Cannonball Read IV #64
I was a total dork in high school. I wore the wrong clothes (even though I tried to wear the right ones). I was too much of an individual to be liked by the popular kids. I was friendly with most of them, but I was not their friends. I loved to read and I enjoyed school and following the rules. I had a small group of very close friends who attended church, but it wasn’t the church where the popular kids went, it was a church where kids were serious about their love for Jesus. I could float from my church group to the AP kids I liked to the kids who didn’t love school to the ravers but I never felt like I had a real place, aside from mostly being part of my church group. I felt horribly different and all I wanted was to fit it.
And I am so, so thankful that I didn’t.
That’s why I was so excited to read Alexandra Robbins’ book The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth. I have not inherited the earth, but I have absolutely done pretty well in life. That’s her premise — the kids on the fringe of the cafeteria, the ones who are outcasts or floaters, who have social skills people question, really possess the things that make for successful adults. Creativity and refusal to fit into a mold and being outspoken about one’s beliefs and being open-minded: these might make you the weirdo in high school but as an adult, they’re characteristics that will serve you well.
This is true in my own life, and Robbins follows around multiple students, as well as a teacher, that back this up as well. Her book is filled with research that supports her hypothesis and she writes in a way that makes the science easy to understand. Science + people = something real and accessible.
Clearly I loved this book, but to be fair I will admit that Robbins has a point to prove and she finds things that will prove that point. If you’re looking for arguments on the other side, this isn’t the book for you. And if you’re looking for stodgy academic research, this is also not the book for you. I believe she uses legit sources, but the book is written in a common language for everyday people to read, not for the scientific community. Regardless, it’s still thought-provoking and interesting to read.