I must admit something.
I’m a geek. /sighs
Oh, you already know? Whoa, didn’t see it coming. I thought I have successfully hidden my geekiness. Tell you the truth, being a geek girl in my country is a bit hard because:
- Not many geek girls like to open up their geekiness to other people, my society often thinks that being a geek = being an anti-social.
- And if there were geeks, they would be categorized as ‘hipster geeks’ aka people who try so goddamned hard to be geeks, the truth is they aren’t geeks at all.
- Pop and geek culture aren’t much appreciated in my country.
- We have a bit trouble in buying geeky stuffs online (from Amazon, Etsy, etc) because the shipping fee to my country is often more expensive than the price of the item itself.
- Society often think that geek is not a lifestyle, that it’s only a phase.
I’ve been a geek since… well, since I can remember everything. My first geeky thing were my Nintendo 64 and I played that console all day long, not realizing that one day, this console would be categorized as retro. In elementary school, I was a huge Harry Potter geek, and I wasn’t afraid to show my favoritism to that story.
However, I had trouble finding geek friends. I didn’t have anyone to fangirl with, so therefore I had to hide my geekiness to others. People would see me as a plain girl who had general liking in many things, but not really show how much I liked them. I loved Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, video games, and history, but I couldn’t show how I loved these stuffs because I was afraid people might label me as weird. In addition, people around me didn’t really like to remember pop culture reference, so I couldn’t put on Star Wars reference in many occasions. People would look at me and said “What are you talking about?”
Things changed when I joined International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club (IGGPPC). I went to their website due to a coverage done by geeksugar.com, a website about tech news I often visited. I had joined this club ever since they still put on their domain from Ning.com. At first, they only promoted a pen pal activity, which they still do to this date. I was really excited because I hadn’t got any pen pals, so I joined. They opened pen pal registration every month, and they did it with different themes each month. All you had to do was to sign a form, and in the form you had to write your 5 geek loves. It could be whatever things you love, be it knitting, cooking, collecting stationery, Star Trek, The X-Files, whatever you love! After the people at IGGPPC closed the registration, they would match your geek loves to other applicants, and you would be introduced to your new pen pal on the following month.
My first pen pal was a girl named Cady, and we only swapped letters for a few months before she went AWOL. A few months later, I signed up to get another pen pal and the girls from IGGPPC paired me with a girl named Michelle. We got along really well until now, it’s been nearly a year since I mailed my first letter to her. We loved to catch up by sending super long e-mails, and sometimes we sent each other presents or postcards. She’s a really good friend and I loved having her as one of my international friend.
Later, IGGPPC has shown that they weren’t built only for postcard sending and reliving the jolly old days of sending real letters to other people. With more activities being launched by the team, they show the true meaning of their foundation: to show that girls can change the world. Even though IGGPPC also accepts boys to be a part of them, the main issue has always been about girl and women power. In their blog named ‘+5 Charisma’, they have a monthly feature about girls who rock in unique jobs, and sometimes the jobs sound really masculine, a feature called ‘I Have a Cool Job’. I was once featured in the column as an amateur historian (–,)
IGGPPC also keeps the geek love alive by running several clubs, such as Book Club, Fitness Club, Cooking Club, etc. And once you’re signed up, you can head to your House (based on your age) and you can find new friends through the Forum. In the Forum, you can find MANY threads that will suit your personal love, be it knitting, comedy club, traveling, people who love swapping, even for history geeks like me. Yes, you will also find threads where people introduce themselves, even you can find online game threads such as ‘continue the word’ which is really hilarious and weird in a good way.
The greatest thing I think IGGPPC has managed to do this far is to gather geek girls (and women) around the world for a worldwide event! Yes, that’s a really big accomplishment, if I may say so! Last August, they did an online camp called ‘IGGPPCamp’. It’s like summer camp, but online. If you subscribed to their YouTube page, you could take part in webinars (seminars on web, duh) on different topics, ranging from biology of zombies to geek feminism. There were also tons of blog posts on tutorials, crafts, food, and Google Hangout where you could play games with fellow geek girls around the globe! And the great news is… they are going to do that again, for this year’s Halloween!
Following the success of the first IGGPPC Summer Online Camp, the overlords and staffs of IGGPPC has decided to throw another online camp on Halloween, which will be done from October 29th to November 1st this year. There will be movie watch-a-longs, blog post tutorials, webinars, games, crafting, recipes for your Halloween night, and so much more! If you’re interested, you can see the schedule on this link http://www.geekgirlpenpals.com/activities/halloween-party-2014/halloween-party-schedule/ Speak of the devil, you should tune in to IGGPPC website on October 31st because I will contribute to write a blog post about Southeast Asian ghosts. I bet they will scare you the most…
To wrap up this post, I must say that I really, really love this community. They are literally the sweetest, the most comedic, the funniest and the most understanding community ever. I love every single friendship I have made with some of the members. And because of that, I made my first hand lettering project for the girls and the guys of IGGPPC. I’m proud to be an Iggle!