The Modern Misanthrope


Glendale Community College Celebrates Golden Anniversary, 50 Years of Education Excellence

Glendale, AZ (PRWEB) September 12, 2014

With the start of the Fall semester, Glendale Community College kicks off its 50th Anniversary and a year-long celebration of the progress and growth the college has experienced in the last half-century.

The schedule of upcoming events include:

Buildium Announces First-ever Women in Technology Scholarship for Students Pursuing Degrees in Software Design or Development

Boston, Mass (PRWEB) September 11, 2014

Property management software company, Buildium, introduces its first-ever Women in Technology Scholarship, a $ 2,500 award to be presented this fall to a student who is pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Product Design, Interaction Design, User Experience Design, Engineering or Computer Science. A panel of judges at Buildium will award the prize to the student who writes the best essay describing her inspiration for pursuing a career in technology.

In addition to the fall scholarship, Buildium will award a second Women in Technology Scholarship in the spring of 2015. The new scholarship follows last years debut of the companys Build U. Scholarship, first awarded in the fall of 2013, and then again in the spring of 2014. Both scholarships support the companys commitment to increasing opportunities for design and development students of all ages, helping them successfully launch or further their careers and make meaningful contributions to the software industry.

The software field provides a lot of great opportunities for entrepreneurs and creative people, and a solid education is an excellent foundation, said Buildium CEO Michael Monteiro. When it comes to women seeking education in design and development, the numbers, unfortunately, are headed in the wrong direction. In 2012, women in the U.S. earned 57 percent of the undergraduate degrees in the U.S. but only 18 percent of the Computer Science and Information Science degrees.

On its own, this scholarship wont level the playing field, Monteiro added. But it will help one more woman stay committed to her chosen field, especially considering todays high cost of education. I was very lucky to graduate from the school of my choice, and it opened a lot of doors for me. I hope that this scholarship will encourage more technology entrepreneurs to support women who want to enter the field.

To qualify, students must be at least 18 and enrolled in a Product Design, Interaction Design, User Experience Design, Engineering or Computer Science program at an accredited U.S. college or university. The deadlines for submitting the qualifying essay are October 1, 2014 for the fall scholarship and April 1, 2015 for the spring scholarship. For eligibility rules and complete details, please visit Buildiums Women in Technology Scholarship page.


Buildium provides easy-to-use, affordable cloud property management software solutions to property managers and community associations. Founded in 2004, today more than 9,500 customers use Buildiums online property management software to manage nearly three-quarters of a million units in 31 countries. For more information, visit

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Webinar Explores Benefits of Underwater Treadmill Aquatic Training for Healthy Athletes

Middletown, PA (PRWEB) September 08, 2014

While its common for athletes who have been injured to seek out physical therapy options such as aquatic therapy exercise regimens, healthy athletes can also benefit from working out in the warm water of a therapy pool outfitted with an underwater treadmill and resistance jets. In fact, many coaches and athletic trainers encourage their non-injured athletes to cross-train by running and performing drills underwater in an effort to build lean muscle mass, increase endurance and avoid overuse injuries.

On September 10, 2014, at 11:30 AM EDT, HydroWorx will be hosting a free webinar discussing this subject. Aquatic Training for Healthy Athletes, presented by Timothy DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS, covers a myriad of uses for underwater treadmill training beyond therapeutic and rehabilitative methodologies.

During the hour-long online event, attendees of Aquatic Training for Healthy Athletes will learn more about the dynamic properties of water, and how those properties can help athletes recover faster and reach new levels. Other issues to be covered by DiFrancesco include:

Using an advanced HydroWorx pool to stave off boredom, staleness or plateaus.
Creating an aquatic training strategic plan for each athlete that doesnt sacrifice their high-performance training regimen, but rather augments it.
Prepping athletes to get the most out of any aquatic workout.
Case studies of scientific research that has been performed regarding athletic training in an underwater treadmill pool will also be discussed.

DiFrancesco has a wealth of experience working with athletes. After graduating from Endicott College in 2003 with a B.S. in Science/Athletic Training, he earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. From that point, he co-founded TD Athletes Edge, LLC, an organization thats goal is to provide results-driven rehab and performance training. DiFrancesco spent two seasons with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA-Developmental League as Head Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach. In late 2011, he came on board to help the Los Angeles Lakers.

