The Modern Misanthrope


Oaks Christian Online High School Senior Travels Internationally While Preparing for College

Westlake Village, CA (PRWEB) November 23, 2014

Oaks Christian Online High School (OCO) senior, Cherokee Watkins, is on the trip of a lifetime with her grandparents all while successfully completing her senior year of high school. Cherokees grandfather is an electronic engineer with the Department of Defense working for the Navy, and the family will be travelling through April of next year to such countries as Russia, Romania, Germany, Poland, Italy, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, and England. Highlights of her trip so far have included visiting the Red Square and Saint Basils Cathedral in Moscow as well as seeing the Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker ballets in the historic Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

Students travelling during their senior year could feel they are putting their college application process at risk, but military families and dependents of government contractors often have to make the best of travel opportunities, even if they do fall in a students senior year. This years statistics for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) website shows that there are 120 DODEA schools in Europe and Asia hosting nearly 11,500 active military dependents. Also, non-DODEA schools host military and government contractor dependents all over the world. Cherokee was looking, however, for a flexible, Christian distance learning, college-preparatory school that would allow her to travel extensively during her senior year. In order to prepare for entrance to such colleges as UCSB or Cal Poly Pomona, Cherokee is taking a rigorous, college-preparatory course load including AP classes online, such as English Language and Composition, Spanish 3, Physics and other courses.

OCO has a four-year college counseling program that helps students target twelve or more colleges for their application process. Students also use the Naviance system for tracking their test scores, college applications, college interests and GPA across other applicants for the same schools. College counselor, Cyndy Locke, helps prepare OCOs annual school profile and has enjoyed helping 100% of OCO graduates for college or university entrance. Cherokee is an extremely bright and capable student, but what is most remarkable about her is the energy and enthusiasm with which she attacks every new endeavor, Cyndy Locke states. I have experienced this with her in her college application process, her college counseling class and most especially in her great success on the ACT exam.

OCOs college-preparatory, online courses have worked for Cherokee while travelling abroad during her senior year. One of the hardest parts of online high school is just staying on top of the school work, Cherokee states. Its so nice that I can email my teachers; they are understanding, reach out to me, have weekly meetings about progress, and provide very individual attention. Even though I am half way across the world, I still feel like I am getting the attention that I need to succeed.

The main campus of Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, CA opened in the fall of 2000 and Oaks Christian Online School (OCO) opened for full-time, online students in the fall of 2011. One of the nation’s finest accredited online schools, Oaks Christian Online High School provides a rigorous, NCAA approved, college-preparatory education for high school students all around the world in a Christian environment. Oaks Christian Online School continues to enroll part-time and full-time students throughout the school year and regularly hosts information sessions on its main campus 31749 La Tienda Drive, Westlake Village, CA 91362, as well as virtual information sessions for prospective student families. Interested students can visit the website to R.S.V.P.

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Excellence in Online Education will be the Focus of a New “Champions of Industry” Piece, Hosted by Jimmy Johnson

(PRWEB) November 20, 2014

With the technology of the Internet, more people have been able to obtain an education online. A decade ago, an online education was considered subpar in comparison to what was obtained at colleges and universities. Today, that is not the case.

Jimmy Johnson, host of Champions of Industry, will be introducing a segment that demonstrates that there is excellence to be found in an online education. Major universities from around the country are offering courses over the Internet and it is possible for a person to obtain a four year degree completely online.

There are multiple methods of learning offered online. This includes live classrooms where the instructor uses a video camera and is able to field questions from students from around the world as well as chat rooms, pre-recorded lessons, and the use of e-books.

Johnson’s program interviews representatives from universities that offer online educational programs, as well as students who have graduated from such programs. Many students feel that an online education gives them a one-up on the competition in the job market because of their in-depth knowledge of the Internet and how to manage their own workloads.

