FTCC's library staff help students succeed with new services

10 FTCC Library PhotoThe original reason I returned to college at the age of 39 was to finish what I started after completing high school. However, except for finishing and getting a degree, I had no goal—only to finish. But open enrollment to college had its hurdles, and for me, the hurdle was doing well on the assessment test. With no one to turn to, I was somehow led in the direction of the campus library, and had it not been for the librarian who helped me at that point in my life, I would not have begun college and certainly would not have completed college. The librarian I met that day helped me get the resources I needed to do well so I could begin college credit-earning courses.

That experience drew me even closer to the library environment. I discovered that I wanted to help people succeed with their education as much as I had been helped. Six years later, I changed careers from being a bulldozer operator to becoming a librarian. Now, as the Director of Library Services at Fayetteville Technical Community College, what brings me joy is when a graduating student comes into the library waving their degree and thanking the library staff for their help.

Helping students succeed is what the library is all about. By continually assessing students’ needs and implementing strategies based on that feedback, we can prepare the 21st century student for the globally competitive workforce.

The Paul H. Thompson Library recently installed additional study rooms based on student feedback, and the latest innovation is the upcoming Makerspace where students can work individually or meet in groups to collaborate on research projects, class assignments and homework.

There are now three library locations across Cumberland County that can support FTCC students with library services. Those locations are the Paul H. Thompson Library at the Fayetteville campus; the Spring Lake Campus Branch of the Cumberland County Public Library; and the John L. Throckmorton Library on Fort Bragg. At each location, students have access to print books, e-books, journals, e-journals, multiple electronic databases, films, audio recordings, maps, photos and digital archive materials.

A wide variety of spaces are available where students can study, conduct research, and read or meet in small and large groups to collaborate on projects. Laptops are also available for checkout for use within the Paul H. Thompson Library reference room and at the Spring Lake Campus branch library.

All students are welcome to the library to get the help they need to graduate with success. But, they don’t have to come on campus to get the help they need.

On-campus and distance learners have access to library staff at the Paul H. Thompson Library during business hours by calling 910-678-8247, or emailing When the Library is closed, students can contact a librarian by using the online “Ask-a-Librarian ChatNow” button located at

Fall is a great time to enjoy walking

16 group walkingWith the beautiful days and cooler weather, fall beckons us to be outside and walk. The most popular exercise in the U.S. is walking, and a person can average walking 65,000 miles in a lifetime which is equivalent to walking three times around the earth.

Walking is a minimal impact, moderate intensity exercise and one that you can do alone or socially. Walking can be beneficial for your health, wellness, put less stress on your joints and can be an opportune time to gather your thoughts and clear your mind.

A good pair of shoes that are not stiff are essential for the flexibility to roll from heel to toe and a good arch and heel support to avoid injuries. If you do not presently have a suitable shoe for walking seek the advice of a professional for proper shoe fit and sock choice.

Walking is something that is easy to start for a fitness regimen beginning with five to 10 minutes each time you go out and suitable for most fitness levels.

The average walking time per mile is fifteen to twenty minutes. The three sequences of warmup, walk and cool down are important for best results. Walking with good form can improve your balance, posture and lessen chance for injuries.

Warmup — Preparation should begin with a warmup of five minutes or more to elevate your heart rate, body temperature, warm your muscles, increase your range of motion and prepare your joints. It should include shoulder rolls, light marching, ankle rolls, flexing and pointing your feet. If you do not have the time to warm up begin your walk slowly and gradually increase your pace.

Walking — Walk with your shoulders relaxed and down keeping your head up and looking forward. Your hips should shift slightly from side to side swinging your arms and walk with a stride that is comfortable for you while engaging your core. Take your breaths in through your nose and out through your lips in a consistent manner. Allow yourself time to decrease your pace toward the end of your walk to gradually bring your heart rate and breathing down.