Anyone interested in attending Aquatic Training for Healthy Athletes can register at Athletic trainers who attend the entire session can receive one CEU through BOC. Other CEUs may also be available through participants authorized professional accrediting organizations; participants are encouraged to contact those accrediting entities for more information.

About HydroWorx

HydroWorx, based in Middletown, Pennsylvania, offers a wide range of underwater treadmill therapy pools, and peripheral products and services. Every day, more than 23,000 athletes and patients use HydroWorx technology to recover from injuries and health conditions.

More information about HydroWorxs upcoming webinars, as well as archived webcasts from previous events, can be found by visiting

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UMBC Health Information Technology Graduate Programs Virtual Info Session, October 16, 2014

Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) September 09, 2014

UMBCs Health IT Graduate Programs Virtual Information Session will be held on Thursday, October 16, 2014, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EDT. The session will provide an overview of the programs innovative curriculum and practice-oriented instruction, designed for working professionals. Participants will also learn how a graduate degree can help advance their career in the Health IT industry.

According to a report by Burning Glass Technologies, since 2007, postings for health informatics jobs have increased 10x faster than health care jobs overall.

If interested in attending, please RSVP online.

About UMBCs Health IT Graduate Programs

Our Health Information Technology graduate program leverages a students experience toward a range of opportunities within the Health Information Technology profession. UMBC’s in-person Health Information Technology program is designed to prepare computer science, information systems, healthcare professionals, and other experienced professionals to fill a range of opportunities within the healthcare profession.

UMBC is uniquely positioned to provide education and training that respond to the states need for qualified technical professionals in the field of healthcare.

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The Gracie Theatre at Husson University Announces Slate for Third Annual Documentary Film Series

Bangor, Maine (PRWEB) September 05, 2014

The Gracie Theatre at Husson University announced today the slate of films to be screened at its Third Annual Documentary Film Series on Ethics. The series, presented by Nico Jenkins, lecturer in ethics and philosophy in the School of Science and Humanities, and the program for Ethics and Philosophy at Husson University, seeks to present controversial documentaries that engage the public on contemporary ethical issues. Admission is free and open to the public.

Opening the series will be The Known Unknown nominated for a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2013. The Known Unknown follows the career of Donald Rumsfeld from his days as a congressman in the early 1960s to his role in planning the 2003 invasion of Iraq as Secretary of Defense. Filmed by the Oscar winning and renowned documentarian, Errol Morris, this documentary examines the often-enigmatic Rumsfeld as an example of the neo-con legacy. As the United States seeks a greater involvement with ISIS in Iraq in 2014, this film takes on greater and more poignant urgency. The Known Unknown will open the series on September 17, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

The second film in this years series is Fed Up. Narrated by Katie Couric and directed by Laurie David (producer of An Inconvenient Truth), Fed Up examines the dangerous role sugar plays in our diet. As Couric intones, Over 95% of all Americans will be overweight or obese in two decades resulting in a larger public health crisis than the country has ever known. USA Today called Fed Up the movie that will change the way people think about eating. Fed Up will be shown on November 16, 2014.

Beginning in the spring, the Husson Documentary Film Series will show Documented, a documentary about the undocumented American journalist Jose Antonio Vargas and his fight on behalf of the estimated 11 million immigrants currently residing and working in the United States. The series will close with An Act of Killing, the shockingly inventive documentary that examines the relatively unexamined genocide perpetrated by the civilian Indonesian militia following the 1965 Suharto coup.

The purpose of our film series is to raise public awareness to issues that are too often ignored or overlooked within our society. These films, whether we agree with their premises or not, do just that, says Nico Jenkins, lecturer in ethics and philosophy in the School of Science and Humanities. The purpose here is not to advance an ideological agendaindeed it is just the opposite. True democracy is founded not on agreement but disagreement, and the consensus that follows disagreement. These documentaries seek to further our dialogue within the school and within the wider community.

The Third Annual Documentary Film Series on Ethics is presented at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University and hosted by Mr. Jenkins as part of an effort to help stimulate awareness and discussion of critical moral and ethical issues.

