Nunsense mega musical performed by Theater Department

by Brian Ferrell// Staff Writer

The Theater Program at Volunteer State Community College had a play this past weekend called “Nunsense.”

The theme of the play was a group of nuns trying to raise money to bury their sisters who all died from food poisoning.

The play had an all female cast and starred Janice Winfrey-Thomas as Sister Mary Regina, a model mother superior who knew how to get a laugh,

Sonya Mckinley Sharp as Sister Mary Hubert, who taught the novices the ground rules, Aubrey Iwan as Sister Robert Anne, a tough streetwise nun who had a heart of gold.
Stephanie Goodrum played Sister Mary Amnesia, who could not remember her past and Kat Lambert played Sister Mary Leo, who was a professional dancer before entering the convent.
Sister Mary Brendan, played by Hannah Meece, joined the convent after a failed career as a ventriloquist and Sister Julia Child of God, played by Ren Creasy, is the nun who poisons and kills 52 of her sisters.

This play also featured a live band. Jane Kelley as the conductor and piano player,
Rex Howell on the percussions, Katie Blomarz on the bass, and Sheldon A. Thomas on the saxophone.

This play set in present time was being held at Mt. Saint Helen’s School Auditorium. The nuns decided to throw on a variety of shows so that they can raise money to bury their sisters.

“It was fun playing a Nun, the only challenging part about it was learning the dance steps and singing,” said Creasy.

This performance featured a number of songs, such as “The biggest ain’t the best,” “So you want to be a Nun,” “I just want to be a star,” and their finale song, “Holier than thou”.
“It’s a play that everyone can come and enjoy,” said Edmon Thomas.

There was tap dancing, choreography and even a ballet performance by Lambert. During intermission, the nuns interacted with the audience, asking for donation for the church and Sister Julia Child of God wandering around asking the audience if anyone would like to try her soup, the same soup that killed 52 of her nun sisters.

“I think everyone is going to laugh and enjoy this play,” said Iwan.

First annual History Bowl at Vol State a success

by Jesse Versage// Staff Writer

On Wednesday, March 25, the Supplemental Instruction (SI) sponsored History Bowl took place. The event occurred in the Rochelle Center at Volunteer State Community College.
There were two teams competing, the Honorifics lead by Dr. Merritt McKinney, director of the Honors Program; and Professor Peter Johnson, associate professor of history and the leader for the History Pickers.
“Jennifer from Supplemental Instruction just contacted me and asked if I wanted to partake in this event and I said sure,” said Johnson.
McKinney’s student team was from the Honors Program and Johnson’s team was made up of some of his best students to compete in this competition.
The event was setup where each team had four teammates, and every so often would switch out with substitutes.
Professor David Fuqua, assistant professor of Economics, hosted the History Bowl and read out the questions to the competitors. The questions mainly ranged from mid 1800s – 1920s era for United States history.
The way the competition worked was that with every question a team gets correct, that team who answered it correctly received ten points.
If the team answered incorrectly, the other team would have a chance to answer.
They could try to answer the question mid description without any penalty if they had the question incorrect.
There was also a buzzer system where one team was blue and the other red, and each individual on each team got a buzzer to use if they wanted to try to answer the question asked. If no one on either team answered the question, the question would go to the audience to answer.
At the end of the event, Johnson’s History Pickers won with the final score being 210 – 150.
The attendance ranged from 65 – 75 in the audience alone.
Also in attendance was Dr. George Pimentel, the vice president of Academic Affairs, he was there to settle disputes if there were any to occur.
“There were a lot more people who showed up the History Bowl than I anticipated, if we could have more events like this on campus that would be awesome,” said Sara Jarka a Vol State student.

Color and Rhythm lecture connects the arts and music

by Jim Busha// Staff Writer

‘To hear the color and see the sound’ was the idea behind Color and Rhythm, a lecture series given in the Volunteer State Community Rochelle Center, by Sue Mulcahy, professor of Art, and Nancy Slaughter, professor of music.

The lecture was open to anyone interested in art and music or the relationship between the two.

