Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why Math People Scare Me

So, the other day I accidentally walked into a departmental work room and literally into a full-blown shouting match between two grown men (I would say "adults," but their behavior made the accuracy of that descriptor questionable).

What was the pressing, of-utmost-importance issue that had these two educated (PhD, even!) men screaming into each other's red faces? Very Important Theoretical Questions? New departmental policies? You would think, but no.

The true origins of Captain Kirk's birth.

As in, Star Trek.

As in, fiction. A TV show.

As in, is your real life truly so sad and pathetic? And if it is, do you really want other people to know this? 'Cause the veins popping out in your neck while you hollered about what planet Kirk's parents were from just kinda gave it away.

This is the epitome of geek. And I don't mean that in the good way.

Three guesses which department this geek-fight took place in. What? You said the Math department? Dang. What gave it away?

I mean, the only coming-to-blows fight I ever witnessed in the theatre department was between two hot-headed professors who held differing opinions on the credibility and efficacy of Stanislavsky's methods (Haha...Methods, get it?) and Grotowski's ideas. And that's completely understandable. Plus, they had an eager audience placing bets on whether Dean would clean David's clock, or David would take out Dean (my money was all on Dean), and given the nature of the department, it's entirely possible that they were doing it ON PURPOSE. And I did I mention the fight had NOTHING to do with Star Trek? Because theatre people are not that geeky.

The funny thing is, lately I've been mellowing in my feelings toward math nerds. I work with lots of them, and they are just cute and funny little folk. That, and I finally admitted that much of my animosity is just plain jealousy and insecurity since they are capable of things that I'll never be able to do in a thousand lifetimes.

Then this.

Boys, you and your spittle-throwing, pocket-protected passion just erased all my progress and officially re-stamped you & your kind as Uber- Geeks.

And I don't mean that in a good way.

But of Course...

Recently I was interviewed for a research study on international adoption. One of the questions the researcher asked was whether any of my children seem to struggle with their self-image/esteem because they are A.) Adopted, and B.) Transracially Adopted.

I gave her that "you've-got-to-be-kidding-me" look.

Consider the evidence--

Mia: Gracie, what is something you are really good at?

Grace: Mowing the lawn.

Mom: What?! When have you ever mowed a lawn? Did you 'help' Daddy mow the lawn?

Grace: No. But when I grow up I will mow lawns and I will be VERY good at it.