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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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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mark Saltzman and Nanotechnology vs. Cancer

The research of Yale biomedical and chemical engineering professor W. Mark Saltzman was featured this week in a New Haven Independent article, part of its series on nanotechnology.

Mark Saltzman’s work as a leader of seminars, through the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute and its National Initiative, was referenced in a January 2012 (January 28) blog post below on “Science Teaching and Learning.”

6:25 am est 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Respecting Teachers and Their Voices

The U.S. recently launched the RESPECT Project.  According to the Department of Education, “The RESPECT Project (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching), is a national conversation led by active classroom teachers working temporarily for the Department to help provide input on the administration’s 2013 budget proposal, and on the broader effort to reform teaching.”

Another forum for recognizing teachers and their voices is the National Teachers Initiative of StoryCorps.

A May 2011 post treated related issues and organizations.

6:40 pm est 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blood and Other Donations

A 2010 UConn graduate, Michelle Carter, wrote a December 21 Hartford Courant op-ed in which she argued, “There are many ways to be altruistic without spending a penny.  My favorite is giving blood.  Most of us are healthy enough to give several times a year.  It’s a precious commodity in high demand.”  This persuasive article – with other suggestions for how people might donate clothing, food, and/or time to worthy organizations – helped remind me to give blood December 23, which allowed me to do so again yesterday, eight weeks later.

8:15 am est 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Careers Beyond Finance

NPR reported today on efforts at campuses including Yale to encourage more graduates to consider careers outside of finance.  April 2009 blog posts discussed related issues and referred to three of the “opinion articles” listed on this website, from 1997 through 2000. 

10:08 pm est 

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