Warrior Nerds Fight Back
Compiled by TC
Last week, I wrote an Atomic Dog about my "crisis of faith". Through television, newspapers, and simply living in the material world, Id gotten the notion that the American people werent dissimilar from bowls of oatmeal, at least intellectually speaking.
Id begun to wonder if anybody out there was listening, whether there was anyone out there who took as much pride in his intellectual accomplishments as his or her physical accomplishments.
So I cried out to the Heavens for a sign, and a sign I got. In fact, we received more responses that we could easily count, all from T-men and women who are bright no, downright intelligent!
The following represents a substantial sampling of the letters we got. There were so many that we couldnt respond to each one, but we simply wanted to present them here as an affirmation of T-man brain power.
And a personal note from me: Thanks for restoring my faith!
I'm both a T-Nation member and a member of MENSA. I also work at Microsoft and I'll forward a link to your article to the company's "pumping iron" forum - a lot of very smart and very T-laden guys there. Cheer up. After all, how many of those Street Smart people do you think you'd see in a gym?
First things first, I love your magazine, have been reading it for two years now, and look forward to your column in particular. Many Atomic Dogs have been hung up around my dorm, shown off with a tear in my eye like it's a newborn child, or squirreled away in my secret Stuff-That-Inspires-Me folder, the one I can't let my guy friends see or they'll fry my pride up for breakfast.
I love "Crisis of Faith" especially. To be honest, I'd always found stupid people to be funny, a sad kind of funny, but fucking hilarious nevertheless. Your piece reminded me that America is a sad excuse for leading the world, what with women getting trampled in line to buy DVD players and Presidents that speak with the glorious, awe-inspiring grammar of a second grader on ADD meds.
Anyway, I'm not sure if you're looking for T-Vixen submissions (18 years old, 5'8, 140 pounds of muscle, 36C, and naturally blonde hair, thank you very much) but there are plenty of us females out there who are "macho" in the sense that they not only understand the male psyche, but share in it, and fend for themselves in life, kicking ass and playing video games the whole way through. So I'm sending you my info. I'm too young to have Masters degrees and prestigious scholarships on my resume, but hey, there's potential here!
Currently I'm an undergrad at Georgetown University, double major in English and Philosophy, 1560 SAT (790 verbal, 770 math). I'm perfectly fluent in Russian, am studying Spanish, French, and Japanese, live in a pile of books and newspapers, have played the piano for a decade, make money by selling paintings, was 2nd in my class of nearly 1,000 high school students (with almost a 4.0 GPA), was 1 of 10 fiction writers in state accepted to Pennsylvania Governor's School of Excellence for the Arts, a National Merit Scholar, a Pennsylvania Governor's School of Excellence for International Studies alumni, 3rd place winner in a Penn State University Annual Essay Contest, and this was cute Young Miss of Pennsylvania 1997.
Oh, and, I didn't know a word of English until about 8 years ago, when I was 10.
I really do hope you make an Honor Roll for T-Nation. I'm absolutely in love with the notion of Nerd Warriors, as I've encountered many of them in my young life and thoroughly banged each one to make absolutely certain that the propagation of Good Looking Dorks continues. (Of course, by "thoroughly banged", I mean shook hands with, but I bet that's not what they told their friends.)
Smart people who love iron, unite!
And keep up the good work, TC.
I've seen street smarts and I'll agree it usually has the dumbest people I've ever seen. Then again, there have been some jaywalking skits with people equally stupid. Unfortunately, I think it may be due to the sheer lack of quality education much of today's youth receives.
My international relations teacher spent half a lecture teaching the class where the Middle East is located, never mind that our military has been sitting in Iraq for quite some now. It's sad. I meet plenty of kids my age who can't name the vice president or any number of important political figures. They only care where the next beer is coming from.
Here's my story. "Nerd" background: When I was 18 and a senior in high school I organized and helped run a F.I.R.S.T team for our school. F.I.R.S.T is a robotics competition where you buy a large box of parts and then build a robot however you want to compete in that year's game. The game is obviously told to you beforehand and you then build the robot hoping it will be successful.
