Soul Food Luncheon honors African American writers and brings people together

by Brian Ferrell// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College’s African American Student Union (AASU) hosted a Soul Food Luncheon in the Mary Cole Nichols Carpeted Dining Room on Feb. 11, to celebrate Black History Month.

This event was planned as a way for students of every race to come together to not only celebrate Black History Month but to also celebrate people of all race, gender and sexuality and to spread the message that no matter what color of race you are and who you are that you are special and unique in your own way.

This event was also to recognize great African American writers who helped pave the way for young African Americans today.
The Soul Food Luncheon had the Vol State faculty and students read poetry from African American Authors.

Gabrielle Staton, Student Government Association (SGA) representative for the Association of Campus Events (ACE), started the luncheon by giving an introduction.

“[Black History month is] a reminder of how far we’ve come as a race and to take a moment to be thankful for who we are,” said Staton.

Next, was the poetry reading by faculty and students of Vol State Community College.

The reading started with Cindy Chanin, associate professor of English, who read “Mother to son” by Langston Hughes and “The Mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks.
Deb Moore was next and she chose to recite, “How it feels to be Colored Me” by Zora Neale Hurston.
Next was Shavonya Washington with “Life is Fine” by Langston Hughes.
Jacobi Calloway with “I rise” by Maya Angelou.
Melva Black read “I have come into the city” by Sonia Sanchez, and lastly, Jasmine Reed with “poem variety.”

“Black History is a celebration of people who have overcome and still striving to become,” said Black.

After the poetry reading, Ashlyn Challenger, AASU president, got up to the podium and spoke.

“You are not black, white, yellow, pink, purple, red, gay, lesbian, straight or what society has put you into. But you are black, white, yellow, pink, purple, red, gay, lesbian, straight, forever, so take pride in being who you are,” said Challenger.

The Soul Food Luncheon ended with conversation and some “soul food” including chicken, mash potatoes, collar greens, macaroni and cheese, and more.

Last Wednesday’s basketball games against Southwest Tenn. Saluqis

by Jason Crownover// Contributing Writer

On Wednesday, Feb. 11, the Volunteer State Community College Pioneers men and women basketball teams hosted the Southwest Tennessee Saluqis on their home court in Gallatin.

The women’s game ended with a score of 70-61, with Vol State picking up the victory, while the men’s game was won by Southwest Tennessee, with a final of 100-75.

Tip off for the women’s game was at 5:30 p. m.

The Lady Pioneers scored 42 points going into half time and a 14 point lead over Southwest Tennessee.

Down by 14 points at halftime; Andrea Matre, the Lady Salaqis head coach, said her team played “lead footed” in the first half and needed to “try to get stops” in the second half.

Sophomore Guard Ta’Keyha Flowers, sophomore guard, led the Lady Pioneers with 18 points at the break.

Otis Key, Vol State head women’s basketball coach, said he wanted to “maintain defensive pressure and move the ball around” when going into the second half.

Throughout the second half, the Lady Saluqis began to make a run at the Lady Pioneers. Southwest Tennessee outscored the Lady Pioneers by five points in the second half, and started running the fast break more efficiently late in the game.

The Lady Saluqis also tallied 10 points from the free throw line in the second half, and were led by LaKyesha Stennis, a freshman guard, who acquired 18 points in the second half.

In the end, the Lady Pioneers prevailed with a final score of 70-61.
The men’s game began at 7:30 p. m.

In the first half, Rasheed Brooks, Southwest Tennessee sophomore guard, and Jalen McGaughy, forward, scored 24 points from the three point line combined.

Vol State’s pair of sophomore wingmen, Jason Stone and Steven Nicks, combined for 18 points in the first half.

Throughout the game, the Saluqis played full court defense on the Pioneers.

Southwest Tennessee maintained constant pressure, forced turnovers and forced bad shots to be taken.

The Saluqis defense was getting stops and producing consistent offense from good defense.

Jerry Nichols, Southwest head coach, said his team wanted to “speed (Vol State) up, keep pressure up.”

The contest was won by high field goal percentage and good shooting from the free throw line. The Saluqis shot a total of 23 for 29 from the charity stripe as well as 50 percent from the three-point line, converting on 11 of their 22 tries.

The game ended with a score of 100 to 75, with the Saluqis getting the win.

Net Netruality and the end of creative freedom

by Adam Parks// Online Editor

When the Internet was first established, it was a tool for a variety of uses, whether it be chatting with old friends, taking part in text-based computer games, or finding useful information.

Over time, however, the Internet has grown into an entertainment medium as well as a place to connect and socialize with people throughout the world.

