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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Confessions of a Female Geek

Hi, my name is Xandria, and I'm a geek. (Hi, Xandria.)

I like science, math, computers, and gadgets. I've spent Friday nights at the observatory, at software launch events, and at gaming marathons. I play D&D, board games, and an MMORPG; I've even played a TCG. I love scifi/fantasy, and am rarely without a book. I can't find my eyeliner or lipstick, but I can keep track of a TiBook, an iPod, a cell phone, a PDA/GPSr, and a GBA (with only a little trouble). I've even done Live Action Role-Playing and attended movies in costume. Like I said, I'm a geek.

Amazingly, I was in denial until two or three years ago. Sure, I was a bit odd, but that hadn't kept me from finding a (really wonderful!) husband; I had friends, too. In truth, though, I'd been a geek since childhood; I had just never realized it.

It started innocently enough. My parents were both big Star Trek fans, so I grew up watching reruns. Then of course there was Star Wars; my sister and I were avid fans. (I was Princess Leia, and I had the Underoos to prove it! And I can't count how many times we saw A New Hope at the drive-in.) Too, my favorite cartoon was Battle of the Planets. Bad sign!

School didn't improve things: my favorite classes were math and science. (They told me girls could be whatever they wanted to be; I believed them.) I became a bookworm, visiting the library almost daily.

High school was worse: I attended a science magnet program in ninth grade. I took BASIC programming and joined marching band (Flag Corps). When I got bored, I read Niven, Asimov, Robert Aspirin, and Harlan Ellison; I carried a book everywhere. I was guaranteed a place with the "outcasts"—who were much more interesting than the popular kids, since they were willing to be themselves!

In college, I found the local Baptist Student Union, where conformity was not demanded! Freed of the last constraints of high school, I followed a path of increased geekiness and vastly improved pool skills... My new boyfriend (now husband) was a true geek, and he leaped at the chance to indoctrinate me, starting with the writings of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and Frank Herbert. His roommates were worse: their contributions included David Eddings, the PlayStation, Nuclear War, and the Illuminati game! (And Paranoia, and AD&D.)

I switched my degree from science to art. (Gee, four quarters of calculus and a semester of quantum mechanics are lovely as electives...) My husband and I did a short stint with live action RPG; then third edition D&D came out, and I was hooked. I also got sucked into MagiNation...and Munchkin, and all the classic "beer and pretzels" games (without the beer).

I realized he was a geek. We began hanging out at the local gaming shop. (No one complained about having an extra female gamer around...even an almost-thirty married chick.)

Oh, did I mention I'm a Mac addict? And I have a gadget problem? (Just a small one—I can still lift my purse...)
With all of this, it became too obvious to ignore: I was a geek. It was hard, at first. But I have embraced my geekness, and wear the label proudly. The geek shall inherit the earth!


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