Finals are Finally upon VSCC Students

by Hope McKinney
The Fall semester is coming to a close and finals are quickly approaching. For many this means sleepless nights, and a lot of studying.
There are a multitude of ways to study that ensure good grades but I will just provide you with a few that work for me. Keeping your phone away or on the ‘do not disturb’ setting ensures no distractions with electronics. In this day in age that is the main source of distraction, especially with Millennials.
Our phones, laptops and IPads are always attached to us in some way, shape or form and it is just so hard to leave the virtual world alone in fear we may miss out on something. Putting your electronics away, unless of course you need them for research, is always going to help you earn a good grade on your final.
Your friends may not be much help texting you about hanging out during a long study session, but they may be of assistance to you in a study group.
I find it very helpful to study in a group, especially if someone in your group has previously taken a class in which you are currently enrolled.
Friends like the ones I mentioned may be able to give you a good deal of information that can help you during the studying process. Sharing your own study tips is always a good idea.
In study groups it is also easy to take stress free breaks from the books. Almost always friends can help you through your stressful, and most difficult times by just taking a step back with you and laughing. I can not think of a time that students need laughter more than during finals week. It is always important to let your brain rest from extensive studying. This can give your brain the same feeling as if you are cramming at the last minute, which you never want to do. When you do not take a step back and breathe you get very overwhelmed and so does your brain, it is flooded with information as such an alarming rate that it has to push things out.
This will only make you forget vital information. Forgetting is possibly the worst thing that can happen during finals week besides coming down with the flu that is making its way through the schools during Fall finals week.
A trick that I have found helps a lot of people remember what they have been studying come test day is to chew gum. Many people have told me to chew my favorite gum during studying and chew the same flavor while taking the final and it will help correlate the information you studied with the flavor of the gum.
I have not tried that trick out yet but I plan to during finals next week. Every student knows the severity of missing a final exam.
It is very important to attend class always, but during finals week and the week before it is absolutely vital to attend classes. I have said it a million times, but I will say it again, if you do not understand something this week is your last chance to get clarification on things.
There is no reason to it down for your final exam and wonder why the questions do not make sense. Our professors, especially the ones here on the Volunteer State Community College Gallatin campus, only want to see us succeed.
Their whole job revolves around our success and they love helping us reach our ultimate triumphs. I encourage every student to relax and get some major studying done before next week.
It has been my absolute pleasure to serve the student body and and faculty as the Editor-in-Chief of this newspaper and I look forward to seeing all of you next semester.
Congratulations to all of the wonderfully bright students graduating this semester.
My writing staff and I wish you nothing but success in your future endeavors. If any of your find yourself looking for credit hours to fill, or a fun way to relieve stress and make friends please consider joining us on The Settler’s staff.
We are always looking for talented individuals that love expressing themselves through journalism.
Have a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays. I hope to see everyone next year.

The top 10 books every student needs to read

By: Michaela Marcellino
College students have lots of assigned reading, of course. Many forget, however, how enjoyable reading just for fun is!
Here is a list to get started:

10.The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This is the heartfelt, sad and beautiful love story of a teenage couple battling cancer. When in the mood for a tearjerker, this one is a must.
“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”

9. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
The tale of Robinson Crusoe is a really fun read! It is packed full of adventure, danger, ingenuity, and success.
“It is never too late to be wise.”

8. A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse
This pick is by P.G. Wodehouse, an absolutely hilarious British author. You will laugh at loud while taking in the antics of a classic love triangle in early 1900’s London.
“I wish I could get you see my point of view.” “I do see your point of view. But dimly. You see, my own takes up such a lot of the foreground”

7. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
No matter the readers age, the story of the red-headed orphan who loves big words coming to a new home on Prince Edward Island, is sure to tug on the heartstrings.
“Dear old world’, she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”

6. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
This pick is another teenage love story, the sweet tale of Jamie and Landon. Readers will laugh, cry, and everything in between.
“I don’t think that we’re meant to understand it all the time. I think that sometimes we just have to have faith.”

5. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Tom is a happy-go-lucky boy, who is extremely clever. He also has a way of letting his imagination run away with him! Do not miss this pick.
“Well, everybody does it that way, Huck.”
“Tom, I am not everybody.”

4. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
This is the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympian and later a soldier in World War II. He survives a plane crash, only to be captured and brought to a camp for Prisoners of War. It is heart-wrenching, inspiring and something everyone needs to read.
“Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it.”

3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
This pick is the story of the Pevensie siblings–Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy—making their way through a wardrobe to the magical world of Narnia. It is full of fun, adventure, betrayal and forgiveness.
“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, when he bares his teeth, winter meets its death, and when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
This classic is a really fantastic narrative of love, betrayal, revenge, and reconciliation.
Dumas keeps readers into the plot the whole time, and the journey is thoroughly enjoyable.
“I don’t think man was meant to attain happiness so easily. Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it.”

1. The Bible
Everyone needs hope, peace and guidance for life. This is the very best place to find it. There are lots of plans to help you read through the whole Bible in a year, the MacArthur Daily Bible being a great option.
Having the Bible App downloaded on a smartphone is another great resource.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11

Starry Night to be performed at Vol State

By: Cole Miller
The annual Christmas program at Volunteer State Community College is coming up.
Every year at Vol State near the end of the Fall semester, the music department puts on a program.
It will be held in the Noble C. Caudill Hall in the Ellen and Will Wemyss Auditorium on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. on both nights.
The event is completely open to the public, and students and faculty are encouraged to invite family and friends.
It is completely free for students to come and enjoy the performance, just show your student ID at the door.
In addition, anyone who wishes to donate to the program for future performances are welcome to do so.
“This year is going to be our best show yet. The theme is ‘A Starry Night’, [as it is] a nocturnal theme, a thematic ideal of stars, [literally] a starry night.”
The idea is a brainchild of myself. We will have more than just Christmas music, as the ensembles are very diverse.”
There will be Native American flautists, and several ensembles [consisting] of jazz, rhythm, rock, and blues.”
The group Vol State Showstoppers will be performing ‘Star Carols Medley’, with the finale being ‘A Shining Star’ by Earth, Wind and Fire.”
I hope every student who enjoys and appreciates music will come and enjoy the show”, said Professor James Story, Chair of the Music Arts Department.
Professor Story also added that if any student is interested in joining one of these ensembles for next year’s show, to schedule an appointment to see him in his office in the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities Building.
He is looking for brass, percussion and woodwind players in particular.
“I attended the Christmas program last year, and it was very entertaining. I hope I can go this year, but work hates me.”
I am looking forward to hearing my favorite Earth, Wind and Fire song ever, other than on commercials during the holidays.”
Mr. Story really knows what he’s doing, and even the shows of his I have seen outside of Vol State are just awesome.”
Christmas time is the best time of the year, for music, food, and human interaction. [Not only do] I hope I can go, but I hope that all students that enjoy this time of year as much as I do will go and enjoy this show.” said Dakota Rogers, a student at Vol State.
CDs of the performance will be five dollars and can be purchased through the music program.
For more information, contact the Office of Humanities at
(615) 230 – 3202.