Champions of Industry is produced for public television stations around the United States, though not distributed through PBS. For additional information, viewers can email producers at info(at)championsofindustry(dot)com or visit the show’s website at

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How Eating Disorders Affect Latinos

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 20, 2014

The Bella Vita, one of the nations leading treatment centers for eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder, will co-host a Tweetchat from 10:00 11:00 am Pacific on Tuesday, December 2nd with Salud Today. The chat discussion, How Eating Disorders Affect Latinos will use the hashtag #SaludTues on all tweets for the conversation on Twitter. Participants can follow the chat on any web chat application such as

The partnership between Salud Today and The Bella Vita developed through The Bella Vitas #EDIncludesMe initiative, a vision of CEO and Founder Patricia Pitts, Ph.D. The ED Includes Me initiative provides people from all walks of life vital information about eating disorders, the treatment of eating disorders, how to support ones self or a loved one with an eating disorder and educate the public on the global inclusivity of eating disorders. Dr. Pitts explained. The Bella Vita recently released an ED Includes Me Diversity segment on Latinos/as. The segment caught the attention of and would be beneficial information to the followers of Salud Today via Twitter.

The twitter handle @SaludToday and the #SaludTues Tweetchats are directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) team at The University of Texas, San Antonio Health Science Center. The IHPRs goal is to investigate the causes of and solutions to the unequal impact of cancer, chronic disease and obesity among Latinos in San Antonio, South Texas and the nation. The IHPR, which is directed by international health promotion expert Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, achieves its mission through research and interventions, training the next generation of researchers and health professionals, and communicating with researchers and the public on Latino health issues.

The Bella Vitas Social Media Manager, Kate Wotanowicz, shared that, we were thrilled to be considered to co-host this Tweetchat with Salud Today. The opportunity will allow the ED Includes Me initiative to inform and embrace how to support the Latino/a community from an individual, family and health care profession standpoint.

During the chat, Dr. Pitts will also share her 30 years of clinical insight, patient success stories and the necessity of eating disorder awareness and outreach to the Latino/a community.

A 2007 study from the International Journal of Eating Disorders highlighted that disordered eating behaviors among minority groups often goes unnoticed until there is a severe medical condition. The partnership of The Bella Vita, Dr. Patricia Pitts and Salud Todays Tweetchat will aid in bridging that gap and bringing awareness to the impact and preventive measures of eating disorders and co-occuring health illness in the Latino/a community.

About The Bella Vita. At The Bella Vita we recognize the many signs and symptoms an individual struggling with an eating disorder may show the world, even if everyone else may miss them. We have seen this with our thousands of patients females, males, adolescents, adults and all ethnicities who have struggled with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and disordered eating. We believe that each individual is whole. Working side by side, we guide our patients to put the pieces back together.

The Bella Vita is a CARF accredited program with transitional living and several residential and outpatient treatment centers in Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, La Canada Flintridge and Thousand Oaks. For more information, visit or call the 24/7 intake line at 818.585.1775 for program and admissions questions or to schedule an assessment with a specialized eating disorder therapist.

For media inquiries, please contact Melissa Moss at 323-255-0400 x121.

Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club Begins New Era with AppSuite Technology

(PRWEB) November 20, 2014

When it was founded in 1998, the Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club (GCCC) was the first of its kind loyalty program in Florida and considered even more progressive within the hospitality industry. On Oct. 1, 2014, GCCC will unveil the next generation of its loyalty program with a custom-built app developed by AppSuite, a global mobile application company based in Boca Raton, Fla. The free Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club app is now available for download from the Apple AppStore for iOS or Google Play for Android devices.

We started the Connoisseur Club to show appreciation for our loyal guests. The program was truly revolutionary when it began more than 15 years ago. We were proud pioneers in the customer loyalty card phenomena that is now common place in so many businesses, said Michael Klauber, Co-Proprietor of Michaels On East and Co-Founder of the GCCC.

His business partner Phil Mancini continues, As independent businesses, our GCCC partners share the philosophy of knowing our guests personally and catering to their specific needs to exceed expectations everyday. This new app will allow us to fulfill a new type of customer service via a digital platform. I have been wary of technology in the past, but I love having all my rewards on my phone today, Mancini laughs. Im thrilled with this easy-to-use, meaningful platform Appsuite created to benefit our most loyal guests.

