is a very exciting time for many citizens. Excitement can be good or bad though. Some citizens could be in total fear over who will be elected this year, or and year for that matter, because of the feeling of broken promises and the unknown that comes with every new president. Regardless, people will be anticipating these results for days before that night, and the entire day.
2. Honoring Benjamin Franklin.
At the Constitutional Convention that led to our country being formed, Benjamin Franklin was asked the following question, “What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” He answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Our founding father challenged the citizens of his day and for Americans leading all the way to today to vote for their official leaders.

1. Democracy.
Democracy literally means “people force.” We the people have the ability to put our elected officials in office, any office for that matter. This all the more reason why we should absolutely vote on any ballot. We the people are the most powerful entity in this country. We the people are the backbone, lungs, and brains of this country.

These are just a few of the many reasons you should utilize your right to vote.
Although the candidates in this election are extremely unpopular, one of them will be our next president.
Being educated on your choice and your own beliefs definitely helps narrow down your choices.

Assistant professor of history hosts WWII display

By: Michaela Marcellino
Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 24 and 25, Vol State students had an opportunity to see a large display of items from World War Two. Peter Johnson, assistant professor of History, brought in his personal collection, and set them up in the Rochelle Center in Thigpen Library. There were four tables worth of items, as well as music from the 1940’s being played, and a slideshow of WWII photos.
His collection covers a wide range of items, and includes everything from uniforms, to weaponry, to ration boxes, to instruments, to patches, to flags, to newspapers and more. There were also multiple photographs, and even a yellow star that would have marked a Jewish person in that time.
“These are all World War II items that I have collected for a number of years, since I was probably ten. I bring [the collection] into my American history classes every semester to show, and to give some visual background. [The students] can actually see what we are learning in history. These are all artifacts from the war, and the items are about 70 to 75 years’ old. It gives you a first-hand view of what actually took place in the war, instead of just telling everybody. I have American, German, and Japanese items,” said Johnson.
As the Rochelle Center was filled with these artifacts, Students were able to peruse the tables and take it all in. “[The display] is amazing. We are probably the last generation to be able to know someone who actually fought in World War Two, so it becomes really personal. I think it is better to see [World War Two] like this, first-hand, as opposed to seeing it in a textbook. You feel much more connected to it. We are very fortunate to have someone is as passionate about history as Professor Johnson is,” said Kelly Sleeper, a Vol State student.
“I would hope students would be able to connect what they are seeing [here at the display] with what they are learning in class. I think that the more you connect visual aids, with auditory and all those other kinds [of aids], it helps you realize what is going on around you. The one part of history that I love, is that in order not to repeat it, you must learn from it.
Without these men and women who fought during World War Two, we would not be where we are now. We would not have the society or the freedoms that we so enjoy. They really paved the way,” said Jennifer Wooden, who does supplementary instruction for Professor Johnsons’ class.
“World War Two was a pivotal point in American History. Number one, it brought us out of the greatest economic depression that we have ever faced as a nation. When the bombs dropped at Pearl Harbor, unemployment virtually disappeared in six months. These men and women who volunteered and were drafted, answered the nations’ call. When they got victory, they literally came home and changed the face of America. Tom Brokaw, who was an NBC reporter, gave them the title ‘the Greatest Generation,’ and I wholeheartedly agree…[by seeing this display] I hope the students will gain a new appreciation of what it took for our nation to fight this war, and to succeed,” said Johnson.

Joel Myers performs at Vol State

By: Lillian Lynch
At the age of 29, Meyers has been practicing magic for 23 years.
“I got started in magic because my dad showed me my first magic trick when I was six. I used to travel with him, he was a traveling salesman, and we’d go from city to city and always end up in the most touristy cities. So I would go stand out in the street in a really busy area like Santa Monica Boulevard in California, Times Square in New York City or Key West Florida right on the boardwalk. I’d say ‘Hey everybody there’s going to be a magic show.’ I was about eight or nine and my dad would leave me there and I would perform on the streets. I’d make $500 or $600 a day,” said Meyers.
The show he performed for Vol State was one of many, including his multiple appearances on television. Meyers began the show with a short introduction and an old trick of making a bottle disappear in a paper bag.
As his title of “interactive illusionist” suggests, he asked for an audience member to come up on stage.
Hannah Brindel, a student at Vol State, was first on stage. Meyers did a few card tricks with her before having Brindel hold up a lemon. She stood at the edge of the stage and held up the fruit. Meyers, across from her, was holding a knife as if he were going to throw it and hit the lemon.
Meyers joked and took the lemon. He cut it open to reveal Brindel’s previously torn up card in tact within.
“I was terrified he was going to throw that knife,” said Brindel.
Meyers then began talking about one of the most famous magicians of all time, Harry Houdini.
“Houdini could actually swallow and regurgitate things. He would often swallow a key and regurgitate it. That was how he got out of a lot of traps,” said Meyers.
With the set up of regurgitation, Meyers swallowed a very sharp and very real sewing needle. He then took a small thread and put on end of it in his mouth, swallowing part of it. As he pulled on the string the needle followed. The thread was now tied around the needle’s eye.
Continuing with Harry Houdini’s famous tricks, Meyers then pulled out a straight jacket. It was the same kind Houdini had.
“Houdini’s record was three minutes and seven seconds. Today I’m going to escape this jacket in under two minutes,” said Meyers.
He had two audience members help strap him into the jacket.
Meyers struggled as the audience cheered. He dislocated his shoulder in order to twist out of the bounds and escaped the jacket with 10 seconds to spare.
Meyers’ last trick was accompanied by a story from his childhood.
He had never seen snow, as his family would travel to his grandfather’s house in California during the holiday season. The one year he asked if they could stay so he could see the snow, there was no snow.
The next day his father woke him up and told him to look outside. Meyers saw snow for the first time.
For weeks afterward he would go around his house tearing up small pieces of paper trying to recreate the feeling he had when he first saw snow.
His father then showed him the very last trick he performed.
“Nothing is impossible,” said Meyers.
He took a Chinese fan, a single piece of tissue paper and made it “snow” in the dining room.
“I love magic. I love going to magic shows. This show was no disappointment,” said Zachary Bolt, a student at Vol State.

