English professor offers students chance to relax through breathing

 

By Katie Doll

College can be stressful, but Betty Mandeville, professor of English at Volunteer State Community College, has a few techniques to help students take the time to relax and breathe.

Mandeville hosts breathing exercises from 2:15-2:45 p.m. every Monday upstairs in Thigpen Library.

Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes a day reduces anxiety and stress, according to the American Institute of Stress. By breathing deeply, the parasympathetic nervous system of the body is stimulated, bringing about a state of calmness.

At the beginning of every class, Mandeville takes the time to make sure students are fully focused. Students are encouraged to close their eyes as they are walked through a series of slow deep breathing exercises to help stressful thoughts leave their minds.

Ten years ago, after she resigned from teaching, Mandeville started her own form of exercises to help calm her down while home with her son. Five years later, she returned to teaching and thought the exercises would be helpful for students.

“My hope would be that they then use it anytime when they’re about to study for a test or have a complicated conversation or do something that makes them feel anxious,” said Mandeville.

Some of her techniques are what she would want to hear, in hopes that students would want to hear the same, she said.

One of her techniques involves simple phrases or analogies, such as “thinking of your breath as an anchor.”

Mandeville went through a certification program at Duke University. She uses some of her training for in-class exercises.

“Their scale is a bigger scale where it’s class that you take,” said Mandeville. “I offer some longer classes, but consistently, I always do whatever we can do in class to get settled in, so to speak.”

Students like Elise Piliponis, a middle college student in Mandeville’s class, have often found these routines helpful in dealing with their everyday lives.

“I don’t get a lot of sleep, so it’s like really nice to get my brain focused,” said Piliponis. “Because I have stuff going on everyday after school.”

MAN ON THE QUAD 2/20/18

 

We here at The Settler have one goal: to let the student’s voice be heard. So we’re beginning a new segment called Man on the Quad to get students’ opinions, thoughts, and ideas. You can send your question ideas for this segment to aperham1@volstate.edu.

What are some hoops you’ve had to jump through as a working student?

Oh goodness, a lot. Time management, scheduling. Scheduling classes around a work schedule is terrible. I can only come up here once a week so all my classes are crammed in from early morning to late at night. Finding time to do homework. Overall exhaustion. – J

Just getting my homework done and also having free time and a social life and things like that. – N

Driving everywhere. I’m always driving I feel like. – L

I have to manage my time really well because I pretty much work all on the weekend and that’s most people’s time to make sure that they’re getting all their homework done because most things end up being due Sunday nights. Well, I’m working Sunday nights and when most students can put it off till Sunday morning, I have to do it Wednesday night or Saturday morning or something. I can’t put things off. I have to stay on top of things because if I don’t, everything falls apart. – J

Having to schedule work around school instead of the other way around. I had to find a job where I could only work at night or on the weekends. – F

Trying to balance your income to pay for food and gas and tuition. – T

Trying to leave here and get to work on time. – M

I have to manage my homework schedule around when I get off and my study schedule so that can get pretty hectic. – A

I guess where I’m having to put my education on hold, or miss out opportunities to do better in my education because I have to work. –  T

I’m very blessed to have the opportunities that I have, but sleep is not something I experience very often. So I guess that’s the hoops I have to jump through. It’s just like prioritizing my opportunities or prioritizing like my health. – S

I have to get up super early for an eight o’clock class just so I can have my afternoon free. –K

I had to quit my job because of school. -S

Man on the Quad 2/13/18

 

We here at The Settler have one goal: to let the student’s voice be heard. So we’re beginning a new segment called Man on the Quad to get students’ opinions, thoughts, and ideas. This week we asked students about some of the weirder things they’ve seen on campus. Here are their responses. You can send your question ideas for this segment to aperham1@volstate.edu.

