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LCFC Journal #13: Grateful for Queensborough, Thankful for Gratitude…

20 Jun

 

unnamed (1)I remember what it was like coming back to Queensborough Community College for the first time in what felt like ages. In actuality, it had only been two years and change since I had set foot on campus but going back to work there felt much different. To be quite honest, I never expected to make a return and the fact that I did made me feel as if I had gone through a revolving door. My first day back was on Thursday, November 6th, 2014 and I was scheduled to begin work at 9AM for the Speech Communication & Theatre Arts Department as its college assistant.

I wanted to make a first impression (or thought my job required that I looked professional) as I remember wearing a gray dress shirt and tie with black pants and shoes. Little did I know that over time dressing up was useless as my manager, Veronica Manoo had me doing a lot of heavy lifting and cleaning. I was very taken aback by the amount of work that was cut out for me in regards to office maintenance but Veronica was very helpful in getting me acclimated to her system and how she ran the department.

Two months into my gig I was quite content with the job as it was pretty straight forward. It also didn’t hurt at the time that the pay was fair for a recent struggling grad as I was working damn near full-time punching in thirty hour weekly and making almost a thousand dollars every other week. Although the job wasn’t in my field of English I was comfortable enough at the time to stay a while longer while I continued to search for other positions.

However, a speed bump would occur a few months down the road as my weekly hours were reduced to half the amount I had been working from the moment I first started. For me, this was a shock because I naturally thought my pay would hover around the figure I was already making, but later on, I learned that the only reason I was afforded the luxury of working additional hours was because the college assistant before me quit in August of that year which allowed me to use up the hours that he hadn’t used as a result of his departure.

It was in that very moment that I realized the matter where I told myself I needed to get the hell out of there. As a recent college grad, the sudden reduction shocked me beyond capacity and made me take a step back to reevaluate why I had even gone to college.

What made things worse for me personally was that half of my earnings was given to my mother. From the time that I had started working at QCC my mother requested that I contributed four hundred dollars a month to the household as a way for her to buy groceries and aid in monthly expenses. Although I didn’t mind the matter when my check was looking great, later on I found it to be a nuisance as I barely got by.

During the fall and early portion of 2015 I grew to be extremely frustrated with the predicament I was in. At that point I had started a master’s program and had moved up from being a pitiful college grad to being a broke graduate student. And as I had done before I was struggling to stretch every dollar I made.

Months went by as the summer of 2016 arrived. By then I found myself keeping all my money made from the measly earnings of my paychecks to myself. At this point, a full two months went by without me giving my mother any money. And to be honest, I didn’t really care to even address the situation because it literally killed me inside. I was ashamed, embarrassed, and disgusted with what I had become and my pride would not allow me to bring the situation to light. I was able to get away with it for a while until one day my mother sent me a text and asked about the sudden halt in the money she had been receiving.

Later on, I remember us briefly getting into it as she told me that I needed to move on and find a real job with real pay that provided full-time work hours. Although I agreed with her and understood where she was coming from I refused to let her break me down. As a young adult I was doing everything within my power to be one that I was supposed to be doing at the time and her complaints about my job did not phase me in slightest. At the time I literally had one more year of school left on my plate and would not allow her or anyone meddle with what I had planned.

Following this matter, I continued working at my job while going to school. However, I knew that my final year of graduate school had to have something attached to it at the end. It was really important to me that I either found a job in which I could utilize my English undergraduate degree or one in which I could pursue education either through a fellowship or on a higher education level.

Sometime that fall, I found myself landing a position as a corps member for a teaching fellowship program that would have me relocate to New Haven, Connecticut. Once it became official I was certainly relieved to say the least. It felt great to know that I would finally begin to embark upon my career and would get started on defining and creating a future for myself.

However, what I found to be tough in regards to the matter is the fact that everything wasn’t all bad for me working at the school. What I mean by that is I grew and built relationships with some of my colleagues that will certainly last a lifetime. A lot of the professors I worked with helped me grow and mature into a professional future educator by simply having conversations with me. I was fortunate enough to watch them operate as I learned the meaning of responsibility, hard work, and etiquette when it boils down to dealing with students of all magnitudes.

