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January 17, 2002

And You Think I'm A Nerd

My name is Chris Lyon and I'm majoring in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. I wear glasses, I enjoy computer programming, playing computer games and even occasionally watching Star Trek. I may not have the best fashion sense in the world, and I may be able to count the number of girlfriends I've ever had on one hand, but if you think I'm a nerd, wait till you hear about some of my classmates.

Most Computer Science students content themselves with having debates about Microsoft's business practices or playing Magic: the Gathering with other tight t-shirt wearing, overweight individuals. Most of the men have long unkept beards, and most of the women... well, there aren't enough women in Computer Science to generalize.

This rant is about real people who I've had the misfortune of sharing Computer Science classes with at Waterloo. The nicknames are made up, but each anecdote is completely true.

Calculator Boy

The first of the nerds who got me so angry in class, I had to be restrained by my friends to prevent me from kicking his ass in the middle of lecture. This guy insists on answering every question armed with a calculator in his left hand. I think it may be permanently attached.

Professor: "Ok, let's fill up this data structure with some random numbers. Somebody give me a number."
Student1: "Uh, 7"
Student2: "3"
Professor: "Anyone else?"

Calculator Boy is waving his right arms wildly in the air, his calculator-hand, clutched tightly against his chest. He has the look on his face like he has something so terribly funny to say that he just may explode if he doesn't say it.

Professor (reluctantly pointing to CB): "You."
CB (snickering): "65535"
Professor (unimpressed): "Why did you choose that number?"
CB: "Because that will cause an overflow!"
Me: "I'll kill him!"
Ryan: "Sit down Chris."

Laughing Boy

Laughing Boy's super-nerd power is the inability to control to volume and intensity of his laughter during lectures. The professor would make the lamest attempt at a joke, and Laughing Boy would howl at a volume that was embarrassing to us all. He was in all three of my computer classes last term. My favorite incident occurred in my operating systems class taught by a Russian professor.

Professor: "The clock in the back of the class is wrong."
Laughing Boy (snickering): "Sir, what's that on your left wrist?"
Professor (confused): "It's my watch."
LB (snickering louder): "Then why don't you look at it instead of the clock?"
Professor (pointing to his watch): "This is Moscow local time."
Guy behind me (under his breath): "Shut the fuck up!"

Navy Boy

This guy is much less of a nerd than the others, he just really creeps me out. He's a Croatian, or something and he used to wear this blue-and-white striped shirt and has short hair, so he looked like a sailor to us. Then one day he started bringing in this green navy-issue blanket to class and wrapped it around him like a shawl. Then he started getting creepy.

He would always sit about two rows ahead of me and at least once every class he would slowly turn his head until he faced me. Still wrapped in his shawl, mouth slightly open and with eyes that could penetrate my soul, he made eye-contact for just a moment, before slowly turning his head back to the front. A few seconds later he would do it again, but this time, he turned his head the other way, again making eye-contact for a moment before turning back to the front.

Skunk Head

Here is a guy so smug in his nerdiness, I just want to punch him in the throat. I have to give this guy credit for having the balls to look the way he does. What makes Skunk Head what he is, is his hair. His hair is bleached platinum on the left side of his head, and dyed black on the right. Maybe this represents some sort of yin-yang, good-evil symbiosis or something. Maybe he's just a big nerd.

He was in one of my computer classes about two years ago. Then his hair was long and always in a black and white ponytail. I still see him around here and there. His hair is now short and still divided into two opposite hemispheres.


The only nerd in my list whose name I did not make up. Socrates is what he likes to be called. He's fat, has a huge black curly beard and wears a felt hat with a red feather in it. And not a little feather either. I'm talking a foot-long puffy ostrich feather.

I've never actually had him in any of my classes. Something tells me if I did, I'd have one hell of a story to tell.

Wall-Eyed Mike

This guy really gets on my nerves. He has this big head and round bulging eyes and never looks directly at you when speaking. He seems to focus on something to the above right of your head and stares during the entire conversation. He has a know-it-all attitude and lets everyone know it.

WEM is sitting in the front row of the class with no books open in front of him and his arms crossed. As the professor lectures, WEM starts scoffing, sighing, and chuckling to himself loud enough for the whole class, let alone the professor to hear.
Professor: "Is there a problem?"
WEM: "Well sir, it's just that what you're teaching is so simplistic."
Professor: "Why do you say that?"
WEM: "Because I read all this last night and found it really easy."
Professor: "Well why don't you sit quietly so the others who haven't read the material already can learn."
WEM, eyes rolling sighs deliberately.

Well, you've read my rant about my nerdy classmates. If you haven't felt sorry for me yet, just remember, for every Skunk Head and Calculator Boy in my class, there are dozens of others in the Computer Science club, probably masturbating to revealing pictures of Lara Croft.

00:00 | Misc Rambling

The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of Chris Lyon and do not reflect those of his employer. This site is provided as-is, with no warrantees or guarantees. For entertainment purposes only.