The leadership of the GCCC turned to AppSuite to build a customized app due to the companys specialization serving the food and beverage industry by providing advanced features such as loyalty, branding and advanced customer care.

We pride ourselves on offering robust data and consumer-focused solutions. Our systems provide valuable reports and support multi-channel distribution including branded Apple and Android mobile apps to help clients expand personalized messages and offers. At the same time, the end-user consumers benefit from special offers and rewards which are tailored to their personal preferences, says AppSuite CEO Jim Daleen. The numbers show customer loyalty is good business.

Restaurants spend much of their marketing budget on finding the new customer, we believe engaging the current customer is essential to maximizing revenue opportunities in this hyper competitive marketplace, reports Daleen. A study from the Center for Retail Management at Northwestern University revealed that about 12-15% of a companys most loyal customers contribute 55-70% of total sales.

The Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club (GCCC) currently includes Admiral Travel International, Michaels On East, Michaels Events & Catering and Michaels Wine Cellar. The popular program boasts more than 12,000 members who accumulate points and earn rewards with participating GCCC venues. Members are now able to check their current and lifetime point balance via the new mobile app, plus track their advancement to higher membership status levels as they earn their way from Bronze to Silver, Gold and Platinum where they will receive superior rewards and benefits. Additional features include the opportunity to make reservations at Michaels On East, view travel tips and last-minute travel incentives from Admiral Travel, and engage with each business on social media networks within the app.

All members of the public are invited to join the Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club by downloading the new app on their iOS or Android device through the Apple AppStore or Google Play. Membership in the program is free.

About the Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club

The Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club is Sarasotas most exclusive lifestyle rewards program, with opportunities to reap rewards on luxury travel excursions, fine international wines and the regions finest dining experiences. Founded in 1998, the collaboration includes Admiral Travel International, Michaels On East, Michaels Wine Cellar and Michaels Events & Catering today. Currently, more than 12,000 members are rewarded for their good taste through the loyalty program which accumulates points as members frequent each partner business. Members receive reward certificates based on their purchases, as well as exclusive invitations for special events, birthdays and anniversaries. GCCC partners also organize and lead exclusive journeys to the most exotic food and wine destinations in the world. For more information, visit

About AppSuite

Based in Boca Raton, Fla., AppSuite is a global mobile application company serving the food and beverage industry providing advanced features such as branding, consumer messaging, loyalty, social media integration, and advanced customer care. A proprietary, powerful and easy-to-use Content Management System (Customer Care Portal) is used for configuration and reporting and the company also has an easy-to-use iPad app used to manage customers locally (Loyalty Manager). To learn more or view an online demo, visit

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Taylor Swift Tickets in Toronto and Montreal Available Today at

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (PRWEB) November 14, 2014

As part of The 1989 World Tour, Taylor Swift will bring her popular music to countries around the world including Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Holland, and Canada. In the latter, Swift will make several stops including two stops at the Rogers Centre in Toronto and one stop at Centre Bell in Montreal. Her concerts in Toronto will be held on two consecutive nights specifically Friday, October 2nd and Saturday, October 3rd. Her concert date in Montreal is Tuesday, July 7th. Swift, who recently released her fifth studio album and first pop album has been making waves in the music business since getting her break in 2006.

In 2006, Swift released her self-titled debut album and the album has gone on to sell more than five million copies in the United States, earning five-times Platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. She followed up the success of that album with Fearless, a record that has been her most successful to date, selling more than six million copies in the United States. In 2010, she released Fearless, which has sold more than four million units in the United States and Red sold more than four million records after being released in 2012.

Last month, she released 1989, which went on to sell more than 1.287 million copies in its first week. Her opening week sales gave her the third highest single week performance, trailing just Eminem and Britney Spears. It was the third time she has had an album sell more than a million copies in a week and in total, Swift has sold more than 30 million records around the world. Part of what made Swifts first venture into pop music so popular in its opening week was the multi-platinum single, Shake it Off. The single reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts, marking the first time she achieved that honor since 2012 with We Are Never Getting Back Together.

