The Big Nerd Theory

Just recently I discovered a new sitcom that centers on the lives of four scientists and a dim, but sweet girl who lives across the hall. The hilarious Big Bang Theory has become such an obsession that I’ve DVRed the series, and delight at the bundle of past episodes I get to see everyday.

For those who are longtime fans, there’s nothing new about the absolute genius of Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj, and the  lovable  Penny, as endearing as she is  ditsy . Bang has been on  prime time  television screens for six years, curiously, the exact amount of time I’ve been falling asleep between my two growing daughters, the exhausting result of parenting twins.

In high school I was more like Penny than the guys. Except for that one semester in junior year when I switched schools, and had trouble making new friends. Instead of being left to suffer the humiliation of wandering the cafeteria quad, I chose the easy way out, eating lunch alone in the math lab.

I excelled in  English  and writing, and  Spanish  was a favorite.

But, science?

I’ll admit that I loathed biology, and when it came time for physics, I failed it.


It’s come as a great shock then to realize that I’ve turned into a bit of a computer science geek since immersing myself in social media. Self taught up to this point, I’ve become knowledgeable enough to build websites for friends, and give lessons to small business owners looking to expand their reach.

Never would I have imagined that I’d become intrigued, even passionate, about the computer sciences. I’m so intrigued and passionate that in one week’s time I’ll be attending classes to learn how to write HTML and CSS code.

When I was growing up in the eighties, being into science (and math, too) meant you wore pocket protectors, headgear with your braces, and never had a date. Being called a nerd or a geek was a slur made by bullies who didn’t respect a big brain.

Today, being a nerd means you’re smart enough to work for Apple, respected for your big brain, and accepted by those bullies who were too cool for school.

Last night as the girls were busy drawing a mysterious picture that I wasn’t allowed to see, I switched on an episode in which someone called Leonard a  nerd .When it ended, I was presented the most beautiful birthday cards, followed by hugs and giggles, and a question by a  curious  Sophie.

“Mom.” She said.“What’s a nerd?”

“Well, Soph. A nerd is what some people call other people who are really, really smart.”

“Oh” she said, “Daddy’s a really big nerd!”

“You’re right," I said, “Your dad is a big nerd!”

“Are you a nerd mom?”

Embracing the title, and hoping that one day I might have a daughter or two who embrace a love of science I said, “Yep, I am a little bit of a nerd, Soph.”

“Mom,” she said, “I’m a little bit of a nerd, too, because I’m just like you.”