We had our vivas in college last week. I know these things get stupid and ridiculous sometimes, but somehow, this photo I took in class takes the cake. :)
Face it. It’s not easy being a geek. It might be fun, but it’s not easy. You grow up with a distorted view of the world, mostly shaped by being bullied and ostracized from almost every group around you. It’s not that you don’t want to be popular. You’d love to be popular. Everyone would. But at what cost? I pride myself for my intelligence. If I was given a choice to be amongst the popular kids, but at the cost of being only of average intelligence, I’ll gladly refuse.
I remember in school, everyone was set in their own groups. The cool kids sat the middle right, next to the windows. The nerds were in the middle left. The smart teachers pets were in the front row. The average students populated the centre of the class as a buffer for the disinterested jocks who went on with their random nonsense at the back of the class… It almost never changed. It’s true that there would be very few people who could comfortably move between groups, any such interactions were always kept to a sheer minimum. Everyone would talk to the smart front benchers for a while, until they got their homework done. The smart kids felt like they “belonged” for those precious few seconds and didn’t mind sharing the homework. The cute girls always stayed together, and only ever ventured into the realm of less pretty mortals when they needed a favour. During such occasions, the boys would gladly jump over each other to bend over backwards and do the favour asked for… The nerds pretty much kept to themselves. Except for when they needed to get something from the teachers. Then they’d trade their homework or something of the sort in exchange for having their point of view presented to the teachers by the more charismatic students. The geeks and nerds got a temporary boost in popularity if they’re seen with the popular kids. There would be a girl who liked the geeks, but wouldn’t be caught talking with one. Like popularity, even unpopularity is contagious. It is a ridiculous social dynamic that doesn’t go away, even in the real world.
It might seem like I’m exaggerating this scenario here, especial here coz my class was pretty decent compared to some others I’ve seen.. but at the heart of it all, the divisions were still there. The walls always existed. There were a few people I knew who had their head above the crowd and could identify these strange relationships. And they made use of them. If I could, I would have told my 14 year old self, “Stop being that way! It’s one be charade! Look!”
School and college are brutal for anyone who is different. Usually it’s a difference of intelligence. It’s not like the bullies envy the intelligence of the smarter nerds and geeks. It’s more of a bonding thing. Bonding with other bullies. Not bonding with their victims. Most bullies hunt in packs. A common enemy gives them their bond and strengthens their relationship. It’s like how men go fishing together. It’s not that they hate the fish. They just need something to do together. It’s like how politicians collectively criticize random entrepreneurs or social worker. They don’t hate them. they just need something to divert public attention from the main issues. I’ve never been the target of too much bullying in school, but I’d seen it happen to other kids, and sometimes it got brutal. And even though it was humiliating and debasing, the victims never wanted to make any official complaints or bring the parents into it. I suppose it was a thing of pride to solve one’s own problems, even if there was no conceivable way of doing so. All the bullying I went through only served to highlight how different I was from everyone else, and served as a constant reminder that I was smarter than them. They never got the answers right the first time around. They never managed to have innovative insights in class about problems. I accepted the alienation and bullying as a part of it.
This very alienation from most of my peers has been the fundamental defining factor of my personality. I have always strived to stand out from the crowd. I used my books as a crutch to justify my unwillingness to mingle with others, and after a point, insisted on not socialising to justify my books. I rather liked it. I always had an aura of “smart kid reading hi-funda books” around me. It felt nice to be identified with something. Even at the cost of a splintered and near non existent social life.
Being a geek had it’s uses. And the occasional angsty self feeding loop of I-have-no-friends-I-don’t-need-friends just made me appreciate the friends I have even more. And the people who’d dared to get to know me better always appreciated the friendship. I’d like to think so. All things said and done, I’ve had a great life. Despite the geek tag.
Leena*: What is this you guy and the wub anyway?
Me: It is the very nature of the word wub that lends itself to it's own significance. The wubs is in us all, and has the capacity to change one's outlook of everything else around us, especially that to which the wub is directed. With the proper wub, anything can be transformed into this awesome entity that inspires happiness and joy. The intrinsic nature of wub is only as powerful as the owner's belief in the wub. When you find youself unable to feel the wub, you are fail. The proper and timely application of wub in your life shall only enrich it and make your ventures fruitful and help you achieve your goals. There is enough wub in a single person to overcome any barrier of language, culture, misunderstanding, and even bad breath, sometimes. Yes. Wub is that awesome.
In short, wub is a wubly word. :)
* Avanika’s name has been changed to Leena to protect her identity"
first up, New song stuck in my head!
Still Alive from Portal. Jonathan Coulton wrote the song. The man is so awesome, he plays the game once, and just writes the song. And it is a triumph!! :P
Aaah This is stugggggg!!! Hhaaallp!!!111oneone!
So it’s random photo time. Random photos from my phone.. :)
First off, Here’s the cute pooch I saw at the Cinemax Growel’s this Tuesday…
She was so frisky!!
