Best/Worst Moment of Nerdiness at School: And the Winners Are…

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?I know I always say that each contest was difficult to judge, but let me explain something. When I judge a contest, I read all the entries, and cut and paste the ones I like into a Word doc; after that I pare them down into a reasonable amount of HMs and pick the winners. After my first go-round with the entries, I had picked, no foolin’, 10,000 words worth of HMs. Now, part of that is because you all wrote a zillion words each for your entries, but it’s also because you had a lot of great nerdy school stories.

There are a few themes in this week’s entries: lots of nerdy school projects, discovering new nerd friends, evil teachers, and, oddly, like three stories where large groups of people started singing a nerdy song. Weird. Anyways, the contest is over, so put your pencils down — HMs and winners after the jump.

Before I start, I would like to give a special HM to Nipirc, who wrote a wonderfully entertaining tale of school nerdiness that was a full 1,000 words long. As such, it’s a tad too long to repeat here, but well worth reading if you have the time. Now, for the shorter HMs (if only by a bit):


Well, there was that one time I was playing Chrono Trigger in my dorm room (on a computer. ooooooh!), and one random dormmate walked in. He had obviously just been showering, as he was wearing a towel.

He said, “What’s this?”I said, “An old super nintendo game.”

He said, “Can I watch?”

I said, “Sure.”

Five minutes later, he just started screaming. I don’t know why. And it wasn’t one long, sustained scream, either, it was “Waah! WAAH! WAAAAAH! WAUUUHG! AUUUUGH! AUUUUUUUU! AUUAUWUAUAUUAUGH!” and then he started flailing his arms in the air. T hen his towel dropped, and he ran out of the room, scraming manically as he went. He went up and down the hall, and then at some point I heard the sound of his door slamming. And then silence.

About a minute later, the RA poked his head into my room and asked, “Was that you?”

So, there you go. Chrono Trigger causes psychotic breakdowns and screaming naked people.


I was nine years old and it was the end of the school year, the teacher was playing a trivia game with the class and the question was “Who is the villain in the Star Wars trilogy?” (this was before the prequels)
I raised my hand “The Emperor”
“Erm no, the answer on the card is Darth Vader”
“The card is wrong” I said flatly “Darth Vader redeems himself at the end by killing the Emperor, the Emperor lead the Empire and he was the one the rebels were trying to kill when they attacked the second Death Star”.
A classroom of blank faces stared back at me, the teacher mumbled “Erm ok, next question…” but didnt give my team the point.
I was right dammit, in the words of Vince McMhan “You got Scccrrreeewwwweeedddd”


Best moment: sophomore year, my English teacher liked to auction off random crap that people would trade in for tickets to use in said auction. The end of the year I had him for English, one of the final pieces, and what I saved a ton of tickets to bid on, was an official, vintage Mr. Peabody plushie, complete with bow-tie and pipe. The token jock in the class, seeing that I liked the doll (I had a minor nerd-gasm when I spotted Mr. Peabody in the auction lot table), saved a few tickets himself to go after “That dog doll.”

Nerd blood boiling, I was steeled in my resolve to save Mr. Peabody from being used as a firestarter by some jerkass who wouldn’t know Rocky the Flying Squirrel from Rocky Raccoon. We rapid-fire bid back and forth for what seemed like an eternity, until he came to bid all of his tickets.

I still had five left. Despite the somewhat-irony in using Math to win at English class, I was more entertained that the geek won the day for once. I still have Mr. Peabody in my bedroom, because it’s MR. PEABODY. You don’t throw out a dog with a Wayback Machine.

This could also be counted for worst moment, since I vociferously outed myself as a massive geek to bid on this plushie in front of a few girls who might’ve otherwise dated me.


In high school, I attended a school-within-a-school that was geared towards math, science and technology. As part of our final for our engineering class, we had to work in groups to design a catapult, from CAD plans to final product, plus all of the mathy-sciency bits. The design for our catapult played with the rules of the assignment; it followed the letter of the law, but not entirely what our teachers intended. We got some shit for that and fought for our design, which at this point was already under construction.

During the final stages of development, we had to enter our catapult into the testing stage, and for this we needed two things. A name and a Rube-Goldberg device to set our catapult off. I’m fairly convinced the Rube-Goldberg was put in solely to knock down my group some points. The design was a bit odd, and as such it made it a bit difficult to operate remotely.

Not only did we get a Rube-Goldberg to work, but we did it with the most childish toys available; half of our device was Legos, Tinker Toys, K’Nex and a whole bunch of TMNT and Ghostbuster action figures. And though nobody got the joke, I named our catapult the Dressellian – a race in Star Wars famous for rebelling against the Empire using slugthrowers.


