To Be a Geek....|
The dictionary defines "geek" as any person considered to be different from others in a negative or bizarre way. From what I understand, the bearer of this reference now carries more prestigious overtones. The connotation has evolved into something that one might wish to emulate. I, in fact, confess to the secret harboring of this aspiration. Alas, with what I have been given as a creature of my place and time, I am not likely to make even a near-approach to such an unlikely pinnacle. At my zany-zenith best, I shall occupy a warm, wannabe niche, which is remarkable, in and of itself, taking into account my age and all.
I might have just ridden off into the retirement horizon had I not been exposed to the Instigator Geek who encouraged this late direction. Apart from lugging around the expected number of dead brain cells, the big challenge has been my gene-lopsided manner of getting through life in the most intuitive, nonrational way possible. I don't believe, in my case, that I was the victim of gender based determinism that routed girls away from experiencing success in matters mathematical. I was unequivocally hopeless in this realm. That I later became blocked and anxious when so confronted does not change the paucity of facility in the first place. I simply didn't have it and I consistently didn't get it. I still don't.
They took me into grad school because my verbal/analogy scores were impressive; especially in relationship to my imbecilic math results. The director of admissions later told me that I had been invited for an interview because they couldn't believe it was possible for someone to be so lopsided. I have to say one thing in my favor though, and that is an unwavering knack for penetrating appearances. Surfaces don't faze me even when they should. Hence, understanding that which I don't understand, I reached out to the promises inherent in the rise of the computer as a mighty fun and efficacious enhancer of the state of being. I saw it as highly applicable to the way in which I wished to conduct this phase of my life.
I started out with an Apple notebook named Merlin and his manual; me, who has never read a manual on anything. My son and son-in-law saw my glazed expression and jumped in to orient me. Much later, my son-in-law (an engineer--hereon referred to as SIL) likened my mind, in these matters, to a "swamp." He couldn't get over how little I knew. My son (also an engineer) was used to me and so did not get periodically stunned as did my SIL, who had not yet been fully exposed to my well-honed lacunae.
Out of the Swamp
And so it went. I progressed primarily due to the patient efforts of the Instigator Geek (likewise hereon known as I.G.), who introduced me to marvelous things that I would never have found on my own. The problem, of course, is that while I was producing these small puffs of magic, I learned little beyond making Merlin and his successor, Arthur, sit up and play dead. I lacked basic concepts with which to navigate, and I still do . For a while I became disgusted with myself and bought a "DOS for Dummies." I announced to the I.G. that, "I vant to be left alone," in order to master the driving force under windows. That lasted two days and then I didn't "vant to be left alone" anymore with Arthur or any other hostile hardware.
To cheer me up, the I.G. proposed that we work on a home page for me. I think I.G. was afraid I was about to cash in my computer chips. Dazed, depressed, and totally incapable of downloading Real Audio, I agreed. Soon, however, with replenished endorphins, and refreshed from several days of webbing, I approached the I.G. with the notion that we put up a zine. After all, I thought, the I.G. is an artist and poet (I.G. would demur on this characterization), and I am a geezer who surely has something to say. Put it all together and you could well have a bloody awful piece of work.
Never mind that. The value, it turns out, is in the doing of it. Forced to decide and provide, the mind calls in all its favors, and a pace is set to reach the goal. The collaborative method between the Instigator Geek and the Geezer works well with e-mail. Division of labor is determined by gravity; it falls to whoever knows how to do it. Thus, in all likelihood, Geezer, when the time comes, will be able to meet her Maker in the same crystallized, lopsided, out of the loop fashion in which she has become ossified. The Instigator Geek, when her time is up, will go straight to Heaven.
In trying to get things in Geezer's head, she will have suffered enough in Hell.
--Nimrod the GeezerGeek
Copyright 1997 The Courage of Our Confusion. All Rights Reserved. Comments? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org