So, I’m a self-professed nerd. I’m a huge fan of reading, editing, and self-teaching myself coding. I wear glasses – which cinches it.
I have a funky side, too, though. I keep it on the DL (that’s “down-low”) mostly, especially when in the company of people who have gotten to know me as pure nerd.
Once, when I worked in a student service unit where I sat in my office, in khakis and a cardigan and thick glasses, waiting for students to come visit me for my take on writing, I had a fun run-in with this little separation.
(I’ll note here that I’m pretty much pure nerd at work.)
Some instructor had his kids do scavenger hunts across campus. But instead of the regular, “go find out how to cite a website in MLA format,” he gave each of his classes a personal question to ask me. This was to make sure they actually came and talked to me, rather than going to the library and looking it up on one of the computers.
The 8:30a class asked what my favorite movie was. Sound of Music is pretty nerdy.
The 10a class asked my favorite color. Yellow. Not really standard, but certainly doesn’t go against any known nerd-standards.
It was the 1pm class that got a surprise. They were told to ask me for one of the greatest composers or songwriters of all time. The first three kids who came by stared at me with eyes glazed over in disinterest. They were all waiting to hear some middle-ages Germanic composer’s name.
“Jay-Z,” I replied.
All three heads popped up and one kid snorted in disbelief.
“Yup, really. He’s a genius.”
All three walked away in astonishment. I refrained from shouting after them to study his amazing ability to marry meter and rhyme – one of the great lyricists of the modern era.
It would have killed my street cred.