Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Geek in Heaven

Published September 1, 2007
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

Sometime last year, I wrote a column that was destined to become an all time favorite of mine. I called it "the geek column." It defined, in no uncertain terms, the difference between a geek and a nerd, and it served as my notice to the world that I, Sarah Wilson, am a geek and proud of it.

These days, I am not only a geek. I am a geek in paradise.

What is a geek's paradise? There are, of course, several possibilities: electronics stores; Renaissance fairs, science fiction conventions. For most of us, a little bit of paradise can be found while viewing anything produced by Monty Python or while listening to anything sung by Weird Al Yankovic. The greatest geek paradise, however, is found within the hallowed walls of an institution of higher education. In my case, that institution is Dixie State College.

(Pardon me while I do an extremely geeky happy dance.)

As a bona fide, registered, card carrying geek, I can't help but dance with joy over the prospect of going to school. I love school. I love books. I love teachers and outlines and essays. I love grades and deadlines and homework and tests. Stepping into my first class was like coming home. I had to resist the almost overwhelming urge to tackle my instructor in an inappropriate bear hug while screaming, "I'M HEEEEEEEEERE!" I'm sure she appreciated my restraint.

Since beginning classes last week, I've spent many a happy hour reminiscing about my high school days. My high school experience was somewhat similar to most. I attended dances and football games and participated in Senior Skip Day (sorry, Mom). I was in clubs and choirs and performed in plays. I had my trusty band of friends who laughed through lunches and hung out after school.

These are not the things I really remember about high school, though. When I think about the precious moments of high school, I remember the warmth of worksheets straight from the copier...the excited butterflies of SAT day...the absolute thrill of successfully titrating a solution in Chemistry...the exultation of getting a perfect score on an exam and ruining the curve for all the suckers who actually needed one. (Did I just type that out loud?)

This is not to say going back to school after a 12 year absence has been without its bumps. I dealt with a little anxiety over being 30 among 18-21 year olds until I saw a woman in her 70's purchasing her books in the bookstore. I've gotten plenty of exercise by walking the wrong way to classes. I didn't manage to actually cook dinner any night this week. It's an adjustment, to be sure.

By adjustment, I mean "HOLY COW! I'M IN HEAVEN!" but you knew that.