Geek vs. Nerd vs. Dork

And then there were two!  Two posts that is – on my brand new blog.   A huge accomplishment for me.   I debated and debated about posting this but then decided I specifically wanted to remember this so this is a selfish post entirely for me!

How this blog got its name or one of my best days in the classroom ever!

(previously posted to One Good Thing – if you haven’t read this blog please do – right after you finish reading mine!)

One of the parts of teaching that I really enjoy is just listening to my students while they are working.  I hope to hear great mathematical conversations but I often get to hear other interesting conversations – sometimes things I want to hear and sometimes not.  One day I overhead a group of my kids debating about the definitions of a Nerd, Dork and a Geek.  Their conclusions were ( I paraphrase here) ….

Nerd – someone that is smart and passionate about intellectual things but lacks social skills.

Geek – someone that is passionate about a topic/thing yet still cool socially.

Dork – someone that just isn’t socially cool;  seems silly;  not a bad person, just awkward

They were actually quite empathetic to others and were really trying to find something positive about each definition.  A good thing to see in teenagers!

Several weeks later – probably a month or more – I came in  to class particularly excited about showing my kids another way to divide polynomials other than traditional long division (using the boxes – had never seen it before, will post about it later since I’ll need a topic for post #3.)  I was a little crazy excited during that class.  Had that “ah-ha, isn’t math so cool” moment. I’m sure I probably looked more Nerdy than Geeky but I just had to say…

“Hope this qualifies me as a Geek.”

I looked out to see a few stunned faces but also quite a few silly grins.  I had accomplished my goal of looking silly and they were hooked.  Then, out of the quiet, one student says…

“Ms. Burke, you’re way more than a Geek, you’re an intellectual bad ass!”

Let’s just say…. LOVE her!  Amazing how little moments like that can just make your whole year.  They appreciated my “geekiness” and I appreciated the love.  Those are the moments teachers live for.  So grateful to have gotten that one!

Hence the name… More than a Geek … didn’t feel like adding the rest would be appropriate!


    • Max on July 12, 2013 at 1:56 am

    I love how you managed to turn that awesome conversation into a cool, yet still safe for work, blog name. And it’s a cool inside joke now, kinda. Well, a public inside joke. Thanks for sharing!

      • lbburke on July 12, 2013 at 2:31 am

      Thanks for the comment Max! I remember having moments like that with you in class and even just a few weeks ago at EnCoMPASS!

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