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Friday, May 31, 2013

"All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury

A long time ago, during my college days, I read a good deal of Ray Bradbury. Most notably I read Fahrenheit 451. Not because I was pursuing some sort of connection to the Sci-Fi genre of literature that I frequently stumbled upon, but because I was studying the films of Francois Truffaut.Yes, it was during my Truffaut phase where I wanted to know more about his films that weren't The 400 Blows. Why did he go more Hollywood? What compelled him to work in a more mainstream way? Why abandon the style that Jean-Luc Godard and others carried on with their films? And so I watched Truffaut's futuristic take on the already futuristic Ray Bradbury.

So as I was trying to find a meaningful lesson to combine literacy and Science (sort of) to fill an extra hour that I had to teach outside of the Amazing Race (an end-of-year whole grade level competition ala the TV show), I stumbled upon a list of "Great Short Stories for Middle School." I thought it might be interesting to use some Sci-Fi short stories and encourage the students to think about Sci-Fi and how it relates to our world. As I looked through the list, I came upon "All Summer in a Day" by Bradbury. I quick found a .pdf and read it. Wow! What an amazing story! And the ending. . . oh the ending and it's teachable possibilities!


So I taught it! I  used it in my Science class the Friday before the last week of school. I gave the students some questions to fill out that accessed concepts we had learned in previous classes throughout the year, such as a question about discrimination, creating similes and metaphors, and comparing and contrasting Earth and Venus. I performed a dramatic reading of the short story for the students, as they followed along or sat-back and listened. When I was done, one of my students raised their hand and asked, "So is this how you planned to torture us?" Confused, I asked "what do you mean?" "Why didn't you give us the whole story?" "OH! Well, I'm sorry to say, hun, but that's it. There is no more to the story. It ends here. I am not withholding information or pages or anything. No torture meant, except to inspire you." Whispers and frantic talk started to break out in groups. Another student spoke out, "But what happened to her?!?!"

Seeing the excitement on the faces of my kids prompted me to add an additional activity. They could either draw a picture to show me what they think happened after the door was opened or they could write me an ending AFTER they finished the worksheet. An assignment come down from heaven. With the exception of the six students who have decided to already check-out and make classroom life miserable, my other 18 students talked in their groups, reread the story, and offered up some pretty interesting ideas. One said she went on a Carrie-type rampage. Another said that the kids were so embarrassed they ate Margot to destroy the evidence (this particular student enjoys Battle Royale and The Hunger Games). Some students just drew pictures of what they pictured in their mind while listening or rereading the story. I've included pictures below.


What an amazing moment for myself, for my students, and for my journey. I love giving my kids classic literature to read and this was a great suggestion for my middle schoolers who were able to understand the concepts and it totally engaged them. Thanks Bradbury, you brilliant writer, you.

Star Trek: The Original Series - Episode 4: The Naked Time

Episode 4 - The Naked Time

  • Even though he's in a red suit, he is still technically a red shirt!
  • Red Shirt - Absolutely no regard for protocol!
  • Spock once again reminds us that he's superior in every way!
  • What? No subtitles for Scotty's rough Scottish accent? Beware of screening today. We need subtitles for anyone who doesn't speak with a broadcaster's accent. (Uh... Mr. Scott, not Scotty... yet.)
  • Spocks eyebrows are back to a normal looking angle.
  • Uniforms are much more... uniform.
  • Is this the right-handed disease?
  • Sulu: Hookie-Player   Sulu: Swashbuckler (AKA Nutjob?)
  • The Sick Bay looks a little bit more like the "Salon Bay." 
  • Vulcan neck pinch takes down Swashbuckler Sulu.
  • A description of how women should look? Men still prefer the natural look with loose hair. Good to know for the future.
  • Using phaser to get through the ship's hull. That was pretty nifty!
  • Spock, once again, gets that loving feeling.... with sniffles and tears? Oh my.....
  • Special effects reveal: Spock ears.
  • Don't cry Spock.... it's ok.
  • Kirk gets slap-happy!
  • There may be no right way to hit a woman, but apparently there's no right way to hit a Spock, either. 
  • Kirk loves his ship like a woman and wants to walk on the beach with her. (Unresolved: Is he really talking about Janice? Is Janice a human version of the ship? Will Kirk ever get his walk on the beach?!?!?)
  • McCoy. . . that shirt is coming out of your pay. Completely unnecessary. (Sidenote: Kirk's wardrobe budget must be huge! Two ripped shirts so far.)
  • Scotty and Spock save the day!
  • Running backwards in time!!! LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN! Next time, this might be easier than messing around with Dark Matter!
  • 3 days of redoes! AWESOME!
  • Time travel is now possible. Established in Episode 4. Future plots revealed!

