Tag Archives: young adult

Let us set you up on a Blind Date – With a Book!

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It’s back! Time for Grey Havens Group Inc’s signature fundraiser – Blind Date with a Book. Last November, you gobbled up lots of good books for Grey Havens, but we’ve still got plenty more, and we love to share the joys of reading. Won’t you join us?

On Saturday, February 11th from 11 am – 4pm, come to Lucky’s Market in Longmont and choose a book (or two or three) to take home with you. Books are sorted by genre then wrapped in a Lucky’s bag to disguise their titles. In exchange for a donation in any amount, you can take home a reading surprise, just in time for Valentines Day!

All donations will be used to promote literacy, imagination, community and inclusion by supporting The Grey Havens Group, Inc. We hope you know by now that our nonprofit values creative and critical thinking and teaches philosophical inquiry. Grey Havens YA is our young adult chapter, but we also serve younger children, adults, and older adults all along the front range and beyond.

Right now, we are working on implementing our Philosophy in Public Spaces Initiative, increasing our young adult and kids programming, recruiting volunteers, and planning exciting new events for the community. We are also developing a podcast in order to share the benefits of Geek Philosophy with the world! This Saturday, you could help us to achieve these goals and enjoy a fabulous literary date in the process. We hope to see you there. Thank you for your support!

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May the Force be with you,
Kelly Cowling, Executive Director
Robyn Bosica, Deputy Director
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The Power of Stories like Star Wars

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Let the Wookie Read! It is so exciting to me that communities across the world get to connect the power of reading with the awe of Star Wars for the entire month of October. How will you celebrate? Let’s start by commenting below and sharing with us some of your favorite Star Wars stories told in print.

I think a lot of us here at Grey Havens understand the power of a good story. Some of our young and older adults, including yours truly, didn’t really like reading until we came across Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings. One good story was all it took to enlighten our minds and spark a passion for more. Star Wars can do that too. Because of Star Wars, countless families will go to libraries during the month of October and probably find new and exciting books to read, maybe for the first time.

Grey Havens celebrated on October 15th at Carbon Valley Regional Library in Firestone, Colorado. It was a delightful day of droid racing, light-saber making, dramatic readings from William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, Jedi-training, and more — including an Interactive Viewing of The Force Awakens after hours. It was wonderful to put our nerdy love of Star Wars to good use by engaging people in reading and community.

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Here at Grey Havens YA, a part of the Grey Havens Group, Inc, we do not separate “low” and “high” art, all art can be meaningful and inspire discussion. We take films, television shows, and YA novels as seriously as we’d take the work of Shakespeare. That’s why it was so fun to combine Shakespeare and Star Wars, to talk about the fictional Jedi and their unique way of life, and to have engage the imagination by interacting with a movie we all know and love.

If you want to learn more about Grey Havens, check out our parent website at GreyHavensGroup.org, and come visit us on Halloween. We love to host fun discussions and events for adults too, and we’re kicking off our adult programming with a Hobbit Halloween and Harry Potter DeathDay Party at our new adult venue: Local Editions in Longmont. Stop by  anytime between 6pm – 8pm for a flyer, some candy, and a chance to learn more about getting involved in this amazing and nerdy organization.
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The Last Stand: Jim Kraven’s Diary #3

Círdan’s Note: And now we return to the mind of our very own Jim Kraven (aka 145barbarian) as he recounts our latest foray into The Last Stand, a roleplaying game invented by your young adults. When you support Grey Havens YA through Lucky’s Bags for Change this quarter, you are helping us to continue to provide these young adults with the environment they need to be imaginative in community.  Be sure to read Jim’s latest diary before diving into this one. If you want even more explanation, check out this video as one of our GMs (Game Master) catches us up on the story so far. Enjoy!

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Day 4
I can see the GMs now. That must mean we’re about to get out of limbo. Timmy is going to cry again. I can already tell. Every time we come out of limbo, he cries. Maybe he feels something we don’t while in limbo. I wish my wife was here. She always knew how to calm down Timmy when he cried. We’ll see her again someday. Hopefully.

*BAAAANG* I run to the window. Nothing in sight, but Timmy’s crying even louder so I know I’m not the only one who heard that explosion. Bucky’s back! He must’ve caused the explosion. The zombies are gone. We can finally go outside again!

