Vol State to host Women’s History Tea

By: Jessica Peña, Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College will be hosting the annual Women’s History Tea Wednesday, March 23, in the Mary Nichols Carpeted Dining Room.

The event will include food, a guest speaker from the Tennessee Board of Regents and an award recognition.

Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, Director of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, has been coordinating this event every year since the Spring 2013 semester.

“I created the Women’s History Tea to bring awareness and recognition and to celebrate the accomplishments of women to the Volunteer State Community College Community and to society as a whole,” said Yarbrough.

Yarbrough said he wants women to feel empowered to accomplish whatever they choose and for all, male and female, to respect the strides that women have made.

“I hope our students will become more open and respectful that each gender brings something to the table and the accomplishments and contributions of women are equal to that of men,” said Yarbrough.

Yarbrough has invited Dr. Heidi Leming, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the Tennessee Board of Regents, to be the guest speaker for the event.

“Because of her [Dr. Leming] position, she has insight on what is happening in our state with respect to Higher Education. I’m confident that she will be able to motivate and inspire the attendees at the Tea,” said Yarbrough.

With diverse events like these, Yarbrough said he hopes to move the campus toward a direction of inclusion and not merely tolerance.

“Our celebrations of various cultures and gender aren’t meant or intended to cause division but rather to celebrate our differences.

“Our differences make us appreciate the subtle nuances. That’s what I want the community to understand,” said Yarbrough.

Dr. Heidi Leming’s speech is titled “What Do You Believe?” and it will focus on how beliefs shape action and the role that women have played in education to advance those beliefs.

“I hope to challenge students to think about the importance of identifying your core beliefs, taking action, and honoring the legacy of those who have gone before us to make our personal journeys possible,” said Leming.

Leming said she has close working relationships with several Vol State staff including Dr. Kenny Yarbrough.

This will be Leming’s first Women’s History Month presentation.

“I love being able to connect with students and inspire them to take their college experiences to improve not only their own lives, but the lives of those around them,” said Leming.

Leming said she believes activism is one way to shape a more positive campus environment that transcends to a greater local community.

“If a student has never thought about why we have ‘history months,’ take a moment to reflect on how a better understand of the past can shape our future actions,” added Leming.

The Student Life and Diversity Initiatives are having the event set up with a Parisian theme this year.

Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities, said she enjoys this event because it is a nice change of pace.

“We try to get new decorations to add to the event each year.

“We also always ask the French class if there are any volunteers that want to serve hot water at the tea and speak French phrases to the guests so they can join in on the fun,” said Sherrell.

With the past success the Women’s History Tea has had, Dr. Kenny Yarbrough said he is very elated about the event this year and is proud that the Vol State community recognizes the accomplishments of women.

“I’ve had so many people share that they enjoy our events because it raises awareness.

“There are some who wonder why we take time to celebrate different groups, but I feel that it’s our differences that strengthen our similarities,” added Yarbrough.

The Office of Student Life and Diversity and the Diversity and Cultural Awareness Committee are accepting nominations for the Women’s History Month Tea.

Any woman who has made outstanding strides or contributions at Volunteer State Community College is eligible. This includes students, faculty and staff. Submissions must include the reasons why you are nominating your candidate for this recognition.

The Diversity and Cultural Awareness Committee will be selecting the winners who will be awarded at the Women History Tea.

Submissions must be sent to Vicki Dretchen, Diversity and Cultural Awareness Committee Chair, by email to vicki.dretchen@volstate.edu by March 17.  

Helpful advice for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

By: Barbara Harmon, Assistant Editor

St. Patrick’s Day is on Thursday, March 17, and you will be certain to spot green-colored clothing around the campus of Volunteer State Community College.

Many people have traditions for this holiday, but here are some things to take into consideration.

Do not waste your time watching “Leprechaun in the Hood” or any from this series, unless you like fairly corny films.

If you are going to stay in, it may be better to watch a movie like “Blown Away” or the family-friendly “Luck of the Irish.”

There are many other wonderful Irish inspired films, but it really depends on how many times you want to hear the f-bomb.

Are you going to have the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage?

“Corned beef and cabbage, as it would seem, is about as Irish as spaghetti and meatballs [are Italian].

“Evolving from the Irish bacon and cabbage, it was Irish immigrants in America who quickly swapped to corned beef as a less-expensive substitute for pork,” according to washingtontimes.com.

So go ahead and celebrate with this traditional Irish-American meal, and be thankful it is not drisheen and tripe.

You should not overindulge in beer just because it is green.  Wearing your green on the outside is plenty. Your insides do not have to match.

“The Irish don’t bother with this foolish malarkey.

“As one Irish ex-pat living in America explained it when being interrogated about real St. Patrick’s Day customs back home, ‘if you dyed beer green in Ireland, they’d punch you,” according to Brad Tuttle on time.com.

There are other choices of Irish beverages, instead of beer. A popular black tea in Ireland is Barry’s Tea.

According to IloveIrishTea.com, “Barry’s Tea [is] imported from Ireland [and it's] America’s favorite Irish tea.”

This could be your alternative to alcohol.

