Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Get Ready for the BBC’s Reith Lectures

I’ve read many references over the years to the BBC’s Reith Lectures, which have been given yearly (except in 1992) since 1948, to “advance public understanding and debate about significant issues of contemporary interest,” in honor of the BBC’s first director-general. But I didn’t realize how much material was available on past lectures – and the upcoming series – until finding producer Jennifer Clarke’s BBC Radio 4 May 25 blog post ‘Multiplatforming’ the Reith Lectures. Clarke explains that this year’s lectures, “A New Citizenship,” by Harvard government professor Michael Sandel, in addition to the traditional live lectures and broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service, will also have an array of social media and BBC radio, podcast and website activity.

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Learning about Learning From Tad Waddington

I’m about to begin a teaching semester, and many of us will be either teaching, taking classes, pursuing degrees or involved in self-learning ventures this summer. In that spirit, you should benefit from Tad Waddington’s short and to-the-point May 22 Smarts blog on Psychology Today, Smarts: Four things worth learning about learning. Waddington, author of the book Lasting Contribution: How to Think, Plan, and Act to Accomplish Meaningful Work, demonstrates how with additional focused effort and thinking about what we are trying to learn, we’ll gain greater understanding and recall. This is especially true today when we are bombarded by so much material online, in print and on TV and radio.…

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Peter Drucker: Novelist

Although it wasn’t a well-known aspect of his long and highly successful career, Peter Drucker published two novels: The Last of All Possible Worlds (1982) and The Temptation to Do Good (1984). The latter is the subject of an unexpected, and fascinating, Inside Higher Ed essay by higher education consultant Melanie Ho, Business and the Relevance of Liberal Arts. I think he would be pleased at the carefully thought-out, sympathetic portrayal of the book, and how its ideas and central questions have relevance for today’s academic world, twenty five years later.

When I interviewed Drucker at his home in Claremont, California six years ago for my forthcoming book, I wanted to get his thoughts on the novels, because I knew that he had long wanted to write fiction as well as nonfiction, yet the fiction writing ultimately didn’t work out as well as he would have liked.

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The many worlds of Noah Levine

There can be fascinating results when two seemingly disparate worlds combine in the same person. A case in point is Kate Linthicum’s feature story in the Los Angeles Times, In the stillness, space for a rebellious spirit, about Noah Levine, who teaches Buddhist meditation infused with punk rock values. He’s the leader of the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, and author of the 2003 book Dharma Punx. The latter is the name of the Society’s members, and there are meditation groups across the USA and Canada. Levine appears to be an intriguing embodiment of living in more than one world, as a psychologist (which, according to the article, is how he earns his living), teacher, organization leader, author and family man.…

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A local human interest story, with built-in national interest

Cindy Leise’s neat human interest story Toni Morrison’s first-grade teacher recalls past century, in Ohio’s The Chronicle-Telegram, is the kind of article at which local newspapers excel. Leise interviews 98-year old Esther Hunt, who taught the Pulitzer Prize-winning Morrison in 1937, in Lorain, Ohio.  The peg for the story was Morrison’s local appearance at Oberlin College’s Convocation Series, which unfortunately Hunt could not attend because of a family event in another state. According to the article, she taught in Lorain City Schools for 45 years, until her retirement in 1974. Morrison’s latest novel is A Mercy, which was published last year.…

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The Ongoing Wisdom of Huston Smith

Lisa Miller of Newsweek has a revealing interview/feature on Huston Smith. The 90 year old religion author-professor has an important new book:  Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine, an Autobiography. The foreword was written by Pico Iyer, whom I referenced in the May 2 blog on Geoff Dyer. (Iyer’s book The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, recently came out in paperback.) Smith is known for his million-selling book The World’s Religions, originally published in 1958 as The Religions of Man.  It was also completely revised and updated when it was renamed in 1991.…

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The Economist, Education and Wendy Kopp

For an insightful British take on education in New York City and elsewhere, see Off to School, on The Economist’s education correspondent uses the occasion of chairing an education conference in New York City to also visit various schools there and in nearby Newark, NJ. There are some quotes from an interview with Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America, and a visit with a TFA alum to speak to current TFA teachers at a Bronx middle school. In Jim Collins’ recent Inc. magazine interview, he called Kopp “my entrepreneur for this decade.” He continued, “Her organization is truly an entrepreneurial creation that is out to utterly transform education.…

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Win Wenger on Problem Solving

An ongoing theme of my blog is how we can continually think of our personal and professional lives in different, more productive ways. Techniques of creative problem solving are often useful shortcuts at helping us get unstuck. In the mid-1990s I took a creative problem solving continuing education course at Georgetown University with Win Wenger, a creativity guru and author who is also based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. I enjoyed the course, and have stayed in touch with him over the years.

His organization, Project Renaissance, is a great source for information on many creativity and thinking-related issues.…

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