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.

Which Really Came First?

Feb 6, 2015

Want to know which came first, the chicken or the egg? I’ll tell you because I know. This is not a trick to keep you listening, I actually do have the answer.

Ever since I became a chicken owner, I have become increasingly aware of how difficult it is to discuss my flock. Not because this area of animal husbandry is particularly complex; in fact, the opposite is true. Tending chickens is so primal, so basic, that it defies metaphor itself.

What Can I Do Each Day?

Feb 5, 2015

When I was young my neighborhood extended to the end of the block – we kids knew the good or bad of everyone.  Today my neighborhood is the world, with unlimited boundaries and scopes for my imagination.

Now more than ever, the actions of one can and will touch many lives and the ripple will be beyond my view.  Living in this world requires a different sense of accountability for my behavior.  I no longer act alone.

Leaders Must Address Our Plight

Feb 4, 2015

Bruce Rauner is now governor.  He inherited‎, and thus we face, a budgetary crisis.   Both national and regional news media have described our plight in detail, and in depressing terms.

The current budget will expire in June and, unless something is done we will face a huge deficit.  Actually, things might get much worse, since the temporary income tax increase has expired.   Either spending must be cut, taxes must increase, or both. Otherwise we will face a rolling disaster.

A Standard For Student Dreams

Feb 3, 2015

I teach American History to seventh-graders. With a zest for life and no care about Common Core Standards, students cut to the chase. Why learn obscure facts? Why show text evidence and analyze primary sources? Common Core states I have to teach these things. So I do. But I teach more.

Teaching American History reaches beyond facts and skills. Kids need to understand and actively live out their own American Dreams—to create worlds that do not exist yet.

Are You Really Listening?

Jan 30, 2015

Stephen Hawking, a brilliant mind trapped in a paralyzed body, made this observation:
 

"For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen."

Well, genius as he is, I have to say Mr. Hawking was only half right.

People certainly have learned how to talk (and talk and talk and talk), but I am not so sure they really know how to listen.

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