Dreams and Responsibility: Having Plan B

It is graduation time and many commencement speeches and greeting cards talk about following your dreams. Transitions are always a good time to be thinking about “what am I going to be when I grow up?” All changes in life lead to thinking about where one is going.

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Your Information Environment

We are living in a time where millions believe they are well informed if they watch one broadcast network, take a peek at a social networking site, and maybe do a few web searches. Those who are knowledgeable in fact-based research skills are disturbed by the impact of this broad perception.

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Junior High Assignments Made Me Use the Library

In my post “Higher Truth and How to Get There” I talked about how to access and use quality information. In today’s world of manipulative and biased sources, how can one be confident they are getting the “best stuff?” The answer is simple: use the library!

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Toughest Teacher Paves Career Path

We’ve all had teachers like this. Fierce reputation. Toughest teacher in the school. Or, maybe later, a professor. “You’ll never get an A.” “Will try to intimidate you.” “Very demanding.” These or similar comments were often heard from fellow students.

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All Work and No Play?

At this point, it would be reasonable to say I was a very dull boy. Library research, culturally based school trips, debate team – not exactly the fun stuff of the early teenage years. However, there were other interests, much more fun things, that also took root during the Junior High School years.

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Tom Seaver: A Personal Hero

I’ve never been a real Mets fan. As a lifelong Yankee, this doesn’t usually happen. But I am a huge Tom Seaver fan. When Seaver won the Rookie of the Year award in 1967 he was the first good thing that happened to the Mets. Yankee fans were not impressed when a team loses 547 games in their first five years.

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Museums, Picasso and my Best Grade Ever!

Having confidence in my ability to use the library led to many successes that enabled my education and career. Continuing with memories of Junior High School, one research paper sticks out in my mind. The seventh grade art teacher, Mrs. Scott, assigned us to do a report about a famous artist. For reasons I do not remember, I chose Pablo Picasso. After doing my usual background research in the library, it occurred to me to visit the Museum of Modern Art to see some of the famous Picasso pieces in-person.

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The Keys to Manhattan

When I first started Junior High School, my mother would not let me go to Manhattan. If I asked my mom – “the guys want to go to the City, can I go?” – the answer was always no. Growing up in Queens, there was nothing like the excitement of going to Manhattan. Even though I loved the bustle of “The City,” seeing the sites, the amazing buildings, people watching, going to Central Park, buying slices of pizza (then 25 cents!) or a hot dog, there was no way I could get around the edict of my Mom.

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Higher Truth and How to Get There

For hundreds of years, scholars have viewed formal debate as fundamental to participatory or representative government. Yet, observers of the last decade or so, would have a hard time recognizing virtue in what passes as debate in many government bodies. Things have become so polarized and divisive that finding synergy in viewing broader ideas seems to have passed forever.

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A Mentor in Junior High School?

When people think or talk about formative experiences, they are usually from high school, college, or maybe the early childhood years. For some, junior high school turns out to be the most crucial time in terms of events that define what we become.

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