We built a large 4' robot that ran on tank treads and was designed to place a large ball on top of an 8' goal. Just to make it clear, you receive no instructions for building the robot; you have to engineer the whole thing yourself and we worked with a local firm that engineered custom printing machines. You compete with teams in your state and around the country. Our team was lucky enough to make it to the quarter finals nationally our first year. I graduated high school with national beta club honors, have been on the dean's list for most of college, and will graduate with a near 4.0 GPA and degrees in both finance and political science. I'm a member of various collegiate honor societies and hope to go on to law school or into investment banking.
"Warrior" background: Played lacrosse/crew during high school, joined ROTC in college with the intent of going SEAL teams although that's since changed, and since finding T-mag I've put on 20 lbs in the past 8 weeks. Supplements were Tribex, M, Surge, Grow!, Power Drive, ZMA and creatine. I was down to a low of 121 pounds at 5'5 after doing the 12 weeks to BUD/S workout and decided I needed to put on weight after friends and family made some comments that I was way too skinny. So I did some internet research, stumbled on T-mag, started following JB's Massive Eating diet and lifting with all compound movements.
I'm on CW's ABBH right now and getting great results. I planned to go up to about 180 then cut down to 165 at 8% body fat but that's been halted since I'm scheduled for hernia surgery in jan. I originally planned to reach my goal by the end of summer '04 but due to the surgery I now hope to reach my goal by spring break of '05.
That's my warrior-nerd story. Hope it helps restore the faith that we do exist out there.
I think I can stand up to your challenge. I'm currently 6'1", 250 pounds, and around 15%BF. I served in the USMC as a small computer systems specialist (meaning that I'm a bona fide gov't issue computer nerd.) I also served in a JTF (a task group of Marines, Army, AF, and Border Patrol keepin' gun toting illegal drug dealers out of the US of A). That was an ass-busting two months of wandering around the desert with enough gear on my back to kill a normal mule.
Anyways, I'm a self-taught network guru. I am 27 and the network operations manager for DreamWorks SKG, and I have consulted for every other entertainment company in town. I also re-taught myself calculus so that I could get started with a proprietary crypto system. I also love to read anything: Atlas Shrugged, Applied Cryptography, Koran, Wealth of Nations, High Powered Plyometrics, and A Guide to Analytical Reasoning have been read in the last five months.
Other than that, I'm the Alpha-nerd in a job that requires super nerdiness and I coach my national level chess playing brother on FICS (freechess.org).
No need for kudos, I already toot my horn enough!
Wayne L. Kearns
I'm a bona fide nerd. I have Bachelors degrees in Computer Science and Computer Engineering. Currently I'm reading Guns Germs and Steel and Lies my Teacher Told Me. Can't recommend either of them highly enough, great reading.
I'm equally comfortable doing or discussing....
Writing computer programs
Fermenting cider as they did in the old country(gimme your address, I'll send you a bottle)
Roasting a pig
Shooting high power rifles at long range in high wind
Taking a beautiful women for a spin on a ballroom dance floor(sometime I wonder if it makes me half gay that I know ballroom dancing)
Trans continental communication networks
Anything that involves information security
TCP/IP protocol analysis
Designing and running global data communication networks for fortune 50 companies
I could go on, but who couldn't? In the circles I run in, emotional stupidity seems to be the real issue. Honestly, I view it as one of the frailties of my own character to talk like this., but as they say in Texas, "It ain't braggin' if you've done it, son."
At any rate, don't fret man, there are still plenty of us left in the world that have more than just a enough brain activity to keep our hearts pumping.
I very much agree with your view that the level of our national IQ is dropping. If you examine the regular American's intellectual diet, you'll see nothing but hours and hours of TV, magazines with more pictures than words, and novels based on movies.
Notice that I say "regular" American. Now, the guys that I work with feed on different media all together: mind crushing pressure, hours of technical and tactical training, and
languages (2nd and 3rd). When you top that off with a level of physical training that would put most "regular" young men in the hospital, you get quite an "unregular" person.
My point here is that, like you, when I watch TV, my heart weeps for the American mind. But then I remember that all I have to do to find the future of American leadership is go to the office. I have an entire platoon of "warrior nerds".
Stay Motivated, Stay Hard
Capt Dave "the Caveman" Brothers
PS: I wrote this because whenever I get de-motivated by events, I log on to your website, so I thought I would return the favor. Keep up the good work. OOORAH!!!!
Hey man, I totally hear you on that Atomic Dog. I think my story could bring you back.
