Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Creating a Nerdscape
"What is a nerdscape?"
According to the website of Kevin Hearne, it is "a still life in which you let your geek flag fly." Kevin challenged his readers to create a nerdscape and submit them for a contest, and asked that they include at least:
1) An action figure
2) Junk food
(I'm currently reading Hexed, the second book in a series that reminds me a lot of the Dresden File books)
How could I resist? So I gathered up my things and made an image that expresses SOME of my inner geekiness in a vibrant display. It was a lot of fun, though I wished I had a better set of action figures on hand. I did just receive a new Batgirl action figure - so I may need to do a second display.
Besides the simple joy of gathering up an assortment of geeky items in my classroom, there is a serious side to this image. While reading and discussing Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities with my Batty About Books buddies, I commented on this bit - I do get annoyed when the boys say things like “girls are not into die-cast metal figurines” or “role-playing games or science fiction” (pg 110), but I recognize that most boys feel this way. On that page I wrote “Prove them wrong!”.
Part of my mission in life is to help both boys and girls see that girls can be into all of that stuff. I have little keepsakes around my room, I express my love for upcoming science fiction, fantasy, and superhero movies, and I tend to dress up as iconic Star Wars characters for Halloween. Yes, I do follow one stereotype - I'm not into sports. So I try to point out or talk about the women I know who are into sports. I can't dispel every stereotype, but I do my part to get kids to NOTICE stereotypes and see them for what they are. Some stereotypes are just shorthand, a quick way to create background characters. Some stereotypes are downright insidious, perpetuating a world of separation and bullying. My students need to learn to take each person as an individual, seeing beyond their own preconceived expectations. I want them to see what makes that person unique AND what ties us all together.
I try to write each Tuesday as part of the Slice of Life community at Two Writing Teachers. I'm also gearing up to tackle the every day slicing in March!