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  1. #61
    immer noch dabei Ntschotschi's Avatar
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    I guess this "Geek" and "Nerd" thing must be an American or Angloamerican thing because I don't figure it.
    I've asked in another thread to explain the idea to me, I can understand the meaning of the words now but I don't grasp the concept.
    Maybe it has something to do with your high school culture which we don't have in Germany.
    I never experienced that people who read are in any way ridiculed. On the contrary you get more prestige.
    Maybe it's because sports aren't usually big at schools here but more a thing of your free time, a hobby like reading, or playing chess or something else.
    School isn't so much the centre of life, my boys have many friends who are from different schools, from different parts of the city.
    I've never been to the States but from what I know from second hand reports "high school" sounds incredibly competitive in a way that is discouraged here.
    Correct me if I'm wrong but is there really some kind of popularity contest where you vote for the most popular couple at your final ball?
    I think that an incredibly cruel idea, to compete for popularity.

  2. #62
    Seven Mary Four Glelas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ntschotschi
    Correct me if I'm wrong but is there really some kind of popularity contest where you vote for the most popular couple at your final ball?
    Yes. And what you have heard about high school in the States is fairly accurate. And if anyone tells you different they WERE the most popular kid at the ball/prom.

    In my high school if you played football (American) or Baseball you were treated like a demigod. I happened to play both however I am objective to a fault and even back then I knew the system was evil. Did I change my behavior? Was I the exception to the rule? Unfortuately NO. I was a jackass who was a closet geek until college.

  3. #63
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Admittedly, it's a struggle to keep your kids head's on straight. I am lucky. We raised our children to be readers and athletes. The discipline of athletics can help to give them perspective if the parents deal with it properly. High School in the States can be very much like the movies you see. But it doesn't have to be. My oldest son went to Princeton Univ, my middle to Columbia and my youngest is at Fordham Univ at Lincoln Center. They were all athletes. My middle son was one of the best soccer players in the US in High School and was recruited by Columbia Univ. But he was also a good student.

  4. #64
    immer noch dabei Ntschotschi's Avatar
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    This importance of sports and athletics seems quite strange to me and I see like Gary no opposition between athletic and intellectual interests.
    My oldest son is quite athletic, his hobby is to play soccer and he goes to the gym regularly but he doesn't get any particular prestige at school because he does it in his free time.
    My younger son has no special interest in sport except climbing now and then but nobody cares at school
    I personally dislike exhausting sport activities except yoga.
    If anyone tells me how good it is for my body to do 30 minutes of workout daily I inform him how good it is for his mind to read 30 minutes daily.

  5. #65
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glelas
    Yes. And what you have heard about high school in the States is fairly accurate. And if anyone tells you different they WERE the most popular kid at the ball/prom.
    I don't know, maybe it is that way now. But what they have in t.v. shows and movies about high schools is completely opposite to what my high school experience was. I was not at all an athlete, and except for attending one basketball game and some obligatory pep rallies, I never went to any of my school's sporting events. Most people didn't, and we didn't go to the prom, homecoming or most of the official dances. There were about 2,000 kids in my school. There were obviously teens who were dating and more successful than most of us at teen life, but we didn't watch them, try to be like them or try to join their circle of friends. They in turn did not know the names of all the students, taunt them or rule the school. I had no clue who was on what athletic team or the cheerleading squad. We all had our own groups of friends and were on speaking terms with the rest. No one ever offered me drugs, though I'm sure some students were using, or bothered me at all (junior high yes, high school no.) Academics was a big deal at the school and it was a status thing to get into AP classes. It was an upper middle class county with a fair variety of incomes and a growing ethnic population, but before designer fashions and expensive gadgets became status symbols for teens.

    But then my husband taught at a university in the heart of Texas, surrounded by small homogeneous towns, and what they did for the football team was insane. I think it has a lot to do with the community you live in, the size of the school system, etc. Not all the high schools in the U.S. are the same. I think athletics can be great for kids, but the amount of pressure they can be put under at the high school level is awful. I'm also for an 18 year age limit at the Olympics myself.