I was reading a little more on this episode and I noticed that there is a remastered version of the episodes as part of the 40th Anniversary re-release. As I was reading through the things that have been changed, it has become very obvious to me that we are watching t he remastered versions and I am slightly bummed. I was kind of impressed with the visual quality of the show, but now that I know so much of the small things were changed, I don't feel as in-awe as I did previously. I mean, I was really impressed. I also just have that hit to my pride for not making the connection, but I guess I'll get over it. I feel cheated.

Only one connection to MST3K this week. . . .



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Star Trek: The Original Series - Episode 3: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Episode 3 - Where No Man Has Gone Before
  •  This is the "Pilot" with the replaced crew.
  • Spock is looking strangely yellow when wearing his puke colored shirt. Still no consistency with uniforms. (Yes, I know it's the second pilot with the new cast and was filmed before the previous two episodes.)
  • Tractor Beam (first mention).
  • Kelso (possible inspiration for That 70's Show? Clearly there are already Star Trek connections between Bob Kelso from Scrubs for other reasons....joke made through Scubs.)
  • Scotty!! But..... we've lost McCoy!
  • Warp Factor of 1
  • Gary Mitchell?!?!? I can't help but laugh at any mention of the name Mitchell (MST3K anyone?!?!).
  • Sulu: Physicist
  •  Kirk was a teacher? Almost married a woman set up by Gary Mitchell as some sort of "assignment"? 
  • HOT LIPS!!! 
  • Spock has that loving feeling.


When I was reading up on the background of this episode, I realized it was the second attempt at a pilot. When I was reading into it, I saw that Lucille Ball owned the studio where the pilot was produced and, after a bad showing with the original pilot, convinced NBC to give Star Trek and Roddenberry another chance. She owned Desilu Studios. What an awesome piece of trivia. Kind of like Star Wars saving Fox Studios.... Lucille Ball saved Star Trek! She really was an amazing woman!


And now the MST3K connections:

  • Gary Lockwood (Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell) was in Episode 615: Kitten with a Whip in a minor role, and he was Sir George in Episode 411: The Magic Sword. 
  • Paul Carr (Kelso) was Dr. Kipling Episode 1010: It Lives By Night.

Book Addict?

When I went to check my Facebook this morning, I saw a link from a librarian friend of mine explaining 25 Signs You're Addicted to Books. I started reading it and immediately linked it to my husband. As we both sat at our laptops scrolling through the article, you'd hear a little laugh or a "that is so me!" issue from our lips. It was hilarious!

Read the Article to find out if you're addicted to books....

Am I a fan of books? You have no idea. If you read this article, you will realize how big a book addict I am. I have a Kindle, but if you put a Kindle in front of me and a paper copy of a book, I would take the paper copy every time. I, sadly, also realize that space in my home is very limited. This breaks my heart. So paper books have been somewhat regulated to books that require a hard purchase, because they were that good.

Currently I get my book kicks from my classroom. I need to have books physically there, so that means lots of bookstore browsing. Especially the secondhand shops where books just have that feel....... and smell........ and sense........ about them. Oh it's amazing! ................ Ok, that's just a bit too much book-ecstasy......


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

X-Women?

So I've been bumming around Geek & Sundry for quite some time. I watch pretty much everything they have. Sometimes for a release or a laugh, but often for a Geek-rush. They've added a few new Vlogs and their newest is Amy Dallen. She is all about the Comics in "Talkin' Comics." Here is this week's Vlog-cast, which actually went very well with an interview I just read that was posted by Fox6News Milwaukee about the new X-Men comic and how it has an all chick team! Interview posted below. ENJOY and subscribe and like Amy Dallen on YouTube.com.



