Something I'm Passionate About: Education

Greetings, Pete's Paleo fans!  Sarah E. here. I know you've heard a lot from me lately, and I wanted to give you a little bit more of an introduction to me! I'm a 29 year-old attorney living in Eastern Tennessee. The love of my life is a little wire haired Jack Russell named Wally, and I'm seriously passionate about food (in case you haven't realized that through my posts yet!). I ate a standard American diet until about two years ago when I got introduced to the Paleo way of life. After a false start, I came back around after 6 months to go full fledged paleo, eating gluten free 100% of the time, and paleo about 80% of the time. I drooled over Pete's meals as an easy way to get a healthy and nutritious meal without doing the work. Once I finally ordered, I was completely hooked, and my love for Pete's landed me here on the blog!

As a little bit more of an intro to me, something I am really passionate about, and wanted to write about today, is education.

I have been incredibly lucky and blessed to receive a formal education after high school. Various life circumstances allowed me to start with a bachelors degree, and then I went on to get my law degree, and after a few years of practicing law, I went back for an MBA. (I'm not sure if that makes me sound smart or completely crazy!) I spent many years of my life in a classroom or in the library studying, and I find that it gives me so much purpose to have a syllabus, a textbook, a notebook, and an exam schedule. The structure of education is such a beautiful arc - in the course of just a few months, you'll have studied and learned a great deal, enough to be able to speak intelligently about a single subject. But while I'm passionate about formal education, I'm also passionate about informal education. I do think that formal education is important, and if you want that degree, you should try for it - but education isn't just about going to campus or going online and taking classes for a grade!

I saw a little quip once that asked how we would explain the Internet to our great-grandparents. The response was that we have little pocket-sized machines that go with us everywhere, and have access to pretty much all the information available in the world in real time. And when we are asked what we do with it, the response is that we use it to argue with strangers and look up pictures of cats. Ha! Now, I have no room to talk there - I'm just as guilty as anyone else of looking up funny memes and sometimes getting into it with strangers on the comments. (My journey toward less stress has guided me away from those arguments, though!) But lately, I've been trying to focus on using the Internet for increasing my knowledge. We have incredible access to vast amounts of information, and when we are able to cull through the false information and stretches of the truth, there is a world of education available to us with just a few clicks.

Lately, I've been doing research on adrenal fatigue syndrome. It fascinates me - the idea that there is a condition called hypoadrenia that is not yet recognized as a medical condition by the people writing the ICD codes, but seems to have very real symptoms in people. At what point does it go from bunk science to credible theory to a medical diagnosis? I also love reading the news (though I tend to gloss over the negative things - again with the less stress journey!), and one of my guilty pleasures is the gossip rags. Not really a useful education unless you're into trivia, but hey - it's a small part of history, right? I also love the human interest stories, and learning the psychology of what makes people tick. Researching recipes and new ingredients is another passion - I love watching Chopped because of all the unique ingredients they introduce in the baskets, and I love eating Pete's meals for the same reason. Countries and cultures is another topic that holds my interest - I'm quite poorly traveled (all that time in the classroom hindered my means to travel), so I read voraciously about worlds beyond my own. I also love finding out bits of history, and weaving those pieces together to find out what life was like in another time and place. It truly amazes me to think about how easy it is to get an answer to almost any question just by typing it in the search bar of your internet browser. I spend more time than I'd like to admit in the rabbit hole of the Internet, jumping from topic to topic, learning as much as I can.

I think that we as people have an ethical responsibility to learn as much as we can about as many things as we can, especially with all the access to information we have. Do you agree? What are your favorite topics to learn? Where do you get your best pieces of research?  What motivates you to look up random facts? Tell me below!

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