Dusting off the “Thinking Cap”

by danielagins

I used to like to think. In my early twenties I filled up pages and pages of a pretentious looking “journal” with my ideas about the things that twenty-something undergrads taking classes on Modernism think about.

Pretentious Journal

You know: Nietzsche, Freud, Baudelaire, T.S. Eliot, all the fun stuff. I have found that I no longer think as much. I have become lazy. Sure, I am still in love with the concept of thinking but when it comes to the act . . .


It occurred to me recently, amid a fury of self-doubt cast upon me by comparing myself to my newfound peers in the twitterverse, that while I am a decent educator, I am far from where I want to be. In the last six years I have become complacent. I have rested upon the fact that I know that I am trying to be a teacher who makes his students think. Early on in my career thinking felt natural because I was doing it on a daily basis. Crafting lessons, synthesizing ideas, and weighing out the pros and cons of an activity were my routine. It was extraordinarily time-consuming. Seven days a week. Naturally, as I got more comfortable with the topics and concepts I was covering, the amount of time I put in to thinking about things began to wane. Additionally, in the past six years I bought a house (5 years), got married (3.5 years), buried my younger brother (2 years), and became a father (5 months). “Thinking” gave way to everyday affairs. I have decided to reintegrate “thinking” into my life.

Which bring me to this blog. The title is a work in progress. It is really hard to figure out how you want to “brand” yourself online. The concept is still new to me, but I recognize the importance. I am going to try to use this blog as a means of forcing myself to reflect upon all aspects of my life. I am going to use it to think. Herein lies my new pretentious journal. This one is a bit less aesthetic, you know, no dried banana leaves as a cover and whatnot, but hopefully the outcome will be the same. The writings in my tactile journal of yore helped me to sort the uncertainty of my early to mid twenties. Perhaps this blog will help me make sense of my thirty-something struggles. The big difference is that no one else has read the writings in my twenty-something journal. I used to re-read them and think they were pretty good, but I suppose I was a bit biased there. This is open to the world for criticism, praise, support, and indifference. To quote my favorite author, “And so it goes . . .”