The Modern Misanthrope


Grafton County Economic Development Council Names New Chief Executive Officer

Plymouth, NH (PRWEB) May 21, 2015

The Grafton County Economic Development Council (GCEDC) names Chris Wellington as Chief Executive Officer. As CEO, Wellington will be responsible for the overall strategic direction of the organization, including the management of all loans, workforce programs, and oversight of two business incubators owned by GCEDC, the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center and the Enterprise Center at Plymouth State University. Wellington replaces Mark Scarano, who was appointed to co-chair the Northern Borders Regional Commission, a federal regional economic development organization that serves more than 30 counties in northern New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Wellington began his new post on April 13th.

GCEDC is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1997 and is one of ten recognized Regional Development Corporations in New Hampshire. GCEDC partners with municipalities and businesses throughout Grafton County to promote and support economic development projects and has several loan programs available to businesses to help retain and create jobs in the area.

This is a very exciting time to be joining GCEDC and I look forward to working with the board of directors, county officials, business and community leaders and our many partners to move Grafton County forward, stated incoming GCEDC CEO, Chris Wellington. One of Wellingtons first priorities will be to finalize a strategic plan which will identity the major issues facing Grafton County, such as workforce development and broadband accessibility. GCEDC is well positioned to take a leading role in the county to help identify and address the major issues impacting our region and we believe Chriss background in community planning and economic development at the local and state levels will be a strong asset for the organization and help take GCEDC to the next level stated Mark LaClair, GCEDC Board Chair.

Before joining GCEDC, Wellington worked for the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development as a Business Resource Specialist and the City of Manchesters Economic Development Office, where he led the citys business recruitment and marketing efforts. Chris received a Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Hampshire. In 2014, the New Hampshire Union Leader recognized Wellington as a 40 Under Forty award winner and in October, he received the Young Professional of the Year Award from the Manchester Young Professionals Network.

For more information on the Grafton County Economic Development Council please visit

Santa Fe University of Art and Design Creative Writing Department Welcomes New Faculty Member, Award-Winning Author Anne Valente

Santa Fe, NM (PRWEB) May 20, 2015

The Creative Writing and Literature Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD) welcomes author Anne Valente as a full-time faculty member in fall 2015. Valentes first short story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names (Dzanc Books, 2014), received wide acclaim and won the Dzanc Books Short Story Prize. She is also the author of the fiction chapbook, An Elegy for Mathematics. Her fiction has appeared in One Story, Haydens Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, The Normal School, and Iron Horse Literary Review, among others. She will teach fiction and literature classes across all levels as a faculty member at SFUAD.

The Creative Writing and Literature Department is extremely fortunate to have Anne Valente join our full-time faculty. Anne is an incredibly talented fiction writer, and has tremendous expertise in her field, said Matt Donovan, co-chair of the department. She also brings a wonderfully dynamic presence in the classroom. Anne received national recognition and great success with her first book, a collection of short stories, and were eagerly awaiting her first novel, which will be published by Harper Collins next year. Anne gave our students and faculty a sneak-peak at the new novel during her reading while she was visiting campus, and what she delivered to us was a haunting and powerful piece of work.

Valente won Copper Nickels 2012 Fiction Prize, was the Georges and Anne Borchardt Scholar at the 2014 Sewanee Writers Conference, and was a featured author during the May 2015 One Story Debutante Ball. Her work was selected as a notable story in Best American Non-Required Reading 2011 and her essays have appeared in The Believer, Electric Literature and The Washington Post.

Valentes debut novel, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down, is forthcoming from William Morrow/Harper Collins in 2016.

For more information about the SFUAD Creative Writing and Literature Department, including faculty and student accomplishments, visit

About SFUADs Creative Writing and Literature Department:

The Creative Writing and Literature Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design enables students to learn from and grow along with a core of published, award-winning authors. Dedicated students polish their literary skills and discover the right forms for their unique voice, while taking advantage of numerous opportunities to conduct public readings, work collaboratively, and inspire and be inspired by their peers. Annually, the Creative Writing and Literature Department publishes a student-edited and student-produced literary journal, Glyph, featuring some of the universitys best writing in creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry and screenwriting.

