“Intellectuals who memorize everything, reading for hours on end… fearful of taking a risk, speaking as if they were reciting from memory, fail to make any concrete connections between what they have read and what is happening in the world, the country, or the local community. They repeat what has been read with precision but rarely teach anything of personal value.” – Paulo Freire
Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just feel like the universe has been sending you a message? That’s how my week has been. Here I was, just minding my own business, going through the motions, when BAM! The universe started throwing me all these signs. I started listening to podcasts I had never heard of and every one I did spoke to me. Not only did they speak to me, but they got me excited about my future. Who would’ve thought that could happen in the middle of grad school? I’m pursuing my masters right now and it feels like every other week I have someone asking me whether or not I’ll pursue my PhD and I think I finally have the answer. Yes, but not in Communication. Assuming I can make it through my master’s program, I’m going to try and grit my teeth and get through a PhD program in Public Health.
It all started when I listened to a podcast from a not-so-popular bikini competitor, Lacey Dunn. The episode, which you can find here, is a short interview with another bodybuilder who did her master’s thesis on macros vs. meal-prepping. I know most of you probably don’t know what that is but it’s a big debate in the fitness industry. Listening to this, a light bulb went off. If Laurin Conlin did her master’s thesis on something like IIFYM and meal-prepping, so can I. And this got me excited. I can actually take things I’m passionate about and do on my own time anyways and apply it to my graduate studies? Heck yes! This all happened on Monday.
Then Wednesday hit and the universe decided a nudge wasn’t enough and shoved me harder. I went out on a limb and listened to another podcast that I had never listened to before. The podcast, which you can find here was an interview conducted with Quest Nutrition Co-Founder and Impact Theory CEO, Tom Bilyeu. If you’ve never heard of Impact Theory, I highly suggest you check it out. This podcast has three of my favorite things: fitness, business, and human behavior. A lightbulb didn’t just go off this time, there were fireworks.
I’m sure by now you’re all like, “what does this have to do with critical pedagogy and Paulo Freire?” Well, while I was reading this week I kept coming back to a theme shared by both Freire and Bilyeu: it’s all about execution. You can read all you want about facts, theories, concepts, and opinions within your field or pedagogy but what it really comes down to is what you do with that information. If you’re not creating a sense of community where ideas are shared and acknowledged, then change will never take place. Knowledge doesn’t mean s*** unless you use and share it. It’s really hard for me to put into words how much of a brain-gasm I had while putting these three concepts together so I highly encourage you guys to look at them. If you’re not into fitness or health or anything, Tom Bilyeu has a lot to say when it comes to “igniting human potential”.