Author: Alexandra Robbins
Pub: May 3, 2011; Hyperion
Genre: Non Fiction: Sociology, Psychology, Education
Etc: ARC mailed to me from Hyperion
The Short of It
Unique teens make for interesting adults.
The Long of It
Alexandra Robbins looks at the not-so-key players in high school and suggests that their creativity, introspection, and ability to deal with conflict makes them future innovators in society. In other words, she coins a new psycho-socio term, quirk theory.
Quirk Theory: Many of the differences that cause a student to be excluded in school are the identical traits or real-world skills that others will value, love, respect, or find compelling about that person in adulthood and outside of the school setting. (p 8).
Robbins introduces readers to seven high school students and their stereotypes. Through a case study approach of each student alongside data, The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth covers a range of topics and asks readers tough questions on individual and perceived roles.
The Thoughts about It
I literally must have squealed in delight when I opened my mailbox and found this book. The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth is SO up my alley. It manages to combine both my interest as an educator and as a therapist. Needless to say, I hopped, skipped, and jumped my way back home, curled up on the couch and dove right in.
And here’s the thing. I dig me some nonfiction, but I generally have to be in the mood, ya know. Like, it RARELY happens when I see NF and immediately go for it. I baby step up to it. Not here and man it DID NOT disappoint.
I loved Robbins format. By combining both the case studies as well as the data I felt I had real life applications to theories that might have seemed unimportant. In this sense, I’m looking right at all of the readers out there who may not be in the educational or psychological field. If you have an inkling of an interest in high school roles or sociological curiosities, this book is for you. It will not make you feel dumb while reading it NOR does it dumb itself down.
There were a couple of individuals that I bonded with more than others. And interestingly, they’d probably be on the opposite spectrum had they been in the same high school together. Whitney is the “Popular Bitch” and she exposes how tough it is to be a mean girl and insecurities that go along with it. There were moments actually when Whitney reminded me of Veronica from the movie Heathers. Sure Whitney is popular but she feels conflicted about her popularity, oftentimes implying that she is compromising her own authenticity. The other girl that I really grew attached to was Regan, the Weird Girl. Regan toes that line of punker/thespian/literary nerd. Ummm, LOVE HER.
I marked up this book like there was no tomorrow. It’s flagged and highlighted and notes are written in the margins. Oh, and also, I read it in two days. Which is obscene for me and non fiction.
This is an important book for parents, teachers, and hell, even students to read. Robbins exposes secrets of school hierarchies that exist but are normally not TALKED about. She points out why middle school years, especially 7th grade, is the most difficult. (Um, holla! I’m with them more than their parents. These kids don’t know if they’re coming and going). And then, sheesh, we consider the technology that is second nature in their lives and it makes the whole experience scarier. Consider, if a rumor starts in 1st period, it’s already facebooked, tweeted, and texted by 3rd. Pictures? Oh yeah, that’s proof that you really DID wear that outfit, got THAT tanked, kissed WHO and went to WHICH party! There’s no running away from your mistakes or choices in middle/high school.
I could continue on and on about this book. But I won’t. Because there’s so much about it that’s a process and I want each and EVERY one of you to process it yourself. Hell, I think that you might even be able to find out aspects about yourself that you overlooked. Have your own aha moments.
Bottom line is I wish I could make all of my colleagues read this book. I wish that professors would make it required reading in secondary education courses AS WELL AS group theory, psychology, AND sociology classes.