Perspectives Did you miss an essay from your favorite "Perspectives" writer? Want to hear it again?If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, compose a piece that will run about 90 seconds when read — that's about 230 to 250 words, as counted by Microsoft Word — and email it to NPR@niu.edu. Be sure to put "Perspectives" in the subject line.
Perspectives

Perspectives

From WNIJ Northern Public Radio

Did you miss an essay from your favorite "Perspectives" writer? Want to hear it again?If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, compose a piece that will run about 90 seconds when read — that's about 230 to 250 words, as counted by Microsoft Word — and email it to NPR@niu.edu. Be sure to put "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Most Recent Episodes

Perspective: I Know What You're Thinking

"I know what you're thinking." Ever have anyone do that to you? Splash right into the big puddle of your thoughts and you suddenly feel exposed. Then you relax. Of course they can't read your mind. They can only guess. Or they can gently ask, "Penny for your thoughts." (Why is it always a penny? Our thoughts are valuable. Should be a million bucks for your thoughts.) What's interesting is how we respond. I think we tend to dodge and weave. We don't reveal what we are thinking. We shrug it off

Perspective: You Are What You Eat

In the arsenal of what keeps us alive, food comes to the top of the list, right next to water and oxygen. Thankfully, we all have choices. Another new exciting choice is coming to McHenry County: The Food Shed Co-op, owned and operated by its owner/members. Food Shed will offer a significant percentage of products from local vendors. Here's the thing though: Owner-operated means us — you and I. I have been a Food Shed member from the beginning. My $200 membership entitled me to hang in there

Perspective: Happy 30th, WNIJ!

Happy Birthday, WNIJ! I remember when I turned 30 - well sort of. My recollection of when I started listening to WNIJ, however, is clear. In the 1990's I was living down under in Sydney, and my mate in Geneva would mail me tapes of WNIJ broadcasts — yes, cassette tapes! Programs like the Saturday Blues that Dan Klefstad curated and hosted, along with NPR news and arts features. My passion for radio kicked in, and I volunteered at a community station. Years later when I moved back to Illinois, I

Perspective: Cultural Trauma

The Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd has gone to jury and I'm numb. When the killing happened, I decided to only watch the footage of the killing once out of respect. Now I have watched this chronicle of depravity hundreds of times and it doesn't get any easier. And it's not sadness, nor anger — it's trauma. Yale sociologist Jeffrey Alexander says cultural trauma occurs when members of a group feel they have been subjected to a horrendous event that leaves indelible marks upon

Perspective: In Defense Of My Besetting Sin

Years ago in my hometown, there were only three churches: the Presbyterian, the Methodist, and the Baptist. The three ministers met every month, but there was little to discuss in such a tiny town, so they decided to liven things up by gathering to confess, to each other, their besetting sins. The Presbyterian minister said that his was lust. He was having a torrid affair with the church organist. The Methodist pastor said his was greed. He had long been stealing from the collection plate. The

Perspective: Raise The Bar On Sexual Assault

Do you remember when Al Franken resigned from Congress? A photo came to light (distributed by the subject of that photo who disagreed with Franken politically), in which Franken, a sitting Congressman, is making a joking gesture about touching the body of a sleeping woman. He's not actually touching her, but his hands hover above her and it is clear from his smile that he and all those around him consider this a hilarious prank. When this photo surfaced and stories from a checkered past began to

Perspective: The Vocabulary Of Slavery

As a specialist in Caribbean literature, I teach about slavery every year. When we read the Cuban novel, Sab , or watch Tomás Alea Gutierrez's film The Last Supper, we study the organization of plantations, how sugar cane is cut and processed and the vocabulary of slavery. At night, slaves were locked into huts called barrancos so that they would not run away. Escaped slaves formed communities known as palenques or quilombos, where they defended their freedom by recreating the villages they had

Perspective: Call Me Max

The Eanes School District of Austin, Texas is in crisis mode. Letters have gone home, and counselors have been made available. Thankfully, this did not result from a school shooting. Instead, counselors are ready to help fourth graders who may have been "traumatized" after listening to their teacher read an age-appropriate book — Call Me Max — about a transgender child. As a parent, grandparent, former teacher and former youth services library clerk, I cannot understand the mindset of certain

Perspective: A Bad Case Of Biophilia

In April sometimes, in the morning, looking into the limbs of the catalpa tree from my upstairs window, I see strange creatures that don't seem to belong. I see...wood ducks. And then I suddenly don't need coffee anymore. A duck in a tree is better than caffeine. Does that ever happen to you? Do you get a jolt of energy from a good look at a wild creature? And then do you find yourself reliving that moment, thinking, Wasn't I lucky to see that? If you do, you might be afflicted with what

Perspective: Good, Bad, Ugly

COVID-19: The good, the bad, and the ugly! The good news is I finally balanced my checkbook, updated my address book, and made out my will. My winter wardrobe has been pared down to 3 pairs of flannel pajamas and a pair of Uggs. Since I didn't "meal plan" as much as paw through the cupboards and graze through the fridge, let me just say, pajamas do lie. Salvation Army and Goodwill got some good deals from me. Some bad news: I didn't need the snow shoes, flying saucer, snow pants, down jacket and

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