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The greatest thing about your dad:
He's not an alcoholic. 14%
He doesn't beat me. 14%
He's never been incarcerated. 42%
He has a steady job. 28%

Votes: 7

 My Father, the geek

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jun 17, 2002
This weekend, I returned home to visit for Father's Day. By God, I love that old geek.

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My Dad is a geek, through and through. He is an electrical engineer, and a damned good one. He has a closet full of punch cards and half-finished gadgets encased in lunchboxes. He enjoys sci-fi more than human contact. He's my father, and without him, I would not be the man I am today.

He came from a working class family in the Midwestern United States. Sportsmanship and competition was important in his family, and he excelled in sports. But he also enjoyed science in fact and fiction. In middle school he discovered a love for math. In high school he excelled in academics and sports while courting my future mother. His football abilities were able to get him a scholarship to a quality university where he studied electrical engineering. The day after graduation he got married.

My mom is decidedly not a geek, but they were (and still are) in love. She is a simple Catholic woman from a poor family and is an ideal wife and mother. She never went to college but has an interpersonal intelligence all her own. My Dad may never have been able to discuss the latest scientific developments or Star Trek with her, but it didn't matter. He would soon raise three little geeklings, and could discuss such things with them.

When my two siblings and I were born, he made an effort to emphasize the importance of science, math, and sportsmanship. Although I have little in the way of athletic talent, I learned a lot on the baseball, soccer, and football fields. He pushed us to excel, and was the best math teacher I ever had. He understood the school science fair as vital hands-on experience with the scientific method, and helped us with our projects.

Every summer starting after 8th grade, he tutored and coached us in the SAT and ACT. I owe him my perfect score on the SAT. All three of us got academic scholarships because of our high SAT scores.

He pushed all three of us toward engineering, and succeeded with the younger two (I went into medicine). My sister is following exactly in his footsteps, studying the same major at the same college. He got me a job at his workplace, and I spent a few summers there. Unsurprisingly, his employees and supervisors respected him more than I did. He was the hardest worker in the place, and everyone valued his advice. He could figure out complicated problems in a quarter of the time of anyone else.

I enjoyed coming home and watching "Spider-Man" with him. He introduced me to comicbooks, and we enjoyed them together, even if he did take them out of my protective plastic covers and fold them backwards and ruin their value.

Some may think it would be horrible to be raised by a geek. There were some downsides. I didn't learn much about women from him. He lucked out and found his true love at the age of 16. He also hasn't been supportive of my musical endeavors; it's all "artsy-fartsy crap" to him. And sometimes his avoidance of human interaction can be embarassing. But considering all the bad fathers out there (and even within my extended family), I wouldn't trade him for the world.

My sister and I went shopping for Father's day on Saturday. We knew he would want something he could enjoy with the whole family. My sister got him the Star Wars Game of Life. I saw a light-up frisbee and was reminded of my childhood, playing catch with a Glo-Stick after dark. At night on Father's Day, the five of us threw a flashing frisbee while shining our Photon Lights at each other. It was a comical mix between a sport and a geek-out rave.

My Dad's a geek, and I love him. If someday, maybe at Best Buy, or waiting in line for Episode III tickets, you see a bald middle-aged man wearing a MYST t-shirt with ripped sleeves (to show his bulging biceps), say "Hi" for me. But he'll probably ignore you and pretend not to hear, so maybe you better not.


Um, no and stuff (none / 0) (#1)
by Chocolate Milkshake on Tue Jun 18th, 2002 at 01:09:58 AM PST
G**ks do not play football or date girls during high school, nor are they respected by their coworkers. Furthermore, the fact that your father is willing to be seen in public wearing a Myst T-shirt with ripped sleeves indicates that he is sufficiently physically intimidating that no one will hassle him for going about in such a getup: hardly a g**ky trait.

Sorry dude, your Dad is merely a slightly eccentric normal person, not a g**k.

Your wrong (none / 0) (#3)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Jun 18th, 2002 at 09:32:27 AM PST
2 of my friends are computer geeks and they play soccer and hockey, which means I proved something



you sux. (none / 0) (#4)
by tkatchev on Tue Jun 18th, 2002 at 09:48:49 AM PST
see subj.

Peace and much love...

So your dad is a circus performer (none / 0) (#2)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Jun 18th, 2002 at 03:36:08 AM PST
who eats live animals, or are we not playing the "archaic dictionary definition" any more?

Warning: (none / 0) (#5)
by First Incision on Tue Jun 18th, 2002 at 09:21:42 PM PST
Opinions expressed by characters in cartoons authored by First Incision do not necessarily represent the opinions of First Incision.

And the "archaic dictionary definition" game is still very much on. Currently it is being played over at Amateur Golf and the Computer Criminal. The score is approximately RobotSlave-50, Anonymous Readers-3.(margin of error uncertain)

But I ask you, what is the difference between a vulture and a buzzard?
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.

Vulture vs. Buzzard. (none / 0) (#6)
by tkatchev on Wed Jun 19th, 2002 at 01:42:46 PM PST
Which one has the bald head?

Peace and much love...

I think they're synonymous (none / 0) (#7)
by Adam Rightmann on Thu Jun 20th, 2002 at 06:41:51 AM PST
buzzards and vultures are the same kind of bird, IIRC, or perhaps one or two species of vultures are also called buzzards.

A. Rightmann

Well, the dictionary says (none / 0) (#8)
by because it isnt on Thu Jun 20th, 2002 at 02:16:50 PM PST
that when it's not used as a synonym for vulture, it's a European hawk of the genus Buteo.

I'm actually quite interested in that (American) dictionary's definitions of soccer and football. Soccer is "association football" and football is "Chiefly British: soccer". If you look up a British dictionary, it has distinct entries for "football" and "American football". British people are quite amused at the American commentators covering the World Cup. -- because it isn't

Yay (none / 0) (#9)
by First Incision on Fri Jun 21st, 2002 at 04:44:28 AM PST
If I had a prize, I would give one to you.

Americans, another example of Buteo is the commonly seen Red-Tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis. Buzzards look nothing like vultures (except maybe when they are 300 feet above you, with the sun in your eyes), just as a buffalo looks nothing like a bison.

American settlers didn't know what a vulture was, so they just called it a buzzard, something familiar from the Old World. A similar thing must have happened with football.

"What the hell are they doing? Must be some kind of football."

And yes, a hacker is a crminal.
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.


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