Tag: marie mcburnett

BRIEF: Multiple campus buildings vandalized

At least two buildings on JSU’s campus were vandalized on Tuesday night.

The words “lie” were spray-painted in black on the columns in front of Brewer Hall.  “Lie” and “walk” were also spray-painted in black on the concrete in front of the entrance of Self Hall beside the faculty parking lot.

The word “lie” was also spray-painted on the concrete outside the first floor entrance to Self Hall.

The University Police Department was contacted, but could not provide any information.

Marie McBurnett

How to count sheep without counting sheep

Drinking warm milk and counting sheep may work for some, but for most of the overly-stressed student population, it may not cut it. Hypnosis has been known to help some people fall asleep. I have done that once, and while it worked, it takes time and concentration. For those who do not want to take a sleep aid or use techniques that mess with the mind to rest a troubled brain, finding a way to safely fall asleep may be difficult.

My advice? Don’t drink caffeine four hours before you need to be asleep. Trying not to eat right before bed is also a good way to fall asleep and to sleep restfully. I enjoy listening to Celtic music as well. The artists Enya and Hayley Westenra are my favorite to listen to.

Many people also find piano music particularly soothing.

Experts’ advice? Buy bubbles.

Men’s Health posted an article titled “7 Sleep Doctors Reveal Their Favorite Tricks for Falling Asleep Fast” in August 2015 on the best ways to help yourself fall asleep. Professor of neurology, Rachel Marie E. Salas, M.D., said that blowing bubbles before you go to bed promotes heavy breathing exercises that trick your brain into thinking that you be getting tired.

According to the Huffington Post’s “15 Science-backed ways to fall asleep faster,” activities that require us to use our heads, “like a jigsaw puzzle or a coloring book” will help our minds get to the point where they want to rest. Another interesting way is to give yourself acupressure. Here are the areas to target according to the article:

— Between your eyebrows, there is a small depression on the level of your brows, right above the nose. Apply gentle pressure to that point for a minute.

— Between your first and second toes, on top of the foot, there is a depression. Press that area for a few minutes until you feel a dull ache.

— Imagine that your foot has three sections, beginning at the tips of your toes and ending at the back of your heel. Find the distance one-third back from the tips of your toes and press on the sole of your foot for a few minutes.

— Massage both of your ears for a minute.

Dr. Andrew Weil also developed a method to help people fall asleep in under a minute after doing it repetitively. According to drweil.com, this is how the “4-7-8” method works: Touch the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth. Try to empty as much air out of body as possible. Next, inhale through the nose for four seconds. Then, hold that air for seven seconds. Last, exhale through mouth for eight seconds, pursing lips outward. Dr. Weil advises doing four sets every night in order to fall asleep faster.

There are several psychologists and sleep experts that also suggest reading or listening to soothing music.

Experts have a general consensus that electronics are a no-no. The light from portable devices like laptops, tablets — and yes, phones, trick our brains into thinking it is time to be awake.

That last minute Facebook or Instagram scroll is releasing a hormone into your brain that can keep you from achieving the rest you deserve.

Some of the more outlandish suggestions include covering your face in cold water for half a minute and immersing your room with the scent of lavender.

According to Holistic sleep therapist Peter Smith, breathing out of your left nostril can also help, as can rolling your eyes, humming to yourself, and surprisingly, trying to stay awake.

Marie McBurnett

JSU implements new procedure for taking attendance, receiving aid

The campus is abuzz with worry about what some students call the “new” attendance policy. Truth is, the policy itself is not new, JSU’s procedure in relation to the policy is new. So what does that mean for students?

“It has always been a federal regulation; however, the JSU policy needed to be updated to use new available technology,” said Assistant Director of Student Financial Services Stephanie Miller in an email.

“In order for a student to have financial aid applied to his/her account, the student must have begun attendance or have academic engagement in class,” said Miller, “We are, in effect, verifying that students have started the race, not that they have finished the race,” said Director of Academic Enhancement and Tutoring Services Dr. Janet Moore, also in an email.

Attendance will be verified by each professor twice every semester, on the last day to add/drop a class and once more a week later. The first verification date is September 1.

“Individual professors will determine how he or she will verify attendance in these classes,” said Moore.

When it applies to hybrid or online classes, “Attendance is defined as academic engagement in the courses, so this could be a discussion board post, syllabus quiz, or any other online engagement.”

“Simply logging into Blackboard does not count as academic engagement,” Moore clarified.

Students have to attend and participate in order to receive federal aid in a lecture setting.

Departmental or class attendance policies still apply, and this verification process is separate.  We are required to verify that students have started each class before disbursing financial aid, said Moore.

If a student’s attendance is not verified by the professor, the students will not receive aid for that class.

Where overcutting a class can result in academic penalty, the federal attendance verification has the ability to reduce the amount of aid a student receives for a class, whether it is for one class or all classes for which a student registered.

If students do not verify attendance, they see a drop in their federal aid, whether it is a loan or a grant. The only way for a student to know his or her aid was reduced is to go to the financial aid portion of MyJSU.

