|Edwardian, Essayistic, Elaborative Exposition
||[02 Jul 2006|08:48am]
I know no one thought I'd ever get around to actually applying to my own community, but finally, I have. Now that the facebook has picture albums and I a sufficient collection of pictures, I feel it is high time!
Picture Album: Edwardian Nerdiness
My name is Edward, and I was born the day Challenger exploded. You'd think I'd take that as a sign, but instead, I grew up to become a sci-fi fanatic. One of the biggest influences in my life has been Star Trek, which I first became acquainted with through reruns of the original series. Spock, the half-Vulcan, half-Human science officer of the starship Enterprise became my idol. I would tape up my ears before I went to bed at night in hopes that they would eventually become pointy like Spocks; I exercised my eyebrow-raising regularly to the point where it became a natural response to surprise. I even went through my own devotion to logic and efficiency followed by discovering my humanity routine: this is typical character development in Star Trek, whether Spock, Data, or Seven of Nine.
I've always been a nerd, as long as I can remember. When I first got my hands on a typewriter, I wrote I treatise on boogers, a totally serious account of their biological function. When I was very young, I wanted to be an oceanographer, as I had a particular fascination with cetaceans, otherwise known as whales, dolphins and porpoises. Eventually, I began writing a book about them, and my father would type up what I had written out.
I had not yet matured as a nerd, however. By that time, Windows had yet to or was only at that time being introduced to the world. It would be some time before I began to regard myself as the nerd-geek hybrid that I would one day become, that is, a member of the intelligentsia who knows how to use a computer. One day I would found an organization called the United Federation of Modders, which lasted for years and went through many message-boards. Nothing productive in material terms ever came out of the organization, but many close friendships were made. My days of designing star ships for simulated combat came to an end, but I later used the knowledge I gained to found the Lexiglobal Network. The website itself has been unsuccessful, but I've hosted a number of successful websites on the server, such as the website for my university's International Relations Association and another website for a global leaders summit in New York City which had roughly 600 attendees.
I don't believe in pride, but I have a lot of pride in what I do nonetheless. One does not necessarily have to be proud to be a nerd, but having pride in nerdiness is a prerequisite. A nerd invariably values knowledge, and every nerd has his or her own way of doing so. Many people seem to think that the word nerd describes a social designation, but to me, it describes a state of mind. Being diagnosed with a neurological condition often nicknamed the “geek syndrome,” I can especially appreciate the psychological facets of being a nerd.
Don't be fooled by those who think being a nerd is the same as being academic or smart, because it's all about passion. I myself did not start off as a particularly good student, and I failed out from kindergarten to third grade, and would have been kept back if not for my parents insistence otherwise. I did poorly in my freshman year in high school, and it was expected that I would graduate a year late. Of course, then I sort of fell in love with someone who would one day become our school's valedictorian: that semester, my grades went up to a 92 average, and in four rather than five years, I graduated in the top ten percent of my class despite grades not being weighted and entered college as a sophomore. That is not called being a nerd; that is called being in love. Sometimes, though, I don't know if there is a distinction.
A nerd knows the intrinsic value of knowledge. Knowledge is more than facts and figures, however; knowledge can be embodied in feelings and ideals; knowledge is both objective and subjective. To really know something, you must know it with your heart. It's true that I love to memorize things, but I do not view what I memorize as mere data: when I learn a new word in a a foreign language, I wonder what that word must connote to a native speaker; when I learn the name of a city in a far off land, I wonder what it must be like to live there; when I learn economic figures for a particular country, I wonder what are the human implications of those numbers. It's easy to understand in these terms how being a nerd can be a passion for Humanity, but being a nerd is in this light also a passion for the Divine. Those who ponder the graces of God as exhibited in math and science, not to mention philosophy, are examples of this passion manifest.
Today, I'm an aspiring cultural anthropologist. Anthropology is often regarded as being on the border between the humanities and sciences, and this is where I love to be. I doubt I could have ever imagined myself going into this field five years ago, but in hindsight, it makes total sense. I used to think that I was moving away from my love of the stars by embracing a very down-to-earth discipline. Now I realize that my love of other cultures is not so unlike my love of Star Trek, which itself is filled with first contacts, with ideals of peace and cooperation, with hopes for a better future for everyone. Modern anthropology is no longer simply about collecting facts and figures; it's increasingly about application, about trying to figure out how to apply a knowledge of culture to better people's lives. I've come into this world during a period of great globalization, of dramatic technological advancements that are shaping everyday people's lives, and doubtless, these factors will shape the nature of my research as they have already.
Anyway, this seems a rather prolix entry, but hey, I'm a nerd! Another thing that makes me nerdy is that everything in this post I've either edited in html or with an Arabic text editor, although luckily there has not been too much to format!
For the record (for the purpose of these results): A nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia; a geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one; a dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
86 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 56% Dork
You scored better than half in Nerd and Dork, earning you the coveted title of: Tri-Lamb Material. The classic, "80's" nerd, you are what most people think of when they think "nerd," largely due to 80's movies like Revenge of the Nerds and TV shows like Head of the Class. You're exceptionally bright and smart, and partly because of that have never quite fit in with your peers or social groups. Perhaps you've realized, or will someday, that it is possible to retain all of the things that you like about being brilliant and still make peace with the social cliques around you. Or maybe you won't--it's really not necessary. As the brothers of Lambda Lambda Lambda discovered, you're fine just the way you are and can take pride in that. I mean, who wants to be like Ogre, right!?
THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST
PS: I deleted that I received 99 percentile for Nerd, Geek and Dork for my age and gender, because that can't possibly be!