“The arts all have common ground. We talk about the similarities between the languages of art and languages of music. The series started as collaboration between the art and music departments here on campus. We wanted to see how they influenced each other,” said Mulcahy.
To begin, everyone was told to close their eyes and relax before a sound was played.
Everyone was then told to open their eyes and say what image they saw in their head when they heard the sound.
Throughout the lecture, the audience was  asked to share which sounds were associated with the images in front of them.
“It inspires critical thinking and gets people to understand that there are real connections between art and music.  Different music can change someone’s perception.
“If you look at two different pictures side by side and listen to one song or sound, it could change your opinion on which image you relate to more. It may help you broaden your personal relationship with art and music. A painting you never liked or didn’t understand could become understood or interesting to you,” said Slaughter.
Slaughter and Mulcahy said the next lecture hasn’t been scheduled but there will be another one coming soon and that they encourage anyone interested in music, art, or both, to attend.
“It generates conversation, and helps me view art and music through broader eyes,” said Cindy Wyatt, professor of English
“Nancy and Sue force me to think about art and music in different ways.   Anyone who didn’t attend missed out,” said Ben Graves, instructor of Music.

Charles Lindbergh Lecture Discusses American Nazi Rumors

By Mackenzie Border// Staff Writer

Peter Johnson, instructor of History, gave a lecture at Volunteer State Community College on Monday, March 23, in the Carpeted Dining Room. Johnson spoke of the rumors of Charles Lindbergh being an American Nazi during the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR).
When asked how he decided to do a lecture on the subject, Johnson said, “My specialty is World War II, and I was reading a book on Lindbergh vs. FDR, and in it were references to Lindbergh having an association with high ranking Nazi officials. This started me thinking and doing some other reading on the subject which eventually led to the lecture.”
Johnson began his lecture by describing the state of the country after the events of World War I, continuing into the growing popularity of aviation.
“After the war, people began to realize aviation as the next step, and Charles Lindbergh is there promoting aviation at the same time there is a $25,000 prize for the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean,” said Johnson.
Johnson then discussed how Lindbergh began to criticize FDR’s administration upon his return to the United States after living in Europe for a few years, and how Lindbergh’s acceptance of Germany’s highest civilian award from a high-ranking Nazi official created suspicion in the FDR administration.
“So, was Charles Lindbergh a Nazi?” Johnson asked the audience before he began to elaborate on the events that led to the rumors of Lindbergh’s associations with the Nazis.
Johnson discussed how during Lindbergh’s time in Europe, he was invited to Germany to examine the ME-109, Germany’s top fighter plane, and how Lindbergh sent his findings to American Ambassador Robert Kennedy.
During his trip to Germany, Johnson said Lindbergh was invited to dinner with high-ranking Nazi officials, where he was given the Service Cross of the German Eagle, the highest civilian award.
“Lindbergh believed that it would have caused more trouble if he had turned down the award instead of accepting it, so he accepted the award from the Nazis,” said Johnson.
“After his return to the United States, Lindbergh testified before Congress that the policies of the FDR administration were leading America into a war that the country was not prepared for.
“President Franklin Delano Roosevelt became convinced that Lindbergh was a Nazi, and soon he requested for Lindbergh’s phone to be wiretapped and have surveillance placed on him,” said Johnson.
“So was Charles Lindbergh an American hero or American Nazi?” Johnson asked the audience once again before reviewing the suspicious events that led to the accusations.
Johnson concluded the lecture by detailing how the FBI file regarding the rumors had no evidence that Lindbergh was an American Nazi, but he still left the topic open for debate.

“History is filled with stories of men and women who have accomplished great things.
Some of these people have characters that are not admirable, but Charles Lindberg is someone who took on the challenge of flying across the Atlantic and accomplished that incredible feat.  When he came back to America, he was an instant celebrity and used his popularity to promote commercial aviation.
“He fell into odds with FDR over the President’s push for intervention into the war in Europe.  Lindberg stuck to his convictions which is something I feel people should get from this lecture,” said Johnson.
“It was beneficial.  Both sides were presented well, and I like the idea of an interpretation,” said Kendall Bell, a Vol State student.
“It was extremely informative on a topic that I was not previously aware of, and I think it opened my eyes.  I understood what was discussed, and I enjoyed the time spent here at the lecture,” said Luke Rhodes, a Vol State student.

