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Were you bullied at school?

  1. Jul 18, 2013 #1
    I suppose most of you guys here were nerds when you were young. So how had you enjoyed your school time? Were you all Lisa Simpsons and Martin Prince?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2013 #2


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    Do you not see the problem with starting a thread about bullying and including both the term "nerd" and a comparison to an overweight unpopular character?
  4. Jul 18, 2013 #3


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    Brilliant :smile: The irony is strong with this thread.
  5. Jul 18, 2013 #4


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    I think we've just been bullied folks.
  6. Jul 18, 2013 #5
    I hate the term "nerd", and I hate how people feel so comfortable looking me in the eye and calling me one like they think it's a compliment after they find out I'm doing my graduate study in physics.

    Since when is the term nerd anything but a way to describe someone who is perceived as weak, socially inept, and unattractive?

    For the record, I was never bullied in school, and certainly would never have been considered a "nerd".
  7. Jul 18, 2013 #6


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    The negative connotation of the word "nerd" seems to be rather predominant in America but I don't know about other places. I don't know how predominant the negative connotation of "nerd" would be in for example South Korea given that unlike the US, it is absolutely devoted to the very idea of secondary education.
  8. Jul 18, 2013 #7
    Nerd: an intelligent, single-minded expert in a particular technical discipline or profession.

    I take being called a nerd as a compliment.

    The only people who think nerd is an insult is those who follow anti-intellectual culture which I couldn't care less about. As far as I'm concerened, they're like animals.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  9. Jul 18, 2013 #8


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    Wow. Ok had to take a minute to think how to reply to this one. I'm not sure what life experiences you've had so I can't begin to guess the reason behind your reasoning but seriously? People who think nerd is an insult are animals?

    I agree that it is becoming increasingly common for the term "nerd" to be used in a neutral or even positive sense. Only the other day I heard a cricket commentator on the radio refer to himself as a "sports-nerd". In that respect it is a minor self-deprecating comment meant to imply that the person is passionate about a subject beyond the social norm.

    However the vast majority of the time the word "nerd" means something closer to: individual passionate about an unpopular subject (be it academic or media e.g. physics or star trek) who, whilst intelligent, displays poor social skills/is unattractive/has bad fashion taste/all of the above. It is an insult primarily used against people who are interested in specific things that aren't just outside of the cultural norm but are considered to be culturally negative.

    If you're still not convinced here's a little experiment for you: go onto google or any other search engine, type in the word "nerd" and then click on the images tab. Do you see a large collection of images that represent "an intelligent, single-minded expert in a particular technical discipline or profession" or do you see a collection of stereotyped pictures of physically weak, unattractive, unfashionable people with glasses (possibly held together by tape)?
  10. Jul 18, 2013 #9
    I'm in college now and I still get bullied
  11. Jul 18, 2013 #10
    I know several women who, when describing their ultimate man, would use the term nerd.
    Although, they are themselves very intelligent science majors (a physics grad, a chemist phd, two computer science grads, and three medical doctors) - all of which have proper social skills and good looking in addition to their intellect - and they would call themselves nerds too.

    I see nerds as a high quality group of people, all my friends are nerds and my wife is too.
    I hope my daughter would grow to be a nerd (and a tomboy) too :)

    The part about physically weak is incorrect... most of the guy nerds I know go to the gym.
    about half of them have six packs, and I used to have them too, but after three years of neglect I need the proper lighting conditions for them to be seen :(
  12. Jul 18, 2013 #11


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  13. Jul 18, 2013 #12


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    It's been a while since I watched the Simpsons, but isn't that Martin being the bully in that picture?

    Anyway - yes I was bullied in school. I had kids chase me home from school, kick me, tease me, purposefully exclude me from games, spread rumours about me, etc.

    I think most people experience bullying in one way or another at some point in their lives. But people react to it in different ways. Some are born with an innate ability to handle bullying, while others need to learn it. I was in the latter category.

    Unlike the stereotype, I don't think bullies pick on kids that are necessarily smarter or more interested in science. I saw other kids who got bullied and, anecdotally speaking, the ones who got it the worst weren't the shiniest apples in the basket.

    I think bullies chose their targets more or less at random and when a subject gives the kind of response that the bully derives some satisfaction from, the bullying escalates.

    Interestingly someone attempted to bully me in the workplace a few years ago. Fortunately I was able to resolve the issue quickly and effectively.
  14. Jul 18, 2013 #13
    I am still a nerd, am proud to be a nerd, and have been bullied only through the internet. I am going back to College for the first time in years this Fall though, so I could still end up a bully magnet for all I know.
  15. Jul 19, 2013 #14


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    I had a couple of kids in elementary school that called me an egghead and a teacher's pet for always making straight A's, getting chosen for special projects, my cars and planes made from model kits always made the display case, my freelance art was always exhibited, as were my book reports. Even imaginary ones I made up because I made the art first, so had to write a book to go with it. Ten Years old. Teacher: Evo, we can't find a book by that name or an author, we want to place the book with your art. Evo: <sniff> I lost the book, maybe that's not the name, I thought that was the author. :redface: Teacher: Oh, don't cry, it's ok, it just wouldv'e been nice, but not necessary. I was bad. I know others here said they did the same thing.

    Really all it amounted to was that I loved arts and crafts. And I ran with a pack of truly genius older kids that always made me realize I wasn't that smart. Always good to hang with people smarter than you to keep yourself in check.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  16. Jul 19, 2013 #15
  17. Jul 19, 2013 #16


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    Lol I went to a high school specializing in physics and math. You'd most likely only get bullied if you didn't get a 90 or higher on a calc BC exam, managed to fail a physics C exam even after the crazy double MIT curve, or were taking calc AB.
  18. Jul 19, 2013 #17


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    I was bullied, even in elementary school. When I was in Kindergarten, I was sent to the principal's office for beating the head of a much larger boy two years older than me on a conveniently-placed rock. The principal looked at us and let me go. That jerk never bothered me again until HS, where he thought that he had some kind of superiority. Didn't work out well for him. I grew up in a rough part of town, and that was the way it was.

    BTW, I didn't tolerate other kids (male or female) being bullied, either. Been there, done that.
  19. Jul 19, 2013 #18
    Oh yea, I mean, that's so atypical of a guy doing graduate studies in physics.
  20. Jul 19, 2013 #19
    Whaaa? By whom?
  21. Jul 19, 2013 #20
    My bicycle could use some pimpin'. I hear that you always carry extra launch money.
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