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Nerd and Geek these days have become less high school nicknames synonymous with “loser” and more proud titles that comics-enthusiasts, sci-fi lovers, book hoarders, techno fanatics, and anime watchers wave with gusto akin to the flag at Iwo Jima. (As far as appropriating name-calling as symbols of pride or defiantly declaring oneself to be part of a negative or once-negative stereotype, it makes me wonder if the proud Geeks and Nerds are in the same league as the feminists who declare themselves to be Cunts or Bitches or black/African-American men and women calling one another Nigger or Nigga as a term of endearment, affection or brother/sisterhood.  Is there a line and who gets to draw it?  Does a name have to make everyone uncomfortable before it becomes deemed unacceptable for re-appropriation or is it the point that it makes people uncomfortable?)

Anyway, I was usually on the border somewhere between “nerd” and “delinquent.”  Back then, the “nerd” half kept my “delinquent” half from getting into too much trouble.  Nowadays, the fight I got into in middle school would cause me to be expelled, but back then the other girl and I just got a lecture from parents and principal.  Aside from being cantankerous and once breaking a nail clawing at a girl’s head, I was the sort of student who made the honor roll with little effort until I encountered AP classes and then still got by with only doing part of my homework.

He’s the guy who used to download midi files through CompuServe on his Commodore 64 (which he started putting on his Christmas list when he was around 11). 

So, when I realized Friday morning that Google had replaced their logo with a playable Pac-Man game, all hopes of productivity were lost for the day.

The hubby’s first response was to look up the page source and read the code like he was reading the newspaper.  Thus he concluded it was beautifully complex and simplistic at the same time.  “It’s mostly Javascript!  That’s why I’ve been focused on Javascript lately.  Like that application I’ve been…”

His geekitude, though, has practical applications as well.  When he’s tired of sitting in front of a computer screen, he ends up doing things like this:

Looks inviting, doesn't it?

And my problem-solving abilities aren’t too bad either.

Yes, the first corkscrew broke so I twisted another one into it.

If only we could figure out how to harness our individual strengths, combine our joint strengths, and make a living doing something we love with people we love (or, at least like).

(As clarification, I like the people I work with.  I can tolerate most of the students.  And I’m actually quite good at explaining algebraic concepts to kids who don’t think they can “get it” if they put forth the least amount of actual effort.  I just hate the bureaucracy, the unnecessary CYA paperwork, and the constant expenditures from my meager earnings — which aren’t that meager until I have to start buying my own supplies, paying $75 here and $200 there to stay certified or get certified in newly-required areas.  Oh, and I don’t feel terribly challenged, mentally.  The hubby is definitely challenged mentally, but the people he works for have little concept that employees are human and probably shouldn’t have to attend a dozen meetings and rebuild servers on the day their grandparent dies.)
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