When I was in 7th grade, our grade was doing a whole bunch of projects on endangered species. So in order to demonstrate WHY it might be important to save these species we were shown Star Trek IV… you know, the time travel movie where Kirk et al need to get humpback whales to save the future. Anywho, for those who have seen the movie, you will know that if you HADN’T seen Star Trek II & III you might be a bit confused by the first 20 minutes of the movie…all about Spock dying and coming back to life…So as the known trekkie I was bombarded with questions about what the hell was going on…first time I got to enjoy being a trekkie rather than being teased about it. The best part occurred though at the end of the movie when Spock and Daddy give eachother the “live long and Prosper” hand gesture. The entire grade as one lifted their hands in said gesture in solidarity with the Vulcans. Easily the best moment at school Trek nerd-wise.

Also, the entire grade applauded when Spock gave the Punk Rocker the neck pinch.

Emily B:

My best is when I was in 11th grade my friends and I decided to do a group costume as all the colours of Link from the game The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, so I got to do Red Link which was awesome since red is my favortie colour, what was not awesome is that no one knew what I was so I sepnt all day being called a Christmas Elf.

Until my last period class, when some guy asked if I was some kind of Elf,another guy who I had never talked to stood up and yelled “She’s Red Link you idiot! Don’t you f-ing know anything GOD” Then high fived me. We ended up dating later, though I wouldn’t have talked to him if not for that.

Laura Kelley:

BEST: My BFF and I share a love of action star-turned-sex criminal/fatty Steven Seagal, and one day in college last year we discovered his magnum opus, On Deadly Ground, the beginning of Seagal’s long and storied faux-Native American phase. No sooner had he put on that first fringe jacket and taught a bar of oil workers how to change a man than we decided this was the greatest movie ever made. So for her humanities final, my BFF did a fifteen-minute Power Point presentation we made entitled “Steven Seagal: Renaissance Man,” in front of a class full of hippies who’d basically all done theirs on Jack Kerouac. And she also played one of Seagal’s music videos, “Girl It’s Alright,” for the class, and in case you’ve never seen that one (you’re lucky), Seagal basically stalks an Asian girl who appears to be 12 while sounding uncannily like John Mayer. For my humanities class, I made a bet with her that I could get away with mentioning Steven Seagal in EVERY paper I turned in the whole semester. I did it, and got an A. …

[Worst:] In 9th grade, on the first day of high school, I was going up the stairs in a stairwell carrying my super heavy backpack. I trip in my clogs and fall facedown (I’m alone in the stairwell by this point) and I try to get up. Except I can’t. I am such a weakling and my backpack is so heavy that I’m kinda pinned there, like a sad turtle. The reason? My Harry Potter books were in there. My best friend at the time walked past me and laughed, and some random girl had to lift me up. The rest of high school was much the same.


My best and most nerdy moment of high school was prom. I was asked to the dance by a guy in my physics class. He knew I loved Lord of the Rings so he’d painstakingly covered a box of chocolates with pictures of the Fellowship and made up Hobbit names for all of the flavors. He and I went with a group of his other friends, who were all Magic: The Gathering players. We played Mario Kart on his friend’s new GameCube. The dance itself was actually pretty lame, but everything up until that point was awesomely nerdy.


The worst nerd moment: While playing D&D during a study hall, the campaign got intense. We ignored everything around us until we managed to slay the dragon litch, and experience points hit the next level. We look up to see a) the lunch crowd watching with bemusement of nerds in situ b) we were 20 minutes late for our next class.

We grab out stuff and bolt for the stairs to get to our classes. I dodge around a corner and slam into the vice principal. He’s glared and asked what the he’ll I was doing.

Looking down, I fumble for a 20-sider and roll it in my hand and looking at the result say,”Damn! Missed my saving throw.”


Best (but kind of awkward) nerdy moment: high school science fair. One year I couldn’t be bothered to come up with a good science fair experiment, until it was far too late. So I invented time travel.

No, really. I wrote up a report theorizing that all particles in the universe ring (so to speak) at a synchronized rate that steadily diminishes simultaneously (I said the frequency diminished, though it would actually be amplitude as I learned later), thus creating the standard of time-passage. Time-travel would only require isolating this diminishing “frequency” and then altering it for the material to be transported: increase it to go back to the past, decrease it for forward into the future. (But it wouldn’t be very feasible to do so because due to the many vectors of movement–planet orbit, solar system orbit, galactic orbit in our cluster, the cluster’s travel in universal expansion–any travel more than a minute or so would instantly put the traveler in space before or after the Earth had reached that point.)

