Change of Perspective

Musings on Writing, Reading, and Life Narratives

Fiction writers and literary critics speak of point of view. Social scientists are more likely to discuss perspective. But both of these terms refer to essentially the same construct: the consciousness behind the perception and narration of experience. Each individual’s point of view is unique, and point of view shapes the stories people tell to themselves and to others about themselves and their relationships with their environment. The same event narrated from two different perspectives will produce two different stories.

A change of perspective can expand our perception and reframe our thinking about our experiences. We can all benefit from an occasional change of perspective.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Change of Perspective Is Moving!

New URL:

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The Backstory

Blogger will be discontinuing support of its platform for blogs not hosted by its companion site, Blogspot. I have therefore changed to using WordPress, a version of which is available through my hosting service, Dreamhost.

Since the old and new blogs are in different subdirectories, this blog will remain in place here, at least for a while, but it will be static. All new posts will go to the new blog. I apologize for the inconvenience and hope to see you at the new location.


Monday, February 15, 2010

The Official Susan B. Anthony House

The Official Susan B. Anthony House:

Today is the birthday of foremother Susan B. Anthony, who changed America's perspective on a lot of issues, particularly a woman's right to vote.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Different Perspective on American History

Howard Zinn, Historian, Dies at 87 - Obituary (Obit) -

Professor Howard Zinn is probably best known for his revisionist history book A People's History of the United States, published in 1980. When my daughter was in high school about 15 years ago, I was quite impressed that her history class was reading this anti-establishment book, which offers a perspective on American history decidedly different from the standard fare.

In the late 1960s I was an undergraduate at Boston University, one of the most politically active campuses in the U.S. Prof. Zinn was a standard fixture at just about every protest march and rally, so I was not surprised to find the following in this obituary:

Professor Zinn retired [from Boston University] in 1988, spending his last day of class on the picket line with students in support of an on-campus nurses’ strike. Over the years, he continued to lecture at schools and to appear at rallies and on picket lines.

Yep, that's exactly how I remember Howard Zinn.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Knowing Is Better Than Not Knowing

John is a friend of mine from college. We haven’t seen each other in nearly 40 years, but we have annually exchanged Christmas cards, letters, and photos. Last week the card I sent to John this past Christmas came back with “deceased--return to sender” hand written on the envelope.

Stunned and saddened, I cranked up Google and searched for John’s full name and the city where he lives. Near the bottom of the results page I found a link to a Facebook page for people who had formerly worked at one of John’s past employers. On that page was a posting about John’s death, followed by information about his funeral. I sent a message to the poster, and he kindly replied with the details. Through Google I was also able to pull up John’s obituary from his home-town newspaper.

Lots of people complain that we’re living in an age of TMI (too much information) and erosion of privacy. On occasion I am one of those people. But in this situation I was grateful for the ability to find something out. Granted, my knowing how John died does not change the fact of his death. But somehow, just knowing how he died made me feel a bit better. If there were no Internet, I would just have known that John had died, and that would have been all. So, at least in this case, I appreciate all the information that’s floating around “out there.”

Because, sometimes, knowing is better than not knowing.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Quotations of the Day

"You have to start by changing the story you tell yourself about getting older... The minute you say to yourself, 'Time is everything, and I'm going to make sure that time is used the way I dream it should be used,' then you've got a whole
different story."

--Diane Sawyer

"I shall not grow conservative with age."

--Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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01/02/2010: Backward and forward, this date is lining up as a rarity

Local News | 01/02/2010: Backward and forward, this date is lining up as a rarity | Seattle Times Newspaper:

The date 01/02/2010 is a palindrome: A rare confluence of month, date and year that reads the same backward as forward.

The last palindrome date was Oct. 2, 2001. But before that, more than six centuries passed since the numerals last aligned on Aug. 31, 1380.

'They are very rare,' said Aziz Inan, a numbers-obsessed professor of electrical engineering at the University of Portland.

Read more about this numbers-obsessed professor here.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Marilyn French, Novelist and Champion of Feminism, Dies at 79

Marilyn French, Novelist and Champion of Feminism, Dies at 79 - Obituary (Obit) -

Marilyn French, a writer and feminist activist whose debut novel, ‘The Women’s Room,’ propelled her into a leading role in the modern feminist movement, died on Saturday in Manhattan. She was 79 and lived in Manhattan. . . .

With steely views about the treatment of woman and a gift for expressing them on the printed page, Ms. French transformed herself from an academic who quietly bristled at the expectations of married women in the post-World War II era to a leading, if controversial, opinionmaker on gender issues who decried the patriarchal society she saw around her. ‘My goal in life is to change the entire social and economic structure of Western civilization, to make it a feminist world,’ she once declared.

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