Letting the Nerd Come Out to Play

I once found a Halloween costume called “The Nerd Kit.”

The contents included a pocket protector, fake teeth with braces, acne paint, a black bow tie, a pair of thick-rimmed glasses with adhesive tape over the bridge, and of course, a red and white nametag that read “Harold.”


Then again, I’ve always been a nerd.

The nametag just gave me permission to let him come out and play.

When I was in elementary school, every week a handful of us were pulled out of class to spend part of our time in Gifted and Talented Education. We did critical thinking drills and creative exercises. We learned how to ask questions and where to listen for answers. And we were given an irrevocable license to create in an atmosphere that was free of judgment, ridicule and snobby girls named Emily.

Basically, it’s where we got to practice being nerds.

And the cool part was, nobody really told us why we were pulled out class. Our parents and teachers just said we were part of this unique group. And when the gifted teacher visited our classroom, it was time to pack up and go get creative.

Which clearly meant that we were better than all the other kids in class.


Looking back, that program was the absolute highlight of my childhood.

It’s where we were totally free.
It’s where we felt safe being ourselves.
It’s where we nurtured our eccentricities.
It’s where we no longer had to hide our truth.

Everything was fair game, everybody was weird and nothing was off limits. By practicing being nerds, we had an emotional and spiritual release that helped us become the best, highest versions of ourselves.

Interestingly, I don’t remember anything I learned in third grade.

But I’ll never forget gifted time. I can’t. It’s too much a part of my creative soul.

And so I always wondered to myself: Why wouldn’t they make all of school like that?

Kind of like the airplane: If the only thing that survives the crash is the black box, wouldn’t they just make the whole plane out of the black box?

I don’t understand.

We shouldn’t need a separate classroom to let the nerd come out and play.

How nerdy are you willing to be?

For the list called, “7 Ways to Out EXPERIENCE the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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