Awkwardness defines my life
"He comes in entirely as an outsider. He lets his mind wander. He’s not endangering his academic position because he doesn’t have one, and he can take those risks,"
Gerald Holton, Boston Globe
" “What made Einstein special was his impertinence, his nonconformity, and his distaste for dogma. Einstein’s genius reminds us that a society’s competitive advantage comes not from teaching the multiplication or periodic tables but from nurturing rebels. Grinds have their place, but unruly geeks change the world.”
Walter Issacson, Wired
Unshackled by strict yet arbitrary, misguided norms, outcasts can be, look, act, and associate however they want. And in this ever conformist, cookie-cutter, magazine-celebrity-worshipping, creativity-stifling society, the innovation, courage, and differences of the cafeteria fringe are vital to America’s culture and progress. Which is why we must celebrate them.
Nobody’s listening to me, he thought, story of my life.
Exclusion is common behavior. But that doesn’t make it unchangeable. And that doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with the cafeteria fringe.
As Whitney came to realize, the primary problem with being a popular high school student, even with all of its perks—some classmates will do your bidding; you may be invited to more parties; you might find your fashions meticulously copied, your actions obsequiously praised; you can sit at a prime spot in the cafeteria; you might even be treated, as Whitney said to me after one party, “like a mini-celebrity”—is that high school ends.