Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Coach Wooden Going Strong at 98

I’ve been a big sports fan since childhood, and I watched many times on TV during high school and college as John Wooden coached UCLA to college basketball glory. He is one of the most successful coaches in any sport, of all time. And at age 98, he has done quite well writing books, and in public speaking. Michel Hiltzik’s column, John Wooden’s still Coach, even in the investment game, in the Los Angeles Times is a highly interesting interview with Wooden about his investing principles. Hiltzik points out that Wooden coached in an era (the 1940s through the mid-1970s) when coaches weren’t paid particularly well.…

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Edward Tufte: Seeing and Believing

A great example of a person living a multidimensional life in more than one world is Edward Tufte, profiled recently by Adam Aston in BusinessWeek, Tufte’s Invisible Yet Ubiquitous Influence. Tufte is perhaps best known for his large, elaborate and beautifully-produced books (from his own company, Graphics Press) on the best ways to present and interpret data and information, such as The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. But he is also a consultant to large corporations and master teacher (Professor Emeritus at Yale) who now spends considerable time on the road each year delivering a one day course, Presenting Data and Information, to big audiences at auditoriums nationwide.…

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The 14th Special Libraries Symposium

The highlight of my time Monday at the 100th annual conference of the Special Libraries Association/SLA, in Washington, D.C.  – besides meeting many interesting new people and reconnecting with friends and former students – was the 14th Special Libraries Symposium. I produce this event every year for the course I teach at the Catholic University School of Library and Information Science, The Special Library/Information Center. I bring together a group of librarians, who are generous with their time in giving back to the profession, to meet with my students to talk about their career journeys and the state-of-the-art in their work.

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Jorge Luis Borges and Harvard: Encountering Your Younger Self

I have been a big fan of the Argentine short story writer/essayist/poet Jorge Luis Borges since his fiction was assigned by Professor Charles Larson for an undergrad literature course in the early 1970s at The American University. 2009 marks the 110th year of Borges’ birth. Take a few moments to read a perceptive, thought-provoking essay, Meeting Oneself by the Charles, in The Harvard Crimson on June 2nd by Pierpaolo Barbieri on the occasion of his graduation. Borges’ short story “The Other” is employed as a device by Barbieri to look back at the big picture of what he and his classmates learned and experienced at Harvard, and how that knowledge and awareness can guide them in the future.…

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Becoming a Student of Life

I’ve just discovered Harriet Swain’s delightful weekly series, How to Be a Student, on guardian.co.uk. It’s been running for a year and a half, and it’s all online. Although these concise columns are aimed at British university undergrads, they have broader relevance to anyone involved in ongoing learning (even if it’s informal) or teaching, no matter where you live.  I found it especially interesting as next week I begin a new teaching semester at The Catholic University of America School of Library and Information Science. Each column is titled The Art of…; May 26’s is The art of asking questions.…

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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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