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,
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.