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

Bay Area prep team without a school changes the game

Bay Area prep team without a school changes the game
… have absorbed criticism for academic shortcomings. Prolific Prep offers academic support but doesn't include a school — its players attend pre-existing accredited schools, including three at nearby Catholic Justin-Siena High and three at public …
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Vouchers May be Ticket Out of Public Schools for Kids with Disabilities—But
If approved by the Senate and passed in the House, it would create a pilot program to provide $ 7,000 in state funds per student for up to 500 students with disabilities during the 2015-16 school year. #The state would give that money to families to pay …
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Two sides of the same building: School district releases rendering of facility
School district officials and Historical Society leaders remain at odds this week, as one side pushes forward with plans to demolish two historic buildings in downtown Canton to allow for a new office building, while the other side fights to preserve …
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Excel Driving Center closes
DMV officials say they are working with other driving schools in the area to figure out ways students can finish their training. The DMV says it will contact students within the next two weeks with information on how to complete their training and how …
Read more on Fox11online.com

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Mesothelioma Attorney Wins Case for Ohio Asbestos Victim


CLEVELAND, Ohio (PRWEB) January 26, 2015

On December 15, 2014, after a 2-week trial before the Honorable Harry A. Hanna, a Cleveland jury rendered a personal injury verdict for an Autozone store manager against Honeywell International Inc. as a successor to The Bendix Corporation (Bendix) in the Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

The plaintiff, represented by mesothelioma attorney Donald P. Blydenburgh of Levy Konigsberg LLP and Ohio mesothelioma attorney Christopher J. Hickey of McDermott & Hickey LLC, filed a lawsuit (1) against Bendix alleging that the asbestos-containing Bendix brakes that the defendants sold to aftermarket shops through the late 1980s proximately caused plaintiffs mesothelioma, a lethal cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

According to the plaintiffs mesothelioma attorneys, they investigated possible sources of their clients asbestos exposure and found that he was exposed to asbestos fibers from his work with Bendix brakes throughout his employment at AutoZone from 1985 to at least 1989, during such time that he would sand the new brakes for customers so that they would not squeak when the customer would install them at home. During the trial, the plaintiffs mesothelioma attorneys were able to prove that not only was plaintiff unknowingly exposed to asbestos from sanding Bendix brakes, but Bendix had needlessly included asbestos in those brakes as it had designed, manufactured and sold non-asbestos brakes for vehicles decades earlier.

The trial against Bendix started on December 1, 2014. Testimony of the plaintiff, his wife, and expert witnesses concluded on December 12, 2014. After deliberating upon the evidence, the jury held Bendix liable for the plaintiffs medical care and treatment, past pain and suffering prior to his death, and his wrongful death. When asked what should be taken away from this case and the verdict, attorney Donald P. Blydenburgh said, This jury concluded rightfully so that it does not matter your occupation or degree, whether you are an auto store manager or a garage mechanic, if you are exposed to asbestos dust from a Bendix brake, it can cause you to suffer a lethal cancer. For the first time in years, a Cleveland jury was allowed to consider whether punitive damages should be awarded. This verdict was not only a win for our client, but all Ohioans who currently suffer from an asbestos-related disease and want their day in court in Cleveland.

As per the evidence presented in court, Brake manufacturer Bendix began selling asbestos-containing brakes in the late 1930s. Bendix continued to sell replacement asbestos brakes in the aftermarket through 2002 despite its ability to design brakes without asbestos in brakes since the mid-1960s. Additionally, during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s Bendix was aware that the asbestos in its brakes could cause asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma, but chose not remove it from its products.

LK is a national recognized asbestos litigation firm specializing in the representation of mesothelioma and lung cancer victims for close to 30 years.

For more information about this Ohio mesothelioma lawsuit, please contact attorney Don Blydenburgh at 1-800-637-6529 or submit an online inquiry at the firm’s website.

