How to Get Ready for Halloween

Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year for some people.
The pumpkin patches, haunted houses, bon res, and costume shopping can really get you in a spooky mood.
While this time of the year is very exciting it can also be very dangerous.
With the outbreak of people dressing up as clowns going around scaring and harming people this year people should be especially cautious.
You never know what someone is capable of. The person dressed up as something innocent at the Halloween party may have other intentions.
Never trust someone you do not know with your drink or food. It is so easy to slip drugs or other harmful substances in someone’s food or drink when you leave it unattended.
You can never be too careful. Never ever get in the car alone with someone you do not know. Someone’s true intentions are most likely to come out when you are completely alone with
them.Especially if you have been drinking, ladies or gentlemen, be cautious about alone time with strangers.
Nothing good can come out of alcohol and alone time with strangers. It is always better to travel with groups of friends. Even if you get separated from them
most times someone will notice and come looking for you. Good friends are always going to make you feel safe when you are around them.
They will make sure you are safe from harm, the same way you, hopefully, will look after your friends.
While I have never advised someone dress as a clown for Halloween, I especially do not advise this currently.
People are on the lookout for clowns this year because of all the tension that has been happening lately and they may or may not be ready to harm those in clown costumes.
If you have children another great tip to use when trick-or-treating is putting reflectors on their costumes.
This will help attentive drivers be able to spot them if they happen to get loose from you and get into the road.
As much as parents and guardians hate to think about it children do get out of sight due to excitement and curiosity.
Picking a special reflector to put on your child can help you better spot them in this situation.
The curiosity takes over not just children, but all of us during Halloween. Anyone who has watched a horror movie can tell you that curiously wandering into abandoned houses, wooded areas, or other buildings is a
terrible idea.
Each time someone sticks their
nose where it does not belong in horror movies it ends up being a complete disaster.
They end up unlocking something that does not need to be unlocked, poking at something that does not need to be poked, or becoming possessed with something that really wants to possess someone.
There is no telling what kind of creatures, clowns, or people are dwelling in those areas and it is just better to not nd out.
Lastly, always use your better judgement. If something is telling you that you better not do something, you better not do it.
If, however you do get yourself
into a bad situation this Halloween that you do not know how to get out of it is always a good idea to call someone.
Whether it be a family member or friend they can only provide you with help and support if something bad has happened,
I hope everyone has a safe, and very happy Halloween.

Top 8 reasons to vote this election season

By: Cole Miller
The 2016 Presidential election has the two most unpopular main party candidates in recent American history. However, whether or not you like either major candidate, your vote still matters. Please go out and vote on Nov. 8 if you have not already voted early.

8. There is more than one choice.
Although the media primarily covers the Democratic and Republican parties, there are many other parties with candidates running for President of the United States. Some parties are more known, like the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, but there are lesser knowns such as The Legal Marijuana Now Party and the United States Pirate Party.

7. You can actually complain with some integrity.
To quote Abraham Lincoln, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the people and burn their behinds, then they will have to sit on their blisters.” Basically what this means is, if the person you did not want to become President does just that, and you didn’t vote, you cannot complain about it.

6. The margins can be very important.
The 2000 Presidential election between George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore had a popular vote margin of 543,889 votes in the latter’s favor, however, the electoral vote gave George W. Bush the win, making him the 43rd President of the United States. The electoral difference was 5 delegates.

5. There have been people who have given their lives for your rights.
As a United States citizen, you have several rights given to you by the U.S. Constitution. Voting is one of these rights. Ever since we became a country, there have been wars fought, and in each of these wars, Americans have died defending those rights. By not voting, or not practicing any constitutional rights, you are letting them die for nothing.

4. Because you can.
This may seem pretty basic, but most college students are over eighteen, and can finally vote for the candidate of their choice. Growing up, I was always excited to finally be able to vote in an election of any kind, and now I finally can. This election is history in the making, and every vote counts for your candidate of choice.

3. The emotion of anticipation.
The night of the election, Nov. 8 we will have announced to us, the 45th President of the United States of America. This is a very exciting time for many citizens. Excitement can be good or bad though. Some citizens could be in total fear over who will be elected this year, or and year for that matter, because of the feeling of broken promises and the unknown that comes with every new president. Regardless, people will be anticipating these results for days before that night, and the entire day.
2. Honoring Benjamin Franklin.
At the Constitutional Convention that led to our country being formed, Benjamin Franklin was asked the following question, “What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” He answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Our founding father challenged the citizens of his day and for Americans leading all the way to today to vote for their official leaders.

