It wasn’t cool to be a nerd.
As a little kid, I wore clothes that fit.
I carried a Game Boy in my pockets and listened to Red Grammar & Wee Sing.
I watched Woody Woodpecker, Bill Nye and Bible cartoons.
I grew a strong passion for the home team Indiana Pacers.
I was born in Philly and moved to Indianapolis at the age of three. If memory serves, I believe the children dressed normally. However, when I went back to Philadelphia in 1995, suddenly my attire, interests and lingo were out of place.
In Indianapolis, my peers accepted me as I was.
Well, minus the long and wavy hair I had going down my back. My father finally gave me a haircut (somewhat) when I turned five. Until then, the neighborhood boys would always call me a girl until I threatened to pull my wee-wee out. True story! lol
In the early 90s, my mother worked for the Indianapolis Public School district. Each summer she was allowed to bring home her school computer, an Apple Macintosh LCII. I quickly become a fan of Oregon Trail, Number Munchers, Spin Doctor, Spectre and Lemmings. Besides the games I played, I really enjoyed poking around with clip art and creating wacky images in Kid Pix. The Claris Works application consumed a lot of my time as well. I enjoyed YEARS of creating graphics using the various shape, line and paint bucket tools.
Since my mother was a teacher, she always had a fun and interesting way of handling my early education. She taught me how to add, subtract, multiply, divide, read, spell and write before I entered kindergarten using a combination of magnets, flash cards and computer games. In first grade, I was even writing in cursive.
Before schools had an IT staff, teachers would always seek out Mrs. Norris’ son to solve their computer woes. A well kept, five year old know-it-all with curly hair and buck teeth.
In Philadelphia, it wasn’t cool to be a nerd.
When I attended Richard R. Wright elementary school in north Philadelphia, my hand was shooting up after every question from the teacher. My actions were frowned upon by my peers and soon after, my library books become projectiles that my bullies used to get me to play dodgeball and fetch.
Minors using profanity, listening to obscene music and watching rated-R films on a regular basis became the norm. Every man and boy played loud (c)rap music full of foul language and walked around with balled fists and evil scowls. Since I didn’t carry MYSELF in such a negative way, I was often labeled “soft” and became a common target for bullies.
From middle school through ninth grade I collected Pokémon cards and played the Pokémon games on Game Boy(Color). I would wake up early on Saturday mornings to tune into Kids-WB just to idolize Ash. A few friends and I would often “battle” with Pokémon cards on the bus after school and the upperclassmen would constantly jeer at us. Oh, and if they saw us with Game Boy Advances linked together across the aisle, they would treat the cable as if it was the finish line tape in four-foot marathon.
After ninth grade, I become a chameleon. I was SICK of the social shenanigans! I then had a foul mouth, slapped girls on the behind and walked the hallways.
Why? It was COOL, and it WASN’T cool to be a nerd.
I went from T-Bone and Joe to Eminem and G-Unit.
My grades plummeted.
My attitude was nasty.
I walked around with a frown, to LOOK tough.
I got arrested for petty nonsense.
I didn’t listen to the pastor, my parents or even my self.
I became a rebel because it wasn’t cool to be a nerd.
…and my popularity SKYROCKETED!
Most kids just want to fit in and I was no exception. In retrospect, the only problem was that I was wearing a mask. My whole existence was a LIE.
I still carried my Yu-Gi-Oh! deck and Game Boy Advance in my pocket but I would sit in a far corner of the lunchroom to play. If any pretty girls came near, I would pack up and excuse myself.
I felt cool, but I wasn’t. It wasn’t cool to be a nerd.
Nowadays, the huge gaps of air in urban clothing have decreased tremendously. The urban crowd is back to wearing proper-sized clothing and even garments that are obviously too tight. The openings of jeans are too small to go over the tops of shoes, shirts so tight you can see nipples and ribs…and these are supposed to be heterosexuals! If that wasn’t enough, some are accessorizing themselves with plastic glasses frames with oversized lenses, bow ties and suspenders. I can’t even recall the amount of times I’ve seen a “has-been-tough-guy” post a cell phone pic of themselves in some ridiculous outfit on Facebook with the letters “N-E-R-D” added to the photo.
So, I guess this is the new trend. It’s cool to be a nerd.
The nonsense disgusts me. Sorry people, but being a nerd is more than just looking the part. Only in the movies will you see nerds in nightclubs and geeks with groupies. This is a slap-in-the-face to all computer techies, brainiacs, teacher pets, book worms, bug collectors, rock collectors, drama and choir students, water boys, Yu-Gi-Oh duelists and anyone who’s loved Animé well into or even BEYOND high school.
The spitballs, forced fights, the torments in front of the girls of our dreams, hallway humiliation, being pantsed, atomic wedgies, stuffed into lockers, egged on Mystery Night before Halloween, having our lunch(money) taken, our Pokémon cards stolen right out of our hands…ANYTHING outright socially abusive just because we didn’t fit in with the “cool kids” or have a tough guy persona.
Excuse me. The flashbacks have me a bit angered.
Now as an adult, some of the a**holes (excuse me again) we probably wish we were as popular as are now beneath us. They spent all of the their time being so damn “cool” and are now a product of their socially approved reckless behavior.
The “pimps” and players have children with hood rats they despise. The ones that throw themselves at ALL the cool guys.
The tough guys have convictions and felonies or are probably STILL playing basketball in Pelican Bay.
A few have their lives on track but the rest have either dropped out of school and become a statistic or have placed themselves at the mercy of us nerds that are in the position to hire them to do menial jobs.
These new school urban nerds lack substance.
In my day, there was always a reason you could look up to a nerd. They were always good at something, regardless of how boring or uninteresting it may have been on the cool-o-meter.
I had buddies who just seemed to ALWAYS write the perfect paragraph answers to open-ended questions.
I had buddies that were so skilled at hacky sack that they could rival Mia Hamm.
I had buddies that knew the story of Dragon Ball Z as if they grew up with Goku.
Today’s urban youth have the laziest minds.
These kids today IDOLIZE (c)rap music from artists that repeat the same stupid lines over and over and call it a chorus/hook. To make things worse, they can’t seem to rhyme more than one syllable at a time.
Cat…hat. Walk…talk. I got a gun…pull it, you run.
Gimmie a break…
When I was a kid, emcees educated us in their raps. When I was a teen, the raps may have been violent and degrading but the artists are the forefront were a nice bunch that at least had lyrical talent. As an adult, I can’t even listen to the nonsense that’s labeled as “Hip Hop”, but these kids today eat this stuff up! There’s no way I’d let my child listen to a song by some idiot with a second grade reading level.
I can’t recall too many nerds in my youth that even knew who Snoop Dogg was.
New school nerds have no desire for knowledge.
Instead of pulling out their smartphone to Google something, they’ll ask the next person. If that lazy individual doesn’t know, the question will continue to be passed around. If none of the lazy individuals know, they ultimately just give up. Terrible…
In retrospect, I would’ve NEVER tried to fit in with the crowd. Because now, I enjoy being a stand-out!
I’ve been ranting far too long. I should’ve said this a long time ago, but to make a LONGER story short, just be yourself.
To hell with being cool.
Forget what you heard, it’s NOT cool to be a nerd!
With the intent to inform, indulge and inspire!
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