Monday, March 21, 2011

French the Llama! It's Monday!

Welcome to Week 2! I loved reading everyone’s intros last week, and I can’t wait to continue reading this week. Our theme? Nerdfighteria, and how we became involved in it.

But before we get to that, let’s answer some questions/respond to some introductions, shall we?

Alexandra - The fact that you opened your post with a story of Norse mythology endears me to you forever. Firstly because I adore mythology (though I’m more familiar with Greek), and secondly because that’s exactly the same kind of snarky response I might offer. And your talk about not being what you thought you would in high school really resonated with me. Up until about a month ago, I knew exactly what I was doing next and what my life would look like. Then, through a series of unforeseen and earth-changing events, that all crumbled away, and I was left with no clue what happens next. Now I’m probably headed off in a direction I never expected to go. As this blog goes on, I’ll let you know for sure!

Carlyn - You wanted to know what I would like put on my tombstone, and I have to first off thank my friend Alicia for helping me with this answer. Not for coming up with it, but help wording it. See, I think everything sounds better in Latin, especially on tombstones, but I don’t speak Latin, so I enlisted Alicia’s help. We both struggled with wording and the sound of the phrase, but what was settled on in the end was this: Narratio pergit. It means “The story goes on,” which is my way of saying I was only ever part of a whole. I helped tell the story, but I never controlled it, and it will continue on without me, which is as it should be. I wrote a manifesto on this once for one of my theatre classes. The story goes on. I believe that with my whole heart.

Casey - Robert Fulghum for the win! I was going to comment on the Howard bit, but then my brother beat me to it, and I couldn’t very well comment on it after he had (not that there’s a high level of competition between us or anything). I love all your quotes and book references – we seem to have very similar literary tastes! I love Sandman, though I’ve only read the first volume, and Hitchhiker’s Guide and Ender’s Game, all referenced in the same post? Yes, please!

Christina - You asked for the biggest difference between myself a year ago and myself now. I thought long and hard about this question, and the conclusion I have come to is that there is no easy way to state the answer; it’s going to be sappy no matter what, so I’m just going to come out and say it. The biggest difference is my boyfriend.

And now to clarify. The biggest difference isn’t having a boyfriend, and it isn’t that my life suddenly obtained worth once I had a boyfriend. It’s what entering into a long-term relationship forced me to do that makes up the biggest difference. I have always been stubbornly self-sufficient – I rely on myself as much as possible and on others as little as I can get away with. That way, I’m not being a burden to anyone, and when other people disappoint me or fail to follow through, I don’t get hurt or suffer in any way. It’s a mentality born out of a childhood spent moving around and leaving friends behind every three years or so.

But I started dating my boyfriend Chase a little more than a year ago, and what happened then was something I hadn’t foreseen. All of a sudden, I was sharing my life with this other person who insisted on being let in, on doing things for me, on making me face the fact that I couldn’t always be self-sufficient and that letting other people in to help bear one’s burdens, while terrifying, makes the world an easier place to live in. It’s been a stressful year – my best friend went through a very messy ending of an abusive relationship; my mom was diagnosed with cancer; my plans for my future, which I thought were rock-solid, were pulled unceremoniously from beneath my feet – and if I hadn’t had Chase there to help bear the brunt of all that, I’m not sure where I’d be right now.

So, biggest difference between year-ago me and present-day me is that present-day me is a lot more stable and a lot more grounded. I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to be doing in six months, which is terrifying to me, but I have an anchor now, whereas a year ago, if faced with that realization, I would have been drifting helplessly with direction.

And now that I’ve spilled my soul to the Internet, onto happier things. Nerdfighting!

It is fallacious to say that I would not have become a Nerdfighter if my friend Maggie and I hadn’t stayed up until one in the morning the night we met talking about Harry Potter fanfiction and the differences between the Weasley twins, but it is also not incorrect to say that I did eventually become a Nerdfighter because of that conversation.

This is not because Maggie was a Nerdfighter; far from it. This was summer 2006, so Brotherhood2.0 wasn’t even an idea forming in the back of John Green’s mind. But because Maggie and I started a friendship cemented in a mutual love of Harry Potter that night, Maggie introduced me to her friend Heidi some four months later, and it was Heidi who introduced me to John and Hank.

Inadvertantly. Heidi wasn’t a Nerdfighter, either. She just had nothing better to do in the days before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released than troll the internet for Harry Potter related things and email the links to Maggie and I. One of those links was to a YouTube video that had been featured on the front page. I hopefully don’t have to tell you that the video in question was Accio Deathly Hallows.

I watched it and loved it so much that I was willing to overlook the fact that the singer was mispronouncing the word Accio (a huge concession for canon-obsessed me), and I watched the video several more times before I started wondering who this guy was and why he was talking to some unknown person named John and why he was going to dye his hair green on Friday. So I went to their channel, watched John’s most recent video, and quickly decided that whatever it was these two were doing was something I wanted to follow. So I scrolled back to January and spent the next two days catching up on everything the two had done. They were awesome, and I was hooked.

I haven’t been able to be massively active in the community, unfortunately, but I watch all the videos, I participate in the Project for Awesome as much as I can, and I recruit like mad (current total: both brothers, my boyfriend, the aforementioned Maggie and Heidi, and several members of my Internet Communities class).

When I started watching, I knew my brothers and I were the only Nerdfighters in our area, and I held onto that mindset, so I am always shocked to discover when people that I know casually in real life will perk their ears up when I mention John Green and come over and say “French the Llama!” and give me the Nerdfighter salute (Okay, spilling the beans here. That example? That was Carlyn. She and I know each other in real life. We both attend(ed) BGSU, and we’re in the same fraternity. There, Carlyn. We’re out, as it were). Shocked, but thrilled, of course. I love the new forum, though I don’t spend a lot of time there, and I will keep watching John and Hank as long as they keep making videos.

I love the Nerdfighting community and what it’s become. It’s what I pull out of my bag whenever people start talking about how relationships formed online and communities that exist online are somehow sub-par to those that exist in real life. I have watched incredibly close friendship develop out of Nerdfighteria, especially through collab channels (and hopefully, collab blogs!), and the things that Nerdfighteria has accomplished are monumental and have come about, in many cases, entirely because we are an online community, and that should never be so easily dismissed.

Sorry. I wrote a paper about that last semester. But I shall save soapboxes for soapbox week.

Now, then, for my question (and outside readers should feel free to answer this as well), I want to know what topics you want to write about/want to read others' thoughts about. Also, we’re all Harry Potter fans, right? *starts developing HP themes in the recesses of her mind*

Alexandra, I’ll see you tomorrow.



  1. Sigh . . . you will insist on perpetuating French the Llama, won't you?

    Yes, I suppose you DID bring me over to the Nerdfighters . . . but I still recommended at least two of your favorite books! (Seriously, though, not that everything's a competition.)

    Um . . . I'm just gonna cop out and send you to SHVP for theme ideas. You're welcome to any of them.

  2. Ha... we're outed! It had to happen sometime :) But, to clarify to everybody, while Cassie and I do see each other rather often and are essentially nerdfighteria soulmates, we don't aaactually know each other all that well. So, here's to the future and familiarity!

  3. ::slowly raises hands in Nerdfighter salute, while staring in amazement at the salute mirrored on Cassie's hands::