Cool Down /Stretch — Do not
skip the stretch! A cool down is
essential for the body’s time to recover, reduce soreness and should include static stretching of your muscles 20 to 30 seconds for each group. Stretches include standing quadriceps, calves, ham strings, hips, glutes and shoulders.

Add a challenge to your walk — If you have been walking for a while you might want to consider adding a challenge to your walk without increasing your miles and adding more cardio.

The perceived rate of exertion is a good indicator of your cardio intensity. Level one is ease of conversation, level two is short sentences and level three is your maximum which consist of few or no words.

Mix up your walk with variety adding these examples: increased cardio burns more calories, swing your arms with more intensity, shave the time off your walk by increasing your pace, increase and decrease your pace in segments. Make a one-month walking plan with variation on the days you walk and a goal. Once you have reached your goal move on to more distance and/or hills.

Breathe the crisp fall air, enjoy the foliage, stay hydrated before during and after, listen to great music, put your shoes out as a reminder, layer your clothing for cool days, walk against the traffic, challenge yourself, talk about it on social media and keep a journal of your progress!

You must remember this

02 Pitt IMG 8766Remember when Lou Reed sang, “Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side?” Not so much? Is your memory balky? What did you have for lunch yesterday? Remember in your twenties when you wondered what was the meaning of life? Now you just wonder where you parked your car? Is your Remembrance of Things Past getting more difficult? You have come to the right place. Today’s column will help you restore your memory without the use of Prevagen.

Mr. Science says think of your memory as a bucket. At the bottom of the bucket are your first memories, childhood pets, childhood traumas, first dates, that sort of thing. As you get older more events pile into your memory bucket squashing the long-term memories down at the bottom of the bucket. The new events float on top of the bucket. Unfortunately, long term memories are not infinitely compressible. Eventually the new memories fill the bucket up to the rim and splash out. The old memories remain at the bottom of the bucket and are easily retrievable. The new short term memories splatter onto the floor and can’t be recalled. That is why you can remember the name of your first-grade teacher but can’t remember what you had for lunch.

Can your fading memory be saved? Read on, MacDuff, have we got a deal for you. Today we are going to literally take a walk down Memory Lane. We go right to the source of all things memory related. We are going to visit the Greek Goddess of memory herself, the right honorable Mnemosyne. This is another one of those irritating columns that explore the curious world of Greek mythology. If mythology is all Greek to you, stick around. You can dazzle your friends if you find yourself on TV playing "Jeopardy" and Greek mythology is the Daily Double. Once you meet Mnemosyne and pay her proper respect, your memories will become shiny and new as a hot Krispy Kreme donut.

First, some family history for Mnemosyne. Her friends could never remember how to pronounce her name. They just called her Mimi which is what we shall do in today’s lesson. Mimi was born into Greek God royalty; her Baby Daddy was Uranus the God of the sky and her Momma was Gaia the Goddess of Earth. Mimi turned out to be the Goddess of Memory. Mimi got together with her nephew Zeus on Spring Break. Zeus thinking his aunt Mimi might not cotton to sleeping with her nephew, changed himself into a mortal shepherd. Mimi fell for the handsome shepherd and spent nine nights with Zeus making whoopee. Mimi ended up in the family way as a result of her time with Zeus. She had to drop out of Goddess college to have Zeus’ nine daughters. These kids were the nine Muses. The Muses served as inspiration for creative types ever since then. According to Mr. Google, the Muses were Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (music and lyric poetry), Erato (love poetry), Mepomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (hymns), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy) and Urania (astronomy). Mimi’s kids were arty, not a warrior in the bunch. The moral is that if you get Mimi on your side, you will find inspiration in the arts and possibly win "America’s Got Talent."

Mimi wasn’t just a vessel for producing children, no Sirree Bob. She also worked outside the home. However, with nine kids she must have had domestic help. Mimi was a lifeguard for a pool in Hades where dead Greeks go. Hades has the river Lethe where dead Greeks would drink to forget their past lives when they got reincarnated. The river that fed Mimi’s pool was named for Mnemosyne which was the river of memory. Drinking from Mimi’s pool had the opposite effect on dead Greeks causing them to remember their past lives thereby preventing them from being reincarnated.