Spoken word artist NAV comes to Vol State

By: Miguel Detillier
Spoken-word poet Navpreet Sachdev, better known as NAV, spoke at Volunteer State Community College on Nov. 16.
This event took place at the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room B in the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center and lasted from 12:45-1:45 p.m. as part of International Education Week.
Before NAV read his poems to start this event, he suggested everybody in the audience to ask questions in between or after his spoken-word pieces.
NAV started this event by reading a poem called “Defined” that talks about him dealing with racial discrimination in his life.
Next, NAV read “The Apology” after he told a story about being rejected by a girl when he tried to ask for her number. This poem is about him struggling to date a girl and him being a terrible flirter toward women.
NAV then talks about negativity as one of his biggest life struggles, and that he tends to struggles to live to the fullest when he has negative thoughts in his mind. NAS also talked about dealing with his negative thoughts by doing the Think Positive Campaign on social media, especially when he shares positive messages on Snapchat and Instagram with #pathtopositivity, which lead to him reading a poem called “Scars” that talks about the agony that has affected him in his life.
Next, NAV read “What I’m About,” and encouraged the students to help him bring rhythm to his poem by clapping their hands and stomping their feet.
NAV also talked about him becoming a poet by explaining that his breakup with his girlfriend put him in a lot of emotional stress which eventually lead to him starting to write his own poems suicidal. NAV also explained that once he started to write poetry, it compelled him to write and perform his own poems in college and to learn more about the techniques of poetry from watching and studying videos of poets on YouTube.
Next, NAV read “The Politics of Facebook” that talked about the problems of being on Facebook. Afterwards NAV read “I am Singh” and “Full-Time” which both talked about his personal faith.
Finally, NAV read “Thank You Come Again” about his father who grew up in India to close this event.
“This has been a wonderful way for students to participate in an international activity right on campus,” said Anne-Marie Ruttenbur, Coordinator of International Education. “Not only did they get to hear great poetry but they also got to learn about someone from a different culture.”
“I think the event did really well,” said Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities. “NAV did a fantastic job, and I wish I would’ve love to see more people to come see him perform, but it was still a really good event.”
NAV said that Vol State had great energy and was a lot of fun. NAV also said that the students seemed to be engaged in this event and appeared to enjoy the show.

Top 10 Good Study Habits

By: Cole Miller
With finals coming up even faster than we expected, we must prepare properly. Some students can take a final like it is any other test, but some are not as fortunate. But that is okay, here are some tips on healthy ways to study in a convenient, anxiety minimum manner.
10. Get a good night’s sleep. Don’t stay up late studying or not studying within the few days before your exam. Get a solid 7 hours of sleep minimum, but no more than 10, as you will feel groggy the next day if you sleep your day (or night) away.
9. Study in small bits. If you are like me, you procrastinate. There have been times where I have found myself cleaning my entire house just to put off studying. I study in small portions at a time, usually being thirty-five minute intervals once every 2 hours. Obviously not everyone will have the same intervals, but after you find your Zen, everything will fall into place.
8. Eating habits. This one may seem a bit odd, but brain food exists. Junk food may be simple and easy for leisure time, but study time needs something more, even just a drink would be easier than a bag of chips. Simplicity is in the eyes of the beholder, but my study snack is usually Chex Mix and a Snapple.
7. Turn off the phone. Majority of the time, we are glued to our phone, whether it be social media or entertainment, we are addicted to our smartphones. Just by turning off your phone, or putting it in airplane mode for your study interval, you would not feel the urge to check Instagram or keep your Snapchat streak going.
6. From the window, to a wall. Okay, title aside, study location is vital. Find your happy place, the Thigpen Library is always quiet and even offers rooms for private or group study sessions. Do not study in a public place, or somewhere where the outside world is going to be affecting you.
5. Music is key. This one is pretty common amongst college students. Music that doesn’t want to make you jump up and play your air guitar might be better if that happens to you, otherwise listen to your favorite songs. However, if complete silence is better for you, go for it.
4. Your friends will still be your friends tomorrow. Although a social life is healthy, your education is just as important. If you are stressing over a final, or maybe more than one, cancel plans. If for whatever reason your friends get angry at you for studying, just explain to them that you needed time to study and they should understand.
3. Ask for help. It is okay to ask for help. Ask a friend, a professor, a parent, a tutor, anybody who you think might be able to help you succeed in passing your exams, ask them. Study groups are great to learn new thinking strategies and a new attack plan other than “circle ‘b’ if you don’t know the answer.”
2. Bring anything you need, nothing you don’t. I feel like this one should be drilled into our minds. Things you should bring are notes, outlines, a laptop for Power Points, and a textbook if you prefer paper. Do not bring things like a videogame system, an entire meal from a restaurant, fireworks, etc.
1. Do not stress. If you go into a test thinking you’re going to bomb it, you will. If you stay up all night worrying about failing, you will. Do not stress over these exams, they are literally any other test, but they count for a little bit more.