1. Democracy.
Democracy literally means “people force.” We the people have the ability to put our elected officials in office, any office for that matter. This all the more reason why we should absolutely vote on any ballot. We the people are the most powerful entity in this country. We the people are the backbone, lungs, and brains of this country.

These are just a few of the many reasons you should utilize your right to vote.
Although the candidates in this election are extremely unpopular, one of them will be our next president.
Being educated on your choice and your own beliefs definitely helps narrow down your choices.

Top 10 movies available to rent at the Thigpen Library this Fall

by Cole Miller
If you weren’t already aware, there is a great selection of movies available to rent in the Thigpen Library. It is completely free, just show your Volunteer State Community College ID.
You are allowed 2 movies, and can have them for up to a week with no late fees. If returned late, you owe a dollar per day, per movie. The following is my personal top 10 movies that you should check out and watch if you have not seen them already.
10. Citizen Kane
In 1941, Orson Welles released this classic mystery drama movie. This film has been dubbed “The Greatest Film of All Time” by the American Film Institute on their 1998 list “100 Years … 100 Movies” and again on their updated list in 2007. Anything that has been noted as being the greatest of all time is absolutely worth your time.
9. The Wolf of Wall Street
Released in 2013 and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this biographical drama about Wall Street directed by the talented Martin Scorsese is a must see for a movie buff. This is definitely not one to watch around younger kids or people who are sensitive to foul language, as it broke the record for most uses of the “f word” with a whopping 506-569 uses in some conjugation.
8. The Graduate
This is a classic, and your parents probably know this one. The Graduate came out in 1967, and stars Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock who has just finished college and is returning home. With a soundtrack written by “Simon & Garfunkel” that contains now well-known songs such as “Sounds of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson”, I absolutely recommend this movie.
7. American Beauty
Keep calm and pass the asparagus. This 1999 “dramedy” starring Kevin Spacey is outstanding. Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a husband in suburbia that is just fed up with life, at home and at work. Without spoiling any major plot points, I can honestly say this movie is in my top 5, and is one I re-watch regularly.
6. The Big Lebowski
“The Dude abides, man.” Before I mention anything about the movie, I should mention that this movie will make you want to go bowling and just take it easy for a while at home with friends. Jeff Bridges plays Jeffrey Lebowski, who shares the same name as a very wealthy mogul played by David Huddleston. Everything unfolds in a hilarious way, and is always worth the rewatch.
5. Argo
Directed by Ben Affleck, who also stars in this suspenseful movie is based on a true story. Based on the “Canadian Caper” which occurred in 1979, this movie tells the story of how the CIA faked a movie to get American hostages in Iran home.
4. Reservoir Dogs
Okay, this is my absolute favorite movie of all time, I did not put it at number one because I am aware it is not for everyone. This is Quentin Tarantino’s first production, and stars Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and Harvey Keitel. I will not be spoiling anything from the plot, this is a must watch.
3. The Godfather
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1972, this movie is also dubbed as one of the greatest movies of all time. It is ranked second, only behind Citizen Kane on AFI’s “100 Years … 100 Movies”. It stars Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone and Al Pacino as his son, Michael Corleone.
2. Good Will Hunting
“How do you like them apples?” Written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck while they were in community college, this 1997 drama is a masterpiece. It stars Damon as Will Hunting, and the late Robin Williams as his therapist, Sean Maguire. This movie won Williams an Oscar, and is also in my top 5.
1. Interstellar
If you have not seen this yet, go watch it. Use Hulu if it has already been checked out of the library. This sci-fi movie directed by the talented Christopher Nolan has even been dubbed “almost 100 percent scientifically accurate” by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. It deals with worm holes, black holes, and relativity for those of you who really like things like that.

