I was very pleased to see the enthusiasm over Calvin’s self-experimentation and ultimate astounding success as passed along in my post yesterday.
Indeed, there’s really something about young folks getting it. Just think how much they have leapfrogged the whole nasty ordeal us older folks had to learn by the hard way. They have it all good: if already lean, they enjoy better health & energy and likely don’t go down in sickness very often (I myself haven’t had so much as a cold since I can remember) or eventually get fat & ugly. If they’re fat, their metabolism still retains enough gusto to quickly reverse things quickly. It’ll be like it never happened. Tuck that bullshit away in away in a file & forget for life.
That the young folks are naturally rebellious to authority, as they should be in my view, makes it all to the better. …Because, this is really real, and as such, can become a permanent part of simply the way they live. And it will rub off. Inevitably, it will.
So today I have young Matt to put before you. This is not about diet or exercise advice, because it sounds to me as though Matt is already far beyond that and in so doing, has ushered in a whole lot of other questions for himself. As I try to highlight often on this blog, it’s not just how you eat, move, and rest, it’s how you think and how that translates to your interactions in society and the goals and objectives you hold for yourself.
So let’s hear from high school junior Matt Himelfarb.
I’ve emailed you in the past regarding paleo-related issues, but I know you still occasionally delve into other issues, and I could use your advice on a totally different animal. Appreciate your ability to screw conventional wisdom, and I know you won’t bullshit me on anything, so hear me out on this one.
To those who don’t like my raw style: take that, mutherfuckers. Here you have a young person who can take it, and you know why? He knows for sure I’m not going to lie to him and the best news is the honest damn truth. In today’s world, being perceived as such takes drastic measures, because virtually everyone is lying to everyone else and to themselves. Continuing on.
I’m a junior in high school. I’ve done everything ‘correct.’ I’ve studied hard, pulled the good grades in almost every subject. I’m not Ivy league caliber, but my g.p.a. and class rank are fairly high and I’m on track to get into a pretty good school. I’m your generic modern-day idea of what it means to be ‘smart’ or a ‘good student.’ This, in spite of the fact I’ve come to realize that my educational experience has, in reality, taught me jack.
Its’ easy for me to say college is overrated, and that if I do attend college, the last thing I should do is piss away $40,000 a year studying the likes of journalism or english or philosophy or political science, or some other liberal arts major that has absolutely zero relevance in the real world. For most people, I agree that would probably hold true.
Except the irony is not lost on me. I’m a humanities-minded person, if you will. I’m not very good in math or science. What good grades I did pull in those subjects were the product of pure memorization. Hence, I can’t major in something productive that would help me acquire some useful skills. I’m not the kind of person who works well with his hands; to be honest, I couldn’t change a flat tire, nor cook dinner if my life depended on it. I don’t really have an excuse there, although I guess it’s partly because I’m so bogged down with schoolwork all the time. Frankly, I can’t really go out and just learn a trade, because I’m an academic-minded person. In a certain respect, I feel I’m a casualty of the system.
I am, however, good at writing. I’ve actually started doing some freelance work about baseball. As we all know, however, the journalism industry sucks. I’m also very knowledgeable in history and political philosophy. I’m fascinated by economics as well — I’m the only Junior taking A.P. Macro and Micro in my school, and thus far I’ve done quite well — although I feel my lack of math skills precludes me from advancing very far in that field.
I know it’s hard to give me a real specific answer on this one, but what do you suggest I do with my life and my skill set? What should I do about college? Should I be a teacher, a lawyer, etc.? Hell, maybe I should look into being a strength coach or something, although I imagine being paleo in that kind of industry is as much a curse as being a libertarian in politics. I know you’re not my guidance counselor or anything, but any advice would be much appreciated.
Well, my first thought was to consider my impression of this young man and of course, it was his writing ability that gave the first impression. I see so much crap for writing and to my mind, someone who can’t write must not pay attention to what they are reading, or they don’t read. Listen: you want to write decently? Then read decently, and pay attention. So then I considered what advice I might give. I replied to Matt, saying I’d chew on it and get back to him. And then as helpful comments began coming in for Calvin the route was clear. What a reservoir of knowledge and experience this blog is.
And so, I’m not going to give my thoughts yet because I don’t want to sway or dilute what is certain to be a wealth of info coming from commenters. I’ll weigh in there, dynamically.
Alright folks: time to pay up for the blog and you can do that by engaging Matt. What a fabulous start he is off to. That’s clear. That he has some uncertainties is to be expected and that he seeks it from a Paleo blog is telling and if I dare say so, really damned appropriate. Show him what you’ve got.
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