So I typed up a ten page study on this, found exactly one book in our high-school library that vaguely touched on the notion for citation purposes (I didn’t have time for further study, and this was back in the late 80s so no internet to speak of), created a standard 3-panel display, and submitted it just in time.
I would have been happy to only get a C. Much to my horror, the team of science teachers judging the fair called me in and quizzed me on it as if I was a finalist. I kept telling them I didn’t want a medal, this wasn’t even a science experiment, other kids had done ACTUAL EXPERIMENTS!!!

In hindsight, they were partially trying to figure out if I was plagiarizing. Unbeknownst to me, quantum physicists had recently proposed much the same thing.

I felt horrible when they gave me a medal (I don’t recall if I was first), and sent me on to regional.
(Fortunately, the judges there had enough sense to ignore my entry, since it wasn’t even an experiment.)

Ksa Otaku:

It was during religious education class; (I live in Saudi Arabia after all) me and my buddies were arguing about who’d win in a fight between goku or superman.
It got so heated that we that we didn’t notice the teacher had snuck up behind us.
He then chimed in:
“Bat man would win. Batman always wins”
The whole class burst into laughter. We then spend the rest of the class arguing who’d win between a variety of characters.
The class was bitterly decided about who was stronger; Grendizer or Combattler V.
Who knew the 32 year old Bedouin Qoran teacher was a bat nut?


The best was one year before. I introduce a classmate to One Piece and give him the issues. I tell him not to read them in class but he does anyway. So he got caught in Religion class and the teacher asks him in front of the class what nonesense he is reading and throws the book in the paper trash. The whole class laughs while I get angry as hall. The rest of the story was told to me by classmates because I could not remember anything after I stood up and walked to the trash to retrieve my beloved One Piece 26. Apparently the class got totally quiet and I may have closed the lid with more force than necessary. I walked up to the teacher, told him that he should learn to respect other people’s property and sat down again. After the lesson we had a “talk” and he basicly told I was right. My classmates later told me that they were afraid I would knock him you. Anyway, I still fell awesome about that moment but maybe that’s just me.


I was in a trivia contest in high school (already hugely nerdy…) and got a question about 19th century migration trails in the US. I buzz in:
“The Oregon Trail.”
…a pause….
What makes this so awesome?
I got a standing ovation.


A friend of a friend, who I just met, turned to me during a conversation and said “Well, It could be worse. It could be like Cars Tentacle Rape”

The fact that I was so happy about finding another FFF reader IRL was my Best Nerd Moment ever


Best Nerdy Moment: Picture it: Schaumburg, IL- February, 1994. On a night when most of my town was without power due to a major storm, my pep band mates and I helped lead an unusually packed gym in rooting on our basketball team to a thrilling overtime victory against our crosstown rivals. As we celebrated by playing our school’s fight song, the entire team came out to the stands and started bowing to us, in appreciation for our efforts that night. Jocks showing respect to the band geeks? Best nerdy moment, by far.


WORST: I bought a shit ton of Phantom Menace figures before the movie was coming out when everyone was hungry for new Star Wars merchandise and my local Wal-Mart was too stupid to put a limit on how much you could buy that first night they were on the shelves. My one time as a shameful toy hog, and I still regret it for more than one reason.

Anyway, they came with those bases that were sound chips to be read by the Electronic Comm Tech Reader (sold separately of course), but they had made it clear you could wear them like dog tags. I had the balls to wear the Darth Maul ones in high school, walking around, showing them off, and explaining what they do and where they came from. It was the best that slowly transcended into the worst moment for me as I felt the embarrassment swell as the day progressed.


To paint a picture. Elementary school, the second grade. I am one of the bigges Real Ghostbusters fans of all time, and had a doting grandfather. I owned EVERYTHING. Ever toy, every playset, proton packs, later, slime blowers, and of course…the jumpsuit. My very own tiny little Ghostbusters Jumpsuit. Oh yes. Little me demanding to go to school with my backpack that looks like a proton pack, and wearing my jumpsuit. I did, and it still makes me grin, I actually did that once a week for the rest of the school year.

Caitlin Langelier:

Best: After weeks of hard work, convincing my Musical Theater teacher (this happened this passing year in 11th grade) to let me direct a stage adaptation of Dr. Horrible that I had written myself after tracking down sheet music for it, creating prop lists and set designs, and rallying support from my fellow nerds. All this work had been to the detriment of my classes, but this made it totally worth it.

Worst: The very same day that I got permission from her, the people who run the Dr. Horrible website finally got back to me saying that they were no longer dispensing the rights at this time.


Here’s for Best: I was in Concert Band for most high school (10th to 12th grade), and when it was coming down to the final days before graduation, I found out from the band teacher that they were learning the music from the Award Ceremony at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope, and were going to play it while they handed out diplomas. My school didn’t hand out diplomas alphabetically, but rather how the students were arranged in the chairs. Someone how, me and two of my other friends managed to sit next to each other. So come diploma time, as we each got out diploma, we stood at the center of the stage together, and arranged ourselves like Luke, Han, and Chewbacca. I let out a Wookiee roar, since I had waist length hair while I was in school.

Not people understood what was going on, sadly. Most of the parents looked baffled, and mine were the only ones who really laughed. So, best graduation -ever-.


My best nerd experience at school happened my Junior year of high school. Everyone knew i was a Batman fan in the school. One day i was in one of my classes and my teacher pulled me aside and asked if she could talk to me after class. I thought i was in trouble or something. When i went to her desk after class she said she wanted to ask me some questions. It turned out that her 7 year old son had started liking Batman and she knew nothing about it so she wanted me to explain as much as I could so she could enjoy it with her son. She got me out of my next class so we could talk the whole time during her free period. All i did was explain Batman the villains and where she could buy comic books in our city. It was one of my proudest moments as a nerd.

The Amazing Rando:

Okay, now my worst story won’t be as long. I have a Master’s Degree in Evolutionary Biology and one of the requirements to get a Master’s Degree is to write a student thesis on our respective field, so in an attempt to combine both my nerdy instinct with my professional education I wrote my student thesis on the Transformers. I actually wrote a fifteen page thesis on the potential that a species like the Transformers could exist. It was titled “How a Race of Cybertronian Life Forms Could Exist”. I wrote about the kind of planetary make-up it would take to spawn these creatures, their possible evolutionary timeline, and even made a case where their ability to transform could be an evolutionary advantage. It was an incredible paper and I actually tried to get it published. Now why this is my worst moment, because my Evolutionary Biology Professor never heard of the Transformers, until I turned in this paper I was a straight A student, this was the first and only time I ever got less than an A on anything I did in that class. Now the most frustrating thing of all I got about this paper was when I got it back from my Professor, he wrote and I quote “This is a good paper, it was well written, and an interesting subject, I think this sounds like a creature from a movie, not an evolutionary life-form.”

I have since found out that this paper has actually become somewhat of a legend in his class. My professor will actually present it during his class, as an example of what if. So if you take Evolutionary Biology at Valdosta State University you will be treated to a class on the potential for a race of Cybertronial Life-froms to exist….

I told you guys these were long! The rest of the HMs and winners are after the jump.



Worst: The day in elementary school where I wore a cape to class. And then the months following that..

Matt Wells:

Second best nerdy moment? When I got excused from the last two years of mandatory high school P.E., just to play Mario Kart with a bunch of kids in Year 8. They had a DS club meeting, and their form tutor needed a responsible student to supervise them. They were a lot like me, kept mainly to themselves, so no behaviour problems. These meetings coincided with all my scheduled P.E. lessons, and I somehow managed to skip them in favour of playing Zelda: Phantom Hourglass mutliplayer with kids who idolised my slightly superior gaming skills.

Here’s the real kicker: I recieved a commendation for it that ended up going towards my place at school at A Levels. Their tutor even gave me a glowing reference, saying I was good with his students. I PLAYED NINTENDO GAMES FOR TWO SCHOOL YEARS WHEN I SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE RAIN THROWING BALLS AROUND IN THE MUD. And then the school gave me extra credit for it. It was like I had died and gone to heaven…a heaven without fucking mandatory games of football or cricket or basketball…


Best and Worst: Back when I was in high school I was really into gundam. I especially loved the snap together model kits that you could pick up for around $20 and put together in a night or 2. I wound up having to take woodshop and near the end of the year I had finished my final project with nearly 2 weeks to spare. The teacher told me that I could make a small project with scrap wood if I felt like since I had free time and in a moment of inspiration I grabbed a model out of my locker (yes I kept a gundam wing gundam zero-one in my locker) and took it apart there in class making notes the entire time. For the next 2 weeks I worked feverishly to craft each and every part at a 2:1 scale so that by the time I was done I would have a double sized wooden gundam wing that I could snap together. I almost didn’t finish it in time but with only a day to go I finished the last piece and started fitting it all together. My shop teacher was actually fairly impressed and wanted to take pictures to post on the wall next year so I stood it up on the table and backed away so he could get the shot… And the weight of the wings toppled the damn thing to the floor smashing it into far too many pieces. 2 weeks to craft, 2 hours to build, 2 seconds to destroy.


BEST: In college, I had a penchant of writing geeky themed essays, like a paper for a political science class comparing the governments of Star Trek and Star Wars to the US government. My crown jewel paper, and the one I’m most proud of in my entire collegiate career, was for a Shakespeare class. The professor was notoriously hard to please, I usually received As on most of my essays, but I could never crack above an A in any of her classes. Rumor was she only gave out A-‘s on rare occasions and never an A. One of those “always room for improvement types”.