Weddings Around the World Exhibit at Vol State Community College

Kailyn Fournier
As a part of Volunteer State Community College’s celebration of International Education Week, there was a display in the Carpeted Dining Hall over weddings around the world on Nov. 16th.
There were various tables set up describing wedding traditions in various cultures.
According to Tabitha Sherrell, the concept of weddings around the world came from a woman, Seemi Rizvi, who volunteered to come to Vol State and give students free Henna Tattoos.
The event was then based around the fact that Henna is a wedding tradition in India.
Likewise, the event was centered on Rizvi’s table, which brought in a steady inflow of students from 11 p.m. – 2 p.m. Two students, Abby Humbest and Hunter Gooch, visited the booth, and got their tattoos.
Humbest learned about the event a week before after seeing the fliers for International Education Week on the tables of the cafeteria and remembered after seeing Rizvi’s table set up.
When she sat down, Rizvi just started going to work before Humbest could tell her what she wanted, but Rizvi’s design ended up being every close to what she had in mind.
“I liked the fact she was able to pick up on what I wanted,” said Humbest.
Gooch learned about the event from a friend who wanted to get a Henna tattoo done for themselves.
After he saw their tattoo, Gooch decided to get one as well. He didn’t have a good idea on what design he wanted, so when he sat down, “I let her do what she needed to do,” said Gooch.
She said she started doing this after she had a client who had come in for an original design and just based on how she felt came up with a Japanese appearing design.
It turned out that the girl had Japanese heritage. “After that, I just decided to tell people what I am feeling,” said Rizvi.
“She said my tattoo was a strange one to her and that I create beautiful, meaningful stuff and that I would be a bridge between two things,” said Gooch.
For those who are interested in the Henna tattoos, they can find Rizvi’s business page on Facebook if they look up “Seemi’s Henna Body Art.”
The booths that surrounded Rizvi’s table had information on other cultures.
Some traditions that were mentioned included the Guatemalan tradition of the groom’s mother placing a white bell filled with grains to welcome the couple to the reception, and the German tradition of having the couple work together to saw a log in half.
Respectively, the traditions intend to wish prosperity for the future of the couple, and test their ability to work together.
In front of the display were some passports that were free to take as well as some flyers for Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS), a study abroad program for Tennessee students.

Be thankful for the things you have

by Hope McKinney
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and many of the students and faculty at Volunteer State Community College are preparing for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
Around this time every year people start to stress Christmas shopping, grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and having their family come into town to stay with them.
More often than not we do not realize how lucky we are to share the holiday season with our loved ones. We are all too worried about Black
Friday shopping and getting the newest toys for our children and the best clothes and jewelry for our spouses that we forget to sit down and think about what we really are thankful for.
When we think about what we are thankful for this holiday season we do not need to think about material things.
We need to think about the people that surround us and the great memories that we share. There are so many great ways to gather your thoughts on what you are thankful for.
When my family sets the table for Thanksgiving dinner we lay down a giant table cloth that we can write on and when we start to eat we each write down one thing we are thankful for going into the holiday season.
After we are done eating everyone reads what they are thankful for out loud and we all share stories about things we overcame or goals we reached so far in the year.
This time with my entire family means more to me than anything, however not everyone gets to have that amazing traditions and love this time of the year.
I encourage everyone to make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season. Whether it be going to donate to your local shelter or doing some volunteer work you never know how far your kindness can go.
I admire my Grandmother so much in the fact that she makes it a point to us every year to invite someone new to our Thanksgiving.
She did not come from a wealthy family and she knows exactly how it feels not to have much.
She listens to people when they say they have nowhere to go for the holidays and she opens the doors of her home to complete strangers.
While I do not recommend inviting strangers into your home I could not be more proud of my family for their huge heart for people.
If you wanted to do this for someone look to some of your friends. I can almost promise you there is someone in your friend group, or someone you know from school that does not have anywhere to go for the holidays.
I encourage you to share your love with people this year in some way, shape or form. There are so many ways you can do so, and absolutely make someone’s day.
I also encourage everyone to remember those serving our country and who cannot be home with their families. Those women and men put their lives on the line every day for us every day and they deserve our appreciation always.
Coming from a military family, I can promise you that they appreciate every letter, care package and call they get. Even if you just send your friend a text or call saying that you appreciate their service that small gesture will definitely go a long way.
Everyone comes from a different background and celebrates different ways, but each and every one of us has at least one thing to be thankful for.
I hope everyone has an excellent and safe Thanksgiving. Remember all that you have to be thankful for.