About Santa Fe University of Art and Design:

Santa Fe University of Art and Design is an accredited institution located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the worlds leading centers for art and design. The university offers degrees in arts management, contemporary music, creative writing, digital arts, graphic design, film, performing arts, photography and studio art. Faculty members are practicing artists who teach students in small groups, following a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that combines hands-on experience with core theory and prepares graduates to become well-rounded, creative, problem-solving professionals. SFUAD is a member of the Laureate International Universities network a global network of more than 80 campus-based and online universities in 29 countries. SFUAD boasts an international student body and opportunities to study abroad, encouraging students to develop a global perspective on the arts. Santa Fe University of Art and Design is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Petersons Publishing Launches OnlineSchools Database

Paramus, NJ (PRWEB) May 04, 2015

Petersons, the leading provider and publisher of higher education data and informational resources, is excited to announce the official launch of the OnlineSchools section of

The new Petersons OnlineSchools database is the most comprehensive index available for students seeking an online degree program. With over 50 years of accumulated school data, Petersons includes nearly 1,200 accredited institutions, offering over 14,000 degree or award programs for use in the OnlineSchools section; no other data set is as far-reaching or robust. Creating an easy-to-use and comprehensive online school search listing is a real win for students, giving them a better way to understand and research their educational options.

For students, understanding and finding an online program or course is a unique experience, explains Mike Marasch, senior product manager at Our user research shows that students considering online education are interested in specific data about the degrees and programs available such as the flexibility of the course schedule or the reputation of the school and program. Weve built a research and listing experience thats unique to the market, both in terms of how it helps students find important information as well as the depth and quality of the data were presenting. Our comprehensive data and cataloging of online schools offering undergrad and graduate degrees and certificates goes far above and beyond any other online resource.

The OnlineSchools search and matching database is built around extensive student and school feedback. School profile pages include data that online degree seekers identify as particularly important, like cost per credit, credits required to graduate, and total estimated cost. View a sample OnlineSchools Premium Profile.

Peterson’s OnlineSchools is built with the student in mind. We focused on matching students to degree programs that meet students interests and abilities. Unlike other school marketing websites that serve up limited, client-only listings to generate leads, our complete dataset provides degree-seekers with the information they need to make an informed decision. Thus, OnlineSchools introduces students to the schools they want to attend.

Schools can join the OnlineSchools database for free and have the option to upgrade to a Premium Profile. Petersons Premium Profile helps schools to maximize their presence on to effectively and affordably market to their target audience. Schools are able to include additional content, videos, links to social media, a contact form, and more. Premium profiles will also receive performance reports to track student reach. Visit for more information about free and Premium options.

OnlineSchools is available now at Watch for new features to the Petersons program over the next several months.

About Petersons


When Selling Before Building, Epps-Elson Can Help

Carmel, IN (PRWEB) May 14, 2015

The Epps-Elson Real Estate Team has an illustrious track record: fifteen years as partners and over one thousand homes sold. Now, with the real estate market heating up, one of the services that they provide, is the Guaranteed Sale Program. If one is interested in building a new home, but need to sell their home first, they will do a market analysis and offer 90-95% of the market value, if the existing home does not sell before the new home is completed.

If you have time restrictions like getting into the new home before the new school year starts or the baby is due, this program could be for you, said Cathy Epps. You will be able to lock in your interest rate earlier, select the lot that is perfect and take advantage of the builders promotions and pricing, instead of waiting to see what is offered when your home finally sells.

Kevin Elson adds, We want to get your home sold as quickly as possible and for as much as possible, that is everyones goal. We lose out if we have to buy the house because we cant turn around and sell it for more than we bought it for, the market has already said no to a higher price, or it would have sold. We and our clients are both motivated for the same goal – its like we are both paddling up a creek, going in the same direction.

The Epps-Elson Team office is located at 200 S. Rangeline Road, Suite 129, Carmel, IN 46032. For more information about the Guaranteed Sale Program, please call (317) 281-2575.

About Cathy Epps, Kevin Elson, The Epps-Elson Team

Cathy Epps graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Business Management. She is a Carmel, Indiana real estate residential specialist and licensed Realtor since 1994. Credentials: CRS (Council of Residential Specialists), GRI (Graduate REALTOR Institute), ASP (Accredited Staging Professional), CSP (Certified Sales Professional) and REAL (Real Estate Academy of Leadership).

