Vol State to open arboretum

 

By Presley Green

The grand opening of Volunteer State Community College’s Parris Power Memorial Arboretum will be Arbor Day, Friday, April 27, 2018 at the Duffer Plaza.

The Duffer Plaza is the area with a fountain between the Ramer Administration Building, Wood Campus Center and Warf Building.

An arboretum is a group of trees identified and listed for nature exploration and scientific study. The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council has certified Vol State as a Level II Arboretum.  

“A certified arboretum must be open to the public with trees that are labeled, properly protected, and well maintained.” according to The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.

The certification was pursued by Cynthia Hernandez, former student, with the help of the science and math faculty members, specifically Parris Powers and Le-Ellen Dayhuff.

“Parris Powers was a former chemistry professor at Vol State who has since passed away. He was much loved. He truly loved environmental science. He worked with Cynthia Hernandez to begin the process of identifying trees for the arboretum and she continued, eventually naming it in his honor.” said Eric Melcher, coordinator of public relations and marketing at Vol State.

Around the campus, 62 trees have been identified and marked with silver plaques, indicating their place in the arboretum. Vol State will be producing a map for students and visitors to locate and view the trees included in the arboretum.

There is mention of better signage for the trees, possibly one that includes an internet link to easily help onlookers find out more information, according to the Vol State website.

The arboretum is already opened.

There will be many speakers  at the grand opening including Hernandez and Dayhuff. Powers’s children Summer and Christian will also be speaking, along with Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State, and a representative of The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.

Vol State baseball tries to make playoffs

 

By Nick Kieser

The Volunteer State Community College Pioneers baseball team is winding down its season. The Pioneers lost this past weekend series to the Motlow State Community College Bucks.

“We are trying to get out of the play-in game and trying to get a postseason berth,” said Chase Haley, redshirt freshman.

The past weekend series loss is a blow to clinching a early playoff position. The next series is this weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The series will make or break this postseason opportunity for the Pioneers.

“It’s crucial. We really gotta have these series so that way we are out of a play-in game,” said Collin Hopkins, starting catcher.

Hopkins has missed “about 20 games” games from having issues with his throwing shoulder and his ankle.

“We are pretty much out of winning the conference. We still have something to play for as far as seeding goes. If you do not win the play-in game series your season is over,” said Ryan Hunt, head coach.

The Pioneers are currently sitting in seventh place in the TCCAA standings with a record of 23-15 and in conference play with a record of 9-11.

“We still have three weekends to go do some things that can put us in a decent seed rather than play in a play-in game. As of now, the way the standings are, we would play Jackson State, and Southwest would play Roane State. Those two teams would go on to play the number one seeds,” said Hunt.

The last series of the season will be at home against Roane State Community College the last weekend of this month.

With seven games left and the postseason on the line, the Pioneers will have to win all the rest of their games to get to 30 wins on the season, a feat which has yet to be done under Hunt’s career at Vol-State. Last season the team fell short one win.

“It’s a matter of executing the pitches called. I’m not worried. I think we could take the conference tournament if we wanted to,” said Hopkins, optimistically about his team.

“It’s doing the little things. Little things equal doing the big things. Keep doing what we

ask to compete and play hard and just see what happens. We play our game and play like we can we can compete with anybody,” said Hunt.

The series in Chattanooga this weekend will start Friday at 1 p.m. and end with a double-header Saturday at 11 a.m.

For game updates and analysis follow the Pioneers on Twitter, @VSCCPioneersBSB.

 

Learn by leaving your comfort zone

 

By Ashley Perham

This week’s editorial was written by Ashley Perham, the Settler’s copy editor.

Have you ever considered your learning style? I know that I personally learn best by reading. I would much rather speed-read a textbook chapter than attend a lecture.

Along with being a visual learner, I’m a little bit (ok maybe a lot bit) of a Type A. I like to know all the details about a task before I start doing it. If you’ve ever taken a class with me, I’m *that* student that has to know all the details at the beginning of a project.

