The Modern Misanthrope

WHEN WE HAVE CEASED TO LOVE THE STENCH OF THE HUMAN ANIMAL, EITHER IN OTHERS OR IN OURSELVES, THEN WE ARE CONDEMNED TO MISERY, AND CLEAR THINKING CAN BEGIN

Online classes: Students, teachers adapting to demand for online learning

Online classes: Students, teachers adapting to demand for online learning
“This is more than just online courses,” Napolitano said. “We are talking about online tools and technology for student success and different approaches to teaching that are enabled by a variety of online and blended learning strategies. It permeates …
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How good are Udemy's online courses? Tips to get you started
Udemy is an online learning platform that brings together students and instructors from all over the world. Some courses are available for free while others are paid courses that may cost several hundred Dollars. You do need to create a free account to …
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Why Free Online Classes Are Still the Future of Education
Agarwal is an MIT computer science professor and the CEO of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based non-profit, edX, one of several purveyors of so-called “massively open online courses,” or MOOCs, which offer free online classes from elite universities to …
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Waldorf College Offers Public Safety Announcement on Smoke Alarms

FOREST CITY, IOWA (PRWEB) October 03, 2014

Waldorf College recently partnered with the Alabama Firefighters Museum and Education Center to produce a public service announcement for National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5-11, and Fire Prevention Month (October).

Sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association, Fire Prevention Weeks goal is to educate and assist citizens, particularly children, in learning the basics of fire safety and planning. This years theme is Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives.

In promoting this valuable message, Waldorf asks all media outlets and websites to air the PSA in support of smoke alarm safety. The 30-second video features Billy Hayes, a member of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Firefighters Museum, offering instructions on testing and maintaining smoke alarms.

To download the PSA, visit http://www.waldorf.edu/firepsa2014. Specifications can be adjusted if needed for video formats.

Based in Forest City, Iowa, Waldorf is a liberal arts institution that offers regionally accredited residential and online degrees that address popular career skills such as organizational leadership, criminal justice, fire science, communications, human resource management and more.

The Alabama Firefighters Museum, which will be established in Calera, Ala., will house an expansive collection of artifacts documenting the history of firefighting in Alabama while honoring past and present fire and rescue heroes and providing interactive fire prevention and life safety education.”

To learn more, visit http://www.alabamafirefightersmuseum.org







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Washington Adventist Universitys School of Graduate and Professional Studies Starts Fall 2nd Session Classes Oct. 19

Takoma Park, Md. (PRWEB) October 12, 2014

October 19 marks the start of the second session of fall courses offered by Washington Adventist Universitys School of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS). The adult evening program, now in its 30th year, offers 11 accelerated undergraduate programs and eight masters programs.

Anyone interested in earning a new degree or completing one that is still unfinished should call the SGPS office staff at 301-891-4092 for assistance in finding the program and schedule that best suits their needs.

Former Washington Adventist University (and Columbia Union College) students who have already completed at least 75 percent of their degree program can benefit from the universitys One Step Away Program, which helps returning students reach their degree faster and with greater ease. It provides credit for life experience and offers classes on campus and online. Financial assistance is available to eligible students in the form of application fee waivers and scholarship funds. The program also offers participants academic and writing support, along with tutoring services. Anyone interested in matriculating under the One Step Away Program should contact Sharon Grey-Coker at 301-891-4163 or onestep(at)wau(dot)edu

The SGPS office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday. During those hours, SGPS advisors will be on hand to answer questions and help with class registrations. New classes start the week of October 19-23.

The university campus is located in suburban Takoma Park, Md. near the intersection of Carroll Ave. and Flower Ave. with convenient, free parking and easy access to bus stops and a Capital Bikeshare station on campus. The Takoma Metro station is 1.5 miles away.

For more information, go to http://www.wau.edu .

# # #

Washington Adventist University is a four-year private college that is part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education. The university has been educating college students since 1904 on a 19-acre campus in suburban Takoma Park, close to the nations capital. A total of 1,185 students of all faiths participate in the universitys eight graduate and 32 undergraduate programs. The 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington Adventist University among the best regional colleges in the north.

