Sunday, April 14, 2013
Literacy Forum on Early Learning: WORDS
8:52 am edt
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.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Eugene Jarecki’s “The House I Live In”
8:24 am edt
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.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Ballet Haven, Mnikesa Whitaker
11:18 pm edt
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.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Tomas Young’s “Last Letter” about the Iraq War
3:15 pm edt
One of my oldest and
closest friends, Jeff, is a U.S. Army veteran who yesterday recommended Tomas Young’s "The Last Letter" on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Remembering Eli Richbourg
11:44 am edt
From a mutual friend, I just received terrible news – of the
sudden death of Eli Richbourg. Peace and comfort to his widow and son. Eli was a talented, conscientious, warm and
Sunday, March 10, 2013
UConn, Yale: Senior Day, Senior Night
3:30 pm edt
This weekend’s New York Times included an article,
“One Way to Cheer Up: Cheer Harder” – a piece that evoked a January 2010 (January 24) post, as well as an April 2011 post, which followed an improbable NCAA championship by the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team.
This past Friday,
my kids and I were at Yale to see that university’s men’s basketball team defeat Princeton. Last
night, we were unable to attend when the team defeated Penn. It was “senior night,” the final
game for Yale's seniors, whose plans range from architecture to law school. Sophomores, including two known for their sobriety, helped lead the victory.
To the northeast, the University of Connecticut men also concluded their season yesterday.
UConn’s “senior day” ceremony honored a graduate student, who played a part in the team’s overtime
win. I was in the crowd to applaud his effort and that of the team, throughout the season.
as both Yale and UConn anticipate promising seasons in 2013-14, they can prepare for one game in which they will directly
compete, according to Yale’s tentative schedule.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Public Service, Staffing the U.S. House
6:51 am est
Sunday, March 3, 2013
MBAs Across America
3:12 pm est
Saturday, March 2, 2013
A Network of Men, “BMe”
5:58 pm est
The Black Male Engagement Initiative (BMe) is a network of men in cities across the country. Among those men is Samuel Reed, a middle-school
teacher in Philadelphia who has been a leader in the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia.
I voted for Sam Reed here, by clicking on Philadelphia and scrolling through the alphabetical list to view his one-minute interview and a written description
of his project. He writes:
“The ‘BME—Artistic and Literary Cafe Showcase’ will bring a
collective force of young people together to leverage their talents and connect their passions and creativity to address youth
issues…. This project will connect … with traditional literacy skills and provide inspiration and foundational
skills for reading, writing, making and thinking skills required for the creative economy. Engaging disengaged
African American males will be particular focus of this project. This project will produce performance
art through an interactive video documentary and digital media using art and literary works produced for and by youth participating
in the project. This project will draw muse from comics, sports, art and literature and run parallel with
the work I am doing with students at the Beeber Middle School…. We will … disseminate the
work-in-progress via electronic forums (web sites), professional workshops and out-of-school forums. The culminating multi-media
installations will be presented at community art venues. After completing the community art showcases,
interactive commentary will be posted on the BMe website and other community sites.”
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
9:50 am est
Paul Turner, who chairs the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department
at Yale, is among the authors of a recent study of the adaptability of a virus subjected to temperature changes.
quoted in a subsequent article: “Our study shows, that in the time allowed, (the viruses) weren't able to cope….
They could not rely enough on the mutations that were being generated in that population for anything to emerge and dominate
that could deal with this highly unpredictable environmental change.”
Paul Turner led a 2009 Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute seminar
on “Evolutionary Medicine” and will be leading a 2013 seminar on “Asking Questions in Biology: Discovery versus Knowledge.”
2013 seminars begin next month.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
“Ten Commandments . . . as a Teacher”
10:00 am est
Brain Pickings site includes an excerpt from Bertrand Russell, originally published in the New York Times Magazine
in December 1951. Russell argued for “a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only
to supplement it.” The “Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, [Russell] . . . wish[ed] to promulgate”
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Presidential Inaugural Poets at Yale
5:12 pm est
Richard Blanco and Elizabeth Alexander
spoke together at Yale recently, the occasion a tea for the two poets who (in 2013 and 2009, respectively) read their poems at President Barack
Hosting the campus event was Stephen Pitti, who (like Elizabeth Alexander) is a Yale faculty member.
