The Average Geek

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TheKrikkitWars
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The Average Geek

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:37 pm UTC

Forgive me father, for I have sinned, in this post below I have totally ignored the ideals of brevity set forth 19 years ago by Our Lord Berners-Lee

Inspired by this:

Yesterday this conversation happened:
Me: [Waffles on about engineering topic], oh and then you have vector calculus to contend with.
Person: We covered vectors two weeks ago, they're alright.
Me: No, Calculus on Vectors.
Person: What?
Me: Calculus on vector quantities in 3d space.
Person: eek!
Me: Luckily you won't need to cover it.
Person: Wait, are you one of those really smart people?
Me: Erm, [awkward pause] I guess, [awkward pause], I always say I'm a bit geeky, a polymath in waiting as it were.
Person: What?
Me: Someone who knows lots of diverse things, Poly- many, math-knowledge, thus many-kno...
Person: No, I meant you can't be a geek, you're all like a raft guide, and do extreme sports and have a girlfriend and, and , [tails off].
Me: What bearing does that have on anything?
Person: But geeks can't be...
Me: Hey, come out of the box a little... [conversation goes on]



I want to know, what do you think the average geek really is, as all the stereotypes as above seem to be actualy way off the mark.

In time honored fashion, Discuss.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby NEWK » Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:49 pm UTC

I know that I fit every geek stereotype perfectly except for the girlfriend thing, but then again, she lives a thousand miles away...Most of my friends live hundreds or thousands of miles away.

You know, I've actually been described as a "polymath" before by someone other than myself, which is unbelievably cool. Ironically, the only major geeky subject that I'm not any good at is math. I'm fascinated by it, but I suck at it.

So I guess I'm just here to reinforce the stereotypes. I say, screw what everyone thinks and embrace your geekiness. Who gives a shit about stereotpes?
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby maninblack » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:01 pm UTC

"All generalizations are false."

'Nuff said.

Seriously though, I agree that most stereo types are wrong especially about geeks. Case in point: in the school district I attended it was possible to get in the accelerated track for math and take calculus your senior year. My senior year there were only seven students in that class. Three of us (myself included) were varsity wrestlers. Jocks and geeks both....er....wait.....

Like I say stereo types typically can be wrong, and I'll echo NEWK and say FTW embrace your geekiness.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby kinigget » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:15 pm UTC

geekdom (I have no idea how to actually spell that, forgive me.) comes in many forms. All of which have their own set of generalizations. Almost none of which are true. The only generalization I can make about geeks is that they all seek knowledge above all else. And even that can very likely be disproven. but of course, if it weren't for stereotypes, where would we get material for nerd jokes?

sorry for rambling, it's what I tend to do when musing.
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ethraax
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby ethraax » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:17 pm UTC

I see stereotypes, including the "geek" one, as just fitting a model to some data (as perceived by a third party). They usually get somewhere in the right ballpark, but are almost never completely right. The issue is that, as people, we're so diverse (all people in this case, not just "geeks"), so stereotypes in general tend to be farther off from the truth than we think.

Not that I disagree with stereotypes. I see them as being a "default" value for many aspects of someone's personality. It's incredibly efficient, and without it, we'd spend too much time evaluating all aspects of someone's personality (especially considering that most of the people you see in your life you won't see more than 3-4 times). The only thing you have to remember is that those values come from a stereotype and are not at all guaranteed to be correct, and thus be ready to radically change your opinion of someone when they actually do something that shows their personality (evidence > prediction).
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby telcontar42 » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:28 pm UTC

The problem with stereotypes is that people try to apply them to specific cases, and that doesn't work. If I say that geeks in general are more socially awkward than the average person, that does not mean that every geek is socially awkward. It just means than overall, geeks tend to be more socially awkward, which I think is probably true. I would guess that most stereotypes that people have about geeks are probably true, but they are just generalizations, so they won't all apply to every geek.

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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Alpha Omicron » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:48 pm UTC

maninblack wrote:"All generalizations are false."

