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Claire Thinking
The Geek in Me

I admit it. I'm a geek.

Oh, I take great pains to try to hide it, but I am one, just the same. Being a geeky guy is "in" these days, but being a geeky girl never was and probably never will be.

Even the geeky guys prefer someone not as weird as they. This is why I do my best to disguise it. It's next to impossible, though. You see I have some classic symptoms that make me easily identifiable.

1. I'm good at math.

Now, I'm not complaining about my aptitude, I'm merely pointing out that there is a stereotypical image that haunts the arithmetically inclined. Fortunately, unless I'm wearing a t-shirt that says "Mathlete" this trait is fairly easy to hide.

It's not fail proof though. At my 20th high school reunion I was shaking hands with an old classmate who squinted his eyes at me and said, "I remember you…you were good in math. I hated that." What's a girl to do?

2. I care about the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek.

Those of you who were thinking, "What is the difference?" are definitely not in danger of being mistaken for a geek. However, you do run the risk of offending one.

I won't get into the differences here. There are a myriad of websites dedicated to just that (don't ask me how I know - geek, remember?). Look them up if you are so inclined but most are about who has the greater military power, and that doesn't really matter because we all know that Star Trek isn't real. ;-)

I am a Star Wars fan without apology. I confess that I want to be Luke Skywalker (yet still be a girl, of course). I also think that if I listen enough times I'll be able to figure out what R2D2 is saying.

I want to fly through space in Han Solo's Millennium Falcon and I want to learn to use the Force and become a Jedi. Ok, not living in RL (real life) is also a geek trait, but this is too good of a fantasy to give up.

3. I can open up a computer and swap out parts when need be.

What's a geek without a computer?

I may not carry a laptop around with me to coffee shops that proclaim high-speed wireless Internet access, and I don't have my own personal blog (OK, I do but I just don't update it regularly), but I do spend a major part of my day basking in the glow from my computer screen.

These days I'm mostly a user, but there was a time when I was employed as a computer "guru" and am still often called upon to use my "magic touch" to get a PC back in working order - or explain mail merge.

4. I have a geek degree.

Every degree has its stereotype. Not all are geek image inducing. Political Science or Art, both evoke images but not of geek. Math or Physics: definitely geek. Doctor: no. History: yes.

I saddled myself with two geek degrees. I am both engineer and librarian. Neither of which projects a desirable image of a female.

When I was studying to be an engineer, there was an organization that I was encouraged to join, the Society of Women Engineers. Unfortunately, the student chapter called itself the Society of Women Engineers at Training, or SWEAT. One look at the group photo of engineer-type women labeled SWEAT in the yearbook was enough to keep me from joining.

I'm sure you can conjure the requisite librarian image without much trouble. Why didn't I pick a more feminine career, like Victoria's Secret underwear model, or Roller Derby skater girl?

Talk about your double whammies. Now, I may need glasses, and I have on occasion worn my hair in a bun, but for the record, let it be known that I never have and never will succumb to the wearing of sensible shoes (or pocket protectors).

Usually I try to hide my geekdom.

  • I wear contact lenses, eyeliner, and strappy sandals.
  • I read romance novels and shop at the mall.
  • I have a tan.
  • I never wear crew neck t-shirts with sayings on them. (Well, I do have that one that says Information Hottie…rats!)
5. I have a t-shirt that says Information Hottie.

Even worse…

6. I bought it on the Internet.

Sigh! I guess I fairly reek with geek.

Oh, well! It's not like I can or would change myself. Geek girls are smart girls and there's no way I would give that up. I'm proud that I was good in math - no matter how many boys hated that.

I love the fact that my librarian training has afforded me the skills to find the answers to whatever questions haunt my mind - usually with just a few clicks on the computer keyboard. And a girl who can do mail merge is next to irreplaceable in today's office.

And there are a lot of non-geeky people who like Star Wars. At least I don't dress in character and go to conventions. OK, I do have that Darth Vader mask, but that was a gift! All right, I did try to use the force, but it didn't work, so I don't think that counts, really.

I'm sure if you met me you wouldn't be able to tell that I'm a geek girl, at least not until you got to know me a little better. I'm pretty good at being normal.

You'd be thinking, hey, she's a cute girl, and smart too - I wonder why she has that SpongeBob Squarepants Magic 8 Ball on her desk?

Yes, you'd never know. That is, unless you are a geek girl too.

Are you?


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