What do in Tennessee for Fall Break 2016

by Lillian Lynch
Fall Break is coming up for the students of Volunteer State Community College Oct. 10 and 11, giving them a five-day weekend. A vacation can be taken in this time, but where to go is the question.
One attraction is the local amusement park Dollywood in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. There are more than 40 rides and attractions here alone according to
They include the Lightning Rod, which is the world’s fastest wooden coaster, the Smoky Mountain River Rampage, where a group sits in a circle and rushes down rapids, the Barnstormer, a roller coaster based on 1920’s stunt pilots, the Wild Eagle, the world’s first winged coaster, the Dizzy Disk, where passengers sit facing outward for a ride that glides back and forth while simultaneously spinning in circles, kids’ rides, and much more.
There is currently a fall break promotion going on and three-day tickets are $33 a day, compared to one-day tickets at $65 for adults, $52 for children and $60 for seniors. The park is a little less than a three and a half hour drive away.
A less-known local attraction is the Lost Sea Adventure in Sweetwater, Tennessee. Visitors explore caves with a guided tour in a round trip of three-fourths of a mile.
At the bottom of the cave, 140 ft. under the surface according to, is America’s largest underground lake. Here visitors board a glass-bottom boat and take a trip around the body of water.
Tickets are $19.95 per adult and $10.95 per child but children under 4 are free.
Another attraction in Gatlinburg is the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The aquarium is made of two levels, the upper level and the lower level.
The upper level has four different sections. They are the Tropical Rainforest, the Ocean Realm, Shark Lagoon and Touch a Ray Bay.
The Tropical Rainforest features piranhas and poisonous dart frogs. The Ocean Realm features the spotted garden eel and flounder.
Shark Lagoon, as its name suggests, features the sand-tiger shark and the nurse shark. Touch a Ray Bay is a shallow lagoon where guests can reach out and touch rays as they glide by, according to Educators stand by for safety and to answer questions.
The Coral Reef features clownfish, butterflyfish and regal blue tang. The Discovery Center features pufferfish and horseshoe crabs.
The Gallery of the seas focuses on octopi, cuttlefish, and jellyfish. Stingray Bay consists of multiple species of stingrays.
The Penguin Playhouse includes tunnels that go through the penguins’ habitat where visitors can get nose-to-beak with the penguins.
There is also an opportunity to get an original art piece by a penguin. They are given paper and paint with their feet. It is $30 or $45 depending on the size.
Tickets to the Aquarium are $29.99 at the gate or $25.99 online per adult and $15.99 at the gate or $13.99 online per child.
Ripley’s is just a three and a half hour drive away.
A five-day weekend can go a long way.

10 ways to de-stress for your midterms

by Hope McKinney
The stress of midterms can really get to college students. These top 10 tips to get through midterms might be just what you need.
10.) RELAX. Take some time to yourself. Go for a walk, or drive around for a while and clear your head. Sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods at a time can give you a headache and make it that much harder to finish the task at hand. Some me time is always okay.
9.) Do not get behind. Take the time to space out some you time, but do not take it too far. Sometimes taking it too far can end in a failing grade. It is very easy to get behind when you are overwhelmed and you just want to do everything but school work. You have to push through and stay focused.
8.) Talk to your professors. I cannot push this enough. Keeping an open line of connection with your professors can be the difference between knowing what you need to work on and being completely oblivious to things going on with your grades. Professors are there to help you and especially if you have an online class it is important to at least email them and make sure you are on the right track.
7.) Ask a family member for help. If you have at least one family member that is willing to help do not hesitate to ask them. Especially parents and grandparents may have some great insight from when they were in college and how they got through midterms and other big homework assignments, projects and test.
6.) Organize your notes. Keep your notes well organized and easily accessible. This will reduce stress exponentially if you know where everything is and you can flip back to a page where you left off.
5.) Use the silent study rooms on the campus. You can go into these rooms and you will not have any distractions from the task at hand. You can turn off your phone and other devices and just be consumed in your work. Sounds fun right? It actually works, especially if you have a noisy house.
4.) Study smarter, not harder. When you study smarter you plan out what you need to study and outline your notes. This helps you gather your thoughts on paper so you can see them. This reduces my stress because I have everything together and I know what I need to be studying.
3.) Go to class. Especially as Editor-in-Chief of The Settler I get behind easily. With someone constantly needing my attention or texting me about not being able to do things or how something is going I have virtually no time to just sit and listen, except when I go to class. Going to class reduces stress because when you are sitting there your full focus has to be on the discussion or the lecture.
2.) Set your work load to the side. Many students work and go to school at the same time and this can lead to more stress than most people can imagine. If it is possible at all let someone take a shift of yours. This gives you extra time without work stress being on top of school stress to get things done.
1.) Be a great test taker. If you can compose some sort of mock test and take it without distraction you get a lot of practice. This is my favorite destressing tool for those of you who aren’t the best test takers. This helps me reduce stress when it is actually time to get down to business.