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C'jais
02-19-2003, 06:17 PM
Essay on the school system and its hierarchy of popularity. (http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html)

This is long. Likely too long for most of you, but don't worry, you only have to read the start of it to get the gist of what it's about.

Being 17 myself, I can easily see evidence of this system in my daily life, even though there's nothing immediately similar to "high school" and "college" in my country.

Reborn Outcast
02-19-2003, 07:16 PM
Well I read most of it. :D And one line stuck out at me that is VERY untrue at my highschool.

Being smart seems to make you unpopular.


Thats the exact opposite at my school. In fact, being a dumbass (pardon my language) such as stealing and stuff makes you unpopular. I am smart and it shows in my grades and all my other friends are smart but we're one of the most popular groups. I don't know if our school is weird or something but our popular groups don't all hang out with each other. Yes there are the nerds and the Goths that noone "popular" really wants to talk to but in a sense, (now get this) if you look at it, NOONE in my school is popular or unpopular. :eek: The "cool" kids think that the nerds and Goths are unpopular BUT (and trust me I know this) the nerds and the Goths think that the "cool" kids are unpopular. Popularity in my school is what one thinks about ones self and not what the school thinks about that group. For example... I could think I'm sooo popular but 3/4 of the school could think I'm sooo unpopular. I guess our school is different because I hang out with everyone and everyone hangs out with everyone to.

C'jais
02-19-2003, 07:42 PM
Your school does sound a bit strange, if there are no outcasts, and no mobbing as a consequence.

Maybe your position has clouded your view of the school?

Try reading more of the essay, as the authot goes to lengths explaining why being smart makes you unpopular.

El Sitherino
02-19-2003, 07:46 PM
at my school everyone who doesnt wear AF clothes is picked on unless they are jocks.

ET Warrior
02-19-2003, 10:23 PM
I am a nerd, i was ranked number one in my class until this semester, got my first B, and now i'm 3rd. But I'm not picked on for it, and i'm not unpopular. I actually have many friends from all different classes (i'm a senior this year) i'm not one of the "popular" kids..but it's kind of funny.....the "popular" kids in my school are no envied by anyone else....actually, they're mostly disliked because they think they're so superior. :D

Tyrion
02-20-2003, 03:54 AM
It's wierd.

I'm smart,but I get poor grades in my math(mostly due because I came into honors in second trimester,thus making me trying to regain 1 trimester of knowledge).

I'm kinda popular,I mean, I have friends in almost every class,and I have friends I can go to at lunch,('cept for art,but I'd rather be alone then).

It's all wierd. Ah well, I have a few nerdy friends. They arent bad,they're just different.

Redwing
02-20-2003, 07:38 AM
Popularity isn't even an issue at my school. The issues my school is more the culture-based cliques that form...although alot of students are trying to change that. (and succeeding :))

I think the important thing about the real world is not that it's populated by adults, but that it's very large, and the things you do have real effects. That's what school, prison, and ladies-who-lunch all lack.

That and other things postulated in the article don't hold true for my school...so I guess it really doesn't apply.

As for the apparent running subtopic: I have no idea if I'd be considered a nerd. I'm not sure what a nerd is. ^^;;

FunClown
02-20-2003, 08:12 AM
Is this essay supposed to be for American schools only?

I can see where the guy is coming from, but he seems to rely on stereotypes way too much.

My school kind of had a situation similar to Reborn Outcasts.

However, I will say something that may be of interest in relation to this article.

A few months before I was finishing school, a person who went to my school became a household name in Australia and shared the same last name as me.

So the next day I get people acting nicer towards me who would have been snobbish before. This happened for about a week or two, until I had worked out why they were being so nice and said I wasn't related to this person. Then it all went back to normal. :rolleyes:

ShadowTemplar
02-20-2003, 08:58 AM
Those of you who state that bullying is not a problem in your school are, IMVHO, blind. Most of what is in that essay actually holds true, at least in the cases that I know about.