Pitti has led New Haven and national seminars – in which public school teachers have participated as Fellows – on “Latino Cultures and Communities.”
Saturday, February 9, 2013
8:14 am est
The snow on the ground this morning appears
to rival or even surpass levels from the Blizzard of 1978, when the school in my hometown closed for the entire week.
My family and I expect to spend much of our day shoveling!
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Black History Month and Beyond
8:05 am est
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Teachers Institute Opens New Year
7:30 am est
The Yale-New Haven Teachers
Institute held its 2013 Open House earlier this month, with New Haven public school teachers’ seminar applications due next week.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
"On Guns and Security: A Parent's Plea for Reason"
9:11 am est
Last week, the Connecticut
Mirror published "On Guns and Security: A Parent's Plea for Reason" – reflections spurred by the Newtown massacre and the National Rifle Association’s perverse,
if unsurprising, response.
I argue, “This is about how we define security, its reality and its perception,” and ask, “What
actually makes our communities and families secure? What makes our children feel secure?”
months after the Columbine attacks, the Hartford Courant and Minneapolis Star Tribune published "Hamilton Would Have Embraced Gun Control" – my admittedly speculative attempt to adapt Alexander Hamilton’s pragmatic federalism to a modern challenge.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Encouraging “Men Who Give” to Counter Domestic Violence
7:16 am est
The Center for Domestic Violence Services is featuring "men who give" to support this cause. Please
consider doing so, particularly now as a foundation will match gifts.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
President Obama Proclaims National Mentoring Month
11:12 pm est
President Barack Obama and the White House yesterday issued a proclamation for National Mentoring Month, which is January.
President Obama said in part, “A supportive mentor can mean the difference between struggle
and success. As we mark this important occasion, I encourage all Americans to spend time as a mentor and help lift our next
generation toward their hopes and dreams. To learn more about how to get involved, visit www.Serve.gov/Mentor.”
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Teachers, Parents, Literacy, Community
7:14 am est
The United Way and New Haven Public Schools
highlight “the ART of school success” — attendance, reading, and time for conversation — as ways for home life to bolster students. Such efforts demand greater
attention, from early childhood on. Literacy is an appropriate focus.
The New Haven Register recently published "Improving Education Involves Everyone" – a piece that I wrote on related themes.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Let Peace Begin
5:41 pm est
The ineffable cruelty of the violence in Newtown, Connecticut yesterday
has prompted grief around the world.
For me, the surreal shock and relative proximity of the events evoked in some ways experiences
of September 11, 2001, when I was living and working in Manhattan.
This afternoon, it was moving to listen to a choir perform a “Holiday Joy”
concert in which scores of girls participated, from age seven (including my daughter) to teenagers, holding hands as they
represented the innocence and ideals we cherish. The choir sang, in addition to such favorites as “Come
all ye faithful” and “Gloria in excelcis Deo” and Hanukah standards, the following words of the song “Let
peace begin with me”:
Let there be peace on Earth,
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on Earth,
The peace that was meant to be.
The world is our family,
Brothers and sisters are we,
Let us walk
with each other,
In perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me,
Let this be the moment now,
With every step I take,
Let this be my solemn vow,
To take each moment and live each moment
Let there be peace on Earth,
And let it begin with me.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Advanced Placement in New Haven, Students and Teachers
10:40 am est
The Yale Daily News (YDN) ran a December 4 article, “City schools win AP recognition,” that included an interview with Wen Jiang, featured days earlier in a New Haven Independent article. I
met Wen Jiang during his middle-school years and applaud him, his character, ability, and effort – and that of the teachers
According to the YDN article, “... Jiang attributes the success
to a ‘supportive environment’ created by teachers, counselors and peers. Jiang said he felt encouraged to take
AP classes and so did many of his peers, adding that teachers would stay after school multiple times a week to help students
with their coursework.”