Many people have come to make careers out of creating entertainment on the Internet.

Youtubers like PewDiePie and Rooster Teeth are able to support their families and their lifestyles because of the content that they create on the Internet.

The great part about their jobs is that they do not have anyone telling them what content they can and cannot create.

That is one of the great things about YouTube. There is always something for everyone because the content creators get to show their individuality in their work.

If you take a look at the most popular web series on the Internet, you will see that they are so many different shows, because there are so many people who make a living from making content that they love.

That being said, the Internet is beginning to face a problem that it never faced in the past.

Bigwig politicians are attempting to join major cable companies to police the Internet.

This policing is not just policing your privacy, but policing the content that these content creators make.

The policies they are attempting to put into place would allow these cable companies to not only charge these Youtubers for the content they create, but also charge you for simply watching it.

If you have an Internet service provider such as Comcast, for example, and these policing policies go into place, Comcast could charge a set fee per month to be able to access YouTube, and another fee for websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Over time, you could see your Internet bills double or even triple if you simply want to access all the Internet has to offer.

The Internet will no longer be able to flourish as the place for creative freedom.

It could become a barren wasteland where you would see the same content as what you see on television.

This is a scary thought. As someone who hopes to eventually have a career on websites such as Youtube, it is terrifying to thing that this job option may not exist for me in a few months.

Instead of allowing our Congress to decide the outcome of this, these cable companies are going straight to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and although President Barack Obama has spoken against this policy, he may not be able to stop what is coming.

If we let them start charging us for the websites we use everyday, it could lead into terrible outcomes where they charge us for other things.

It is scary to think that just because these cable companies want more money in their pockets, that they would allow all of these jobs to be lost.

 

If these content creators are no longer allowed to see their vision come to light, then they will lose interest in what they are doing, give up on their jobs and move to something else.

However, this problem goes farther than just the promise of Youtube. These companies could also set fees for using services such as Google or Bing and charge you every time you send a Tweet.

It seems outrageous to think that this could actually happen, but there is a very good possibility that it can and will.

There are so many ways that we can put a stop to this.

The simplest way is to sign one of the petitions floating around on the Internet. Internet websites such as savetheinternet.com is a great place to go and get all the information that is needed, regarding the topic and what it means for your everyday life.

These Internet service providers should allow us to access all of the great things the Internet has to offer, without fear of having to pay an arm and a leg.

The Internet was established as a free world for people to come in and do what they love, and it needs to stay that way.

Please help keep the Internet free and accessible by everyone.

Madison’s predictions for the 87th Academy Awards

by Madison Mathews// Contributing Writer

Hollywood will honor its own this Sunday, during the 87th Academy Awards. Before the little golden men are given out and the wrong movie is awarded to this year’s prestigious title of Best Picture, I thought it would be a good time to make my predictions for how this year’s Oscars are going to go down.

Rather than go through the entire list, I’m just going to focus on the “Big 8,” which are the categories that focus on the actors, the movies, and the writers.

Best Picture

Nominees: “American Sniper,” “Birdman,” “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Whiplash.”

Will Win: “Birdman”

Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s commentary on the world of entertainment will be given the award. It’s just the type of movie Hollywood typically likes to give the Best Picture title to. On the surface it looks deep, but once you dig deeper, you realize it’s a pretty empty film which fumbles its way to satire.

Should Win: “Boyhood”

I love “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Selma,” but “Boyhood” is a masterpiece that deserves the true title of Best Picture. It’s a three-hour epic that focuses on the quiet moments life is made of. It has the potential to be a dark horse in the race, but I think the reflective beauty of “Boyhood” will be overshadowed by “Birdman’s” artistic artifice.

Best Director

Nominees: Wes Anderson — “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu — “Birdman,” Richard Linklater — “Boyhood,” Bennett Miller — “Foxcatcher, Morten Tyldum — “The Imitation Game”

Will Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Iñárritu took home Best Director at the Directors Guild awards, which is typically a shoe-in for the Oscar. His win will just be another bizarre step in “Birdman’s” journey to the top prize.

Should Win: Richard Linklater

Ava DuVernay, who directed “Selma,” should really be getting the award. Not only did she deserve it, but it would set a historical precedent as she would be the first black woman to ever win Best Director. Since that scenario isn’t in the cards, Linklater should win, but he won’t. He did win at the Golden Globes, but Iñárritu will it steal it away from him.

