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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.
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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Literacy Forum on Early Learning: WORDS

The New Haven Independent published my account of a recent Literacy Forum on Early Learning, "It's about WORDS" – as the WORDS Project of the New Haven Early Childhood Council was a focus of the forum.

8:52 am edt 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Eugene Jarecki’s “The House I Live In”

On public television this week, my wife and I watched The House I Live In – a provocative documentary about the human and social, as well as financial, costs of the “war on drugs” in the U.S.  The film includes glimpses of New Haven, where filmmaker Eugene Jarecki lived briefly as a child and where his friend Nannie Jeter has lived for many years.  This important movie merits a large audience, as does Jarecki’s earlier documentary, Why We Fight.

In the realm of documentary film, another that deserves attention is Charles Ferguson’s 2010 Inside Job, mentioned in a June 2011 (June 4) post.

8:24 am edt 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ballet Haven, Mnikesa Whitaker

Friday evening, April 5, my children and I had the opportunity to attend a joint New Haven Symphony Orchestra/Fair Haven School performance at that New Haven public school.  We enjoyed the show, including the young dancers who are part of Ballet Haven.  Afterward, we greeted that organization’s founder, Mnikesa Whitaker.

11:18 pm edt 

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