Media Contacts:

Angie Crews, 301-891-4134, acrews(at)wau(dot)edu

Donna Bigler, 240-286-1169, dbigler(at)wau(dot)edu







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Andover Education Launches the High School of the Future: HSx


Westport, CT (PRWEB) October 01, 2014

Students can now earn credit by demonstrating mastery of any core high school academic course. And anyone without a high school diploma now has access to an impressive, accredited high school degree. HSx is not defined by conventional standards of credit hours and semesters but rather by demonstrating mastery of a single subject for individual credit or across all subjects for a diploma. HSx programs include content mastery assessments, essays, and labs, but the time required per subject is entirely dependent on the length of time it takes a student to master it.

The GED and other online diploma programs are proficiency based, so that one earns a diploma by demonstrating a minimum amount of knowledge. HSx is mastery based, so its a more difficult diploma to earn, but its also much more prestigious, said Andover CEO Nathan Allen. You really want to open doors? Aim for an Andover diploma. Theres finally an option to the GED.

A diploma from Andover College Preparatorys HSx can be earned at each students individual pace, with no artificial barriers. HSxs objective is to assess a students content knowledge and readiness to earn a high school diploma; HSx is not interested in how long it takes. HSx courses also provide significant resources and guidance for students who do not demonstrate content mastery. The resources are both online and through a global network of advisors and tutors. Course curricula and assessment standards are made available so that students may prepare for the assessments however they best see fit. Students submit essays and labs to Andover online. Students may also transfer credits, and transfer documents are submitted online and reviewed by Andover staff for approval.

The first step is to take the mastery exams, which only cost $ 1. The entire degree process typically costs $ 200for the review of essays and lab reports, which come after the mastery exams. For those who need high school credit, individual course credit typically costs less than $ 50. We designed this process to be very inexpensive, commented Allen. Often less expensive than the GED.

Andover College Preparatory is fully accredited, and courses typically require the same content mastery, essays, and labs as top U.S. high schools do. HSx assesses content mastery across all core academic subjects encompassing four years of English, three years of math and science, and two years of history. HSx does not give credit for life/work experience or project portfolios.

Allen adds, A diploma from Andover is different. Its designed to show that you have a significant grasp of content knowledge. Colleges and employers will appreciate the difference a diploma from Andover makes. A diploma from Andovers HSx is a substantial achievement, and students dont have to settle for a GED.

Open House

Interested students are invited to join the Andover HSx team for an online open house. Upcoming open houses are Thursday October 2 at 3pm EST and Monday Oct 6 at 7pm EST. Registration is required in advance. The registration form is here.

For more information about the HSx program, visit http://andovered.com/hsx/.

For more information about the school, visit http://andovered.com/hsx/school-information/.

To register for the open house, visit http://andovered.com/HSx/learn-about-HSx/.

About Andover Education

Andover College Preparatory was launched in Westport, CT in 2003 to develop educational content and quickly became known for its metric-based solutions for districts. Andover developed its own technology once it became apparent that the technology to deliver solutions was limited and out-dated. While a technology company, Andovers foundation is in teaching and learning. Andover operates an accredited school (grades 6-12), and online school (HSx) and employs a full complement of teaching staff. As a technology company, this enables Andover to develop ed-tech solutions that best address education challenges.







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Mansfield University to shelve 3 degree programs

Mansfield University to shelve 3 degree programs
Mansfield University has chopped its $ 14 million deficit in half, but will have to shelve three more academic programs next year and eliminate up to 12 more faculty jobs to do it. The university said Thursday it will place its business and economics …
Read more on Elmira Star-Gazette

Pilot program opens door for bachelor's degrees at FHDA
Jerry Brown last week signed the pilot bachelor's degree program, which passed unanimously in the state legislature. By the 2017-2018 school year, 15 community colleges will offer four-year degrees that are not available in the University of California …
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Comdata SmartSight Wins CSP 2014 Retailer Choice Best New Product Contest in the Technology-Hardware Category


Brentwood, Tenn. (PRWEB) October 07, 2014

Comdatas SmartSight, its fuel site controller system, was selected as the winner in CSP magazines 2014 Retailer Choice Best New Product Contest in the Technology-Hardware category. SmartSight was nominated by the publication for the award, and readers and convenience-store retailers voted for the nominees in their category.

Comdata, a leading provider of technology for the fuel industry, introduced its SmartSight equipment for unattended fueling sites last year. SmartSight processes diesel, gasoline and natural gas transactions from popular fleet, retail and proprietary fueling cards. The equipment allows fuel site owners to remain in communication with the fuel site. SmartSight provides the ability to monitor transaction data and pump controls in real time as well as manage site maintenance remotely through a robust Web portal, setting it apart from most other site controller systems.

