An Ode to Nerds

Now, I don’t get offended anymore when someone calls me a nerd. I used to be so ashamed of it, hid it from everyone. Not even my best friends knew how much of a nerd I was when I was younger, I hid it. But since being in college, I think I learned to accept it about myself and I am no longer offended when someone calls me one. I answer right back with a “I know” or a “so?” In high school, it was discovered that I was into what is deemed “nerdy things.” I was so embarrassed, but by the time I was sixteen or seventeen, I got to the point that I brushed it off my shoulders that some people made fun of me because I like Harry Potter or because I loved Star Trek.

But in college, I discovered I wasn’t weird and that people liked those things too. And even if they didn’t they accepted me for it. In my small group of friends, I am the nerd out of everyone. But it is not an insult, it just means that I love to love things. I have an uncontrollable desire to display everything I love and make sure people know it. I am no longer scared to cry when the Eleventh Doctor regenerated and let people know that that is how I am feeling, I am not embarrassed about my encyclopedic knowledge of Harry Potter, I am not afraid to let people know that books and fictional characters are always there for me when I need them. I have grown as a person since embracing my nerdy side, and I wish this for everyone else. 

I am a Nerdfighter. I want to increase the awesome of the world, and I think that this is a great message. People are too scared to display their awesome side out of fear for being judged, and I get that. But I am at a point in my life where I say screw that, and I think everyone else should. Being a nerd is awesome. I like the way there are people out there like me who feel strongly about things. I worry for my friends and family who are not like that, they don’t display their feelings about things. Yes, I am a 20 year old girl, so I mask my emotions, but I don’t hide my emotions when it comes to the things I love. I embrace it. I wish I had close friends to speak my mind too when I am really emotional about Sherlock leaving John’s wedding early, but that is why the Nerdfighter community and internet is so great. Tumblr literally has feels about everything, and I can bask in that. It is great that at this point in my life, I have these resources to help me be me. 

John Green, one of my favorite authors, said, “Saying ‘I notice you’re a nerd’ is like saying, ‘Hey, I notice that you’d rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you’d rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?’ In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even ‘lame’ is kind of lame. Saying ‘You’re lame’ is like saying ‘You walk with a limp.’ Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he’s done all right for himself.” And I don’t think there is a more honest post. Being a nerd is a blessing, and I am thankful I am one. Another great quote is from Wil Wheaton from the Calgary Comic Expo 2013 giving a speech to a woman’s daughter on why being a nerd is awesome (found here). 

So I say this, be a nerd. Don’t worry about what people say about it. Wear the things you love on your sleeve and make sure you are never embarrassed by it, it will be a waste of time where you could be doing awesome things. Be you. 

Jamie

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Power of Books

 

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Did you even notice the power literature has? If you love reading, then you definitely have. Books allow you to immerse yourself in a past time, fantastical world, or anything the imagination can make up. They are the most underutilized resource in the world. Nothing breaks my heart more than when a child (or anyone, for that matter) says they don’t read. It is truly sad that kids today are embarrassed about reading. What is so bad about reading? Why isn’t it cool to expand your horizons?

As a child, I was shy. My outlet was reading. I could spend hours locked in my room, reading a book. It all started with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I thank J.K. Rowling for my love of literature. I didn’t know until third grade that there were these items that exposed different worlds and places, and I wound up losing myself in books. They were the main source of happiness and magic in my life (and still are). 

I am an English Education major in school right now, and every day I am more astounded by the power of books. It fascinates me that in the year 2013, I can be reading Jane Eyre and be in the mind of Charlotte Brontë. I am transported to see the life of a 19th century governess. Not many other things can do that, bring you into the mind of someone else. Yes, movies and shows allow you to watch it, but they are limited. Yes, you know when watching that Harry is hurting when he sees Ginny with Dean in the sixth Harry Potter movie, but you don’t know his specific thoughts on it or how sad he is. You get to experience the emotions and adventures in a book along with the characters, nothing else can bring that joy. 

Books have a power to change you. If you are feeling down or sad, you can read to forget your woes for a short amount of time. They are a very cheap form of therapy. I can find myself being upset or stressed, so I cuddle up with a book and a tea and time flies, and I am unaware of my issues for that time. It is so great to forget yourself for a while, and travel along with someone else for a bit. Not only can they change your mood, but they can change you as a person. I know that after reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I had a whole different view on life and love. It reinforced the idea of life being short and fleeting for me, to make the most of things at the moment. Tons and tons of books have done this for me, and I’m sure a ton of other people too. 

Whether you already love books, or don’t, I encourage you to read. You might have just not found that one book that will change it all for you. But keep searching. Books are a powerful tool, and one of the most important things in the world. 

Jamie

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