For most of my adult life, I taught English to college students. I never lectured, but always engaged in lively discussions around the readings I had assigned for the day. To prepare for each day’s classes, I reread the readings, sometimes for the twentieth time, and thought about what they stirred in me that day. That allowed me to be prepared to kick off the class. After that, my students carried the rest of the time, interacting with the texts and with each other. This meant that I spent a lot of time in between classes contemplating the texts, their points of view, the questions they raised, the connections I might make to life today, and how they might or might not connect with my students.
After I retired, I lost this opportunity to think through something and then present it to others. While I continued to have deep conversations with family and friends, something was missing. This morning I realized that for me writing a blog has served a very similar function for organizing my thoughts. Knowing that most days I will be writing a couple of paragraphs about whatever is happening or is on my mind mandates that I center my musings. Without this focused outlet of writing, my brain might easily go from one tangent to another without landing on any one.
I appreciate every one who reads me whether daily or now and then. You have given me a place for my thoughts to land and an opportunity to hear back from you in comments. It has restored me to the organized inner life formerly provided to me in academia. Thanks.