SGA Debate and Presidential Forum introduces next years cabinet

by Adam Parks// Online Editor

On Monday, March 23, the Student Government Association (SGA) sponsored the annual SGA Forum in the Mary Cole Nichols Tiled Dining Room at Volunteer State Community College.
The event involved two parts. The first of which was to introduce the candidates for next year’s Student Government Cabinet.
The candidates introduced at the event were Jessie Versage, the current SGA attorney general who is currently running for the position of Student Government President, and Sam Hunt, current secretary of state and who is running for secretary of state.

Each of the said candidates were asked a series of questions about what direction they see the college going in and their plans for what they want to accomplish for their run as part of the SGA.

The next part of the event was the Presidential Forum in which Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State, and his vice presidents joined a panel to answer questions submitted by each of the clubs on campus.
“The setup for the forum was different this year. In the past we had the two cabinets facing each other, but this time we wanted the Presidential Cabinet up front and the SGA cabinet creating sort of an audience. After the forum I got a few complaints that it created a disconnect, so we more than likely will go back to the old way next time,” said Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator for Student Life and Diversity Initiatives (SLDI).
The questions involved changes that the students would like to see around campus, involving things such as changes to the food in the cafeteria and changes to the smoking area’s outside.  The questions, much like for the first event, were asked by the current and new SGA cabinet members.
After the core questions were asked by the cabinet, the floor was open for any student to ask any question to the Presidents cabinet.

“From what I heard, the last forum was a lot more involved. I wish there was more student involvement with the questions instead of just the cabinet. Overall, though, I thought it was successful,” said Versage.

“I wish there would have been more of a debate. I wish the students were more involved. This affects them and I wish they were more involved,” said Hunt.

She also spoke about the new cabinet that will begin next year.
“The SGA cabinet will be one cabinet. Our vision is strong as we are starting this next year. Dr. Yarbrough has been very involved and is constantly encouraging us.”

“Years ago the campus was alive with students. The quad outside used to be so lively with people, and that would be something I would love to see happen again,” said Hunt.

Local poet Gaylord Brewer does poetry reading for students

by Lauren Cieler// Staff Writer

Gaylord Brewer, a local published poet, came to Volunteer State Community College on Wednesday, March 25, in the Ramer building.
Brewer said is a University of Louisville graduate.
At the end of college, going into graduate school, Brewer said he started studying literary arts instead of visual arts and that he has been doing poetry for 21 years.

He said he spent a whole summer writing and talking about dead metaphors.
Gaylord Brewer’s new book “Country of Ghost”, which he said is his ninth collection of poetry, talks about harrowing, haunted, and darkly humorous poems of both worlds of the living and the dead.
An excerpt from his poem “A Ghost Writes a Postcard to His Wife” he said, “…plays clear field with her sense, blank from flooded, single sparrow just inner with rock of score, black faced goals.”
“The biggest challenge in poetry has been living all over the world and dealing with my poems being published,” said Brewer.

When asked what advice he would give to someone who wanted to pursue poetry, Brewer responded, “Writing is a prime event. Read widely and don’t wait for the news.”
“I chose Gaylord Brewer because I want my students and other students to have more energy to read poetry. Students should meet and listen to writers and poets to have a feel for his or her work in poetry,” said Cindy Wyatt, associate professor of English.

“He was a good poet. He explains his poetry well and in depth,” said Kyle Whitworth, Vol State student.

Science and Math Expo Demonstrates Family-Friendly Experiments

by Lauren Cieler// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College had a Math and Science Expo on Thursday, March 26.

