Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Once, when I was a geek.

I was a geek in college.

In some ways, I still am. I'm a middle school math teacher and that doesn't just happen by accident. There is geekiness involved in the path that led me to where I am now. But just like back when I was a geek in college, sometimes I look around my classroom and think, "oh holy crap what happened that I wound up here?"

I lived on 4th floor Marguerite Hall. It was kind of slummy back then, and the people were my sorts of people. Next door was Bixby and his incredibly socially awkward roommate. Across the hall was a boy (not a man) who went by the nickname Sugardaddy and liked to read tarot cards. I think he gave drunk people backrubs. I don't remember. My friend Mal lived in Marguerite. That's not his real name. But he looked like Malachi from Children of the Corn. So it stuck.

Geeks and freaks and weird, weird folk.

We played roleplaying games. In the basement. Every Saturday night. With Chinese food and other geeks we signed in at the front desk. Adults, sometimes, not even college students

Sometimes my freshman year we went to an apartment that had a name. Bedlam. The apartment was called Bedlam. It had many denizens. Mal, for one. Bixby almost spent a summer there but thought better of it. It had a lot of roaches. A lot of roaches. His ex-girlfriend had lived there at one time. Mal's ex-girlfriend too. Not the same girl. There were a lot of roaches and a dog named Solo. But he was really called "SOLO NO BARKING."

I was a geek in college. Not only did I play roleplaying games and watch Star Trek, but I even ran a roleplaying game that continued after college and into adulthood. An Amber game, based on the Roger Zelazny series. Most of my friends were geek boys and the occasional girlfriend who never stuck around because it would finally dawn on her, "all these boys are weird." I had roommates in college, but they sort of just understood that I was super weird and was going to hang out with those super weird boys at the end of the hall.

I didn't drink in college. That was later, once I was teaching. I never once went to a party. I did wake up in one guy's bed, one time, but I am pretty sure I just wound up sleeping there.

I came to college with a high school boyfriend back home. I broke up with him and there was Bixby, recently off his relationship with the girl from Bedlam. We were geeks. It was a good idea.

I went to my education courses. I watched Batman: The Animated Series, I watched Dr. Who when I was forced to (back then it wasn't cool like it is now), I watched a lot of Star Trek.

I went to one bar. To listen to Bixby's ex-girlfriend play guitar. No, I lie. I went to a couple of bars. Once for her, and the other times to listen to Joe & Blake (no relation).  This is the season of our happiness.

I was a geek in college. It worked for me. I shed it, gradually, taking up other hobbies and interests as time went on. But two years ago, I had my 8th grade class run through a roleplaying game I invented about Christian missionaries to the New World. This year, I had kids build weird things out of popsicle sticks and hot glue. I still channel my geek side into a job I get sort of paid for.

It was a good time.


  1. Old (ie 1980s-70s) Dr Who was not cool. New Dr Who is definitely cool.

    You're setting me up for a post though - about people being put in categories.

  2. I'm not really hip enough to be a geek. But sometimes I like geeky things. For instance, I've been eyeing these Tiki glasses from ThinkGeek Overlords (please tell me you're on their mailing list), even though I am not a Star Wars geek: