Monday, May 16, 2011

Nerd Olympics

Not my team.
These guys are a thousand times cooler than our team was.

So, I know I'm about a year and a half late to the party, but I started watching Glee this weekend. I'm eleven or twelve episodes in and I'm definitely hooked.

If you take away the great singing voices, good hair and fabulous wardrobe, it kind of reminds me of my own high school experience.

No, I wasn't in a glee club. And even though I was in band and we went to competitions, that's not what it reminds me of either.

It reminds me of my senior year, when I was on the Academic Decathlon team.

Yeah that's right. I was in a competition of brains. A synapse to synapse battle to the death. You think band geeks are the bottom of the social barrel? Think again, my friends. Kids on competitive academic teams are as low on the social food chain as you can get.

Our school didn't have an academic team before my senior year. My AP English teacher decided we needed one. He resented the fact that he'd somehow ended up in Podunksville, Wyoming at a school that only valued football and pick up trucks. So, he decided to start one.

And just like in Glee, this dedicated teacher recruited a rag tag bunch of brainiacs. Mostly misfits (like me), a couple of smart popular kids and even a football player thrown in for good measure (and because the rules stated that we had to have at least one C student). And also like Glee, we had no budget because, well, we weren't the football team.

We even had our own Sue Sylvester. The American history teacher/football coach disliked our "hippie East coast" English teacher (who was from Michigan, by the way, but I guess that's why the guy taught American history rather than geography) and took the opportunity to belittle the academic team members whenever possible.

For months we met every morning, studying, practicing and doing drills until our abnormally large brains were ready to explode. The essence of nerd was palpable in that room.

And finally the time came for the state competition. If we won state, we'd be able to go to Phoenix for nationals. Which is basically a nerd's wet dream.

Like I said, we didn't have a budget, but luckily our English teacher had a giant, early eighties child molester van and we were able to fit in the entire team for the hours and hours long trek across Wyoming.

I'd like to say that the Glee similarity continued and we, the underdogs, won the state championship. But we didn't. We came in second. By five measly points.

There may have been nerd tears shed in the halls of the hosting community college that day.

There's nothing sadder than nerd tears.

But I consoled myself with the fact that I took home the gold medal in the essay, creative writing, and technical writing portions. So, gosh darn it, I was a winner after all. It was proof that I was the best writer out of all the high school-aged nerds in the entire state of Wyoming!

So, I may still be have been a nerd, but for a brief and shining moment at a community college in The Middle of Nowhere, Wyoming, I was queen of the nerds.

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