    So what happened when you let your closet geek out, G?

  6. #66
    Initiate Avi_stetto's Avatar
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    I am a geek and proud of it.

    - I have a Jedi poster over my bed. I want to get my four different maps of Middle-Earth custom framed.

    - I run around in a mascot suit, not for a sports team, for the LIBRARY!

    - My idea of a wild time is staying up until 3AM to read Robin Hobb or play LoTR Risk.

    - I have waking dreams about Runescape.

    - I hate crowds, but like talking to people. Therefore, I work in radio.

    - Except to vote, I have never set foot in an institution of public education. I was homeschooled.

    - Stargate is my favorite TV show.

    - I've been working on building a fantasy world since 1999.

    - I have never had a girlfriend.

  7. #67
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
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    I don't know if being home schooled qualifies but you certainly tick alot of boxes there Avi_Stetto! I am also proud of being a nerd. It annoys me when people look at me as though I actually am an alien for liking the things I do. I know it is because I don't look like someone into sci fi and metal etc (I get told that all the time) but who cares? I like what I like.

  8. #68
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Isn't that the key, Leiali? You have the courage to like what you like. I've never had a home. I have always been a wanderer, regardless of where I may live or for how long. But it's a state of mind, isn't it really? Fantasy is for people who know how to dream. Does that make us losers? I don't think so.

  9. #69
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
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    I really must get your books Gary, you have a wonderful way with words!

  10. #70
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Thank you Leiali. I would love you to read my books. I think you would relate to my sentiments.

  11. #71
    I feel that geekdom is what happens to people who are quite intelligent but whose education is one-sided technical. It is the people who are engineering majors in college who do not ever touch on classical lit, philosophy, art or even "softer" sciences like biology. I think they lose track of beauty, humor, emotions, and people around them of either sex because of it.

    This is a theory of why geeks like fantasy. It was put forth by a friend of mine and I believe it: In general, geeks are intelligent and value brilliance. Since brilliance beyond human might be a challenge for a writer to write (I'm not a writer and I hope Scott will correct me if I'm wrong), magic is the next best thing.

  12. #72
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leiali
    I really must get your books Gary, you have a wonderful way with words!
    Ditto on that one.

  13. #73
    Slave to the Cruel Pen
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    Not everyone who reads fantasy are geeks. I'm not, and I'm sure there are people just like me. I'm still in high school, and I'm fairly popular...(I play on the basketball team).... reading doesn't make you a geek, how isolated and friendless you are makes you a geek..... Well anyway what's the defintion of a geek? Is a geek a type of person or a personality.
    Now I've confused myself!
    Last edited by Final07; June 26th, 2005 at 02:18 PM.

  14. #74
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    It's funny that only a few years ago you would still have been classified as a geek, because you use computers. Computers and fantasy, I think that would have qualified you as a geek despite being on the basketball team!

    With me, I'm 26, have a lot of good friends, have had several girlfriends, but there was definitely a period of geekiness when I was oh, say, 12-14... Since then though, I've been able to become a happy, social person and still retain my love of fantasy and reading and sci-fi and movies and even toys. I just embrace the dork in me, and don't care. Most people I know who don't understand it just think it's funny, and we laugh it off.

  15. #75
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Agent
    It's funny that only a few years ago you would still have been classified as a geek, because you use computers. Computers and fantasy, I think that would have qualified you as a geek despite being on the basketball team!

    With me, I'm 26, have a lot of good friends, have had several girlfriends, but there was definitely a period of geekiness when I was oh, say, 12-14... Since then though, I've been able to become a happy, social person and still retain my love of fantasy and reading and sci-fi and movies and even toys. I just embrace the dork in me, and don't care. Most people I know who don't understand it just think it's funny, and we laugh it off.

    We should all 'Embrace the Dork in us'. What a cool phrase!

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