Humorist Tom Lehrer Tribute Concert a Success

By: Michaela Marcellino
The Music Department of Volunteer State Community College had their concert, “Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer (as if that was even possible…)” on Monday, Nov. 7.
This event was a tribute to political humorist and musician Tom Lehrer. It included both faculty and staff from several Vol State music appreciation classes.
The music was upbeat, funny and lively, and seemed to keep the audience laughing the entire time.
The concert included 13 Tom Lehrer songs performed live, as well as videos with Tom Lehrer himself singing—New Math and The Elements—to begin and end the event.
The songs performed live included The Masochism Tango, So Long Mom (a song for World War III), She’s My Girl, and Poisoning Pigeons in the Park. Some of the songs were cynical, yet hilarious takes on political themes, and some were just humorous takes on life in general.
“I thought the show was fabulous, everybody did what they were supposed to do…I think the audience] liked it, they seemed to have a really great time.
“You know, I wanted to give them permission to be as ridiculous and rowdy and crazy as possible, because it is that kind of show. The performers were great.
“Half of them were Mark Granlunds students, and I thought they [all] did great. Ben Troxler [who performed in the show] was a student of mine in 1999, when I first was here [at Vol State].
“[My favorite part of the show] was mine! The song I Hold Your Hand in Mine is extremely funny,” said Nancy Slaughter, associate professor of music, who helped coordinate as well as performed in the show.
All the performers seemed to really enjoy themselves. Even Vol State’s President, Dr. Jerry Faulkner, attended.
“[The show] was great fun. It was very entertaining, and the students did a great job. I do not know if I had a singular favorite part, it was all so good. I do not think I could choose one over the other,” said Faulkner.
“The show went really good, I think everyone did really well. I hope [the audience] was entertained. I think everyone did better than they thought they would do,” said Josie Doyka, a Vol State student who performed in the show.
“[My favorite part of the show] was hitting myself with a tambourine!” said Noah Perkins, another student who performed in the show.
Another faculty member who performed in the show as well as helped coordinate it was Mark Granlund, who teaches voice at Vol State.
“I was so pleased with the students, and their abilities to do what they do. I could not be more proud of them.
“The audience was into it, every bit it of it. They enjoyed it, and laughed at times. I hope they learned to laugh at themselves and laugh with other people. [The concert] gives [students] an opportunity to learn and grow [as] a person. They learn to be their own people,” said Granlund.
The concert was a fun time for everyone involved, and gave the audience the rare and welcome chance to just relax and have fun for a little while.

