University on Watch is your true story detailing the obstacles you faced in academia and how you were forced to overcome your disabilities while facing bias and ignorance from people at the university. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I fell in love when I was in college in New London with language. If I was ever going to put process the trauma and move towards healing I needed to recapture the events in the book through the very words that were so precious to me years ago.
What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?
The impact of a major mental health disorder on a person’s life. Specifically, for young people alone and isolated from supports, and other vulnerable people. They needed to know what it takes to survive, and the various threatening intersections there are in the health and healing.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
Always keep in mind your behavior and the goals that you are setting out to accomplish. The behavior has a direct impact on us and the outcomes in life. Sometimes, without doing everything we can do to keep moving is all we have to hold on to in our darkest hours.
You are a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Has your time helped others informed the development of your book?
Without the clinical language, I wouldn’t’ be convinced I had what it took to write the book. Prior to healing and becoming a social worker, I had only one lens through to see the world. Back then, I also felt a certain way about my grip on the world (shame, guilt, all of it). The point is without a whole new way of understanding the world, what else was I offering but a closed-off and a non-illuminating text.
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University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy by J Peters is a unique reading experience. It is the author’s true story of what he endured going through the world of academia and how he was forced to overcome his disabilities AND the biases and ignorance of those at the university to achieve his education goals.
It is a stunning examination of those dark things that should not be tolerated or accepted on any level, but ones we all know occur when backs are turned or no one is looking. More than that, it is the story of hope. Of how we can achieve our dreams no matter the obstacles thrown in our way. Despite the almost horrific exposure of academia’s underbelly people choose to ignore, this tell all confession is a message of inspiration for those with disabilities and mental health issues. Author J Peters wrote University On Watch after enduring a major crisis at New London University. It took ten long years for him to come to terms with what happened there. No, I won’t spoil that for you with this review. During that time he took a closer look at who he was and who he wanted to be. J Peters has since gone on to become a rhetoric scholar and, in his own words, a person living with schizophrenia.
This book is written in a straightforward manner, both open and easy to follow. J Peters pulls no punches in his recounting of his time at the university. His book is a journey of self-discovery that will engage your emotions on a deep level. If you don’t walk away questioning the how and why of this scenario you may need to go back and reread it. University on Watch is unlike anything you will read. Do yourself a favor- walk a mile in J. Peters’ shoes.
Pages: 150 | ASIN: B07NP2891M
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It’s the year 2003. Teenagers are messaging each other online, listening to punk music on MP3 players, and writing blogs on LiveJournal to fit in. One such teen is walking the halls of Wales High School with bright shirts, leather jackets, and blue hair: Jacques Peters. He’s determined to become best friends with one of the coolest guys in school, Davis Mavis. But he soon discovers that smoking, skipping class, and putting up a front aren’t as cool as they seem, particularly when mental health is involved. His friends gossip behind his back, push him out of their clique, and turn a blind eye to the cuts on his wrists. He’s dragged into a life that leads to a long stay in a psychiatric ward he hates, full of therapy, pills, and a strict routine.
That troubled teen is me.
When I was discharged, I was in a daze. Numbed by medication and left with few friends, I spent my days listening to music and giving my teachers lip. Eventually, on a cold winter night home alone, I posted a single word on my blog: “goodbye.” I took a cocktail of pills and hoped to slip into an endless sleep.
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