when i refer to my current fellowship position as working at the nerd camp, i truly say that with the fondest of sentiments. the only reason that i don't own a shirt that says 'i heart nerds' is because that would just seem too self absorbed. this year, my team is facilitating the building of underwater remote operated vehicles that entails drilling, cutting pipe, soldering with a crazy hot iron and a medley of other parts to engineer and construct.
while working at a soldering station a couple of days ago, one of my fellow fellows asked me an interesting question. it went something like this, 'when you were a child, would you have ever pictured yourself doing things like this?' the navy guy that was assisting us kind of chuckled and said he was wondering the same thing. i should be offended, right??
ok, in their defense, i had on a dress, dangly earrings, and full make-up. but does all of that negate my ability to work a power tool? absolutely not. for those of you pumping your fists in the air and chanting your feminist mantras in anticipation to my response to his question, please go ahead and stop reading. to be completely honest, i answered completely honestly. 'no, not really, i was always surrounded by barbies and dolls.' they both kind of laughed about how that seemed more fitting of their apparent image of me.
before i had time to really process, i smiled politely and then got quickly distracted by the swarms of middle school children itching to get their little hands on the smoldering hot soldering irons. as i was tossing and turning trying to fall asleep that night though, the conversation popped back up in my head. with more time to toss the conversation around, i started feeling a little perturbed. i know there were no ill intentions in the comment, but gosh darn it, just because i wear make-up doesn't mean i am incapable of wearing a tool belt too.
from now on, before pigeon holing people based on their appearances, i shall try to remember what this doll baby-lovin' girl is capable of. anything.
p.s. sidenote: i do own a shirt that says 'i heart algebra' and i'm seriously considering a pocket protector/fanny pack combo contraption.