You told us your craziest Valentine’s Day stories:

It was Valentine’s Day, and I had been asked to have dinner with a guy I had just recently begun seeing. We had only been around each other a handful of times and never alone. He took me to Logan’s Roadhouse to eat because all the restaurants were packed, and we were poor 20-year-olds. I got up to go to the restroom, and I slipped on the peanut shells and bust the floor wide open. Instead of immediately getting up like most humans, I lay there for a good five minutes laughing. I realized he was not laughing. Needless to say, that was our last date. – L

When I was in 5th grade, there was a boy in my neighborhood who had a huge crush on me. On Valentines Day, he brought a box of chocolates and flowers to my house when I was in the shower. My older sister thought it would be funny to tell him I was pooping. My mom was laughing too hard to take up for me, and he waited at my front door until I was done in the shower. I was so embarrassed I said thanks and shut the door. – P

One time I had a boyfriend, and he literally got me a toy car for Valentine’s Day. No chocolates, nothing else, just a toy car. And his reasoning was because my car was a piece of crap, and he wanted to get me a new one. We’re not together anymore. – C

I got like this singing valentine one year, and it was from my boyfriend freshman year. And it was supposed to be cute, but it was also his way of breaking up with me, tied to one of the little roses I got. – J

So I’ve actually never had a valentine, but last year my girlfriend broke up with me a couple of days before Valentine’s Day. I was so excited to have my first valentine then she was like bye – N

In first grade, my parents and grandmother set me up with this other little girl because they knew their parents, and I remember being back behind where we’d put bags up and what not. Because it’s in first grade, so everything’s just kind of awkward, and I handed it [the valentine] over because I didn’t want anyone else to see because the other kids would make fun of me “eww you got cooties” – C

My first Valentines with my boyfriend was on campus. He tried to deliver them to me in one of my classes. I was so embarrassed I pretended like I didn’t know who he was. -R

My first Valentines with my boyfriend, he didn’t get me anything. He gave me something a few days later, and I asked him why. He said, “Everything was on sale, and I could buy you the big stuffed bear.” -H

Romantic movies available at Thigpen

 

By Katie Doll

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and whether the time is spent with a significant other or alone, watching romantic movies will fill up the day. Here are five romantic movies available to borrow at Volunteer State Community College’s Thigpen Library.

Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Titanic (1997)

One of the highest grossing films of all time, “Titanic” has been considered among the most romantic films of all time with the iconic performances of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Director James Cameron takes the tragic sinking of a real ship and turns it into an action-packed love story between a poor working orphan and a rich young girl who is forced into an engagement with a 30-year-old man.

Photo courtesy imdb.com

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

When two college graduates argue whether or not men and women can have a platonic relationship, they didn’t realize it would be put to the test ten years later. Out of respect for their best friends, Harry and Sally must stay friends, leaving sex out of the equation. This heartwarming romantic classic is perfect for a laugh on Valentine’s Day.

Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

This Oscar-nominated film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper gives a take on romance in a humorous and complicated way. When Pat, portrayed by Cooper, is released from a psychiatric hospital, he attempts to win his ex-wife back. Along the way, he meets Tiffany, portrayed by Lawrence, who offers to help him win back his wife only if he enters a dance competition with her.

Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

A thoughtful and heartbreaking film, “Brokeback Mountain” tells the story of two cowboys who fall in love almost by accident. Twenty years later, the two, now married men to women, spark up their torturous affair despite homophobic remarks from others. This film tells a story people of the LGBTQ community can relate to.

Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Twilight (2008)

This teenage love-sick drama changed the game for vampire and werewolf movies. High school student Bella meets Edward Cullen, a handsome and mysterious vampire, as they fall in love under the odd circumstances of being a human and a vampire. The two’s teenage-obsessed, emotional love story was followed up with three more movies that can create a movie marathon for Valentine’s Day.

Man on the Quad 2/6/18

What would you change about Vol State?

Music students should get advisors that are in the music program or the AFA program – D

Parking. If they paved the extra parking, it’d be perfect, but people don’t know how to park without lines – G

I actually parked over at the maintenance building one time, and somebody hit my car, and there’s no cameras over there so that’s what I would change. Get some cameras over there – M

The piano practice rooms should be soundproof – A

One thing I would change would be more study rooms for the library. They have a really good library, and I really enjoy it and take advantage of it, but more study rooms – J

Make it easier to contact your advisors – F

The cafeteria definitely needs work. Mostly those [booths along wall]. It just needs to be re-done – N

Maybe the bathrooms. Like keeping them more clean- C