For more information about the screening, contact the box office at The Gracie at 941-7888 or visit

Completed in October of 2009, The Gracie is Husson University’s center for the fine and performing arts. This beautiful new 500-seat theatre is quickly earning a reputation as one of Maines premier performance venues. In addition, The Gracie also serves as a learning platform for students from the New England School of Communications in digital audio, sound mixing, set design and construction, lighting, acting and electronics.

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies, science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

LIU Student Experiment Raises Funds for Ronald McDonald House with Crowdster

Brookville, NY (PRWEB) September 05, 2014

Crowdster, the leading solution for peer-to-peer fundraising and event engagement, powered a real life experiment where LIU Post MBA Organizational Behavior students raised enough funds in support of Ronald McDonald House to provide shelter for over one month for a family in need.

Instructed by Professor David Jalajas, the class employed the use of a donated online peer-to-peer fundraising solution to further improve the effectiveness of their philanthropic efforts. Each semester, Prof. Jalajas charges his students to design a program to benefit a person or group in the community demonstrating the principles learned in his Organizational Behavior class. Inspired by Ronald McDonald House and their mission, one LIU-Post MBA class team in particular engaged in multiple initiatives to fundraise including outreach among their peers. They also got involved with a fundraiser organized by the Bowling Green K-Kids at Jakes Wayback Burgers in East Meadow which easily surpassed the goal of raising $ 125 to sponsor a family at Ronald McDonald House at Cohens Childrens Medical Center for one week.

Crowdster was excited to donate an online peer-to-peer solution to assist and support the philanthropic efforts of Prof. Jalajas and his class. On this platform, student teams were able to create personalized fundraising campaign pages for their chosen causes, utilize email and social outreach tools to spread awareness and manage the online collection of funds.

We are so impressed by the LIU students creative integration of Crowdster, said Matthew Campo, Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. Their fundraising efforts are commendable and we are appreciative of their support of the families we serve, he continued.

I started the community service projects about 10 years ago to encourage students to apply their Organizational Behavior knowledge towards helping a charity organization and even individuals in need, said Professor David Jalajas at LIU Post in Brookville,NY. This semester two of my MBA student groups used Crowdster and found it to be a valuable tool to publicize their project through a variety of social media, making it easy for contributors to donate to their causes.

LIU Posts College of Management is one of the nations best institutions for Business Schools, according to The Princeton Review, with AACSB and NASPAA accredited programs. LIU Post is also distinguished by the nation’s first school School of Professional Accountancy.

In 4 weeks, one MBA team raised $ 768 in funds to support the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. Given just a little more time, there is no limit to what philanthropic youth is capable of achieving for socially good causes. The LIU-Post MBA team who raised money for Ronald McDonald House of Long Island consists of Christina Principato, Nicole DeRuvo, Justin Hoitsman and Tzuhsiang Wei. The whole class effort raised over $ 4700 and more than 350 lbs. of food within this 4 week period.

About Ronald McDonald House

The mission of The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is to give comfort and shelter to families experiencing the pain of having a sick child in local hospital facilities. A home away from home, the House provides the parents and siblings of these children with a temporary haven in a secure and comfortable environment among other families sharing a similar burden. Located on the campus of the Cohen Childrens Medical Center of New York (formerly Schneider Childrens Hospital), the House accommodates families in a warm and supportive environment.

About Crowdster

Crowdster (formerly Karma411) enables organizations to leverage personal social pages of their most active supporters to promote events and fundraising efforts over social media and throughout the web. The mobile-optimized solutions integrate gamification and social sharing rewards onto a fully branded event management platform that support registration, ticket sales and email marketing with a real-time analytics dashboard. Crowdster has been used by major organizations like Major League Baseball, American Heart Association, Autism Speaks, as well as thousands of local and regional companies and organizations. Visit for more information.

About LIU

LIU, founded in 1926, continues to redefine higher education, empowering its students with skills they need to excel in the classroom and throughout their professional careers, providing high quality academic instruction taught by world-class faculty. One of the nations largest private universities, LIU from downtown Brooklyn, N.Y., to the Gold Coast of Long Island and beyondoffers 500 accredited programs to more than 20,000 students and has an active network of 200,000 alumni that includes leaders in industries across the globe. LIUs innovation in experiential learning, its high-tech startup incubator, on-the-ground training, and the LIU Promise student mentoring program further distinguish LIU as a leader among the nations most respected universities. Visit for more information.


