Last Thursday night, my daughter did a sleepover, and I used the occasion to go out on a date. My wife and I watched “Pride and Prejudice” at the AFI theatre in Silver Spring, Md. Movies in this genre generally appeal to her. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, which I highly recommend.
But the plot moved too slowly for Anne, who found some of the dialogue to be too accented and archaic to follow. She is right on both counts, but, still, I really got into the movie. Strange, because I don’t much espouse to, uh, love stories.
Most people who know me, or think they do, would wonder about my interest in a movie like “Pride and Prejudice”. Many of them think of me as some kind of nerd, some computer freak. Nothing could be further from the case. I have pretty good computer aptitude, but I’m not into thinker toys, nor have I ever been.
My career is tech writing, because in 1993 I caught wind of the World Wide Web. I recognized a technology shift taking place, one that would transform the publishing industry. Before January 1994, I could just about turn on my work computer and use WordPerfect. To me, computers are my work not my passion. For those people building kit computers in the 1970s, sorry, I wasn’t part of your clique.
I was the kid who enjoyed the sciences, but history and literature appealed all the more. Had I the money (and the grades), I would have attended St. John’s College, in Annapolis, Md.. The school’s curriculum, which focused on thinkers and critical thinking, greatly appealed to me. I studied Latin in high school, devoured the Greek classics, and connected to the flows of history.
Drama and music highly ranked in my educational repertoire. My first loves have long been the arts, culture, and history. In high school, I would attend summer Shakespeare performances. I recall when in the summer of my Junior year, I drove with friends for 10 hours to listen to the Boston Symphony Orchestra play Beethoven under the stars; we dressed in togas (and were cold).
It’s my fascination with people that draws me to the arts, culture, and history. Sometimes, I will go to public places for no other reason than to study people. I’m fascinated by human behavior. The close study has benefits. I’m exceptionally good at reading people, rightly assessing their personality and astutely knowing when they’re lying (Now there’s a secret I should have kept). My people fascination actually helps me some in my current job.
“Pride and Prejudice” satisfies for its view of culture, history and people, but, of course, because it really is an excellent movie.
As for the nerd label I sometimes wear because of my work related to technology, I can’t emphasize enough that I’m no nerd—at least no computer nerd. In January, I took the nerd test. The quiz created lots of blog buzz there for a few weeks, with lots of geeks bragging about their high scores (the closer to 100, the nerdier the nerd). I took the test twice, scoring a one the first time and a zero the second time. Several people balked and told me that I must have intentionally answered to get a non-nerd score. They said that because they really don’t know me all that well.