Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The First Time I Received Recognition for Being a Film Nerd

I was thinking last night, and remembered a rather amusing story that I thought would be relevant to tell. Just a bit of background:

I started really watching movies when I was 13 years old. That's when I started blogging, and have been doing it off and on ever since. At first, many of the movies I watched were ones that starred Mr. Johnny Depp, but slowly I branched out further. I started posting on a movie forum, Rotten Tomatoes at that time as well. Despite still being a kid, I started watching all these movies...and I loved them! So since then I've watched as many movies as I can, and my love of film really only has grown since then.

This story takes place a few years after I first started really watching movies. I was 16 years old. I had this really awesome Sociology teacher who didn't feel we should be working on the last day before Spring break. So he brought in Scene It?, split us into two teams and started playing.

When I was in high school, I was either ignored by most, or bullied relentlessly. As a result, I was very quiet in social situations (but never hesitated to speak up in class), and knew few people in the class. So people didn't know that I was a film nerd. When we had our turns, my teammates would look stupefied by the question, and I'd lazily give the answer (they were EASY questions to me!), and people started to wonder how I had all this knowledge. We easily doubled the score of the other team, and halfway through my teacher put me on the other team...where I promptly got us in the lead. My teacher had to step in to prevent it becoming a "Sociology class versus Jennifer Hanson" game.

I couldn't help it. Games like that are fairly easy to me. I hadn't even seen all the films we were questioned on. But a prominent screen shot would be included, and since I'd spent 2 and a half years on movie forums by then, I could tell what movie it was by an image or vague description, even if I hadn't seen it. Plus I have a weird sort of memory for trivia, I can remember the smallest details about something or someone if I set my mind to it.

I wish I could say that my performance permanently earned me the respect of my peers, and rose petals were tossed at me whenever I entered classrooms...but that was not the case. Spring break meant everyone promptly forgot about it, and when we got back to class, I resumed the position of the quiet, weird, rather plain girl who was either never noticed or mocked incessantly. But that's okay, because for just one day...I out smarted 24 other people, and felt really good about myself for doing so. I was a very proud nerd that day.


  1. Ignored and bullied: ain't high school grand?

    Have you ever seen the film, "Welcome to the Dollhouse?" It's about the same thing as this blog post, well, except for a plot twist that I won't reveal.

    I recall being a comic book/music/sci fi/literature nerd in high school (and now!) who hated gym class; one day, I overheard my gym teacher say, "Who's that Kenton Larsen kid? I want to kill him!"

    Ha, ha: true story!

  2. I haven't even heard of it! But I'll get to it ASAP, 'cause it sounds interesting.

    I had the pleasure of having an overly encouraging gym teacher. Probably better than one who wanted to kill me. However, I was the kid who would read during class whenever I was done my work. And at lunch hour 'cause I had nobody to hang out with---I read books at a rate I haven't been able to match since!

  3. Reading is better company than a human being. Just ask Belle from Beauty and the Beast!

    I may have a copy of Welcome to the Dollhouse. I'll have a look...

    Dollhouse is directed by Todd Solondz, the controversial director behind Happiness and Storytelling. Dollhouse isn't as controversial as the other two, which some people despise for their subject matter alone.

    His other film, Palindromes, which I also loved, is a "kind of" sequel to Dollhouse; it's got some of the same actors playing the same roles.

  4. Very true: A really good book can't disappoint you but even good humans will occasionally disappoint you.

    I looked up Todd Solondz and Happiness and Storytelling both sound fascinating. I have a lot of respect for filmmakers that are willing to tackle "controversial" subject matter, despite potential audience condemnation. 'Cause I figure movies like that get people talking, and I like to think that the discussions controversy create are beneficial to society. It's just such a shame people hear about anything potentially unpleasant or disturbing or envelope pushing and they refuse to give it a chance. Which is something we'll all be tackling this term with the PR project surrounding Zooey & Adam.

    Besides, it's often more fun to push the envelope (or watch it being pushed) than it is to stay firmly on safe ground.

  5. "Welcome To The Dollhouse" is both magnificent and terrifying all at once. Let us get together and have another movie night, JHan.

    Also, I suggest we play Scene It? so you can reclaim your former glory. If it helps, I think you're excellent now and surely were then. Your knowledge is encyclopedic & I would enjoy challenging it.

  6. I accept your challenge! Though I'm not sure my knowledge is quite encyclopedic level...

    And yes, another movie night is a must do. Hopefully this time I won't end up down with an ear infection. :)