My paper compared Darth Vader to Macbeth, how their stories were similar (this was before the prequels, FYI), and how they were pitiful, tragic characters. I was pretty proud of it (in fact, if I had continued in English Lit for my Master’s degree, I would have expanded upon it for my grad project). Unfortunately, my attitude towards the paper quickly changed when we presented our papers to the class. It was bring your child to work day, and the professor brought her two grade school daughters. They were quiet for the entire class until I presented my paper, those two little girls RIPPED IT APART. I felt like an idiot trying to defend my collegiate paper against an eight and ten year old. I could feel the pity in the eyes of my classmates. So much for my awesome paper.

The next Monday, I got the paper back. Inside the cover, the professor wrote, “Well thought out and insightful. A.” WHAT?
I actually scored one more A from that professor in a Chaucer class, rewriting Star Wars as one of the Canterbury Tales for my final. I guess the key to her class was the Force.


This happened around the time of the first Spider-Man movie. Some of my classmates were ignoring their labwork and discussing the difficulty they’d been having with the videogame tie-in to the movie. I inserted myself into the conversation and explained what they had been doing wrong. When asked why they should listen to me, I very calmly and coolly withdrew the Spider-Man mask that had been in my pocket, placed it over my head, and said, “I think I would know.” They took my advise, but, oddly enough, none of the girls that were present ever spoke to me after that.


Does Basic Training count as a school? This has to be my best nerd moment.
I was kneeling in the prone during a simulated rest halt when one of my Drill Sergeant’s asked why it’s important to keep a three meter interval during a foot march.
I raised my hand and said, “to avoid area of effect weapons, Drill Sergeant.”
There was a pause, and then, “Just say ‘grenades,’ Private” What are you trying to avoid — a wizard’s ray of frost?”

He then called over the platoon’s Senior Drill Sergeant to tell him what I said. The SDS kneeled right in front of me, looked me in the eyes, and whispered, “fucking wizard.”


Okay, so I’m sitting in the comp labs at the community college I’m currently attending, and one of my friends starts humming the theme to Sgt. Frog. Knowing the lyrics, I chime in, quietly. We go on for a few seconds before two more people join in. At the time, there were about 15 people in the room. After we build up a small chorus, a few more people start to join in, while everyone else accepts this, as theme song choir’s are a somewhat common occurrence round these parts. As we build to the end of the song, 3 people from the adjoining lab, run in to help us with the end of the song, finishing with 2 people singing harmonies. Now, this wouldn’t be much of a stretch if it were, say, the Pokemon theme, or go go power rangers, those are easy. The Sgt Frog theme has never been dubbed, so we were all singing in Japanese. On top of that, It’s Sgt Frog! 80% of the people reading this have no clue what that even is, so the idea that 13 students with not but an area of study in common, would not only be fans of Sgt Frog, a moderately obscure anime by most standards, but would have also seen it enough that they could memorize it’s theme song in a language that NONE of them spoke, is frankly to nerdy to comprehend, and to this day, I am still amazed by how perfect that day was.


BEST: I helped my 7th grade Catholic middle school teacher to write and stage a play that was a knock off of Star Trek. I played Dr Femur (obviously Bones), a tall redheaded girl with glasses played Cpt Church (Kirk can mean “church” in Scotland), and a blonde girl with short hair and braces played Splotch (Spock). The play was campy fan fiction at its finest with the stalwart crew of the Venture intervening to stop a political murder on a backwards planet of Klingon Rejects. We even used recorded sound effects from the show on an LP record player. I think the best part was when the ship was attacked that I was rocked off my feet just like in the show a couple of times, but the rest of the crew only jerked left once.


Every year or so my high school would partake in a German exchange student program, getting a group of German students for a group of ours. One year a group of us were alone in our drama theater with the entire group of German students and none of us were talking to each other. So I decided to break the ice and asked them what cartoons they like to watch in Germany. Then one of them said, “Disney stuff.” So naturally I started listing off shows like Darkwing Duck, Ducktales, and etc.. but when I got to Gummi Bears every single one of them jumped in front of me smiling. The next thing I knew one of them starts singing the Gummi Bears theme song in German and I followed in English. What came next was something of “Glee” proportions, if I watched the show, because all of my friends and all the German students were singing the song in our own respective languages jumping around the stage. Hopped up on inner Gummi berry juice.


Best Moment of Middle School Nerdiness:
8th grade class field trip to local park for a day-long pick-nick, and exciting outdoor games. Being not of the outdoor nature, my two best-friends and myself brought our brick gray game-boys and Pokemon red/blue versions.
Once we arrived, we parked ourselves on a large flat rock in the middle of the creek running through the park, pulled out our Cheetos and Mountain Dew and began our furious Pokemon battles.
After several hours of back and forth epic Mewtwo battles, along came a pair of our dickhead jock classmates… they decided to to act like the absolute fuckers that their parents raised them to be – so they started taunting us, calling us names, and throwing rocks to splash us with creek water.
I asked nicely for them to stop trying to splash our Pokemans with water, but this didn’t go over so well.
The taunting got worse.
I tossed aside my game-boy, hopped up and took off running after them. They, of course, split up, so I went after the most annoying and ugly one. After chasing after him for about a quarter mile I caught up and tackled him, jumped on top of him and started to beat. the. shit. out of him. Punching him in the face and chest, while he screamed and cried.
My favorite of his cries was “I’M SORRY! POKEMON IS COOL! POKEMON IS COOL!” I finally let him up and he ran back to his other dickhead friends- and I never got in trouble.

While this whole thing is incredibly petty and quite stupid, I’m still proud that I was able to run down a soccer jock, beat the shit out of him and made him cry out-loud that Pokemon was cool.


Worst: Stating my love of videogames in English class once, and saying they’re a legitimate form of art, which gets me routinely mocked by the rest of the class for the rest of the year. God I hate school.


hola, i am mauro portnoy, and for the most, i have more best moment than wost. a little context to put the flavor, i’m form argentina (that big chunk of land under brazil, home of alberto and enrique breccia, jose luis borges, the big nerd che guevara and other great stuff for the nerdom wolrdwide) and when science fiction/fantasy material is in the mandatory, most read to pass the literature class (borges and others in junior and high school) and when one of the most praised books of national heritage is a graphic novel ( the eternauta of H?ctor Germ?n Oesterheld thank you very much) so been a nerd here is not so bad, one of those bad moments is when i took few thor’s comics from marvel to my school, show it to some girl that i liked and she call me a traitor and a dork ( i was a nerd but not a patriotic nerd in her eyes) i was lucky she didn’t punch me.


Not sure if this the best because I stopped a girl from getting an F on
her presentation, or the worst because I marked myself as undoubtedly a
nit-picky nerd.

In 11th grade, we had to make a presentation on a particular form of writing. On the day of the presentations, a girl who was assigned the epic got up and used Fellowship as her example of the epic. It was a nice presentation and all, and she certainly defended her example well enough.

Until the teacher told her she thought her example didn’t qualify, as the book was missing an appendices at the end, which is apparently a crucial element of the epic. The girl was speechless, and the whole class was forced to endure one of those really uncomfortable moments in school when the teacher just waits out a student who doesn’t know what to say.

I felt bad, and for some reason needed to prove a point. So I raised my hand and loudly and quite nerdily explained that the entire Lord of the Rings could be considered one big book, and at the end of which (Return of the King) there is a nice, lengthy appendices.

After a moment of silence, one girl exclaimed that I was a huge nerd. So yeah.


When I was a sophomore in high school I was really into Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I was obsessed with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Since the show was only in it’s second season and the internet was still a strange new world to me, I found it difficult to find good pictures of her. When I was finally able to come across a fake nude of SMG, I immediately saved it to a floppy disk and brought it to school to share the wealth.

I also happened to be a member of the TV club and spent most of my time in our school’s TV studio. The teacher had just hooked up his laptop to a television (which at the time was a big deal) so I figured that that would be the best place for a viewing with my friends.
We loaded the floppy but it was taking forever to to read the file and after clicking on it at least 100 times, we gave up. Unfortunately the teacher came back to the studio with some other teachers to show off his engineering feat before I could remove the disk. He was standing in front of the television explaining how he had set up the whole thing and all we could do was stand there and watch as the file finally decided to show itself. Very slowly the image started to come on the screen and at first it seemed like it had frozen on only SMG’s face. Then all at once, on a 40″ screen, the rest of the picture reveald itself in all its nude glory.

Needless to say we all received detention that day and I learned a valuable lesson about fake nudes on the internet.

Nate N. AKA Weeb:

My senior year of high school my whole class took a trip to Disney World at the end of the year. We drove down there on one of those really big gray hound buses. Well as we pull in a guy from the park gets on the bus and starts telling us about whats going on this weekend. “You folks are really lucky. This just happens to be Star Wars weekend!” Everyone on the entire bus, every student and teacher look at the back at the bus right at me, in my Star Wars t-shirt.