As a leader in fleet and fuel merchant solutions with more than four decades of experience, Comdata provides tools and data to help customers drive successful business operations. Randy Morgan, executive vice president of fleet at Comdata, expressed his enthusiasm for being recognized as the winner in the Technology-Hardware category in CSPs 2014 Retailer Choice Best New Product Contest.

As a company, we are proud of our SmartSight system, and it is exciting that our teams hard work has been acknowledged and voted by CSP readers and convenience-store retailers for such a prestigious award, Morgan said. We are honored that SmartSight has been recognized as one of the convenience retailing channels best new products of 2014. We strive to bring innovative products to the market that streamline business processes and provide real-time data insight.

CSP award winners were selected by convenience-store retailers in the industrys most significant new-product awards for 28 different categories from a pool of hundreds of products that were nominated. The contest included products released in the convenience-retailing format between Aug. 1, 2013, and July 31, 2014. Candidates were narrowed to a list of three in each category, chosen over the course of one month of online voting.

About Comdata

Comdata is a leading businesstobusiness provider of innovative electronic payment solutions. As an issuer and a processor, Comdata provides fleet and corporate payment solutions to over 20,000 customers. In 2013, Comdata managed over 625 million cards and processed over 1.4 billion transactions from over 48 countries and in 37 currencies. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee with approximately 1,300 employees globally, Comdata enables over $ 54 billion in payment volume annually. For more information about Comdata solutions, call 18002663282 or visit http://www.comdata.com.







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Maryland University of Integrative Health Launches First Doctoral Degrees in January 2015


LAUREL, Md. (PRWEB) October 03, 2014

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has been given approval by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and permission by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to begin offering three new doctoral programs in January 2015. The professional doctoral degrees are in acupuncture, Oriental medicine and clinical nutrition. Applications for all three programs will be accepted immediately for the January 2015 trimester.

Approval to offer doctoral degrees in our unique disciplines has long been a dream of Maryland University of Integrative Health, said Judith Broida, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs. This tremendous achievement is a testament to the vision of our leaders and the steadfast work of our faculty. These programs meet a growing market demand for scientific and compassionate healers in integrative health and MUIH is proud to be a national leader in offering them.

About the Doctorate in Acupuncture (DAc) and the Doctorate in Oriental Medicine (DOM):

MUIH will be one of only two accredited acupuncture schools (and the only school east of the Rockies) to offer either of these first professional doctorate where students can enter the program with a just bachelor’s degree;
Graduates of either program will be able to practice in a number of health settings including hospitals, medical offices, and integrative health practices as well as establish private or shared practices;
Both programs may be completed on campus in 13 trimesters, or a little more than 4 years.
MUIH alumni will be able to complete either doctoral degree by transferring their masters credits and completing an additional 22 credits.

About the Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (DCN)

Graduates of this program will be able to work in a number of health and wellness settings, teach at the college level, publish independent research, and serve in leadership positions in the nutrition and health arena;
The program will be delivered in a hybrid format; over the course of two years, students will complete 42 of the 48 doctoral credits online and study on campus during four weekends for the remaining six credits.

For more information about these programs, visit our doctoral degrees page.

About Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH)

Maryland University of Integrative Health, formerly Tai Sophia Institute, is the leading accredited academic institution for integrative health in the nation. For nearly 40 years, MUIH has educated practitioners in health and wellness through transformative and relationship-centered programs that draw from traditional wisdom and contemporary science. MUIH offers graduate degrees and certificates both on campus and online in a wide range of health disciplines, as well as programs for professional and personal development. Currently, more than 1000 students from 30 states are enrolled in academic programs and 1900 alumni practice throughout the nation. The on-campus Natural Care Center offers compassionate and affordable healthcare from student interns and professional practitioners, delivering more than 35,000 clinical treatments a year. Visit http://muih.edu for more information.

Contact

Ashley Harvard

Ph: (410) 888-9048 ext. 6639

aharvard(at)muih(dot)edu

###







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Northeast Childrens Dentistry Wins Four Consecutive Talk of the Town Customer Satisfaction Awards

San Antonio, Texas (PRWEB) October 03, 2014

Earning the highest possible customer satisfaction rating of 5 stars again in 2014, William Coppola, DDS and Northeast Childrens Dentistry have won a fourth straight Talk of the Town Customer Satisfaction Award in the Health & Medical Dentists category.