Brian Wood and Jeannine Schaefer are interviewed about their new X-Women team! Here's the funny thing. I had a friend ask me if I was going to do anything with comics. Here's my thing with comics. . . I am not opposed to them. I actually find benefits to comics and graphic novels in my line of work (uh... Literacy teacher?). I mean, I just taught ONOMATOPOEIA as part of figurative language and used classic comic book examples. I just, sometimes feel like I missed the comic boat. That I needed to hop on board when it started before I was ever born. To catch-up now, I would really be struggling. I mean, look how behind I am as a geek PERIOD! Comic books feel incredibly intimidating to me. I'm not really sure how to start. So I've put it on the back-burner until I can figure out an angle where I don't feel suffocated by the immensity of the field.




Side-Step
I started telling my husband about this. He's actually a pretty knowledgeable comic book guy. And I was like... what are some awesome ONOMATOPOEIA I can use for pictures.... OH!!! BAMF! What's that other one that is like very specific to comics? He reminded me about SNIKT! I was like "woah! Yeah! That's awesome!" He decided to pop-quiz me. "Name those ONOMATOPOEIAs." NAILED IT! Nightcrawler and Wolverine. That was awesome. Then again, I remember how awesome it was in the X-Men 2 (2003) movie when they made the perfect BAMF sound.  That... was a proud geek moment for me.


Star Trek: The Original Series - Episode 2: Charlie X

Episode 2 - Charlie X

  •  What are these beige/nude shirts? With rounded federation symbols? And Kirk's green wrap shirt? A leisure shirt? And what is up with the different blue colors? Why does Dr. McCoy get a shiny blue shirt and Spock a standard and traditional looking shirt? Hmmm. Ray suggests medical smock for McCoy.
  • I like how the show doesn't start right away with the intro. It's neat that it has a little story and then the intro. I hadn't realized these did that back then. (NOTE: When did this start in television? Is it something central to certain types of shows?)
  • "Captain Kirk is one of a kind, Charlie."
  • Ray: "This episode is about YOU and how awkward YOU are." Me: "Oh no...." Ray: "But you don't have evil super powers." Me: frown. What can I conclude from this? I am like an awkward 17 year-old space boy with evil super powers, but without the powers. This does not bode well for my declassification as "boring and unattractive social misfit."
  • Recreation Room, Deck 6 (Is this the first mention of multiple decks? How many decks are there?).
  • Spock: Logical Musician. Irritated by fabulous black woman's absurdities. Reminder: Star Trek the Musical could never work.
    How'd that work out?
  • 3D Chess Board and Solitaire is still popular!
  • Charlie silences Uhura.... he was just doing what we were all thinking. It wasn't really... evil. He also has a knack for magical card trick photography!
  • "There's no right way to hit a woman." Well said, Kirk.
  • I'm picking up on subtle pauses... could this be the start of the exaggerated running gag of Shatner's acting ability? (Ray: "He is at his best here. Nothing is up with him yet. Wait.")
  • Kirk is on his way to the Bridge in a yellow crew shirt. [cut] Kirk arrives on the bridge a few seconds later in his green shirt! WITCH CRAFT!!!
  • Charlie has personal boundary issues.Space Aspbergers? (No offense.)
  • Shirtless with tight spandex! I wonder if the chicks wear SPANX! I'm not ready for this!
  • SPARRING MUSIC! The most dangerous dance! (Not the classic verse, but intense music for a brief spar-session.)
  • And a Red Shirt dies. Only a stern look from Kirk.
  • NCC-1701
  • Spock randomly quotes broken William Blake. Tyger, Tyger burning bright. . . Then recites The Raven by Poe... or at least a few lines.
  • Charlie turns blue shirt girl into an.... iguana? What a random animal for a future person to turn someone into.
  • Do you mean the original definition of nice? Foolish, ignorant, and wanton? (Criminal Minds reference... um... my own references, not... ya' know... Star Trek and Criminal Minds.)
  • The Thasians! We appear where we want.

Ok, I found the earlier conversation with my husband about this being an episode about me offensive. I am nowhere near as awkward as this guy. Plus he's crazy. I left my crazy phase a long time ago.


Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast connections:



Building Confidence

My sixth grade students had to write song lyrics as a final assessment for our unit on figurative language. Currently, I am hosting an informal Poetry Slam in my classroom where the students are able to perform their two favorite poems and their song lyrics. I'm still telling them that they have to perform it. If they see my fender guitar in the front of the classroom tomorrow, they are going to have to sing and I will magically know how to perform all of their songs to accompany them. Some of them seriously believe this. I don't know what this is an indication of, but hey. . . they're kids.

