December 5, 2010 by readlisaread
I started a new class of Info Tech the other day– my fresh class of grade 7’s. I love grade 7’s– they are eager and excited and completely dialed in to the Magic of Technology. Grade 8’s are a little “Been there, done that, snap-snap” and Grade 9’s tend to be very quiet, and happy if you just leave them to get on with it.
But there is one commonality amongst the IT students. The Nerd. I’m not talking about Geeks, and if you don’t think there is a difference between them, you are seriously under-cultured. It’s true that Geeks are frequently Nerds, but Nerds are never Geeks . Picture a Venn diagram, if you will….oh wait, that’s something a Nerd would say.
Moving on. Most people have a picture in their head about what Nerds are: high-waisted and cuffed pants, bad hair, glasses, ill-fitting or mended with tape, and a plethora of social and/or skin conditions. Shockingly, even though Nerds are well aware of the stereotypes, they can’t help but be drawn to those sorts of accouterments.
A student had to miss her first class of IT with me when the class began. She made sure to let me know the next class that she was here, and that she was sorry to have been absent, but it was unavoidable. She had been participating in the Lego Robotics Challenge, with all the other Nerdlings.
I smiled and thanked her for letting me know, and started the class. Her presence in the class got me thinking about Nerds. The 21st Century is almost like the Nerd Renaissance. In the past, Nerds had nothing to bring to the party–they were targets for wedgies, atomic wedgies, prank calls and Cafeteria Incidents. But now, Nerds have a culture all their own, and everyone wants in. Nerds have Technology.
I saw a good quote a number of years ago (possibly on a bumper sticker) “The Geek shall inherit the Earth”. If we substitute Nerds, it doesn’t have that same Biblical tone, but keeping in mind that while some Geeks are Nerds, Nerds are never Geeks, and let’s face it, a Geek could never have run Microsoft or Apple. But Nerds did, and really well. And now everyone knows who holds the balance of power– the 15 year old Nerd, that’s who you call when you can’t make your computer behave, or need to program numbers into your new cell phone.
So, I myself do not quite qualify as a Nerd (I still have a VCR in the house that’s flashing 12:00). But I walk among them, and I garner their respect. A Nerd by Design, if not by Nature.
Yes…..their time is coming…..
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