It is ironic then that some of the best experiences I’ve had in my life have come from times when I couldn’t read information and learn all the details ahead of time. Instead, I had to dive out of my comfort learn by experience on the job.

The Settler is a great example of this type of experience. Before August of last year, I had never written a news article, and I had no clue what I was doing. I botched my first several articles and often freaked out because I didn’t know how to write a real news article. Why couldn’t I just learn how to write the article before I had to actually do it? However, I kept at it and improved a little every week. Clay Scott’s Writing for Media class gave me more experience, and by the end of the semester, I was confident enough in my abilities to take the copy editor position at The Settler this semester.

Outside Vol State, I work as a choir accompanist and piano teacher at a private school in Springfield. I had never really taught piano before September 2016, and I was scared. Sure, I had taken piano lessons for most of my life, but nobody had every sat me down and said, “Now Ashley, this is how you keep a third grader occupied when he can’t stop touching every key of the piano,” or, “This is how you handle any conflicts with parents about payment.” I would have LOVED to read Piano Teaching for Dummies. I just didn’t have that opportunity. Instead, I learned “through fire” as they say. There were, and still are, rough days, but I’ve learned to love teaching piano. It is an experience I wouldn’t give up now.

There are many, many other “trial by fire” experiences I could share. I know many of you have probably also had these experiences. My encouragement to you, and to myself, is to relish these “out-of-your-comfort-zone” experiences. Remember that you’ve come through these experiences unscathed before, and be confident in your ability to navigate any situation. Will I ever get over my desire to know all the details beforehand? Probably not. But I can start to embrace being uncomfortable.

Like many of you, my time at Vol State is coming to a close. I know that in the future there will be many, many experiences that I will need to face without the benefit of knowing all the details before. I don’t think anyone is going to give me a step-by-step process that says, “At this job, you’re going to have the most annoying co-worker on the earth. Here are four steps that will diffuse every interaction you have.” No. Instead, I’m going to have to just learn by trial-and-error. And someday, I think I’ll be okay with that. For now, I’m just trying to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Have you had any learning experiences that were out of your comfort zone? Or do you learn better that way? Let me know at aperham1@volstate.edu.

 

Student art will be on display during annual exhibition

 

By Katie Doll

Volunteer State Community College will host the annual free Student Art Exhibition from April 11 – 25 in the Vol State gallery in the SRB building.

An awards ceremony will be April 19 from 1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Everyone is welcomed.

The competition is open to all Vol State art students. Each art studio student is required to submit work produced by the student during the preceding year, according to the Vol State website.

Over 250 students submitted artwork to the exhibit and approximately 60 are shown in the gallery. The submissions include categories like drawing, 2D and 3D design, painting, graphic design, printmaking, photography, and ceramics.

The exhibition showcases students’ hard work and creativity. Students also have an opportunity to learn about the preparation and presentation of art that can help them in their career as artists.   

Some students chose unique routes when creating their artwork. One student, Yingjia Yan, created a sculpture made out of newspapers and napkins resembling a clown. The sculpture is titled “Mushroom Cloud”.

Many students created art made of cardboard and white paper such as Jamie Erwin, who designed a portrait of Jackie Kennedy.

Serious topics were also portrayed through students’ art. Courtney Apedaile created a piece titled “Through Her Eyes” which depicts the subject of rape. The artwork was created using graphite and marker and stands out with the consistent use of the color red.

The reception for the art exhibition will be April 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and free refreshments will be served. Visitors will be able to meet the artists and ask them questions about their art.

Awards will be judged by guest Kathleen O’Connell, assistant professor of art and design at Middle Tennessee State University. The exhibition is judged based on excellence.

Mushroom Cloud by Yingjia Yan

Let’s Review: Tomb Raider

 

via IMDB

By Katie Doll

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure movie directed by Roar Uthaug and starring Academy Award winning actress Alicia Vikander as the iconic Lara Croft.

The movie was released in 2018 and finished second in box office behind Black Panther in its opening weekend.

The film is based on the 2013 video game of the same name, with elements from the video game’s sequel.

