Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Embracing My Inner Nerd


This is just sooo frickin’ awesome!! I’m sitting in a café near Dupont Circle thinking about next steps and my mind is just spinning with possibilities. It feels as if “the rest of my life” has finally come and there appears to be no end in sight. Spread out before me are several copies of Lonely Planet, a map of the world, a copy of Outside magazine, and a cup of green tea.

But while the urge for travel, adventure and assorted international mischief beckons like never before, something else has begun to monopolize my every waking thought: the potential to expand my education to its furthest possible limit. That’s right, my dear reader. When Jack is not discovering the pleasures of yoga and meditation, enduring endless carnal temptations, and/or occasionally imbibing to his heart’s content, he is absolutely, completely, positively, and without question embracing his inner nerd!


Call it the Plan, after the Plan. Maybe Plan #2 is more appropriate. Or even The Plan, part deux.

Whatever you call it, I feel it has the potential to exist at the very core of my being for the rest of my life. It is nothing short of embracing education as a lifestyle.


At any one time I want to immerse myself in books and/courses focusing on (1) themes involving history/culture/philosophy/politics; (2) literature; and (3) foreign languages. Throughout, I want to be able to combine all three components as I travel. For example, I could learn a much Hindi as possible before traveling to India where I could take a course on partition. Or maybe I could brush up on my Spanish while taking a course on the Incas before heading out on a trip to Machu Pichu. For me, the sky will be the limit.


I know, I know. This post is just oozing nerdyness. But can you blame me? I just wanted to share a little of my excitement as I embrace a new-found freedom I am only now discovering. Besides, I can’t be the only one that finds this super cool. Seriously, are there any fellow nerds out there?

[This is a cross-post from my other blog Adventures in Voluntary Simplicity]


  1. Hi Jack,

    I am a fellow nerd! I love to read- actually I spend a great deal of my weekend doing so. I definitely have plenty of books I can recommend (and lend) if you like. I recently (re)discovered the DC public library, and am pleasantly surprised by their variety and abundance of new fiction.

  2. Hi Jack-
    Writing in solidarity of your nerdiness.
    I've recently committed myself to studying up on philosophy and literature and brushing up on my Spanish (which I used to speak nearly fluently). I really like the idea of combining this learning with travel. Reading is great but doing is even better.


  3. I've been reading your blogs off and on for a while, and this is my favorite. In some ways, I've been lucky - never attached much to things (just a few beautiful or techy ones) and when I was a lawyer I took mostly asylum cases and kept my going-through-school medical transcription job to help with the bills. Raised my 3 boys by myself in 4 rooms in Brooklyn and then 3 in Manhattan (they were going to school there and the Brooklyn commute was too dangerous). When I had any $ to spare, I ALWAYS opted for learning/experiences over things, and finally left NY in 2002 after losing my job to 9/11, and took a job teaching English in Slovakia. Traveled around Europe and learned to write screenplays - a long-time ambition. Finally, last week, after many false starts, sold one. Above everything else, it's been a great ride! And I agree with Mary - reading and courses are good, but mostly when they help you DO something. Learning by doing is the thing.

  4. while (after having read your other blog) i find you personally somewhat of an ass, i do endorse the nerdy behavior. there is no better way to try on lives.