Have you ever heard of a lucky tattoo…really?

“A superstitious few might be under the impression that getting a four-leaf clover permanently drawn on your body is the ultimate way to score some instant luck, but don’t be fooled,” according to picosure.com.

“There’s nothing wrong with believing in a little magic, but when it comes to body art, you’re setting yourself and your artist up for failure and disappointment.

“If you happen to have the most unlucky day of your life following the tattoo session, then the tattoo serves as a constant reminder of it,” according to PicoSure.

If you want to keep the leprechauns away, do not forget to wear your greens.

If you want to keep fools from pinching you, do make sure these greens are visible.

Last but not least: Do not kiss someone just because their shirt reads “Kiss Me I’m Irish.”

More than likely…they are not.  


The meaning and origin of St. Patrick’s Day

By: Sam Walker, Staff Writer

Today I ventured around Vol State campus to ask students their thoughts on Saint Patrick’s Day, and I was very surprised by the results. Out of every person I asked not a single one could tell me about Saint Patrick’s Day, beside the fact that if you don’t wear something green people will annoy you all day.

So I took it upon myself to look into it and see what I could find.

This day is particularly sacred to the Irish people, even though Saint Patrick himself was not Irish. He was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century.

When he was sixteen years old, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates at his home in Britain. Patrick was then taken back to Ireland as a slave. He worked as a shepherd for six years before escaping his captors and returning home to his family.

Patrick came from a long line of ranking members in the Catholic Church. He went on to be ordained as a Bishop in Northern Ireland. He worked as a missionary to the Irish people.

One of the most common readings on Saint Patrick is that he used shamrock clovers in his teachings to represent the three parts of The Holy Trinity.

In many depictions he is seen wearing green while holding a cross in one hand and a three leaf shamrock in the other.

According to the tales of Saint Patrick’s time in Ireland, He banished all of the snakes from the land. This is interesting because to this day no snakes reside there.

Saints Patrick was recorded dead on March 17 and buried in Downpatrick, Ireland. This day was commemorated as a holiday in honor of Saint Patrick and his patronage to the Irish people.

This holiday is also observed by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. Saint Patrick was named the foremost patron saint of Ireland.  

Although this holiday was first established as a feasting day, it has turned into a holiday also celebrating the culture of the Irish.

In turn, alcohol made quite an appearance in the festivities. In fact the restrictions of Lenten of the Catholic Church of eating and drinking alcohol are lifted on Saint Patrick’s Day.

So remember on Thursday, March 17 to wear something green because there will always that one guy who thinks it is appropriate to go up and pinch random strangers.

Vol State to perform classic play

By: Gayla Collier, Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College’s theater department will be presenting a spring play called Midsummer Night’s Dream on March 18-20. The showings will continue March 25-26 in the Auditorium in the Noble Caudill hall building.

The running time for each show will be about two hours.

Professor Edmon Thomas is the Director of Midsummer Night’s Dream and put the show together along with Assistant Director Professor John Yaskell.

Audience members will need to purchase tickets at the door for $5, while all Vol State students can attend free with a present student ID.

A company called Stage Craft Class is building the set for the play.  Nashville Repertory Theater is helping with the costumes for the cast members.

The cast rehearsed through Spring Break.

“The cast is great,” said Thomas.

Midsummer Night’s Dream is a Shakespeare play about four royal people that are involved in a love triangle.

The main characters are Egeus, Demetrius, Hermia, Lysander, Helen.

In a summary of the play, Egeus wants his daughter, Hermia, to marry Demetrius, but she is not in love with Demetrius.

Hermia wants to marry Lysander. Egeus tells Hermia to either marry Demetrius or become a nun.

Meanwhile, Helen is in love with Demetrius, but Demetrius wants to marry Hermia. However, Hermia is in love with Lysander.

For the play actors have to remember many lines, but there are techniques that the actors uses to help them remember.

“I go over my lines every morning with my grandmother and I will read them over and over many times at home or at rehearsals,” said Brazil, who is playing Lysander.

“When you make mistakes, you have to just keep going and try to summarize the lines as best as you can. You have to act like nothing is wrong,” said Brazil.

“I do get stage fright, but I think when you stop getting stage fright is when you should be worried. If there is not that nervousness or anticipation to do well, then it’s like maybe I’m not as passionate anymore,” Brazil said.

Spring Fling draws close at Vol State

By: Shannon Feaganes, Web Editor

Volunteer State Community College will be hosting Spring Fling on March 30 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Carpeted and Tiled Dining Rooms.

Students will be able to interact with 10 activity tables set up by different clubs on campus, each of which will have activities that will benefit the community in some way.

“Originally, Spring Fling was kind of like Welcome Days, where clubs would just set up their own tables with their club information, and that was it,” said Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities, “so we decided we wanted to have some community service opportunities.”  

Sherrell explained that Spring Fling is set up this way so that clubs can fulfill a requirement by Vol State, which states that all active clubs must participate in community service in order to be considered in good standing with Vol State.  

The College Republicans Club and Phi Theta Kappa will have a table where students can make dog toys out of old donated T-shirts that will be donated to the Sumner County Humane Society.

