And so, as one might expect, given modern society's dual-standards about being studious - nobody wants to be the 'dumb' jock, but if you have half a brain but lack the social skills, you're screwed*-, I have been called a nerd on a number of occasions.
* One might argue that the bully-esque behaviour typical of many of the former mentioned people is also a sign of slightly demented social skills - I mean, who likes being publicly humiliated, anyway?
While it used to really s**t me off, recently I've come to take it as a form of endearment, even if it isn't intended to be so.
"Why?" You may ask, "Why would you find something like that to be a compliment? Isn't it a label of social rejection"
Well, once upon a time, yes, yes it was. And then I was read this quote, by John Green.
“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.”
Closely followed by this...
“…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”
This last one was something of an epiphany for me, mainly because I AM enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness - To the point where I'm more or less studying it at uni, preparing for a lifetime career in studying it!
I AM enthusiastic about things. Almost to a fault sometimes (that, and it's pretty easy to burn-out when one is jumping up and down about something whole months in advance.) If I could find a way to turn enthusiasm into an energy source, I've got my own self-sustaining heat source :) Hello Nobel prize?
I see nothing wrong with valuing intelligence, and being fascinated by new discoveries. We can't all fit the apathetic-and-slightly-bogan Aussie stereotype.
They just proved the God-molecule exists. I know nothing about it (granted, I may have even incorrectly named it), but how cool is that!!!!
How does the term "life-enthusiast" sound? Possibly a little too pro-life-ish, but on the right track.
Foster your inner nerd, people! Get excited about the little things that genuinely excite you, even if that's something as simple as new stationary, or as complicated as learning to renovate a house for the first time, or even managing to grow a vegetable garden, or design some really cool fan art (most things, I should point out, I am over the moon about -- who doesn't like new pens?!!)
From one inner nerd to the rest of the world,