Best Actor

Nominees: Steve Carell — “Foxcatcher,” Bradley Cooper — “American Sniper,” Benedict Cumberbatch — “The Imitation Game,” Michael Keaton — “Birdman,” Eddie Redmayne — “The Theory of Everything”

Should and Will Win: Michael Keaton

Redmayne was an early contender for his work as Stephen Hawking, but it’ll be Keaton taking home that little gold man. If “Birdman” deserves any accolades its Keaton’s performance. He’s electric in the role of a washed-up actor trying to find his place in the current landscape of Hollywood.

Best Actress

Nominees: Marion Cotillard — “Two Days One Night,” Felicity Jones — “The Theory of Everything,” Julianne Moore — “Still Alice,” Rosamund Pike — “Gone Girl,” Reese Witherspoon — “Wild”

Will Win: Julianne Moore

I haven’t seen all of the movies these fine actresses were nominated for. That said, Moore has won Best Actress at both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards, which pretty guarantees her a lock on her first win. She’s been nominated four times before, so fifth time’s the charm.

Should Win: Patricia Arquette

Where was she in the nominee list, you may ask? She’s not in the list above, which brings me to the next category.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Patricia Arquette — “Boyhood,” Laura Dern — “Wild,” Keira Knightley — “The Imitation Game,” Emma Stone — “Birdman,” Meryl Streep — “Into the Woods”

Should and Will Win: Patricia Arquette

OK, this is where I get a little angry at the Oscars. Anyone who has seen “Boyhood” knows Arquette’s performance as the mom is the true lead performance of the film. While the boy is one we see grow from a little kid into a young man, Arquette’s journey in the film has a true arc. The movie could’ve easily been called “Motherhood.” Anyway, there’s no other competition in this category. The statue pretty much already belongs to Arquette.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Robert Duvall — “The Judge,” Ethan Hawke — “Boyhood,” Edward Norton — “Birdman,” Mark Ruffalo — “Foxcatcher,” J.K. Simmons — “Whiplash”

Should and Will Win: J.K. Simmons

Much like Arquette, Simmons has this category locked down. The 60-year-old character actor’s brilliant performance in the indie smash “Whiplash” in which he plays a sadistic music instructor is the stuff of legend. He’s on fire throughout the entire film, working magically off of co-star Miles Teller. You’ve likely already seen Simmons in plenty of movies and TV shows before, but get ready to a lot more of him.

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., and Armando Bo — “Birdman,” Richard Linklater — “Boyhood,” E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman — “Foxcatcher,” Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness — “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Dan Gilroy — “Nightcrawler”

Should and Will Win: Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness — “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

While this category could come down to a battle between “Boyhood” and “Birdman,” Wes Anderson will win his first Oscar for the best film of his quirky career. The decades-long comedy set in an Eastern European country in between two wars took home the Golden Globe and the British Academy of Film and Television award, which makes it pretty clear Anderson will finally have an Oscar.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: Jason Hall — “American Sniper,” Graham Moore — “The Imitation Game,” Paul Thomas Anderson — “Inherent Vice,” Anthony McCarten — “The Theory of Everything,” Damien Chazelle — “Whiplash”

Will Win: Graham Moore — “The Imitation Game”

The biopic about the life of Alan Turing was a critical darling and early contender for some of the top prizes, but it’s lost a lot of steam over the course of awards season. Moore’s script has been recognized with many accolades, however, which put him in a good position to win the award.

Should Win: Damien Chazelle — “Whiplash”

The fact that Chazelle’s script is considered an adaptation is as confounding as all the critical love for “Birdman.” It’s a smart script written by one of the most talented Hollywood newcomers. If this is Chazelle at the start of his career, then I can’t wait to see where he goes from here.

 

Pioneers basketball season ends for the year

by Lauren Cieler// Staff Writer

On Saturday, Feb. 14, the Volunteer State Community College Pioneers men and women basketball teams hosted the Dyersburg State Eagles.

Tip off for the women’s game was at 5:30 p. m.

The recognized sophomores for Vol State were Ta’Keyha Flowers, Victoria Dye, Shenequa Foster, Rontavia Hayes, and Janise Davis.
The Lady Pioneers scored 35 points going into half time and 11 points over the Lady Eagles. Both teams handled the ball and kept the teamwork going.

In the second half, the Lady Pioneers brought on the heat against Dyersburg State.

Baskets and 3-pointers were made left and right by the Pioneers.
Every Lady Pioneer contributed to the game bringing out the win against Dyersburg State Lady Eagles, 70-56.

“I am very proud of my team. We played with great heart. I couldn’t be happier with where my team is,” said Coach Otis Key, Vol State women basketball coach.

“We have made progress since last semester. The first time we played Dyersburg State, they beat us by 20, so we wanted to come back and play our best,” said Nakia Daniel, Lady Pioneer.