The Student Government Association Cabinet and Spectrum Club will be holding an informational table to which active clubs at Vol State can submit flyers for promotion during Spring Fling to interested students.

The Campus Ministry (AXIS) will have a table to make care packages for The Bridge Ministry, bagging items such as thermal gloves, snacks, and travel-size hygiene products.

Team Change will have a Kid Activity Bags table, at which students will be able to fill bags with items such as coloring pages, crayons, stickers, and pencils.  All activity bags will be donated to the Gallatin Day Care Center.

There will also be activities such as ping-pong and board games.   

“[I’m] getting pretty excited about it,” said Josie Ross, a psychology major.

“Anything that benefits the community and brings people together is something I would be interested in,” said Alexis Freeman, a nursing major.

In similarity with last semester’s Fall Festival, each attendee will be given a card with 10 check boxes, and for each activity table that they visit, they will receive a corresponding check.  Once a student has at least 6 of those 10 boxes checked, signifying that they have participated in at least 6 activities, they will be able to redeem the card for a free lunch.

There will also be an opportunity for students to receive a free lunch if they can find one of the six Vol State Poker chips hidden in the area.  


Spending a week without Facebook

By: Sara Keen, Editor-in-Chief

Anyone who has graduated since 2010, at least, can probably say they at least know what Facebook is.  The social giant is used to “connect with friends” or as a distraction from literally everything.

On Sunday, February 21, I made the decision to quit Facebook indefinitely.  My reasons were simple, it was stressing me out and distracting me from everything I did.

The first day was pretty normal. I was a busy so it was not terribly difficult.  However, I did frequently find myself hovering over the empty space where the app once was on my phone.  I started to notice it more and more as the day progressed and thought to myself, “have I really been checking my Facebook this much?”

On day two, Monday, I had my classes.  During class it was not much of an issue, but I did notice how many other people stared intently at their own mobile devices.  It makes you feel like the odd man out of the group when everyone else seems to be on Facebook or some other social media network.

I found that it made doing my homework at least a thousand times easier.   I was not scrolling through Facebook every few minutes when I would get bored, and basically powered my way through.  I had everything finished in no time at all.

I also noticed that my headaches were not as frequent, and my attention span improved a little bit.  I could focus at least a little better on conversation, work, books, video games, and everything in general.  

The best part about not being on Facebook, though, was that I was far happier with my own life.  I was not constantly looking into the fun everyone else seemed to be having, but focusing on the fun I was having.  After noticing all of this, I did a little bit of research into how social media affects the mind.

I only did a quick search, but the best short article I found was from degreed.com.  It explains that social media can be addictive.  

It has all that someone needs: a distraction and positive reinforcement (likes, for example) for using it.  There is even a scale to the measure the addiction known as The Berge Facebook Addiction Scale.  

The website also points out that it can cause us to be unhappy by comparing ourselves to others.  If you are scrolling through the newsfeed and seeing nothing but vacation photos, engagement announcements or parties you weren’t invited to after a long and difficult day, then you will think your life is awful.  

The same could even be said for physical appearance.  How many of us see an attractive person online and think, “damn, why can’t I look like that?”  It has probably happened at least once to any social media user.

It can even cause restlessness.  This can be anything from a constant distraction to not being able to sleep because you are too busy scrolling.  Maybe something happened and you just cannot stop following it, but you really need to.

That being said, Facebook really is not entirely bad.  I did not completely delete my Facebook, although I know several people who have.  I still use messenger app to talk to some friends, and I will probably give it the occasional check or update.

It is a great way to stay in touch with the people you do not see regularly.  It simply needs to be used in moderation.  I suggest everyone try at least deleting their app, you could have different results.

Vol State to host Thinkfast Game Show

By: Gayla Collier, Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College is hosting the Thinkfast Game Show.  It will be held in the Mary Nichols Dining Room A on Wednesday, March 2 at 12:45 p.m.

The Office of Student Life and Diversity Initiative contracted the show through TjohnE production.

“Thinkfast is the standard, and by far the most awarded interactive program ever with various college voting entities since it’s inception in 1995,” according to TjohnE website.

TjohnE tours five productions of Thinkfast year round.

Anyone who wants to participate needs to be in the tiled dining room, Wood Campus building, by 12:45 p.m.

The game show will provide 100 wireless controllers so students can participate.

A host will keep the show moving with trivia questions and implement interactive activities.

There are chances to win wildcard spots, which will allow you to win and move further along in the game.

“I have not heard of this event, but if there will be prizes you can win, I will be willing to participate in the activities,” said Leandrew Hayes, a Vol State student.

Trivia questions about women’s history will be asked for the Women’s History series in March. There will be interactive activities.

“Our trivia development staff works hard to provide a diverse array of shows, with various degrees of difficulty.

“Our clients can select from shows in our inventory, or they can request a custom program to fit a specific event,” according to the TjohnE website.

“People can expect high energy and a fun atmosphere,” said Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities.

The event will be free.  For more information regarding the Thinkfast game show, visit college.tjohne.com or go by the office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives.