No More Nerd

Nerd

That’s what people see when they meet me

They notice my glasses, my tucked-in shirt, and my messy hair

No sense of fashion they whisper

Nerd, they snigger mercilessly

 

People notice my enthusiasm for math

How in class I always volunteer to solve the first problem

My happiness when I see the equation on the board

The beautiful arrangement of symbols and numbers all lined up

 Beckoning me to find its secrets

Nerd, they whisper

 

My classmates always giggle

When they see me quote Mr. Spock

Or when I read Voltaire

My hunger for learning amuses them

Nerd, they hiss harshly

 

My curiosity could encircle Jupiter three times

All 143,000 kilometers over, over, and over

I wish to learn about math, science, philosophy, history

I want to find out how to do things

From fixing a dusty, rusty car engine

 All the way to finding out how to build the next model of the electron microscope

They know this

Nerd, they spit rudely

 

Nerd, Nerd, Nerd

They chant, gathering around me

A heavy, glass bottle whizzes past my face by the barest of an inch

They corner me

And hurl insults

Freak, Geek, Weirdo, Nerd

 

I am so sick of that word

That name

That stereotype

I explode in front of the crowd

Can’t I just be me?!

 

I yearn for the Earth, Venus, Jupiter and the universe

I am waiting to find all their secrets

To gaze upon their beauty through my telescope

Surrounded by star scattered darkness

My back positioned uncomfortably from 8 to 12

As I gather data and make calculations

 

I want to do what I want to do, without judging eyes heavy on my neck

To be as knowledgeable about and indulge my favorite subjects

The way football players figure out their game plans

The way artists get their fingers messy with shades of paint for the next portrait

 

While all these artists and football players may have a similar passion

They are all different people

They are all just themselves

Not more, not less

This is what I yearn for most

To be me

No more geek

No more freak

No more weirdo

No more nerd 

This poem is about: 
Me
My country
Our world

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