In 1998 my wife and I bought our first computer. I had never even seen Windows, having just gotten out of the Marines. Long story short, while working to support my family, I started busting my ass going to classes and reading every book I could get my hands on about computers to learn about them. And six months ago today I was hired as the Network Administrator for a steel company in Houston. I manage about twelve servers, six sites over Frame Relay, and around 300 users. Not bad for not even knowing how to use a mouse five years ago.
Hope that helps to restore your faith in Americans. Not all of us are the morons you watch everyday on reality TV.
Since you wanted to hear about things your fellow T-men have done that don't involve either our penii or muscles, I figured I'd let you know I'm finishing up my B.A. Political Science/B.A. Psychology degree this year at the University of North Carolina.
Spreading the word,
I'm a longtime T-mag reader and an 18 year old freshman at the University of Florida. My most recent academic accomplishment would be attaining National Merit Scholar Finalist status (putting myself in the top 1% of high school students in my grade nationwide). This allowed to come to this fine institution on full scholarship. I have also achieved a 1520 SAT score, 34 ACT score, 3.96 GPA (one B, damn senioritis), and skipped second grade.
I train 4-6 times per week, and participate in (and excel at) several different sports. I spend, on average, 2-4 hours per day researching and reading up on all things related to exercise, physiology, and nutrition. I'm beginning to lean towards majoring in something along these lines.
I'm not usually one to blow my own horn, but you asked for it, so toot-toot! I have a degree in political science and will have another in industrial
engineering come May (cum laude). My present efforts are focused on
implementing lean manufacturing in an automotive plant for senior design, and securing a job in logistics or supply chain management where I hope to make an impact in global sourcing and value chain optimization.
I have an addiction to politics and current events that I'm trying to beat. I read biographies, philosophy, history, and works of literature for enjoyment. Before reading this week's Atomic Dog I was doing research for a short story I'm writing about a soldier in the American revolution. Oh yeah, and I write a column for the school newspaper. I would give you my training and athletic accomplishments, but you don't want that stuff. Hopefully you'll receive a huge response to this column; my faith was also waning.
Thanks for T-Mag,
Gotta say I agree with you. I'm afraid as a nation, we're actually getting dumber. As you requested, here's an example of a T-Man using his other (albeit less popular) head.
I'm leaving my current job for another in the same line of work. Actually, the companies are competitors. They came after me and a few others, actively recruiting us based on past performance. The new job will have first-class office digs, better benefits, higher compensation, and provide me the opportunity to enter my first management role at the age of 23. I'll oversee gentlemen twice my age with twice the experience, and I await the opportunity with open arms.
I feel like we earned this promotion not based solely on past production, but also because of impeccable character, personal development mentally and socially, and the potential to break new sales records.
Hope this helps in your search for T-Intelligence. We're out here, just gotta ask!
The other trainees at the gym have nicknamed me "the animal". I hope that covers the body portion. As for the brain and restoring your faith in a T-Nation member having one:
1) I am a computer science instructor at a technical college in Georgia.
2) I teach Web Programming, 8 different languages and networking, LAN and WAN.
3) I am a Microsoft Certified Professional and a have completed phase one to become Certified Internet Web Master.
4) My first degree was in Philosophy the second, Computer Information Systems.
5) My hobbies and areas of interest include gardening, hunting, fishing, Colonial American history, quantum physics, and picking up large heavy things repeatedly.
6) The last two books I read were a biography of John Adams (amazing man and much under-appreciated) an The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum. By the way, I highly recommend the McCallum book to anyone involved in weight training.
I hope this helps. I recently discovered your site and figure I'll spend the rest of my life just going through your back issues. Your site is refreshing and wonderful; keep up the good work.
Oh, if that isn't enough, did I mention my passion for Milton and Shakespeare?
Not to worry, you are not alone. I too am amazed sometime by the stupidity of people. I am from Europe and dont want to sound too stereotypical, but I think Americans have even less interest in learning that us Europeans. But of course, we have our share of morons also. Yes, people who think that anything that doesnt relate to alcohol, women and farthing does not exist. Just ask one of those people what they think about politics/human rights/poverty/ and they look at you like you asked them to recite to you Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet!
I myself study political science, enjoy reading everything I can about current events in the world, reading literature, and just now I am reading Shakespeare in English. And I dont mean to sound like I think I'm superior, Im really not, I too enjoy conversation about women and cars while drinking my beer, but occasionally I wish we could elevate our conversation a bit higher, I mean, at least to talking about what beer is made of?!