Kevin Elson graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Finance. He has been a licensed Carmel, Indiana real estate Broker since 1991 and managing broker of RE/MAX Ability Plus. Credentials: CRS (Council of Residential Specialists), REAL (Real Estate Academy of Leadership), CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), MIBOR Professional Standards Committee, and SMC (Sales & Marketing Council) Board of Directors.

About NALA

The NALA offers local business owners new online advertising & small business marketing tools, great business benefits, education and money-saving programs, as well as a charity program.

PR Contact:


805.650.6121, ext. 361

Related Online Degree Press Releases

CSU-Global Partners with Wisconsin Technical College System to Facilitate Bachelors Degree Completion for Student Success

Greenwood Village, Colo (PRWEB) May 05, 2015

Colorado State University-Global Campus ( is excited to announce it has signed a statewide Memorandum of Understanding with all 16 colleges within the Wisconsin Technical College System. This agreement will allow CSU-Global the opportunity to serve more students in the state of Wisconsin by offering a seamless transfer opportunity. Students graduating from any of the colleges of the Wisconsin Technical College System will now have a guaranteed pathway to transfer at the junior level into any online bachelors degree at CSU-Global.

The Wisconsin Technical College System is proud to enter into this agreement with Colorado State University-Global Campus as it provides an excellent opportunity for our graduates to seamlessly continue their education after receiving their associates degree, explains Waukesha County Technical Colleges Vice President of Learning, Denine Rood.

CSU-Global Campus accepts up to 90 credits in transfer, including up to 64 semester hours from junior, community, or career colleges, towards its bachelors degree programs. Students who have completed their associates degree from a regionally accredited community college are guaranteed admission.

Through this agreement, CSU-Global will establish program specific articulation agreements with each of the schools in the Wisconsin system. These articulations provide a clear transfer pathway for students who have career and education aspirations beyond the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, and Associate of General Studies degrees they have earned.

Additionally, graduates of any of the Wisconsin Technical College System colleges will be eligible for CSU-Globals Affiliate 2-Year Scholarship through this agreement. This scholarship is awarded to any student from a two-year affiliate school who enrolls at CSU-Global within one year of graduating from their associates degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher. These students receive a 10% tuition discount scholarship, which is locked for the duration of their bachelors degree program through CSU-Globals Tuition Guarantee.

This relationship recognizes the commitment CSU-Global and the colleges within the Wisconsin Technical College System have to providing students with greater educational opportunities, says Colorado State University-Global Campus Provost and Vice President, Dr. Jon Bellum. As an online state university dedicated to student support, this MOU helps us become an active educational partner with not only the institutions within the Wisconsin Technical College System, but also with each of their alumni who are looking to take their education to the next level by earning their bachelors degree.

Through its affiliate college program, CSU-Global works with over 80 two-year colleges across the country to provide higher education opportunities to non-traditional learners. Community colleges can email CCOutreach(at)CSUGlobal(dot)edu to learn more about setting up affiliation agreements with CSU-Global. Students from an affiliate college interested in learning more about the Affiliate College Scholarship or CSU-Globals transfer process should speak with an Enrollment Counselor by calling 1-800-920-6723 or emailing Admissions(at)CSUGlobal(dot)edu.

About Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) was created by the Colorado State University System Board of Governors in 2007 as the first 100 percent online state university in the United States. CSU-Global is focused on facilitating adult success in a global marketplace through career-relevant education including bachelors degree completion and masters degree programs. Embracing the land grant heritage as part of the Colorado State University System, CSU-Global sets the standard for quality and innovation in higher education through its expert faculty trained in working with adults in an online learning environment, and through its dedication to student retention, graduation and workplace success. Visit or call 1-800-920-6723 for more information.


Find More Accredited Online Schools Press Releases

College for America to Visit White House Friday to Help Employers Upskill America at Summit

MANCHESTER, NH (PRWEB) April 25, 2015

College for America at Southern New Hampshire University will visit the White House this Friday to present employers nationwide with tools that can help frontline workers gain new skills at the White House Upskill Summit. College for America partners with employers to offer low-cost, competency-based degree programs that are uniquely applicable in the workplace and designed to fit around the busy life of a working adult.