It is a reboot of the previous Tomb Raider film series which starred Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. The two women portray Lara similarly in terms of charisma, but Vikander does not rely on sex appeal like the previous films and older video games.

In the movie, Lara Croft hopes to solve her father’s mysterious disappearance by embarking on a journey to his last-known destination – an island which withholds the tomb of Himiko, the Queen of Yamatai who controls life and death.

With her fierce spirit and sharp mind, the audience will have no doubt that Lara will conquer this mission, but the movie still keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

The most action-packed and heart-pounding moment of the film sets the stakes: a violent thunderstorm in the Devil’s Sea that leaves Lara washed ashore, only to be captured by Trinity, an organization who plans to use the tomb of Himiko as a weapon.

With a 49 percent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes scale, the film has mixed reviews by critics. John Nugent from Empireonline.com criticized the film because he felt the content did not fit the genre.

“It’s a different kind of Tomb Raider,” wrote Nugent. “But for an adventure film, it’s disconcertingly dull.”

Even if the plot may not wow the audience, the acting certainly will, according to Neil Soans, writer for “Times of India”.

“’Tomb Raider’ suffers from the tropes of an origin tale, but it gives its protagonist a timely and relevant overhaul to confidently launch Alicia Vikander as this generation’s Lara Croft,” wrote Soans.

Tomb Raider is in theaters now.

 

Vol State hosted sexual assault informational discussion

 

By Riley Holcraft

The Office of Student Engagement and Support at Volunteer State Community College hosted an informational discussion on sexual assault April 5.

This event was hosted by Tiffany Zwart, coordinator of student support.

To open the discussion, Zwart stated, “We can try to ignore sexual assault and act like it doesn’t exist or we can talk about it to prevent it.”

Sharon Travis, a prevention specialist at the Sexual Assault Center (SAC) in Nashville, was the guest speaker for the event. Travis has worked with SAC to end sexual violence through counseling, education, and advocacy for over 20 years. During Travis’s discussion, she provided statistics, prevention techniques and real life instances to better inform participants about the dangers of sexual assault.

Travis explained that sexual assault is an issue rooted in childhood.

“What we recognize about this issue is it affects children in a disproportional way,” said Travis.

50% of clients at SAC are children, and 78% of all people in homes experiencing domestic violence become sex offenders, Travis shared in her presentation. Many times, sexual assault is a learned behavior.

“Rape is not sex,” stated Travis, “Rape is about power, control, domination, and manipulation.”

90% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, many of which go unreported. Travis explained that all people 18 and over are automatically considered a mandated reporter. As a mandated reporter, there is no option to not report cases of sexual assault.

 

Travis compared the effects of sexual assault to a broken leg. It creates a trauma that is not curable through self-medication, and rehabilitation is necessary. If one comes in contact with someone who has experienced sexual assault, they must remain ‘CALM.’

Travis explained the acronym to mean Comfort, Awareness, Listening, and Mentoring. She warned attendees not to ACCUSE: Abandon, Change the focus, Criticize, Underestimate, Share their story, and Evaluate validity. The best thing to say in these situations is, “I believe you. I support you, and I know it’s not your fault.”

Many students shared personal stories and opinions regarding sexual assault. Travis encouraged others to always be aware of surroundings and pay attention to safety.

Kayla Hopper, Vol State student, shared why she attended the event

“For me, personally, sexual assault is an occurrence that should be shared more, especially in colleges. I was able to learn more about what I can do to help and what my role is in the prevention and protection process,” said Hopper.

There are billboards located in Wood Campus Center and Caudill Hall explaining sexual assault. Everyone is encouraged to take a look at these set-ups and be informed on this issue as April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual assault is a prevalent and preventable issue that requires fewer bystanders and more advocates. Students can become an advocate and be in control of what happens on their campus! They can start by tweeting #NotOnMyCampus or #ChangeTheCulture and sharing their thoughts with @TheSettler.