He does, though, underplay the educational benefit of the educational system. The very fact that he is able to write the essay is a testament to that.

Also, in my experience, the problem is not in yrs 11-17, but rather in yrs 6-15.

One point that he fails to adress, however, is that of leadership. Every time there is a scandalous bullying event in the news (teacher being bulled by parents/students (yes that actually happens in Denmark) or students driven to the edge of suicide by bullying), there is a failure in the leadership of the school.

If the school leader is strong, then he can coordinate the teachers in a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying of the students, and that actually helps. And teachers being bullied by parents can, insofar they act in accordance with the school rules, send the angry parents to the leader of the school.

If, on the other hand, the leadership is weak, then the teachers that actually try to do something about students bullying each other will get bullied themselves by colleagues who are afraid that they too will be ordered to do something about it. The only one to stop bullying amongst the teachers is the head of the school, but with a weakling in that chair, it's not going to happen.
The second effect of a weak leadership is that the teachers will be left with responsibility that exeeds their madates and competences, because the leadership shifts jobs to them.

That's my 2 cents...

Reborn Outcast
02-20-2003, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by ShadowTemplar
Those of you who state that bullying is not a problem in your school are, IMVHO, blind. Most of what is in that essay actually holds true, at least in the cases that I know about.

This is about popularity (not bullying), which, in my school at least, doesn't seem to be a factor.

C'jais
02-20-2003, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by Reborn Outcast
This is about popularity (not bullying), which, in my school at least, doesn't seem to be a factor.

Lack of popularity and bullying tend to go hand in hand.

Most of you are describing a saintly school society in which none are unpopular, no one gets bullied, no one gets excluded from social activities and there's no hatred for the minority.

I'm really sorry, but I just don't buy that.

Kstar__2
02-20-2003, 04:09 PM
this is fun, i go to a "nerd" school (well not really, but it is the highest possible high school) and you still see that devition (sp?)

though i am a huge geek myself (really) everybody "accepts" me, no-one is giving me wierd looks. that's not true, the're a couple of guys that keep bugging me and my friends (alot of non-nerds too) but i guess they just don't like my face.

i think that the nerd in school, become immence populair when they are in the "real world" because they knwo alot.

ShadowTemplar
02-20-2003, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by kstar__2
i think that the nerd in school, become immence populair when they are in the "real world" because they knwo alot.

Time is working for us, yes. With each passing day I see more and more proof that I was right, and those bullying me were wrong (every time I get a report card, for example).:p

All power to the nerds! :D

FunClown
02-20-2003, 11:48 PM
Does being smart make you a nerd?

ZBomber
02-21-2003, 12:28 AM
People don't call me a nerd. I'm not popular. I'm not unpopular. People find me funny, because I'm always acting weird (example: In the middle of class, I will purposley yell out something like Leprachauns) :D Everyone laughs, even the teachers. The teachers don't say I'm fresh, cause I don't get in trouble. I have nerdy friends. If peopel make fun of them, I will stick up for them. (One of my friends is fat, for example) so when people make fun of him, I stick up for him (Sometimes, a Pyschical Lesson :p) I'm smart, but the ladies in my school don't go for the big tough, punk guys. they go for the kind, smart ones. You wouldn't want to end up with someone who can't spell there name. Even if I was a nerd, I wouldn't care. As long as I had some friends, I would be happy. Yeh. 'll go back to my corner now. :)

shukrallah
02-21-2003, 09:23 PM
people who like different things in my school are the outcasts. i like Star Wars, but not a lot of other people do so they dont like me. they say your a nerd because of all that science fiction stuff. i know 5 or 6 people who like star wars. the rest say they dont or they are not a big fan of it. other things are laughed at too. being smart for example makes you sort of an outcast. im an average student who gets pretty good grades. As Bs and a C once in a while. i think you have to just find your group of friends, and stick with them.


