17 March 2013

Geeks and gym class

The combination my increased bookishness over the past couple of months and rewatching every episode of Veronica Mars has tempted me to do something I generally avoid, i.e. reminisce. It's a bit odd, as my reaction to others' nostalgia is usually to leave the room until they've finished, but here goes.

From primary school through high school, gym coaches hated me. It wasn't so much that I was lazy. It was that my attitude regarding gym class was always something like, "Do you mind if I bring a book so I'll have something to do on the soccer field?" Or, "Yes, I saw the ball coming towards me, why do you think I moved?" It all just felt very silly to me, and I was such a klutz about it anyway. The one thing I could play was dodgeball. I mean, I could never hit anyone with the damn ball because I couldn't quite muster up the necessary rage, but my clumsy tendency to drop things combined with my low pain threshold led to the development of quick and sensitive reflexes.

Toward the end of primary school, my parents transferred my brother and me into public school, where we discovered low academic standards. Lessons were slow, and I felt so much time slipping away from me, so I would teach myself at a faster pace and spend the rest of the day reading a book.

Kids had always thought I was weird, but with my rising introversion and literary addiction, and the unrefined masses that comprised the public school system, this is where teasing became a thing. I don't know what impact that was meant to have on me, I would always go back to reading and they would become mute and invisible again.

In Christian school, insults were more like, "Her parents weren't married when she was born, and she hasn't been baptized!" In public school, they became, "What you lookin' at, weirdo." Oh, I'm only coming up for air, and then I'll be back in 19th-century England.

In high school, I discovered a whole herd of nerds in Honors and Advanced Placement classes. There we pretended we were only smarter than everybody else, not really geeks. But I mean. We spent our lunch breaks in the Math Department and National Honor Society meetings.

I think I admitted to liking girls before I called myself a nerd.

Once the Calculus students played a prank on the Pre-Calculus students by writing a Calculus-level problem for our daily warm-up, carefully imitating the teacher's handwriting. Imitating the teacher's handwriting. Yeah, we were the cool kids all right.