“Come on Timmy,” I said, extending my hand to him. He grabs it, and I lead him to the door. There’s a new guy. Galahad is his name. Timmy and I stare up as a flash of light fills the sky.

“Daddy,” he says, “What is that?”

I stare down at him. “I don’t know.”

The light is getting closer. It crashed into a hill near the village. It’s binging now. The light is stuck in a crater.

There’s some sort of creature inside it. It wants out. Who would’ve known! It crashed into a strange place, and now it wants out of the wreckage. Bucky ripped the door off. Istar is the creature’s name.

Gunfire rings through the valley. It’s coming from our base!

The group is heading back. I’m still here with Timmy and Eadlyn. I think they forgot about us…

They’re coming back. Our healer actually did something useful for once! She healed Eadlyn’s broken legs.

Timmy is gonna go across the river on the gorilla’s corpse. I’m glad the gorilla is dead. Timmy didn’t like him very much. I’m gonna walk across. Timmy is floating slowly over to us.

We’re heading back to the base. This’ll be quite the walk. I can hear Timmy running to catch up to us.

Woah. I feel really tired all of a sudden. Unknown fell asleep. Everyone is starting to space out and sit down. Istar stays awake. People are starting to pass out. Something is forcing us all to sleep.

Timmy is out like a light. It’s the first time in years that he’s slept without me reading him a story.

I heard Duke Brilliance yell, “There’s something in here!” — then I fell asleep.

——————–S-L-E-E-P-I-N-G——————–

I see my wife. She’s holding Timmy in her arms. Am I dead? No. No, not dead. I must be dreaming. I remember getting back to the inn, then passing out. I just stand there and stare at her. She’s so good with him. Part of me wishes that she was the one here with Timmy, not me. I walk over to her and smile.

“Shhh,” she says, “Timmy is sleeping.” I sit down next to her. I miss her so much. I don’t know when I’ll wake up. Maybe I won’t. I’d be ok with that. Either way, I’m going to savor these moments for as long as possible.

“How have you been?” I ask her.

“I miss you both so much,” she utters through her tears, “I’ve been doing ok….lonely, but ok.” I lean down to give her a hug. As I lean out, I notice blood all over my hands.

“No…” I utter, “Not again!” She collapses as I get transported to some sort of waiting room.

—————————————————————————

Looking around here reminds me of the day when my wife and I found out that she was pregnant with Timmy. It was a great day.

Everyone is here in the room. Well, most everyone. Other than us, the room is empty. None of us know what is going on. All we know is that the Nightmare put everyone to sleep. Nightmare. I guess that’s what’s doing this. That probably explains the whole thing with my wife. People are starting to mingle and move around.

Timmy’s crying again. I pull out his story book and read him his favorite story. The same story that I’ve been reading for the past couple years. I don’t even need the book anymore. I know it by heart. I keep the book so that Timmy has something to look at. Something to distract him from all the violence and chaos going on around us.

Duke Brilliance just informed us that the Nightmare is watching over us, controlling us. The Nightmare can kill us. It doesn’t kill often, but it isn’t very comforting knowing that it can do so.

We know of a remedy to this sleepiness now. Garlic, vinegar, and mint can help counter getting pulled into this world. The walls are full of weak points. It appears that the only way to expose them is to get everyone into the dream world. Istar just summoned a puppy. It’s chasing the bunny around.

There’s a way to summon Siri, a goddess of light. They did it! She’s here! She’s confused. Pure light can be used to destroy the Nightmare. We’re all here now except for Nutmeg. Well. We’re all here. The Nightmare says that she’s lonely. She wants to play a game. Doorways start opening up for us. Three people for each door. A white light emits from each of the doors. I guess we’ll have to break up into groups now. The group is erupting in chatter. The games consist of a bunch of puzzles.

I tried to send Timmy through one of the doors. The door pulled me in too. One more person for our door. I hope we can get out of here.

——–S-L-E-E-P-I-N-G—D-R-E-A-M-S-C-A-P-E——–

A room just materialized around us. It’s me, Timmy, and Feather. She has the bunny with her. I hope our puzzle has nothing to do with dexterity. I’d assume by now that everyone is breaking off and going into their doors. The Nightmare is here. Must be giving Feather and I our puzzle. Here we go. Well that was easy. All we had to do was create three squares using some lines. Feather is gone. Now Timmy. The world goes black again.