During his State of the Union address, the President launched a new Upskill initiative, calling on businesses to help workers of all ages earn a shot at better, higher-paying jobs, even if they do not have a higher education. The White House Upskill Summit brings together employers, labor unions, foundations, educators, workforce leaders, non-profits and technologists who are committing to take action in the next year to enable millions more frontline workers to realize their full potential at work and advance into better paying jobs. The commitments being announced at the summit already represent significant action and progress since the Presidents January call to action. At the summit, participants are developing plans to work together to build on these commitments by more widely promoting the adoption of upskilling training and career advancement strategies that improve workers ability to earn more over time.

MJ Ryan, Director of Workforce Development at Partners HealthCare, said, “We’re deeply committed to educating our workforce in order to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest level of care to our patients and their families while offering our employees the opportunity to advance in their careers.” Partners HealthCare is among many College for America partners making a commitment to the White House Upskill Summit.

Most employers would rather help a current employee gain the skills needed for a promotion rather than hire directly from the outsidebut many traditional college degree programs are built for 18-year-olds trying to find themselves, not 40-year-olds trying to get ahead in their job and career, said College for America Chief Workforce Strategist Julian L. Alssid. College for America is engineered for working adults and their employers, and were excited that the promise of competency-based education for frontline workers is beginning to spread rapidly nationwide.

Alssid will be visiting the White House along with College for America’s Chief Marketing Officer Colin Van Ostern. The two will present at the summit with details and case studies about how CfAs competency-based, accredited degree programs help working adults achieve a respected degree from Southern New Hampshire University through online, project-based work.

Helping working adults achieve a college degree and get ahead in their career is a huge win-win for both employers and employees, said Van Ostern. Smart employers nationwide are hungry for new tools to help upskill capable workers who lack a college degree, and were excited to be able to share case studies of how competency-based higher education can help individual workers realize their dreams while their employers benefit from a strengthened workforce.

Since launching in 2014, College for America has enrolled more than 2,000 students from more than 75 employers across the country, including Anthem, McDonalds, and some of the nations largest and most respected hospital and health systems. According to a late 2014 survey of all students and graduates, 99% report the skills learned in the program will help with their employment goals. It also reports that most students expect to accumulate zero debt whatsoever from the degree program through a combination of the degrees low cost ($ 2,500 a year), the widespread use of employers existing tuition reimbursement benefits for employees, and the availability of federal financial aid to eligible students in the schools popular associate degree programs.

College for America is part of the nonprofit, 83-year-old Southern New Hampshire University, a fully-accredited higher education institution.

Otis Honors Pioneers in Online Education and Fine Art; Lynda Weinman and John Mason to Receive Honorary Degrees

Los Angeles, Ca (PRWEB) May 06, 2015

Otis College of Art and Design will award honorary doctorates to Lynda Weinman, co-founder of the pioneering distance education company, and renowned ceramics sculptor and Otis alumnus John Mason (57) at the 2015 Commencement ceremony May 10, 2015.

Each year Otis College of Art and Design awards honorary doctorates to one or two individuals who have substantial experience and merit that places them at the pinnacle of their field while reflecting the Colleges aspirations and values. Both Weinman and Mason are exceptional role models for the students graduating this May.

Weinman, who will be serving as commencement speaker, is a self-taught computer expert, a web graphics and design veteran, and author of dozens of best-selling books. She is best known as the co-founder and executive chair of, one of the most successful companies in online education today, providing a comprehensive library of instructional videos on technology, design, and business. was recently acquired by social media giant LinkedIn for $ 1.5 billion. Before launching, Weinman was a faculty member at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and worked as an animator and motion graphics director in the special effects film industry.

Mason is one of the essential Los Angeles-based artists of the postwar period. Widely recognized for his revolutionary use of clay, his work exemplifies a host of major themes found throughout contemporary sculpture, regardless of medium. Alongside peers like Peter Voulkos and Ken Price, Mason is associated with the distinctive ethos to emerge from Otis in the 1950s. Shortly thereafter, he showed at the legendary Ferus Gallery and was part of a diverse group of artists that helped garner attention for Los Angeles as a burgeoning center for contemporary art. Major works made by Mason around this time, like his Blue Wall (recently featured in Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture at the Getty Center) and free-standing spear and X forms, would define a new expressive potential and monumentality for ceramic-based art.

