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Practically Idealistic blog
The title for this blog originated with use of the term “practical idealist” in this 1996 opinion piece, which asked: “To what kind of work should a practical idealist aspire?” A century and a half earlier, Emerson, in his 1841 essay Circles, wrote: “There are degrees in idealism.  We learn first to play with it academically. . . .  Then we see in the heyday of youth and poetry that it may be true, that it is true in gleams and fragments.  Then, its countenance waxes stern and grand, and we see that it must be true.  It now shows itself ethical and practical.”  Mahatma Gandhi embraced practical idealism in the 20th century, as did UN Secretary General U Thant.  Al Gore invoked it in a 1998 speech. In the context of this blog, the term is meant to convey idealism tempered but not overwhelmed by realism: a search for the ideal on a path guided by common sense.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

An Immigrant Becomes a U.S. Citizen

As a brief New Haven Independent article reported, my wife was among 55 new U.S. citizens who participated in a recent naturalization ceremony.  The reporter was a biased source – her husband.  In the piece, my aim was to connect immigration and immigrants (including refugees) to U.S. history and civics.

similar version is at Medium, which was mentioned in a December 24 post below.

10:27 am est 

Monday, January 18, 2016

For MLK Day and Beyond: “Selma” and the March on Washington

For Martin Luther King Jr. Day, my son and I watched the film “Selma” – which Americans of (virtually) all ages can learn from and appreciate. 

I reminded my son of our family visit, in August 2013, to D.C. around the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington – and that his Grandpa (my father) participated in the original march, at which he heard Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis (among others) speak.

8:56 pm est 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Four Seminars for 2016

Teachers in the New Haven Public Schools are exploring four seminar options for 2016, through the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, in response to colleagues’ requests. 

Numerous teacher-developed curricular resources, across the disciplines, are available via the Institute and the related Yale National Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools.

7:45 am est 

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New Mentoring Season

It’s National Mentoring Month, with an annual summit January 27-29.

As noted on the LiteracyEveryday blog a year ago, there are many mentoring opportunities, both locally and nationally.

12:38 pm est 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A New Medium

Having read about Medium, the new venture of Blogger and Twitter founder Ev Williams, I signed up this past year.

Via this democratic (small “d”) venue, I’ve appreciated articles by figures ranging from Isis AnchaleeDavid Swan, and Ankita Rao to Sundar PichaiMelinda GatesSamantha PowerHillary Clinton, and President Obama.

In addition, Medium has provided a platform to republish pieces that originally appeared elsewhere, including about immigrationrefugeesIndia and the U.S.reproductive choiceearly literacy – even college athletics.

7:00 pm est 

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