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The Books

University on Watch

Crisis in the Academy

Sometimes, a school crisis erupts on a college campus unexpectedly. Other times, there is a slow build up of tension before the crescendo, and that crescendo can be violence, hate speech, or any number of incidents. Ten years ago in New London University, I was a student in crisis. Although I was only slightly in-tune with the momentum of chaos and cause for concern, I was adamant about reaching someone, some department office on campus, the school staff, or even a community member or public official in the city of Liberty in upstate New York to intervene in department affairs and the admissions process of the English graduate school at New London University. I fully believed if I found the right party that had a vested interest in my well-being, I would have been admitted to the English graduate program. Whether it is true or not has been lost to history and will remain contested as long as my relationship with language persists.

On a more global level, students in circumstances similar to what I went through ten years ago are sometimes pitted against the powers that be and boxed into a corner when their status as a student becomes compromised. In many circumstances, students on academic probation, or those who are still in the midst of an ongoing crisis, are targets for extreme punitive measures by campus offices and their academic programs. In many cases, the students who are considered problematic are encouraged—similar to an uncomfortable work environment—to leave on their own regard or remain and be forced to face extreme sanctions on their freedoms and liberties.

I chose to stay and carry on as a student at SUNY New London. This is that story. University on Watch was written ten years after I put SUNY New London “on notice,” indicating my intentions to both continue on as a student while signaling my need for immediate assistance and intervention from someone who could help with my deteriorating situation as a student and mental health condition. As the book unfolds, neither intervention nor my own will to fight on would help me in my effort to overcome the obstacles I faced as I tried to fight my way to continue my education and move on to higher learning.

The very same passion that set the stage for University on Watch calls upon all people to truly look inward, face those times when the plausible seems impossible, and realize the dangers of life that can interfere with our ability to live our lives freely. Until a time when the unrecognizable solutions of your life reveal themselves clearly and without restriction, University on Watch will signal the need for further clarification of your life, its goals, and the freedom for people to choose will over reality, making the impossible become possible.




Small Fingernails

Even Less Love

Sometimes, love finds us; other times, love is a trauma that hurls itself into the very fabric of our lives. My experiences at New England University explain how traumatic events and life’s unfortunate turns can become amplified and overshadow our understanding of how love and friendship should contribute to our lives.

The sages say love can blind us; however, sometimes, that love transforms our lives into radically altered states — states in which we must learn how to cope for the relationship to survive and thrive. These altered states are often difficult to manage without help from friends and family. If left to our own devices, without these critical supports, the very creative energy that once nurtured our passion has the potential to destroy the very foundation of our love and caring that was once manifest.

Small Fingernails chronicles my life as a student at college in Freedomtown and in love. It evaluates the impact of toxic relationships on our well-being and our capacity to pursue friendship. Through transgressions, fear, loss, grief, and misfortune, even my profound love could endure. Ultimately, my ethics and belief in what is right collapsed on its head.

Love needs to be free and rid of all elements that can destroy its beauty. This book signals the need to reevaluate our closest and most personal spaces, friends, and family members. The complications that interfere with our pursuit of happiness will one day be more easily overcome by people who follow their hearts and seek only the best for those they care about the most.



Wales High School: First Diagnosis         

Sometimes a crisis erupts on a high school campus unexpectedly. Other times there’s a slow buildup of tension before a spark ignites the fire, and that spark can be hate speech or any number of other incidents. Twenty years ago at Wales High School, Jacques Peters was a student in crisis. Although he was more in tune with the momentum of chaos, he was adamant that his course of action was justified and that he was a healthy teenager. He fully believed that everyone around him misunderstood his behavior and his thinking when it came to day-to-day interactions in school and his larger plan to make more friends.

Wales High School: First Diagnosis is a front-row view of high school in the early 2000s during the rise of the millennial generation. In the midst of this new era in America for young adults hoping to one day transition to higher education, Jacques and his friends, acquaintances, and enemies will make visible some important considerations for their peers. Friendship and healthy connections are vitally important in adolescent development. Equally important is unlinking enmeshed networks before they further complicate the complex emotions of aging youths. Such were the lessons within the student body at Wales High School.

The passion that set the stage for Jacques’ adult adventures into language, mental health, and social work are visible already during his youthful and most vulnerable phase of life: adolescence. The reader will witness firsthand how Jacques gained the power to transform himself, ultimately setting the path to his future at New England University.


Wales Middle School: The Rise of J.Peters

SOMETIMES A SCHOOL CIRISIS ERUPTS unexpectedly; at other times, no crisis exists at all. At Wales Middle School, the latter is the case.

In the late 1990s, Wales Middle School was ripe for the biggest wave of disrespect and unruly students since its doors first opened. The locus of this behavior was rooted around one student: Jacques Peters.

This is a story about youth and yearning for more. As the story unfolds, the reader will come to understand how preadolescence is critical in creating a solid foundation for maturation and the bumpy road of change ahead.

From the classroom to the playground, a youthful J. Peters and his interactions with other students provide a glimpse into the later years of adolescence, when the growing mind’s internal and
socialized world first come together.


University on Watch

University on Watch