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.

The Problem With Judging On Looks

Feb 24, 2017

We are often told to never judge a book by its cover. My corollary to that axiom is, “Never judge an intellect by its occupation.”
 

For several years, I was the dump keeper for a small community in Wisconsin. Recyclable items such as magazines would be brought to the site as well. During periods of inactivity, I would often take the opportunity to read material dropped off by local residents.

I have discovered the problem with “some people.”

And, once I realized it, I couldn’t help but think that it was so obvious all along. So here it is: The problem with “some people” is the very identifier itself -- “some people.”

The moment an observation begins, “well, some people believe …” or “some people do not like …,” the person hearing such an observation ought to be skeptical.

It is similar, in my mind, to how the phrase that begins “I’m not being sexist, but …” is always followed by a sexist comment. Note I said similar, not the same.

A Tale Of Two Immigants

Feb 22, 2017

America, the “Land of Opportunity,” has drawn endless immigrants to our shores. My family story connects this dream of the future to a unique story of the past.

In the late 1800s in Stavanger, Norway, Grandfather Abraham could not inherit the family farm as a younger son. Other sons of Norway had found good work and land possibilities in America, so he followed suit. He worked for three years on ranches in the Dakotas, saved enough money to get back to Norway, find a bride, and pursue his dream.

The Magic Of Making Maple Syrup

Feb 21, 2017

My sap is running. And, oh, it feels glorious.

Out my window I see my Norway Maples dressed in blue synthetic skirts. Those blue skirts hang from half-inch spiles, and these spiles drill into the sapwood of the maples, delivering the goodness drip by drip into the blue receptacles.

Historic Lesson For Current President

Feb 20, 2017

I’m drawn to presidential history, because I find the relationship between presidential personalities and the complexities of that high office fascinating.

As is often the case with those who rise to high stations, the personalities are often a complex mixture of high talent, intellect, ego, and ambition coupled to deep flaws.

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