Thursday, 18 May 2017

Exam stress is more than just the test itself; it's everything




Earlier this month, CommonSpace reported a substantial increase in children seeking help for “excessive stress” during exam season. In the last year, calls to the NSPCC from girls more than doubled, while calls from boys were up four-fold.

Seeing this as a failure of Scotland’s mental health provisions for students, Monica Lennon MSP from Scottish Labour said the SNP have “failed to properly support child mental health.” She goes on, noting lengthy waiting times for mental health treatment when students decide to seek it.

She’s not wrong. The SNP had a maximum waiting time target of 18 weeks, but the number of those who ended up waiting a year tripled from 2015 to 2016.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Introversion; facilitating for happiness


At the crossroads between anxious, shy, and introverted, I sit, looking at my shoes.

Diagnosed anxiety comes in waves. It's noticeable both by its presence and its absence. It's not intrinsically tied to who you are, but it's as changeable as the weather (particularly Scottish springtime weather).

Shyness's relationship with introversion is more intimate, but it's the more aggressive of the two. It's not a requirement that an introverted person also has to worry about your perception of them. They might spend more time thinking about that perception, or dedicate part of their day to thinking of interesting topics of conversation to discuss with you, but any flicker of a worry is more likely associated with shyness.

Susan Cain's Quiet ("OVER TWO MILLION COPIES SOLD" says the front cover, so I'm not about to drop any truth bombs) is about introversion in a world where extroversion is the goal.

Friday, 3 February 2017

"Do you love your country?"



In the wake of, well, everything from the last few years, how an individual interacts with their country of residence has come to the fore. Brexit's message of taking back control was political on the surface but personal in the delivery. This was for Britain, and it was for you. That control had seemingly been regained from anyone who opposed the Brexit message, whether that was the bureaucracy of the EU, immigration laws, experts, bananas that were slightly misshapen - the list is endless.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Social media & punching nazis


2017's aesthetic seems to be the scene from Inglourious Basterds where Brad Pitt, as Lt Aldo Raine, delivers a rousing speech to his squad about their objective - killing nazis.

Richard Spencer, a figure of the alt-right (a euphemism for neo-nazi), was punched in the face during a broadcast interview. The internet loved it. It also allowed the left opportunity for further division. While united over their opposition to far-right movements, the last few years have seen them operate most efficiently when arguing among themselves. This time it was over the morality of using violence as a force against an ideology.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Time for a trip to the theatre...


When I was young, I assumed the theatre only opened for one month out of the year. In primary school, our class would make the annual trip to Kilmarnock’s Palace Theatre or the Ayr Gaiety to see a pantomime. Busses would pull up and out would pour schools from all over the area, still in uniform so that teachers knew which kid belonged where. The show itself was silly, filled with slapstick humour and lots of interaction.

Friday, 18 November 2016

What is it to be content in your mid-20s

There is a reliable element of storytelling that the journey is better than the destination. That is why beginnings are at the start of a book or film and the conclusions round off our time spent with a bunch of characters. They achieved their goal, or enough of it until the next installment. What happens next in their lives? Who cares, but the journey was the important part.


Thursday, 29 September 2016

Why Jeremy Kyle is the root of all evil


"That's pure shockin', innit" says anyone watching The Jeremy Kyle Show, as it is revealed that this poor boy on stage is not the father to this child, who he has done nothing but love since day one, but he says he will still stick by his little bundle of joy despite that dirty, rotten cheat of a mother.

Jeremy Kyle, to morality what Nigel Farage is to attempts to quash white supremacy, gets right in the mother's face and tells her she is disgusting and a disgrace. Look at him, he point-and-yells, that man has done nothing but love you and your child to find out they are not even his! You need to sort yourself out, love.

Oh it's too much to take before noon.