I was never, ever, what one would call a cool kid. In high school, I was called a "goody good kid", because I got good grades, didn't smoke or drink or do drugs or have sex, and generally followed all the rules. I liked being in band, and I read during the summers. In short, I was a nerd.
I am still a nerd. I read books like it is my job (I wish), I am obsessed with social media (phone in hands at all waking times), and I am plugged into a nerdy subset of pop culture that includes John Hodgman, Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Coulton, and of course my beloved John Roderick, among many nerdy others. Through these nerdy interests of mine, I have met some truly incredible people, learned amazing things, and experienced life changing things. In the course of one day, my friends and I will discuss philosophy and politics, read groundbreaking literature, volunteer for local nonprofits, compare healthy recipes, and play Angry Birds.
Nerds are the new normal. We have influence, we change the game. We invent technologies that change the way people interact. Nerd is no longer a bad word. The label of nerd is now a badge of honor, and I wear mine proudly and thankfully.