The thing is, I think there are a lot of people out there who feel the way you do, but perhaps they are ashamed of their knowledge. God knows, nobody appreciates good intelligent conversation, especially young people, whose worlds revolve around makeup, money and who nailed that blond hot chick, with a perfect body, whose lips are the thing of beauty in itself ummm, pardon!
Its like you said, education doesnt really matter right know. People dont care about that. In my mind there's also a difference between formal education and educating yourself, but the thing is, as long as the most powerful man in the world has an IQ of, I dont know, 90 something, people will say to themselves, "Hey, he got there and look at him, so why should I study and educate myself?" Yes, proper role models thats what we need TC, proper role models. And you know what, to me, in some way you are my role model.
Keep the faith, TC!
Just read Atomic Dog. Being a Brit I've always had a chuckle at some of the things that go on over on your side of the pond, but I've never believed that you guys were stupid. Reading your article though, you could just convince me.
Anyway, for the record, I've got a Bachelors in business, worked 18 years in the IT industry, and am currently half way through a Masters degree in Information Technology at the University of Liverpool. Oh, and yeah, did I mention, I'm also a fully paid up member of the T-Man community !
Feel better now ?
First I must say your last Atomic Dog has been one of the best of its kind since the beginning of T-mag. Although I'm Canadian I've noticed the same "moronism" among our population. Canada isn't much better than the US.
Now, you asked for some smart achievement. Here's mine. I'm a LL.B., I finished my Bar exams a year ago and I'm finishing right now my Masters degree in Fiscality. I was recruited by an accounting firm 9 months ago, before finishing my Masters. I got a great job, a good salary with a good work gang.
As far as weight training goes, I have a similar story to Chris Shugart. I was 20 and fat at 6'4'', 240lbs, I dropped to 187lbs in 5 months and maintained that weight for 2 years. During the last 3 years, I put over 30lbs of LBM over my frame so now I hover around 230 lbs. I'm also practicing jun fan gung-fu and MMA a couple of times per week. My goals are achieved one at a time and I'll train for the next 50 years for sure.
So you see, I'm a warrior nerd, just like you. You're not alone in your undercover fight against America's "moronism". Thank you again for the nice editorial!
Louis-Philippe de Sève-Bergeron
Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
Just thought I'd respond to this week's Atomic Dog. The article was very well written and really hit home for me. I feel the same was as you sometimes, amazed at just how stupid some people are. Ever listen to Howard Stern when he gives a general knowledge test to some stripper or random listener? People can't name the vice president, can't spell, and most don't know things that should've been learned in the 4th grade.
Well, you asked readers to send in some intellectual accomplishments so here goes:
After getting my B.A. in Political Science a little over a year ago, I'm almost done getting a B.S. in Exercise Science...should finish in the summer. Also, I'm currently preparing to sit for the NSCA CSCS exam on Feb. 7 in New York.
I really have to thank your magazine for helping me make the decision to pursue my B.S. in Exercise Science. I was unhappy with any of the jobs in Poli. Sci. and needed a change. I originally wanted to be a strength coach, but when I started college a few years back, the idea of getting paid to be a strength coach was foreign to my parents.
Basically, after reading your magazine and the forums I decided to just do it. Now, in a few months I'll be on my way. Currently I'm working as a personal trainer and just building my experience. So after that long winded letter, I guess I'm just saying, "Thanks, TC and T-mag."
I just finished Bill Bryson's latest book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.
That took a little brain power to get through!
TC, first I have to tell you I love your writing. Every week I look forward to a huge belly laugh (sometimes multiples) and most of the time I find myself in complete agreement with you. So I feel a kinship with you and must respond to your crisis of faith.
First, you have been manipulated by the evil scumbag producers who encourage everyone to think we are dummies. I bet they had to interview a hundred people to get the two stupid answers...maybe two hundred (unless they were in Los Angeles because they really are stupid there!)
Second, how did I use my brains this week? Here's two: trying to find some way to motivate a class of special ed kids into getting off their asses and APPLYING themselves in ANYTHING (these kids are NOT T-man material), and trying ways to keep my girlfriend happy while she's in Brazil getting her boobs done (are you jealous? Just a little?) by thinking of clever, witty, romantic, and erotic poems so that when she comes back she will boink me non-stop for at least two weeks.
