I used to believe I was a nerd. I was always made fun of for being a nerd when I was younger, mainly because I wore glasses and spent all my time reading, and so I assumed that those were the basic requirements for nerdiness.
But as with everything else, things get complicated as you get older. It turns out that nerd and geek are much more specialized terms than I thought. Geeks are into programming stuff on computers. I love computers as a tool for sharing gossip and irrational political opinions. So, not a geek. Nerds are expected to be into sci-fi, which is a genre I have never managed to become enthusiastic about. I’m still obsessive about reading, but my preferences are a mixed bag of everything from Victorian novels to 20th century Eastern bloc fiction to pop culture analysis. I’m not sure what that makes me. I guess that the comic book and superhero thing can also put one in the nerd category. I grew up in Poland reading a comic book about a superhero called Orientation Man, who was constantly being chased by an Eskimo with a broken heater, but somehow I don’t think that qualifies.
And I get the feeling that my love of hip-hop automatically cancels my membership in the nerd world.
So what am I? I’m definitely socially awkward enough to be a dork, but there’s so much more to me than my klutziness. I suppose my fanatical interest in politics might mean I’m a wonk, but that word implies connections and influence in Washington D.C. that I just don’t have. A bookworm? A dweeb?
Ah, hell. I’m from Europe. I should have known all along. I’m an intellectual.