Tuesday, October 8, 2013
The assignment is a selfie but it can't be a photo of one's physical self which doesn't make any sense to anyone in the room. Written on the chalkboard is the phrase, We see the world not as it is, but as we are, a quote attributed to Anais Nin and the Talmud. A quote I only once heard and forever after remembered in order to keep both my self and my child in check. We may watch more closely what we say when we find what we say says more about us than anyone else. A quick self examination has never been a bad thing.
The class of twenty high school students nod because they understand after my fumbling explanation or they just want me to shut up. Either way the next week we have some students bring in the assignment, the first of which is a guy's brother holding one of those super cool Star Wars' flying whatevers that I'm sure my baby brother once had.
It's great. He nailed it, and together he, the class and I are all studying the photograph on the large screen. We're talking about thirds and lighting and depth of field and detail and what are you telling us about yourself through this photograph?
That's when another student shouts, Nerd.
I'm all, Yeah. Wish I could be because there was that one time when someone called me that and I've never neglected to remember them on a Christmas list and who doesn't want to be a nerd.
The correct answer is obviously every high school student in this class because that's when the very smart and attentive and thank God she's there teacher says, Hey. No name calling.
I don't live under a rock but I also no longer live in a house with a high school student though I will say I do think Slater embraced a certain nerdiness within himself and those conversations I miss most on that back porch involved me asking him about physics something or another. It's just I had to ask the class and the teacher, Is nerd bad?
There are more than a few nods and some giggling in the room when the guy who actually took on the assignment says, Oh that's just my brother. My brother likes that kinda stuff.
Oh please, I say. Star Wars rules. Listen to some Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, people. Those guys are the bomb. Plus, who in here has a cell phone?
Everyone in the room laughs and raises their hands.
You realize you give all your money to the nerds, right? Those high tech shoes which make you jump higher and run faster, those people who made you believe that, all nerds and there's nothing bad about that.
I know I'm only saying how I see it but I am grateful for passionate intelligence when humans explore the most detailed aspects of this world and as a result invent more and better and Go, Nerds.