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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, May 14, 2017

“Philanthropy, Literacy, and Youth Development Explored”

The New Haven Independent published my account of a recent Literacy Forum.

A version also appears via Medium.

8:47 am edt 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Nationalism in France and Beyond

Tomorrow is May 8, the 72nd anniversary of the Allies' acceptance of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender – Victory in Europe or VE Day.

Today, centrist Emmanuel Macron nearly doubled the vote of Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front, in defeating her to win the French presidency.

With such historical and contemporary developments in mind, and after a brief recent trip to Europe that happened to include my family's being in Paris on April 20 (the night a terrorist gunman emerged nearby on the Champs-Elysees), I published some reflections at Medium on May 5.

5:07 pm edt 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8-12

May 8-12 this year is when the PTA, among other organizations, marks Teacher Appreciation Week.  Thank you, teachers – every day!

9:14 am edt 


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