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.

Vol State to host Coffee with the President

 

By Presley Green

Volunteer State Community College will host Coffee with the President Thursday, April 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room A in the Wood Campus Center. The event is for current students to grab a coffee with Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State, and share ideas or ask questions.

“The idea of the event is to give students time to actually see and talk to the president of the college. Students can ask questions or give feedback to the president.The goal is that students see the president as another person, someone who is easy to talk to and relatable. Coffee and chicken biscuits help make that type of atmosphere,” said Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator of student activities.

Coffee with the President is a rare opportunity for one-on-one time with Faulkner. During Coffee with the President, he typically walks through the cafeteria, stopping at each table to talk with students and invite them for a coffee.

Vol State to show Black Panther May 18

 

via imdb

By Katie Doll

Vol State will be showing Marvel’s newest movie, Black Panther, in the Wood Campus Center in the Mary Nichols Dining Room May 18 at 6 p.m.

Both admission to the movie and refreshments are free.

The superhero movie currently has a 97% “certified fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning the movie is definitely one to see. Metacritic gives the movie an 88%, while IMDb gives it a 7.8 out of 10.

Although the movie is an origin story of the Wakandan based superhero, viewers may want to watch Captain America: Civil War to understand some of the characters in the movie. T’Challa (Black Panther) was first introduced in Captain America: Civil War as the character whose father, previously the king of Wakanda, was killed in an explosion. The story of T’Challa picks up after the events of Captain America: Civil War, as T’Challa is appointed king of Wakanda and the new Black Panther.

As a powerful enemy threatens T’Challa’s position as king, T’Challa is tested when the fate of Wakanda and the entire world are at stake. T’Challa must unleash the power of the Black Panther and gather his allies to defeat his enemy and protect his country.

The movie has definitely changed the game for superhero movies, as this is Marvel’s first movie to have an ensemble cast where the majority are black actors. The African costumes are visually stunning along with the technologically advanced fictional country of Wakanda.

The movie does follow the familiar clichés that superhero movies use to captivate their audience: three big fight scenes, a villain with a connection to the hero, and the death of a parent. This makes the film seem a little repetitive especially for big superhero movie fans.

However, there is no damsel in distress, the jokes are rather funny, and the villain actually has a humane reason behind his actions. Not to mention the women in the film include an undercover spy, the all-female special forces of Wakanda, and a teenage genius who designs all of the technology, including Black Panther’s suit.

Black Panther is a movie definitely worth the watch. The visuals and dialogue along with the likeable characters gives a fresh spin on superhero movies.

 

The Age of Anti-Enlightenment (Part 2 of 3)

By Blake Bouza

(Read Part 1)

Last time when we were discussing the state of information in the world, we touched lightly on how essential the Internet has been in being the glue that cements confirmation bias. 

“When people believe something that the vast majority does not, it gives them a sense of belonging and when everybody is against them, it reinforces that belief,” said Jonathan Martin, a lab tech in the biology department at Vol State. 

The belief is reinforced because people believe opponents argue the supposed truth because they are motivated by an agenda. 

The Internet has done wonders for this phenomena, which gives these people the tools to pick and choose the information that they consider to be worthwhile and factual. 

Now last time, we discussed the conspiracy theory of the flat earth in depth. Conspiracy theories are fake news taken to the extreme. Confirmation bias is, in large part, the only reason a conspiracy theory such as the flat earth can thrive. 

Fake news can be anything from an email scandal and the supposed implications thereof, to an affair with a porn star with greater national importance. 

Often times it can be a simple rumor that gets blown far, far out of proportion. 

Growing up, I heard this remarkable rumor that J.K. Rowling, world-renown author of the Harry Potter series, was a witch. 

Like a real witch, not just a grumpy person. 

I was not allowed to read the series because of this. 

In that time the Internet was not observed as a place of questionable information put forth by individuals of even more questionable motive. 

When I got older, I did a little digging on my own and found that there was quite literally nothing substantial to support this rumor and common misconception among the circles I ran in. 

The Internet, though, let me be clear, is not the enemy. Our willingness and our priorities are. 

Obviously we should not take everything at face value, yet it is much easier to do so when an article or headline is found to be agreeable with our own outlook on life.

“If you believe something is true, you privilege the information available to you that supports that position. And if you think any information about that same topic disproves it, you disregard, discount and ignore,” said Dr. Clark Hutton, chair of philosophy. 

Dr. Philip Clifford, assistant professor of biology, agreed with this line of thinking

“It’s much cleaner to try and tear something down and fail than to try and support something. If you try to support something, all you have to do is ignore everything to the contrary,” said Clifford. 

“There’s also this notion with education that if our priority is to seek a better understanding on a subject, and a willingness to do so, that must be the objective driving force behind our actions in committing to good research. 

If our priority is to have our own biases confirmed, there may be the issue. 

Once our motivation behind seeking out information is clearly stated, good research and the ability to discern that research is essential more than ever before in our day and age.

For comments and letters to the editor, email me: bbouz@volstate.edu 

Vol State Hosted Women’s History Month Tea

 

By Riley Holcraft

The national theme for Women’s History Month 2018 was “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” Volunteer State Community College celebrated this theme with a women’s tea event hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion March 29.

Tables were set up in the dining hall with teacups, printed programs, and flower centerpieces; lunch was also served for all attendees. Dr. Melva Black was the Mistress of Ceremony and she welcomed all guests by stating, “You all look magnificent. It’s always good to be in the presence of women.”

