I am blessed to be the mom of two nerdfighter teens. The nerdfighter community celebrates curiosity, learning, creativity and compassion. It is primarily made up of teens, young adults and some older folks like me, a nerdfighter mom. Nerdfighters epitomize what I as a parent and educator want for my children and students: a love a learning and participation in a supportive community that encourages exploration of ones passions and sharing the joy of knowing and learning.
Nerdfighters participate in small projects such as collaborative blogging and story telling and in larger projects such as Project for Awesome and a lending team at Kiva. Nerdifighters are changing the stigma of being a nerd into a positive force for good. How did being a nerd become something to be ashamed of? I am a such a nerd who was teased in HS and ashamed of doing well in school. I now work in K-12 education and know it is still a challenge for those who love learning and have a passion to know to be accepted even in schools, a place of learning. I love the definitions of a nerd as shared by author John Green (see below). It would be wonderful if we could inspire such enthusiasm in our students.
What I want to emphasize here is this is a community of young adults who demonstrate successfully the skills and thinking necessary to be successful in today’s world. They question, research, collaborate, create, share and publish. They continually learn, adapt and learn again. They do it with joy, passion and an acceptance of diversity of perspective and talent that inspires. When I get overwhelmed by the negativeness that crosses my TV and computer screen I turn to my faith and dive into this community and remember that with a little faith, hard work and the support of friends the future is looking good.
What is a Nerd?
“Saying ‘I notice you’re a nerd’ is like saying, ‘Hey, I notice that you’d rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you’d rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan.” John Green in How Nerdfighters Drop Insults (Defintion 1:02-1:14)
“…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.” John Green from Harry Potter Nerds Win at Life watch from the beginning but the definition of being a nerd starts at 1:14 ends at 1:43