Vol State softball team succeeding with team full of freshman

 

By Nick Kieser

The Volunteer State Community College softball team is having a winning season. Their record as of April 5 is 25-5 with a 10-game winning streak.

“Going 25-5 — I would’ve never thought about it with 15 freshman that have to play. I honestly feel it’s that they refuse to lose,” said Johnny Lynn, head coach.

The softball squad is 17-3 in their conference play this season. As a team they have only lost one game on road.

“The fifth game, I believe, we lost our starting second baseman, and bigger hitters. Tori Barnes broke her wrist on a collision at first base. She has provided leadership in the dugout since then,” said Lynn.

The Pioneers are only second to Chattanooga State Community College in the standings, and Chattanooga has played twelve more games than the Pioneers.

“We are all really tough and want to go bigger places. I like being the leader. I’m tough, and I don’t like to lose,” said sophomore player, Jaylin Mabry.

Out of the 18 players listed on the roster, only three, Mabry, Barnes, and Riley Fleming are sophomores on the team.

“My role is to keep everyone mentally focused. It’s easy to get distracted or get mad. You have to teach younger players how to bounce back,” said Mabry

“We being fifteen freshman we do silly stuff, but they play through it. They are a true team because they pick each other up,” said Lynn.

The loss of a veteran sophomore has not stopped the rolling Pioneers. With 17 games left to play, the team could compete with the number spot in the standings with Chattanooga State who has 18 games left.

This season, Lynn has been using the bullpen in a different way as he has four pitchers.

“Riley usually throws game one, but we are fortunate to have as many pitchers as we do, and they are all different,” said Lynn.

The team is on the cusp of being in the postseason in less than a month, and they would like to go all the way this year.

“A lot of the tougher teams don’t have team chemistry. If you have chemistry, it changes the whole dynamic of a team. I definitely think we can win the whole thing, no doubt in my mind. We are more mentally with it than other teams. We do not stop,” said Mabry.

Last year’s record of 8-20 has now blossomed into a winning season that could turn into a huge success for the Pioneers this season.

“Getting to the tournament, you got to be able to keep your head up, but you’re going to make mistakes you just got to play through it. We are striving to win that tournament in Chattanooga and go on to the national tournament,” said Lynn.

Students can keep up with the Pioneers softball team on Twitter @VSCCPioneersSB. 

 

Vol State baseball player commits to Tennessee Tech

 

By Nick Kieser

Jacob Cole, pitcher for the Volunteer State Community College Pioneers baseball team, committed to furthering his athletic and academic career at Tennessee Tech April 6.

“I’ve had many family members that went to Tennessee Tech. They love it, and I didn’t need to visit their campus to know that’s where I want to be,” said Cole.

“A lot of guys sign late to four year schools. Tennessee Tech is where he’s always wanted to go even back in high school. It’s like his dream school,” said Ryan Hunt, head coach.

This season Cole has pitched a total of 51 innings and has 51 strikeouts as of April 6. His fit into the Tennessee Tech pitching rotation next season perhaps as a starting pitcher is evident.

“I think a strikeout per inning is definitely doing something right,” said Cole.

“If you look at the rankings, they are right there with Vanderbilt, which is pretty prestigious. I have a strong work ethic and a desire to win, in my opinion. I don’t think you find a player who wants to compete more than I do. I hope that Tech is ready,” said Cole.

Cole has been part of a revamp of the Pioneer baseball program, and this team will look to build off his success when he packs his bags to head to Cookeville, Tennessee.

“Jacob has been a big factor in establishing where our program is now and where it’s going to go,” said Hunt.

“He’s been a part of a team that wants to win 30 games this season. He’s an incredibly talented student athlete,” said Jason Barrett, assistant coach.

“He’s really one of the hardest working kids on the team, and he puts in everything he needs to do to get ready for the weekend. I think that he’s going to be an impact player for Tennessee Tech right off the bat,” said Cameron Grogan, Cole’s teammate.

According to Barrett, Cole, is developing a pitch called a cutter to add to his resume.

