Monday, June 16, 2014

What Makes You a Nerd?

Nerd: an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a 
nonsocial hobby or pursuit

What makes you a nerd? What hobby do you hide from your face to face friends (or choose to share very carefully with only a few?). What experiences do you choose not to share with others or do you feel your husband or wife looks at with a bit of quiet amusement? 

I have had several obsessions over my lifetime, I will admit that most don't last over long periods but for a while they were all I pursued in my free (and maybe not so free) time. My first obsession that I remember was with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series at my school library. I spent one school year reading every book in both series. I could not stop until I had read every one. 

Later, in my early twenties I became obsessed with sports card trading. This is as close to an addiction that I have ever had. I have a huge cedar chest in the barn with full of memories from those years. They may be worth something some day...

I have had lots of passionate short-term loves. I was totally fascinated with both Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr's music. I spent a couple years acting like a Beastie Boy. I read every Robert Heinlein book I have ever come across, I may have read all of them (and that is quite the accomplishment.) I played Tony Hawk Pro Skater until my thumbs locked up!

Right now I am in a Harry Dresden spiral. I read two books in the series while at Walt Disney World (which is also a bit of an obsession with me.) I suppose that writing on blogs would make me a bit of a nerd too, I have had so many different ones over the years...

Perhaps the 'nerdiest' thing I have done is create a blog about being a nerd. Seriously, who does that? I know many people from online interactions that have hobbies that are at least as nerdy as mine. I am hoping to bring short interviews with them to post on here. Maybe we can connect some of you together who share nerdy hobbies. They should at least be very interesting!

So, what makes you a nerd? Please leave your nerdiest hobby in the comments section below. Don't worry about being judged, we are all nerds here :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Revenge of the Fifth! A Day to Celebrate the Dark Side of the Force

Not everyone is a fan of the Jedi. If you identify better with Slytherin the Sith then today is your day! While practicing your dark force powers (force choke someone for me!) you may wish to take a break and play:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the Fourth Be With You! Star Wars Day!

May the fourth be with you! is a funny take on the Jedi greeting and according to Wikipedia it was first used by Margaret Thatcher's political party in a newspaper advertisement after she was elected Emperor of England (or is it Prime Minister?)

What will you do to celebrate the fourth? My plan is to show my youngest daughters the original Star Wars movie. Maybe then they will see why my favorite Star Wars phrase is: 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Free Comic Book Day!

Today is Free Comic Book Day! Check out the website for a store locator.

After getting your free comics, check out the Stan Lee Foundation site for information on using comics in education.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Owning Our Choices and Accepting Ourselves

Today my 7th grade students are creating Russian nesting dolls (Matryoshka). This is the art project for our geography chapter on Russia. Students can make their nesting dolls out of any characters they want, from typical pop culture choices to ones they make up on their own.

Later this week they will reflect on their choice in characters. Why did they choose superheroes? Why cartoon characters? Why did they want to make their own, new characters? The real goal of this activity is less about Russian art and much more about students identifying the choice they made.

 Too often we make choices based upon the people we surround ourselves with. We succumb to peer pressure or that inner voice that has been telling us for years we aren't cool enough and we need to work harder to fit in. The reality is the only people that we need to make happy or impress is ourselves and we can't do that hanging on to the old social pressures that used to make us question every decision we made. We need to take a stand in our classrooms and give our students opportunities to share their inner nerdiness. Give them their voice.

This post has been reposted on


Sunday, April 6, 2014

The #SKoN: The Beginning of a Thing

Space Knights of #NERD don't need helmets,
cowboy hats will do in a pinch.
I have been using the word 'nerd' for several years now as a term of endearment and respect. I use it at school with my students and online with my Twitter colleagues. While the word has much less of stigma attached to it than even 20 years ago, it still is often used to denigrate a person who is both intelligent and interested in things different from the norm. This, of course, is not acceptable.

It is time to take the word and celebrate its meaning. No longer should we allow it to be used to push away or marginalize others. Social media has allowed many nerds to come together and form bonds based on our specific, typically non-normal interests. Why not use social media to promote a positive use of the word?

I challenge you to find your inner nerd, celebrate his or her #awesomesauce and join us as a member of the Space Knights of #NERD