So in order to help prepare them for what I am looking for in their performance of their lyrics, I wanted to show them Rocket Man, as performed by Shatner. Problem number one is that he's smoking. While not a major issue, I'd rather protect my butt that hang it out the window. Problem number two is the "high" part. I battled with my inner demons on this one. I wanted so badly to show it. I tried to rationalize it and then finally backed down. I had to be more responsible as a teacher and this was a bit. . . on the wayward side.

Devistation sunk in. How would I ever allow them to experience the awesomeness of Shatner's musical performances? I started searching and I found this:



Now... many of my kids are Star Wars fans and a few are Star Trek fans. The added bonus is that Shatner does a Hupy & Abraham: Attorneys at Law commercial here in Wisconsin, so several of my kids know him from there. They also recognized him from the Priceline commercials. BRILLIANT! Not surprisingly, they did not recognize all the Star Wars people in the audience.

What I did was had them watch/listen to Sinatra singing the song "My Way." I asked them to explain how the song was performed and what they would have to do for their performance. Then I told them that this is an example of what they can do for their song if they do not have to sing it. So I showed the above video. We talked about what they could do for that and how it is still a "song."

Bottom line is, I tossed some geek at my kids. It was awesome!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Star Trek: The Original Series - Episode 1: The Man Trap

Episode 1 - The Man Trap
  • The velour is gone! Zapp Brannigan has Kirk's smugness, but Pike's velour! Already my geek is in high gear.
  • A blue shirt dies...Where are the red shirts?!?! Hanging out on the ship, I guess. Not cool enough to be part of the landing crew? Lots of yellow shirts dying here. Final count is 2 blue and 2 yellow.
  • Sulu: Botanist. Sulu: Bridge
  • Woah.... Swahili spoken on TV? With no subtitles! That was pretty nifty.
  • Truth serum! 
  • Vulcans have green blood. . .I did not know that. Spock explains (is that sarcasm?) it is because of different blood cells due to spawning in a another ocean than Kirk's ancestors. 
  • Blue phaser = kill. Purple phaser = stun.

A conversation that spun off of this episode involved Stardate. Apparently Stardate was chosen at random, to some extent, by the show writers. Stardate is unreliable, but you can still count earth years, which are more reliable. This was further referenced in an episode of Family Guy that was airing on Adult Swim when we had stopped watching Star Trek for the night. In this episode, Peter is watching Star Trek and, in exaggerated fashion, Kirk is saying the Stardate and it is just a bunch of random numbers that aren't even close to the actual rough numbers on the show. It was a proud geek moment for me that was way funnier because, well. . . I never got that tiny bit before.  (NOTE: A question I still want to pinpoint. The origin of the spastic/pausing Captain Kirk?)


The velour conversation also took a turn for the interesting after this episode. We wanted to know what the shirts in this episode were made of. Well, apparently there are different types of velour. It is a fabric or textile, not a material. It can be made from cotton or polyester. So in the pilot episode, it was a "robe velour." We speculate it was made from cotton to be more plush-looking. Season 1 velour is probably "craft velour" to make it more spandexy and breathable.


Wow! Only two episodes in and I'm feeling imbued with relevant and valuable geek knowledge.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Star Trek: The Original Series - Pilot 1: The Cage

This seemed the right place to begin, despite a disrupted timeline of the universe, where the last series somehow became the first. An almost sacrilegious comparison, but ala Star Wars 4-6 and Star Wars 1-3.  During my childhood, I saw several Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes and I am looking forward to seeing it in its entirety, but starting at the very origin of Star Trek feels right.


What you'll find here is not an episode-by-episode geek chronology or an evaluation of the episodes. What you will find are notes that I make for myself that I feel have some relevance in the maze of my geek mind. It might also just be things that spark a geek chord in my knowledge and I'm somehow making that connection. These are to record what I have learned on this journey.


Pilot 1 - The Cage
A new viewing experience for both myself and my husband. He had never seen the pilot. I was unaware that there was a pilot that contained a cast other than what I've come to know the original crew as.