On my last day of work at QCC I found the ending of what was certainly a learning experience to be bittersweet. Of course, I wanted to go and move on more than anything but a part of me felt as if I was leaving something behind. I was leaving a group of people that not only helped raise me on my first real job but cared about me in such a way that impacted my framework and identity as a young man. I’m not too certain why it happened but I can still remember crying my eyes out while talking to Daniel McKleinfeld, the College Lab Technician of my department and thanking him for just existing and being an extraordinary man that taught me so much about life, history, the world, and many things at large. It is because of beautiful souls like him that my spirit enlarged and was very in tune with everything I got to experience while working there.

And so, if someone walked up to me and asked whether I enjoyed working as a college assistant for little pay and work experience right out of college I would not find it within me to tell a lie and would have to say, “no”. But if they asked has the experience itself changed you in any form or fashion then I would have to say “yes”. It changed me because I literally had to learn that sometimes life doesn’t always go as expected. Life doesn’t always hand you what you want right away or sometimes at all. Life and the experiences you get are a test. A test that determines your resilient nature as you make progress into a future that is bright but challenging. A future in which you will find yourself being grateful for everything both big and small that comes your way. It’s this reason alone that makes me thank the institution as I express my deepest gratitude. Not only am I certain that I will prosper but I have also proven to myself that I will win wherever I go. And for that I say: thank you Queensborough Community College, thank you. Because of you, I will go on to do great things. Because of you, I am grateful.

 

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. He was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. Anglade holds an A.S. in Theatre, (Queensborough Community College) a B.A. in English (Brooklyn College) and an M.A. in English (Queens College). He is the author of the poetry collection Life Comes From Concrete: a poetry memoir (2016).

Find him online at:

www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

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LCFC Journal #10: “Reflecting in 6” (A Postlude)

26 Jan
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Observing the journey over the last half year.

 

It’s been six months since the initial release of Life Comes From Concrete and since then I’ve thought a lot about what it means to write a book and unveil it to the public. When writing, I’m not usually conscious of what the content will do for others. First and foremost, I think of myself and what I would personally take away from it.

Maybe its because writing is a form of documentation in which one’s most sincere thoughts are shared on paper.

The act of penning thoughts that confesses what someone may or may not have ever thought to share with others is truly an act of intimacy. Therefore, something that’s been on my mind for a while now is whether my collection was able to arouse the emotions and feelings of others. Was anyone able to relate? Did the writing move them? Overall, how does it enable one to go about living out their lives, especially, as a young adult within America’s society?

The only thing I wanted to accomplish with this memoir was to have people feel something. And for the reason of feeling, I figured that if I had a story to provide context and background information to each and every poem included, it would evoke a form of expression that would be personable for the reader.

That’s all I ever wanted to accomplish with the collection and its counterpart in 1.5. These two editions are essential in providing a story of a young man’s journey, and are unique as they both aim in establishing a particular tone and mood when reading them. In essence, what is your story? Everyone has one and I believe it’s imperative that you share yours as well.

Sincerely,

– Kevin Anglade

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. Kevin was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. He is also the author of Life Comes From Concrete, a poetry memoir.

Find him online at:

http://www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

LCFC Journal #9: “LCFD”- Intersecting Journeys

20 Jan

IMG_0100In December of 2014, an idea popped into my head about creating a documentary. The first thing that came to mind was shooting a film that visually displayed my literary story of Life Comes From Concrete on screen. However, the more I thought about it, the idea and concept of this documentary changed significantly.

I then proceeded to ask myself: “What would the story be like if I followed the journey of fellow young artists/creatives on the path of turning their dreams into reality just as I intend for myself?”IMG_0160

From there, I told my friend Roy, a DP/video editor about my ideas for the project and asked him if he’d be willing to shoot it with me. He immediately obliged and the summer of 2015 turned into one of the most exhilarating summers that I have ever experienced.

The documentary was shot from June of that year up until the closing days of July and every step of the way I was amazed by the stories of each and every artist that I had reached out to interview.IMG_0056

Ultimately, what it taught me was that although everyone’s journey is different, it ends up being one in the same as everyone on earth has one mutual common goal and that is what we believe to be our “destiny”.

The result of this documentary furthered my belief in the project’s concept and that I had done the right thing in naming my poetry collection Life Comes From Concrete.

