Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Challenge : N is for Nerd

N is for Nerd!

When I was growing up, being called a Nerd was not a good thing. It was a significant insult if someone called you that and it was to be avoided.

I tried really hard to not be a Nerd. But it was difficult. I was tall, especially for a girl. I had long red, very curly hair, which would make itself into ringlets by the end of the school day, no matter what I tried. I wore glasses - and calico cat's eye glasses at that. And had freckles.

I say "had" as if I didn't still have those things - but I do. When I was a teenager, I hated my red hair and I hated even more that it was so curly. I tried different ways to manage the curls, calm them, but nothing worked; or not for very long. And I will admit that I didn't hate them enough to spend a couple of hours every day trying to tame them. As I got older, I came to like my red hair and it became part of my identity. It's still curly; but is rarely long enough to go into ringlets.

Recently a client said something about "the interpreter with the perm" and I wanted to tell them, "no, it's natural, look, I have a picture I just got of myself as a child. See? Same hair." Of course I didn't say anything. I just smiled.

So. Nerd. I am one. Have been for a long time.

With being tall and glasses and red ringlets and freckles which I hoped would one day all grow together into a tan (they never did) - I was also good in school. I tried to do my best and that was pretty dang good *grin* - but I also tried to cover it up and not show other kids. That would be bragging, which would be bad, and I didn't want to be called a Nerd.

Once in a while I forgot I wasn't supposed to be too good at things and wrote a play, or took on the organizer role in a class project. Things like that. Things which kids would call me Nerd over; except not usually to my face because, after all, I was taller than many of them.

Now I embrace my Nerdhood. A while ago I was in a discussion about Nerds versus Geeks. Same? Or different? I think Geeks tend to be associated with technology, which Nerds can be. I might be wrong - but Geek seems to require technology by definition; another thing I might want to look up before I go too far.

I have friends who are Word Nerds - and I count myself among them. Then there are the Language or Linguistic Nerds - which are not exactly the same but closely related, and definitely some overlap. I have several of those friends as well. And I suppose by virtue of my work - both sign language interpreter and writer - it is almost a requirement; though not really. But I think maybe it should be.

And the Technology Nerds -- I'm making this one up right here. I think that Technology Nerds are the ones who have a good amount of experience with technology, aren't afraid of it, know more than just the basics - but they're not the coders and the game developers. They love the technology but it's definitely in the "I can do it and like it" rather than the "must have it and I'm the king of XQZ" category. The others are the Geeks - more skills and more drive to master it.

Oh, and in the Technology Nerds, I count my friend and I who are Nerds about our Blackberrys. Now, don't go telling me that Blackberry is a dying or dead breed. I don't think so and I sure hope not. A friend of mine and I are trying to find a date and time to go take test drives on the new Blackberry Z10 and Q10.  Okay, if you know anything about them, you know the Q10 isn't out here yet - the Z10, yes. But I'm not sure I'm ready to give up my physical keyboard. My point is that he and I are drooling over the new devices and want to get our hands on them. My provider contract is up pretty soon and I'll be eligible for an upgrade.

N is for Nerd. What's your Nerd quotient and category?