:fett:

shukrallah
02-21-2003, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by C'jais
Lack of popularity and bullying tend to go hand in hand.

Most of you are describing a saintly school society in which none are unpopular, no one gets bullied, no one gets excluded from social activities and there's no hatred for the minority.

I'm really sorry, but I just don't buy that.



for once i agree with you. theres always someone being bullied, you just dont see it. there is no school were someone doesnt get beat up or mentally abused. in fact i dont think there is anywhere on earth you can go where someone isnt bullied.

sorry for posting twice!

FunClown
02-21-2003, 11:35 PM
i like Star Wars, but not a lot of other people do so they dont like me. they say your a nerd because of all that science fiction stuff.

Huge tip. If there are any Star Trek fans here and you don't want people thinking your a Trekkie, instead of saying Star Trek, say Star Track. People will think your not a trekkie then. :D

Anyway, those people who say they don't like Star Wars are probably closet fans, trying to stay popular.

Psydan
02-22-2003, 12:26 AM
You mean I'm not popular anymore? Lol, well, everyone at my school who thinks they're cool, and trys too hard, it's kinda obvious they're not, but everyone that I can see has a group of friends, and though some of us are different, I can see that there aren't really any people who are as the author puts it "D" people. Everyone is basicly accepted, and the author seems to use a very stereotypical Jock/nerd veiwpoint.... but anyway. That's my veiw.

Lost Welshman
02-22-2003, 10:30 AM
OK, I don't thinl this works in wales, the popular people are sometimes smarter than the unpopular, and most of the unpopular are dumbasses. So I gather, Im in the top class for most things, but im not exacly popular.

Im not sayin I sit on my own and talk to myself, I have quite a large group of friends and am able to talk to people who I walk passed at random, Unless its a drugie, and they usually nod or say hi. Dont think Im THAT weird though, Its just what I do.

I found this:

The guys that guys envy, girls like.

and stopped reading, not just because of that but most of the things in there seem completely diferent to life, except the 'elementary', or primary school bit. I think I used to be quite popular, dont know though because everyone seemed to be freinds(ish)

The: The guys that guys envy, girls like., but is weird because the guys envy guys because the girls like them, not the girls like the guys because they are envied.

C'jais
02-22-2003, 12:17 PM
A few logical points to remember.

As the author said himself, being an outcast doesn't mean being friendless. A lot of you are pulling this from nowhere.

You don't have to be a nerd to be bullied.

Being smart doesn't make you a nerd or a person to be bullied - but it tends to be this way, as the really smart people usually have nonpopular hobbies etc.

Last of all, to state that there are no persons in your school being bullied, no one is alone and outside the crowd and everyone has someone to talk to is just pure ignorance IMHO. I don't buy that horsesh/t.

munik
02-22-2003, 09:48 PM
I don't agree with the smart=nerd nerd=smart logic of the essay, but I understand the point. In my school, it wasn't so much as intelligence that made one popular or unpopular, as the amount of money ones family had. But I grew up in a very economically depressed, post-coal mining section of the Appalachian mountains. Not in the suburbs. So I believe the essay would still translate, even though it was written about a very different environment. I think that is why you see some odd descriptions of school life here. Not everyone grew up in the suburbs, and that is quite a specific type of life.

I believed that school in the later grades was mostly a waste. I figure all that information could be learned in about a year, not 4 or 5. So I reasoned that later grades are there for the social interaction. Sort of to learn how to interact with others socially. What I never thought of was what the essay described. The social lessons that are taught are so specific to the few years of highschool that even they are useless. Social structure is jacked up in highschool, and while I went along with it then, I never realized what a waste it was. Except maybe as a harsh lesson of what not to do in a functional society. But maybe the lesson would be too subtle, except for those smart enough to see it. And then in turn the smart ones would later excel in a societal setting that they devised in opposition to the one they endured through highschool!! I just realized that I came to my own conclusion that exactly mirrors the one I just read in the essay. Wow. It's like an epiphany.





