My how the tables have turned!!
In my after school gymnastics class I have a group of 6th grade girls of various skills level and ability. We were deep into stretching when one of the girls pipes up with ” I love books! Seriously, I’m the biggest book fangirl out there!” It was all in good humor of course, if not completely random, but another girl didn’t agree.
“No you’re not. I’m a much bigger fangirl than you. I read way more books then you do.”
“Really, I am. I am such a book geek.I read everything. I think I have more AR points than you.”
Seriously? I’m looking at these two girls completely aghast. I always thought when I’d get into teaching it would all be about breaking up “he said, she said” fights and “I’m prettier” arguments. But a fight about who is geekier? Never saw that one coming!
At first I’ll admit I wanted to see where this particular argument went. I was curious who actually was the bigger book geek! I know who was the overall biggest geek (when you wear nothing but Harry Potter, Big Bang Theory, and Doctor Who shirts it gets a bit obvious,) but book wise? It was intriguing. And I’ll also admit this would have been an argument I would have loved to have gotten into in middle school! Mine would have leaned more towards sci-fi and fantasy genres, but it would have been a fun argument.
However, I knew these two girls would never let up. They would have fought till death, an all out brawl, a knock em sock em battle of the wits! Ok so it probably would have been more vocal and teasing with various pop quizzes and facts strewn around, but it would have been intense. And it would have led to tears. Eventually.
So I stopped it. I stopped a fight over who was geekier by telling the girls that in truth, no one is geekier than anyone else. Everyone has their own version of geek or non-geek, and it’s catered towards the individual. You can’t calculate a persons geeky worth based on what they read or watch or listen to. What you CAN do is support fellow geeks. Allow then to be geeky, just like you, and instead of a competition, make it a collaboration.
Because let’s be honest, as a geek who costumes there is nothing that gets under my skin more than those who believe they are “better” geeks than someone else. It’s rude, disrespectful and just plain mean! As geeks we should unite and build each other up, not divide and tear each other down.
So I stopped two girls from fighting over who was the biggest geek and instead discuss together reasons why they believe they are a book geek. Maybe they’ll learn from each other or get new ideas on books to read, but at the very least hopefully I made a small dent in the armor of someone who might have grown up to be a geek bully.
We don’t need geek bullies. (But geek bunnies you can never have enough of!)
Photo from Cute Overload