How Science Geeks Cruise

Have you been on a cruise before? Could you tell whether your fellow passengers were Science Geeks? Probably not. Just finished my very first cruise. That was quite an experience. As I hobnobbed with other cruisers over the final breakfast before debarking, we shared favorite moments and souvenirs. Differences became evident.

This is how Science Geeks cruise (well, at least, this is how this Science Geek cruises).

You know, I look like the other cruisers. I dress like them. I eat when they eat (actually, more often), dance when they dance, and go on excursions like they do, but as we fished our keepsakes out of our bags and proudly displayed them on the table, it became glaringly obvious— I wasn’t really one of them after all.
I’m a Science Geek. You know my people. They’re grouped under the heading, “Oddballs”. We see the world through Science-colored glasses (which is why it’s so cool to us). Within our group, we still find each other odd. Physicists believe all science is based on Physics >snicker<. Chemists are blown away by Chemistry >smirk<. And me? I belong in the Biology camp, where empirical data collectors >snort< have no clue why the rest of us adhere to the “Ooh, pretty” view of science. This is obviously the proper outlook—it ties all sciences together with the wonder and magnificence of the incredibly complex natural world…I’m just saying.
Here is the cruise version of the Geek-Mainstreamer Gap, the famous GMG. (Okay, I made that up, but you know it exists. Think about high school.)

  • The other cruisers had lovely earrings carved out of black coral from Belize and polished to perfection. I had an untreated piece of black coral in its natural form, complete with an embedded shell.
  • They had beautiful gem jewelry purchased duty free at the port. I had a unique river rock, red and green patches striated by white intrusions (“lines” for the non-geeks), which I found while on my way to a Mexican cave.
  • They found their mineral treasures shopping in air-conditioned stores. I found mine while trekking in the rain forest with a huge inner tube on my shoulder.
  • They had dozens upon dozens of selfies and group snapshots stored in their cell phones. I had a picture of some sunbeams streaming through cloud formations, turquoise water in Grand Cayman, a lizard the size of my pinky, a heron, and a couple of especially cute pictures of Beloved on his first cruise.
  • They had deeply discounted bottles of alcohol. I had a chunk of white coral I found on the beach in Roatan.
  • They attended a musical worthy of Broadway performed by the Carnival Cruise Dancers. I sat on a deck enjoying the evening breeze while I tried to identify constellations. I found Taurus the Bull guarding Pleiades, the Seven Sisters from Orion the Hunter, and his faithful dog Sirius. Oddly, Orion and his famous belt appeared upside-down from their Connecticut position. Totally cool!

Yup, my flip flops and beach wrap were not enough to make me mainstream. But that’s okay. I’m a Geek and I’m proud. I can appreciate our differences, but I wouldn’t trade me for anything.
To you younger Geeks out there who wish you could blend in better…I want you to know being unique is fun! We see the world differently, and they have a hard time keeping up with us. I hope you learn to revel in your Geekiness. Personally, I don’t mind the others being different. They can’t help it if they’re not of the Geek persuasion. They still can be fun to hang with on a cruise. I have a decent selfie of me and them on my cell phone I can show you.

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