Hey, just read your crisis of faith article and I agree there are a lot of really stupid people in the world! I just thought I'd let you know that their are some educated people who read your articles.
I'm a second year PhD student at the University of Florida (UF). I'm studying Sports Medicine with a minor in Human Nutrition. I have a M.S. in Exercise & Wellness from Arizona State University (ASU) and a B.S. in Exercise Science with a concentration in Physical Education. I've presented at a few conferences, including a poster presentation last year at the ACSM National Conference. I teach Weight Training 1 & 2 at UF and previously co-taught Introduction to Health and Wellness at ASU.
I'm also currently involved in researching the biochemistry and performance effects of various supplements and resistance training topics. Besides this, I enjoy reading, writing, arithmetic, extreme sports, lifting, and of course CHICKS (let me know if you get any responses from hot little T-vixens whom you might deem worthy)! Oh yeah and I forgot to mention, I'm only 24 years old. Hopefully, my letter along with others from the T-nation help restore your faith in man!
Joshua Yarrow, M.S., CSCS
First off, I read the magazine every week and think it's great. Secondly, I'm taking a degree in Physical Health and Education along with my five roommates where not only do we get to learn about every aspect of the body, but there's about a 4 to 1 ratio of girls to guys. My plan is to become a teacher (probably high school) and get more children and teenagers physically active and ready for post secondary education. Of course, I'm up here in Toronto not in the states.
Anyway, there are others out there who use their brains. Don't worry and don't lose faith.
I am replying to your "Crisis of Faith" column from this week's issue of T-mag. I'm a 5th year undergrad (soon to be grad-student) at the University of California, San Diego, majoring in Biochemistry & Cell Biology. When I'm not in class, I'm working on my gradate thesis in a biochemistry lab on campus where we are developing tools for the manipulation microbial secondary metabolabolite production (i.e. antibiotic biosynthesis). Hopefully our work will aid in the discovery of novel natural products and in the generation of novel non-natural products through combinatorial bioorganic manipulations to known natural product-producing pathways.
I've been reading your mag since someone kicked off a bunch of free copies at Worlds Gym in Pacific Beach three years ago. I wouldn't read your site if I you guys sucked or were insipid morons.... keep up the good work!
I've met a couple of biologist, a professor of chemical engineering, a doctor, and a lawyer who read your site. There are plenty of warrior nerds out there!
In Nerds We Trust
I heard your call for warrior nerds and well, I consider myself one. I have a training age of three years and have been a qualified personal trainer for two (uh oh!). Recently I was working with some rowing teams at Durham University in England. I'm also on a British and American Cultures degree, so four months ago I moved to Atlanta to study your culture. And interesting it is too, especially here in the South. I love when people ask me if we have "hip-hop" in England. That's when I say "I'm not sure, could you spell it for me?" heh heh. Sometimes they can as well! Anyway, you're not alone TC, there are more intelligent and ballsy guys out there.
You asked us to send you information about intellectual accomplishments in your last Atomic Dog. Well, here's mine...
I'm a senior at the University of Idaho. I'll graduate in May 2004, with a B.A. in History and Philosophy. This was all done in four years, when hardly anybody with two majors graduates in four years. At the same time, I've attained a working knowledge of German (even though learning language has never been my strong suit, I got it done anyway). I took the LSAT today and will be applying to law school soon. I am a voracious reader, and read just about anything usually cannot put a book down unless I fall asleep or am forced to by circumstance. And all this while having utilized running and weightlifting to knock about 70 lbs off my formerly fat ass in the last year and a half or so, as well as putting on quite a bit of muscle. I am definitely one of your so-called "warrior nerds," and proud of it.
Hope that helps to heal your brain, and I know I've had the same reaction to things like "Jaywalking" on the Tonight Show. Must be why I don't watch TV anymore. Hmmm...
I may not have a formal education, however, I read everything I can get my hands on that has a measure of quality. Thus, your mag.
My sweetie has some friends, who are, shall we say, rather well off. These folks are amazed by the fact I can form a coherent sentence. One of her friends said she loves getting letter from me because they are so eloquent. The friend also expressed surprise that I was capable of this. "You know, he works with his hands, so he can't be too bright!" Now what gets me is some of the mail I get from them. Most of it wouldn't (I hope) get a passing grade in Freshman English. I'm not a snob, but, c'mon, at least try.
