My inspiration to discuss this came last Thursday night. I decided to spend a nice quiet evening in by myself and watch my all-time favorite movie from high school: SLC Punk.

It had been approximately 10 years since I had last seen this movie (which I was OBSESSED with between the ages of 14 and 16) so, as expected, there were a few things that I had forgotten including plot details, crucial lines that need to be repeated in every-day conversation, and the fact that Jason Segel was in it as the nerdy punk who had a violent streak and a who knew a lot about plants.

As a teenager, I can remember never being attracted to the “traditionally cute boy”—insert picture of James Van Der Beek  here.  Rather, I was attracted to the weird guy in the back of the classroom who often quoted SNL skits when the teacher called on him to answer a math problem.  We now know today that guy wasn’t weird, he was just a little before his time.

I didn’t date much as a teenager, and I think my most productive form of flirting was making fun of a boy (still works as an adult)…so maybe that makes me a nerd myself.  Either way, there’s a little dorkiness in all of us whether it’s our really good (but useless) math skills, our ability to tell you what time it is in any country or our weird obsession with role playing chat rooms (I’ll never admit to any of these).

And while some of the nerds (or geeks or dorks) from our childhood are still just weird, some of them grew up to be architects…doctors and even the mystery millionaire behind the new rubber used by Nike.

So while it may be too late for some, lets pay our respect to those we loved to make fun of in high school:

The nerd who had many leather bound books

The quiet, but sometimes funny nerd

The nerd last picked for any contact sport

The nerd second to last picked for any contact sport

The Asian nerd

The nerd who sat in the back of class and talked into his pen recorder

The “cool kids” could not have been cool without you guys, so a big thank you from all those James Van Der Beeks!