——————–R-E-A-L-I-T-Y——————–

We’re awake again. Feather, Timmy, Bucky, Istar, Lunefasentia, and I are the only ones awake so far. Istar’s puppy came through to the dream world. The bunny’s back as well. Gell and (Nick’s Character) are awake now. Let’s see if anyone else can get out of the dreamworld. Duke Brilliance, Lisa, and Kaylen are awake. Bart and Malone are awake. There are still some people asleep. Ok. Everyone’s awake! The Nightmare left since we all played the games.

Here comes limbo. I’ll write more tomorrow.

Círdan’s Note: What an enchanting tale of a Nightmare who’s only wish was to not be alone. Thanks for a great recap, Jim! 
Send us an owl: What do you think of the story so far? Are you excited to see what happens to the company next time? I know I am!

What A Nerd Looks Like: Embracing Enthusiasm, Embracing the Other

wp-1454298478123.jpgDid you know that Grey Havens YA has been around for two years and nearly four months now? It has been an incredible journey so far, and we are so proud of our members and our growing community.

Many adults have come up to us over these two years and told us how much they wish they had a group like this when they were younger. They understand how uniquely valuable a haven for literature, imagination, community and inclusion can be for young teens and old teens alike. They get it because they’ve seen it in action, so now I want to take a moment to try to describe it to you.

Grey Havens YA isn’t just a book club. It is more than just fun events and fandom programming. As you’ll see in our upcoming Geek Philosophy series, Grey Havens YA is about teaching young minds to imagine greatly, live enthusiastically, and engage thoughtfully with the world around them.

As we’ve been reading The Martian Chronicles over the past two months, we have discovered something about our group of geeks and nerds: while the humans in the Martian stories fear that great, insurmountable Other, we are drawn to it.  We want to know who the Martians were, how they lived, what they would have to say to us about our own lives… As nerds and geeks who explore the world and its stories with great enthusiasm, we are drawn to the Other points of view. We want to know more about how Kylo Ren thinks; we are heartbroken over the pains Draco Malfoy has been through; we are fascinated by the friendship between the Doctor and the Master; we crave knowledge of how “the other side” thinks and feels and lives.

At our recent Multi-Generational Philosophy Discussion in which we partnered with the Longmont Senior Center to discuss Geek Philosophy with both senior adults and our YA members, one of the senior adults said something very profound to our members. We were talking about the horrors of racism, and a YA member observed that her generation may not be as inclined to prejudice as those in the past. The senior adult replied, “You said that your generation is not as racially charged. I believe that, for you [Grey Havens YA members], because you are not afraid to be enthusiastic. When you embrace being a nerd, you are not afraid to be enthusiastic, and to live.” He mentioned the notion that “Joe Cool” can be cool all his life and then realize he never actually lived, but when you embrace who you are and embrace being a nerd, you stop being so worried about looking cool and you start really living.

wp-1454299663565.jpgTo the founders of Grey Havens YA, these two concepts are intrinsically related. We are drawn to other sides, to the viewpoints of those who are different from us, because we are enthusiastic about knowledge and about life itself. In one of our favorite quotes, John Green said, “Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. … When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness.'”

That is why we do what we do here at Grey Havens YA. We want to encourage young adults to be unashamed by their enthusiasm for the miracle of human consciousness. True, some of our members aren’t as enthusiastic all the time. Some of them struggle with depression and very real issues in their lives, but they still show up every week and they share in the enthusiasm of others. They show up every week and they discuss philosophy, darkness and light, science and art with the rest of us. They show up every week and feel safe to be themselves. It is quite a miracle itself to behold.

Grey Havens YA means so much to our members, and it means so much to us. We are so proud of these last two years, and we look forward to many more. We especially love adding to our community and watching our new members fit right in as if they’ve been with us all along. Grey Havens YA is full of  that special kind of magic. Will you help us spread it?

A star shines on the hour of our meeting,
Robyn and Kelly

Photos by Steve Eggleston

What A Nerd Looks Like in Germany!

Círdan’s note: We are thrilled that the essays written by our members have sparked a movement for others to share what being a nerd looks like. Today, it is Grey Havens YA’s tremendous pleasure to get to share with you the following essay from one of our social media friends. Isn’t the internet incredible? We’ll let Julian introduce himself to you; we hope you are inspired and we welcome you to share your own stories with us! What does being a nerd mean to you? How are you spreading nerdiness to those around you? Please send us an owl (comment below) or email us at greyhavensya@gmail.com. #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike

Friendship, Inspiration, Creativity: A Little Nerd Manifesto by a German High School Teacher

wpid-julian.jpgMy name is Julian Eilmann and I am a 35-year-old high school teacher (subjects: German, History, Filmmaking) at the Inda-Gymnasium in Aachen, Germany. I would like to introduce you to the Inda-Fellowship, which is the only school based Tolkien club for young people in our country. Our nice school is based at the green borders of our lovely home town Aachen, which is one of the most western cities in Germany next to the Dutch border.

Being a nerd seems to be the same in the USA and Germany these days. Although nerdism appears to be just another trend in mainstream culture for some years now and everyone who wants to be cool is wearing “nerd glasses,” this is not what nerdism is all about. Being a nerd is all about dedication, enthusiasm, and a true love for great stories and characters in all their manifestations (books, films, comics, games etc.). And this is what the Inda-Fellowship is all about too. So, are we, in this sense, nerds? Of course we are. Our Fellowship is the home for all lovers of fantasy at our school!

We are all dedicated to the works of the founder of the modern fantasy genre, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. When I founded this club in 2010, I had been a Tolkien and fantasy fan since my own youth. Since I first listened to the great German audio play of The Lord of the Rings on the radio at the age of 12, a new and wonderful world was in my imagination. In the following years I read everything from Tolkien I could get my hands on and played the pen and paper role-playing games with my friends (does anyone remember MERP? – that was fun!). This was another fine way to become part of this world of endless adventures. In some ways, I have been under a spell ever since these days and have been constantly enchanted by Middle-earth, which is in fact an imaginary home for me where my thoughts travel at least once each day. Apart from enjoying Tolkien’s work just for my pleasure, I have been researching Tolkien’s work for a decade now and am right now writing my PhD study on “Tolkien: Romanticist and Poet.”

wpid-inda-group.jpg.jpegTolkien’s Middle-earth novels and, even more so, my beloved Silmarillion do leave me breathless and still fill me with great joy. When in the end Frodo passed away into the West, there were some tears, but we learn from the wisdom of a famous grey Wizard that “not all tears are an evil.” These misty eyes do rather signify that you have made a great experience. One you will never forget. I can truthfully say that I got inspired by Tolkien and have been for my whole life now. And now it is my goal as a teacher to inspire children and teenagers at my school, because I am convinced that Tolkien has left us in fact a modern mythology that offers endless joy, excitement, and wisdom for each generation.

And it warms my heart that the Inda-Fellowship has been progressing so well over the years. At the moment, the group consist of 17 boys and girls of the age of 11-17 and four teachers, who love to immerse themselves in Middle-earth with these wonderful kids. As has been said, being a nerd for us means dedication to our hobby – or rather our passion. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that our group motto is “Friendship, Inspiration, and Creativity!” Our Fellowship is the place where one can meet likeminded people who share the same love for imagination and fantasy, especially in the works of Tolkien, but also apart from that. And, as friendship is a major topic in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we are forming our own alliance to spend time together in our beloved Middle-earth. It is a delight for everyone involved – teachers as well! – to debate all things concerning Tolkien and beyond. Friendship means that everyone’s opinion is valued, and in a relaxed atmosphere one can feel free to share his ideas with other Tolkien nerds in the group. For example, we have two teenage boys in our group who started in our Fellowship when they were in 5th class. Now they attend 10th class, are in their home-stretch for the final exams in two years – but are still among us. In fact, they have spent their whole high school time in our group which proves that this group can be more than just another afternoon school club.

Furthermore, the Inda-Fellowship offers many ways for young people to get inspired. The last five years have shown how we all get constantly inspired by our joint exploration of Middle-earth. One source of inspiration was our journey to Tokien’s Oxford in the winter of 2011, where we had the chance to take a look at Tolkien’s manuscripts at the Bodleian Library and visited the picturesque Merton College, where the professor lived. To get so close to our beloved author and the place where he created his mythology was the chance of a lifetime for participants. Some of the kids said: “This was the best time of my life yet!” For me, it is a lasting experience too.

wpid-inda-cosplay.jpg.jpegThe third pillar of our group is creativity, which is a force that is essential for Tolkien’s work. We don’t want to be passive too. We rather want to get our bottoms up and find interesting ways to create something our own. Recently we have spent quite some time producing hilarious stop-motion films with Hobbit Lego sets. This has been a lot of fun for us and we received a lot of positive response from the audience. Right now, we are building Middle-earth models in the school’s workshop. If you can imagine 17 boys and girls and four teachers working with clay, wood and paint to build the Black Gate of Mordor, a Hobbit Mill or a Rohan house, this is exactly what we have been doing the last months.