(1) Watkins et al. v. Affinia Group, et al., Case No. 12-780871, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas (Dec. 15, 2014)







More Online Degree Press Releases

Latest Online Degree News

Edudemic ranks King University's online degree programs among top in
King University's online degree programs were ranked third among all online degree programs in Tennessee in the recently released 2015 Online College Report, published by educational technology resource Edudemic. Individual online degree programs …
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Univ. of Colorado- Boulder to offer its 1st fully online degree this fall
The University of Colorado – Boulder plans to offer its first fully online bachelor's degree this fall. The Daily Camera reports that CU will start by offering an online psychology degree program and hopes to add at least 25 online degree programs in …
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Online Degree Programs Earn Nat'l Praise
U.S. News & World Report ranked the UofA's online bachelor's degree program as No. 148 out of 219 online bachelor's degree programs offered. The difference between on-campus courses and online courses are the way they are delivered. Online courses …
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Crystal Diagnostics Awarded AOAC-PTM Accreditation for the Rapid Detection of Big 6 E.coli Food Pathogens


Boulder, CO / Rootstown, OH (PRWEB) January 22, 2015

Crystal Diagnostics (CDx) Xpress System, a rapid and sensitive detection platform, announced today that it has received AOAC-PTM Certifications for the six non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (serogroups O26, O45, O1O3, O111, O121, and O145; collectively referred to as STEC or the Big-6) as well as Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157, at 1 colony forming unit (cfu) per 325 g of raw ground beef and raw beef trim, or 200 g of raw spinach.

The CDx Xpress System combines proprietary liquid crystal technology with antibody-coated paramagnetic microspheres to selectively capture and detect STEC from food matrixes, faster than other commercial systems.

The USDA requires all federally inspected beef processors to test for these potentially deadly pathogens and Crystal Diagnostics becomes one of only seven companies to gain AOAC accreditation.

Dr. Gary Acuff, Director of the Texas A&M Center for Food Safety, stated As regulatory agencies continue to tighten food safety requirements, it is likely that more and more pathogen testing will be utilized to verify process control. CDx has developed a unique detection system which is highly accurate, reliable, and takes about half the time required by the FDA reference method. This STEC test will be a welcomed addition to many food safety programs.

According to CDx President and CEO, Jim Bruce, Our goal for the past eight years has been to develop a novel technology which is much faster and more accurate than traditional rapid detection systems. These recent AOAC accreditations of our system confirm that we have done just that.

CDx is currently developing additional protocols and kits for the detection of Listeria, Salmonella spp. and strain-specific Salmonella. The Company expects an AOAC certified Salmonella test by midyear, with Listeria shortly thereafter.

About CDx: Crystal Diagnostics was founded in 2006 and is the exclusive licensee of fundamental liquid crystal technologies developed through a research partnership between Kent State University and Northeast Ohio Medical University. For more information about the company or its Xpress Pathogen Detection System, contact CEO Jim Bruce at 720-351-4885.







StraighterLine and WGU Partnership Offers Adults a Faster, More Affordable Path to a College Degree

Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) January 12, 2015

Western Governors University (WGU) and StraighterLine, recognized leaders in making quality higher education accessible to busy adults, have enhanced their partnership to make the path to a degree even more straightforward and affordable. In addition to easy transfer of approved gen-ed college courses from StraighterLine to WGU, students are eligible for discounts and scholarships that make WGUs already low tuition even more affordable.

For busy adults looking to earn a college degree while balancing family and work, time and financial commitments can be daunting. The online, competency-based courses and programs offered by Straighterline and WGU allow students to study and learn on their own schedules and move at a pace that fits their lives and at a price that is about half the cost of most other online schools. Students can start their studies at StraighterLine, which offers ACE College Credit Service-approved general education courses for just $ 99 a month, with courses starting as low as $ 49, and then transfer seamlessly to WGU. WGU tuition is charged at a flat-rate of just $ 3,000 per six-month term, regardless of the number of courses.

