Erica’s Edition: On Being a Nerd

Erica GraphmanToday’s post is brought to you by intern, Erica Graphman. Take it away, Erica!

Every person has that one thing they consider themselves an expert on right? Like I’m talking nerd-level expert. I actually looked up the definition of nerd on dictionary.com and discovered that a nerd is “an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.” (The first definition was really mean). I mean I would consider myself a nerd on a couple different spectrums (funny side note: I almost just capitalized spectrum because I have been sending out emails all day for Spectrum, the literary magazine I’m co-editing).

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I think that as an English major who spends an extreme amount of time reading and writing, I could consider myself a book nerd. My recent, unhealthy obsession with playing Minecraft appears, by definition, to make me a computer game nerd. My biggest obsession, which I’ve touched on before, would have to be Harry Potter.

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For example, I was looking up a Harry Potter-related picture to attach to this post and ended up spending a half hour looking through all things Harry Potter. I could write a 15 page essay about themes in Harry Potter in a couple hours if I wanted to! If you asked any one of my family members or friends they would be able to tell you that I’m the biggest Harry Potter nerd they know. Whenever any of them sees anything related to the subject, they immediately text me or send me a picture. Which kind of reminds me that I always get books for Christmas because I’m the book nerd of the family. Hmm.

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The thing that really makes me feel like these things which might classify me as a nerd, might not actually make me a “nonsocial” nerd is this: there are so many other people who share my passions. When I sit in my Culture Through Literature class for an hour every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, there are fourteen other people in there with me who are freaking out about how disgusting Dracula is, or how hilarious Sherlock Holmes’s sarcasm is.

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And when I get on Pinterest and see 20 new Harry Potter related pins in my feed, I laugh and repin them. Sure, reading is a solitary activity, but there are thousands, if not millions of people who are out there enjoying the same books that I am. There are millions who are re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the hundreth time like I am. What I’m starting to realize about being a nerd, is that there is no such thing as a “nerd.” In the world of the internet, there is no activity out there that a person can be “non-social” about. Even computer nerds have ways of showing off their technological obsession, or expertise as I like to call it, to society. Everyone is a nerd in some way or another.

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Comments 1

  1. Nice post, Erica. I guess I never knew the true definition of nerd,
    but I always thought it had something to do with being obsessed
    with something others might find strange–the obsession that is–
    and usually have something to do with Star Trek or computer
    games. 🙂

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