The Rogers Centre was formerly known as the Toronto Skydome and is the home of the Toronto Blue Jays from Major League Baseball. The venue has also been home to numerous other events since opening in 1989 including two WrestleMania events from World Wrestling Entertainment, college football, rugby, and musical events. Among the performers that have played at the Rogers Centre previously include U2, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Madonna, and The Rolling Stones. When Swift plays here next October, it will be filled to capacity with tens of thousands of Swift-loving fans.

The Centre Bell opened back in 1996 as the Molson Centre and it has held a plethora of events over the years. It is the home arena of the Montreal Canadiens and this team consistently draws sellout crowds for every game.


Ticket Down delivers tickets to sold out concerts and events worldwide when no one else can, and they do so at discounted prices. This popular ticket exchange also has authentic Taylor Swift tickets in Toronto and Taylor Swift Tickets in Montreal. Fans can choose from field seats, floor seats, front row seats, VIP seating, upper level, lower level, general admission, deluxe packages and more. Concertgoers can add promo/coupon code TAYLOR-SWIFT-2015 for added savings on any ticket order.

Note: Ticket Down is a ticket reseller featuring tickets resold by professional ticket brokers nationwide. We are not associated with any of the artists or venues mentioned in this release. The names that are used in this release are purely for descriptive purposes. We are not affiliated with or do we endorse any musical artists or venues in this release.

Check out our discount codes online for all upcoming events. Ticket Down has low overheads which allow this well-known ticket site to keep prices low.

Bethel Schools Partially Locked Down Due To Online Threat

Bethel Schools Partially Locked Down Due To Online Threat
BETHEL – Public schools in town were placed on partial lockdown for about an hour Wednesday morning due to a threat against the high school posted on social media, school officials said. The partial lockdown for all public schools in Bethel went into …
Read more on Hartford Courant

Digital-course law changes schools' lessons
Arkansas' law is in line with similar legislation passed in several other states that push online learning for high school students, said Julie Rowland, a researcher at Education Commission of the States, based in Denver. Laws in Alabama and Michigan …
Read more on Fresno Bee

Republicans pushing new school accountability bill
The measure sank last session due to concerns about how to sanction failing schools and test private school students who use taxpayer-funded vouchers so they can be compared to their public school peers. Republican leaders, who will return with larger …

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Only 25 Engineering courses are accredited in universities
Only 25 Engineering programmes are accredited in Kenya today, the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) has disclosed. EBK chairman Maina Wanjau, said so far, only University of Nairobi, Egerton, JKUAT and Moi University have accredited engineering …
Read more on The Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)

School board president: Students don't have to worry about accreditation while
“Loss of accreditation could mean students won't have a very good chance at scholarships, or even getting into college,” Executive Director of School and District Performance Peter Sherman said. But school board President Dr. Kathy DeNiro said students …
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Advanta IRA Hosts Nationwide Webinar: Invest in Oil and Gas Using a Self-Directed IRA

(PRWEB) November 12, 2014

The IRS permits self-directed IRA holders the option to invest in non-traditional assets such as oil and gas. AdvantaIRA Trust is holding a national webinar on November 13 to further educate investors on how their IRAs can invest in oil and gas projects.

A self-directed IRA is a plan that allows investors to invest in many alternative assets such as real estate, promissory notes, private stock, private mortgages, and oil and gas. Investors should be aware of two types of ownership when investing in oil and gas with a self-directed retirement account, working interests versus royalty interests. Working interest investors own participating, or lessee interests in land and pay capital expenses, operating costs, and royalties to the mineral title owner. Investors in oil and gas working interests incur all of the costs and liabilities, but share in only part of the revenue. If the drilling project results in a successful oil or gas well, the lessor receives a share of the revenue based on the wells production. If the drilling is not successful, the working interest owners will not receive any revenues. In addition, the working interest owners are responsible for 100 percent of the drilling costs and plugging the abandoned well.