StraighterLines courses are a great option for adults considering online degree programs like those offered at WGU, said Daren Upham, WGUs Vice President of Admissions and Enrollment. In addition to being able to complete some general education courses very affordably, its a great, low-risk way to find out if online learning is a good fit for them.

The StraighterLine/WGU partnership has already benefitted many students. According to transfer records over the past 3 years, 90 percent of students who transferred StraighterLine courses to WGU have completed their degrees or are still enrolled. And, students who transfer four or more courses from StraighterLine are eligible to receive a scholarship with tuition credits of up to $ 2,000 at WGU.

Says Burck Smith, StraighterLines founder and CEO, college prices have skyrocketed, family finances have deteriorated and a degree is required by ever more employers. StraighterLines college savings network was built to solve this.

Competency-Based Education for Busy Adults

Competency-based learning is focused on measuring learning rather than time spent in class. Ideal for busy adults, this innovative learning model allows students to study and learn on their schedules, advancing as soon as they demonstrate mastery of course materials. Students can apply prior education and experience to accelerate their studies, moving quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. As a result, many students accelerate their time to a degree, saving both time and money. The average time to complete a bachelors degree at WGU is less than three years.

The Importance of General Education Courses

Nationally, general education courses the introductory courses that college students take in their freshman and sophomore years represent about 1/3 of all course enrollments. Further, the successful completion of one or more general education courses is a strong signal that a student will persist to a degree. For WGU, StraighterLine is a terrific solution for students who need prerequisite courses prior to enrollment, are worried about going back to college or may need to try the online medium before enrolling directly. By starting with StraighterLine, students who enroll at WGU are far more likely to successfully complete their degrees. And because WGU charges tuition based on time spent to complete a degree rather than per course or per credit hour, enrolling in WGU with transfer credits from StraighterLine can also mean saving money and graduating with less debt or none at all.

How does it work?

Thanks to a specific course-to-course articulation agreement between WGU and StraighterLine, students starting with StraighterLine know in advance how their credits will fit into WGUs degree pathways. Further, students who successfully complete four or more StraighterLine courses are eligible for a scholarship of $ 500 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms and $ 2,000.

About Western Governors University

Established in 1997 by a bipartisan group of U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, WGU has been recognized by the White House as what works in post-secondary education. The online university, which is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has more than 50,000 students and 40,000 graduates in all 50 states. WGU was named one of Fast Companys Most Innovative Companies for 2013 and featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. In 2014, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recognized WGU for having the number one secondary teacher education program in the U.S.

WGU has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations, including AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at http://www.wgu.edu or by calling 866.225.5948.

About StraighterLine

StraighterLine solves the number one issue facing students today the skyrocketing cost of college with high quality online courses that prepare students for success. StraighterLine combines a $ 99 a month college course subscription with guaranteed credit pathways to accredited degree programs to save up to 60 percent on the total cost of a degree. More than 10,000 students got started with StraighterLine last year.

StraighterLine takes the worry out of transfer with a College Savings Network of nearly 100 accredited colleges that guarantee credit acceptance of StraighterLine courses.

Having also been evaluated and recommended by the American Council on Educations College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT), StraighterLine courses will also be considered by more than 2,000 other colleges and universities for transfer to their degree programs upon request.

Media Contact

Beth Dumbauld

Director of Content

bdumbauld(at)straighterline(dot)com

443.712.7132

Joan Mitchell VP of Public Relations

American School Partners with Rosetta Stone to Offer Online World Language Courses


Lansing, IL (PRWEB) January 08, 2015

American School has partnered with Rosetta Stone to offer ten online world language courses to its students.

“We have students in all 50 states and in more than 65 countries around the world, but adding these Rosetta Stone courses makes us more internationally relevant than ever,” American School President Gary R. Masterton said. “We are particularly happy to add Mandarin Chinese, English as a Second Language and German to our curriculum since students, parents and school officials have asked us to add those courses.”

In addition to those three courses, students can take Arabic, Dutch, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish either as part of their American School diploma program or as individual courses to make up credit or enrich an existing homeschool program. More information may be found at http://www.americanschool.org/rosetta-stone and http://www.americanschool.org/courses/world-languages.