Vol State goes green by adding solar pannels and vehicle chargers

By: Miguel Detillier
Solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations are helping to protect the environment at Volunteer State Community College.
Vol State are providing solar panels to the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center along with the electric vehicle charging station across from John B. Wallace Health Sciences Building North near the Thigpen Library as part of a project sponsored by the Campus Sustainability Committee to help utilize campus sustainability fees and to take the resource efficiency steps needed to make the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities Building LEED Certified, according to the college blog, the Insider.
This blog also explains that the solar panels have been mounted on top of the physical plant cooling stations, and that Plant Operations will be placing a marker to show the solar panel stats to students and visitors, and that there are two power cords available for recharging electric cars and can be free to use for anyone.
The energy from the panels goes directly into the Wood Campus Center power grid and the panels cost about $6,686, according to the Insider. This blog also said that the four panels can produce 1,124 kilowatt hours a year, and is projected to save about 1.4 barrels of oil each year.
“The charging stations are up and running are open for anyone to use,” said William Newman, Senior Director of Plant Operations. “The solar panels will be wired in and operational by this week.”
“I’m excited to have the solar panels and the electric car charging stations on campus because it encourages us to think more sustainability,” said Le-Ellen Dayhuff, Assistant Professor of Mathematics. “And because I think it offsets some of the energy costs around Vol State.”
The Insider explains that the Sustainability Committee has been actively using the fee money for campus improvements, and the funds have been used to install energy-effcient LED lighting in the J.T. Fox Maintenance Building and on the Highland Crest campus. This blog also said that that the committee welcomes suggestions to help protect the environment on campus.
Besides providing solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations, Vol State also provides hydration stations to encourage people to reuse drinking containers since plastic water bottles are one of the biggest challenges to waste disposal, according to the Insider. This blog also confirms that Vol State also offers recycling bins to help students recycle plastic drinking containers and is paid for by the Committee, and that the committee members are suggesting everybody to recycle to provide a sustainable environment at Vol State.
The Insider explains that future possibilities for the Committee to help protect the environment around campus include solar umbrellas that would provide cell phone and laptop charging stations for students working outside at picnic tables.
This blog also said that students can contact Keith Bell, Associate Professor of Geography, at for suggestions to the Committee to help protect the environment at Vol State.

Getting a new job can be very stressful

by Hope McKinney
Just recently I have decided to quit my job that I have worked for almost three years in pursuit of something different and more challenging.
This decision was not an easy one to make because it was my very first job and we all know it is very possible to be sucked into your first job. You grow there, make connections with people, and experience good and bad times.
You learn to love everything about that job until you are an expert at how to run things. If you stay at your first job for more than a year, you grow to love it.
We all know that loving something can be a little hard at times. I was so engulfed in trying to work at my job, do school work, and work for the paper that I forgot to take time for myself. I forgot that it is okay to say enough is enough sometimes and say goodbye to something that is overwhelming you.
When I decided to quit my job millions of thoughts raced through my head. You are scared to leave there thinking you might not make as much money somewhere else, you might not get the hours you want somewhere, or you might not like the management.
Like everything in life sometimes all we need is a little push to send us into doing exactly what we need to do. Speaking from the heart I can tell you that if you are not happy in your place of business, it is okay to leave. It is okay to find another place to work.
It is okay not to like the environment you are in. It is okay to quit sometimes. Especially in college all the pressure is on you. You have to decide a major, you have to study endless hours to obtain a major you may not even find a job in, but you do it anyway because you know you were told to do it.
You work endless hours at a dead end job to make money to pay for your schooling and various bills. This can make anyone unhappy. You have to choose between things you love, and things you want to do in life.
For me, being a journalist is something I’ve wanted in my life since a very young age. I love the art, I love the fast pace and mentality of it all. It was not easy to quit my job so I could focus more on school and myself, but it something I am learning to enjoy.
I have found a less demanding job that I can see my family and friends when I want to and focus on my career and works at Volunteer State Community College.
Overall I feel much better about this change that I have made in my life. I want everyone who reads this paper to know that it is okay to make a decision based on how you feel. It is okay to say enough is and focus on the betterment of yourself. It is okay to find something that you love and run with it.
Finally, it is okay to be sick and tired of doing things for everyone else. Go get your degree, find a great career job, and be the happiest person in this world because at the end of the day money isn’t what really matters. Making yourself happy, making your family happy, and making others happy is what you will be remembered as.
Be your best self whether you work 40 hours a week in an office, or whether you serve at the local fast food place.
Always work hard t what you love and hopefully one day it won’t even feel like work anymore. Hopefully one day every graduate of Vol State can say they made it exactly where they want to be in life.
I know that life is too short to be unhappy. We get a very limited time in this world to make something of ourselves, and ultimately working a job that you have worked at since you were 16 isn’t going to be a crumb compared to everything you accomplish on this Earth.
Never be unhappy with what you do. Go to work or school every day and make it the best day ever.