Spoken Word Artist NAV comes to Volunteer State Community College

By Kailyn Fournier
As a part of International Education week, Volunteer State Community College has invited spoken word artist Navpreet Sachdev, otherwise known as NAV, to perform on Wednesday, Nov. 16. His performance will take place in the carpeted dining room from 12:45 – 1:45p.m.
Like most of the artists who perform at Vol State for various events, NAV was invited here after he performed at the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) in March. “NAV’s performances are raw and authentic, driven by his passion to inspire the best of humanity,” according to their website, www.apca.com.
The APCA conference in March was NAV’s debut as a performer; however, he had attended the conference as a student, prior to that. The performances he saw inspired him and were a large influence in, “His decision to follow his dreams of being a poet came from,” according to the website.
“APCA was able to let him perform live,” said Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities. She was one of the Vol State members to attend the APCA concert in March and was also one of the decision makers in NAV performing at Vol State.
The handful of students that attended the conference with her were SGA members. At the conference, they all had a booklet on the events, which they used to grade the performers on their act.
This score was on a letter scale, with A being the best and f being the worst. After the APCA, the SGA members would watch the best performer’s videos and make a group judgment call on whether or not they want to invite the performer to attend any events at Vol State.
NAV must have been impressive because in his 10-minute time to perform, he managed to get that A rank from Sherrell and some of the SGA members to perform here for International Education week.
According to Sherrell, his poems addressed issues such as discrimination and the need to improve society. This was a contributing factor in his invitation to perform during international education week as well.
“His performance at the conference was awesome,” said Brittany Davis SGA’s CAB chair and attended the APCA conference alongside Sherrell.
She says her favorite poem of his is “Thank You and Come Again” which is about his father’s immigration and the discrimination he experienced at the various businesses he worked at.
“It’s really powerful,” said Davis.
His other poems include “I Apologize,” about not being able to flirt and being attracted to someone on more than just appearances; “Politics of Facebook,” about the superficiality and ignorance displayed on social media despite it’s potential to change the world; and “Scars” about the damage that is done by the negative words of other people, but also about accepting the scars and moving on.
Sherrell has invited faculty members to bring their students to his performance. Those who are interested can find his YouTube channel NAVNAVNAV, or on his SoundCloud, NAV the Poet.

Veterans honored with Recognition Luncheon by Vol State Community

By Miguel Detillier
Volunteer State Community College celebrated Veterans Day by hosting the Veterans Recognition Luncheon at the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center on Nov. 10.
This event took place in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room B and lasted from 12:30 – 2 p.m.
The Veterans Recognition Luncheon started with Belinda Fowler, President of Vol State Veterans of America (VSVA), reciting The Pledge of Allegiance with the audience. Fowler also talked about what a veteran is and what it means to be one and why people choose to be veterans.
Next, Ken Hanson, Veterans Affairs Coordinator, asked the audience if any faculty, staff or students were veterans of the military by having them raise their hands, and asked the audience to raise their hands if any dependents have supported their veterans today.
Hanson talked about the history of Veterans Day by claiming that this holiday started originally as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1918 during the end of World War I.
Hanson also said that Armistice Day was declared as an official U.S. holiday a year later for many people to celebrate the veterans who fought in World War I, and even said that Armistice Day was renamed as Veterans Day from a bill passed by Congress in 1954 since the United States started having more veterans after World War II.
“Recently, I had the honor of a gentleman from the Netherlands who came to visit me, and he was telling me he couldn’t believe how much we honor our veterans in the United States,” said Hanson.
Hanson then shared the gentleman’s sentiment by thanking each of the military veterans in the audience and to those that are in the military for their service.
“We are all brothers and sisters in arms and we need to keep it that way,” said Hanson.
“I had someone telling me years ago, ‘you got your brothers and your sisters that you grew up with, but those that you grew up with in the military and that bond that you have what goes that are in the military is even stronger than the blood bond that you have,’” added Hanson.
Hanson said that Vol State is proud to support their veterans and military students who work hard towards their educational goals.
Hanson also said that the Veterans Center and the Office of Veterans Affairs are all there to help military students have a better education.
Finally, Barry Rice, President of the Tennessee State Council Vietnam Veterans of America closed the Veterans Recognition Luncheon by saying that this country is coming together to remember, honor and pay tribute to those who have served for the United States bravely.
“The veterans we honor today came from all walks of life, but they share the qualities of courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication and integrity,” said Rice.
Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities, said that this event was a great way to support the veterans who came to this event.