To begin the event, Tiffany Zwart, coordinator of student support, read a piece by Brené Brown, “Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted.” Lori Miller, administrative assistant in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion also read the poem “A Golden Chain” by Helen Steiner Rice. Miller stated that Rice, nicknamed “The Ambassador of Sunshine,” was her mother’s favorite writer.

Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, manager of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, introduced the two guest speakers for the event. Dr. Emily Short and Mrs. Patty Powell are two women that have worked together for 27 years. Powell is the former vice president of student services at Vol State, and Short currently holds that position. Both women shared encouraging words about one another and explained the importance of deep friendship.

Short said that Powell was the first person of color she had ever formed a relationship with. She explains that discrimination among women does nothing to fight discrimination against all women.

“Let go of petty arguments and live a judgeless life,” stated Short.

Powell expanded on her point by saying that an end to discrimination starts with learning to love and help one another along the way. Women can fight against discrimination through respect, honesty and love. They also advocated for strengthening relationships like their own to help along the journey.

Yarbrough closed the ceremony with a special thanks to Carlton Wilkinson. Wilkinson shot photographs of many women at Vol State. These photographs were displayed along the side wall, honoring the dedication of these women.

 

Vol State History Professor Discovered Ancient Cave Art

Dunbar 014

Photo Courtesy of Joe Douglas

 

By Presley Green

Dr. Joseph Douglas, a history professor at Volunteer State Community College, has enjoyed caving as sport from a young age. His enjoyment of caves branched into an interest in cave mapping and history of caves, which eventually led to one of his proudest accomplishments.

Douglas is credited with discovering cave art from the Mississippian culture in Dunbar Cave in Clarksville, Tennessee. The cave art is two rayed circles. There is an outline around the circles to look like a sun and many concentric circles. Inside the circles are interior crosses. The circle on the right has a tail and the circle on the left contains a left facing swastika.

In January 2004, Douglas traveled to Dunbar Cave State Natural Area in Clarksville to meet up with cave author Larry Matthews and Amy Wallace, the interpretive specialist of the park.

“In an area of the cave known as the Ballroom several hundred meters into the dark zone, Douglas noticed two charcoal drawings on the wall, overlaid by nineteenth-century grafiti.” according to the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies.

“Thousands of people walked by it before I recognized its significance,” Douglas said.  

Douglas then photographed these glyphs and sent them to his friend Jan Simek at the University of Tennessee to check for authenticity. Simek insisted on carbon dating.

Dunbar Cave was aware of some of the cave art in their caves, but after Douglas’s discovery dozens more were found, the majority of these pictographs and petroglyphs were made from charcoal and date back to the Mississippian period.

The pictographs Douglas discovered are common iconography from the Mississippian Culture, but not necessarily from then since the circles can be found in many prehistoric periods. After many tries of trying to date the pictographs they finally got a match. Based on carbon dating, the pictographs Douglas discovered date from 1200-1400 A.D.

After finding a total of 35 petroglyphs and pictographs in Dunbar Cave, a decision was made concerning damage in the cave to install a new, secure, bat-friendly gate before the artwork was announced to the public. Dunbar Cave is the only public cave art in the United States. The pictograph that he found in labeled in the cave as “Pre-Columbian Art.”

The documentation and excavation that took place in the cave led to the discovery of many pictographs and petroglyphs, but also human remains, lotted burial grounds, and four unique species of buffalo, elk, bear, and a bison. The excavation concluded that people had occupied Dunbar Cave for at least 4,000 years.

Report on Douglas’s findings: Dunbar Cave Art

CAB Hosted Women’s History Trivia

 

By Tayla Courage

In honor of Women’s History Month, Volunteer State Community College’s Campus Activities Board organized a trivia-themed café event in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room B March 27, at 12:45 p.m.

Crystal Sloss, chairperson of the campus activities board, explained that the formatting of the trivia activity would be similar to the game show Jeopardy. Participants used wireless buzzers to answer questions on prominent women in history.

While students were competing for the opportunity to win free Vol State merchandise, there were no penalties for incorrect answers.

“We want students to have fun and learn something at the same time,” wrote Sloss.

Similar to previous CAB café events, free food was offered as an incentive for more student engagement. Chicken tenders, chips and lemonade were available for anyone willing to join in for at least one round of trivia.

According to an email from Sloss, this isn’t the first women’s history event CAB has hosted.

“Last year we held a Women’s History BINGO. This year we thought it would be a great idea to try something new, which is where the trivia comes into play,” wrote Sloss.

Hayley Brazel, secretary of the student government association, said she enjoyed the educational PowerPoint that Sloss paired with her questions.

“Crystal was a great moderator. She taught us so much,” said Brazel.

Wyatt Tabor, a freshman, was continuously one of the first players to buzz in each round.  

“It was really fun. I enjoyed it, and I’m definitely coming back,” said Tabor.

Taylor Divney, a sophomore, commented on why she liked the event in correlation with Women’s History Month.

“I think us women are pretty savvy, so it’s cool to learn about the important and powerful things we’ve done,” she said.

Sloss said she hopes to see more creative learning opportunities offered to students and mentioned the possibility for women’s history trivia to return as an annual event.

“Students can leave the event, know that they have had fun, a free meal, and most importantly they have left with new information that they can spread to others,” wrote Sloss.