Instant paradox.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Raiku » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:33 pm UTC

Alpha Omicron wrote:
maninblack wrote:"All generalizations are false."

Instant paradox.


I agree :P

And I'm not a steryotypical geek-far from it!

I just come across totally awesome (apparantly-I think I'm weird, but...)
But I fit the setting of geek, but definitley not in a steryo-typed way.

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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Angua » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:59 pm UTC

I think I'm a geek, except for the fact that I'm not brilliant with computers, computer/console games (but do enjoy playing them when I get the chance!) and coding (have basically no experience with coding). I like scifi and find science magazines interesting. I'm good at math (I have come up with a formula guaranteed to give you a right angled triangle with whole number sides, I don't know if it's been done before or not, but I did come up with it on my own). I also get along well with geeks.
You guys tell me:
Geek? Y/N
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Yuri2356 » Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:17 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Yesterday this conversation happened:
Me: [Waffles on about engineering topic], oh and then you have vector calculus to contend with.
Person: We covered vectors two weeks ago, they're alright.
Me: No, Calculus on Vectors.
Person: What?
Me: Calculus on vector quantities in 3d space.
Person: eek!
Me: Luckily you won't need to cover it.
Person: Wait, are you one of those really smart people?
Me: Erm, [awkward pause] I guess, [awkward pause], I always say I'm a bit geeky, a polymath in waiting as it were.
Person: What?
Me: Someone who knows lots of diverse things, Poly- many, math-knowledge, thus many-kno...
Person: No, I meant you can't be a geek, you're all like a raft guide, and do extreme sports and have a girlfriend and, and , [tails off].
Me: What bearing does that have on anything?
Person: But geeks can't be...
Me: [Hits person with a brick.]



There, much better.

Angua wrote:I think I'm a geek, except for the fact that I'm not brilliant with computers, computer/console games (but do enjoy playing them when I get the chance!) and coding (have basically no experience with coding). I like scifi and find science magazines interesting. I'm good at math (I have come up with a formula guaranteed to give you a right angled triangle with whole number sides, I don't know if it's been done before or not, but I did come up with it on my own). I also get along well with geeks.
You guys tell me:
Geek? Y/N

Sure, geeks can have many specialties. Anyone who tries to enforce their personal view of geekdom 'pon others as the one true creed deserves a good bricking.

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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Angua » Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:26 pm UTC

Yuri2356 wrote:
Angua wrote:I think I'm a geek, except for the fact that I'm not brilliant with computers, computer/console games (but do enjoy playing them when I get the chance!) and coding (have basically no experience with coding). I like scifi and find science magazines interesting. I'm good at math (I have come up with a formula guaranteed to give you a right angled triangle with whole number sides, I don't know if it's been done before or not, but I did come up with it on my own). I also get along well with geeks.
You guys tell me:
Geek? Y/N

Sure, geeks can have many specialties. Anyone who tries to enforce their personal view of geekdom 'pon others as the one true creed deserves a good bricking.
Thanks, as the person who told me I didn't qualify for a geek is my ex, I'm always happy for another reason to brick him.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Pit » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:07 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
Yuri2356 wrote:
Angua wrote:I think I'm a geek, except for the fact that I'm not brilliant with computers, computer/console games (but do enjoy playing them when I get the chance!) and coding (have basically no experience with coding). I like scifi and find science magazines interesting. I'm good at math (I have come up with a formula guaranteed to give you a right angled triangle with whole number sides, I don't know if it's been done before or not, but I did come up with it on my own). I also get along well with geeks.
You guys tell me:
Geek? Y/N

Sure, geeks can have many specialties. Anyone who tries to enforce their personal view of geekdom 'pon others as the one true creed deserves a good bricking.
Thanks, as the person who told me I didn't qualify for a geek is my ex, I'm always happy for another reason to brick him.


