Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Congrats to Our Literary Magazine

Congrats to the editors, writers and artists who worked on the 2016 Squatter's Rites student literary magazine. It won third place for the southern division of small colleges in the Community College Humanities Association college magazine contest. The award-winning publication is going through some changes this year- including a new name. You can vote for your favorite name of the finalists on the front page of this student blog. If you want to get involved with the publication email

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hitting A Wall

Soon after my son was diagnosed with autism, someone told me quite casually “It will be okay.” At the time I was deep into 12-hours-a-day research of all things autism and formulating a long list of steps we needed to take. Frustrated at the flippancy of the comment, I replied that it will be okay “because I’m going to make it okay.”

It’s a common platitude that things will “work out for the best.” Yet not many people float down the lazy river of life having things just work out. You have to work for it.

Last week I hit three walls on the path that I’ve chosen. They weren’t little walls, but the kind that
knock a person down and make them think about giving up and going to live in a tent on a beach. Okay, I think about that occasionally anyway.

My Happy Place
So I took a break, spent some time with my son, ate some pumpkin pie, and came back more determined than ever. Setbacks have a way of teaching me more about myself, and disappointment refines my understanding of what I really want. I’ve faced bigger walls than this.

This semester has been tough for some – for different reasons. Finals are looming, we’re all exhausted, and probably a lot of you have some personal hardships on top of it. Stand up, breath, and push through it. Life only works itself out in nice little bows on television. The rest of us have to make it okay ourselves. You can do it.

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.

Events this Week at Vol State

Events at Vol State this week:
Nov. 29 Music Department recital, SRB 151, 2:30-3:30pm
Nov. 30 Festival of Lights, holiday celebration of many cultures, Nichols Dining Room, 12:45pm
Dec. 2 and 3 "Starry, Starry Night" Music Department annual Christmas concert and CD release, $5 donation for the public, free with Vol State ID, Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall, 7:30pm

Vol State Holiday Concerts December 2 and 3 at 7:30pm

Music is a big part of the holiday season. Students at Volunteer State Community College will be presenting two nights of festive songs in a show titled “A Starry Night - An Evening of Christmas Favorites.” There will be choreographed performances from the Showstoppers, rock and roll from the Commercial Music Ensemble, and country musical renditions by the Bluegrass Ensemble, Bluegrass Ablaze. There will also be music by two new Vol State groups- the Guitar Ensemble and the Wind Ensemble. The event will highlight the wide-ranging talents of more than seventy-five students.
The concert includes a CD release of Vol State student work. This year’s CD will be for sale at the shows on December 2 and 3 in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The show time is 7:30 p.m. each evening. A suggested donation of $5 benefits the Music Department Scholarship Fund. Admission and a copy of the Christmas CD are $10. For more information contact the Office of Humanities at 615-230-3202.
Pictured: Bluegrass Ablaze performs in the 2015 holiday concert. Photo by Tony Young.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Week Hours

We wish a happy Thanksgiving to all. Here's a reminder about our Vol State holiday schedule this week:
Nov. 23 Thanksgiving break, no classes, offices open this day, including the Gallatin Thigpen library until 4:30pm
Nov. 24-26 Thanksgiving break, no classes, all campus locations closed

Dr. Faulkner on Post-Election Dialog

The recent presidential election has polarized our society and country.  The result of the polarization is that we have seen a variety of protests and demonstrations across the country, from a variety of viewpoints. There is much discussion occurring in our society and Vol State is no exception. There is dialog about race relations, sexual discrimination, the economy, immigration and other issues. Dialog and discussion are good things, even when the issues are quite difficult. Part of the college experience is to create a place for such discussions. Civil discourse is a hallmark of higher education.  But that’s not a promise that everything will be comfortable when it comes to dialog about issues. The college campus is a place for the exchange of opinions and ideas. It is important that such discussions enhance, not inhibit learning.
However, when discussion degenerates into language and actions that attack people as groups and individuals- that is a problem.   Vol State is a diverse community and we value every member of the community.  Because we value every member, we must treat each other with respect, regardless of our views and beliefs.  We will tolerate nothing less. No one on campus should feel that they are under attack because of who they are or because of the values they hold.
The Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life are already working with faculty and students to create opportunities for us all to participate in true communication and discussion surrounding the issues.
Again, we expect exemplary behavior on the part of all members of the college community.  Should there ever be a situation that results in verbal or physical threats, you should call Campus Police immediately. Otherwise, your first stop for concerns is the Student Services Office in the Wood Campus Center Room 217. You can ask for advice, make a complaint or just talk to someone.
My open door policy extends to all of you as we work through these evolving times.   You can schedule an appointment with my office or send me an email at

-Vol State President, Jerry Faulkner

Friday, November 18, 2016

Tuesday- A Day of Listening and Reflection on Current Events

Vol State aims to foster an environment of safety, civility, inclusion, and respect. A Day of Listening and Reflection on Current Events will be held on Tuesday, November 22 for students and employees to address attitudes, perceptions, and emotions in a safe, neutral environment.  Led by our Student Government Association leaders and faculty, participants will engage each other in an open dialogue to understand various vantage points while promoting unity and solidarity. All are welcome.

Tuesday, November 22
9:30am - 11:00am, Nichols Carpeted Dining Room, Wood Bldg.
11:15pm - 1:00pm, Performing Arts Studio, SRB 150
2:30pm - 4:00pm, Performing Arts Studio, SRB 150

Please direct questions or comments to Student Life & Diversity Initiatives in Wood 215 or call 615-230-3461.