Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nerd Watching

I have an unintentional and long standing hobby of nerd watching. It's like bird watching, but more fun. I trace the roots of this hobby back to 1995, when I spent quite a bit of time quietly observing the boy in my psychology class who NEVER worked with a partner during group work. I think you all know how that turned out.

Nerds fascinate me. I think it's the combination of brilliance and not caring about what other people think of you that does me in. I admire those qualities. I love quirkiness in general, and when I discovered the nerd variety of quirkiness 13 years ago, I was done for, and I have the t-shirt to prove it...I recently had the opportunity to indulge my habit when I showed up for my annual flu shot at Daniel's company campus and had to sit outside for awhile waiting for him (you know since I don't have a security badge a.k.a. nerd credentials). I was able to observe 3 nerd species on this particular day. Lunch time outside of a tech company is a prime nerd watching time by the way, in case you want to take up the hobby.

Foreign Nerds: Nerds know no nationality. They come from every country in the world. I love hearing all of the different accents in a group of nerds, it's like an auditory rainbow. I still don't understand most of what they're saying, but that is not due to the accents, it's due to the nonsensical words that all nerds love to string together when they are with their own kind.

Head Nerd: In a group of nerds, there is often a head nerd. He is usually slightly older and more assertive than the other nerds. You can often spot him by the rounded belly that is evident in his nerd uniform. If you are not familiar with the dress code, it involves a tucked in button up or golf shirt, and belted Docker style pants, pocket protector is optional (but always a highlight when you spot one)

Camouflage Nerd: This type of nerd is tricky. He shuns the nerd uniform and goes for an almost normal dress code. He can carry on a conversation about things like sports or music when he wants to. You might not realize he is a nerd at all, then sooner or later he will open his mouth, and out will come a litany of indecipherable words and phrases. He is sneaky, and you must be a careful nerd watcher to identify his subtle cues if you are watching from afar.

It was a productive session. And then I spotted him, my own personal nerd, coming to escort me into nerd headquarters and take me out to lunch. I don't know what I would do without him, I do love the nerds, and that love has profoundly affected the course of my life.

1 comment:

emilyw said...

That was one of the most romantic things I've ever read. You are so sweet to your honey! And I know what you mean - I love my nerd too! :)