I was born and raised in the Seattle area, went to undergraduate in the Bay Area. I think I was probably the only person in California to think it was too warm, missing the rain and cloud-cover of the Northwest. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I "grow up". In college I studied medieval history and literature. Now I (sometimes, in the summers at least) get paid to be outside, hike around, and grub in the dirt! This coming summer I'm going to get paid to climb mountains! (Well, herd cats while climbing mountains . . .)
Learning new things and improving on old knowledge and skills is hugely important to me. I find teaching -- sharing my knowledge and skills with others -- very satisfying. Narratives have power with me: tell a good story and you've got my whole attention. That goes for many things, though: I generally give my whole attention to whatever I'm focused on. I'm not a good multi-tasker (but then, nobody really is). I get frustrated when I'm listening to a song and can't hear the lyrics.
I consider myself a bit of an intellectual and value smarts and the ability to discuss a topic with rhetorical skill in the abstract, but also passion and honesty. I hate Debate, where the person I'm talking with is trying to 'win' the argument and doesn't really listen to me except to try to figure out how to 'counter' my points. I used to be a Goody-Two-Shoes who always followed the rules. I still respect rules and authority when there's a good reason for it but I'm learning to question more, to ignore poorly conceived restrictions when it doesn't lead to harm and to undermine authority when it's unwarranted or corrosive.