I, too, have an ex who didn't qualify me as a geek (but somehow agreed with everyone else that I'm a man). If you need brickage help, I'm always here.
---
geek  Slang.
–noun
1. a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.
2. a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.)
3. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken


My friend, who was salutatorian of my high school, wrote her salutatory speech on geeks (mostly with regards to how geeks will somehow own the "kool kids" and rule the world). I mean, some stereotypes fall into place just because a lot of geeks are that way.

And besides, everyone has their geek moments, but that doesn't mean they're a geek. I think geeks can gague who's a geek and who's not better than non-geeks.

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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Mr.RobLikesBrunch » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:15 pm UTC

maninblack wrote:"All generalizations are false."



Did you just deny economics?

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Re: The Average Geek

Postby ethraax » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:18 pm UTC

Mr.RobLikesBrunch wrote:
maninblack wrote:"All generalizations are false."


Did you just deny economics?


You could go broader and say he denied all of Statistics as well.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:46 pm UTC

ethraax wrote:
Mr.RobLikesBrunch wrote:
maninblack wrote:"All generalizations are false."


Did you just deny economics?


You could go broader and say he denied all of Statistics as well.


The Hell he did, he denyed all of statistical analsys, statistics themself are increadibly precise and fiddly bits of maths.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Shro » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:22 pm UTC

How about No geek is an Average geek?
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Klapaucius » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:30 pm UTC

There is no average person, let alone an average geek.

This is time that could be much better spent attempting to determine the exact differences between "geek" and similar epithets like "dork", "nerd", et cetera. i have never seen quantitative definitions, only qualitiative ones.
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ethraax
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby ethraax » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:50 pm UTC

I always considered nerds to be smarter than geeks to be smarter than dorks. But that's just how I looked at the terms in comparison.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Turtle_ » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:13 am UTC

ethraax wrote:I always considered nerds to be smarter than geeks to be smarter than dorks. But that's just how I looked at the terms in comparison.


I usually figured it as nerds are smart people who get along well with non-nerds, geeks are smart people who generally keep to themselves or other nerds/geeks, and dorks are people who are not smart and are generally disliked. There's no real definition though, so they can be defined any way you want.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Angua » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:15 am UTC

Turtle_ wrote:
ethraax wrote:I always considered nerds to be smarter than geeks to be smarter than dorks. But that's just how I looked at the terms in comparison.


I usually figured it as nerds are smart people who get along well with non-nerds, geeks are smart people who generally keep to themselves or other nerds/geeks, and dorks are people who are not smart and are generally disliked. There's no real definition though, so they can be defined any way you want.
I had it the other way around for nerds and geeks, not that I'm saying one is right, just that we had opposite intuitions :P
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Yuri2356 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:50 am UTC

My personal setup -

Nerd: Academic/Intellectual person.

Geek: Extreme hobbyist, highly knowledgable and experienced regarding something and fucking loves it. Usually something unconventional.

Dork: Socially innept person. May be reclusive and introverted.

None of these terms, as I use them, are mutually exclusive and a given person can be any combination of them.

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Re: The Average Geek

Postby justaman » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:51 am UTC

argyl3 wrote:How about No geek is an Average geek?


I see what you did there, very geeky!
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:13 am UTC

I'd say nerd implies only the academics, geek implies the obsession/hobby aspect, and dork implies social incompetence. Nerd and geek intersect heavily, I use them interchangeably; dork is probably its own thing mainly, for the kind of incompetence I'm thinking of. Plus, that word sounds terrible. I can't imagine anyone actually using it.

I'd say a geek is someone who has a fascination with something that most of society would take no interest in. Tabletop gaming. Tolkien. Physics. Computer science. It's more than just enjoying these things though, it's loving the fact that you have your little segment of society and that the rest doesn't get it.

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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Alpha Omicron » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:06 am UTC

Nerd: Intelligent, with knowledge and expertise in things like math, physics, and other sciences.
Geek: Somewhat awkward/irritating, hobbyist: (Plays Nethack, watches anime, etc.)
Dork: Awkward/irritating, average intelligence.

