As a martial arts studio owner, I have had a lot of pre-teen and teenage students over the last several years. One of the many things I have noticed is the vast majority of them are incredibly smart and studious. While this may not seem like a surprise or a shock, what was a surprise (at least to me), is that these kids also have exceptional social skills and are popular!
When I was their age, in addition to walking to school barefoot in the snow uphill both ways, nerds were definitely not cool. Well, times have changed, and it is now cool to be a nerd! Much like in many other areas of my life, I am well before my time.
If only I had been born 20-30 years later, I would be on top of the world as the king nerd. Unfortunately, I was not, and I grew up as a child in the 80s when rugged good looks, being tall/fit, good at sports, and NOT doing well academically in school made you cool. For those that know me, I have never fit into any of these categories so you can imagine what my social status was.
However, it is now a different time and nerds are in! I also have a baby boy and I have the opportunity to instill upon him the way of the nerd.
To give you some context into the degree of my nerdom, the first thing I did when my wife got pregnant (after freaking out of course) was to research good books that I could read to him. After a little browsing, I came across “Rocket Science for Babies”. Heck yeah!
Having a graduate degree in aerospace engineering and working in aerodynamics for many years prior to my karate owner career, you could say I’m kind of into rocket science. I bought the book before he was born and was blown away. Each page is just one simple sentence with a simple, colorful corresponding picture.
I actually wish this book was standard issue at the company I worked at prior to my karate career (that company shall remain nameless although it rhymes with snowing). I could then have saved countless hours of my life trying to explain things to the non-technical bean counters.
After being thoroughly impressed by “Rocket Science for Babies”, I looked for other types of books and, lo and behold, there are many others in the series. From that search I compiled a list of books to give my future son in order to complete his training into the nerd-side:
Each book I encountered in the Baby University series by Chris Ferrie has not disappointed. My son is only 1.5 years old and I have read to him every day since he was born. Before you jump down my throat, we do read other books. He is actually to the point that he would rather flip through a book and look at the words/pictures than screen time. I hope that continues.
I also want to make sure everyone knows that I am not forcing the way of the nerd on him. I am introducing these things to him and using my enthusiasm and knowledge in an area to help him like to read and learn. If he decides to hate rocket science, it will be no problem. I will help find the area that thrills him once he is old enough to understand.
Much like my approach to teaching him karate, I am just introducing these things to him at a very early age in order to bond with him. If I am enjoying our time together, he will enjoy it more too. Once he is older, he will have plenty of time to hate me. In fact, I have been accumulating a strong portfolio of dad jokes to embarrass him during the teenage years.
The other great thing about the Baby University books is that there are so many other options depending on what kind of nerd you are. For instance, there is Robotics, Nuclear Physics, Bayesian Probability, Neural Networks, and Quantum Entanglement, just to name a few. We have actually gone through all his nerd books several times and I think it is time to step it up a little. I plan on getting the rest of the books in the complete set. This way when he gets older we can identify what area he likes the best. Fingers crossed for rocket science…