From Lit Youngstown co-director Karen Schubert:
NPR is an organizing principle in my life.
It’s true—I set my alarm to go off during Morning Edition. When I’m feeling resistant to getting up, I give myself a two stories delay. I save cooking projects for the hours when my favorite shows are on the kitchen radio: The Splendid Table, The TED Radio Hour, Fresh Air, All Things Considered. Early Saturdays now start with my number one best show, On the Media.
I’m an avid reader and returned to college as a nontraditional student, staying for three degrees. Even so, I’ve learned more about the world from NPR than from any other source. Politics, to be sure, but also science, economics, history, the arts, culture, travel, music (classical, jazz, folk, pop, blues)… everything from ants to zambonis.
But politics—public radio is the best source, bar none. That’s why some NPR listeners identify themselves as conservatives, and some liberals. This election, we’ve learned about policy proposals, the horse race, the biographies, and so much more. I believe that I have to know things I’m not really interested in, to be an informed citizen, and NPR makes it un-painful to learn.
I found public radio when I was a young stay-at-home mom, starving for intellectual stimulation. We listened continuously as my kids grew up. One morning in Wisconsin, the guest on a talk show was Frances Hamerstrom, author of Walk When the Moon is Full. My daughter called in to tell Ms. Hamerstrom how much her book meant to us.
Even now, so many of the conversations I’m in begin with “I heard on NPR…” I have my radio dial set to WYSU, and when I drive to visit my now-grown daughter in Cuyahoga Falls, I switch to WKSU right after the Meander Reservoir. Today I arrived a bit tearful after a story about the uptick in organ donation resulting from the opioid epidemic.
As the co-director of Lit Youngstown, I am exceedingly grateful to WYSU for including our events on the Community Calendar, and for all of the literary arts programming, including first-rate interviews by National Humanities Medalist Terry Gross. Who can forget Terry’s interview with Maurice Sendak? How much more poignant, now that he’s gone.
No matter how broke I am, I always give something to my local public radio station. The service is valuable beyond measure, and along with my modest donation I send my undying gratitude.