There's lots of overlap.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Rakysh » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:35 am UTC

Well by that, I'm a nerd with slight geeky tendancies.
Actually, something like that happened to me on a French exchange. It was a 12 hour coach journey, and as any of you who have been on such a journey will know, you have the weirdest conversations. Anyway...


Her: If you cut off your hand and just as you move it, does it keep moving as it falls?

Me: Well, yeah, I think so, though it depends which part. If the tendons of the part you are moving is attached to... (etc)

*stunned silence*

Me: What?

I'm a nerd who plays rugby in the best team in the school, so yeah, the stereotype does have holes in it.

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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Alder » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:42 am UTC

NEWK wrote:You know, I've actually been described as a "polymath" before by someone other than myself, which is unbelievably cool.

Me too! Best compliment ever!!! :D
Though I'm an odd book/music geek.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:57 am UTC

I think being geek/nerdy has come into fashion since the invention of Windows '95 and web browsing, where the internet started to become something cool thanks to Doom and porn. This is evidenced by the difference between Screech from Saved by the Bell and Seth from The O.C. We're also living in a world where information is *way* more readily available and it's alot easier to exercise geeky pursuits without having to dig for people to engage with. For example, I can have intellectual flame wars on wikipedia I could *never* have at a party. And I gave up magic the nerdening when I was 15 for lack of people to play with but have taken it up again because of hundreds of people to play with on mtgo.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Cheese » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:41 pm UTC

I call rule 18.

Anything that can be labelled can be hated.

Therefore, any group of people with something in common which is likely to get them labelled will also get a lot of negatives associated with that label. That's why the stereotypical geek is the stereotypical geek.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby ASmileWithoutACat » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:57 pm UTC

The first post in this thread suddenly made an odd connection with this one, and now I must ask: once we decide what the "average geek" is, can we determine their standard deviation?

Also, are we discussing a mean geek, a median, or a mode?

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Re: The Average Geek

Postby wst » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:32 pm UTC

ASmileWithoutACat wrote:Bad statistics! You're scary! Go away!

Ebiggen'd for LTB's sake.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:28 pm UTC

Rakysh wrote:as any of you who have been on such a journey will know, you have the weirdest conversations. Anyway...


Her: If you cut off your hand and just as you move it, does it keep moving as it falls?

Me: Well, yeah, I think so, though it depends which part. If the tendons of the part you are moving is attached to... (etc)

*stunned silence*

Me: What?



You mean that you don't have those sorts of conversations normally?

There are a series of photos of me and my friend (this was the first time I met her) at some raging party, sat in the corner talking, and as the night wears on, we become surrounded by bits of paper, covered in workings, equations, doodles, scribles and graphs, a laptop and a graphical calculator, and some books, and a pile of beer bottles, apparently when I'm on form and talk about something I love, I'm exceptionally charismatic (a nice break from my normal passive state).
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby wst » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:38 pm UTC

Were you using BMI to figure out when you were on the Ballmer peak, TKW? (heh, Firefox spellcheck doesn't recognise Ballmer... I wonder why... ;))
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Baza210 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:46 pm UTC

"Cool" geeks go on xkcd
"Weird" geeks go on 4chan

And, erm, lots go on both?
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Rakysh » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:07 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:You mean that you don't have those sorts of conversations normally?


Only on the internet. I go to a depressingly unnerdy school, especially seeing as it's a grammar school.

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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Iori_Yagami » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:46 am UTC

First of all, I am not American, and do not really appreciate many of your values and stereotypes.
That is, words like 'cool' or 'loser' say nothing to me. :(
Second, average is a tricky beast. The problem with statistics: a huge guy is eating a chicken. A skinny little guy is just hungrily watching him eating that chicken. On average, each one of them has eaten roughly a half of a chicken. Oops! :?
For me, geek or nerd is someone who is interested in knowledge beyond simple practical reasons. Someone who wants to know for the sake of knowing. Someone who is not satisfied with casual explanations. You'd probably never write a compiler or make a river dam or a radio-controlled plane, but you are still interested in how it's done and how it works. :idea: (That is, if you do it every day, then you are not a geek/nerd, but an engineer with a salary and whatnot.)
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby kgirl06 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:50 pm UTC

