I have always been a big fan of learning. Now, on one hand, I am well aware of the nerdiness of that statement. In fact, some of you might not even believe me. I think it comes from the fact that I love to read, but I think more of it comes from the fact that I have always been curious.
The idea of spending a day in the library, pouring through books and archived newspapers sounds great to me. A day of researching something I don’t know gives me a high that I cannot describe. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? An experiment at Purdue University found that it was 364 licks with their “licking machine,” and 252 licks by an actual human. The University of Michigan found 411 licks. Swarthmore Junior High School found that there were, on average, 144 licks. How far away is the moon? 238,900 miles. What is the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant? Antiperspirant clogs the pores to stop sweat from coming out, while deodorant just makes your armpits smell nicer.
I love the idea I can Google any question and find the answer. Not even just random facts, but anything I want. The Internet makes it all easy. What is the deal with the economy? How do I file my taxes? What is a killer recipe for chocolate chip cookies? How do I change the oil in my car? (Okay, I still don’t know how to do that.) Anything I want to learn is online. Better yet, it is on YouTube.
YouTube is this magical place. You can find anything from pregnancy announcements, to cats who are a little clumsy, to celebrity interviews. While I love that it has this vast array of content, and I am known to go on an Ellen DeGeneres binge watching session now and again, what I find far more rewarding is new information. There is one community in particular that I have come to know and love: Nerdfighteria.
This is an online community created by brothers Hank and John Green. They are awesome. In 2007, the Green brothers decided only to talk to each other via daily video, in a series called Brotherhood 2.0. No phone calls, no texting and no e-mails; just daily videos. From this vlogging experiment, they developed their current YouTube channel, “vlogbrothers,” and have raised a lot of money for multiple charities. Nerdfighteria even sponsors AFC Wimbledon, and English football team. The list of accomplishments from these brothers and the community they created go on and on.
While John and Hank make hilarious videos, they also make informative ones. The break down complex concepts, like Boko Haram, Net Neutrality and the Syrian conflict, into bite-sized and understandable chunks. Not only that, but these videos also have arguably the nicest and smartest comment sections on YouTube. Their videos spark interesting discussion among viewers that are usually respectful and intelligent, although there is always the person who says something purposefully hurtful, but they can be ignored.
I look forward to every Tuesday and Friday when I can get a four-minute break in my day. I can learn something new, and allow that information to help form my own opinions. The best part is, even though my time at JCU will eventually end, I will always have a community that are equally as un-ironically excited about new information as I am.