I’m both a nerd and a geek.
I’m a little obsessive. OK, a lot obsessive. Compulsive too. But it makes for a good nerd; computers & I see eye to eye.
Other endearing qualities that contribute to my nerdiness: intelligence, curiousity, persistence, and more than a touch of a contrarian outlook on life.
I’m easily bored and try like heck to avoid it. Somewhere along the way I defined reading as gleaning for information, not entertainment. And I read a lot. I have an associative memory that weaves together details and minutiae. I approach the game show Jeopardy as a blood sport. I have no patience for intelligent design (sic), anti-evolutionists, global warming denyers, and ignorant Luddites in general. Smart is sexy. Dumb ain’t.
One of the geekier kids in school, I found my 30th high school reunion a true revenge of the nerd(s). The movie Sneakers is in my top 10 movie list. Burn Notice is this generation’s McGyver. I look forward to the phone/cable/DSL installer b/c I like to hang around and ask questions. I’m known to right-click on web pages to see how they&rsquop;re built.
I remember my 4th grade teacher. Mr. Miller. A nerd’s nerd. His initials said it all: Irving Bennet Miller. He was the first true educator I ever had, not a mere teacher. He made school and learning come alive. He spent a whole morning explaining how airplanes fly: lift, thrust, drag, and gravity. The cross section of a wing on the blackboard. Going over and over it until everyone, every last person in the room, understood it. A passion for knowledge and life. He changed me forever.
Web dev? A text editor & an FTP program are all I need.
When I moved recently I made the mistake of reaching into a box long unopened and pulling out a random report card, something less than Ivy League material. My kids said I no business talking to them about their grades when my were nothing to write home about. Later, while settling into our new house I went through that box. Two things struck me: yes, my grade average slide slowly from K to 12 and with the exception of 8th grade biology I got an A in science my whole public school career. 8th grade? I was distracted by a nerdy girl, Beth L.
God bless my parents for indulging me in every museum class, after school program, and summer opportunity they could. I had a telescope, a microscope, electronic kits, and multiple chemistry sets. And I knew how to use all of it. I read. And read. And then read some more.
Further proof of my right to wear a beanie atop my head: when I had a thalium scan I Googled it. Realized I was going to be injected with a radioactive dye soooo I went to the local pro photo store and bought 8x10 sheets of black & white film. Dashed home after the test and attempted to expose the film with my hot body. The two conversations of note were my talking to a tech at Kodak’s medical film division asking if this was going to work and talking to the techs at pro photo lab explaining why I wanted them to push the film. Conclusion: I fuzzed the film but didn’t end up with a Kirlian photo or a Madame Curie print. Hey, it worked. That’s all I asked for.