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Old February 23 2013, 05:45 AM   #1
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Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

Looking back, what were some of the first signs that you weren't like all the other kids? Obviously we're all trekkies so you can share stories of watching Trek early on. But it can be other things too, since we're all different sorts of nerds.

I think one of the first signs for me was the fact that I chose to sit around and read all the encyclopedias. But then that wasn't enough, and I would assign myself a subject and write up a report on it in my notebook. I remember a nice summer day where my sister complained "She's inside reading the encyclopedia again!" I made my way through all of the books in the house, whether they were age-appropriate or not. For weeks once I pondered why my parents had a book about killing mockingbirds. Eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I finally opened the book and read it, only to discover that it wasn't about killing birds at all!

What's some of the early evidence that you were a nerd?
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Old February 23 2013, 06:13 AM   #2
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

When my great grandma gave me an alarm clock I took it apart to see what was inside -and to play with those parts...

The best toys at my grandparents place were grandmas calculators (this was in an age before micro-processors and ICs so calculators were big mechanical things) and typewriters -not because I had a lot to calculate or write, just because I really liked those machines

As I grew older and LEGO didn't do it all for me any more (was brilliant to build phasers and tricorders with when us suburban kids were playing "Enterprise" though) I started 'playing with' electronics; the transistor (and later: ICs) were brilliant toys

Yeah, I'm one of those geeks that originally build their own very first computer themselves
There was no such thing as an OS in those days though.

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Old February 23 2013, 06:24 AM   #3
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

I was a voracious reader. I read everything I could get my hands on, and there were never enough books. My mother used to tell me "you've got your nose stuck in a book! You should go out and play! You're missing out on life!" which I wholly disagree with. Reading books let me live lives that no child my age could have lived, and reading about Tom Sawyer was much more enjoyable than going outside to play "John, throw the basketball back if it goes out of bounds."

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Old February 23 2013, 06:27 AM   #4
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

I am not sure if I ever regonised myself as a nerd while I was growing up. I know I was a tomboy but no-one seem to have a problem with that least of all my parents.

My mother was proud that I read encyclopedias, and in a house of bookworms it wasn't considered unusual. We generally got whatever books we asked for no matter what the genre.

Even my interest in sci-fi wasn't looked down on. Back in the 60 and 70s there was only two TV stations in Hobart so we didn't have that much choice about what to watch and Dr Who, Batman. Star Trek, Land of the Giants, Time Tunnel, Batman, Voyage to the Bottom of the sea were watched by most of the chiildren and I never felt an outsider because I watched those shows.
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Old February 23 2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

My interest in Star Trek, obviously, set me apart, and that—including all the nerdy hyper-enthusiasm stereotypical of our fine interest—for me began before kindergarten. Keep in mind also that this was the early 1970's. TOS wasn't even on the air except at odd hours.

I remember, at band camp—I mean—in kindergarten, we had to make these puppets out of paper and thumbtacks. They were supposed to be of people, with two movable arms. I just had to make a squid with ten movable arms. That would have been after seeing 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Even earlier than that, in nursery school, which I went to when I was three, we had this graduation ceremony where everyone was to wear a cap and gown. I refused, because I was so proud of the new blazer jacket that my parents had gotten me, so I'm the only kid in the picture not wearing a cap and gown!

At the end of first grade, I was the first student to finish the second grade math workbook. I started after the putative smart kid and finished first with full credit, so at that point, I really knew I was different. My aptitude for and keen interest in mathematics set me apart from all my peers in public school, all the way through high school. That contributed to a sense of isolation which I still take steps to rectify today, each and every day. However, I consider all that an asset and something to love about myself.

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Old February 23 2013, 06:52 AM   #6
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

- Sleepwalking out of excitement the night before i got my very first computer

- reading big books in a day

- not being invited to parties by the "cool" kids

- having real friends who liked me for who i am instead of fitting in because of my looks, cool demeanor, money etc
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Old February 23 2013, 07:04 AM   #7
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd


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Old February 23 2013, 07:05 AM   #8
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

Loved Star Trek.

Exceptionally talented at math and science. Exceptionally untalented at sports.

Loved computers, especially programming.

Played Dungeons & Dragons.
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Old February 23 2013, 07:08 AM   #9
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

Checking out all the books on rockets/space from the school library - in first grade. Being upset by the opening credits of Six Million Dollar Man. Not because Steve is in a horrible crash, but because they wreck that really cool space plane (HL-10 lifting body aircraft).

Reading. Lots and Lots of reading. Found Asimov around age 7 and went from there.
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Old February 23 2013, 07:19 AM   #10
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

I, too, was an avid reader.