The Talk of the Town Awards, presented by Talk of the Town News, honor companies and professionals that provide excellent customer service as reported by their customers through no-cost, user-review websites, blogs, social networks, business rating services, and other honors and accolades. This data is analyzed by a team of researchers who calculate a companys CM Power Rating. Only those that receive a 4-star to 5-star rating receive the Talk of the Town Customer Satisfaction Award.

For more than three decades, Dr. Coppola and the team at Northeast Childrens Dentistry have been serving the community. “The San Antonio pediatric dental practice has always prided itself on providing comprehensive care for all children without regard to socioeconomic status, mental and/or physical special needs,” says Dr. Coppola.

This dedication has led to a long list of satisfied patients, as well as a host of awards, including the four Talk of the Town Awards.

Each member of our team is a parent, too, so we understand the concerns parents have about their child’s oral health needs, says Coppola. Our doctors and staff are friendly, compassionate, and attempt to develop a lasting relationship of trust and confidence. Our goal is to provide educational-based dental prevention along with excellent dental care with unsurpassed attention to customer service.

One of the things that sets us apart from the competition is our extremely patient-friendly offices designed to help children relax, says Dr. Coppola. We always try to make the visits to the dentist enjoyable and positive. We have video games, G-rated videos and developmental toys to play with in the waiting room. Plus, parents are welcome to stay with their children during all office treatments and examinations on every visit.

Ensuring patients are always satisfied couldnt be done without an excellent staff, and Dr. Coppola notes the key contributions his employees make. Our employees are very caring and dedicated, with a large number of them having been with the practice for 20 years or more, he says.

The goal of every member of our staff is to help all children feel good about visiting the dentist and to establish healthy habits that promote a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles, says Dr. Coppola. Our practice feels truly honored to be able to take care of your children, but humbled as well to receive this award.

Throughout the years we have had the privilege of being recognized as a quality pediatric dental practice, and the Talk of the Town Award will hopefully introduce new members of the San Antonio community to our practice and its long history of dental excellence, he says.

The practice has participated in Operation Gratitude, where after Halloween, kids bring in their candy and the dentists buy it back from them and then donate the candy to Operation Gratitude for care packages sent to deployed troops. These packages also have dental necessities donated by NECD. Additionally, the practice participates in Health Tap, a website that provides people access to health knowledge, medical experts and action recommendations.

About Dr. Coppola and Northeast Childrens Dentistry

William T. Coppola, DDS, graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a bachelors of science in psychology with an emphasis in child psychology. He received his dental degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va., and then completed a two-year, hospital-based specialty residency in pediatric dentistry in Pittsburgh, Penn. Dr. Coppola, co-founder of Northeast Childrens Dentistry (NECD), has been practicing since 1979 and has been recognized by his peers in the November 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2013 issues of Texas Monthly as a Super Dentist. He will be recognized in the December 2014 issue of Texas monthly, as well, and he was also voted as Americas Top Dentist in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014.

NECD opened in 1979. The two co-founders, Dr. Coppola and Harry Smith, DDS, were pediatric dental faculty members at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) School of Dentistry. They both enjoyed teaching dental students and pediatric dental residents but had a calling to practice. Since that first office on Village Drive, the practice has expanded and now includes four offices and four pediatric dentists with one general dentist to treat teenagers. All of the pediatric dental associates are American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Board Certified and have their information on the practices website at http://www.necdsa.com. For more information about the practice, call 210-654-6882 or go online to http://www.necdsa.com.

About the Award and Sponsor

This is the sixth year Talk of the Town News has honored companies for achieving high levels of customer satisfaction with the Talk of the Town Awards. Businesses eligible to receive the award include, but are not limited to, beauty salons, spas, restaurants, bakeries, dentists, auto repair facilities, veterinarians, home repair and improvement contractors, florists, hospitals, and physicians.

For more information about the award or its sponsor, please contact Talk of the Town News at 877-498-6405 or go online to http://www.talkofthetownnews.com.







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CreditRepair.com Conducts “American Dream” Study that Finds Americans Value Financial Stability Over Materialism

Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) September 30, 2014

A new survey conducted by Harris Poll and commissioned by CreditRepair.com shines light on the evolving meaning of the American Dream and the financial risks people are willing to take in pursuit of their dreams. The study was conducted online between September 2 and 4 and polled more than 2,000 adults ages 18 and older.