The interesting pieces of information I've gleaned:

  • Velour! When Pike reclined on the bed, we couldn't help but notice how the material on his shirt was strangely. . . Brannigan-esque. At the same time, my husband and I exclaimed "VELOUR!" 
  • A ship whistle? Really? I'm going to "ah" or take a drink every time I hear it.
  • I've met Christopher Pike! Now I know. . .oh wait... not the pseudonym for a childhood young adult horror author?
  • Big heads? Pulsing, psychic veins? Talosians anyone? 
  • Where are the red velour shirts? 
  • Inside the communicators? A neat little tidbit.


For my own well-being, I'm also going to draw attention to my favorite geek show, Mystery Science Theatre 3000. My husband spent alot of time creating a web of interconnectedness within the MST3K universe and I wanted to share that here. I've been an MST3K fan since I was a very little girl and could watch MST3K on television at my grandparents house in Wisconsin. Fangirl to the end! I'll include these whenever there are connections. . . and there are lot of them. Links will mostly take you to my husband's entries on the episodes or, if there is not a completed entry yet, to a film page about the movie (not the MST3K episode).



Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Journey Agenda

I'm on my way!
I know there is alot to cover, but this is what I hope to be able to do between all of my other commitments. Remember, I am a teacher who is teaching summer school, preparing for the fall, and pursuing professional development, as well as a mother with a toddler. I have crossed my fingers and toes that I can achieve this and I have ample support from my dear and beloved geeks, like my husband.

So starting Memorial Day Weekend I will be watching all of Star Trek. I will be starting to read I, Robot by Isaac Asimov, and I'll be learning how to play Shadowrun. I will also be posting about my geek exploits. We are trying to become involved in a game shop that we fell in love with, but it's two hours away. I am also constantly watching movies and other things. So you'll see other posts about my journey and my encounters with geekism. These, though, are what I hope to focus on, this summer at least.

Television/Movies:
  • Star Trek (Seasons 1-3)
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan
  • Star Trek III: The Search For Spock
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (Seasons 1-7)
  • Star Trek: Generations
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Season 1-7)
  • Star Trek: First Contact
  • Star Trek: Voyager (Season 1-7)
  • Star Trek: Insurrection
  • Star Trek: Nemesis
  • Star Trek: Enterprise (Seasons 1-4)
  • Star Trek
  • Star Trek: Into Darkness
  • V (the original series and The Final Battle)
  • Quantum Leap (Seasons 1-5)
  • Battlestar Galactica (Seasons 1-4+)
  • Firefly (The Complete Series)
  • Serenity

Books:
  1. I, Robot             Asimov, Isaac
  2. Foundation (Foundation, #1)           Asimov, Isaac
  3. Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2)          Asimov, Isaac
  4. Second Foundation (Foundation, #3)       Asimov, Isaac
  5. Foundation's Edge (Foundation, #4)       Asimov, Isaac
  6. Foundation and Earth (Foundation, #5)       Asimov, Isaac
  7. Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)        Gibson, William
  8. Count Zero (Sprawl, #2)             Gibson, William
  9. Mona Lisa Overdrive (Sprawl, #3)        Gibson, William
  10. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)     Adams, Douglas
  11. Dancing Barefoot         Wheaton, Wil
  12. Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest Tales of the Search for Life, Love, and Fulfillment Beyond the Starship Enterprise             Wheaton, Wil
  13. The Happiest Days of Our Lives        Wheaton, Wil 
  14. House of Leaves        Danielewski, Mark Z.

Games:
Shadowrun
                      http://www.shadowrun4.com/
Other tabeltop, video, or computer games I come across. I have a few that I may or may not have time for.



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Geekology: The Beginning


As with all things, there needs to be a beginning. A mission. A goal. A statement of intent. Why am I doing this? What is the point? And most important, who are all you people? So let me start with the basic quandary. What is a geek and what is this "geekology"?
Geekology is such a broad term. I joked at one point that I had made it up (and if I did I call dibs), but I couldn't find some sort of solid definition on it. So I had to access my inner English teacher and broke the word up into its "word parts." In the simplest of terms, it is the branch of knowledge that deals with topics valued by those who embrace the label of geek. The World English Dictionary defines geek as:

1. a person who is preoccupied with or very knowledgeable about computing
2. a boring and unattractive social misfit
3. a degenerate 


Sadly, I am neither extremely knowledgeable about computing nor am I a degenerate. My label of being boring and an unattractive social misfit is up for grabs. But as I sought to define just the basic definition of geek, I started to find debates and varying comparison, refining the terms that, from my youth, were so ostracizing and making them mainstream. What is a nerd? If you've seen Revenge of the Nerds, it makes you wonder if you can relate to the people in that movie. Do I eat my boogers and hock loogies? Is a pocket-protector what I should really be using? And was my last eye exam really trying to reveal to me that glasses are in my near future? A great deal of defining is occurring here and I guess the first thing I should deal with is the idea of Geek vs. Nerd and if I accept the idea of them being the same or different. 

