Friday, March 21, 2008

I Am A Nerd

Yes, I am. It says so, right over there on my sidebar. Not once, but twice. I am a "Nerd God" on version 1 of the Nerd Test; and I am a "Cool Nerd Goddess" on version 2.0. I kinda like "Cool Nerd Goddess" best. How did I get these distinctions? Well, on version 1, I knew who the pictures were, and I knew a lot of the Chem questions. Thank you, Mr. Guiterrez. You managed to make Organic and BioChemistry interesting, and it stuck! On Version 2.0, I did well on the Science&Math; and History. I'm also no slouch in the Sci-Fi department. And, I liked the original Star Trek best!

I always knew I was a nerd. Even as a kid, my interests were different than other girls. Sure, I had dolls, but I also had a microscope. I dismantled unfortunate alarm clocks and sundry other items. I dug up anthills, carefully, so I could watch the resident ants go about their daily business. I peeled apart flower and leaf buds to see what was inside. I liked to go to the pond to see what was happening in the water. Tadpoles were fascinating. I loved watching plants poking up out of the ground. I loved watching seeds germinate. I loved to read. My parents didn't quite know what to do with me, and back in those days, this kind of behavior was not really encouraged in girls. By the time I got to high school, I didn't know what to do with me, either. I always felt like I was on my left foot, while everyone else was on their right foot. I didn't know how to talk to people, and it only got worse through the years. I finally did develop an interest in boys, and any interest I had in being smart went out the window. It took me many years to realize what a mistake that was.

I read "Lord of the Rings" at 18 years old. Way back then, very few people had ever heard of this book, and most of them were boys. Now, I have "Lord of the Rings" on DVD. In print, as a book set. And, as a Books-on-CD. I listen to it when I'm on my treadmill.

When I was in nursing school a few years ago, I adored Microbiology. I loved growing various bacteria, fungi and yeasts in petri dishes. Nothing was better than opening the incubator and seeing my petri dishes all fuzzy and gross. Success!! I also loved the "pond-water" week, where we got to dish out pond water onto special slides and run it under the microscope to check for its various denizens. Our final exam was to identify a "mystery" microbe. Mine turned out to be an enterobacter. There were six of them, and all six were so similiar, it was tricky to figure them out, especially if you had one or two identifying tests come back inconclusive, as we all did. I got mine right. If I could have found a well-paying job in research, I might have gone that way, instead of nursing.

Even now, I'm not a girly-girl. I don't have a "hairdo". so to speak. I wear little to no makeup. I'm so not into fashion. (Thank you Levi Strauss, for inventing blue jeans!) And I'm fine with that. However, once I got married, my mother-in-law was NOT fine with it. She took it as a personal insult, and proceeded to drive me insane about this issue. She gave me make-up as gifts, and insults at various other times in my life, usually when other people were around to hear. Never mind that I was raising five of her grandsons; I wasn't worthy because I didn't look the way she thought I ought to. She is one of these women who never step out the door without a sprayed-in-place hairdo, and full makeup, and fashionable clothing, accompanied by a fair amount of jewelry, and high heels. I didn't have a problem with that; if that's how she felt comfortable, then I was fine. She could never understand that I didn't feel comfortable that way. For a while at the beginning of our marriage, I did dress more fashionably, and wear makeup, but it really wasn't me (and my waist-length hair did not get cut).

Right now, I wear a bit of makeup, get my hair into shape with a curling iron, and dress for coverage, not fashion. I figure if young children are not screaming at the sight of me, then I'm ok. And, I graduated college (two year degree), am working on the four year degree, and a few other things. When my kids see me with a textbook, when I could be doing something else, they sigh, and say "mom, you're such a nerd".

Yay for nerdiness.

Oh, and a clarification here: I don't know if onion grass is an actual grass. However, for as long as I've lived in NJ, that's what I remember it being referred to as. All I know, is it carpets everything, and right now, it's the greenest thing in the back yard. Plus, as weird as this sounds, I love the smell of it! Nothing else says "spring" like the smell of those potent little onions. Trying to get rid of it is a pain in the ass, so I only dig up what is directly in the way of anything else. And, god forbid you leave one or two of those little bulbs behind!! They will start an entire patch all over again. There is a farm not too far from my house, and right now, the fallow fields are just covered in onions! I guess they spread every year when everything is plowed up for spring planting.


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