this I believe

Local Features
2:26 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

This I Believe Rhode Island: Curiosity

What National Public Radio listeners have in common is a keen interest in ideas, intellectual curiosity, and a thirst for knowledge. But where does this need to know come from? What makes us curious? In this encore essay, Mary Baker reflects on the roots of her own insatiable curiosity, which, interestingly, began with a childhood visit to the zoo.

Mary Baker is an anthropology professor at Rhode Island College. She has a special interest in understanding what factors influence patterns of behavior among white-faced capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica and in the conservation of nonhuman primates.

Local Features
5:53 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

This I Believe Rhode Island: Winter

Diasemation2-Gabriel Warren

Here we are, right smack in the heart of another New England winter.  For some, this stretch of months with early sunsets is filled with dread -- frosty temperatures, snow piles to shovel, and ice patches to dodge.  But for others of us, this wintry mix is the stuff of pure delight.  As the poet Robert Frost wrote, "You can't get too much winter in the winter."  And we hear similar sentiments from Gabriel Warren.

Gabriel Warren is a sculptor living in both South County, Rhode Island and Nova Scotia, Canada.  Warren works primarily in sheet metals and is especially interested in juxtaposing elements that refer to the natural world and man-made objects.

Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

This I Believe Rhode Island: Heroes

Everyone needs at least a hero or two as we travel through life.  Whether they're up close or remote, true heroes have the capacity to inspire, and to move us in directions that once may have seemed unimaginable.  The nineteenth-century Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle once wrote, "Hero-worship is the deepest root of all; the tap-root, from which in a great degree all the rest were nourished and grown."  Dominique Velociter shares her more contemporary insights about the meaning of heroes in our lives.

Dominique Velociter immigrated to the United States from Paris in 1985. She founded the French-American School of Rhode Island in 1994 in her home with her daughters among its first students. In 2012 Velociter was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

This I Believe Rhode Island: Utilitarianism

iPad. iPhone. Skype. Droid. Bluetooth. Many of us are old enough to remember that a text is something to read rather than do, tablets had 10 commandments on them rather than wi-fi connections, and a tweet is the sound made by a bird rather than a digital verb. Some of us yearn for simpler days when the word communication wasn't preceded by the letter "e," or perhaps we embrace with gusto today's electronic bells, whistles, and imperative. As we hear in this encore essay, for Caleb Woodhouse the relationship between yesteryear and yesterday is quite complex.

Caleb Woodhouse is a 1954 graduate of Brown University and a retired history teacher. He lives and rides his bicycle in Little Compton, Rhode Island with his wife Alessandra.

Local Features
4:15 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

This I Believe Rhode Island: Keeping Safe

Isn’t it sad that the daily news seems filled with distressing stories about vicious assaults, cyber bullying, domestic violence, schoolyard brawls, and workplace conflict?  Whether there’s been an actual increase in such incidents is debatable, of course, especially given the speed with which modern news circulates.  But there’s no denying that personal safety is on our minds – a lot.   As the Roman philosopher Cicero wrote more than 2,000 years ago, “The safety of the people is the highest law.”  And we hear similar sentiments from Michael Obel-Omia.

Michael Obel-Omia is Interim Head of School at the Compass School in North Kingston and an adjunct faculty member in the University of Rhode Island School of Education.  He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island with his wife and three children.

Local Features
7:24 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

This I Believe Rhode Island: Getting Up Early

You know those middle-of-the-night or early-morning awakenings when your senses are unusually sharp? The slightest sounds take on new meaning, or perhaps otherwise fleeting thoughts become intrusive. Solitude and silence, although sometimes disquieting, seem to invite deep reflection and unusually intense awareness. As Henry David Thoreau says in Walden, “I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”  And we hear echoes of these sentiments from Erik Wilker.

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Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

This I Believe Rhode Island: A Good Scare

No one wants to be scared to death, at least not literally.  No one yearns for those dreaded moments when the telephone rings in the middle of the night with bad news, we barely escape a near-fatal car accident, or a loved one survives horrifyingly high-risk surgery.  Yet, for all sorts of mysterious reasons, some of us are drawn toward more benign forms of fright.  Some of us even seek opportunities to put a bit of scare in our lives.  And that’s just what we hear from Tracey Minkin.

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Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

This I Believe Rhode Island: Roger Williams

Seasoned Rhode Islanders know that Roger Williams' legacy runs deep.  His remarkably insightful seventeenth-century sentiments about religious freedom, oppression, and tolerance seem especially relevant today, several centuries later.  There’s no doubt that Williams’ place in the Ocean State's history is woven inextricably into our fabric. And, as Mike Fink notes, Roger Williams lives in our hearts as well.

 

Mike Fink is an English professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. He has produced columns in a wide range of local and national magazines and earned the Providence Journal's Metcalf Award and the National Conference for Community Justice Award, as well as the Never Again Award for journalism.

Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

This I Believe Rhode Island: Responding to Crisis

Family crises.  Everyone faces them at one time or another.  Death.  Serious illness.  Emotional meltdowns.  No one wants them, of course, but all of us know that occasional crises are part of life’s complicated package.  And how we respond in these dreaded moments says a lot about who we are.  In a speech he delivered in Indianapolis, former President John F. Kennedy said, “When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”  And these are the very sentiments we hear from a very wise 13-year-old, Maddi Murphy.

Maddi Murphy is a student at The Gordon School in East Providence. She lives in Barrington with her parents and older brother and sister, along with two very special Bassett Hounds, Elvis and Priscilla.

Local Features
6:36 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

This I Believe Rhode Island: The Power of No

Listeners of a certain age will recall a popular war-on-drugs campaign that featured the tag line, Just Say No.  It began several decades ago when former First Lady Nancy Reagan uttered the phrase while visiting an Oakland, California elementary school, when Mrs. Reagan advised a schoolgirl how to respond if offered drugs.  But beneath what may seem like a throwaway cliche is a powerful message about how all of us respond to life's temptations, whether they're constructive and appealing or downright sinister.  As we hear from Nancy Kirsch, saying no is one thing; taking the time to explore the alternative -- just say yes -- is quite another.

Nancy Kirsch has worked as a lobbyist, corporate lawyer and, most recently, as editor of The Jewish Voice, the newspaper of record for Rhode Island’s Jewish community. An award-winning writer, she is engaged in freelance work. Kirsch lives in Providence.

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