I was the one who planed the trip. =D


My senior year of college, I got into amateur swordfighting. It was a
mix of LARPing, cardio, and good old fashioned
hitting-people-with-stuff. One Sunday we were playing out in a field by
one of the freshman dorms. We started out with about 5 people, but
within two hours there were about 50 students fighting. There was a
mixture of different personalities. We had the drunk jock type who made
his own weapon out of toilet paper dispensers and duct tape; the
athletic girls who wanted to literally knock the shit out of certain
guys they hated; very large nerds with almost no coordination; and then a
bunch of regular, slightly nerdy people who wanted to bond with one
another through mutual mutilation. The best part, however, came about an
hour in. It was getting slightly above 60 degrees outside, so instead
of getting a single drop of sweat on their Abercrombie V-necks, a few of
the jocks did what comes natural to their kind, and removed their
shirts. Well, myself, being a moderately in shape nerd, decided to take
off my shirt, also. The only problem is, that I have enough back hair to
choke a mosquito, so I was a little apprehensive. After my shirt is
off, I look over at an incredibly attractive girl, who looks back at me,
smiles, giggles, and then removes her shirt. As soon as other girls see
this they remove their shirts, and eventually practically all 50 of us
fighting, are shirtless, sweaty, and coming as close to sex as some of
us will ever get. It was like a slightly more epic episode of Xena, with
less sexual tension, but more accidental self-impaling. I will always
remember this beautiful day as a time when me and my fellow nerds
captivated the people around us in such a way, that they literally
stripped with us out of sheer exhilaration.


The worst thing thing that ever happened at school was because of someone I unfortunately knew. He had recently come back from an anime convention where he had acquired a pair of cat ears for some reason. He wore them everyday in the class of our science teacher who was also a pretty nerdy guy and it annoyed everyone. Finally, one day our teacher had enough of it and took the cat ears when he wasn’t paying attention. Suddenly this guy got really upset and kept asking for them back while alternating between being upset and giggling. Naturally, our teacher said no but this guy wouldn’t give up and finally said after class “I need those back you don’t know what they represent.” Our annoyed teacher finally asks, “What do they represent?” and this kid replies, “My Virginity”. Our teacher then throws the cat ears at him saying, “Take your damn ears back.” This also happened right after a sex scandal involving a teacher so it really wasn’t the best time for this kid to be joking that one of our favorite teachers took his virginity…


My favorite school related nerdy moments came courtesy of my ninth-grade chemistry teacher and high school mentor, Mr. Winkens.He and I were/are huge Monty Python fans. We’d dissect Flying Circus episodes, debate which was better: Life of Brian or Meaning of Life, and when we’d pass each other in the hall we’d exchange very spirited “NI!”‘s. He helped apply for colleges and dismissed ones he disapproved of as silly places.
But my favorite moment was on the first day of class with him freshmen year when we learned of our mutual interest. His was the last class of the day and he was going through the course outline and the “welcome to high school” spiel to a very bored and restless group before doing some preview demonstrations. As he was wrapping up, he asked for a volunteer for the last one. When no one offered, he starting putting the materials away and told us it was just as well because (in a John Cleese tone) it may have been too perilous for the inexperienced.
I don’t know why but I automatically seized on that line, raised my hand with a wide, smartass grin, and when called upon, unexpectedly started the whole exchange in front of twenty or so of my very bewildered classmates
Me: Let me go back there and face the peril
Him: …No, it’s too perilous
Me: Look, it’s my duty as an Honors Chemistry I student to sample as much peril as I can
Him: No, we’ve got to finish the syllabus.
Me: Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril?
Him: No. It’s unhealthy.
Then, in my best faux bitter grumble, it spat out the immortal line, “I bet you’re gay.”
The whole class went from being confused to wide-eyed and dead silent, and they just started looking back and forth between us like they thought a fight would break out. (I’d like to point out here that for all the times we’re saddened by our interests as nerds being dismissed by the mainstream, it does sometimes provide for epic comedy from things going over people’s heads.) Winkens gave me the death stare. Even after he came back with a defeated, “Am not.” a moment later, I couldn’t tell if he thought I took it too far. A few seconds later, with him staring daggers at me, and me standing frozen in fear, he just barks out, without changing his expression, “NI!”. I lost my shit. I laughed my ass off for a good minute and half or so, had to clutch the corner of the table for support, started gushing tears into my goggles, and had to gasp for air. I treasure the memory of the WTF expression on everyone else in the room’s face.


Best: I managed to convince my school’s Computer Studies teachers into letting me submit a proposal to the principal asking for four Xbox 360’s to be installed in one of the computer labs under the pretense of ‘E-Sports.’ I went to a very prestigious academic all girl’s school, and wrote up the request knowing that it wouldn’t be accepted because our principal was incredibly strict on ‘academic curriculum’ and had closed down some groups in the past for having no academic merit.