We have lots of great ideas for the future, and we love to get in contact with other Tolkien fans around the world. Although Middle-earth will ever be the core of our group activities, we also like to chat about other fantastic universes. With this in mind, we greet the Grey Havens YA – you guys seem to have as much fun as we do and we wish you all the best for your future.

To learn more about Julian and the Inda-Fellowship, check out their website: https://indagefaehrten.wordpress.com/ 

How do you nerd?

Grey Havens YA has been taking the #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike campaign on the road, and it’s been a pretty awesome journey! First, we stopped at the Longmont Museum’s Robots Rising exhibit. Next, we headed to the Longmont Library’s Summer Reading Program Kick-Off.  As seen on Twitter, the signs have been traveling far and wide, but sometimes we also get to have a Nerd Table. The Nerd Table encourages patrons to be a part of our interactive art project by drawing or writing about how they nerd. This could include anything from fandoms to sports to hobbies to equations– and even to equations that when read aloud become limericks. It’s been quite an amazing and nerd-tastic experience! Check out some of our photos below, and like our Facebook page for even more nerdy content.

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At the Library, we also did a short presentation of our Fitness for Nerds program! It was so fun to replicate this program for younger kids. I think our members had a blast leading it, and we saw so many little ones laughing and dancing.

wpid-wp-1432577330804.jpeg wpid-wp-1432577343064.jpegDance like Baby Groot is my favorite! We also did some nerd yoga, Hermione hand-raises, and fangirling. And of course, we had to end with The Big Finish:

wpid-wp-1432577315354.jpegIt was fantastic!

For more photo fun, remember to check out our Facebook page. If you want to bring Fitness for Nerds to your community, leave us a comment or send us an email. Thanks for all the fun and support. Remember, it’s how you love it!

 Send us an owl: How do YOU nerd?

What a Nerd Looks Like: Confidence and Friendship

Have you been following our #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike campaign? It’s really taking off, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re continuing to share some great pictures on our Facebook and Twitter. We’re even bringing this campaign to the people and asking Longmont community members one question: How do you nerd? We had a great time at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center this weekend, and we’ll be at the Longmont Library’s Summer Reading Kickoff on May 21st. Thank you everyone for your awesome support!

In case you missed it, here’s the essay from Ethan that started it all. You’ll also want to check out our second essay from Eliza here. But that’s not all– check out our third essay from Roxy too. And now we’re going to share another one with you!

Robyn here. I would like to take a moment to personally introduce our next essay from Katie and Jayne. This friendship between two of our YA members warms my heart, and their confidence inspires me. When I was a young adult nerd, I never had such confidence in myself that I see in these two, and it is a privilege to watch them thrive in their element. Come see us all at Denver Comic Con on Sunday, May 24th!
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We are awesome, and everyone needs to know this. Okay, not everyone. We aren’t really as egotistical as Tony Stark, but we do not hide our tendency to be rather epic. Our fuel comes from passion, a power so intense it could power a T.A.R.D.I.S. Various forms of nerd culture are at the  center of our existence. Being a nerd is part of who we are.

Our lives revolve around nerd culture. Without that passion as a driving force, our lives would be quite dull and boring (not very fun…). Starting back from when our young minds were ready to be filled, fandoms opened up. Even before we knew it was LARPing and fangirling, we were pretending to be wizards or superheroes. Places like game stores, comic shops, and most importantly, conventions, are where we find our people, where we fit in. These places are all but native to us. With lifelong nerdiness and leading lives involving frequent and joyful interactions with other nerd lifeforms, we are great candidates for the ComicCon panel.