 

PS. I hope you enjoy this film with an open mind and heart. This one in particular isn’t just my story, but the stories of others in similar fashion chasing their dreams…IMG_0184

Sincerely,

– Kevin Anglade

Life Comes From “Destiny”

A Mini-Documentary About

The Journey of Artists & The Paths They’ve Created

Directed by: Jack Stellar

Starring
Raheem “Cash Sinatra” Wharton
Nick “Alexander” Anglade
Juan Bayon
Charbrielle Parker
Shola Gbemi
Chris “The Artkitech” Brown
Joshua “J La Sol” King
Jonathan Oke
Kevin Anglade

Created by: Kevin Anglade                                                                                                                   Written by: Kevin Anglade                                                                                                             Executive Producer: Kevin Anglade                                                                                            Produced by: Flowered Concrete & Jack Stellar Films
Camera/Video Editor: Neil Diaz
Management: Mia Hill
Advisor: Emir Fils-Aime                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Original Music By:                                                                                                                                         Chris The Artkitech                                                                                                                             Zachary Durham                                                                                                                                     Suupa                                                                                                                                                             Cash Sinatra                                                                                                                                                  Jam Young                                                                                                                                                     The Social Experiment                                                                                                                        Chance The Rapper

Special Thanks To:

Light                                                                                                                                                        Michael “Big Mike” Wharton
Kerry Freycinet
Aaron Gilgeous
Erik Johnson
Michael “Mikey” Cook

LoudER Records
Artkitechuals                                                                                                                                                            Sus Life

Queens College, CUNY                                                                                                                       Brooklyn College, CUNY
New York City (All Five Boroughs)

 

Also Streaming on YouTube

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. Kevin was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. He is also the author of Life Comes From Concrete, a poetry memoir.

Find him online at:

http://www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

 

Life Comes From “Destiny” ep. 4

13 Jan

A Flowered Concrete Original Documentary Written and Created by Kevin Anglade
Directed by @jackstellar
Premieres
Friday, January 20th 8PM
LIVE -> @velevek

FLOWERED CONCRETE - "DREAM FOR ANYTHING, REACH FOR EVERYTHING."

In the fourth episode of Life Comes From “Destiny”, Nick Alexander, and Juan Bayon explain the motives behind their craft and how they ultimately culminate into their passion.

Full documentary premieres
Friday, January 20th
at http://www.instagram.com/velevek

For more info visit:
http://www.floweredconcrete.net
http://www.kevinanglade.com/lcfd-film

Twitter: @floweredlit
Instagram: @floweredconcrete
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FloweredConcrete

Follow the artists:
Nick Alexander
Twitter/IG:@nickofcomedy
http://www.nickofcomedy.com

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Life Comes From “Destiny” (Struggles) ep. 3

13 Jan

Life Comes From Destiny Ep. 3 (Struggles)

A Flowered Concrete Original Documentary Written and Created by Kevin Anglade
Directed by @jackstellar
Premieres
Friday, January 20th 8PM
LIVE -> @velevek

FLOWERED CONCRETE - "DREAM FOR ANYTHING, REACH FOR EVERYTHING."

In the third episode of Life Comes From “Destiny”, Brooklyn rap artist, Cash Sinatra, Queens writer/filmmaker, Shola Gbemi, and Queens actors, Charbrielle Parker, and Nick Alexander, depict the struggles of their craft and how they have found a way to preserve because of their love for the art.

Full documentary premieres
Friday, January 20th
at http://www.instagram.com/velevek

For more info visit:
http://www.floweredconcrete.net
http://www.kevinanglade.com/lcfd-film

Twitter: @floweredlit
Instagram: @floweredconcrete
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FloweredConcrete

Follow the artists:

Cash Sinatra
Twitter/IG: @cashsinatra

Nick Alexander
Twitter/IG:@nickofcomedy
http://www.nickofcomedy.com

Charbrielle Parker
Twitter: @bobbylacroix
Instagram: @charbrielleparker

Shola Gbemi
Twitter/IG: @vs_sho

VisionSpeaks
IG/FB:@vslifestyle_

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Life Comes From “Destiny” (My Art) ep. 2

27 Dec

Check out episode 2, “My Art” from Life Comes From “Destiny”: A Flowered Concrete Documentary
Premieres Friday, January 20th 8PM
http://www.instagram.com/velevek

More info available at:
http://www.floweredconcrete.net
http://www.kevinanglade.com/lcfd-film

FLOWERED CONCRETE - "DREAM FOR ANYTHING, REACH FOR EVERYTHING."