If aid is reduced, there is no way to get it back. After aid is reduced, the student will have to pay the balance.

“If a student drops or withdraws from all classes of receives all failing or no credit grades in all classes, he or she will be required to pay back all or a portion of financial aid at the end of the semester,” said Miller.

Aid will not be expended to the student body until after the second verification date, despite the fact it appears in the students’ accounts beforehand.

”As soon as attendance or academic engagement is verified for each course, that student’s aid will be disbursed,” said Moore, “This does not mean that students aren’t required to continue to attend classes, in fact, students still must abide by the contract they signed to receive the aid.”

Marie McBurnett


Rick Bragg visits campus to talk about ‘The Killer’

When people think of Jerry Lee Lewis, known to many as ‘The Killer,’ one of two things probably come to mind: a rock ‘n’ roll legend or a man who married his cousin.

As both of these things are true, there is more to The Killer than initially meets the eye.

Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times Best Seller Rick Bragg recently wrote a book about the legend and came to JSU to speak about it on November 12, 2014 at the Leone Cole Auditorium.

“Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story” is about a young, musically inclined boy; a rising rock ‘n’ roll star; a father who lost too much; and a man who fell from fame due to one life choice.

“I would sit and listen to him talk and think ‘this is the living history of rock ‘n’ roll,’” said Bragg in an interview.

Bragg got much of the information for his book by sitting at The Killer’s bedside at his ranch home in Northern Mississippi.

Bragg said one of his favorite stories Lewis told him was “the day he met Elvis. You had a rising rock ‘n’ roll artist talking to the king of rock ‘n’ roll about cars. It sounds very southern.”

“We couldn’t do a book on Jerry Lee Lewis and ignore history,” said Bragg. “We knew we couldn’t rewrite history, and Jerry Lee had no interest in whitewashing himself.”

“If you take the meanness, fighting, gouging, cutting, shooting and women out of that story, he’s like everybody else,” said Bragg

Bragg talked about how Lewis is one of the few people still alive that can talk about the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, which is “one of the reasons why the book is out there.”

He goes on to express that there is a gap between the music today and the music of his day. “Unfortunately, there isn’t music you hear today that doesn’t make you want to stick your head under a truck,” said Bragg. He also stated that Lewis can play Hank Williams and Ray Price and Ray Charles.

“He even made Elvis cry,” Bragg said.

“The first time I saw him in person was when I went to interview him. I thought, ‘surely I can handle one rock ‘n’ roll man.” When I showed up, he was just looking at me across the room, and then I thought, “well, maybe not.’”

One day, while Lewis was eating ice cream, he told Bragg about hitting a man with the butt end of his microphone stand during a performance.

As some content of the book is humorous, some stories “will make you cry,” explained Bragg.

Lewis lost two sons in his life. “When we had to talk about the sons he lost, he physically turned away from me.”

“It was great to realize how lucky I was to hear all these stories that music nerds would kill to hear,” Bragg said. He called the time he spent listening to The Killer go through his life “a gift.”

“Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story” is currently listed as number 16 on the New York Times Best Seller list in Hardcover Nonfiction.

Marie McBurnett

The basics of credit-carding

When I was growing up, I can remember my parents always warning me of the dangers of having a credit card. Using credit cards is just too easy. It feels like free money, but it is quite the opposite.

I still do not have a credit card, but I’m starting to realize the importance in having one—and the dangers of having one as well.

We all know the basics: you swipe the card, and it gets charged to an account. The longer you go without paying your payment, the more interest it builds, and the more you owe the company—not to mention possible late charges that may occur when you don’t pay your minimum balance on time.

The credit card company is basically paying for you on the promise that you will pay them back when you can. You owe them a little more (which is called interest,) because they are putting their faith in you to pay it back one day.

It’s easy to see a possible dilemma. This is the age of swiping without thinking.

It’s different with credit cards though. Sure, different card companies have different limits, but the limits are usually set in the thousands of dollars, but it depends on the card and a number of factors about the person’s credit background. Some cards have no maximum limit.

Just to get an idea on how credit cards work, let’s say I charged $100 to a credit card. Let’s say the interest rate is 20 percent. Credit card companies give their customers a month of a free period before they have to pay the bill.

I have to pay at least the minimum balance, let’s say it’s $20. With the 20 percent interest rate for the month and $100 charged, I am only paying for interest. None of the principle will be paid for. In this case, I would have to pay more than the minimum balance in order to shrink that $100 balance.

A problem would arise if my minimum balance was $10. With the 20 percent interest rate on that same $100, I am only paying half of the interest I owe ($10) and still none of the $100. Next month, I would owe the 20 percent interest on $110 because I didn’t pay all the interest from the previous month.

Interest rates usually change month-to-month, depending on the balance of the card.

All of this is hypothetical; there are so many factors that go into each credit card company, and even more factors that go into determining APR and minimum balances for each month. Some card companies even have charges for their customers that carry the card, regardless if they use it or not.

Credit cards are useful to have to build credit or to use in emergencies. When the day comes to get a credit card, I will abide by the rules of my parents: use it only on the pretense that I can pay it back in full at the end of the month.

Marie McBurnett