On my way to the library, a few friends and I got into a conversation about the lecture beforehand, and naturally, we went on to the keenos. Overachievers, gunners, brown-nosers, teacher’s pets swots, nerds, boffins, whatever you call them, we all know the guy/girl. Early, asking the lecturer questions before his Barbour even hits the chair, attentive, tapping furiously at the keyboard, hanging onto each word as if divinely inspired, if they’re ever late, it’s to lunch because they got into a really interesting conversation with Dr. Wilcott on Leishmaniasis in western Africa; we all know one.
What I find difficult to grasp is why these guys are always the laughing stocks of the year, and I’m not innocent whilst writing this, I can’t say I haven’t been frustrated on more than one occasion when we’re running over and someone puts their hand up to ask a question at the end of a lecture, making me wait an extra 30 seconds longer to engorge myself with lunch. But as this was happening today, I found myself thinking that, maybe we’re a little jealous of these guys, you guys. I mean, I wish I was half that passionate about my subject, I wish I had the drive and motivation to read outside of the course material and learn to become a better doctor, rather than to jump the 50% hurdle in May.
Hermione Granger, though very much fictional, is a great example. The proverbial ugly nerd-ling swans into the envy of all male 90s kids. Beauty meets brains in a very popular and fashionable way. This is clearly an exception, many incredibly talented people walk about every day, totally unnoticed in the wider world behind the shadow of the sporty, the alternative, the social. The lecture theatre and exam hall is their football field and the pen their pigskin, but it’s not accolade that meets them, but jealous jibes. It would just be cool if one day, we gave props to the nerd-ling for being top of the year, instead of reducing their achievements down to a lack of social life amongst other futile attempts to somehow rationalise our own failures by saying “well, I had way more fun than they did!“, even though, ironically, they probably do a lot more outside of school than we do – just a thought.