A recent comment made by one of my good friend, Peu reminded me how after all these years I still have not escaped my image of “the nerd”. She was in the middle of telling me about her struggle in a Literature class she was taking at the college when she paused and said, ” Hey, I bet this class would be easy for you because you were so smart when we were in high school”. It has been over 14 years since I graduated, but yet people still remembers me as the “smart” one, the nerdy one as my friends fondly remembers. I guess I fit the profile of what they describe as nerdy characteristics: studies a lot, always completes assignment, and gets good grades.
Because of this image of me being smart and nerdy, people would love to sit by me in class because they wanted to cheat off of me especially in my history class. I can still remember, Sammy who almost fell out of his chair trying to see my test answers over my hunching shoulders. I guess once he realized that he didn’t have any x-ray vision, he would do the next best thing which was pretend to be elastic man and stretch his neck over my shoulder in a vain attempt to get those answers!
Another of my ‘cheater” friend is Jackie who by far has no shame when it comes to cheating. She didn’t beat around the bush, or waste time trying to be discreet about cheating off of my test. Oh, no she didn’t make a pretense of trying to pass the test on her own , she straight out told me to give her the answer. After that she would have the nerve to ask if I had a quarter or a dollar, like I would give that to her even though I wouldn’t hand over my answers! Okay… sometimes I did give her money because I felt sorry for her.
In retrospect( now that I’m older and wiser) being a nerd in high school was not so bad even when my little sister would make fun of my extra-curricular activities. Yeah, she would laugh and teased me about being the president of the Future Homemakers of America, Home Economics Related Occupation Club, but she did it goodnaturely. I have no shame being the head of that club because my team went to national competition for our community service projects because we placed first at state and earned our spot. Yes, I acted too mature and serious for a high schooler, but that was part of who I was and still am to a certain extent.
I am a proud nerdy Asian even though I consider myself average in intellect. However, if my high school friends still would like to hold that image of a smarty pants, then who am I to persuade them to think differently!:)