I have a confession. My inner nerd is not so much an inner nerd, as an out and out nerd cloaked in cooking skills and motherhood. But I realised that, although I may not appear particularly nerdy (The Dude will disagree, on the basis of our conversations), my nerdiness is never far away. I have evidence.
1. I am learning to crochet, and advancing my skills in knitting (which were abysmal), and what was I thinking of (apart from the obvious loop it, pull it, not too tight and don’t forget to keep your tongue in your mouth when you’re concentrating)? Procedural memory (the link is to Wikipedia. Apologies to all my uni lecturers who’s voices now scream in my head). Specifically, I was reminding myself to go back and repeat regularly for short periods of time, in order to enable me to remember how to do it. Those psychology lectures do come in handy every now and then.
2. We recently acquired a new bed for Little Person, which required that we disassemble her old bed on the morning that the new one was to be delivered. She was upset by this. My thoughts (apart from the obvious need to comfort and would the new bed actually fit where we needed it to, careful measuring notwithstanding)? The lack of previous experience put Little Person at a disadvantage, because although we had explained the process to her, she had no context (previous experience) within which to place it. There was no category. Mental representation. The only way to comfort her was to say Mummy would make sure she had a nice bed to sleep in that night. THat was context she could understand. That was also reliant on her relationship with me, and relied on my ability to view the scene from her perspective. Maternal mind-mindedness does come in handy. Apparently, the MA was worth it after all.
3. I contacted a potential supervisor for PhD last week, and yesterday she was able to send me some journal articles. They were very interesting, but I didn’t get to finish reading them yesterday, so they formed this morning’s breakfast reading material.
4. I play a game on Facebook, but occasionally vary my strategies in order to observe how the logic of the game works to maintain its addictive quality.
5. At night, when I can’t sleep (I’m not an insomniac, but occasionally my body clock throws me for a loop), I don’t count sheep. I create stories, but the words must all begin with the same letter. (So Adam ate Alice’s apple. Angry, Alice announced at assembly “Adam’s arms are automatic!” Automatic arms, asked all. …) I used to merely make up sentences, but have found requiring some sort of story arc and resolution is much more effective. I used to try counting sheep when I was younger, but I regularly would hit numbers in excess of 150 before giving up, and then I started counting different cartoon characters, and the technique developed from there.
6. I understand there is a difference between being a geek and a nerd. I also understand that a nerd is not the insult it was when I was younger. But I won’t buy myself a geek t-shirt.
Alright, no 5 is not necessarily a measure of nerdiness, but rather quirkiness. But I could fight against all this thinking that goes on in my head, but I am far happier, and a much better wife and mother, when I embrace it.
Except that does mean that The Dude gets very boring explanations of the Little Person’s behaviour.