In the second episode of Life Comes From “Destiny”, Brooklyn rap artist, Cash Sinatra spits an incredible freestyle, displaying his lyrical dexterity, and excellent flow all while leaving us wanting more.

To learn more about Cash Sinatra’s journey as an artist be sure to watch the full documentary coming soon, this January.

For more info visit:
www.kevinanglade.com/lcfd-film
www.floweredconcrete.net                                                                                                                            Twitter: @floweredlit                                                                                                                   Instagram: @floweredconcrete
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FloweredConcrete

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LCFC Journal #7: “Life in The D.O.C.”

20 Dec
ecf-washingtonheights

Photo Credit: Haks.net

Last month, during the week of Thanksgiving, Monday, November 21st to be exact, I had the most gracious opportunity in visiting a correctional facility in Harlem/Washington Heights, New York called Edgecombe.

A colleague of mine that works in my college department named Dr. Franca Ferrari is a weekly volunteer there and asked if I wanted to join and participate. Well, to be completely honest, I technically asked to be a part of the program after hearing her mention it in passing at work.

I was more than elated, however, that she received my request with open arms and allowed me to make the trip with her.

Upon arrival, I must admit that I was kind of nervous about who my audience would be and how I’d be received. However, all of those feelings vanished when I walked into a room full of inmates that were rapping and performing their own original material.

Listening, I felt the substance as one of the guys named Hossain was spitting some potent words in rhyme couplets about his life experiences. The moment he finished, all I heard around the room were yelps of approval and happiness for the words that had just poured out of the brother’s mouth.

After introducing myself and going around the room to shake each and every one of their hands, I briefly released my own passion for rhyming and words as I performed two pieces.

The men seemed to have received it well as they all nodded their heads in approval. Immediately after, I wasted no time and began informing them about writing gigs, fellowship opportunities, internships, and blog sites to read, connect, and get their writing out there.

And so, although the men had different tastes when it came to writing as some were musicians and wanted to work in the music business, I realized that they found the information extremely useful and jotted down every tip.

After a brief snack break, the men, myself, Dr. Ferrari, and the corrections supervisor whose name was Sister Shabazz, all shared our poetry, and verses with each other to great support and thunderous applause.

And as we wrapped up, I thanked the men for participating, listening, sharing, and making my time there as a guest pleasant.

I then give them my e-mail and websites in case they ever needed to contact me in regards to the discussion we had.

Before leaving, Dr. Ferrari briefed them about a para-legal lawyer that would be visiting them the following Monday with advice on how to work within the profession.

I then made my rounds, shaking all of their hands for a final time before wishing them happy holidays.

Upon reaching home two hours later, I somehow wasn’t able to fall asleep. I think I was too high off of adrenaline and the night that I had had with those men. As I tried to shut my eyes and sleep, I just couldn’t stop thinking about them.

I couldn’t help but think that I could have easily been them. From the moment I walked into the facility, I immediately felt like a prisoner as the security officer at the front desk made me lock up all of my belongings and told me that I wasn’t allowed to use or carry my laptop into the facility.

Now I know this doesn’t even compare to what the men have gone through upon entering the program I’m sure, but still, even the most basic liberties such as having your phone and laptop in your possessions is something you realize shouldn’t be taken for granted.

The world that we live in is huge, however, there are more than nine million citizens within the United States alone, incarcerated.

Luckily for the men at Edgecombe, the correctional facility is more of a rehab center for ex-felons that have violated parole. Their term period at the facility lasts no longer than 45 days which means that they will be home soon.

All I can hope for is that these men not only take their next chance seriously upon being eligible for release, but I’m also hoping that citizens within their communities help lift and rise them up so that they all can get jobs and re-insert themselves into the thick of society. I mean, they are human beings after all right? We all make mistakes don’t we? If the answer to my questions are yes, then we need to stop judging them for their pasts and give them another chance.

I mean, just think about it. It’s all they will probably ever need.

Sincerely,

Kevin Anglade

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of Frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. Kevin was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. He is also the author of Life Comes From Concrete, a poetry memoir.

Find him online at:

http://www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek