Answer: Perhaps I am. Now that my school days have (at least for the moment) come and gone I find myself actually jealous of high schoolers I see working on math homework, envious of college friends researching and writing a paper. I know, I'm bizarre. It's not like I eagerly looked forward to studying and doing schoolwork when I was actually IN school. But back then it was mandatory, and anything that is a "have to" is usually met with some degree of resentment. Now there's no one telling me I have to get this set of problems or that analysis handed in by Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. Learning was, however, my favorite part of pre-college school days and one of the highlights of college as well. While everyone in their right mind looked forward to lunch or gym periods (or studyhall... which I never chose to "take"), I was the one enjoying making flashcards and anticipating what we'd be reading next in English while dreading the social aspects of school life. Since I've graduated, I've not only picked up old math textbooks and worked on problems, but I've actually purchased new textbooks for my reading/problem-solving pleasure. When I say I miss college I miss more than just the friends, parties, dance company and campus atmosphere.
Yesterday is a prime example of my nerdiness. During the day I was bored. Very bored. So I visited livescience.com, a site with cool, random articles and lists that I often frequent in an attempt to appease my curious mind. There was an interesting article on the facts behind "going Green"... what's really good for the environment vs. what things people typically think of as being cleaner/more energy efficient that are actually bad. It reminded me of how much ridicule I got in college (as a largely apathetic individual on a very activist do-good campus) for not recycling. I jokingly said then that I was "an economist and not an environmentalist" and that recycling costs millions more dollars than throwing things away. People got angry. I realize that you, reading this, are probably now angry too. Perhaps prepared to call me ignorant. The fact of the matter is that I had at one point seen an episode on the discovery channel that pointed out all the negatives of recycling. This blew me away... I had never before heard anyone say recycling is not what we should do as good, "moral" citizens. It's not like the show convinced me of anything, but it made me curious enough to look into the topic more... start up my own research project if you will. I spent weeks reading as many academic articles as I could find on the issue... not too many people are anti-recycling. I found that there is however, a small but vocal group who do believe it is not the way to go. And they're not lazy, apathetic, ignorant people... if anything, they're strong environmentalists and big supporters of wasting as little as possible. Anyways, I was reminded of all of this while visiting livescience.com yesterday and it made me want to take on another new "research project" to satiate my ardent curiosity and relieve some of my boredom. I intended to spend the next several hours looking up information in order to find the perfect topic. While I started off reading some things on how it's ridiculous to believe there's not hundreds of other, more advanced life forms out there in space and then on the inexplicable physiological explanations for intuition (inexplicable explanations, haha), I ended up finding (and reading in its near-entirety) a 47 page "article" discussing the pros and cons of recycling that was published in a journal a few years back. After I was done I felt a strong urge to write a critical opinion essay on the topic. Don't worry. I refrained.
I have a constant need to learn more (and apparently to write essays and solve math problems). Maybe some day I'll go to grad school. For now I'll have to settle with helping people edit their papers and secretly buying used textbooks.
Just think of me as the non-stereotypical nerd girl choosing to read while her
classmates in the background choose the ever-more popular activity known as socialization
(and ignore the "waterstain" that shows I stole the photo)