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Coming clean with my inner nerd
Posted Nov. 14, 2008

OK, fine, I’ll admit it. I am a total nerd. At the risk of losing future dates and letting my friends find out I’m not cool (which I guess they know already), I will use full disclosure in this column.

A lot of my previous years, especially in high school, were spent trying to mimic other people. I would try really hard to observe what I thought ‘normal’ people looked like. I thought that if I could just dress the same or listen to the same music then I would be cool.

Now, at 22, I have come to a conclusion—I will always be the choir geek, not the cheerleader.

I would rather read a book than go out partying. I have to acknowledge that I am the one who does the reading assignments no matter what, because I am terrified of getting called on. So, while I am as far from the typical “let me do the bare minimum” student, I am starting to become proud of my nerdiness.

It has taken me a long time to finally say to the world: I am the quiet bookworm, not the homecoming queen.

For example, I am a word nerd. I absolutely adore crossword puzzles, and I do them constantly when I am watching TV. I am not nearly smart enough to finish the LA Times puzzles on Sundays, but I can always complete the ones in People or TV Guide (which isn’t nearly as impressive, but still gives me a sense of accomplishment).

Going along with crosswords, my favorite game is Scrabble. I am not good at this game at all for some reason, but I really enjoy playing it with my family. Nothing makes me more excited than seeing that tile flipped down on top of the board to reveal a triple word score…see, I told you this was full disclosure.

Now, being a word nerd is not always a bad thing. It helps with majoring in journalism and my future career path as a

—I hope—successful writer…writers love words.

Being this type of nerd also helps with other classes; I actually enjoy some of the reading assignments because I love to read (but some are still totally boring, just in case you were getting the idea that I’m completely off my rocker.)

Being a social nerd means that I am just as happy renting a movie and curling up on the sofa, than I am getting dolled up and hitting the clubs.

Netflix is a dear friend, and I can’t picture how I lived my life before getting Tivo. I have favorite shows I can’t miss like “Gossip Girl,” “True Blood,” “Project Runway” and others. So, these must-sees result in me being less likely to go out drinking and more likely to stay up late eating Fruit Loops directly out of the box.

I don’t understand the appeal of drinking. As a nerd, I have enough trouble looking cool as it is. So, for now you probably shouldn’t look for me at the local bar…you can still catch me at home, eating peanut butter and jelly and catching up on reruns of “Intervention.”

I do have some heroes that have come out of the nerd closet. Bill Gates was a nerd, and now he has more money than everyone in the world combined. Most Judd Apatow movies are based on nerds who are trying to find their way in the world (hello “Superbad” and “Knocked Up.”) And if you’ve ever seen a teenage movie from the ‘80s, you know that after a makeover, the unpopular, nerdy girl gets the guy.

Although it has taken me a long time to know the difference between acknowledging one’s flaws and embracing them, I am now willing to admit that I will never be the flirty beauty, and I am working on accepting that nerdy just might be the new cool.

Anyone up for a game of Scrabble?

Erin Konrad, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at erin.konrad@laverne.edu.