I lived in Farrar for two years, and during my geeky pedagogy I rose from the ranks of nerd journeyman to a flourishing artisan of electronics and gaming.
This beckons the question: Why? Let me explain. In learning about the fine art of building computers, or cooperatively slaying dragons in the name of some mystical sorcerer that few can pronounce, I found myself attaining life lessons like teamwork, self-sufficiency, and courage. Not only did I slay mighty foes in magical realms, but I built relationships with my nerdy, Farrarian kinsmen.
Thus, I ask you, noble Prewittians, Davidsonmen, Aagardian elves, Gildersmiths, and Balyonians, what say you of your trade-skills?
Since I am a man, I already know of the other manly distractions: sports, girls, wrestling, girls, etc., but what of the ladies on Corban’s campus?
Aye, they do battle on rambling blog sites like stumbleupon.com or pinterest.com. These sites offer endless hours of droning female propaganda fueled by the fires of cute engagement picture ideas, cupcake sprinkles, and just a dash of Ryan Gosling. It’s as if there’s a curse upon these sites wrought by the hands of some evil sorcerer who seeks to drain the life essence of young women. I would even wager to say that these sites waste more time than any WoW playing, Magic the Gathering, LARPing, ultimate discing, hobbit-looking man at Corban has ever wasted. In fact, I would say that these aforementioned manly hobbies evoke fellowship as opposed to making girls into trapped, fairy princesses who are waiting for Ryan Gosling or Gerard Butler to save them from sweat pants, Ben and Jerry’s, Edward Cullen, and a lonesome stumble across the internet.
The usefulness of Pinterest’s “pinteresting” things is greatly limited in any practical sense. Painting toenails and making cupcake serves no real service to society, whereas computer building is a legitimate skill that employers wouldn’t mind having in an applicant. Furthermore, pictures of kittens, candles, and babies, though cute, have no practical application in the real world. Many of the games I play with my Farrarian comrades challenge us to think critically and mathematically, nurturing life skills and brain functions that will serve us the rest of our lives.
Alas, this article isn’t meant to be chauvinistic or self-righteous, but rather a heed of caution to the female demographic of Corban. Just because Pinterest is fashionable, doesn’t mean it serves any purpose beyond slowly killing your eyeballs with rays of the cute and useless emitting from your computer screen. Take a minute or two to learn how to play your boyfriend’s games, or go watch Lord of the Rings until your eyes well up with victory tears.
Erin Kropf says
I’m a girl, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lord of the Rings, I like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Risk. I’m certain I would also LOVE WoW, Halo and the like, if their virtual graphics didn’t make me have motion sickness. And yes Pinterest is one of my “top sites”, but that doesn’t mean I’m not well rounded. You probably didn’t mean to stereo type and say girls didn’t enjoy those games you play or books/movies you love that “challenge us to think critically and mathematically, nurturing life skills and brain functions that will serve us the rest of our lives”. Not to be defensive, just understand that all genders can be equally challenged and entertained by the various facets of entertainment out there. I am both an LOTR nerd and Pinteresting. Don’t underestimate the female “nerd” population.
Catherine Brown says
Pinterest teaches girls how to make the sandwiches their boyfriends demand while they sit on their butts playing video games.
Though your article speaks truth, not everyone feels the need to learn the logistics of computers. Young women as well as young men are very diverse, that’s what makes life interesting. Balance is also a very important factor, personally I don’t indulge in either video games nor Pinterest. My time is spent doing things that I enjoy, and that is what most people do, not what benefits the greater good.
Andrew Tennant says
Erin: I totally appreciate the fact that you’ve embraced nerd culture in abundance. However, the goal of this article isn’t as much about creating stereotypes as much as it is about abolishing them. My goal is simply to show the legitimacy of geek culture in a culture where Pinterest.com is seen as more socially acceptable. I love that you’re embracing the nerd culture I mentioned in this article, and of course I appreciate that girls can be nerdy. What do you think the purpose of this article is? To make girls into 1950s feminine stereotypes? No. The purpose of this article is to share the benefits of nerd culture (which is predominantly a male culture) with our female counterparts. I’m not challenging the intelligence or capability of women as much as I want to challenge them to try new things. In all fairness, this article does seem one-sided. I could’ve just as easily made an article about how guys waste time by investing too much time in things like World of Warcraft when taken out of moderation. But this is not what the article’s about — it’s about one specific time-wasting conduit through which (typically) girls waste hours on pictures of cupcakes and Ryan Reynolds.
Christina: I totally appreciate that aspect of Pinterest.
Ariday: I’m glad your life isn’t replete with time-sucking activities that you don’t enjoy. Of course I hope people do what makes them happy in a way that honors God. However, that has nothing to do with the content of this article. This article is more of a satirical (but reasonable) defense of what most consider to be nerdy, and I use Pinterest.com as a device to show what real time wasting looks like. You don’t have to do anything to benefit the greater good, but sometimes the greater good needs some love too, and my point of this article happens to involve the greater good. At any rate, diversity is great — but that’s not what this article is about.
Thanks for your input.
Erinn Streckfuss says
Cleverly written article Andy. However have you taken the time to really look at the site as well as stumbleupon.com? I’ve found a lot of great info on stumbleupon from art to history to science fiction. And as far as pinterest goes it actually gave me some pretty sweet craft ideas that now have me making money off of them. Making money and wasting time? I’ll take it. Especially since half the people I market my crafts to are people on my WoW guild (level 85 Death Knight right here . . . and there’s plenty more where that comes from). Being a girl who has actually met Leonard Nimoy, grew up next literally a few miles from where Lord of the Rings was filmed, and has over 5,000 comics (I think I’m not helping my case here) I am a proud self-proclaimed nerd who does not waist my time on things that serve no productive purpose to me. Pinterest, believe it or not, serves a productive purpose to me. So does stumbleupon. So does Wow. Diablo 3? Probably not so much. Ok yeah, that’s a major waste of time. But it sure is fun!!