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.

Facts And Science Deserve Attention

Jun 28, 2017

Do I really need to point out that facts are true and “alternative facts” are lies? Real news is not fake and fake news is not real, though both exist. 

I feel sorry for Fact Checkers these days. They must be exhausted, many succumbing to PFSD (Post-Fact Stress Disorder).

History Repeats Itself

Jun 27, 2017

When I was in middle school, I climbed 30 feet up into weeping willow by the banks of the Kishwaukee River. A branch broke, and I plummeted head first to the ground.

I broke both my arms, enjoyed whiplash, compression fractures in my spine, and a concussion. I also carved all the gums off my bottom teeth. It was a gory sight. When he came to see me in the hospital, my wiseacre grandpa said, “What were you doing climbing a willow tree? Don’t you know willow trees have soft wood?”

It’s Time To Start Doing Right Again

Jun 26, 2017

On May 28, Oregon High School graduated 131 students of the Class of 2017.  And, like previous graduation ceremonies, I sat on stage and wondered where we had done right by these kids, and where we could have done better.

And by “we,” I don’t just mean the adults in the Oregon school district. I also mean the adults in charge of Illinois state government.

Is This Dr. Baker's Final Lesson?

Jun 23, 2017

The NIU community is still processing and trying to make sense of President Doug Baker’s resignation.

And don’t worry, I am not here to impose my own opinion on you. There are plenty of opinions to go around. What I do want, however, is to do what educators always do—identify and extract the teachable moment.

No matter where you stand with regards to this crisis, one thing is undeniable: President Baker’s final decision as the leader of our university demonstrates and puts into action what we expect from our leaders.

Animals Can Be Truly Amazing

Jun 22, 2017

Recently, I picked up a saved 2008 National Geographic magazine with the title, “Inside Animal Minds.” It described years of animal cognitive research.

The cover featured “Betsy,” a Border Collie who, at six years old, had a vocabulary of 340 words and counting. She also could link photographs with the objects they represent.

We know that animals such as elephants, chimps, and dolphins have social and communication skills, but did you know that crows can solve problems and use tools? That was once thought the sole domain of primates.

Pages