Media Contact:

Jenn Maffeo

Director of Marketing



Katia McClain Joins San Jose Design Firm, LPA Inc.

San Jose, CA (PRWEB) August 29, 2014

Integrated sustainable design firm, LPA Inc., welcomes a new associate to their San Jose, Calif. office. Katia McClain joins LPA as an Associate and she looks forward to being part of a firm so committed to the environment and to delivering 21st century learning environments.

Throughout the past two decades, McClain has been involved in the design, management and construction of complex architectural programs for both public and private educational and commercial clients. In addition to her experience studying and working in the cultural capitals of Latin America and Europe, in the United States McClain has developed an expertise in leading large educational projects. She encourages an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity and collaboration in order to create spaces that have a positive effect on human outcomes.

In a creative career as an architect you need to be challenged and engaged, says McClain. Being part of LPA, a firm where integrated sustainable design is the model used to create better and more innovative spaces, brings such possibilities.

Prior to joining LPA, McClain led business development and project management efforts for the San Jose office of a large architectural firm. She received her undergraduate degree from La Salle University and her master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from San Jose State University. McClain lives in San Jose with her husband Steve, a product marketing manager. Outside of work, she is active in community charitable organizations, creates art, loves Formula One racing, and enjoys worldwide travel, especially backpacking with her husband.

Katia McClain


Associate, Senior Project Director at LPA Inc.


LPA Inc.

60 South Market Street, Suite 150

San Jose, CA 95113

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About LPA Inc.

Founded in 1965, LPA has more than 220 employees with offices in San Jose, San Diego, Irvine, and Roseville, Calif. and San Antonio, Texas. The firm provides services in architecture, sustainability, planning, interior design, landscape architecture, engineering, and graphics. There is no Sustainability Director, at LPA. Instead, more than 80% of the professionals are LEED accredited, including the Human Resources Director, CFO, and several other support staff. With extensive experience in public and private architecture, LPA designs a diversity of facilities that span from K-12 schools, colleges and universities, to corporate and civic establishments. More than 600 major design awards attest to LPA’s commitment to design excellence.

Bay Area projects in the works:

Santa Clara Gateway This elite corporate campus in Santa Clara, Calif. includes four five-story and two six-story buildings across 40 acres of land. In total, the buildings feature 900,000 square feet of class A office buildings to accommodate Silicon Valley tenant needs. LPA was the architect on this project along with Pei Cobb Freed of New York as design architects. LPA continues to provide services for exterior and site enhancements of this campus. The project was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.
Santa Clara Square This high tech campus houses more than 1.2 million square feet of class A office space with high visibility from 101 freeway in the heart of Silicon Valley, in the city of Santa Clara. The campus is consisted of a mix of five-, six- and eight-story office buildings featuring efficient floor plates and generous outdoor people and work spaces to encourage a high productivity work place. Pei Cobb Freed of New York as the architect and LPA as associate architect are responsible for design and production of this exceptional project. This campus is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.
McCarthy Center Located in the heart of Silicon Valley in Milpitas, Calif., LPA planned and designed McCarthy Center along Interstate 880. The corporate campus features nineteen two-story office buildings totaling over one million square feet in a 68-acre campus-style setting. Currently, LPA is performing tenant improvements with integrated services in architecture, interior design and landscape architecture for a variety of Silicon Valley clients.
60 South Market Building Re-imaging LPA was asked by Harvest Properties to re-imagine the tenant experience in this 1980s vintage 15-story, high rise office building in Downtown San Jose. To bring in a new look, the owners wanted to renovate the entries to the main building lobby from the busy Market Street and the adjacent parking structure. LPAs design includes the reuse of wood-paneled walls in key areas and the addition of new ceilings and lighting, back painted glass wall panels, rear illuminated LED wall panels and new terrazzo flooring.
California State University, East Bay Warren Hall Replacement – The new five-story, 67,000-square-foot building will house administrative and faculty offices, support space and the campus Welcome Center. The original 13-story Warren Hall was demolished after it was determined that it was seismically vulnerable, and its replacement looks to the campus context and the original Warren Hall for inspiration. The new building is designed with sustainable materials and practices in mind, including high-efficiency, low-e glazing, a cool roof, a variable air volume (VAV) reheat system for HVAC, high efficiency condensing boilers, water-efficient landscaping and plumbing fixtures, day lighting, high recycled content and locally sourced materials. The project is targeting LEED Gold certification with the U.S. Green Building Council.
Fremont Unified School District Long Range Facilities Plan – In cooperation with District and local community stakeholders, LPA is in the process of developing a long range facilities master plan. This planning process will determine the educational vision and existing school site master plan proposals by building upon the completed Facilities Needs Assessment document and good work that the District has done to date to visualize the future of their transformed facilities infrastructure.
West Valley College District Facilities Building – The 25,000-square-foot facilities project for West Valley College District will provide offices, custodial, maintenance and grounds shops, warehouse and restrooms for the District General Services and Facilities Construction and Maintenance Departments. The new building will utilize modern construction materials to achieve greater energy efficiency compared to the current building. This project will be designed and built to exceed California Title 24 Energy standards and be equivalent to a LEED Silver certified building.

