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Posts Tagged ‘Anthropology’

A new lifestyle/diet trend has come to my attention recently: The Paleo Diet. As lifestyle trends go, this one doesn’t sound too bad. The argument is that eating closer to how our ancestors ate in the Paleolithic period will somehow make us healthier. I’m not sure it would be some miracle health solution but there is sense in cutting out processed shit, refined sugar, etc. I can even understand the arguments against dairy despite it being my favourite food group and having no intention of ever giving it up. I think there is some merit in the idea, I’m not sure it’s possible (or wise) to try to follow the rules of the diet to the letter. But, in my opinion, there is definitely some merit in the basic idea.

Having said that, though, the very phrase “I’m on the paleo diet” conjures up images of my friends attempting to roast a ptarmigan in a pit in their suburban backyards … or, better yet, in the park down the street because they don’t have a backyard. Ooh! Maybe they go hunting for squirrels in the park with their handy sling shots! After taking down a friendly park squirrel, they forage for “wild” vegetables in the neighbour’s garden … I could go on and on here.

The diet should be renamed The Ayla* Diet. Think about it: Ayla invented everything from the bra to the needle, domesticated horses and great sex. She even invented the spear thrower (ok, her well hung boyfriend helped her with that), discovered that hitting flint & pyrite together makes sparks to start a fire, and discovered that watching other animals having sex is a great aphrodisiac (In other words, she invented porn. Wooly mammoth porn in this case). At some point during all that, she became the first human being to work out where babies actually come from! Seriously, it’s not much of a stretch to believe that she also invented the latest diet/lifestyle trend for the 2000s, is it?

I envisage a strict exercise regime to compliment the Ayla Diet. It involves lots and lots of spectacular sex … in caves … and on plains … and in huts constructed from mammoth bones … and in hot springs … and on glaciers … and, well, you get the idea. Maybe I should market this Ayla Diet idea. I could be rich like that Atkins guy. He’s rich, isn’t he?

*  If you don’t know who Ayla is then reading this about the Earth’s Children series of books might help. It’d help more to read the books themselves, though. They’re entertaining, somewhat educational and funny as hell (in the way that things are funny when they aren’t *supposed* to be funny). 🙂

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Long, long ago, before I moved to Australia, I was going to get a degree in Biological Anthropology. I’m fascinated by human/primate evolution. I wasn’t sure what kind of job it would get me but I was going to figure it out along the way, maybe taking a minor in Museology or something so I could be a museum geek. But then, The Geek happened to me. I got desperate to move to Australia to figure out how the relationship was going to go without the complication of being in separate countries. I started doubting that Anthropology was such a wise move as well. I started thinking I should get my head out of the clouds and choose a degree that will garauntee me a job. It turned out that a Student Visa was my best bet for moving here and none of the Western Australian universities offered specifically Bioanthro anyway. So, I decided to become a teacher and applied for a major in Education.

Yeah, that lasted about a year. I learned a valuable lesson: I would make a SHITE teacher. Not to mention the fact that I had pretty much nothing in common with any of the people in my classes and the subjects bored me to tears. I have nothing but the utmost respect for teachers … its a fucking tough job … but its just not something I can do nor want to do. Panic then set in because, you see, I was on a student visa meaning I had to be a student to stay in the country. What the hell was I supposed to study instead? Cue major personal crisis. I panicked and chose Psychology reasoning that it sounded interesting and any degree was better than nothing (and being sent out of the country). I never had any intention of going beyond the Bachelor of Arts or becoming an actual clinical psychologist or anything. I figured I’d work out the particulars later.

Well, its later and I am convinced that my degree in Psychology was a huge waste of money and time. I still wonder how it would have been different if I had just stuck with Anthro. I still find Anthro fascinating and would love to study it again. But, I tell myself I can’t, it’s too late, I don’t have the time/money/etc. Every time I see anything about human origins in National Geographic, I gobble it up. Anytime I see a crime scene investigation on a TV show with skeletal remains (forensic anthro type stuff) I think “gee, that would be a cool job.” But still I figure its not possible. I convince myself that a job will always just be a crap hole thing I hate but do to get money. (The Geek argues with me vehemently on that last point and insists that I shouldn’t bother getting a job unless it’s something I enjoy.)

Well, fuck all that. Maybe The Geek is right. Maybe I can find some sort of career that I like. One major problem: I need to go back to school for that and none of the Western Australian schools offer what I want. None. On a whim, I did a quick search this morning and found that, lo and behold, The Australian National University does both Bioanthro and Forensic Anthro courses. I’m thinking I could combine them somehow to get the best of both worlds (Bio for my fascination with human evolution but Forensic for job prospects outside of academia). But, of course, there is one huge problem with that, as well: The ANU is in Canberra (the opposite side of the country for my international readers). Well, fuck.

But, you know what? Its my turn. I moved here for The Geek and we’ve stayed here largely for his job/career. His job/career has taken precident thus far simply because he *had* a career path and it was a hell of a lot more lucrative than anything I could do as yet. Well, now I think I want to kick myself in the ass and do something I’ve been dreaming about for yonks and I think we should make it a priority. It won’t happen right away … the kids are still a bit too young for me to be able to devote enough time to school let alone have the brain power to juggle it all. This is something I know about myself rather than a statement about how impossible it is with kids these ages in general. But in a year or two, I think I could realistically think about going back to school and doing this. I think I just officially put it on the high priority list with The Geek. I think Canbera is now our new focus for possible relocation rather than Melbourne (unless I find a uni in Melbourne that offers the same courses and then I’m hell bent for Melbourne). I think I might not change my mind. I hope I won’t change my mind. Please feel free to kick me violently if I start making excuses for why I shouldn’t do it.

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