Category Archives: Uncategorized

Short Review: After Hours by The Weekend

The Weekend’s song “After Hours” is the third teaser installment of his album “After Hours,” which will fully release on March 20. The song keeps a depressing tone but then picks up an upbeat and banging vibe you can jam out to. Abell’s lyrics pick up a theme of devotion and a strive for love. The song seems to be an apology to his ex-girlfriends and lets us know he is this dark, druggy tortured character who is taking all his pain out on others by being an alpha partier, long “After Hours.”

Long Review: Sonic the Hedgehog Movie

When another gaming movie was scheduled to be released Valentine’s Day, the gaming community was certainly concerned if it was going to be yet another flop for the genre. Instead, Sonic the Hedgehog was able to bring a video game into an entertaining and comical movie.

When the first trailer dropped on April 30, 2019, fans of the popular Sega video game had nothing but negative comments to say about the design of Sonic in the movie. Director Jeff Fowler responded to the fan backlash on Twitter.

“The message is loud and clear. You aren’t happy with the design & you want changes. It’s going to happen”.

The new and improved Sonic design hit the ground running, and it was all thanks to feedback from the community and Director Jeff Fowler for listening to fan feedback.
The movie is set when Sonic is forced to flee his homeworld in order to escape the evil Dr. Robotnik, who is trying to use his super-speed for evil.

Alone in our world, Sonic has no one to talk to but himself and “us” as he can occasionally break down the fourth wall Deadpool style. Voice actor Ben Schwartz’s portrayal is unique in being able to invoke that thrill-seeking spirit Sonic is known for. There are times where Sonic’s constant talking gets a bit too cartoonish, but the character evolves once he’s forced out of isolation in order to escape the clutches of Doctor Robotnik (Jim Carey) and he befriends Tom Wachowski (James Marsden).
From there, the plot is as straightforward as the 1991 Genesis game. Go fast and make a mad dash to collect those rings. Defeat the villainous Dr. Robotnik and on to the next scene.

It’s a movie about friendship as James Marsden’s “Tom” is looking to find meaning within his own life while Sonic is looking for a friendship with someone. They both end up finding what they’re looking for while trying to escape the clutches of Dr. Robotnik.
One might think it is hard to go against such a beloved blue, fast, energetic hedgehog, but the opponent is just as animated. Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik brings reminiscing times of his Ace Ventura character. Showing that he still has overwhelming acting talent in him.
The film, however, does suffer from implementing too many visual effects we’ve seen used countless times before in films, often with more creativity. For example, a few may remember the scene from X-Men Days of Future Past, where Quicksilver cleverly shifts things around while running. You’ve seen it done before. It’s just done by Sonic now.

Sonic the Hedgehog stands out the most when it stands by the video game material showcased in the film. Director Jeff Fowler does an exceptional job putting in as many easter eggs from the Sonic games as possible, to the point where even hardcore Sonic fans have to watch the movie more than once to catch them all.

If you’re a Sonic fan worried whether this movie could genuinely catch the essence of nearly three decades worth of history of Sonic the Hedgehog, don’t be. While it lacks in some of the deeper cuts in Sonic lore, such as trapped animals in aggressed robots and Mystical emeralds, the essentials are all here in the highly scrutinized title character that should keep fans more locked into the story.

While this family-friendly action, comedy stumbles from a simple story and focuses too heavily on visual cinematic clichés, Sonic the Hedgehog is propelled by the fantastic acting of Jim Carrey and Ben Schwartz. Their game of cat and mouse has you at the edge of your seat the entire film.

If you’ve been a long time Sonic fan and been here since the start on the Sega Genesis, then this Valentine’s Day, Sonic the Hedgehog is the love letter you’ve been waiting for.

Well known Dr. Vance: admired by many

Anna Soriano-352  

Demorest, GA – Dr. Cynthia Vance, is a psychology professor and well admired by many students at Piedmont College. 

“27 years is a long time,” Cynthia Vance said about her time at Piedmont. “I do not think I have a favorite moment,” she said, but her favorite part of teaching is getting to know her students. 

Vance started her teaching career in graduate school as a teaching assistant and started at Piedmont on Aug 1.1993. One of her favorite teaching moments is  “seeing the light bulb go on” in students’ minds during class. She enjoys many friendships with faculty and staff.

Although the modest professor may not admit it, her teaching style turns on the lights of students. “I love Dr. Vance’s teaching style,” said Clara Ortega a sophomore nursing major at Piedmont. “Her lectures were never too fast, and she repeated key points that would most definitely be on her tests, she loves getting to know her students and stories.” 

Vance can be an intimidating force, but once students take her class, they see her softer side. 

“I was a little intimidated at first but she was really kind and funny,” said Cooper Keywork, a freshman Athletic training major.

Although Vance may not admit it, her impact on students is felt. “She always showed so much support and you can really tell she cares about her students,” Ortega said. 

Dr. Cynthia Vance

Phone: 706-778-8500 x1241

Clara Ortega

(626) 404 – 9540 

Cooper Keywork

(Please Note: Dr. Vance DOES NOT want to appear in The Roar) 

Jazz Musician to College Professor

English professor Jadyn Dewald talks about his uncommon life journey from being a famous Jazz musician to a community college student to earning his PhD before landing at Piedmont College.

 He understands the discovery in the value of education and his love for literature. 

“I’m an extraordinarily unlikely writer. I broke into the backdoor of this profession,” he said.

He wasn’t always an English professor. He was previously a famous Jazz musician for 15 years and taught a variety of writing courses, including creative writing. Growing up in Sacramento, California, education was the last thing Dewald worried about at the time. He first attended Sacramento Community College and says he found a great opportunity there. He thinks of it as a laboratory where he can experiment with different majors to figure out which one draws him the most. 