Tip off for the men’s game started at 7:30 p.m. The recognized sophomores for Vol State were Jason Stone, Thomas Wright and Steven Nicks.

Dyersburg State and Vol State made all their points from lay-ups, 3-pointers and jump shots. End of the first half, 40-39, Dyersburg.
There were a lot of fouls from both teams.

Both a Dyersburg player and Wright, from Vol State, fouled out.

The second half was all about hard work and determination for the win.

Dyersburg showed more talent and skill by controlling the ball and making majority of the shots.

The game ended with the score of 100-91 with the Dyersburg State Eagles getting the win.

“It was an up and down season and with different coaching it took a long adjustments,” said Juanya Smith.

“I lost five players throughout the season. These boys fought hard and played their best. We played with what we got,” said Rusty Melvin, Vol state basketball coach.

These Valentines

by A.E. Roberts

A worthy woman one can’t woo

With lazy, cheesy pick-up lines.

She’d prefer something impromtu

Because a script should be a crime.

They say that I should give it time

But I can’t stand these valentines.

Salt

by Samantha Eubanks

Mermaids on land.

How quickly we lose our fins.

I give my seashells to my daughters.

I say goodbye to my lover, the water, their father.

The raindrops tease my salty skin.

How will you remember me?

Cake

by Samantha Eubanks

His jaw was once as

sharp as a blade, it

now fades into his neck.

He protests it is from

years of buttering me up,

years of pancakes.

His smile is beautiful,

all over his face.

Always pretty,

prettier now.

There is a happy medium between expressing yourself and knowing when to keep your mouth shut

We have all heard the proverbial saying ìsilence is golden.î

Many people struggle, including myself, with watching what they say.

In the heat of an argument or excited crossfire of witty retorts, it is sometimes hard to always filter what one says before it is spewed.

ìIt is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt,î said Mark Twain, American writer.

Very often, one experiences the stomach churning sensation of putting oneís foot in oneís own mouth.

When one is a child with a head full of fantastical and quizzical things, it is charming for oneís peers to hear an unchecked and shameless question or remark.

It is quite different when a young adult speaks unreservedly and carelessly on whatever is on their mind.

One must have a regard for the time or the place and have at least a general sense of tact.

Always saying whatever pops into your head without thinking about it first does not allow the young adult to look particularly mature or impressive.

I used to not be this way.

All through my childhood and teen years, I recall being very reserved and most painfully quiet and shy.

It was not even until last semester I realized that I had really ëlet myself goí in a sense.

ìThere is never an embarrassing silence that canít be turned into a regrettable conversation,î said Robert Brault, an American tenor.

I have a friend who was a new acquaintance last semester.

We did not know each other particularly well, but enough for this person to realize that I was usually a laid back person with a sort of ëonly speak when spoken toí mentality.

Without relaying the exact conversation and having an account of my thoughtless remark spread and known on paper and online, I will mention the incident as vaguely as possible.

ìMan does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them,î said Adlai Stevenson II, an American politician.

In the midst of a casual conversation, I responded to one of my companionís remarks with a completely rude and unfiltered reply.

I was not expecting what I said to come out of my mouth any more than my fellow conversationalist.

We were both taken aback and our acquaintanceship, and later friendship, was forever altered by my thoughtless statement.

Thank goodness this person had a sense of humor and did not take any offense but was merely surprised by my sudden and brash comment.

Now my friend expects me to say something equally tactless and uncivil every time we converse.

ìThe trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you havenít thought of yet,î said Ann Landers.

My friends and family marvel at how Iíve ëëcome out of my shell.íí

But there is a difference in being comfortable with your own voice and allowing your thoughts to discharge unchecked.

Living such a life is very dangerous.

It is important to remember where you are and who you are with.

Being an editor on the paper is much easier than being an editor of my oral articulations.

Even as this editorial is being written, I will pause after a sentence or two and reread the last paragraph in order to check that the grammar and flow are adequate.

When someone is having a conversation, they must be a bit more quick on their feet considering there is not as much time to always plan out and discard unnecessary rebuttals or exchanges.

ìSpeak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret,î said Ambrose Bierce.

I know it is sometimes very difficult to not say the first thing that pops into your head, but having the ability to filter your speech is a noble and sensible practice.

Please start watching what you say.

Too often we stick our feet in our mouths when could have just as easily stayed silent.

You may have a voice, but please think about what you use it for.

Words do not bruise like sticks and stones but they can sometimes sting much longer.

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the temptin moment,” said Dorothy Nevill.