And just around the corner, is the place you’d go to do your business behind the bushes. Literally. :P
Now this signage here just screams “Pure B.S.!!! “ :P
And finally, how do you know it’s been a successful party? Well.. Let me put it this way… all the bottles here were sealed at the beginning of the party… So you decide. :P
Good night everyone. Sleep deprivation isn’t fun when there’s family around.
you sir, can you perhaps offer me some advice?
that is one thing i dispense freely
that, and smile
well, that, smiles, and hugs
advice, smiles, hugs and sharing my knowledge of muffins!
something's not quite right there...
advice, smiles, hugs, sharing my knowledge of muffins and tooth brushes
you should always keep spare tooth brushes for friends who stay over.
It would be criminal to charge them for it.
you wanted to have a rational adult conversation with me about something.... ?
Ode to the Nice Guys
This rant was written for the Wharton Undergraduate Journal
This is a tribute to the nice guys. The nice guys that finish last, that never become more than friends, that endure hours of whining and bitching about what assholes guys are, while disproving the very point. This is dedicated to those guys who always provide a shoulder to lean on but restrain themselves to tentative hugs, those guys who hold open doors and give reassuring pats on the back and sit patiently outside the changing room at department stores. This is in honor of the guys that obligingly reiterate how cute/beautiful/smart/funny/sexy their female friends are at the appropriate moment, because they know most girls need that litany of support. This is in honor of the guys with open minds, with laid-back attitudes, with honest concern. This is in honor of the guys who respect a girl’s every facet, from her privacy to her theology to her clothing style.
This is for the guys who escort their drunk, bewildered female friends back from parties and never take advantage once they’re at her door, for the guys who accompany girls to bars as buffers against the rest of the creepy male population, for the guys who know a girl is fishing for compliments but give them out anyway, for the guys who always play by the rules in a game where the rules favor cheaters, for the guys who are accredited as boyfriend material but somehow don’t end up being boyfriends, for all the nice guys who are overlooked, underestimated, and unappreciated, for all the nice guys who are manipulated, misled, and unjustly abandoned, this is for you.
This is for that time she left 40 urgent messages on your cell phone, and when you called her back, she spent three hours painstakingly dissecting two sentences her boyfriend said to her over dinner. And even though you thought her boyfriend was a chump and a jerk, you assured her that it was all ok and she shouldn’t worry about it. This is for that time she interrupted the best killing spree you’d ever orchestrated in GTA3 to rant about a rumor that romantically linked her and the guy she thinks is the most repulsive person in the world. And even though you thought it was immature and you had nothing against the guy, you paused the game for two hours and helped her concoct a counter-rumor to spread around the floor. This is also for that time she didn’t have a date, so after numerous vows that there was nothing “serious” between the two of you, she dragged you to a party where you knew nobody, the beer was awful, and she flirted shamelessly with you, justifying each fit of reckless teasing by announcing to everyone: “oh, but we’re just friends!” And even though you were invited purely as a symbolic warm body for her ego, you went anyways. Because you’re nice like that.
The nice guys don’t often get credit where credit is due. And perhaps more disturbing, the nice guys don’t seem to get laid as often as they should. And I wish I could logically explain this trend, but I can’t. From what I have observed on campus and what I have learned from talking to friends at other schools and in the workplace, the only conclusion I can form is that many girls are just illogical, manipulative bitches. Many of them claim they just want to date a nice guy, but when presented with such a specimen, they say irrational, confusing things such as “oh, he’s too nice to date” or “he would be a good boyfriend but he’s not for me” or “he already puts up with so much from me, I couldn’t possibly ask him out!” or the most frustrating of all: “no, it would ruin our friendship.” Yet, they continue to lament the lack of datable men in the world, and they expect their too-nice-to-date male friends to sympathize and apologize for the men that are jerks. Sorry, guys, girls like that are beyond my ability to fathom. I can’t figure out why the connection breaks down between what they say (I want a nice guy!) and what they do (I’m going to sleep with this complete ass now!). But one thing I can do, is say that the nice-guy-finishes-last phenomenon doesn’t last forever. There are definitely many girls who grow out of that train of thought and realize they should be dating the nice guys, not taking them for granted. The tricky part is finding those girls, and even trickier, finding the ones that are single.
So, until those girls are found, I propose a toast to all the nice guys. You know who you are, and I know you’re sick of hearing yourself described as ubiquitously nice. But the truth of the matter is, the world needs your patience in the department store, your holding open of doors, your party escorting services, your propensity to be a sucker for a pretty smile. For all the crazy, inane, absurd things you tolerate, for all the situations where you are the faceless, nameless hero, my accolades, my acknowledgement, and my gratitude go out to you. You do have credibility in this society, and your well deserved vindication is coming.
Fu-zu Jen, SEAS/WH, 2003