In addition to being nerdy through and through, we are really attractive. Okay, okay, that sounds ridiculously self-centered of us. But the primary point of such a bold statement is that we can pull off some pretty epic cosplays! This means some fun banter and awesome, convincing acting; it is natural for us to slide into character. We are also really good at bouncing off of what the other says, and the conversation doesn’t really die. Beside that point, this means some pretty awesome and interested nerdy people – being a human magnet can work here! I don’t know about you, but more people in the audience is better- come for the attractive people and stay for the epic nerdiness! Drawing others in and having some pretty great entertainment is definitely excellent. Also, did I mention that we are super humble?

A main part of our usefulness in a panel situation comes from our communication. Our communication skills are more than efficient. With a combination of the previously mentioned easy banter and ability to respond well and nicely, the conversation will continue to thrive in a nicely simple way. Even with the occasional strange connection we pull from our deep vortex well of experiences, it is not difficult to tie the discussion back nicely and understandably. Even an odd question can be deciphered by our intricate minds, and we can keep positive up against the potentially very odd comment. We can also present two different arguments and respect both sides without attacking each other. The two of us have a good system of reining each other in if one gets distracted or goes off on a tangent.

We decided to write this essay together because we both want to be on the panel, and neither of us want to be on the panel without the other. At school and at Grey Havens, we are usually seen as a “set.” At school it’s typically Katie and Xan and at Grey Havens it’s Katie and Jayne. Grey Havens YA itself is the reason for this. My (Jayne’s) mum gave me a flyer in October of 2013 about a Fandoms Unite event at the library.  I was planning a totally awesome and geeky mash-up costume, so I had to tell the one person I occasionally talked to in French class all about it (who sported a Thor costume the day I wore some Ironman gear).  She asked what it was for and I told her about the library event, and she immediately wanted to go.  This person was Katie.  I really had no intention of inviting her, but at Fandoms Unite we pretended to be friends because we didn’t really know anyone else, and then we just didn’t stop pretending to be friends.  We initially laughed at the article in the paper about Grey Havens YA because it said “Now, Cook and her good friend Brown run a monthly trivia night during the Longmont Library’s After Dark event.”  We’re not just good friends, we’re Sam and Dean, Loki and Thor, Sherlock and Watson.  And we owe this friendship/brotherhood to Grey Havens YA.

Send us an owl: What’s your nerd story? Do you have any friendships/brotherhoods that were based on/started with Fandoms?

What a Nerd Looks Like: Passion and Acceptance

Hello, followers and friends of Grey Havens YA! Thank you so much for jumping on board with our #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike Campaign. We had a busy weekend at the Real Myth and Mithril Symposium, so head on over to our Twitter and Facebook feeds to see photos and updates. We’ll be writing more about it soon, but for now we want to keep the nerd love going!

Our next essay comes to us from Eliza, and she writes about how fandom and geek culture foster community and acceptance. If Eliza’s and Ethan’s essays inspire you, please share them on social media and with your friends and post photos and updates from your own life wit the tag #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike. Our friends at Middle Earth News are already in on the campaign!  Let’s keep it spreading.

Nerds are compassionate too! Some of our members served at the Senior Center this weekend.
Nerds are compassionate too! Some of our members served at the Senior Center this weekend at their Mad Hatter Tea Party.

“Being a geek is a great thing. I think we’re all geeks. Being a geek means you’re passionate about something and that defines your uniqueness. I would rather be passionate about something than apathetic about everything.” (Masi Oka). Geeks are the worlds greatest asset. They aren’t afraid to be themselves and express their love for what they care about.

Geek culture is what helps people find who they are. This is especially important for the youth of our generation. A simple book or T.V. show can shape a person’s entire future. It can be the beacon of light in the dark confusing ocean of life. Showing the way to being accepted for who you are and what you like. Being a geek means that you’re passionate about something in your life. Youth need some place to find out who they are, what they like and have no one judge them for it. This is why geek culture is so important. No judgement for what you like and who you are.

If geek culture passes on to the youth of the community, they will slowly spread it to the others and eventually judgement won’t exist anymore. Youth are a huge factor in geek culture. They help show older geeks new things and remind them of themselves when they were younger. I often hear adults say they wish that some sort of group existed when they were younger that allowed them to show how geeky they actually were. Today there is a place that geeky youth can go and that place is called Grey Havens YA. This single book club inspires youth not to hide away their inner geek but let it shine for everyone to see.

This is the impact that geek culture has on youth. Just show who you are and don’t be afraid to be judged. One of my favorite quotes is by Doctor Seuss, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who care don’t matter and those who matter don’t care.” (Doctor Seuss). This is the impact of geek culture.