94% of Americans say they believe there is such a thing as the American Dream. While eight in 10 (80%) Americans say that homeownership is part of the American Dream, the CreditRepair.com study shows Americans also value opportunities as well as material things: 74% of Americans say the American Dream includes having the financial ability to retire, 63% point to living debt-free, 51% say it includes getting a college education, and 34% say it includes getting promoted to a higher ranking position.

Sadly, the recession made aspirational dreams even more difficult to achieve, said Scott Smith, president of CreditRepair.com. Before you can live debt free, you have to pay off your debts, and the slow economic recovery may not support that for many.

While most Americans (68%) live with debt mortgages, car loans, credit card bills 72% of Americans say they still make it a point to pay their bills on time. However, it seems this goal may be less of a priority to men than women, as men are twice as likely as women to say that its OK to be late on payments every once in a while (6% vs. 3%).

In fact, men are twice as likely to take another financial risk, with 14% proclaiming that they buy what they want when they want since they have their credit cards, compared to only 7% of women. Survey results suggest that this may be a result from womens greater fear of bankruptcy, as 76% would consider that to be a financial disaster, compared to 68% of men. Yet somehow, men are still more likely to say they already have enough money to retire than women (30% vs. 24%).

This study certainly refutes old gender stereotypes that peg women as the irresponsible ones, Smith added. If anything, these results indicate men to be far more daring, and even frivolous, with their spending than their female counterparts.

Other highlights from the survey include:

40% of Americans say they always pay more than the minimum on credit card debt.

27% of Americans with consumer debt say they pay only their minimum monthly payments.

Despite financial downturns and international insecurity, dreams do continue to exist through times of hardship as only 6% of the American population say there is no such thing as an American Dream.

Men are more likely than women to say they have been promoted to higher ranking positions in their career (40% vs. 29%, respectively).

While American consumers generally say they want to become debt free, too many of them arent taking concrete steps to make that happen, Smith added. Paying only the monthly minimums may create a lifetime of debt instead.

For all survey findings, visit: https://www.creditrepair.com/newsroom/news/published-study-new-harris-poll-reveals-a-new-american-dream-and-its-influence-on-american-finances/

###

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States between September 2nd and 4th, 2014 among 2,017 adults (aged 18 and over) by Harris Poll on behalf of CreditRepair.com. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who previously agreed to participate. The data has been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, contact Celeste Edmunds at media(at)creditrepair(dot)com.

About CreditRepair.com

For more than a decade, CreditRepair.com has assisted thousands of consumers with effective solutions for reclaiming their credit scores and reports. CreditRepair.com works to ensure that what creditors report to credit bureaus is substantiated, fair and accurate. For details about CreditRepair.coms simple 3-step process, visit: http://www.creditrepair.com.

About The Harris Poll

Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods. Contact us at ConsumerInsightsNAInfo(at)nielsen(dot)com for more information.







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Election

ImageIt begins. The first couple of weeks of college have, perhaps predictably, been difficult. The dentistry’s taken care of, at least for the moment, but there’s been a horrible cold going around, bad enough to keep me out of college for two days feeling miserable, and rob me of a nice weekend. But the upside is that I’m back, although still not feeling great, and come the 18th I’ll be running for election as student LGBT officer.

I already know the post’s going to be contested, so unlike the leader of Glasgow City Council (who sees fit to send me flyers about it) I won’t be running unopposed and get in automatically. Those who know me know that I have a wicked competitive streak, so it’s certainly tempting to wheel out the deranged bloodlust and vow to make a sandwich spread of the crushed spines of my enemies. But I’m not going to, on something vaguely approaching principle. It takes a lot of courage to stand up in front of a bunch of (largely) teenagers and tell them why you think you’re awesome enough that they should support you. So anyone who does that has my admiration to a certain extent. I’m fairly certain most, if not all, of the candidates for the various posts will be younger than I am, and they cared enough to run for them instead of just doing joyriding or flavour crystal meth or dubstep or whatever it is the kids do these days. That’s awesome.

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Thy Venom’d Stang

Well, of course I was going to pay for my arrogance, wasn’t I? I have three and a half hours before I have to leave for my first day at Langside, and for the past week or so I’ve been having progressively worse toothache. I’m not sure if it’s wisdom teeth, general neglect, or both, but the entire right side of my face hurts like a bastard, as well as my throat. It’s not swollen or anything, I just look like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle. That’s about how I feel, too.