“It’s a pretty good pitch. He developed pretty quickly. Jacob is going to be successful no matter what he chooses to do. He’s just that type of guy,” said Hunt.

Cole and the Pioneers have 14 games left to play in the regular season.

“I think when you’re not nervous, you can play at your best ability. It’s not about playing the best. It’s about picking up your teammates when they’re down. It’s about being a good guy and teammate. I want to continue to do that,” said Cole.

“He’s a tremendous worker, tremendous young man. He’s everything you want in a player on and off the field,” said Hunt.

“I want to be the guy that was known to work hard in everything he did. Each day I was trying to be a positive influence. It’s been a heck of two years. I’ve really enjoyed it,” said Cole.

Watch Pioneers baseball on Twitter @VSCCPioneersBSB.

 

Let’s Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

 

Displaying IMG_1014.jpegBy Tayla Courage

Rainbow Rowell’s 2014 adult contemporary novel, “Landline,” incorporates elements of science fiction to show how a relationship can evolve over time.

The book centers in on the marriage between 37-year-old sitcom writer Georgie McCool and former cartoonist Neal Grafton. The foundation of their relationship was never solid, but true conflict arises when Georgie announces that she will not be spending Christmas with Neal’s family in Omaha, Nebraska.

Georgie and her writing partner Seth have just learned that the television show they have been pitching for nearly a decade is close to being greenlit, but they only have 10 days to write a complete pilot episode.

She tries to be considerate of her husband’s feelings, but she doesn’t want to sacrifice an opportunity to advance in her career. She suggests flying to Omaha after the holidays, but Neal decides to take their children and go without her.

Not fond of spending the holiday season alone in an empty house, Georgie retreats to her mother’s home in Calabasas, California, where she is greeted with overwhelming concern for the current state of her marriage with Neal.

She’s being treated as though her husband has left her, and while he physically has, their relationship is still intact, or so she hopes. Driven to the brink of madness, she frantically tries to reach Neal to make an attempt at smoothing things over.

 

When Neal, now age 22, answers, Georgie realizes that her childhood home’s yellow landline doubles as a time machine that allows her to communicate with the 1998 version of her then boyfriend.

Everything is simpler with Neal from the past, and Georgie begins to question the timing of her relationship. Maybe she was destined to be with this version of Neal all along.

From her internal monologue, there is no doubt that Georgie is deeply in love Neal, but she puts him on a pedestal so high that she, herself, develops an inferiority complex. In her mind, she is undeserving of Neal’s affection because she is selfish and flawed. She puts her work before her family and that makes her a bad person, but in actuality, she has refused to acknowledge her husband’s flaws.

While he gives up his period of career exploration to become a stay-at-home father to his two daughters, his general apathy toward life makes it difficult to believe that this choice was at all sacrificial.

Georgie eventually makes the connection that everything that is happening in her current marriage with Neal has happened before during the budding stages of their romance.

The landline forces her to realize that she can no longer wait for Neal to make the first move at repairing their dysfunctional marriage. It is her turn to be open and honest about the way she feels in addition to making the necessary compromises that will save her faltering family unit.

In this quick, comical read, Rowell introduces a collection of characters that are relatable, not in the situations they are compelled to face, but in the way they respond to life’s adversities.

Home Plate event supports baseball and softball teams

 

By Presley Green

Volunteer State Community College’s annual Vol State Home Plate will be held Saturday, April 14, at noon, at the baseball and softball fields.

The Office of Student Engagement & Support will be hosting the event to celebrate the baseball and softball teams. There will be food, and everyone is invited.

“We celebrate the basketball teams in the fall semester with Homecoming, so the Vol State Home Plate is the spring edition of Homecoming to celebrate our baseball and softball teams,” according to an email from Tabitha Sherrell. “We will have the cafeteria catering free burgers, hotdogs, and chips at the concession stands and then we will have free giveaways.”

Both the softball and baseball teams play at home twice against Motlow State Community College that day. The baseball games are at noon and 2:30 p.m. The softball games are at noon and 2:00 p.m.