The Power of Negative Thinking

The murder and mayhem in the US, can be traced back to the miseducation in American higher education, and the lessons of still-in-vogue Marxist instructors like Herbert Marcuse, who professed: “Nothing is ‘real’ which does not sustain itself in existence, in a life and death struggle with the situations and conditions of its existence.” And “identity is only the continuous negation of inadequate existence.”…

Art Students League

Back in class.

Bee-ing

High School Grad, NYC – June 22, 2018

‘Class Of 2018 – Dismissed’

Last class of Millennials (born 1981-1996).

High Hopes

SVA Graduation – May 9, 2017

Black & Red

As he prepares to take office, it’s been said that Mr. Trump considers education to be a low priority.  And yet the high number of poorly educated young people in America, as evidenced by recent demonstrations, should make education a top priority. The problem, though, is many educators see truth as oppressive — the enemy. So rather than being oriented to it they are in rebellion…

‘Shut it Down’

The so-called black ‘reformers’ are just as domineering as the establishment types that produced Teddy Roosevelt and Barack Obama. When human relationships are based on disordered self-love, which is the source of contempt of neighbor and human relationships based on domination (“Spain must go,””Assad must go,” “Wolfe must go”), civilization has broken down, and the institutions that helped bring about the collapse should be abandoned.  

Thanks Mom

John Jay College Graduation — June 3, 2015

Remembering D-Day

On June 6, 1944, Allied Forces (U.S., England & Canada) succeeded in surprising Hitler, and the Wehrmacht, with their landing at Normandy. Days later, Hitler still believed it was a diversion, and that the main landing would be at Calais. By then the Allies had landed 1 million troops and 500, 000 tons of material. So desperate had the situation become for the Germans that Field-Marshal Rommel…

Art & Trash

While passing by a dumpster, near Cooper Union yesterday, a number of finished paintings could be seen in the trash — presumably student’s work.

To The Library

The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter is presented at the New York Public Library through September 7, 2014. From the exhibition guide: “Behind every children’s book is a vision of childhood: a shared understanding of what growing up is all about. Accordingly, authoritative voices from the realms of theology, philosophy, psychology, and education have all played their part in shaping the nature of…

College Bound

“(A) dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement…a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes…

Fritz Stern Receives Sander Prize

Fritz Stern, Professor Emeritus and former Provost of Columbia University, received the Sander Prize this evening at Deutsches Haus/NYU. In its inaugural year, the Sander Prize will be awarded annually by Deutsches Haus of NYU to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the cultural relationship between the German speaking world and the United States. Professor Stern is considered to be one of…

Class of 2013

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in NYC, held their graduation exercises today for 3339 students, the largest class in the school’s history. School president Jeremy Travis commented: “We are fierce advocates for justice.” A good percentage of John Jay graduates typically get jobs in law enforcement. This year’s valedictorian, was Rizwan Ali Raja — from Pakistan, with a 4.0 GPA in Political Science….

Letters Home

Doom Of Exiles Now we, returning from the vaulted domes Of our colossal sleep, come home to find A tall metropolis of catacombs Erected down the gangways of our mind… Backward we traveled to reclaim the day Before we fell, like Icarus, undone; All we find are altars in decay And profane words scrawled black across the sun. Still stubbornly we try to crack…

From Democracy to Dictatorship & Genocide

“There is no international morality left, everybody snatches whatever booty he can.” Adolf Hitler to Joachim Ribbentrop, May 1938 The Czech Center in New York is presenting a two-part program: From Democracy to Dictatorship and Genocide: Jews in the Czech Lands and Slovakia before during and after the Second World War. The first session, by Benjamin Frommer a historian at Northwestern University, was given…

Religion and University Education

The Catholic Center at New York University held a symposium, 2/4, exploring the thinking of John Henry Newman and the question — What positive contribution can religion make to the ongoing life of the contemporary university? “Newman reminds us today, that as unlikely and outlandish as it might seem, theology and the speculative contemplation of which it gives rise to is about the only…

21st Century Education

At this year’s Clinton Global Initiative, Queen Rania of Jordan called for an ‘education revolution’ in the Arab World. She said the focus of 21st century education should be on designing the future rather than dissecting the past. Commentary: The American General George Marshall advocated, after World War II, for educators to teach students about how wars began. He thought that by doing so…

Occupy Wall Street 9.17.12

Today the ‘family of man’ is being torn asunder by the ‘strong and the weak’, as checks and balances fail and society disintegrates. How can a modern democratic state, whose institutions are rotten to the core, possibly reform itself — when the people are so broken? What would James Madison and Thomas Jefferson say — on this the 225th anniversary of the signing of…

The Way of the Pirate

It’s become fashionable at all levels of education (especially in the arts and the humanities) for instructors to say: “There are no right or wrong answers — that’s what makes it so exciting,” as one NYU professor put it to LE recently.

Who’s Guiding the Juniors?

