Nerds and Jocks – Balance Analysis

1 11 2009

Alice’s analysis between her primary school friends and herself reveals an interesting topic of human growth and development. This is an absolute that I think we determine about ourselves at some point in our separate lives, but until that point has been ingrained into us.

Any human identifies themselves by popular images they felt either intimidated by or felt a connection with as a child. The old saying “You are what you eat” is true mentally. What you take in affects you, no matter how small. Some things cause result in what you decide to be growth and some things cause what you decide to be digression.

A question can stem here on the statement of opinions. If Nerdy Norbert were to consider gaining a level in WoW on his main account an accomplishment, would Johnny Jock agree? If Johnny learned a new way to throw a knuckleball pitch in baseball at 102 mph, would Norbert look down upon it as wasted time?

Now, not everything is so black and white :P. We are not seperated into Jock and Nerd like in a 1950s movie where the bully football player beats up on the smart frail nerd for his lunch money.

Nowadays, anybody can be anything that they decide. I believe we have crossed a threshold of unification mentally and genetically. Some of the best athletes hold 4.00’s, and some of the youngest children can outsmart and outdo adults in many things technologically and intellectually. Specialization into just one field is not as special these days. Internal equalization of physical and mental, social and reserved, as well as other sets of polar opposites is where I think growth comes best. There is no more having “the best of both worlds” when the worlds are not separate any longer. Instead we can look to enjoying whatever we work for.

In this changing world what you learn, create, and choose dictates what you can enjoy, so why not enjoy it all?



6 responses

31 12 2009
Neil Winton

Interesting that you should highlight the 1950s as a part of the Jock/Nerd culture. I am struck by the thought that you may enjoy considering Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman with regards to this: if you can, consider Miller’s distinction between Biff (the Jock/’All-American Hero’) and Bernard (the ‘Geek’). The follow on thinking should be about the message that Miller wants the audience to leave the play with. The geek is successful, the jock is not…

Incidentally, one of the best quotations I ever heard was: “Be nice to the geeks ‘coz you will end up working for one of them someday!”

3 11 2009
Jason Kern

If you want to explore this further, why don’t you tackle the stereotypes of the different characters in Alice? For example what is the stereotype of Alice and does it hold true, same for the Mad Hatter etc. How does stereotyping help or hurt in reading the story? Can these views be used by the writer to further their story and add twists and evolution of a hero for example.

3 11 2009
Christian Long

Clearly — in spite of my earlier comment to you in class today (and echoing Ryan’s own initial reaction) — there is a desire to have the conversation, so on that level I’m pleased to see that your initial post has been a catalyst. Sometimes the rabbits we must chase aren’t the ones that walk the most obvious path. For that, good on ya.

In hindsight, I’d love to see what you’d add to this ‘draft’ if you could present a more significant ‘bridge’ from the first 2 paragraphs to the modern stereotypes of “jock” and “nerd”. I think the connection can be made, but I’m finding it a challenge right now if I’m honest.

The key may be in your later point where you say that today anyone can be anything they want, regardless of outer appearance or social role. Hone in on this. See what you can do with it as you develop the idea further.

2 11 2009
Hersh T.

The idea of the Jock Nerd relationship will never go away? Isn’t that a little bit extreme? I understand what you are saying about there always going to be a certain level of nerdiness versus jockiness but the idea that they will never go away? Everything changes, there is no constant in this world.

For example, in those “1950s” movies, there are so many different cliques and groups and yet many of them have transformed or even dissapeared. As the different ideas of the current time and the fads of the current population permeate the fabric of the school (I use school as an example here) then the different “Nerd, Jock” relationships will change along with that. While it is true that the idea of nerds and jocks has been around for a very long time and will probably stay for a very long time is true, the idea that it will never go away seems a little extreme.

2 11 2009
Deron M

I personally believe the line between nerd and jock is including more and more gray area every day. What Vance said is true; there are very few stereotypical nerds and jocks left in the world. There are NFL players that were valedictorians of their high schools and there are computer programmers that were all state athletes in high school. Honestly, with the two social classes becoming merged, there may not be a division at all in a few years. People have slowly become more accepting of other social groups over the years.

That leads to another point. Will society become insanely boring with social classes merging? If we all are the same, we lose what makes mankind unique. We need to accept others but we have to maintain who we are. The merging of the jock and nerd social classes will definitely bring a major change to modern society.

2 11 2009
Ryan S.

While I find this train of thought interesting and you bring up a good point, you seem to stretch what Alice says about her school friends a bit far. She only mentions a few and even then she only mentions one as being not to bright, the others aren’t mentioned anything past their existence. The mentioning of Alice at the beginning seems almost an after-thought to your main point, as if you had this written and you converted it to include Alice.

Anyway, to comment on your actual point. I believe you make a good argument, but you seem to be missing one key step. You only mention the present and give no insight into the future. Whether this is purposeful or not only you know, but I’ll try to rectify it.

Let’s assume the blurring of the Nerd Jock line continues, what then? Do they keep coming together until they became a single group? There will always be Nerds and Jocks. The only question becomes what falls in the realms of Nerds and Jocks. Right now video games are ok for Jocks but D&D isn’t. Eventually it may be that D&D is ok, but understanding quantum physics is not.

The idea of the Jock nerd relationship will never go away; only what defines both sides can change.

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