Tag Archives: college

Editorial | When Geek Life Interferes with Real Life

Sooo it is finals week for me, as well as most university students in the United States.  While this is a delightful time for most adults, involving frolicking in virgin snowfall and rushing about in scarves and knit caps, carrying armfuls of packages wrapped in brown paper, for me it mostly involves rushing from one group study meeting to another, and dozing off over study guides.

However, there is one glitch to this idyllic vision of the devoted college student:  I’m a geek.  Sometimes, being a geek interferes with my real life.  For instance, this afternoon I was happily typing away at a bullet-point riddled evaluation of Walzer’s application of just war theory to modern obliteration bombing, when suddenly without my consent, my mouse directed my browser to open a new tab to find out when the new season of Sherlock would air in the US.  (It is January 19th on PBS, if anyone is interested.)  Twenty minutes later, I realized that not only was my study guide not finished, but I was late to a group study meeting. ARGH!!

I feel that Sherlock might have had some excellent insight into the Melian’s dilemma…

Then there was the moment while I, engrossed in determining whether climate change or nuclear weapons in terrorist hands were the greater threat to international security, was interrupted by a message from one of my friends who wished to debate the merits of Fox Mulder as an FBI agent.  I have some very strong opinions on this subject, so of course, there was another hour down the drain.

In order to combat the tendency to lose time in this way, I recently decided to create an incentive system for focusing on schoolwork. I spent an hour writing outlines, and then decided to reward myself with an episode of Supernatural.  Four episodes later, I suddenly realized it was two o’clock in the morning and that I was going to be exhausted in class.

My evening hours seem especially prone to such distractions.  I’ve lost countless hours to A Song of Ice and Fire, or Atomic Robo.  About the only thing that doesn’t waste much of my time is video games—mostly because my lack of coordination causes me to get frustrated and give up long before time becomes an issue.

He’s a TERRIBLE criminal investigator… and I can prove it!!

Geek life spills over into my real life in other ways, too, and it doesn’t translate well either.  My meme references seem to always elicit strange, uncomprehending looks from those around me.  (Currently my favorite is Doge—because the final “wow” always, always makes me laugh out loud.)  Random references to my father, Mr. Maximoff, go unnoticed.  It is a sad, hard life.

Still, I manage to find a balance between surviving in the real world and enjoying my own geekiness.  First of all, I find other geeks who are available to hang out IRL.  Andrew, who writes most of this blog, is always down for a cup of coffee and a trip to one of the local comic book shops.  I have other geeky friends on campus who share my love of crime dramas, comic books, and fantasy.  Some even understand my meme references!!  At the same time, I’ve learned exactly how far I can push the procrastination button.  Sure I can binge on Grimm, X-Files, or Dr. Who sometimes,  but if there is a fifteen page paper due in two days, or it’s 3:00 a.m. and I have class in three hours, I have learned to put my entertainment aside and make sure I take care of my real life responsibilities.

Does your geek life ever spill over into your real life?  How does it happen for you?

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Editorial | Seek the Geek!

Sitting here on the bunk in my “new” dorm room makes me feel very, very young.  It’s a very unusual thing to live on my own for so many years, only to find myself sharing a room with two other people in a self-contained ecosystem where the organism highest on the food chain usually wears shorts and a hoodie.

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Home sweet home?

From the moment I stepped foot on the campus of William & Mary, I knew this was the place for me.  That feeling was cemented even further in the few short days that I’ve been here, because everyone (and I do mean everyone) here is a geek like me!

My first encounter with my roommate involved a stack of graphic novels with vectoring interests.  She is a dance major, but likes Marvel and is interested in some of the smaller, creator-owned comics.

Next was a statuesque, blond transfer student who was talking about the girly things she was doing to prepare for her wedding.  She wore sundresses and high heels and sprinkled her conversations liberally with references to Game of Thrones.  We spent a fifteen minute walk to the Campus Center discussing the character development of Edrick Storm, and GRR Martin’s reasons for leaving him out of the HBO show.

Then was the ice-breaker game that my group of new students played to learn each other’s names and interests.  Students announced one fact about themselves and then everyone else who shared that quality or experience (such as breaking a bone, or loving cats) would trade places until someone was caught out and had to start the whole thing over.  “My name is Tracy, and I cosplay,” I announced and only one other person stepped into the center with me.  My crestfallen face lasted less than a second as instantly almost everyone in the circle began to ask what my characters were and which conventions I attend.  I received high fives all around.  When the hubbub died down, we asked the foreign exchange student who had switched places with me what he had cosplayed.  Without skipping a beat, he shrugged nonchalantly and said, “The green power ranger, of course.”

Apparently this is how they cosplay in the Netherlands.

Wherever I go on this campus, my geek status is welcomed with open arms.  Other students who look as though they would fit into categories that do not seem to jive with geekhood, such as prep or jock, still share my love of words, memes, video games, comics, or sci fi.

The moral of my short tale is twofold.  First, seek out the company of other geeks—the sense of acceptance is unbelievably warm and fuzzy.  Second, and please forgive my triteness, never judge a book by its cover.  I’m excited to be here and excited to share some of my experiences with all of you, our wonderful readers.  In the meantime, I’ve got an early morning registration appointment.

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