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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.”  John Dewey and 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.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Personal News and Gratitude

 

On May 1, I will become founding executive director of CASA of Southern Connecticut, part of the national CASA network for children facing abuse and/or neglect and in need of court-appointed special advocates.  It’s fitting that this news comes during April, which is both Child Abuse Prevention Month and Volunteer Month.

 

Last week, I concluded my job at Yale grateful to have worked with university faculty members and New Haven Public School teachers, among other excellent colleagues, over the years. My family and I look forward to remaining in New Haven with our friends and neighbors.

7:50 am edt 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Literacy News; “Young Voices on Reading, Writing, and Learning”

 

Today the New Haven Independent published literacy news, including a preview of an April 25 Literacy Forum: “Young Voices on Reading, Writing, and Learning”—with information also at @LiteracyGNH.

9:43 pm edt 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

An Ivy League Title and Moment to Appreciate

 

Amid the horrors of the world (as noted this morning in an earlier post), it was an uplifting diversion for my son and me to witness Yale’s men’s Ivy League basketball tournament championship in person today. Beyond cheering the team to victory (97-85) thanks to the kindness of a neighbor who shared tickets, we walked onto the floor after the game to congratulate the coaches and players—a memorable moment with some terrific young men.

7:03 pm edt 

More Hatred and Gun Violence

 

The horrific massacre of innocents at two New Zealand mosques, days ago, represents yet another terrorist attack and mass shooting.  Occasionally this blog has acknowledged such all-too-frequent events, such as in October 2018 (October 28).  May the victims’ families find comfort and support in their grief.  May people of all religions and political persuasions join to prevent such atrocities anywhere.

8:40 am edt 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Additional Outlets for December Op-Ed

 

Today the Good Men Project published a slightly longer variant of a piece originally published in the Baltimore Sun last month.  A similar version is now also at Medium.

12:47 pm est 

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