For more information, visit


Related Accredited Online Schools Press Releases

Husson Southern Maine Campus to Host Presentation on Developing and Managing Change through Collaboration

Westbrook, ME (PRWEB) August 30, 2014

Husson University announced today that it will be hosting presentations by Robert Laliberte, past board member of the Maine chapter of the Project Management Institute, on Wednesday, August 27 and Wednesday, September 3, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. at their new Southern Maine campus in Westbrook.

Laliberte will describe his techniques for developing and managing change through collaboration. He will also discuss appreciative and disruptive inquiry techniques. By helping members of the business community better understand the value of managing team initiatives, Husson hopes to increase interest in their new Project Management Leadership Program.

This presentation will feature an overview of the latest concepts that make collaborative project management such an important part of every successful modern business, said Charlie Collins, Ed.D., executive director of Husson Universitys Southern Maine campus. Individuals who have completed a project management educational program are better equipped to make important contributions to business operations, supply chain management, information technology operations, construction projects and a wide range of other professional endeavors.

Increasing the level of project management expertise in Southern Maine has the potential to enhance the success, efficiency and profitability of the local business community. In an effort to promote the value of this important body of knowledge, Husson University is now offering a new Project Management Leadership program designed to help individuals get the skills they need to supervise initiatives from conception to completion.

Over the course of the program, students take a case study through a four-phase project planning process. They learn about the unique challenges at each stage and the specific actions they can take that increase the likelihood of project completion and success. Risk management, time management, project control, conflict management and procurement are just some of the topics that will be addressed. The program concludes with a course that prepares students to take the Project Management Professional (PMP

A Masters in James Bond? Six universities accredited by GCHQ to train the next

A Masters in James Bond? Six universities accredited by GCHQ to train the next
… and security systems, Edinburgh Napier University's MSc in advanced security and digital forensics, the University of Lancaster's master in cyber security and Royal Holloway University of London's MSc in information security were all accredited by …
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Accreditation process instills public confidence in higher education
What does regional accreditation mean for an institution of higher education? There is no doubting its level of importance in the realm of academia, as re-accreditation forces colleges and universities alike to examine themselves with an ultra-critical …
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Moving from community college to four-year university is most likely to yield
The study, by National Center for Education Statistics, looked at a number of factors — such as academic performance, institutional control, and accreditation — that may affect whether students are able to successfully transfer credits between …
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Rural Yukon schools going online in bid to improve learning

Rural Yukon schools going online in bid to improve learning
The three affected schools are Robert Service School in Dawson City, Tantalus School in Carmacks and St.Elias Community School in Haines Junction. Students at these schools must still go to class but they will have the option of taking courses online …

Teens Need Later Start to School Day, Doctors Group Says
A growing amount of research finds that teenagers are wired to sleep later and can benefit from school days that start later. WSJ's Sumathi Reddy and Dr. Mary Carskadon, a psychiatry professor at Brown University, join Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero.
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Social Sentinel alerts schools to online threats
Just this week in South Pasadena, Calif., police thwarted a plot by two teenage boys — partially by monitoring their online activity — to attack their high school and kill as many people as possible. Police said the pair's online messaging "included …


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.


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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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