Wales High High School: First Diagnosis

Wales High High School: First Diagnosis

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EHR note


Sometimes a school crisis erupts on a high school campus unexpectedly.

Other times, there a slow build-up of tension before the crescendo, and that crescendo can be hate speech or any number of incidents. Twenty years ago, in Wales Academy, I was a student in crisis. Although I was more in tune with the momentum of chaos and cause for concern, I was adamant that my course of action was justified and I was a healthy teenager.

I fully believed that everyone around me misunderstood my behavior and my thinking when it came to my day to day interactions in school and my larger plan to make more friends.

J. Peters (Wales High School)

“Wales High School: First Diagnosis” is a front-row view of High School in the early 2000s during the rise of the millennial in a highschool setting. In the midst of this new era in America for young adults hoping to one day transition to higher education, Jacques Peters, and his makeshift group of friends, acquaintances, and enemies from within his social group will make visible some important questions for aging youth: 1) why are friendship and healthy connections so important in adolescent development? 2) what is healthy in the context of adolescent development when passion, mood, and thoughts are all as enmeshed as they were in the student body at Jacques small high school in Wales Academy.

The very same passion that set the stage for J. Peters’s adult adventures into language, mental health, and social work, are visible during his most youthful and most vulnerable phase of life: adolescence. Here, the reader will witness firsthand how this iconic literary character gained the transformative power to transgress with such ease, albeit to his own demise, and ultimately, setting the path to his near distant future in New London University. 


This book will get underneath the root of Small Fingernails, elaborating on the urgency of J. Peters’s mission to New London University and the new life he sought to establish for himself after his heart-wrenching experience in Wales high school. Wales High School: First Diagnosis follows the life of young J. Peters in his junior and senior years at Wales high school when the shadow of his mental health disorder first entered his young life and his primary education environment.

The reader will get a first-hand look at Jacques’s attitude in the classroom in Wales High School.

From English class to Biology, Jacques Peters’s character will take on new life and meaning for readers interested in how this iconic character became the person who initiated Contesting Admission in University on Watch.

J. Peters (Wales High School)

Indeed, Jacques will contest admission to classes in this book, petitioning into honors-level classes where he was restricted from due to poor performance as a result of his new mental health disorder and burgeoning social problem, which will blossom into full-blown stalking, warranting the attention of Wales police and the psychiatric hospital. Readers should be prepared for joy, hope, grief, and labored panic-stricken horror as this book unfolds and is prepared for the public at large this fall.

Book Reviews

J. Peters

J. Peters

Max Guttman '08, MSW '12, is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a 2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10 award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association. Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression, but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes on his lived experiences with schizophrenia. "I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery," Guttman says. "After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my 'break,' I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others." "In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing to a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients."
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