Fairy Dust and String Theory

List of The Big Bang Theory episodes (season 4)

List of The Big Bang Theory episodes (season 4) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Big Bang Theory is my new favourite television program.  I wish I could say it brought out my inner nerd, but I am not smart enough to be a nerd. Unlike many, I find the term “nerd” complimentary, but I always think of it in a scientific, mathematical context . I looked it up in my thesaurus and its synonyms are highly questionable: drip, bore, geek.  The Encarta dictionary calls it an offensive term and defines a nerd as a “single-minded enthusiast” who is “considered to be excessively interested in a subject or activity that is regarded as too technical or scientific.” (My argument—if we did not have people interested in the too technical or scientific, where would we be? We would still think the earth was flat, and the stars made up of fairy dust.)

I think the term nerd needs a “redo”, and the guys from The Big Bang Theory are just the guys to do it. Sure, they are overtly intelligent, some (Sheldon in particular) not socially attune, but I just love these guys. Is it an accident that the program is a particular favourite in Canada? I think not—we just love underdogs, and even though most of these guys have reached doctoral status and make fun of the guy who only has his Masters, they are entertainingly sweet (most of the the time).

I think many of us are jealous of nerds and the things that they understand easily that we don’t. I was a particularly poor student in both science and math, and regret it somewhat. Even at my age, I would like to return and redo my high school math, thinking that perhaps I am now mature enough to put in the time to actually learn the subject. I always found science interesting, and like to think that I did not apply myself—but maybe, just maybe, I am neither scientifically or mathematically inclined.  Shakespeare and I get along just fine, but Einstein and I are unfortunately not on the same page.

Recently in my hometown newspaper there were pictures of students who had achieved a 90 average or more. I looked at their shiny faces and wondered what it is they have that gives them the ability to achieve marks of such excellence—are they just naturally smart, do they work hard, are they motivated, or do they have wonderful teachers? I think it is probably a combination of all four. I am jealous (but in a good way) of these kids. What a great start in life they have already—how far they will go is up to them. But they have such a wonderful basis for a good life. Of course, success in life is not necessarily based on high marks, but I am sure that what it takes to achieve these marks will go a long way in helping them reach their eventual goals.

Published in: on March 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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