Next Challenge: Learn Something! (Social/Educational Week)

I decided to add education to social week, since I was having such a hard time with this week. I might change it even further and call it "Experimental/Educational," so anything that falls under one of those two categories would count. I think continuing to educate yourself and trying new things (experimenting with life, I guess) is important, but easily lost in the rush of day-to-day living. 

Here I am learning stuff in the 2nd grade. 

Here I am learning stuff in the 2nd grade. 

Also, experiments and education do have a social aspect. Most of the lifestyle experiments I've considered doing, such as not wearing makeup, are only interesting when they're social. I can sit around forever by myself without makeup and it'd be a complete non-issue. I have to go out for it to matter. And education, as long as it's shared, is also social. When I'm learning something, I want to talk about it. I know there are people out there who don't feel an urge to share what they've learned and I don't understand them at all. 

I could argue that every challenge is an experiment of sorts, and also educational, and even social, through sharing on the blog and in real life. To that I'd say this category would be for things that don't fall into another category as well. So if it's a household experiment, it goes under household, fitness experiments go under fitness, etc. No double-dipping. 

The Plague and You

One area I'm interested in, but not well-educated in, is infectious disease. I went on a Black Death kick last year and read some books (mostly novels) dealing with the topic. I've done the same thing with rabies and smallpox. One of my favorite college courses was an intro biology course in which the professor related everything back to HIV. The arguments for and against vaccinations fascinate me. It's an interesting topic and it's what I'm going with for this week's education. 

Maybe it's morbid. Disease itself is kind of gross, as we all know. And death is morbid. Disease often leads to death, especially the kind I'm talking about. Okay, so I'm interested in a gross and morbid topic. It'll be okay. 

It's not like I'll be experimenting or anything. 

Types of Education

Traditional Education. There are many ways to educate yourself. The most common, of course, is to go to school. I'm not that. I spent a lot of years in school and have a graduate degree, which was great and all, but sitting in a classroom doesn't appeal to me anymore. 

Online Education. You can take classes online. This Lifehacker article, "Plan Your Free Online Education at Lifehacker U: Spring Semester 2015" lists a bunch of resources for courses, both for credit and for fun. 

One of the resources they list is TED talks. TED talks are generally under 18 minutes and they are available in a wide variety of topics. My search on "disease" generated 35 related talks. Some appear more relevant than others, but they all look interesting.  "Bacteria" gets you 89 possibilities and "virus" yields 

Since I don't want to sign up for a long course, what I'm going to do this week is watch an hour of TED talks. I won't end up with a degree, but I'm sure I'll learn something. 

Even if you don't feel like studying disease or any other particular topic, it would be worthwhile to watch even one TED talk on a topic you're interested in. 


Week Twenty-four: Social/Educational - Watch TED Talks on Disease

  1. Day One