Mimi’s name is the basis for our current word “mnemonic” which our pal Webster defines as a device such as a pattern of letters or associations that assists in remembering something. If you ask Mimi to put in a good word for you, she can help you remember where you parked your car, what you had for lunch or your anniversary. Unfortunately, not all memories are good ones, so be careful in your requests to Mimi for help. Do you really need to know what you had for lunch yesterday?

Randy Newman wrote a song called “Potholes” about when he was a kid pitching in a baseball game and walked 14 batters in a row. He started crying and walked off the field going home in humiliation. He did his best to forget this event by turning it into a song. He wrote: “God bless the potholes/ Down on Memory Lane/ God bless the potholes/ Down on Memory Lane/ Hope some real big ones open up/ Take some of the memories that do remain.”

Have we learned anything today? Nothing we can’t forget tomorrow. Some of those potholes on Memory Lane are our friends. No memories were harmed in the writing of this column.

Pictured: Reviewing the story of Mnemosyne in Greek mythology can offer explanations on modern memory troubles.

Courage, cowards and bullies battle for the win

03 elk 1Each year the male Elk, called a "bull," will fight another bull to collect a female elk called a "cow" into his herd. When a bully bull threatens a dominant bull, the fight is violent. These fights only have three outcomes: surrender, a tie or a kill. The tie is the most brutal of the battle. The antlers of the two bulls lock together and they cannot get free. Eventually, fatigue leads to collapse, starvation, and finally, death. The other bull may still be alive only to watch his opponent die in his clutches. His end is near and his victory is in vain, but a win is a win.

That is America these days. During the election, America locked antlers, and America is now fatigued — exasperated by the pressures of inflation, government spending, overregulation, open borders, Afghanistan, increasing taxes.

At the same time, people are getting paid to stay at home (aka "the Great Resignation”) and COVID restrictions, mandates, bipolar mask rules and rules which make absolutely no sense at all.
The COVID data shows that the vaccines are working, but the virus is still spreading. The Delta variant has caused new concerns. Hospitals are reporting that most life-threatening cases are in non-vaccinated people.

Advocates for the vaccine question why people do not want to get the vaccine. On the other hand, many people think it should be their choice. Many people have gotten the vaccine but believe that it is their right to keep their information private and resent the idea of showing a COVID card to go into an event or business.

On Sept. 9 President Biden announced an Executive Order for mandatory vaccines. He is issuing this order with a needle in one hand, holding a gun to your head in the other while waging war on the Second Amendment. The order lacked details, but behind the scenes, Biden is using the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to draft an "emergency temporary standard."

According to news reports, officials said the agency would begin enforcing the rules: collecting reports of violations and sending out inspectors who will be empowered to impose $13,650 fines for violations and up to $136,500 for those that are willful or repeated.

Biden and his administration are working on implementing his new policies to address some form of a vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees and in most Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulated workplaces. This means that if you work at less than 100 employees and your business receives Medicare or Medicaid payments, everyone must be vaccinated or lose that revenue. Military, federal executive branch workers and some federal contractors will be required to have the vaccine. He wants military personnel who refuse to get the vaccine to be dishonorably discharged. That is the discharge usually held for those convicted of murder, treason and other serious crimes. So good luck with getting a decent job with that discharge but thanks for fighting and keeping us safe for all these years. Note: The Legislative branch and Federal Courts are exempt.

Last year millions of health care workers, teachers and first responders were the frontline heroes of the COVID pandemic. With this Executive Order, these same courageous, frontline workers and millions of others are being told to get vaccinated or LOSE YOUR JOB!