I like how in the essay he points out that girls are much more crueler then the boys when it comes to bullying. Maybe in compensation for the lack of desire to physically harass? Or the inability to effectively intimidate. That's is also something that I believe endures on through maturity. Men outgrow the bullying aspect of adolesence, but women always seem to have that catty attitude. At least in my opinion.


C'jais, I'm suprised to see that you are only 17. You just led me to re-formulate the opinion that all children are illogical, it must only apply to those children from the States. And maybe England too. So, in what land do they encourage such free thinking in their children?

C'jais
02-22-2003, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by munik
I don't agree with the smart=nerd nerd=smart logic of the essay, but I understand the point.

As do I. It seems as if he's trying to justify his suffering by drawing the conclusion that he was being picked on for simply being smarter than the average.

Not everyone grew up in the suburbs, and that is quite a specific type of life.

You're quite right - I should have taken that into account.

My entire country is basically one, huge suburb. Could explain why I agree with his views on the school system.

So, in what land do they encourage such free thinking in their children?

Denmark - the land of beer and babes! :rolleyes:

Hint: look to the right of England, the top of Germany and the left of..... Sverige ;)

Thanks for the compliment (:

El Sitherino
02-22-2003, 10:44 PM
popularity is for the self-concious.


oh you know a person is self-absorbed when they call everyone "hey you"

Reborn Outcast
02-23-2003, 01:04 AM
Originally posted by munik
C'jais, I'm suprised to see that you are only 17. You just led me to re-formulate the opinion that all children are illogical, it must only apply to those children from the States. And maybe England too. So, in what land do they encourage such free thinking in their children?

I don't appreciate that little comment on the kids from the US. :D

munik
02-23-2003, 02:30 AM
Hey, I was a kid once too.

But things look different with the passage of time.

Lime-Light
02-23-2003, 02:38 AM
I moved from Canada to Texas. In Canada I was pretty much average, with some obvious strengths. In Texas, I'm considered smart, but people here respect that (and I'm not saying there arent smart people in texas either). People at my HS are mature enough I guess that bullying isnt really present in the traditional sense (once you're in 11th/12th grade at least). People will pick on each other, but its all trivial. I get mesed with for being Canadian, but I'm entertianing and crazy enough that people dont have any dislike for me, although I dont have many real friends, I'm just "The Canadian".

BCanr2d2
02-23-2003, 08:10 AM
I agree with those that haven't seen the division amongst those that are smarter than others, are looking things with blinkers on.

Whilst there are groups of friends of the "smart" that cling to each other, in general they are a small group that are discluded from a lot of things that the popular have. It also really depends on whether you subconsciously put down others that are not your intellectual equal, which will determine if being smart makes you unpopular.
Like with those that are sports-minded, or using the american term, jocks, who seem to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and therefore are popular. Some people can be in both camps, I was lucky enough to be smart, and extremely good at sports as well. But I was still seen as one of the outsiders, and one of the regulars that missed out on parties and such...

Arkum
02-25-2003, 12:58 AM
we dotn really have that many nerds at our school. probably about 15 out 0f 850. To me, a nerd isnt a smart kid. A nerd is someone who has no life and just doesnt seem to fit in anywhere. there are lots of smart kids at our school, but they're not nerds. they're just regular kids. at our school, the hierarchy goes like this:

Non-dumbasses
dumbasses

pardon my language, but a dumbass in our school is literally a dumbass. a dumbass isnt a bully or something. for example, a dumbass at our school doesnt know who won WWII, he doesnt know our nation's first president, he doesn't even know who Michael Jordan is. I mean, you dont have to like basketball, everyone knows who Michael Jordan is. THat's jsut my view.

ShadowTemplar
02-25-2003, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by munik
I don't agree with the smart=nerd nerd=smart logic of the essay, but I understand the point.