My grandma got me the condensed (or compact) OED when I was six or seven. I read it cover to cover. I often joke my vocabulary was better when I was in the second grade than it is now. It did give me the audacity to call one of my teachers senescent.

I was never a big collector of Trek/sci-fi paraphernalia, but I did have a model of the Ent-D that did full saucer-separ. I took it with my everywhere until one of my friends lost the stardrive in the woods.

I've also been fascinated with fighter planes all of my life. I use to doodle them all the time. My parents still have some of the drawings I did when I was in kindergarten.
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Old February 23 2013, 10:03 AM   #11
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

Earliest signs I guess was Robotech and Transformers being my favorite series as a kid. Real big one was when I was nine and saw Jurassic Park and decided I wanted to read the book. After having finished that I've pretty much always had something to read, with very few "downtimes." Before that I also had always been fascinated by science books, but now it really exploded. And finally when Voyager started on Swedish TV when I was 13 the nerd side had really taken me.
"I am who I am. Someone has to be."-Brendan Gleeson as Reynald in Kingdom of Heaven. - Emher
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Old February 23 2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

I grabbed a pen as a toddler and never let go of it. I was drawing and drawing, managing a level of skill by the time I started school that made teachers mumble about art school - and then I started to read. EVERYTHING. I was pouring thought literature classics when everyone else were still preferring books with large print and lots of pictures. And I illustrated them.

That has always been the pattern. When I do something I do it incredibly thoroughly, being completely absorbed by what I do. I started horseback riding at 10 and was soon trying out Spanische Hofreitschule tricks with my horse. I learned to swim and swam 1½ mile a day that whole summer. I decided to learn to sew and got myself a tailor's degree. I got a job as a waitress and was restaurant manager after 1½ years. Decided to study garden design. Aced all my exams in plant knowledge. Started fiddling with html on Blogger and was soon building web sites with CSS.

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Old February 23 2013, 12:46 PM   #13
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

I honestly think for me it did all start with Trek. My parents were into Trek and so I grew up watching it with them and when TNG started it was the same because there was a new Trek series out!

I also remember watching Twilight Zone with my parents and Dr. Who (that was my mom's favorite show, still is) and movies like V: The Final Battle.

So I guess I just grew up in a sci-fi household. I got into Jonny Quest when I was just out of high school because I came home one day and my mom was watching the marathon on cartoon network while doing bills and i was like "What's this?" When i saw it again a few weeks later I was hooked (and yes I was like 18 and I'm still a huge JQ fan at 35, even have some fanfics written on JQ out on the interwebs).

So I guess between my parents influence and my love of reading that how it started for me. I still played sports and did all that growing up as well. Also played "war" alot with my older brother and friends in the woods around our house and I am, 35 and in my second real war.
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Old February 23 2013, 01:03 PM   #14
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

As was the case for many of us here, I read a lot, and was making my way through rather hefty adult novels by the time I was 7-8 (although I was much more into factual books than fiction, it must be said). I was also the designated "smart kid" throughout schooling, so I suppose it's hard not to fall into the nerd category when that's the case.

Earliest evidence? When I was 3-4, I became very interested in snooker - simply because the mathematics involved (with each colour ball being worth a certain amount of points) fascinated me. I loved watching matches and calculating scores. Combined with the fact that I could tell the time when I was 2, I suppose that early interest in mathematics was a sign of Nerdian heritage, although ironically maths would become my least favourite subject in later years.

When I was 5, I entered my dinosaur phase, which hasn't yet ended, and I pretty much devoured any and all books on prehistoric life. I would draw dinosaurs whenever I could, and I eventually wrote a dinosaur-based "choose-your-own-adventure" book, which if I may say so was quite impressive for my age (I put real effort into it). In the later years of primary school I moved onto science fiction and aliens (I recall drawing Hork-Bajir having seizures because one of the trees they feed on is the fit-fit. This was amusing to me).

I was always amazing my teachers by, well, being nerdy. The painting I created when I was 8 impressed my teacher so much she had my mother called in to gush over it (my mother still has it framed on the wall). When I started nursery at 4 I pointed out to the head-teacher that there were "three too many" candles on the cake celebrating the fourth birthdays of several of us children, which apparently really surprised her. Then there was my, er, "passion" for acting, which we know as the Sheep Incident.

Most notably, I never played sports at school, which is surely one of the definitive symptoms of youthful nerditude, particularly for boys.
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Last edited by Deranged Nasat; February 23 2013 at 01:22 PM.
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Old February 23 2013, 02:25 PM   #15
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Re: Early Evidence That You Were A Nerd

I was a band geek in high school, does that count?
"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be." - Yogi Berra
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