Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

High School Hell And Nerds

TheNew York Times Book Review has deemed fiction less worthy of its review.

Taken from New World Disorder, here are some awesome book covers. True crime books are my guiltiest pleasure (or at least in my top five).

If you still like colouring, click here to find "Law & Order: An Adventure to Color".

When I was in grade ten, I was this big nerd. I was small for my age (it took me another eleven years to reach my full height), my clothes always seemed to fit funny, and my social group was so off the social radar that we didn’t even have a label. There were preppies, jocks, skids, but we were a group of people who read books, did well in school, played instruments like the bagpipes, and wore second-hand clothing a lot. None of these things were cool at the time. I still believe, and I don’t think that I am being unduly hard on myself, that I was one of the top three biggest nerds in my social group. I read voraciously, so much so that most of my free time was consumed with literature, and when I wasn’t reading, I was writing really awful poetry, because I was a young high school girl who needed to express her deepest emotions. Yuck. It hurts to remember all that meaningful and passionate poetry writing now, but then, my poetry was a serious matter to me. I did not play a single sport, unless you count badminton in my friend Laurie’s back yard. I could play a mean set. I would take the side of the yard facing the sun to even things out, and I would still win. I also had braces, complete with a full head gear that I had to wear at home in the evenings. My head gear was the high pull cap model. It really went well with the Annie perm I often sported because I did not know the first thing about doing my hair.
All of these things about myself made me think that I would never find love, because when you are fourteen/fifteen, finding love is about the only thing worth achieving sometimes. On the one hand, my self-esteem dipped awfully low when no young male showed the least amount of interest in me (except for Cam, who would follow me around the halls reciting”the worms crawl in, and the worms crawl out” to me, which was mortifying). On the other hand, I was in the midst of a sexual crisis and wanted nothing more than to be left alone by the male half of the population. You see, I had developed this huge crush on a girl one grade up from me. There were about 1500 students at my high school, so I never did learn her name, but I learned her class schedule and followed at a distance as she moved from room to room. I had lived a fairly sheltered, Mennonite upbringing until that point, so the idea that there was a whole sexual world outside the arena of boy/girl relationships was new to me. I seriously thought I was probably sick. When I went to a guidance counsellor about it, she told me that it was likely a phase. I now know that that was not the most forward-thinking guidance counsellor.
Anyway, this all leads up to the period in grade ten when my lunch hours became intolerable. I had a friend, Maxine, who I wasn’t that crazy about, but she made a point of telling everyone that we were “best friends” and calling me all the time, so it was more convenience than anything that we hung out so often. She struck up a relationship with a guy named Dale Hagel, whom I began to refer to as Stale Bagel. Maxine insisted that I accompany them to his house over lunch. She said that she didn’t feel safe alone with him. So, I would walk behind them the several blocks to Stale Bagel’s house while they giggled and cavorted and completely ignored me. While at the Bagel’s, I would watch whatever happened to be on the television while they giggled and cavorted in another room and completely ignored me. After about two weeks of this, I had had enough. It was incredibly boring being ignored and left to sit in front of the tv, and those two were immature and annoying. Every few minutes, Maxine would be popping her head into the room, and the Bagel’s hands would creep out from around the corner and steal her back. So I made it clear that I would not be chaperoning anymore, and Maxine acted like this was the most unfair thing to ever have happened to her. I guess I didn’t realize that my noncompliance meant the end of her love affair with the Bagel. So be it. He tried his best to date her after that, but she wouldn’t be left alone with him, and I wouldn’t chaperone, so he eventually gave up. I, of course, was to blame for this disastrous end to her “good thing”, and our friendship cooled a bit after that. I didn’t mind, though, because I had not been all that crazy about her in the first place.
This Maxine/Bagel situation was a small hell for me at the time. I felt unattractive, I still looked like a little kid, I had never been kissed by a boy, I thought I would never be kissed by a boy, there was that wacked out girl-crush thing to contend with, and then I had to be confronted with this making-out, giggley, heterosexual couple who would completely ignore me for one whole hour five days a week. It was like some kind of prescribed torture especially designed for insecure fifteen-year-olds. Thank the powers that be for making the teenage years relatively short in measured time if not in the experience of them.

Here is a truly great site for truly amusing facts.

M. C. Escher’s drawings have been reproduced with origami. This is high craft.

Great retro and kitschy shopping can be had at Mable’s.

Nerds Links:
* Paul Graham remembers his nerdy highschool past in his essay “Why Nerds Are Unpopular”.
* Of course, there is a band called The Nerds in the United States, and in Italy, there is another band of the same name.
* Nerd porn! For real!
* This list would be incomplete if I did not link to the movie, “Revenge of the Nerds”.
* I would like to introduce you to a loveable nerd – Matthew “The_Nerd” Grossman.
* Check out the “Nerd/Misfit Resources” section of the Science Hobbyist.”
* Yeah, it’s the Star Wars Kid. I had to include him. Some of the enhanced versions are too funny despite my better taste.
* The word “nerd” was first used by Dr. Seuss in 1950. Wikipedia will tell you the rest.
* This is an excellent blog, because it offers such fantastic links. Please visit Herd of Nerds.
* Read the Wired News story, “Who’s Better: Geeks or Nerds?"
* Read these nerd classifications from someone who himself is undoubtedly a nerd.
* Visit Geek Culture for all your geeky shopping needs. Don’t miss their hi-tech porn (it's work-safe).
* Get your fill of nerd jokes at Mefco’s.
* Suckdot – serving nerds since 1995.

A Heads Up And Stupid Man Earrings

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