Weekend Edition Sunday

Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles KuraltWeekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Weekend Edition Sunday debuted on January 18, 1987, with host Susan Stamberg. Two years later, Liane Hansen took over the host chair, a position she held for 22 years. In that time, Hansen interviewed movers and shakers in politics, science, business and the arts. Her reporting travels took her from the slums of Cairo to the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula; from the oyster beds on the bayou in Houma, La., to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park; and from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In the fall of 2011, NPR National Desk Reporter Audie Cornish began hosting the show.

Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Weekend Edition Sunday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

This week on The Howard Project, Ariel, Kevin, Taylor and Leighton talk abou...
As graduation nears, the four students of The Howard Project share the songs that have carried them through the past four years — from "He Has His Hands On You" to India.Arie's "Beautiful Surprise."

The class of 2015 is nearing graduation. For students at Howard University in Washington, D.C., that day is May 9.

Seniors are excited — and they are getting antsy.

NPR's Weekend Edition has been following four of those seniors all semester: Taylor Davis, Ariel Alford, Kevin Peterman, and Leighton Watson.

This week, the four joined NPR's Rachel Martin in our D.C. studios to talk about the songs that have formed the soundtrack to their college years.

Each student brought in two songs. Click on the audio link above to hear each talk with Martin about one of their picks, or look below both full songs.


Taylor Davis

On a moment that Lauryn Hill's "Just Like Water" reminds her of

"When I was on spring break, I went to Miami. And I went to South Beach at night. And I was having this moment just by myself with God. I was just looking at the waters. I was feeling the sand and the sky and the moon. ...

"I was just so in awe of creation and it was beautiful. When you're in a place of God's presence there's just total peace. Whenever I'm going through anything crazy at Howard, because crazy things happen all the time, whenever I can just center myself and drown in God's presence, I know that things are well and all is amazing."


Leighton Watson

On why he chose gospel singer Marvin Sapp's "He Has His Hands On You"

"I chose that song because, for me, it's important to remember that through all the ups — but then also through all the downs that we've all had while we've been here, when you're at your lowest point, and you feel like there may be no one there for you, you know that God has his hands on you. I think for me that spiritual connection and consistency kind of keeps you even throughout your experience. "


Ariel Alford

On why she brought India.Arie's "Beautiful Surprise"

"In high school, I thought that maybe there was something wrong with me because I saw too many things in the world that I spoke on and no one else seemed to speak about them. And, you know, you get alienated when you speak truth — especially when you speak truth to power. So, coming out of high school I really was like, 'Yep. There's officially something wrong with me and I'm just gonna be a loner.'

"And then, you know, I got to Howard and I really met some people — Taylor included — that are just very edifying and we're on the same wavelength. We vibrate at the same frequency. And it's really dope to have people who ponder the world in the same fashion and are interested in getting free.

"This song, you can talk about romantic relationships but a lot of my platonic friendships, especially with sisters, it goes way beyond that. It's a spiritual connection, and they were essentially beautiful surprises."


Kevin Peterman

On the meaning the song "A Change Is Gonna Come" has for him

"The first lines are simply 'I was born by the river,' and then he goes and he says, 'and I've been running ever since.'

"I think about growing up in conditions that were less than fortunate and then being able to be at Howard University. The privilege of a college education is something that I do not take for granted. And now moving on, I'm going to graduate school, going to Princeton. I feel like I've just been running. And it seems like somehow, some way ... what Leighton said earlier, you know, God had to have his hands on me. And it's just — I'm gonna keep running.

"I'm the first in my family to go to college. So, generations of generations who were denied an education — there are so many of them who are going to descend upon Washington, D.C., next month, simply because of its importance. I am truly the first to actually achieve this and we're all grateful."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sunday Puzzle....
For each word starting with "W," think of another word, also starting with "W," that can follow the first to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

On-air challenge: For each word starting with "W," think of another word, also starting with W, that can follow the first to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. Example: Walk --> Way = walkway

Last week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Peter Stein of San Francisco. Think of a job, in eight letters, that names someone who might work with actors. Change one letter in this to the following letter of the alphabet to name another person who works with actors. What jobs are these?

Answer: Promoter, prompter

Winner: Gary Grimm of Cedarburg, Wis.

Next week's challenge: The challenge comes from listener Steve Daubenspeck of Fleetwood, Pa. Take the first names of two politicians in the news. Switch the first letters of their names and read the result backward to name something that each of these politicians is not.

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A cannabis plant....
Once a symbol of the counterculture, pot is now part of the culture. In Colorado, it's part of everyday culture, raising concerns for parents and those working to keep young people away from drugs.

Public perceptions of marijuana have come a long way. Once a symbol of the counterculture, pot has become part of the culture.

In Colorado, it's part of everyday culture.

Colorado has allowed medical marijuana since 2001, but voters amended the state constitution in 2012 to allow private marijuana consumption for adults aged 21 or older. The first-ever stores to sell state-regulated recreational pot opened their doors on Jan. 1, 2014.

The law has raised serious concerns for parents and those working with kids to keep young people away from drugs.

This week on For the Record: Parenting through the pot laws.

We hear three different viewpoints from people who have close contact with kids as they wade through the new world of legalization. (Click on the audio link to hear their full stories.)

Susie Bosley, middle school health teacher, Boulder, Colo.

Bosley remembers the night Amendment 64 passed, legalizing recreational marijuana.

"In a moment of despair, that night that it passed, I even went online and was like, 'Can I do another job now? This is going to be too hard.' "

Tina Thompson, police officer with Aspen, Colo., Police Department

"The message we're really trying to give to these kids is delay, delay, delay. We're not trying to demonize marijuana. We know that our state supports it for over 21, so we just want to let these kids know that the longer they wait, the more developed their brain is and the less likely they will become addicted, or any other harmful effects of marijuana."

Julie Dooley, president, Julie's Natural Edibles, Denver, Colo.

"It's a different kind of conversation than maybe we had with our parents 40 years ago, where it was bad, it was unknown. We didn't know where you got it, where was it grown. My family, they're very respectful of cannabis. They see it as a medicine and they see it as something that can definitely help people in extraordinary ways."

My Takeaways

First, honestly, I had no idea there were so many edible pot products out there — chocolate, soda, even potato chips. Sure the law prohibits people under 21 years of age to use marijuana, but the preponderance of these kinds of products would rightfully worry some parents.

Second, Thompson called this generation of teens in Colorado "guinea pigs." It's really unclear how the law will change their marijuana use and what long-term impact that will have.

Finally, students in Colorado are getting inundated with information about pot — marketing messages, prevention messages, conversations with parents. These kids are going to know a whole lot more about pot than other kids around the country because of this law.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.