Once you have said smart=nerd, the other half is intuitively obvious, and so it is unneccesary to state. Well, actually he also states that it is far from a perfect model.

Originally posted by munik
In my school, it wasn't so much as intelligence that made one popular or unpopular, as the amount of money ones family had.

Actually it also helps in the popularity race if your parents have money to buy you new clothes, ect, but I see your point.

Originally posted by munik
I think that is why you see some odd descriptions of school life here. Not everyone grew up in the suburbs, and that is quite a specific type of life.

True, true... But to us Danish it translates pretty well, because most of Denmark is one big suburb.

Originally posted by munik
I believed that school in the later grades was mostly a waste. I figure all that information could be learned in about a year, not 4 or 5.

*sigh* Me too.

Originally posted by munik
So I reasoned that later grades are there for the social interaction. Sort of to learn how to interact with others socially. What I never thought of was what the essay described.

[...]

I just realized that I came to my own conclusion that exactly mirrors the one I just read in the essay. Wow. It's like an epiphany.

Epiwhat? Well, maybe he was just right.

Originally posted by munik
I like how in the essay he points out that girls are much more crueler then the boys when it comes to bullying. Maybe in compensation for the lack of desire to physically harass? Or the inability to effectively intimidate.

Or mayhaps they are just smarter than us?

Originally posted by munik
C'jais, I'm suprised to see that you are only 17. You just led me to re-formulate the opinion that all children are illogical, it must only apply to those children from the States. And maybe England too. So, in what land do they encourage such free thinking in their children?

They don't, as a rule. C'Jais and I are nerds, not representative of the Danish youth (BTW: I'm 16).

C'jais
Prophet of Nothing

Denmark - the land of beer and babes!

Hint: look to the right of England, the top of Germany and the left of..... Sverige

Thanks for the compliment (:

Yeah, thanks for the compliment... Though C'Jais forgot something: It's the capital of Malmö (joking).

BCanr2d2
Dodgy Knees Inc

I agree with those that haven't seen the division amongst those that are smarter than others, are looking things with blinkers on.

Hear, hear.

But I was still seen as one of the outsiders, and one of the regulars that missed out on parties and such...

I miss out many parties too, but I don't miss them (pun kindof intended).

Arkum
Rancor

To me, a nerd isnt a smart kid. A nerd is someone who has no life and just doesnt seem to fit in anywhere. there are lots of smart kids at our school, but they're not nerds. they're just regular kids. at our school, the hierarchy goes like this:

Non-dumbasses
dumbasses

pardon my language, but a dumbass in our school is literally a dumbass. a dumbass isnt a bully or something. for example, a dumbass at our school doesnt know who won WWII, he doesnt know our nation's first president, he doesn't even know who Michael Jordan is. I mean, you dont have to like basketball, everyone knows who Michael Jordan is. THat's jsut my view.

The Allies won WWII, Michael Jordan is a basketball player I believe, and your first el Presidente was Washington, right?

ET Warrior
03-01-2003, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by C'jais
Last of all, to state that there are no persons in your school being bullied, no one is alone and outside the crowd and everyone has someone to talk to is just pure ignorance IMHO. I don't buy that horsesh/t.

Oh that is most true, there are of course many people who get bullied at my school. I was merely stating that I consider myself to be a nerd of high degree but I am not picked on ;)

Mandalorian54
03-09-2003, 10:09 PM
nerds are un popular cuz thier in the minority. wow so complicated.

Reborn Outcast
03-09-2003, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by Mandolorian54
nerds are un popular cuz thier in the minority. wow so complicated.

Umm no they're not. Its cause of the way they dress/look/grades.

ET Warrior
03-10-2003, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by Mandolorian54
nerds are un popular cuz thier in the minority. wow so complicated.

Actually, nerds are unpopular because THEY'RE different and hard to talk to for the most part.

