Author Archives: yikeshadley

About yikeshadley

Hi, I'm Hadley! I write and make art. I'm doing my best.

Amin Abraham-Quiles: I grew, I learned, I got wiser

Amin Abraham-Quiles lost his grandfather his freshman year of high school. Before he died, he told Amin to “always keep a smile on your face,” a quote that would shape the way he lived. Amin Abraham-Quiles, or “AQ the Singer,” is known throughout the Piedmont College campus for his fresh rhymes, great attitude and infectious smile. “I just want to keep everyone around me in good moods. I love seeing people with a smile on their face and I want everyone to be positive,” says Abraham-Quiles.

“Being motivating– that’s kind of my core message that I like to portray with my peers.”After completing his bachelor’s degree in Arts Administration, Abraham-Quiles returned to Piedmont to attain his master’s degree in business. He’s taken a job as the graduate assistant in the Mass Communication department.

“Amin is a firm yet understanding and chill. He’s always willing to work with people’s schedules and help them out,” says Olivia Morley, a senior mass communication major and student worker. “I feel like he’s made the mcom department more relaxed, especially among the student workers.”

He records “Friday Motivation,” a series of short videos via The Roar Instagram each week to inspire those around him, specifically the Mass Communication majors he helps every day in his job.

But his talent and motivation aren’t limited to  Swanson Center office 109. For Abraham-Quiles’ capstone, he released the album “Life of the Afro Kid.” This album reflects on his life, his family, and the messages he wants to share. He began singing when he was just two years old, and his grandfather began to teach him musical skills at this young age.

“I grew up around a lot of Carribean island people, so family was very important there. Family is everywhere. You have to love family, respect family, and learn from them. They’re wise– they have wisdom they can share with you.”

He comes from a Puerto Rican-Haitian background, where the music and family have influenced his life and sound. “I was really inspired by my family and my family’s culture. I really wanted to demonstrate that culture in my album.”

The process of creating “Life of Afro Kid” was unlike any other album. The entire album was recorded in Abraham-Quiles’ Ipswitch dorm, where he’d send his creations to his uncle in New Jersey for mixing. He says that the album was essentially produced through the Internet. This isn’t the only thing that sets the album apart from the average.“Whenever I record something I do it through freestyling… I make it up from my brain, I don’t write it down.” he says. “I just re-record and re-record until I hear the core message that I want to bring to the song.”  

His album is full of different musical influences that make up who he is. “It was a very fusion-esque album that has all different things. It’s not just one genre.” He says. “You can listen to one song and think ‘oh, this is very pop-sounding,’ or another and think it’s very R&B sounding.” He says he wants his listeners to know his work is his when they hear it. “This is very Amin… You’re going to know. I’m introducing myself. It’s this journey that I’m putting you on.”

He decided to donate the album’s proceeds to the Alliance for African American Music in Northeast Georgia, the organization that funds the Lachicotte-Strickland Minority Scholarship. He calls the scholarship “a blessing,” it helped him pay for school in a way he didn’t see coming. “I decided that this album is going to give back to them.”

His charity doesn’t surprise Joe Dennis, chair of the mass communications department and Abraham-Quiles’ supervisor. “There’s a genuine good person behind that smile,” Dennis said. “I wish there were more Amins in the world.”

RR2

Chapters five and six in Robert M. Knight’s “Journalistic Writing” reminded me, once again, that my major and minor go hand-in-hand. Through my writing for “The Roar,” as well as my creative writing and writing for English classes, I am able to combine all the best parts of English and Mass Communication. Knight reminds writers to keep their content simple and clear. From what I know and the experience I have, I’m able to communicate in clear and concise language when writing journalistically.

I was happy to see Knight address sexism in the English language. While I love the English language, it does have flaws, and the use of “he” as a pronoun in sentences with no real subject is one that bothers me the most. As a journalist in a fairly progressive paper, I’ve been proud that my fellow editors also use “they” pronouns anywhere writing doesn’t reference a specific person. “He or she” has always struck me as intolerant of those who do not identify as male or female, and I hope that journalism continues to evolve in their usage of  “they.”

Overall, the reading didn’t impact me the way someone new to journalism would be. It was, however, a valuable refresher. I continue to be disgusted by the lack of the Oxford comma.

RR1: Keeping Things (Moderately) Colorful

I won’t lie: I wasn’t excited about reading this. Writing books about writing is hard to accomplish in and of itself; it’s a whole other ballpark to make it enjoyable to read. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was not only well-written, but interesting, and provided its information in concise language. Within twenty-some-odd pages, I had not only been given excellent information, but I absorbed it all.

The theme of this reading was “keeping things simple,” which is a task writers like myself often struggle with. As a journalist, my job is to give people all the information they need. As a creative writer, my job is to take the reader to the places I’m discussing. In theory, these two things work well together: the ability to communicate a news story and the ability to make the story “colorful”, as Knight describes in “Some Basic Guidelines for Developing Writing Skills.” Unfortunately, they often get the better of me.

In an attempt to give a reader all the information they need while also telling an engaging and visual story, I write too much. This is usually fixed by a lot of editing, both by myself and by my fellow editors. Though I’m improving, this chapter gave me several guidelines that will benefit me in writing my next piece.

I was deeply disturbed by the lack of the Oxford comma throughout the chapter.

Hadley: Yikes, What’s Up with the Moon?

On July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 landed on Hadley Base, near the Hadley C crater. 28 years later, an overgrown fetus slithered out of my mother. The two have no correlation, but it’s pretty cool that there’s a part of the moon that shares my name and a space mission that landed on my birthday.50274311_2251794588477775_7069170793715859456_o

My name is Hadley. I was born in the college town of Carbondale, Illinois, to Jeremy and Andrea Cottingham. I moved around a lot as a kid, my dad was a network engineer in the ’90s and early 2000s, meaning his job was in high demand. When we moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and my sister came along (as well as my diagnosis with a very expensive disability) we were just trying to make ends meet. We ended up in Tennessee for a few years, and then finally relocated to Atlanta.

During my childhood, I never knew anything for sure. My health, location, and family’s expenses were constantly fluctuating. What I always did have, though, was writing. No matter how little made sense to me or how scared I was, writing always gave me back a little bit of control. Oh, and I was good at it.

My writing career began to gain momentum during my junior year of high school when my short story, “A Very Vague Story About the Moon,” received two awards from the Georgia Young Authors Fair. I began touring colleges around this time, and I ended up at Piedmont College, where Dr. Joe Dennis took an interest in my writing. By the end of my first year at Piedmont, my poem “lightly” had received two awards, been published twice, and I was getting ready to take the position of opinions editor at the Piedmont Roar.

Thus far in my sophomore year, I have written, edited for, and traveled with The Roar to Louisville, Kentucky for the National College Media Convention, as well as published my first book. I’m working on comfortably switching between AP style and MLA format, and quickly learning that AP will have to pry the Oxford comma out of my cold, dead hands.