A royalty oil and gas interest owner has the benefit of sharing in production revenue, without having to be responsible for capital costs, operating expenses and environmental liabilities. When compared to working interests in oil and gas production, royalty interests have much less risk and significantly higher netbacks. Oil and gas royalty investments have several attractive qualities including potential returns, lack of maintenance and an unwavering demand for these products.

Technological advances in drilling have opened up future oil and gas reserves, says Dave Owens, managing partner of AdvantaIRA Trust, As a result, the United States oil and gas industry is experiencing unprecedented production growth. Like all investments there are certain risks that need to be considered so it is important to do due diligence before making any investment and to always consult with a tax advisor or CPA for advice. Self-directed retirement plans that can hold oil and gas projects include traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SIMPLE plans, SEP plans, and 401(k)s.

Join AdvantaIRA Trust and Royale Energy for this live webinar and learn about an alternative investment that can be made in a self-directed IRA.

Event: Webinar- Invest in Oil and Gas Using a Self-Directed IRA

Date: November 13, 2014

Time: 2:00-3:00 pm EST

Location: Online

Cost: No cost

Register: To register email Brenda Whetsell at Brenda(at)AdvantaTrust(dot)com

About AdvantaIRA Trust

AdvantaIRA Trust is a self-directed IRA administrator that provides tax-deferred and tax-free investment opportunities, superior customer service, and educational tools to assist investors in realizing the maximum benefits possible within IRAs. AdvantaIRA makes it easy to use self-directed retirement plans to invest in assets that the individual investor knows, understands, and can control. To learn more visit www(dot)AdvantaIRA(dot)com.

About Dave Owens

Dave Owens is the managing partner at AdvantaIRA Trust in Fort Myers, Miami, Gainesville, New England, and the Florida Panhandle. Owens opened the AdvantaIRA Trust headquarters in Fort Myers, FL in 2003. His background as a certified public accountant, combined with a long history of personal retirement self-direction, provides his audiences and clients with solid advice and practical solutions to their IRA investment questions. Dave holds a BS in accounting from Purdue University. He also earned the prestigious Certified Exchange Specialist designation through the Federation of Exchange Accommodators.

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Hope Moores New Novel Follows Lives of Navy Wives during Conflict

HARLINGEN, Texas (PRWEB) November 10, 2014

Author Hope Moore knows firsthand the unique and challenging lifestyle of a Navy wife due to her husbands lengthy stay in the Navy. During this time, she not only had to spend a lot of time without her husband, but also had to raise their four children. Having lived many years as a Cruise Widow a woman whose husband is out at sea Moore decided it was time to tell of her unique experiences through a novel.

Moore invites readers to enjoy her new novel, Cruise Widows: A Novel (published by iUniverse), which follows five Navy wives on a life journey that will stay with them forever.

Moores novel chronicles the lives of five Navy wives, who all have husbands on the same ship, which can be gone for as long as nine months. The wives are all at different stages in their lives, with one being pregnant and newlywed while the others are further along in their marriages.

Throughout Cruise Widows, readers will watch as the women grow to love and care for one another while their husbands are away. Their love and strength will be tested when a disaster aboard their husbands ship causes tragedy and loss.

Cruise Widows are exceptional women, Moore says. Now, a reading public will learn just how exceptional they are.

Cruise Widows

By Hope Moore

Hardcover | 5.5 x 8.5 in | 358 pages | ISBN 9781491739990

Softcover | 5.5 x 8.5 in | 358 pages | ISBN 9781491739983

E-Book | 358 pages | ISBN 9781491740002

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Hope Moore was a stewardess when she and her husband began dating. Once married, they had four children in six years. Moores husband was in the Navy, often at sea for several months at a time. This served as inspiration for her new novel, Cruise Widows. Once her husband passed from lung cancer, she returned to college and received her masters degree. She now lives in south Texas, where she says life is quite rewarding.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, LLC, self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Readers Choice, Rising Star and Editors Choice designationsself-publishings only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.


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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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