Now, the good part. I'm a machinist, working for a place that makes cat and pet scan machines. No, they are not for your pets. I've only been there six months and was told I'd receive a raise based on how well I performed after 90 days probation. Well, I managed to take what used to be a two person job, which meant pulling one of the assembly people away from their job, for six hours to assist in the procedure, into one that I can do by myself in slightly over eight hours, seven on a good day.
Needless to say, I got a fairly decent raise, the management loves the work I do. In their weekly meetings, the subject of "Is Steve still happy here?" is a common topic. Simply because I used what little brain I have to do the best I can. Just like in the gym. Mr. Olympia? Nah. But then I never wanted to be anyway. Those are the guys who find watching Street Smarts true entertainment.
I am currently attending a language school studying Chinese. When I finish I will have an AA degree in Chinese cultural studies. While language isn't my first choice of study, I am doing pretty good. After I leave here and fulfill my obligation I will finish my last two years of study back home in the education field, major in math, minor in Chinese. I am also a martial artist that loves to explore the philosophical aspects of life and the current state of humanity. In high school I was a member of our conference champion quiz bowl team (while being captain of the football team). I am in the military, of course military intelligence, but hopefully you won't take too many points away for that.
Hi TC, I've just read your "Crisis of Faith" article on the website and I have to agree 100% on everything you said. I am, how can I put it, a part bodybuilder, part powerlifter who just enjoys the gym and the torture that comes with it. I prefer to kill myself on the last set of front squats than watch another fucking reality show on television that does nothing for me than make me want to throw my TV out the window.
I have a degree in Sport Management as well as a degree in Education from Canisius College in Buffalo NY. I have just returned from a year of teaching in Tokyo and I'll tell you, the first thing that I noticed was how "dumb" the greater part of our nation seems to be becoming. Now, I'm Canadian but my flight from Tokyo landed in Chicago before going enroute to Toronto. The extreme arrogance and just plain rudeness of the people in OHare and Toronto airports made me want to fly right back to Japan, where having a brain still means you are a man and that excelling in academics will get you an award, not the thumbs down of a society of brainless, pot bellied, name calling "people" who just can't seem to figure out where Toronto is. Hmmmmmm "I thinks it's somewhere in Oklahoma ain't it, yeehaw!" Now time for my Hydroxycut. Geeez.
T-mag rocks! Keep up the good work.
Thanks for letting me rant,
I have to say my main complaint with this world lies in how many imbeciles there are. I sometimes wonder about people; were they dropped on their heads as children? Men, women, young and old... the epidemic of utter stupidity seems to be spreading through our nation. It makes a guy wonder why any nation would want to be like us.
Anyhow, you wanted intellectual accomplishments? Here's my most recent. I stopped by the Air Force recruiting offices a few months back (after having first spent several hours on the AF web site like the true nerd I am) and signed up to take the military's ASVAB test. I don't think the recruiters were too optimistic as I only had a GED to show for my education. I never went to high school, just read lots of text books. I was told that I only NEEDED a 40% on this test to get in. I took the test, was close to the last person to finish testing, which had me worried. A few days later, my ecstatic recruiter called to tell me that I was only the second person he'd seen score as high as I had. A whopping 93% overall. A rough average that people get on this test is around 60 just to put into perspective why the recruiter was so excited.
I later went back for more testing... this time for a particular job as a linguist. From what I was told, few people ever pass this test. The requirements are quite a bit higher. I was never told what my score was, but I was told that I scored more than high enough to qualify for the linguist job.
Wish me luck, as I leave for basic January 14th. Did I mention that the linguist school I will be attending for a year and a half is located in California? Young, intelligent hotties are bound to be there, allowing me to think with both my of my heads. One to learn a language, the other to... well, you know... I will also have free access to the on base gym, and four free buffet style meals each day. Did I mention that they PAY me for all of this? Mmmm, yes, it is very good to have a few working brain cells.
I would only like to conclude by saying that I hope life is better to those of us that actually DO know what piece of clothing a tie clasp holds... they are for clasping thongs to your belt as trophies... aren't they? At least that's what I use them for.
