My wife calls me a nerd about once a day. Maybe twice. She even uttered a comment, “I deal with this (nerd) stuff everyday” last week to a college friend of hers. In fairness, he and I were discussing the current status of the economy and specifically, the IT consulting business atmosphere.
Then I stumbled upon this article by LZ Granderson. In the brief article, the author walks the reader through his thinking of what it means to geek out. As he sees his own kid grow up and achieve at the highest level both athletically AND more important academically, he indicated that his own understanding has evolved. He’s finally started to crystalize in his mind how essential the traditional nerdy pursuits of science, math, etc. can be in terms of a person’s opportunities for success. He reminds his son of that fact, frequently with comments about the growing competitiveness of the job market.
As an adolescent, being called a nerd would have scarred me. Especially by my dad! In truth, it probably doesn’t help that Revenge of the Nerds was a popular movie series during that time. But, based on what you see in the modern business world, the fact of the matter is that nerds all over the place are doing pretty well. Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg. And if you’re from Dallas, Mark Cuban looks like a decent example these days. With articles like that and other positive examples of nerdiness, I think I’ll grin and embrace it the next time my wife busts my chops.