Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Make Way for Nerds

I cannot lie; I am a nerd. I embrace my own nerdiness and the nerdiness of those around me. As has held true most of my life, I generally associate with nerds. If you are reading this, you are probably one of them (hi, guys).

Maybe it's because I'm 33 and my miserable junior high days are long past, but it seems that the world has become a kinder, softer place for nerds. I remember when, in junior high, I was the butt of many jokes because my English teacher complimented me publicly on my superb grammar. Even my best friend (a nerd herself) poked fun at my propensity for large words by teasing me that I wanted a dictionary for Christmas. (Later, as a college student, I did request a personal copy of the Oxford English Dictionary- which I never got, by the way). All pettiness aside, I was a nerd in junior high. I was open in my worship of L.M. Montgomery and Edgar Allan Poe; I played violin in the orchestra, and worst of all, I only wore thrift store clothing. OK I wasn't the worst of nerds, but I definately qualified.

Shortly after I graduated from high school, it became cool to wear "vintage" clothing- a trend that seems to have never completely gone away. Thanks to J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer teens of all social echelons are now reading really long books. Teens text, blog, and hang out online at fan sites and social networks. All of these activities that seem so mainstream were, at one time, considered "nerdy." It seems that because of the internet we nerds have found a favorable environment to proliferate, flourish, and diversify.

The term "nerd" itself has transcended the 1980's stereotype of the guy with the glasses and pocket protector. In fact, the term is no longer deragotory and it has come to include kids who engage in role-playing games, kids who play video games, kids who hack computers, kids who write morbid death poetry. . .the list goes on and on. What are goths, emos, and indies? Tough nerds, sensitive nerds, and nerdy nerds. It could quite possibly be that the nerds are no longer the minority. Perhaps the world is coming to recognize what we've known all along: we're more than nerds, we're avant-garde.


Anonymous said...

Maestro, I saw rock on!

This was very well-written and echoed my sentiments exactly. =)
I don't know about you, but I feel like raising my freak flag higher and higher.

Laura said...

Indeed. Although I still feel cheated that vintage clothing fads became popular long after I sported them. I feel a certain need to take a little credit.

Marie said...

As you should, grasshopper.

Anonymous said...