Friday, January 30, 2009

Once a Geek, Always a Geek?

I've gotten into the habit of trading tweets with Matt Blum of GeekDad, so when he linked his article asking Who Are the Best Geek Role Models for Your Kids (Other Than You)?, I clicked through pretty much right away.

Couple things. I'm not a GeekDad, I don't have kids and I don't plan on having kids. So, that sort of leaves me out of the question as a whole. Still, it got me thinking about my who my role models were and what it means to be a "Girl Geek".

Not to sound maudlin or anything (these are just the facts) but I didn't really have any Geek role models growing up. I spent most of my adolescence and high school time being a Geek when Geek = Nerd and Nerd = Social Pariah who sits alone at lunch. (Gotta love the 80's!).

I think I grew up defending my Geekitude with a big brassy vengeance and a chip on my shoulder. So what if they didn't understand why I cut school to wait in line for Return of the Jedi at the Egyptian Theater when I was 13. I understood it. I knew I was part of something.

But it did sort of mean that I swaggered through most of my time in high school mostly misunderstood and rather lonesome.

Around the age of 25, I dropped into the online world of the Red Dragon Inn (on a then very up and coming web service that shall remain nameless. If you RP'd in the RDI, you know of which I speak) and, in very short order, found an entire community of Geeks.

It was as if the floodgates opened. Here were people who read the books I read, liked the movies I liked, and could quote entire scenes from Star Wars without a single error. Just. Like. Me.

15 years later, here I am, self professed Girl Geek living in a world in which Geek = Cool and Girl Geek = Sexy (well, in certain circles).

Still, I'd be hard pressed to say I could easily point to role models for my 15 year old self and she still had to go through most of that awkward process of Geek self acceptance alone.

But, maybe, the having to go it alone gave me the foundation for being the Geek I am now. Learning processes are like that. You have to, by definition, learn.

Right?

Oh, but I will say -- having a Geek president with a sense of humor and who's kind of sexy doesn't hurt either, Matt. If I had a kid, he's likely be someone I'd point to, too. ;-)

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