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.

SGA food survey may bring changes to campus

by Kailyn Fournier
The Student Government Association (SGA) at Volunteer State Community College conducted a food survey from September 29 to October 5 in order to gather opinions from the student body regarding the food services available on campus. The purpose of the survey was to give SGA an idea of what areas needed improving on when it came to food. They were concerned with the pricing of food and the quality of food that was being offered.
“This is my second year at Vol state. So I had a year of actually being a student and listening to other students, and purchasing the food, and eating it and trying it and living here as a student. I personally didn’t like what the foods services was offering. I know I’ve heard from many students and faculty and staff it’s just not up to par with what we should have here. So I brought it up to the SGA, and they all agreed it was a problem,” Said Dillon van Rennes, who is the secretary of treasury for SGA.
There is also the issue of food insecurity on campus. For the students who don’t have the means to purchase food every day, there were a few questions that on the survey as well.
“When we see some need like this we’re going to investigate, “said Van Rennes.
For those students. The SGA hopes to use the data from the survey to go towards a food bank that they are trying to put in place. They have already gotten it approved, along with the grant to fund it. “Hopefully [this survey] will get the ball rolling,” said Van Rennes
The survey also reached out to the other campuses.
Those campuses have one building and no lunch room. They did have a food truck, but no one was utilizing it. “[Fixing] that should be one of our goals on campus,” said Brittany Davis, the SGA cabinet chair for the campus activities board.
The survey is meant to address everyone’s concerns. For those who can afford the food on a daily basis, that means improving the quality of food and the selections that are available. For those who can’t afford the food on a daily basis, that’s what the potential food bank will be for.
“I think it’s a great way for students to get their information out there,” said Crystal Sloss, who is the National Society of Leadership and Success’s representative for SGA.
There were also questions about a meal plan on the survey. If that were to be put in place later on, it could be federally funded.
The survey was a way for them to know specifically what to focus on and where there is a bigger need from a very neutral standpoint.
“We don’t have people coming in and constantly telling us what we’re doing right or wrong. That’s why I like the survey. It tells us exactly what we need to be doing,” said Natalie White, the vice president of SGA.
“We are a very passionate team. We want to make a positive change and we strive to work with administration and communicate with administration to get all of these things done. Were here to serve the student body,” said Van Rennes.
The exact date SGA will get the results back is unknown. “We are working directly with Jane McGuire, vice president of institutional effectiveness. She has not given us a solid date but we are hoping to have the results back by November 1,” said Van Rennes.
“I hope the results allow us to get a change,” said Sloss.