American School has been a leader in distance education since 1897 and has helped more than three million students across the country and around the world earn their accredited high school diplomas. Students wishing to earn the American Schools diploma choose either General High School Program or College Preparatory Program, both of which contain 18 units of credit. A full, four-year diploma program costs $ 2100 and includes paper-based and/or online courses, all study materials, and access to the password-protected Online Student Center, where students and parents can view grades, access help sheets and homework web sites, and contact American School instructors and staff members.

The American School also offers individual courses to students with an existing homeschool curriculum and to students who attend brick and mortar high schools. The latter group takes individual courses through the Independent Study Program, which thousands of schools use each year to help their students graduate on time. Individual courses typically cost between $ 150 and $ 300, and students who take individual courses receive the same Online Student Center benefits as those students who are working toward their American School diploma.

The American School is accredited by Ai (Accreditation International) and NCPSA (the National Council for Private School Accreditation) and is recognized by the State of Illinois as a non-public high school.

For more information, call 866-260-7221 or visit http://www.americanschool.org.







Northern Arizona University to Participate in ACE Alternative Credit Project


Flagstaff, AZ (PRWEB) December 18, 2014

ACE announced that Northern Arizona University (NAU) and 24 other colleges and universities are joining an alternative credit consortium as part of an innovative initiative to create a more flexible pathway toward a college degree for millions of nontraditional learners.

As part of the 25 institutions serving in this pilot project, NAU has agreed to accept all or most of the transfer credit sought by students who successfully complete courses that are part of a selected pool of about 100 low-cost or no-cost lower division general education online courses. NAU will also help identify the sources, criteria and quality of the courses.

The participating institutions represent a diverse group of four-year and two-year, public and private, non-profit and for-profit colleges and universities that have a strong commitment to access and attainment and serving nontraditional learners.

All participating institutions, including NAU, have agreed to provide anonymized data to ACE regarding the amount of credit their institution accepts, as well as progress and success rates of students transferring in courses through this project.

This initiative is made possible by the generous support of a $ 1.89 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Its initial focus will be on the more than 31 million adults who have completed some postsecondary coursework but lack a degree or credential. Many of these students represent first-generation, low-income students, so findings from this investment likely will apply also to younger students from this population.

For NAU, access and attainment are inseparable, said, Dr. Fred Hurst, Senior Vice President of Extended Campuses. We look forward to working with our ACE colleagues to expand and improve higher education opportunities for nontraditional learners.

As an additional part of the effort, ACE will expand its current work in the area of college credit recommendations by developing a quality framework and guidelines for issuing recommendations for digital micro-credentials, non-degree certificate programs, and competency-based programs like NAUs Personalized Learning.

This project will yield multiple and long-lasting benefits to the participating institutions, the wider higher education community and potentially millions of nontraditional learners, said Deborah Seymour, ACE assistant vice president for education attainment and innovation. It will help lead to the greater acceptance of alternative forms of credit in a way that ensures quality and encourages more people to complete their postsecondary education.

About The Extended Campuses of Northern Arizona University: For more than 30 years, the Extended Campuses of Northern Arizona University has delivered a respected, accredited and affordable university education to students wherever they want to learn. Non-traditional students, including working adults, are empowered to advance personally and professionally through a network of more than 30 satellite campuses throughout Arizona and extensive online options offering over 100 degrees, certificate and endorsement programs across various disciplines. NAU-Extended Campuses continues to introduce innovative educational options to fulfill the growing need for public administrators, health professionals, teachers, business experts and community leaders within the state of Arizona, and beyond. To learn more about The Extended Campuses at Northern Arizona University, go to http://www.nau.edu/extended.







