Perspectives

Did you miss an essay from your favorite "Perspectives" writer? Want to hear it again? Scroll down to find a complete archive of our "Perspectives" essays. You'll find the most recent at the top.

To find out more about each writer, click on his or her name at the bottom of each entry.

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.

Northern Public Radio invites you to comment on or respond to any Perspective in the comments section at the bottom of each article, in keeping with our Discussion Policy.

Let The Summer Games Begin

13 hours ago

Can you believe it? Summer is right around the corner. Time to start thinking about our kids’ summer activities. Summer camp, Little League and, much to some of our chagrin, video games.

My kid loves video games. It started with Super Mario Brothers. Then came the Minecraft era. Now he is obsessed with Overwatch on X-Box One that allows you to play online. I occasionally watch him play, noting his amazing dexterity and rapt attention while winning battles against a cast of crazy fictional characters I can neither name nor explain. 

Defining My Own Family

Apr 21, 2017

A Rockford-area organization has, for several years, been active in promoting families, and that's a good thing. What isn't good is its insistence on narrowly defining its idea of a family -- a married man and woman and their children.
 

Some organizations, often with "family" in their name, seem obsessed with their own idea of what they call a "natural" family and will often put derisive quotation marks around the word when commenting upon those which don't neatly fit their traditional religious views.

Finding What Will Suffice

Apr 20, 2017

Wallace Stevens begins his poem “Of Modern Poetry” like this:

The poem of the mind in the act of finding
What will suffice.

He meditates on the nature of poetry and concludes:

It must
Be the finding of a satisfaction, and may
Be of a man skating, a woman dancing, a woman
Combing. The poem of the act of the mind.

I enjoy spending time with words carefully chosen -- words that seek to find “what will suffice.” It is an implicit recognition that language can only approach and never fully arrive at its destination.

A Baby Is A Sign Of Hope

Apr 19, 2017

A few weeks ago I became a grandmother for the first time. Our daughter, Rebekah, gave birth to an adorable and healthy baby girl. Rebekah and Mike had worked hard for this magic moment, enduring three infertility interventions.

The week of her scheduled inducement, people across our family and in our faith community were holding this family in prayer. In a world which seems more and more inhospitable, anxious, and even dangerous, we all need to be reassured that good things still happen that bring joy.

Seasonal Firsts Bring Joy

Apr 18, 2017

In a completely unscientific way, I’m fascinated by the science of phenology.

Phenology -- with a ph -- is the study of cyclical and seasonal phenomena. I think of it as the science of first arrivals.

The end of winter is the time to watch for such arrivals. For instance, on or about March first every year, I see my first bluebird. Except for this year, when I saw my first bluebird on January 17.

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