Now, the government uses employers to be "Great Terminators," the enforcers of his vaccine. As with many socialist countries, starvation will be the root motivator to get you to comply. You will not get unemployment, no insurance, no way to pay your rent or mortgage.

Here is the potential career-ending question. How is it that some of the most intelligent people in our society (doctors and nurses) choose not to get the vaccine after working in this since the beginning? Is it because they know something we do not? Is it because they have had COVID and have antibodies? Is it because they have been around it so long that they believe they have natural immunity? Is it because they think that medical choices should still be a choice?

Last month on CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke with Dr. Fauci. Dr. Gupta said that a study in Israel showed that natural immunity showed that it was better than the vaccine; Dr. Fauci's response was, "You know, that's a really good point, Sanjay. I don't have a really firm answer for you on that. That's something that we're going to have to discuss regarding the durability of the response … So, I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously, because you very appropriately pointed out, it is an issue, and there could be an argument for saying what you said."

Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, and he hasn't studied natural immunity.-Does it seem that my mom knew more about viruses when she sent me down the street to play with a kid who had chickenpox?

Here are why some people struggle. We have watched Dr. Fauci change his story so many times that if he were in your high school science class, you wouldn't cheat off him because you know he will change his answers.
Where in the Constitution does it say it is the government's job to keep you safe? If that was the case, they should outlaw cars, cigarettes and the 8,000 other ways a person can die.

How does this work out? How does a doctor see patients without a staff? Will teachers go to 100 students per class? How do first responders save lives with less people?

Like the mighty bull elk, the courageous, the cowards and the bullies who are hell-bent on a fight, the government, business and the people are in the process of locking horns with their employees and in the process will kill themselves while winning the battle for the cows, but a win is a win.

'Vote Yes' is an anti-voter initiative

01 vote No on YesOur city is currently being flooded with a disingenuous campaign to change the structure of our City Council. You might have received a mailer asking for your signature in support of changing local elections from district-based to a hybrid model of district and at-large elections.

To recap, district elections mean that individuals within specific neighborhoods will elect someone to represent them downtown. At-large means that the whole city gets to vote for a candidate.

Fayetteville does NOT need to change how we elect our local representatives. Let's not fall victim to the arguments presented by the Vote Yes Fayetteville committee.

Let's talk about those arguments.

To begin, there is no connection whatsoever between crime in Fayetteville and the way we elect our municipal representatives. There is crime in cities and towns regardless if they have district or at-large elections. This is a scare tactic to make you think that the city is out of control which is not.

According to the 2020 Fayetteville Police Department's Annual Report, crime in our city has been in a five-year decline. This report was compiled by a Police Department that received an increase in their budget this year.

Citizens in Fayetteville can contact and share their opinions with ALL members of City Council. Our elected officials constantly discuss issues outside their own district. Changing our elections will not fix the issue of priority focus, it will worsen them.

Running a political campaign at-large versus a district wide campaign requires BIG MONEY. This means that at-large representatives will focus more on obtaining sufficient finances for an election that happens every two years rather than the needs of our city.

Besides, who do you want to represent YOU? Someone that lives and understands your community or someone who simply has the money to run and win? The financial interests of at-large candidates will overshadow the interests of marginalized communities.

There is a criticism about our district maps and how they are gerrymandered and confusing to voters. According to the Census Data and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, our city districts have to be redrawn anyway based on population changes. This issue can be fixed by showing up to the City Council's redistricting meetings and advocating for our communities.

Changing the structure of our elections is not needed at all. The institution that creates the biggest confusion among voters is the N.C. General Assembly, not how we elect our local leaders.

The purpose behind this push is to take away the power of communities across our city. It is insulting to utilize the election of our two African-American mayors as a talking point. Marshall Pitts Jr. and Mitch Colvin have a combined leadership of 8 years in a city first settled in 1783.

Do not sign the petition.

Vote "NO" to "Vote Yes."

Jimmy Buxton is the President, Fayetteville Chapter, NCAACP.

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