Kain
03-10-2003, 03:32 PM
If nerds are defined as 'different', call me Nerd King! WOO HOO!!

Seriously though, in my school, theres 3 kindsa people.
A: Upper Point Place
B: Lower Point Place
C: Not the Point at all
Basically where you fall in there is how people react to you. And these aren't nessecerily where you live, either. Those 3 are attitudes*I know alotta people who live by the local prison who are UPP*. I, personally, fall into my own catagory...being myself and all. Go on, try and stereotype me as a skater and I'll prove to why I'm not a skater*yes yes, the master of the faceplant is on LF:D*...I got far off subject, ya? Um anyways, popularity sucks and its for people who are so insecure they need all their jokes laughed at, especially when they pick on someone*until they realize that that someone knows where they live when they try to go school the next day and get shot by a few dozen paintballs...not that I'd EVER do anything like that:D*

C'jais
03-10-2003, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by MydnightPsion
Um anyways, popularity sucks and its for people who are so insecure they need all their jokes laughed at

Try having no friends, and getting bullied at every conceivable oppurtunity.

Once you've felt that on your body, come back and state the same thing.

Peyce. -C'

ShadowTemplar
03-12-2003, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by ET Warrior
Actually, nerds are unpopular because THEY'RE different and hard to talk to for the most part.

Cheap. They aren't any more difficult to talk to than normal people. They just generally don't have the same interests or, for that matter, the same vocabulary, as the rest of the school. This of course makes them difficult to talk with for people who don't share their sphere of interests.

Kain
03-12-2003, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by C'jais
Try having no friends, and getting bullied at every conceivable oppurtunity.

Once you've felt that on your body, come back and state the same thing.

Peyce. -C'

...*licks teeth*...I reiterate my statement and it stands as is. Popularity blows. How about this one: Try having lots of friends, bullying people at every conceivable purpose. Then, throw it all away because you just realized that the only reason they like you is because you can protect them from just about anyone. OR, listen to different music then them, let them critisize you're music, retaliate, and see how many people just roll there eyes and act like the discussion never happened.

Real friends are those you make before you're popular, while you're popular, and those who stick around when you throw popularity out the window.

Now, which would you rather have?

C'jais
03-12-2003, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by MydnightPsion
Now, which would you rather have?

Between which choices, exactly?

Friendless and dying to get at least some semblance of recognition, or having turned your back on trying to get popular, along with your mates?

Is it even a choice?

ET Warrior
03-12-2003, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by ShadowTemplar
Cheap. They aren't any more difficult to talk to than normal people. They just generally don't have the same interests or, for that matter, the same vocabulary, as the rest of the school. This of course makes them difficult to talk with for people who don't share their sphere of interests.

Not completely true. There are nerds who maybe don't normally have the same interests as other people, but they pretend that they are, but they just don't pick up things very well. Like a kid i knew who called everyone "dog" which was irritating, and basically trying to maintain conversation with him for like, 10 seconds was painful. Sometimes there is nothing to be done, and nerds are nerds.

ShadowTemplar
03-24-2003, 02:14 PM
There are socially dysfunctional people, true, but generally the picture that you paint fits equally well with a Warhammer player.

TheHobGoblin
03-25-2003, 01:05 AM
I used to be a nerd. I was the leader, always orginized, helpful, tall and strong. Then I got in a fight and they saw the true power of the Goblin. Then I help put in good names for the rest of the nerds. Now they have alot of friends. Feels good to have conquer stupidity with the simplest of tactics. :D

Chastan
03-25-2003, 11:55 AM
when I was in school, basically it was large enough, so that if you didn't really want to be bothered, you can just kinda lay low and stay out of the way. Yeah I remember there being some picking on / bullying, I wasn't very good at talking to people, I'm still not, I'm usually pretty intimidated by people. Once I got out though I realized nobody really gives a sh*t... I hardly remember high school at all in fact...