Thursday, June 07, 2007

Nerd Camp: The final frontier

I work in a city that is populated by a large group of very smart people.

Not everyone here is smart, mind you. The woman who was in the fast lane in front of me this morning tweezing her eyebrows while driving, for example? I think she fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.

But most people here? Scientists, engineers, doctors of various subjects. Smart folks.

Last summer I worked in this city also. Working for a company that subcontracts means you just kind of go where the wind blows. Last summer it blew me here and although I've been in and out, this is pretty much where my work is going to be.

When researching summer camps, it just made sense to bring my little children to the city that I work in, rather than the city that I live in. I reasoned that if something happened to them I would much rather be five minutes from where they were instead of forty-five minutes. Plus, the camp was very reasonably priced and they get to swim every single freaking day. And they got a free t-shirt! I'm all about the free products!

Anyway, I take them to the first day of camp last year and waiting in the sign-in line with me were children of various sizes and ages.

Wearing glasses.
Wearing Star-Wars t-shirts.
Wearing knee socks with the colored stripes on top.
Carrying sack lunches.
Holding inhalers.
Talking about conjugating verbs.

Behold. We had arrived in nerd Heaven.

My son is more than a little bit of a geek and we're all kind of cool with that. As an example, my son has his adult teeth already and his face is still very small. Of course, this makes his teeth, in particular his front teeth, appear large. I spoke to the dentist who assured me that we have to give him time for his face to grow before we do anything like have braces put on. Cool. But a bully at school informed him that he had "beaver teeth". To which my son replied, "Oh my GOD you are so stupid! Beavers have ORANGE TEETH. Duh."

Did you know beavers have orange teeth? I didn't either. But they do.

He reads the atlas for fun. He loves math and science. He's just a wee-tad awkward. He's the sweetest kid ever, really.

But he? Is a nerd.

I love nerds. I, personally, am a bit of a nerd and enjoy things like reading books about our federal lands and learning which bugs live in my yard (not that I'm going to touch them, but learning about them is cool). I'm legally blind without corrective lenses. I do elaborate studies of social policies for fun. I follow politics and environmental news. I think the best vacations (save Disney World, naturally) are the ones where you learn. A lot.

Within days my son had a huge group of friends who were just like him, including one sweet little boy named Christian who my son proclaimed that Jesus must really love a lot. I would come to pick him up and they would be sitting in the corner working math problems for fun or doing elaborate puzzles that they had personally made up or playing whatever the equivalent of Dungeons and Dragons is to today's kids. They talked about building car engines and dissecting frogs.

They were the sweetest kids ever. No one got in trouble. All the kids were polite and courteous and appropriate. It was just FUN.

My daughter, who is decidedly NOT a nerd, also had the most fun ever at this camp. Because she was the coolest kid there. By far.

I'm guilty of sometimes worrying about my children's social status. I admit it. No one wants their child to be an outcast. But during the summer time? My kids are totally in their element. And it's awesome.

The geeks shall inherit the earth.



Angie said...

Right back at you, chick! I laughed at this one, too.

For yes, I too, am raising a nerd. But I love him ever so much!

BTW. . . I don't know that I've ever been so excited as when you typed that you laughed at my blog.

For you, my dear, are a comedy guru to me!

M said...

YEAH for geeks! I so hope my kids are as geeky as I ever was. It really is a good thing to be nerdtacular.

And your kids are actually super cool with a side of nerd. The best combo around!

I *heart* them so.

frannie said...

I *love* nerds! and while this age may be hard sometimes... the rest of their lives the nerds will be the cool ones.

technology and the like have totally made the geeks cool.

we were at a pool party last weekend- the big discussion? diseases that are major problems in Africa and west nile and such. your son should totally come hang with us sometime! all of our friends are scientists- and nerdy... but in a cool way.

Anonymous said...

Nerds rule--especially adorable little nerd children!! Nerds are also cool AND will make a crapton of money discovering all sorts of things :)

Rachel (Crazy-Is) said...

I heart nerds.

Denise said...

I was a nerd but my kids are not My Dyllan is a freakin casanova. But I have a soft spot for little nerd kids. I think they are adorable. Yay for nerd camp!!

Shanilie said...

I married my geek. He admits it and I love it!

Anonymous said...