A junior at Columbia College wrote an editorial in the Columbia Spectator (April 19, 2012) in which she says: “I’m not ready to be a senior and I’m sure there are other juniors who feel the same way.” She laments not having anyone older to help answer her “existential questions”. “Who’s going to grab coffee with me next year? I’ve started wondering to myself. I never…

e-Learning

As politicians and business leaders get more involved with education, the emphasis on productivity, efficiency and scale have produced  unfortunate outcomes — from No Child Left Behind (during the Bush years), to e-learning with President Obama. E-learning is hot. A recent Google search generated 181,000,000 responses. But is it good? Already people are discovering (as with NCLB), that e-learning can fail to deliver what is most important (reality)…

Futures In Education

Maria Bartiromo, Anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” was honored at a dinner for “Futures In Education” — an organization whose mission is to provide tuition assistance and program support to the neediest students attending Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens NY. Included with Ms. Bartiromo, in the photo are Frank Bisignano CAO, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (second from right) and The Most Reverend Nicholas…

‘Education for Education’ in India

Pratham, the largest ‘education’ focused NGO in the world, held a fundraiser this week in NYC for its work in India. The organization’s mantra is “Every Child in School and Learning Well.” According to Pratham Founder & CEO Dr. Madhav Chavan, Pratham has “developed a scalable approach to driving education and ending illiteracy in India.” Pratham USA Ambassador, Archie Panjabi, the award-winning British actress,…

‘Tooth Fairy’

Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT Media Lab, addressed a gathering of IIT (India Institute of Technology) alumni today at their 2011 Global Conference in NYC. Describing himself as the ‘tooth fairy,’ Mr. Negroponte has sought through his non-profit OLPC (One Laptop per Child), to make laptops affordable (100 Swiss Francs) and available to all children — especially in developing countries — who he considers to be…

Privilege

Shamus Khan, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, reads from his book, “Privilege — The Making Of An Adolescent Elite At St. Paul’s School.” “What is the future function of a predominantly Anglo-Saxon and Protestant upper class in an ethnically and religiously heterogeneous democracy? In many ways this is the most important question of all.” E. Digby Baltzell ” Some will always be above others. Destroy…

“I Am Not a Criminal”

WNET (New York Public Media) held their 6th Annual Celebration of Teaching & Learning last week, with over 10,000 educators from across the globe. In a panel called Youth Voices, one of the students said he wanted to hear teachers say “I trust you” — rather than, “I am a criminal — I am not a criminal; I can be more than that!” Arthur Dean Myers,…

Women, War & Peace

African peace activist Leymah Gbowee helped to create the movement (Women Of Liberia Mass Action For Peace) that succeeded in bringing an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. She spoke yesterday, at the “Celebration of Teaching and Learning” conference in NYC. An important difference exists between feminism in Africa and feminism in the United States. In the U.S., women use their power to…

Expanding Literacy

Writers Zadie Smith and Nathan Englander delighted an audience of supporters of the Matawi Organization, with a discussion of their work, Thursday night at SVA in Manhattan. The event was a fundraiser for the Dadaab scholarship program, to benefit women in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. Both Ms. Smith and Mr. Englander are acclaimed authors and university professors (NYU and Hunter College respectively), who seem to respect each…

Mentoring The Next Generation

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is underway this weekend with its 10th Annual Leadership Institute & Career Fair. There are 600 attendees, from the 47 historically Black Colleges around the U.S., in the Big Apple for a weekend of activities. Today’s luncheon, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, included remarks by Mr. Larry Stubblefield, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army. Also on the…

Forming Young People

Arne Duncan, (third from left) the U.S. Secretary of Education, lead a discussion Wednesday on The Role of Service in Remaking American Education. He was joined by among others, Anthony Salcito (far right), Microsoft VP-Worldwide Education. Given the stark reality that a large percentage of America’s young people are not graduating from high school, and among those who do, many are not “college ready.” Mr….

Up From The Ruins

At the recent Teaching and Learning Conference in NYC, that included 9000 educators from around the U.S. and some foreign countries, two women stood out for their leadership, wisdom, and courage — Diane Ravitch and Queen Noor. Diane Ravitch, formerly the Assistant Secretary of Education under George H. W. Bush was an early advocate of “No Child Left Behind” — the program that emphasizes student testing along…

Lost Foxes

It would be nice to have a penny for all the times in the last decade someone said: “No one could have seen this coming.” “No one connected the dots.” “We didn’t have the right intelligence” — blah, blah, blah. Most people in the U.S. are trained to be “foxes,” that is — to have a lot of experiences and know many things — but without any systematic…

The Game Changer

Geoffrey Canada, President & CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, speaking at the “Changing the Odds” conference going on this week, in NYC. Begun in 1997, HCZ seeks, in the words of Canada: “to change the cradle to jail pipeline” that exists in many poor urban neighborhoods, in the U.S.. The Harlem Children’s Zone exists as an interlocking network of services for children that…