The same dictionary that defined "geek" above, gave me this definition for "nerd":

1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person.
2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.  


So how do I fall into this category? Well. . . I can confess to being rather irritating to my colleagues and, at times, I feel less than attractive. But as much as one or two other self-conscious people want to think of me as "stupid," I am hardly qualified to be called stupid. I also have to say that I am not ineffectual as a person. I mean, I'm a teacher and a mother. The effects of what I do will influence someone or something. Even the second definition is lacking and embeds the term with negative word choice. "Nonsocial" hobby? I don't know about you, but I have a hard time playing board games by myself. Reading could be considered a nonsocial hobby, unless you are obsessed with sharing what you're reading with others. Movies, plays, television shows are all things that, well, can only fully be appreciated with another person. Whether you are relentlessly mocking them, ala MST3K, or holding a post-viewing drink session at the local pub. Remember the invention of the drinking game to enhance group viewership? I could go on and if you are a geek or nerd, you know exactly how social being a geek or nerd can really be! Can't run that D&D game without help. See how far you get on your own in World of Warcraft my friend. At some point you need to link up with someone.

Another article I read spent a great deal of time comparing and contrasting the two, not unlike myself, but they essentially surmised that "a 'nerd' is primarily marked as having a high intelligence and is not necessarily more fascinated with one subject any more so than another. A 'geek', however, is obsessively fascinated with particular subjects, but is not necessarily attributed with an above average intelligence. Thus a 'geek' has the compulsion and drive to learn vast quantities of knowledge about a particular field such as computers, or Star Trek trivia, without high intelligence being assumed. More than likely, the main confusion between the terms comes from their common association with specific areas of knowledge that seems to require a high level intelligence (for example, mathematics and science). Thus a 'geek' who was obsessed by the pursuit of mathematical or scientific knowledge, might also be classified as a 'nerd' as society considers such pursuits to be intellectual in nature and as requiring high intelligence” (Geek Culture: The 3rd Counter Culture).

Not of much help, but I felt more like they were contributing a geek to be of average intelligence. Being a teacher, I love to look at and define exactly what intelligence is and how you are assessing the person's intelligence. Do you just mean I can blow through math problems at an alarmingly accurate rate? Or do you consider it being able to use high functioning literacy comprehension skills? 



So I thought a little bit longer and I remember having watched two very intriguing videos on being a geek/nerd.  The first was Wil Wheaton responding to an audience member's request to explain to her daughter why it is alright to be a nerd. First, he said that he uses nerd and geek interchangeably.  He then went on to say some incredibly profound things that struck a chord for me and my journey. Mr. Wheaton was explaining how he "liked things that were a little weird; Science, reading books, board games, and trying to understand the world... [People] made us feel like something was wrong with us for loving those things." If I can relate to this, am I doing the right thing? Have I really found the cork to plug up the hole that has loomed so large in my life? I loved biology and reading! I loved playing games and making up stories. I am one who consistently is trying to understand the world through inquiry, connections, and the search for knowledge. I was, perhaps unintentionally by those around me, made to feel like I was weird and out of place. My worldview was abnormal and often times misunderstood. Even now I very much align with being viewed as strange for the way I think about things and what my interests and passions are. What it boiled down to was that nerds/geeks love things and it is that love that creates the worldwide community of geeks. It doesn't matter what you love, its that we strive to share our love with others that love the same thing. Who cares if its Star Trek or Star Wars; Harry Potter or Twilight; Firefly or The Walking Dead. . .we have passion for the things we love and that is what makes us geeks/nerds.