She said yes, and made E-Sports an official extra curricular activity.
The school budget allocated me about $500 to spend on Xbox games and merchandise, and appointed me ‘Head of E-Sports.’ (they wouldn’t let me call myself ‘President of the Video Games and Electronic Awesome Society’ because it wasn’t official sounding enough)

For the rest of my final year I played Rockband every lunchtime with two Computer Studies teachers and a Latin Teacher who wanted in as soon as he found out what we’d managed to do. It was fantastic.

Sarah Lister:

Worst: Grade 11 Social Studies class. My professor and I argued for almost 10 minutes over whether The Borg or The Cybermen were better analogies for Socialism (There isn’t really a winner in that argument, but he kept calling Doctor Who a kid’s show and thus non-suitable to use, which really pissed me off at the time) whilst the rest of the class looked on in boredom and annoyance/confusion. The remainder of the term was an awkward mix of him not calling on me for anything and us kind of glaring at each other.

Best: Junior year college writing class (one of those compulsory ones before you get to anything specific) and our half-term project was a minimum 25 page essay on the topic of our choosing. I still rank the ‘A’ I got for my thoughtfully titled ‘A Study of Homoerotic Subtext and the Romantic Ideal Within Pre-1980s Science Fiction Television’ (A polite way of saying ‘If there’s anything I know, it’s slashfic and how to write my way out of having no other topic ideas’…) among my greatest achievements.

And now for the winners. First up, the winner of the Worst Moment of Nerdiness at School, and possibly the most traumatizing thing I’ve ever read:


1992, 7th grade. I was in the process of handwriting a violent, pornographic fanfic of the then-new X-Men cartoon. It starred my totally badass self-insert character who had super strength, super speed, telekinesis, telepathy, invulnerability, could fire energy blasts, and was also smarter than anyone else. I’m pretty sure I also spent a couple of paragraphs describing his enormous dong. Anyway, I was at the point in my story where he had beaten up all the X-Men, taken away their powers, and kidnapped Storm, Rogue, Jean Grey, and Jubilee to rape. I was writing in exquisite detail about how Jubilee’s virgin-blood was running down the inside of her thighs, attempting to draw some sort of parallel with how the tears of pain were running down her cheeks, while my self-insert plowed his giant dong into her.

Anyway, my teacher saw me writing instead of paying attention and told me to stand before the class and read whatever I was writing, because obviously it was more interesting than class. I begged her not to make me do it but her lack of mercy was legend. So it was that I read about thirty handwritten pages of X-Men-themed violence and rape to a bunch of my peers who already thought I was kind of weird and creepy to begin with.

After that, I had to endure excruciatingly painful talks with most of the faculty, my parents, and a therapist. The rest of 7th grade and all of 8th grade were complete hell after that. I was marked, unclean, to all of the students and faculty. Thank god my reputation didn’t survive into high school.

Some of you may be wondering why I didn’t just tear up the story instead of reading it. Well, it was because I considered it the best thing I had ever written. It wasn’t just a pathetic outlet for my adolescent sexual urges, it was a fucking work of ART, dammit! I was going to get it published, it was going to be the basis for the X-Men movie (in which I, personally, would play my ultra-badass-awesome original character, or course), it was going to make me fucking FAMOUS! I honestly believed that at the time. My god. I made my life a living hell for the sake of a shitty rape-fic. I’m pretty sure that’s the worst nerdy thing I ever did in school.

My blood runs cold everytime I read this thing. Honestly, if this had happened to me, I don’t know what I would have done. Probably become a hobo and jumped a freight train at the very least. Obviously, I’m not really rewarding 363511 for writing horrible X-Men rape fic, but 1) for not killing himself and 2) for having the balls to relive his moment of shame on TR. And now for the Best:


In high school while we were sitting in gym taking attendance I would be
reading one of the volumes of Star Wars Rogue Squadron, one day one of
the jock kids grabbed the book waived it in the air and yelled to
everyone that I was reading star wars. One of the gym teachers called
him out and said “Yeah and what was the last thing you read?” since the
bully didnt really read he just sat down, the teacher brought the book
back and said “Ahh Rogue Squadron, good thought you might be getting
caught up in the whole Yuuzhan Vong business, Always stick with wedge”
Best gym class ever

Jesus turned water into wine, which was obviously cool. But to have a gym teacher shut down a jock to defend a nerd who also knows his Star Wars expanded universe? Now THAT’S a miracle, my friends. If nerd-dom had a church, I’d say we make this guy a saint. He deserves it.

And that’s it, folks. Congrats to the winner, and thanks to everyone who entered. And most of all, thanks to every teacher who let us be nerds, and especially to those who encouraged us in our nerdery. We may not have always told you thank you while we were in school, but we’re grateful every single day.