We are thrilled to be honoring such leading lights in education, art, and design. Lynda Weinmans dedication to lifelong learning and the creative fields has driven distance education worldwide, and John Masons revolutionary work has had a profound influence on contemporary art. These individuals represent the apex of accomplishment in their fields, and Otis is privileged to honor them for their groundbreaking achievements.

Elizabeth Savage, a senior in the Architecture/Landscape/Interiors (A/L/I) Program, is the valedictorian for the Class of 2015 and will give the valedictory address. Originally from Santa Barbara, California, Elizabeth has won three awards for excellence during her time at Otis. In 2014, she received a prestigious Angelo Donghia Foundation Senior Scholarship, one of only twelve recipients in the nation.


Sunday, May 10, 2015, 3PM

Westchester Park (across from the main campus)

7000 W. Manchester Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90045


Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design is a national leader in art and design education. The College mission is to prepare diverse students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. Alumni and faculty are Fulbright, MacArthur, and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, legendary costume designers, leaders of contemporary art movements, and design stars at Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pixar, DreamWorks, Mattel, Nike, and Disney.

Otis enrolls approximately 1,150 full-time students, and offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Architecture/Landscape/Interiors, Digital Media (Animation, Game & Entertainment Design, and Motion Design), Fashion Design (Costume Design), Communication Arts (Advertising Design, Graphic Design, and Illustration), Fine Arts (Painting, Photography, and Sculpture/New Genres), Product Design, and Toy Design. Otis also awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Public Practice, and Writing. Nearly 3,000 adults and children participate annually in Continuing Education art and design classes and workshops.

The five-acre main campus is located on L.A.s Westside near the beach and LAX, the Fashion Design program is in the heart of the downtown Fashion District, and graduate studios are on the Creative Corridor in nearby Culver City and in the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.

Additional information is available at

The Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) Announces New Board and Academic Members

Matthews, NC (PRWEB) May 02, 2015

The Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) announced the selection of its newest board members to assist in governing and providing strategic direction for the Foundation at its recent board meeting.

The following individuals have accepted the nomination and have been approved by the board to serve on the Foundations Board of Directors:

Michael Limauro, Vice President Asset Protection, Weis Markets

Tina Sellers, Director of Loss Prevention, Delhaize America

The Foundation continues to strive for a broad range of industry perspectives so we can serve the loss prevention/asset protection industry in an informed and comprehensive manner, said Gene Smith, LPC, president of The Loss Prevention Foundation. These leaders have proven that they have tremendous industry vision and have clearly demonstrated their commitment to improving the loss prevention industry through supporting education.

Each of these new board members has clearly demonstrated their support for industry-specific loss prevention certification. They are personally committed to obtaining the LPC designation and each of them has a passion for improving our professional perception as an industry and feel professional certification is a critical step in achieving that goal.

The Foundation continues to amass strong retail support for its mission educating the loss prevention industry by providing challenging and convenient resources such as our LPQ and LPC certification programs, said Frank Johns, LPC, chairman of The Loss Prevention Foundation. Each of these professionals brings a unique perspective as a result of their extensive expertise in loss prevention and asset protection.

The board also approved the following member to the academic committee:

Kevin Forehand, Program Director, Retail Management – American Public University

Kevin has clearly demonstrated his commitment to elevating our profession through supporting LPF in its academic efforts. He will provide valuable support in our continued efforts to develop educational standards, industry specific curriculums and strategies to increase the level of awareness for our profession, said LPF president, Gene Smith, LPC. At APUS, he leads a team of faculty who develop curriculum and work with students in Retail Management Associates, Bachelors, and certificate programs.

The LPF academic committee includes university representatives from across the United States and the United Kingdom and provides academic guidance to the organization. Work includes developing strategies on how the foundation can complement higher education, reviewing certification coursework content, and advising LPF staff on outreach to two- and four-year college students.

For a complete list of board members and academic committee members, visit our site:


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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