I've always thought of "nerds" as the ones who are kind of superior about their knowledge, and the kind of people who hate labels like, well, "nerds". "Geeks," on the other hand, embrace the label, and like to share their knowledge with their non-geeky friends, but not in a superior sort of way, more of a "this is cool, I want to share it with you" kind of way. I do agree with the idea that geeks are more just extreme hobbyist-type folk.

Being thus, I think more people really are geeks than we realize, and you have a million different kinds of geeks; musicians definitely qualify (especially theorists), linguists and grammarians, computer techs, scientists, gamers, even people who actually keep up with all the news and statistics in sports. Anyone who devotes enough time to a hobby to create a fantasy team and actually keep up with it definitely qualifies as a geek.
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby awec » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:10 pm UTC

NEWK wrote:I know that I fit every geek stereotype perfectly except for the girlfriend thing, but then again, she lives a thousand miles away...Most of my friends live hundreds or thousands of miles away.

You know, I've actually been described as a "polymath" before by someone other than myself, which is unbelievably cool. Ironically, the only major geeky subject that I'm not any good at is math. I'm fascinated by it, but I suck at it.

So I guess I'm just here to reinforce the stereotypes. I say, screw what everyone thinks and embrace your geekiness. Who gives a shit about stereotpes?


So we can assume you've never met her before, or only met her briefly, and your only method of contact is your MSN messenger conversations every evening? :|

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Woofsie
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Woofsie » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:39 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:

There are a series of photos of me and my friend (this was the first time I met her) at some raging party, sat in the corner talking, and as the night wears on, we become surrounded by bits of paper, covered in workings, equations, doodles, scribles and graphs, a laptop and a graphical calculator, and some books, and a pile of beer bottles, apparently when I'm on form and talk about something I love, I'm exceptionally charismatic (a nice break from my normal passive state).


Now you've got me curious - what were you talking about?

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Actaeus
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby Actaeus » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:51 am UTC

Joining a Track & Field team and becoming strong, fast and part of an athletic community...
...doesn't help your reputation in general. Not that that has much to do with why I'm a runner, but I was kinda hoping to escape a few stereotypes along the way.

In other news: Calculus is going swimmingly, my recursive functions are larger than yours, and I just ran a 5:51 mile, down a minute since last year. Wewt!

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shayyy<3
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Re: The Average Geek

Postby shayyy<3 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:05 pm UTC

Ahh, stereotype breaking. :) Always a favourite passtime of mine.

Image
Hi, I'm Sharayah. [insert AA-eqsue response: hi, Sharayah.]
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I'mma datin' this boy right here. ♥

Frequently considered goth, emo, and/or a scene kid, I like long walks on the beach heavy metal, tattoos, piercings, concerts, hot topic, strangely coloured hair. [note: mine's black now, was purple, was pink, soon to be blue and purple.]

Time for stereotype breaking! :D
I'm fifteen...and a senior in highschool, which is apparently unheard of in southern KY.
I'm going to college this upcoming August, and I'm going to be a math major [or Physics, depending on a few things.]
I'm a straight-A student, enrolled in all honours/AP classes, and on the Academic Team and the Speech Team at school.
EDIT: I've also been into coding webpages since I was seven. :| That should count for something.
My boyfriend and I both love anime [he's an avid cosplayer, and he is way into Amtgard (LARP'ing, for those who don't know)], Star Wars, DND, and the likes.
And I'm a complete Sci-Fi nerd. Bring on the Star Trek [and yes, I'm tragically upset by the push-back for the new Enterprise movie :(] BSG, Charmed, Buffy, Babylon5, and whatever else you want to throw at me.

I could probably go on, but I think I cover-and break-each nerdy stereotype at least to some extent. :) Ha.


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