Hey, there's nothing wrong with being a nerd. They get to laugh all the way to the bank in the end....

Anonymous said...

I was a nerd and it looks very likely that my son inherited my genes, what with his obsession with reading and spending hours organizing his blocks.

And I heart him for it. And your kids? They sound like they freaking rock even more now.

Red P. Bucket said...

I think my finest nerd moment was when my economics major boss told me "lady, get a life", I said "I have a life and I like it very much, thankyou!" Do your fabulous nerd children know how to make a Möbius band? Teach them how and they'll be the stars of nerd camp this summer.

Take a strip of paper (long grocery store receipts are my favorite) twist it so you're touching the back of one end to the front of the other end and tape it together. You now have a one sided surface, you can draw a line around the whole thing without taking your pen off it. Tear it in half lengthwise and see what happens!

Alpha Dude said...

The actual verse is :

"Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inheirit the earth".

But I agree with you and it must be a miss-spelling. Either that, or the greek meaning for the word "Meek" is "nerdy smart people who are tons of fun to be around and learn things from".

Or something like that.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I'm a weird mix of dork and nerd. Part of me worries that my kids will be "cool kids" and that I won't know how to handle it. =P

Anonymous said...

I wanna send SF to nerd camp!!! Sounds like a nice, safe place o be.

Julie said...

Nerds do rule the world! And nerds are the new cool. I mean really, who wouldn't want to be Bill Gates these days!

I do worry a lot about how my daughter will fit in next year when she starts elementary school. She can be rather attitudinal (aka bitchy) at times - I would hate for her to get classified as one of the bitchy girls already!

Vicki said...

Hey, Disney is not only the coolest vacation in the world, but it's a GREAT place to learn stuff!! The Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom is neat AND educational, and I dare you to go spend a day at Epcot and NOT learn something!!! :)

I heart Disney World and am totally bummed that I can't go again until next May!! :)

PinkCat said...

My lovely wonderful charming 11 year old is a nerd to but he is way cool!!

I bought him a t shirt that said "One Day I Will Be Your Boss" from Target. lol So true though.

Take care sweetie and hugs xx

EE said...

My son's teeth are just as you described, although his have a yellowish tint to them (even though we brush the heck out of them).
I'd love for my kids to go to that camp...sounds awesome!
PS Vote For PEDRO!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Whew! I'm just glad it's not "The GREEKS shall inherit the earth." I can handle geeks. I used to be married to one. Still think he's okay.

Jocelyn said...

I wonder if I pretended to be ten, if I could still go to nerd camp. It might go far to calm some of my remaining self-esteem demons.

I always wondered where My People were. I shoulda guessed.

my4kids said...

My kids aren't nerds but nerds are cool. Joshua is a class clown, Izzak hmm don't know what he is not nerd not jock not the most popular... Kenzie is the little social butterfly and well Madison...she is just her very own self, she runs her life the way she wants it and expects everyone to follow...I would love a nerd. I need someone to teach me something! My kids just weird!
Camps are great though the school the groups are different! Kenzie has the same teeth problem though the kids have all gotten their teeth way early but she's okay with it.

Adventures in Baby Fat said...

I worry a bit. I think it's normaly to worry.

My son is a bit of a geek. He is super smart with an intense imagination. He is destined for geekness. He really can't help it. His father is the ultra geek lord master. It's part of his DNA package. However, just in his little preschool hierarchy, he rules. He has lots of friends who yell their greeting when he walks in the room. It's like the preschool version of Cheers but maybe with more alcohol. Or less.

They love him. He loves them. He has friends and socializes. That's what I worry about mostly. As long as he has friends who he can relate to, that's what's important.

So good for him! And good for your daughter for putting up with the geeks. :)

CPA Mom said...

I love your kids. I love you. Won't you be my sister?

Orange teeth! Your son rocks my socks off.

velocibadgergirl said...

I love this entry almost as much as I love you and your fantabulous children! Geeks of the world unite!

julie said...

I went to nerd camp once. It was the best summer ever.

AnnieM said...

Can we start a big teeth club? I can relate 100%. My husband and I both have huge teeth and we are already feeling bad for our kids, they are destine for hugeness!

SJINCO said...

Man, your boy sounds awesome! And why am I shocked? You are awesome too...