You heard from Mike yesterday, and how it is my turn. July 13th is “Embrace Your Geekness Day” and our friends at SingleHop have asked the Tech-Savvy Teachers to share our thoughts on what makes us a geek. Here is a little of my geekness in detail:
What makes you a geek?
There are a number of other geek genres that I admire and respect, but, I don’t don’t belong. I am not a sci-fi geek (I really enjoy post-apocalyptic fiction, but I didn’t really geek into the Lord of the Rings movies or nearly any other category of sci-fi) and I am shocked to admit this publicly, but, I have never seen a Star Wars movie. Seriously… I was a kid of the 70s and 80s and didn’t see a Star Wars movie.
There are some smaller ways that I am a low grade geek, but in the end, here’s what I have to offer on the big stuff:
- Honestly, I am a really just a computer geek. I have been fascinated with computers since War Games. I had a close friend growing up that had a Commodore 64 and (let’s get geeky) my home had a CP/M-based Kaypro machine, with a green screen terminal, to support my mom’s at-home bookkeeping business. I LOVED that machine, and sometimes bickered with my mom when I wanted more computer time and she needed the computer for work. I programmed in BASIC, played text-based games and became a WordStar rockstar. The computer was eventually a Tandy 1000, then a 486 computer in college, then I built my own Pentium 200 and have progressed ever sense. Now, I LOVE trying out new hardware.
- I am also a productivity geek, inspired equally by David Allen’s Getting Things Done stuff and LifeHacker.com. While I am not perfect by any means, skills I have learned by reading and experimenting have made me better at email, more organized at meetings and while my desk doesn’t show it, I mostly don’t lose stuff.
- I am also a media geek, and love music, movies and television. I love listening to live tracks and bootlegs (I <3 U2 bootlegs) and studio rough cuts, as well as listening to jazz on vinyl. I can’t say I am an audiophile, but, I do love music and media.
- Finally, I am a history geek. I taught high school history and am particularly in love with European history, the French Revolution, an the rise of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. I have read a lot of obscure texts on particularly the Soviet Union and love Cold War history.
What is your proudest geek moment?
Honestly, I am proud to be a geek every day. Other than public speaking skills I picked up as a competitive debater in high school and college, it is the most used of my skillset I go back to over and over again.
There was one time, however, traveling with my then-girlfriend-now-wife on a backpacking trip in Europe that I felt a form of geek-smug. We were in Munich and had spent a night in a less than desirable location because of a crowded city and decided to splurge on a NICE room. We were near panicked because of the cost, but, decided that a shower and a comfortable bed would be good for us. After we checked in, the women renting the room asked “are either of you good with computers?” That night, I spent several hours helping the room keeper utilize a barely functioning Windows 3.1 box with a copy of way old school Microsoft Word in German, which I do not speak. I was able to help her because I knew the positions of items and keyboard commands from memory in the English edition. She told me later that “it is like watching a wizard at work!” I feel great… AND she gave us the room for free!
What is your geek motto/favorite geek quote?
I have no idea where to attribute this to, but, I live by the credo “fake it till you make it,” a motto that Gina Trapani sometimes uses (see below).
Who is your geek role model?
I <3 Gina Trapani, the founding editor of Lifehacker, This Week in Google and All About Android Co-Host and co-founder of ThinkUp. She is inspiring to me to be a better geek and while my day job helping run the state virtual school is awesome, all geeks go to sleep at night dreaming of being coders.
We want to thank the SingleHop team for reaching out to us as we proudly claim to be geeks of the best kind: Tech-Savvy Geeks! SingleHop is a leading provider of dedicated server and cloud hosting technology. Take a moment to check them out.
We would love to hear what your geekiest moments. Please share in the comments section below and thanks for being a geek – The world is better because of your geekiness.