I’m just about getting by due to magical painkillers, but if it doesn’t recede on its own at least a little bit, there’s no way I can go in today. I’ll be trying to provoke neds into punching me in the face to get rid of all my teeth at once. Either that, or a complete zombie. So I’m waiting for 0830; that’s when I should be leaving, but also when the Glasgow Dental Hospital opens. If I’m not feeling any better by then, I’m making myself an appointment and not going into college until I can actually sit through a lesson or get any sleep without painkillers.

Fuck.

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Unconditional

I’m in. Now I just have to stay that way. I have a student ID card with a ludicrous photo, a small mountain of paperwork, and just under a week before my classes start. Since you didn’t ask, I’m enrolled for Highers in English, History, Psychology, Sociology and French. That’s a huge workload, complicated significantly by anxiety and having forgotten all the French I’ve ever learned.

Told you it was bad.

Of course, there’s more. There always is, with me. In a few weeks, elections for student government start. Compared to Croydon, it actually seems like it’s organised properly; affiliated to the NUS, proper positions and everything. So in keeping with my habit of getting overconfident and overextending myself, I’ve decided I’m going to stand. On the off-chance I actually win, you might be looking at the next LGBT officer. I mean, it’s not like I ever desperately wanted a position of responsibility in the past to satisfy my own insecurity and ego.

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Back to School

I have kind of a storied history with education. I went to an expensive, if second-flight, public school (public as in private, Americans) in south London, only to drop out at seventeen. I’ve always been highly-strung and weird. Highly-strung and weird and gay was not really a combination suited to that environment. Add in the pressure of A-levels, and it’s not wholly surprising. I had something like a nervous breakdown, spent what felt like six months in bed crying, and that was it.

I’ve spent basically the last five years trying to get back into education. Problem is, mental illness keeps getting in the way. My last attempt, at Croydon College, went pretty much the same. Stayed six months, and then essentially collapsed right before exams started. But, I’m either persistent or stupid, because I’m trying it again. This time at Langside College in Glasgow. Now, granted, I can cope with stuff a lot better now, and I actually have a support network in husband-shaped form. But I guess it also brings to mind an old idea; the definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

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An Approximate Scot

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the mess that is the Scottish independence debate. Partly, that’s due to my own particular identity crisis. I’m half English and half Scottish, with a fair amount of Irish mixed into the Scottish side. I was born and raised in London, but most of my family are clustered around the west of Scotland. And for the past two years I’ve been living in Glasgow. That’s an uncomfortable confluence of circumstances, especially when forms ask me for my nationality and ethnicity. The first seems like an obvious ‘British’, but is that an ethnicity?

There’s a perennial thing in the British press about what, if anything, ‘Britishness’ means. For me, it’s a nebulous sort of catch-all. Am I proud to be British? Of course, history of violent colonialism and boy bands aside. I can’t really be proud to be Scottish, because until fairly recently I’d never lived here. My accent certainly marks me as English. But what’s Englishness? The playing fields of Eton? Grandmothers bicycling to church? I’m several counties and a couple of generations away from that seeming even faintly plausible. These days, ostentatious Englishness seems to be wholly the province of fat-headed racist morons and Morrissey. But I repeat myself. So fuck that, right?

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Stranger Here Myself

I can’t say I’m back by popular demand, because I’m not. Probably, on reading the tagline, a handful of people will have the same unspoken thought: “Who invited her?” I also can’t say I’m back because I had burning insights to deliver about the state of the world today, because I don’t. My name is Alex, and I have some opinions. I don’t particularly expect anyone to care much, but I’m writing them down.

I used to write a moderately successful blog about being seventeen and insane. I stopped being seventeen but kept being insane. At age 19, two years ago, I moved from London to Glasgow. I made a vague attempt to keep writing about it, and then… radio silence. I disconnected myself from the outside world; not wholly intentionally, but after a while it stops making any difference. I grew my beard, smoked a lot and wrote precious little. I did this because I don’t like people – not in the abstract, anyway. Certainly there are people I like, I’m just not very good with the species as a whole. Sometimes that means my relationships with people I care about suffer. I’m not very reliable. But I’m also 21 and (still) insane. I’m learning, and this is a part of that.

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