Sam Sommers is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department. The following is his take on choice 3D of the Tufts Writing Supplement.
Celebrate your nerdy side, you request of the guy who spent his morning professing love for a particular statistical test in front of a roomful of research methods students. The guy who gave this lecture in attire and eyeglasses that, the students inform him, are straight out of the Where's Waldo? collection. And who devoted 5 minutes of said lesson to an enthusiastically detailed digression on the societal ill of incorrect abbreviation use (it's ATM, not ATM Machine, thank you).
Champion your nerdiness, you say to the guy whose crowning athletic achievements were those back-to-back school spelling bee titles in 5th/6th grade. Who, in high school, looked forward to Friday nights because he got to manually crunch stats for his pre-Yahoo.com fantasy baseball league. Who distracts himself while trudging up the big hill on his morning run by recounting every World Series matchup dating back to the year he was born (and believes, quite earnestly, that the ability to do should be a graduation requirement).
Come out of the nerd closet, you beseech the guy whose idea of a night on the town remains team trivia at a local bar. Who once, just for kicks, wrote to a certain former dictator of Libya to complain that the combined Qu letter block in Boggle® unfairly disadvantages those who prefer spelling his name "Qadafi." Who keeps updated a list of every state his daughters have been to and the date of their first visit because, who knows, someday they might find it interesting (yes, airport layovers count, but only in parentheses).
Describe my nerdy side? You might as well ask Picasso about his artistic side. The question assumes I have other sides to temporarily shunt aside. But mine is a multifaceted nerdiness. Which, I'm happy to report, seems to fit right in on this campus.