I thought that I would let you know that I just finished reading The Iliad by Homer (the real one) while compiling the kernel of the latest Linux (Fedora Core). It's not much of an accomplishment, but just another step in the journey of life. So, don't worry about a crisis in faith... remember that we will always be in the minority of one.
Don't call us nerds, we're strong in body and mind making us part of the Warrior Sage class. I'm 24 with a Masters Degree, while managing to work out five times a week. I travel for fun, not business, once a month. I studied at Oxford for a semester (watching the wannabeasts pick up the 40's thinking they are in pounds (40kg = 88lbs). Last summer I studied Eastern philosophy while working on my tan. My library card has about as much wear as my Blockbuster card and my book shelves have thrice as many books than DVDs.
There are plenty of T-men and T-Women out there who are the smartest of the smart. I honestly feel that when students have to mix activities (sports, music, underwater basket weaving) and academics, and still maintain a high GPA, it says a lot for how far that "Dumb Jock" has come.
I was a three sport athlete in high school (I was also in band and choir), and was still valedictorian. I competed in football and wrestling in college, and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology (with a minor in religion).
Currently, the largest part of my job is writing cycles to manufacture oligonucleotides (synthetic DNA), the other part is supervising a six man crew to produce all of the reagents used for such syntheses. I am the main cycle developer for the synthesizer that has recently been synthesizing the best oligonucleotides in the world...ever.
At 25 I am also easily the youngest person doing what I'm currently doing. While doing all of this, I'm also attempting to earn my MS in organic chemistry, I'm a competitive natural bodybuilder (at 196lbs lean, still not that big, but I am getting there), and I'm preparing to marry one hell of a T-vixen in June.
I am not trying to brag here, you asked. I am just trying to let you know, that of course there are plenty of very intelligent T-men out there. There are doctors, lawyers, biochemists, but of course there are still those who can't remember how many McNuggets go in the six piece at McDonalds. Those people are outliers so don't let them get you down.
Yes, I am a nerd, but if that's what it means to be educated, have a good job, and make the most out of life, then I'm more than happy to wear that title. Keep the faith TC, they just aren't worth worrying about when you realize there are still plenty of good, smart people out there. I like to think that most people in the "T-Nation" are that way.
Have a good holiday season,
I may be able to help you out with your crisis. I put my Economics degree to work every day working at my job. (Not an accomplishment but a necessary evil.) However, I also use it for my "moonlighting" position as a columnist for the Game Night Revue. The Game Night Revue is a hardcore hockey publication sold before each St. Louis Blues NHL home game. It has been in existence for 10 years. Check out my work at www.jeffio.com. I write for the publication free of charge. I do it because I love writing and love the sport of hockey. Because of my work at this job I also have had the opportunity to work on post-game radio call in shows and thus increase my skill set.
My long-winded point is this: rather than go home after work (and my workout) and watch TV, I do research for my upcoming articles. I keep my mind sharp on all things economic, as I believe that has bled more and more into the fabric of our society. I am not old enough to know, but my guess is a conversation about sports in this country probably never contained any sort of economic idea 40 years ago. Along came Curt Flood, then free agency, and then economics of sport.
So from a guy who works out all the time, keeps a job, and has an intelligent endeavor on the side, there are people out here much like you. I too am working to try and keep the US of A an intellectually stimulating place to live. Keep up the good work at T-mag.
Just wanted to say that you guys are great, and this is where I come for all of my health and lifting knowledge. I am 18 years old and have just finished my first semester at MTSU with a 4.0 and fifteen pounds more bodyweight. I'm working towards a degree in Graphic Design. I started working out about a year ago, as a 130 pound shrimp. I am now at 165 and I feel that I am nowhere near my full potential. Thanks again for the kickin' web site, and keep up the good work.
Just wanted to respond to your "Crisis of Faith" article. My most recent accomplishments took place in my last four years in college. Here they are in no particular order:
Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society
Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society
National Dean's List
Volunteer for Boy's Club
Volunteer for Basketball Hall of Fame
Emerging Leadership Seminar
I also currently hold a 3.55 out of 4.0 Grade Point Average and will graduate from Western New England College with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Information Systems with Honors. I have accomplished this while also losing 30lbs and cutting my body fat from 21% to 11.5% and still falling. Hopefully this qualifies me for the Honor Roll.
Steven C. Doughty
[Editor's note: Don't stop reading now, there are three more pages of great letters]
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