Thursday, June 20, 2013

Atrophy

Atrophy--the word that has been on my mind all too often as of late. It sits back there like the incessant buzz of a fly over my head while I'm trying to take a nap. Alright, enough of the lame similes, but in all honesty atrophy has been on my mind a lot lately, not so much the word as much as the concept.

As of this post I have been in an intellectual limbo for a little more than a year now. At least that's how I feel. After graduating from BYU in April 2012, I found myself slipping into a dangerous level of cognitive inactivity brought on by the lack of interesting classes to take or a job that challenged me to think creatively and solve problems. This was the very reason I went back to school in the first place. I didn't want to get stuck in a job that didn't require me to think, or worse, a job that didn't challenge me at all. This idea of atrophy has weighed more and more heavily on my mind and my spirit as time has gone by, so I decided to try to do something about it.

Perhaps cognitive inactivity is small exaggeration. I still read. I still follow politics and news and think about the problems we face in this modern world. I still try to inform myself. But there is a serious lack of a forum for me to express my thoughts or a reason to wrestle with a concept or problem and really wrap my mind around it. Once, for a few months I felt this as I did a long-term substitute assignment earlier this year where I was effectively the teacher because let's face it, most substitute jobs consist of watching the same videos (educational or otherwise) ad nauseam or sitting students down to do packets. Not the most challenging job. Those two or three months as a long-term sub were nice, but now I feel an itch, a pulling toward rediscovering habits of writing and learning that I have been too lazy or to distracted to continue.

My proposal, a promise to myself more than anything, is this. Write. If I can't write daily, at least 5 days a week should be enough. Read. Read more actively. In other words do more than just read. Ask questions, find answers, analyze, interpret. All that stuff I was doing in college. Learn. Take on new topics that I am curious about and teach myself, and share on this blog the things that I am learning and the path I take to do it.

Hopefully this works for me. My first project for myself is the study up on Nietzsche.  I've learned a little about his philosophies but I'm curious to know more. Additionally I've got several books lined up that I plan on reading and sharing excerpts and impressions as I go along.

To find these different posts, look at the tabs at the top of the page. On the Home page I will post regular topics and daily information and any miscellaneous posts that don't fit in the other tabs.

What I hope to gain from this: Strengthen lifelong learning habits, clarity in thinking and analyzing, greater ease in expression, and form a daily writing habit.

Please, if you would like to comment or question or answer anything that I write on this blog, you are more than welcome to do so. I appreciate insight and different points of view.


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