All I Do Is Think
The song was written by Michael Lovesmith and Brian Holland (formerly of the popular songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland). The lyrics are from the viewpoint of a boy talking about how he fell in love with a girl at his school, and how he is always thinking about her.
All I Do is Think
In response, we developed an approach we call the "five C's of historical thinking." The concepts of change over time, causality, context, complexity, and contingency, we believe, together describe the shared foundations of our discipline. They stand at the heart of the questions historians seek to answer, the arguments we make, and the debates in which we engage. These ideas are hardly new to professional historians. But that is precisely their value: They make our implicit ways of thought explicit to the students and teachers whom we train. The five C's do not encompass the universe of historical thinking, yet they do provide a remarkably useful tool for helping students at practically any level learn how to formulate and support arguments based on primary sources, as well as to understand and challenge historical interpretations related in secondary sources. In this article, we define the five C's, explain how each concept helps us to understand the past, and provide some brief examples of how we have employed the five C's when teaching teachers. Our approach is necessarily broad and basic, characteristics well suited for a foundation upon which we invite our colleagues from kindergartens to research universities to build.
In our own classes, we have taught context using an assignment that we call "Fact, Fiction, or Creative Memory." In this exercise, students wrestle with a given source and determine whether it is primarily a work of history, fiction, or memory. We have asked students to bring in a present-day representation of 1950s life and explain what it teaches people today about life in 1950s America. Then, we have asked the class to discuss if the representation is a historically fair depiction of the era. We have also assigned textbook passages and Don DeLillo's Pafko at the Wall, then asked students to compare them to decide which offers stronger insights into the character of Cold War America.4 Each of these assignments addresses context, because each asks students to think about the distinctions between representations of the past and the critical thinking about the past that is history. Moreoever, each asks students to weave together a variety of sources and assess the reliability of each before incorporating them into a whole.
Contingency demands that students think deeply about past, present, and future. It offers a powerful corrective to teleology, the fallacy that events pursue a straight-arrow course to a pre-determined outcome, since people in the past had no way of anticipating our present world. Contingency also reminds us that individuals shape the course of human events. What if Karl Marx had decided to elude Prussian censors by emigrating to the United States instead of France, where he met Frederick Engels? To assert that the past is contingent is to impress upon students the notion that the future is up for grabs, and that they bear some responsibility for shaping the course of future history.
Moral, epistemological, and causal complexity distinguish historical thinking from the conception of "history" held by many non-historians.6 Re-enacting battles and remembering names and dates require effort but not necessarily analytical rigor. Making sense of a messy world that we cannot know directly, in contrast, is more confounding but also more rewarding.
Chronicles distill intricate historical processes into a mere catalogue, while nostalgia conjures an uncomplicated golden age that saves us the trouble of having to think about the past. Our own need for order can obscure our understanding of how past worlds functioned and blind us to the ways in which myths of rosy pasts do political and cultural work in the present. Reveling in complexity rather than shying away from it, historians seek to dispel the power of chronicle, nostalgia, and other traps that obscure our ability to understand the past on its own terms.
Anytime someone is mean online, does that count as cyberbullying? And how is cyberbullying different from what we might call, for lack of a better term, regular old in-person bullying? These are great questions for our students to be thinking about -- especially when they're learning about cyberbullying or digital citizenship.
To find out what kids think about these issues, I visited Cathy Montag's fifth grade classroom in San Ramon, California. On the day of my visit, the class was using the Common Sense Education digital citizenship lesson Is It Cyberbulling?, and they were kind enough to let me sit in and observe.
Listening to her students share their thoughts and personal experiences was an eye-opening look into how kids today think about cyberbullying as well as other types of online meanness. As the school day ended and her students filed out the door, Cathy and I sat down to chat. I wanted to know what she thought about the lesson and why she feels cyberbullying is important for elementary school-age students to discuss in school.
Cathy: Yeah, I think sometimes the kids don't necessarily have a clear idea of what bullying really is. But it definitely happens. And I think it happens without people knowing that they're doing it.
I think [for kids to] understand the "why" is really important. Why are these people doing this? Maybe they've got something going on in their life. You ultimately have a lot of control over you and how you feel and how you spend your time. And if somebody is spending their time doing that to you, maybe they don't have a lot of control in their life, and [bullying] is where they try to have control.
C: It really is. Because what do they do when they go home? They just log on. And part of me feels really responsible. We use Seesaw, which I love because it's kind of like they're practicing in social media. I approve things before they post. And if I don't approve it, we have a conversation about it. I'm not encouraging kids to be kind online just because it sounds like the right thing to do. I take that opportunity to say, Hey, this is why this is important or This is why I couldn't approve your post or your comment. Hopefully they'll take the feedback and think about it later on. They're learning certain behaviors just from miscellaneous people online. They really need somebody to keep them grounded.
That's also why I dropped the line [into the lesson], You're not supposed to be on Instagram [at your age]. But the reality is that they are, and they tell me, Oh, you just put in any birthday or any name [to get an account]. And so that's another conversation. I think having that reality check is important.
J: In the lesson, you asked the kids to think about if someone could be a bully, but only in a particular situation. Sort of this question of identity versus behavior. What did you think about how they responded to that?
And you know, they've seen me [moderating] the other backchannel. It was delete, delete, delete. They know that stuff gets deleted. They know I'm watching, but at the same time, I think there's a level of trust, too. As an educator, you have to have that with your students. You're not going to be as successful with your lesson if kids are worrying that you're going to call them out on what they said on Padlet.
C: Yes, it does. And I think it's good to have a safe space to just talk about this. Like, tell me about some weird things that have happened to you and how did you respond? And I think we need to be open to what the kids say and not be judgmental. And [expose] them a little bit, too: Here are some things that are going on, here's something to look out for, and here are some things that you could do if you see this happening. It's an important job for us, to have a little bit of influence in getting them to make the right choices and be safe.
Furthermore, recent research suggests that hyperpalatable foods not only stimulate the hedonic pathway in your brain but also might even encourage addiction-like behaviors, such as thinking about food more than usual (13, 14, 15, 16).
If you want to get started with a daily or weekly exercise routine as a way to stop thinking about food, it may be best to start with moderate intensity activities and slowly build up to incorporating more vigorous activities.
There are many tips and techniques you can try to stop thinking about food, but not every technique will work for everyone. Thus, it may take some experimenting to figure out how to best suppress your own food thoughts.
If you think about the past with the same intensity after a while, then you might be ruminating. Depending on other symptoms you may or may not have, a mental health professional may give you a specific diagnosis like anxiety or OCD.
"There are different risk stratifications for exposure, some being higher than others, so it's really important to contact your healthcare provider if you think you've been exposed," explains Dr. Miller.
Anyone who develops an unexplained rash, especially if it's accompanied by fever or swollen lymph nodes, should contact their healthcare provider, even if they don't think they've had contact with someone who has monkeypox.
No. In the book [I say] that cats behave toward us in a way that's indistinguishable from [how] they would act toward other cats. They do think we're clumsy: Not many cats trip over people, but we trip over cats.
Cats learn specifically how their owners react when they make particular noises. So if the cat thinks, 'I want to get my owner from the other room,' it works to vocalize. They use straightforward learning. (Learn about National Geographic's Little Kitties for Big Cats initiative.)
Acknowledge that cats are sociable animals to a point, but not sociable to the extent that dogs are. A lot of people who have one cat decide they would like to have another cat, thinking two cats are twice as much fun. But the cats may not see it that way. 041b061a72