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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.

Friday, April 17, 2020

The Great Give, 2020: One Way to Help

CASA of Southern Connecticut is participating in the Great Give, made possible by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven; one can donate during or before May 5-6, a 36-hour online fundraiser coinciding with a spring "Giving Tuesday."
 
Beyond volunteering or making a donation directly via CASA of Southern Connecticut's own website, this is an opportunity to support work on behalf of children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
11:02 pm edt 

Friday, April 10, 2020

April is Volunteer Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month

Today the New Haven Register published my op-ed, "Volunteering more vital than ever," days after it was published with a slightly different title by the Connecticut Mirror.  The piece is also at Medium and the Good Men Project.

The CASA movement relates to both Volunteer Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month, as well as the current COVID crisis.
 
The Register also noted my recent appearance at a local Rotary Club, which thoughtfully invited a presentation about CASA volunteer opportunities.
7:34 pm edt 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

"The Nation's Child Welfare Systems after Coronavirus"

Fred Wulczyn of the Chapin Hall Center for Children published a sobering assessment of the prospects for child welfare, in the Chronicle of Social Change.

Other articles appeared in the New York Times and at ABC News, which quoted Tara Perry--CEO of the National CASA Association:

"Our volunteers are needed to advocate for children and families now more than ever, not only to help judges make the most well-informed decisions for children and their families, but to build a system of support around children at this difficult and unprecedented time."

12:36 pm edt 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Appreciating Volunteers
 
The Connecticut Mirror published an opinion piece I wrote: "Even at moment of social distancing, it's Volunteer Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month" in April.
6:43 pm edt 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Yale Basketball Drama, Senior Night

This was a big weekend for the Yale men's basketball team.  Friday night, after the Trinity Boys Choir sang the National Anthem, the Yale team defeated Penn in stunning fashion, going on a 13-0 run in the final two minutes, which included six steals by Yale.  Steals and dunks by Jordan Bruner and Jalen Gabbidon in the waning seconds completed the thrilling comeback, which my family and I cheered from the stands.

Last night, Yale concluded its home season with another dramatic win, this time over Princeton.  Before the game, seniors Jordan Bruner, Eric Monroe, and Austin Williams were honored.  (Their former classmate and teammate Miye Oni would have joined them, but he now plays professionally.)  At halftime, the youth team that James Forman Jr. and I coach, as volunteers, scrimmaged--giving the kids and us courtside seats from which to support the Yale team.
10:57 am est 

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