As is not uncommon at this time of the year I’ve been mentally revisiting the previous year which actually was somewhat extended into revisiting 1981 – my first year at high school (and the years following up till the late 90’s). I believe if I knew then what I know now my life would look very different. Not necessarily better… but different.
- I preferred to spend my lunch hours in the library.
- While I was rubbish at maths and physics I was rather excellent at biology and other natural sciences.
- I wrote programs in BASIC and Pascall in Applied Computing and was actually quite good at it.
- I saw a mouse for the first time demonstrated on an Apple IIc – this made a monumental impression on me.
- I loved movies like Tron, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T, Ghostbusters, Goonies and Gremlins.
- I read MAD magazine at the public library (there was no budget for our own copies) rather than whatever the equivalent of Dolly was at the time.
- I had no idea about formal dresses and so had my mother make me something dreadful for my High School formal. I cringe still, and no, there aren’t photos. I didn’t go with a boy.
- I didn’t have to sit my University Entrance exams due to the (now outmoded) process of accreditation… This was due to natural smarts and having sucked up to the teachers throughout the year sufficiently that my only marginally above average marks (due to lazy arse) scraped me in… had I had to sit the exam I would have been a quite badly off.
These are only some of the indicators that as a teenager I was a bit of a geek; I didn’t even know what a geek was and neither did my family. None of my quirks in the area of computing were encouraged, I mean, it was a country school and I was GIRL and no one had any idea where things would go with computers… so I went to work for a bank.
I was never cool.
Geekery is cool these days… and Katie is a case in point – a little girl with a thing for StarWars became an internet sensation… and out of the woodwork came all these other people, girls and guys alike who like geeky things. She’s by no means the spearhead, geekery has been becoming cool for a while (think the Big Bang Theory, Bones, ).
I would have liked being a geek to have been cool when I was at school and for people of the internet to be behind me in the things I loved back then (oh, wait… the world wide web really didn’t exist then) … but I’ll be happy instead that being a geek now is basically pretty darn ok, and that I can see what I was then and be happy that not loving girly frou frou and preferring the indoors and books and computer games is nothing of which she need feel ashamed. I can look back and hug that geeky teen in me and tell her that one day all those things she loved would come full circle…
…and she’d be part of the cool crowd.