Send us an owl: What do you think? If you’d like to join us, tag a photo of yourself with the hashtag #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike, and send us your thoughts on geek culture! Check out our Support Page and Community Programming for more Grey Havens YA fun.

This is What a Nerd Looks Like

You may not have heard yet, but Grey Havens YA is going to Denver Comic Con! We only have four spots available on our panel, so to choose which amazing young adults get to attend, we had an essay contest. We invited everyone who could commit to attending Comic Con to send us an essay about what it means to be a nerd, what Grey Havens YA means to them, or anything else they wanted to say. Today, on the morning of our symposium, Real Myth 2015, we are going to share one of those essays with you.

Ethan’s was the first essay we received, and it gave us an idea. In this essay, he talks about a local high school’s spirit week in which one day was devoted to dressing like a nerd, called “White and Nerdy Day.” No, it wasn’t about the Weird Al song, it was about dressing like a stereotypical nerd– think suspenders and glasses and highwater pants. Sound a little bit offensive? We thought so too. Read Ethan’s essay below and if it inspires you, tweet us your own picture of #ThisIsWhataNerdLooksLike #GreyHavensYA. Ethan writes that the day wasn’t meant to offend, but it was created out of ignorance for what being a nerd is about– well, let’s educate the public. We’ve already started with our own photographs, and this weekend will be full of them as we get all of our Symposium attendees to join in on the campaign. Keep an eye out on our Twitter and Facebook for all the awesome photos! Let’s break the stereotype and show that being a geek or a nerd is fun and cool, it means, as John Green says, “you’re excited about the miracle of human consciousness” — it’s about how you love it.

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Being a Nerd

Nerd: a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious. That’s what you get when you type “Nerd” into the dictionary. However, I think the dictionary needs to be updated. The word sprang up in the 1950s, originally intended as an insult. But the word, has evolved and changed. It has changed so much that I now I wear the term “Nerd” like a badge of honor. Sadly many people don’t even think nerds exist any more. The only real nerds are on the tv such as Urkel or the characters on the Big Bang Theory. The only way a nerd can exist in the real world is if you put on glasses and stick your teeth out. When a school has a “white and nerdy day” I believe it is not an attempt to rudely stereotype us but simply an act of ignorance. To many people there are no nerds. When someone says “I’m nerding out” by putting on glasses I want to share with  them the pain and suffering that Frodo and Sam felt on the slopes of Mount Doom, to have them understand the loss Kirk feels at the end of Wrath of Kahn, to make them know the withdrawal you feel when you realize there is only half a season of Firefly, to give them the frustration that I feel when a season of Sherlock ends and I also want to share with them the wonder of taking your first trip in the Tardis and the pure giddiness when the Avengers finally assemble. Then I will ask “Who is really nerding out?”.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to call myself a nerd at first but now it’s something I am proud of. Everyone should feel proud to be a nerd. Many people are unaware that there is a group of people, constantly growing bigger, who call themselves nerds and do not appreciate being stereotyped. So I believe that we have to spread the word. We have to tell people that nerds are real and are going to continue to be real as long as there are books and movies and shows to love. I’m sure that when people know what a nerd is they will realize that many of them are also nerds in their own way and without even knowing it. So instead of having white and nerdy day lets have Nerd day, where people represent what they love and don’t have to feel embarrassed to show it. After all it’s not about what you love, just how you love it.

Send us an owl: Send us your examples of what a nerd looks like. Share it with your friends. #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike #GreyHavensYA

Bringing Fandom Fun to Your Community

we could be hereGrey Havens YA is steadily preparing for this weekend’s Real Myth and Mithril Symposium, but we are also preparing to do something else: We’re preparing to to take our programming on the road!

This summer, we will be partnering with the Lafayette Public Library in their Summer Reading Program to bring their patrons a Cosplay Workshop. In August, we will also bring them our classic Fandoms Unite programming. We are so excited to share our group’s values beyond our current borders that we’ve created a new page all about one of the ways YOU can bring Grey Havens YA to your community. Check out our new Community Programming page for more information!

Thank you for your continuous support. Being a nerd in Longmont Colorado is a pretty amazing thing right now, and we want to spread the nerd-love to as many young adults as possible– here in Boulder County and BEYOND!

Keep being awesome,
Grey Havens YA