What makes you proud of yourself?
Share your skills with us
I caught up with MegaTokyo today. I used to have the syndication on my friends list, which posted the image. Apparently the maintainers of MegaTokyo asked for that to be stopped, and now there's the megatokyocomic syndication which posts links to the latest comic. Anyway, after the demise of the previous syndication account, it took me a while to catch on to the new syndication, so I had some catching up to do.
Then I stumbled upon this comic. In it, Great Teacher Largo asks his students what their best skills are. They come up with things like 'algebra' and stuff like that. In the third panel, Largo shouts:
No!! Not the petty, useless abilities forced upon you as part of your educational incarceration! What are you capable of that you are proud?? What are your l33t skillz??
And it clicked -- ever since I read Paul Graham's Why Nerds are Unpopular. I don't think the situation in Dutch schools is as dramatic as what Paul experienced in the American school system, but then again I never went with the popularity contests anyway so that part of school life just passed me by completely.
"Educational incarceration". What poetry. And it made me think: what did I learn in school and university? Mainly how to study -- how to assimilate new knowledge and new skills. But the actualy things I learned? Not many of them are readily applicable to my every day life.
"l33t skillz". "l33t" is shorthand for "elite", as in: stuff that you excel at. It's script-kiddie hackerspeak, which irritates some people. But there are things like l33t skillz. It's the things we are very good at, that might seem quite trivial to others but which are character-defining. In the comic, a pupil mentions having 350 people on their buddy list. Someone else says he can build disturbingly realistic models of WW2 era aircraft. "Useless!", our teachers say. But no, they are not useless skills: they define who and what we are, we acquired those skills by choice. They are l33t skillz.
This is a list of my l33t skillz:
- I have a terrific memory for trivia. I can memorize facts and figures flawlessly.
- I watch an ungodly amount of anime, and, while I don't know as much about anime as some other people, I find that I can answer most questions about anime.
- If I can't find a certain item of information with a searchengine, it's not on the net.
- I can weave stories almost on the spot.
- I can project an aura of "don't mess with me" if it's needed. People don't bother me when I walk down the street.
- I can make most cashiers at the supermarket smile at me.
- I can explain pretty much anything to other people, if I can muster the patience to do so.
- I can be kind to other people and cater to their needs, if I feel like it.
- I can be pretty quick-witted in the right company.
- I can simplify the rules for games and explain them to other people.
What are your l33t skillz?