My favorite way to be nerdly.

There are a lot of ways in our culture to be a nerd. (Or geek, or whatever.) You can be a video game nerd, a computer nerd, a science-fiction nerd, a fantasy nerd.

Terminator, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon Five, Stargate... The possibilities are endless.

But before there was Joss Whedon or George Lucas, there was a man named Gene Roddenberry.

And before any of those other wonderful nerdly things appeared, Gene created this....

Star Trek, the original series, ran for only a few seasons in the late 60s. I wasn't even born until 1980, and yet Star Trek was part of the fabric of my childhood.

A few examples...

-- When I was in elementary school, we were allowed to watch one hour of TV in the afternoon. It was always Star Trek reruns. They were fun and uncomplicated and entertaining. Plus, they were on right after school, so it gave me a good excuse not to do my homework. :-)

-- When Star Trek, the Next Generation aired, we turned it into a weekly family night. One of my clearest memories is sitting eating popcorn with my family, watching the season finale where Captain Picard is turned into a Borg. We freaked out. (And then had to wait all summer to find out what happened, of course. Argh.)

-- Sometime in high school, I discovered my dad's collection of Star Trek novels, and proceeded to steal them one by one. I can remember scenes and plot twists from those books even today. In fact, I read several Star Trek books last year and they were still pretty good.

-- We went to a lot of the newer Star Trek movies as a family, starting with The Undiscovered Country. And though we weren't as into Deep Space Nine and Voyager as much, we watched those too.

Now, I've never been to a convention. I've never met any of these actors, and if you asked me to lay out the floor plan of the Enterprise, I'll draw a blank. I can't even remember the name of the green-skinned alien race that makes an appearance in the new movie, except that they're not Andorians because Andorians are blue.

But I do know this:

Star Trek shaped my life as much as any movie or television show I've ever watched. And sitting in the movie theater, watching the new movie, was like being given back a part of my childhood completely fresh, with the opportunity to make all those memories again.

I think Gene would approve.


  1. Now this is an interesting topic for discussion. In my opinion, nerd-ness is a matter of perspective. Because, I mean, isn't there something about that original Star Trek series that is really, the ultimate cool? Come on, who today matches Spock in coolness? Hm?

  2. Totally agree with Joanne! Nobody matches Spock. Data is pretty awesome, too, though.

    I love Star Trek SOOO much. It's timeless. And I have been to a convention. Met Worf. Got his autograph. Such fun!

  3. Joanne- I do think you can argue that nerdlyness is in the eye of the beholder. On the other hand, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a nerd as "an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person ESPECIALLY one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits."

    Since we are all attractive people with good social skills, I think we can disregard the first part. :-) But I do think that to be devoted to some aspect of intellectual or academic pursuits is what defines a nerd.

    If you think about it, there are quite a lot of different words for people who are devoted to what they love. If you were devoted to athletics, you could be called a jock. If you liked to study geology, you'd be called a rockhound.

    It seems that what defines us as nerds is the intelligence and complexity of our obsessions. What do you think?

    PJ- Spock is pretty frickin' awesome. In fact several of my female friends are quite enamored of him now.

    Was Worf in full Klingon face? Was he scary? :-)

  4. Ya for the Buffy/Joss Whedon shout out. Me big buffy nerd lol, but you already knew that lol. ^.^

  5. Some of my friends told me the same thing. Me? I didn't feel that way at all, but I wonder if it's the Star Trek lifelong love.

    Worf was NOT full Klingon on face. And the line was hundreds of people long!

  6. Lagarto- Heck yeah, I did! :-)

    PJ- Maybe you're right. It was hard to view Spock as a romantic interest when you know the original really well. Me? I've got a crush on the new Scotty, but I've always been a sucker for funny blond guys. :-)

    Do you think our signing lines will ever be hundreds of people long? The idea is a bit un-nerving...

  7. Hi Miriam,
    I once admitted to liking Star Trek when at Logos and saw amazement on the face of an admin. His comment was "A trekkie in a Prairie skirt, wow!" I know that dates me, but I have always liked it and got taken to the new movie as a Mother's Day gift.

  8. I belong to an entirely different sect of nerdiness, but this was fun to read. It makes me miss you, Mir! I'd watch old Star Trek reruns with you, even that awful John Wayne movie, if it meant getting to see you when I come home!

  9. Diane- Harharhar... That's funny. I think as PJ said, Star Trek is timeless. My parents liked it, I like it, and I think my kids will like it. See you in a couple of weeks!

    Ashford- I may take you up on that. (evil laugh) I miss you too, and we'll figure something out.

  10. Aw, what a great post. I loved your image of your family watching Star Trek. That's what we did! It's such a great show. :)

    Also, I have to say that Voyager was one of my favs. Maybe because I had a huge crush on Chakotay. . .

  11. I felt the same way. I grew up watching that show too! I was a mini treky when I was a kid!! Too fun! I really liked the movie too.

  12. Renee- Voyager was good, especially after they introduced Seven of Nine. But I was in high school/college, so I wasn't as focused on a single tv show. Chakotay was cute though...

    Nicky- Hooray for being raised trekkies! :-)


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