Washington Adventist University Adult Degree Program Offers Students Inaugural Week of Spiritual Emphasis


Takoma Park, Md. (PRWEB) January 15, 2015

Washington Adventist Universitys School of Graduate and Professional Studies is hosting its first Week of Spiritual Emphasis January 25-29, offering students the opportunity to take a half-hour break from class each evening to hear a different speaker from the Department of Religion present on the theme of spiritual distractions. The events will be held on campus in Richards Hall Chapel, and class breaks will be adjusted so that students may attend.

Most of the students in our accelerated evening degree program are busy adults who not only hold full-time jobs, but are also raising families which doesnt give them a lot of time for themselves, said Nicole Currier, dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. This is an Adventist university that takes a holistic approach to education. Thats why we offer programs like the Week of Spiritual Emphasis, to give our students opportunities to enhance their physical and spiritual health so they can graduate strong.

Speakers during the Week of Spiritual Emphasis will include graduate student Richard Matthews, who will speak on Sunday, January 25 from 4:30 -5 p.m. In addition to pursuing his masters degree in religion, Matthews has been serving God, family, and country for thirty years. He has a long and distinguished career in military and government. He is also a son, father, brother, uncle, friend, intelligence officer, graduate student, and considers himself to be a sinner saved by grace.

Oye Sobo will speak on Monday, January 26, from 7:30 8 p.m. He is an ordained minister and the Pastor at Watchman Ministries in Capitol Heights, Maryland. In addition to his pastoral and ministerial duties, he is a social worker with the Prince Georges County Department of Social Services. He is happily married and blessed with children.

Scheduled to speak on Tuesday, January 27, from 7:30 8 p.m. is Tim Soper, a Bible teacher by trade, having taught religion courses and served as an academy chaplain for the past 14 years. He and his wife, Amy, spent two years serving as missionaries on the South Pacific island of Guam, after which they served God in less-tropical places like Ohio and Maryland. They have two daughters who have helped Tim understand the love that God has for His own creation.

Kingston, Jamaica-born Curtis Roberts is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, January 28, from 7:30 8 p.m. Roberts is married to Kerry Roberts and is the father of two boys, Curtis Junior (CJ) who is 3 years old and Connor who is 9 months old. Curtis holds two bachelors degrees, the first is in finance from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and the second in theology from Washington Adventist University (WAU). He is completing a Master of Arts degree in Religion, with a concentration in ethical leadership. He currently serves as an elder at the Re-Creation Seventh-day Adventist Church in Park Heights, Baltimore.

Novella Smith is currently completing her Master of Arts degree in Religion at WAU, with a concentration in ethical leadership. She will speak on Thursday, January 29, from 7:30 8 p.m. Smith is a member of the Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hyattsville, MD, where she serves as an elder, pathfinder drum leader, and the teen ministry leader.

Washington Adventist University is located on Flower Ave., near the intersection with Carroll Ave. in Takoma Park. The universitys School of Graduate and Professional Studies offers 11 undergraduate degree programs and eight graduate programs, including two fully online. The next session of courses starts the week of March 8-12. For more information, call 301-891-4092 or go to the website at http://www.wau.edu/academics/school-of-graduate-and-professional-studies.

Washington Adventist University is Montgomery County’s only four-year private college. Part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, Washington Adventist 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 1,080 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







More Online Courses Press Releases

London School of Marketing Congratulates Educational Partner Anglia Ruskin University on its ‘World-Leading’ Research


London, England (PRWEB UK) 30 December 2014

London School of Marketing (LSM), a leading institution offering accredited marketing and business qualifications in the heart of London, is pleased to announce the exceptional achievement of its educational partner, Anglia Ruskin University. The institution, which was recently named Entrepreneurial University of the Year, has now been recognised by the UKs Higher Education funding bodies for generating world-leading research.

“Involving over 52,000 academics from 154 UK universities, the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 released today show that we are making a significant impact on economies, societies, the environment and culture in all corners of the globe,” stated Dr. Trevor Bolton, Pro Vice Chancellor (Partnerships) at Anglia Ruskin University. “This is the biggest research assessment exercise in the world and the results are used to allocate approximately

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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