Tag Archives: doctor

Nerds are awesome? Really?

So, Will “Wesley-Crusher” Wheaton says nerds are awesome. They are awesome because they love TV or something else and get obsessed? That’s awesome? Really? No!

Nerds are awesome, but not necessarily for the reasons he gives. There is nothing cool about being engrossed in something obscure for hours on end, often without any useful outcome. Being able to name every Star Trek Voyager character in order of appearance is impressive but useless. NOT awesome.

We will always be the inept kids in the playground who can’t kick a soccer ball straight but can count to ten in Swahili. The kid that sits on the school bus reading a book and not blowing spitwads at the girls. We will be the ones that are picked last at sports, the ones that come last in races, the ones the popular kids despise and the rest of the kids try and ignore.

What these popular cool kids don’t understand is that us nerdy-geeky-losers with spots, glasses and unfashionable hair will grow up and will also be the ones that treat their cancer, that make their cars safer, plan their towns, the ones that keep their power stations and water running and possibly even the ones that design the computer they use at their till in Mc Donalds. They will need us. They will need us far more than we need them.

Being a nerd IS awesome. But not because I have an unhealthy interest in Firefly or that I get engrossed in making idiotically complex cups of tea. It’s awesome because through being nerdy I am now treating peoples diseases and changing lives. As a doctor I am nothing special, but being a doctor IS special. I will never need the validation of others to tell me I am worthwhile. I don’t give two hoots about how “fashionable” my hair is or how “on trend” my shoes are. My hair is the same mess it was when I was 15. My shoes are the same boring black ones they were in school. Nobody cares. The cool kids are still trying to be cool, now competing with the cooler younger people emerging behind them. Their “Glory Days” of being the popular kid are gone, it’s downhill from here Mr/Ms Former Sports Captain, your sun is setting. The nerds have plodded on and have transcended the nonsense.

Nerds will always overcome, we will always be there and it’s no longer a case of us jokingly saying “Nerds will inherit the earth”, WE HAVE ALREADY GOT IT!

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Filed under Dads, fatherhood, Nerd, Parenting

Just keep smiling, look straight ahead and say nothing – A doctor negotiating ante-natal classes.

I have been worrying about this for a while.

I have heard horror stories from colleagues of blazing rows and pointless futile arguments. Stories of brave warriors confronting unyielding walls of nonsensical pseudoscience and coming away battered and bruised with a very pissed off wife. This doctor is about to enter THE ANTE-NATAL CLASS!

I had been dreading having to listen to some earth mother homeopathist homebirther rant at us about the evils of vaccinations, how they cause plague, epilepsy and …. um… Osgood-Schlatter disease. I forget what is it that stupid people say vaccinations cause again, I would look it up …. but it’s hard to look up unpublished, non existent data (I could probably find the fraudulent data that started it all, if it hadn’t been retracted).

It was with great trepidation that I entered “The Parents Centre”. Antenatal Classes are quite important for us, we live 12,000 miles (literally) from our nearest family so we are rather alone. I was desperate not to look like a prat, psycho or know-it-all in front of potential friends that have only just met us. A surefire way of probably achieving all three impressions would be to have an argument over something like homeopathy or vaccinations with the person running the class. Being the Dad and not the doctor is my challenge.

As it happened, news of my profession slipped out and soon I was being asked “What do you think Nerd Dad” by the “birth educator”. This was embarassing.

Bear in mind I do general and respiratory medicine. The last time I saw a placenta was in medical school, I poked it and it squirted gore at me and I nearly spewed, I know next to nothing about all the medical bits. Saying “You are a doctor, tell me about the complexities of placentas” is like saying to a french teacher “you are a language teacher, how do I say “This constitution in unacceptable” in Swahili?”. I had three options, smile vacantly and make a sort of “uuuugh” noise, Bullshit my way out of trouble (Something I am very good at, given my profession) or impart my, probably flawed but well intentioned rudimentary knowledge of babymaking bits to the class. I chose option 3.

I couldn’t use my usual flippant response to gynaecological questions* which get asked of us doctors in social occasions disturbingly often. Why do people do that? Do  dentists get asked to do fillings on kitchen tables? Do IT specialists get asked to reconfigure routers? … maybe. But why would you bring up your defective bodily functions in polite company …. ever, regardless of the presence of a physician? What do they expect me to do? Excise their mole there and then with a steak knife? Do some intimate examination in the kitchen?

Anyway, I digress. So far the classes have been fine. I almost leaped with joy when the educator answered the question “What about alternative therapies like homeopathy or reiki” with a blank look and “I have no idea, I have seen no evidence for it, ask a homeopathist if you are interested” … I could have kissed her!

So, the not-so undercover foray into antenatal classes is progressing well. We have made some friends, none of which seem to think I’m a psycho.

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The Parents Centre is the organisation providing our classes. There is some good advice on their site.

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* This response is “I’m afraid my recent experience in that area is entirely recreational and as a married man rather infrequent. You had better ask someone who knows what they are talking about.”

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Filed under Baby, Dads, doctor, Nerd