 “It allowed me a ton of time to let me figure out what I wanted to do,” he said. 

Then Dewald progressed to getting more serious about education after leaving his musical career behind him. He attended San Francisco State University, Pacific University, and the University of Georgia. The energy of books and book lovers drew him to becoming an English professor. 

“In high school, I read one book in my life,” he said. “And then once I discovered literature I immediately thought I gotta make up 20 years for not having done this.” 

After dipping his toes into the literature world, Dewald became captivated with the arts. He loves writing, but sometimes it can be a very lonely and isolated experience, so he was able to find warmth and company within the Piedmont community, connecting and networking with fellow writers. 

After Dewald’s compelling journey, he only has one goal that he wants to get across to his students after leaving his class each semester. 

“I want them to fall in love with reading,” he said. “Whatever they write, regardless of quality, is valid and worth doing.” 

Be Prepared

English Professor Jennifer Gilstrap has three words that she often shares to students:

“Just be prepared”, she said.

Preparation has been key for Gilstrap as she built her career to lead into her current job. Teaching since 2005, she was a lecturer at UNG at both the Gainesville and Dahlonega campus, an adjunct at Georgia Highlands and an adjunct at Lanier Technical College.

Gilstrap’s introduction to Piedmont was about five years ago as an adjunct. The things that she likes about Piedmont is the small environment and that it is a small liberal arts college, and the academic freedom that comes with that. She likes the fact that it is a teaching college. Since there is not as much emphasis on publishing. Gilstrap noted that because the college is small, you can remember students by name.

“The students are really good here too, because it is such a small college and you can remember a lot of them by name”, she said.

After teaching English for several years, Gilstrap understands what helps students succeed.

“Be prepared and read ahead and read texts more than once”, said Gilstrap.

Georgia State Patrol wasn't enough for Chief Jim

DEMOREST GA— Chief Jim Andrews is hoping to break stereotypes of police officers.

“Officers get a title of all they want to do is write tickets and lock up everyone that passes their path, but for me it’s the lifelong lessons and connections that make the job well worth it when you lay your head on your pillow at night,” said Andrews. For nearly three decades, Andrews has been making those connections.

He started his career working at a prison then vastly earned his way up to a K-9 handler, which then led to bigger and better opportunities in his career. In 1993, he joined GSP (Georgia State Patrol) as a radio operator and took that challenge on for roughly a year. Shortly after in 1994, he went to Trooper School and worked his way up quickly in rankings to a Buck Sargent. In 2010, he was given the opportunity to work with Gov.Nathan Deal during his campaign. During that time, he got to travel to Canada, Israel, China, Japan and Korea. 

“My most valuable lesson during my career was when I was in the small town called Madison, Georgia. I was just in training to become a trooper and I’m not sure if the officer I was with was trying to impress me or what, but there was this African male who was just trying to make a living hauling wood and he wrote him a ticket. Still to this day I don’t understand why that man got a ticket and that one will forever stick with me,” said the Georgia native.

Andrews made life-long connections with people throughout his career. Still to this day he catches up with Gov. Deal and his wife Sandra. The most touching connections he made throughout his lifetime were the families of loved ones that has passed away in a crash scene he had to attended. 

“ This may seem a little weird, but the most rewarding and most joy I got out of my job was working fatal crashes and then sitting down to talk to the family and friends listening to all the stories about the loved one who had just passed,” said Andrews.

Success is Not Just in Performance

DEMOREST- After 17 years coaching athletes all over the country, Jamie Jimison considers all his athletes success stories.

“It’s hard for me to identify a particular success story,” the head Piedmont cross country and track coach Jamie Jimison said when combing through all his past athletes’ careers,  “With each student I have coached, I’ve tried to understand what their needs are and coach accordingly; and the ones who buy into that are more fun. I’ve had a lot of All-Americans in my career, but watching people develop and grow is more fun.”

Jimison first came to Piedmont College in the fall of 2019. With such a young program that is as successful as it is, he had a lot of expectations from his new athletes and a lot of pressure from the Athletic Department. But this wasn’t his first team. Jimison started his coaching career at the collegiate level, beginning with an assistant coaching job at Berea College and after one year he received his first head coach position at Union College building the small program for five years. Jimison then took a break from collegiate coaching and tried teaching at a middle school in his area for a year. There he realized college athletes and coaching was what he wanted to be doing. He then earned another head coaching position with a young program at Mount Mercy College. He spent nine years building that program to the well- respected level it is at today, even getting a track facility built during his time there. During the summer of 2019, Jimison learned of an open coaching position at Piedmont College and he decided to go for it.

“I was ready for a professional change, and it worked out that Piedmont was also closer to family. Moving to Georgia also provided my family an opportunity for climate change compared to Iowa weather.”

Piedmont was the perfect fit. He loved what the school and athletic program represented. Jimison had worked with small private schools all his coaching career, but only Piedmont College had the administrative support that his other institutions lacked.

During his brief time at Piedmont so far, he has gotten a lot of work done in the program. He’s aided the school in planning and drawing up a blueprint for a brand new track facility coming in the near future. Even with the program progress he’s made, Jimison has had more of an impact on his athletes. 

“Coaching is a lot about numbers, but building relationships and trust is the root of helping folks get better.” 

With the training and coaching Jimison has put in place with the track and cross country programs, many of his athletes have reached goals they never thought possible. Because of the love and appreciation his athletes have for him, and the amount of fun he is having watching his new team be as successful as they are, Jimison is planning on staying at Piedmont permanently where he will continue to make success stories, on and off the track. 

“My biggest objective right now is not to leave Piedmont,” he said. “I like the area, but I also like the program.”