I liked this a great deal. It made sense, to an extent. I had a brief discussion with my husband, because we are similar and yet different when it comes to geeking. I always just chocked it up to me being a girl and I have girl tendencies sometimes. I am cool with his passion for swords on the wall, but I prefer to display my geekdom on a t-shirt or through my pins. What I still struggle with is that I am not purely a one-geek kinda girl. I am geeking all over the place! I suppose I could say I am a cultural geek and my geek emphasis is on film, narrowing it down to nuns in film. I could say that I'm a literature geek, but I feel like I'm missing something in that regard. Film is a safer bet, but I'm assuming I fall very much in line with being a cultural geek. I love to see the interconnectedness of culture and the multifaceted rainbow of webs that spring forever forth drawing and linking us all together. I feel part of a world I otherwise feel removed from.

Yet, I was still missing something. I needed to weigh in with the woman I feel is responsible for shining a light down my very dark tunnel and bringing me to the threshold of realization: Felicia Day. Several years ago, my husband's best friend shared with us The Guild. I drank it up like a stranded woman in the Sahara drinks a gallon of fresh spring water. I could not get enough of it. But I didn't have time to reflect. My life was moving and changing too fast for me to catch up with it, let alone to share a cup of coffee and reminisce about the good times. But once the pieces started to fall into place and my life started to find balance, I was right on the doorstep of Geek & Sundry, ready to drink up the refreshments they had to offer.

 

Felicia Day had posted her State of the Sundry Address on March 26, 2013 and I found the missing pieces to my puzzle. She addressed what makes me feel awkward about embarking on this journey: How commercialized and pigeonholed  geeking  has become. Everyone wants to be a geek and I feel like I'm pandering to a mainstream sensation. That already sets my wheels spinning. To have found the thing that I, for so long, neglected and rejected because I was told it was wrong. I was told people who were this way were losers and didn't amount to anything. . . now everyone wants to be one. Wearing a "Come to the Darkside. . . We have Bacon!" t-shirt labels you a geek. So now the the world is being flooded with psuedo-geeks and it makes "coming out" a hell of a lot harder. Yet, her direct address of the problem, made me feel better about it being alright to "come out." 

For Miss Day, it is someone who "dares to love something that isn't conventional." It's someone who is "an outsider, a rebel, a dreamer, a creator,a  fighter." And I thought of a special moment in December 2012 when I made a breakthrough as a first year teacher. I was preparing to teach a unit on aviation. I wanted to hook my kids. I wanted to just start off with the dreaded F-word. . . FUN! I committed to my idea of FUN and bought the brown leather bomber jacket and the brown leather aviator cap and the goggles. I forgot the white scarf, but that's alright. I put on the whole kit-and-kaboodle and I jumped out of my backroom, hands on my hips, eyes to the sky and said "I am Aviator Bonilla and we are about to start an adventure into flight!" In that moment, I had my kids. In that moment, I had myself. I felt exhilarated and inspired and I felt amazing! And as the year went on, I remembered to embrace my silliness. Embrace the things that make me different from those around me. Who wants to be a lemming? I wanted to take my leap of faith and fly with my happiest thought to the first star on the right and straight on till morning. And when I finally hosted an incentive in my classroom, I was embracing my gaming geek and organized an entire Table Top Gaming incentive. My world was feeling complete.

I am the outsider. I am the rebel. I dare to dream and make those dreams a reality. I create amazing and inspirational things and I fight to stand for what I believe. Her words were my final assessment. The final obsessive compulsive knock as I hear my name being called. "Sarah, the Geekisphere is waiting for you. Come out and play." Uh... don't make it creepy. Think inspirational.

I am Sarah Bonilla and I am a GEEK. If nerd suits your taste, so be it, but who cares about these ever-changing definitions? Clearly the dictionaries have defined these terms as negative and derogatory. So let's reinvent it. I choose to be an example of what the definition should be. And that is what this journey is all about. I am definitely not going where no "man" has gone before, but I am definitely going where I have never gone before. I want answers. I want knowledge. I want to spin more multicolored webs of cultural connections! I want to understand and be some place where I can be understood.

Augmenting Geekology is about breaking through the barrier and hurtling myself head long into what I have, for so long, held at arms length. Now is the advent of my inner geek girl. My journey is long and it will be a battle, but I want to know. . . I need to make sense of it all! Because this world I have entered is so large and I am but one, small human, I have focused my beginning work on the theme of Science-Fiction and I will initiate my journey with the gateway drug to geekdom that is Star Trek and Asimov.