The Expo was open to the Gallatin community and was geared toward sparking children’s interest in the math and sciences.
Justin Williams and Bonnie Breland did an experiment called Burning Money.
The ingredients were a dollar bill; tongs; matches or lighter; salt; 50 percent isopropyl alcohol; and 50 percent water solution.
Williams and Breland put all the ingredients together in glass and soaked the dollar bill in the solution for two to three minutes. Breland took the dollar bill out with tongs and took the lighter and lit the money.
“The dollar bill does not burn because the alcohol is the only thing that is burning. Some of the water evaporates at a higher temperature when alcohol burns. The flame will extinguish after the alcohol is gone and the water is left,” said Williams.
Jennifer Johnson and Will Hinton did Ice Cream in a Bag.
The ingredients were half cup of milk; half teaspoon of vanilla extract; one tablespoon of sugar; four cups of ice; and four tablespoons of salt.
Johnson and Hinton mixed the milk, vanilla extract, sugar, and salt in a small bag.
Then put the small bag in a larger bag full of ice and shook it for five minutes.
The result turned to ice cream.
Macy Gregory, Kirsten Cacciotti, and Danella McBride showed blowing Bubbles.
They had three bowls with three different mixtures.
The experiment was to see which mixture could blow and hold the bubble the longest.
The first bowl had one cup of water and two tablespoons of soap, the second bowl had one cup of water, two tablespoons of soap, and one tablespoon of food coloring. The third bowl had one cup of water, two tablespoons of soap, and one tablespoon of syrup.
Gregory blew a bubble from the first bowl and it lasted until the bubble hit the ground and popped.
Andrew Manes and Jose Garcia did The Invisible Heavyweight.
Their supplies were a deflated basketball, a small air pump, and a scale.
Manes took the deflated basketball and put it on the scale, which resulted in the weight of 580.1 kilograms. Manes then took the air pump and put air into the basketball. When he was done, he put the basketball on the scale, which resulted in the weight of 581.5 kilograms.
Manes and Garcia picked this experiment because, “We think air is complex and it’s awesome to show small children what air can do.”
There were 15 more experiments around Wallace, which included False Snot, Magic Sound, Liquid Nitrogen, and Fantastic Foamy Fountain.

History Bowl showdown features trivia from Civil War to Great Depression

by Mackenzie Border// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College will host the first History Bowl Wednesday, March 25, in the Rochelle Center from 11:15a.m. – 12:10p.m.
“The planning began in early February. I was picked, but I was happy to participate,” said Dr. Merritt McKinney, instructor of History and director of the Honors Program.
Professor Peter Johnson, instructor of History, was asked how the event came to be, and said, “My SI [Supplemental Instructor],

Jennifer Wooden, came up with the idea and she presented it to me and asked if this was a good idea. I think it’s great. Give her all the credit for this one.”
“I actually had be wanting to do a History Bowl for some time, but the timing was never right,” said Wooden, SI leader for Johnson’s History classes.
“It was this semester that I decided to pursue the idea further and Mrs. Toni Murad, coordinator of SI, agreed that it would be something we as a department could make happen.
“Once the idea took off, I asked Professor Johnson and Dr. McKinney if they would like to participate, and they agreed it was something that would be fun and a good idea,” continued Wooden.
Johnson also revealed information regarding the topic and format, saying, “The questions will cover a period of American history from the end of the Civil War through the Great Depression.
“There will be the following categories: Reconstruction, Industrial Age, Populism/Progressivism, Imperialism/Spanish-American War, WWI, 1920s and Great Depression.
“Most of the questions will be single answer questions rather than discussion questions.  Professor David Fuqua [assistant professor of Economics] will be the moderator and will ask the questions.
“There will be buzzers for the students to hit which will determine who was the first to respond and if the answer is incorrect, the other team will be given opportunity to answer,” said Johnson.
“The showdown will be fun and entertaining, but will also be steeped in historical facts which will make it educational at the same time.
“The students of both of these professors are being taught by the best in my opinion, and it should be a great match. Everyone who comes out to watch as well as those who are participating should walk away with something new,” said Wooden.

“I’m looking forward to the event. If it’s a success, it could become a tradition every semester,” said McKinney.
Johnson even gave his opinion on how it will turn out, saying, “I am confident the best team will win. Of course I think that will be my team – The History Pickers. All I can say is, watch out, Dr. McKinney, the Pickers are coming!”

Math and Science Expo to encourage attendees to have interest in those fields

by Brittney Mace// Assistant Editor

Volunteer State Community College will be hosting its annual Science and Math Expo on Thursday, March 26, from 2:30 – 6 p.m.
The event is open to Sumner County children in K-8, and their families, who want to learn about Science and Math.
Parris Powers, associate professor of Chemistry, has been a coordinator of the Expo since its conception 14 years ago.
“The Science and Math Expo is a community outreach that is sponsored by the Math and Science Division and is primarily directed by our science students and math students.
“They work in groups of two, three and four and develop and present hands on activities in the science and the math disciplines,” said Powers.
Powers said the attendance is usually between 300 and 500 community children, but it really depends on the weather.
“Most years we’ve had really good weather and there’s been a few years where we’ve had some rain and weather issues, but that usually doesn’t dampen the turn out too much but the better the day is, the better our attendance,” said Powers.
Dr. Glenn McCombs, instructor of Biology, is also a coordinator of the event.
“We love to host the Expo because it offers a fun way to learn and the whole family can enjoy it all for free. It is a great informal way to connect our community to our Vol State students through their service learning efforts,” said McCombs.
“Most of the activities are primarily in [the Wallace] building. We’ll have up to 50 hands-on activities in our two chemistry labs and three lecture rooms.
“We’ll have some activities outside and we also have the Fisk Vanderbilt planetarium in the gym,” said Powers.
McCombs said that for someone who has been in Science education for more than 20 years, the question of why it is important for young people to learn about Science and Math, is a big one.
“It is most important that young people use their time in and out of school to soak up everything they can because you don’t know until you try. No matter what direction you pursue, a strong foundation in science and math is valuable.
“Although certainly not exclusive to science and math, these areas are all about asking new questions, discovering innovative ways to answer them, and just plain solving problems. This world definitely needs more problem solvers,” said McCombs.
“[The main goal of this event is] to excite our community in science and math . . . to foster inquiry and excitement,” said Powers.
Dr. Billy Dye, instructor of Biology, said events like the Expo give benefits to both the college and the community.
“Hands-on opportunities to see science in action ignite a child’s curiosity, which is the heart of science itself.
“The Expo is student-led, allowing our Vol State students the incredible opportunity to design and implement their own ideas and projects. Community colleges are truly about the community, and events like the Expo help strengthen the relationship between the college and the people we are here to serve,” said Dye.

Shellie Michael lectures on Transcendentalist communes, Alcott and Hawthorne

by Cynthia Hernandez// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College hosted a lecture about the Transcendentalist movement by Shellie Michael, associate professor of Communications and English.
The event took place on Tuesday, March 17.
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary,

Transcendentalism is a philosophy and social movement that began in the 1800s.
It is based on the idea that spiritual things are more real than the ordinary human experience and material things.
Michael said she is currently writing her dissertation on “Transcendentalist Communitarianism in Fiction.”
“Communal living has a fascinating history in America and especially here in Tennessee. My research focuses on communes that Transcendentalists started in the 1840s in Massachusetts.
“Two American writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott, lived at those communes, and I’m studying the fiction they wrote about their experiences. Much like the 1960s, the 1840s were an era of radical experimentation, and Hawthorne and Alcott were part of those exciting times,” said Michael.
Michael said the mid-1800s was an “age of reform” and communitarianism was very popular.

“People were really swept up in this mood of let’s overturn everything, much like the 1960s in the United States,” said Michael.
She also said there were abolitionist and women’s rights movements. People were questioning alot and were interested in lifestyle changes, such as vegetarianism, also during this time.
An example was given by the reading of a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and transcendentalist.
“Emerson effected the communal movement by really emphasizing spiritual experiences in nature. So much of communitarianism is bound up with this romance of the soil. You need to be outside. You need to get out of the library.
“He, himself was more or less a bookworm, but for other people, he really recommended that they get outside and do things,” said Michael.
“We are all a little wild here with numberless projects of social reform, not a reading man but has a draft of a new community in his waistcoat pocket,” wrote Emerson.
“One of his other big ideas is this idea of non-conformity, that you shouldn’t just do what the mainstream society tells you. Also that you should really practice self-culture, that you should look within yourself, and to become your best self. God lives within every man and you can tap this and you can find this within yourself,” said Michael.
“I really enjoyed Professor Michael’s talk because it demonstrated the importance of drawing connections between literature and historical events.
“Several of the humanities lectures this year have shown what an interesting time the antebellum era was,” said Dr. Merritt McKinney, director of the Honors Program.