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Career Planning in the 1980s

Welcome to my childhood trunk. Inside of this ragged trunk, I stored papers, letters, and other mementos gathered from middle school through college. The trunk when new was covered by white wicker and was given to me by my Grandma Florence. As you can see from the photo, most of the wicker on the lower portion of the trunk is gone, revealing particle board. Thank our various cats for that. They enjoyed scratching the corners,…

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Book Review: Zero Waste Sewing

Normally, I post book reviews on my somewhat neglected personal blog at maryewarner.com (neglected because I spend most of my blogging energy here at The Pragmatic Historian). I’m making an exception in this case because the book I am reviewing, “Zero Waste Sewing” by Elizabeth Haywood, came to me because of this blog. Those of you who’ve been following along for a while might remember that I was attempting to make a bog coat, which…

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Making History Visible in Surveys

Upon the recommendation of Mike, a history museum colleague of mine, I read George Lakoff’s “Don’t Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate.” Great book. I highly recommend it. Now I’m seeing subtle (and not so subtle) frames everywhere. In order to change existing frames, you’ve got to be able to notice them wherever they occur. I’ve been attempting to make history more visible because of its importance to society, our…

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How Cities and Nonprofits Are Similar

My History with Community Visioning Sessions I had an epiphany. My husband and I attended a community visioning session, OurTown 56345, last week. We have attended many such visioning sessions in the past. My history with such sessions is that they generate a lot of excitement at the outset, with organizers eager to hear what residents have to say and residents eager to share their ideas for community development. These sessions often feature color dots,…

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I’m Not an Action-Adventure Gal

After a marathon day of reading yesterday that ended at 11:30 p.m., I am finally finished with the first book I’ve read in 2020: Reamde by Neal Stephenson. I picked it up on the promise that it would involve technology, which it does but only tangentially. What I discovered in this 1000+ page tome was a lot of shoot-em-up action-adventure. If you like action-adventure, that’s great, but I’m not an action-adventure gal. The book was…

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