I’ve always been a nerdy girl.
I’ve always been curious about the world around me. I was (and still am) especially fascinated with space. In third grade there was a partial solar eclipse. The night before the eclipse on the news they showed how to make a pinhole box with tin foil. I put one together that night. I had to fight my parents to stay up to finish it and I was very proud of it. I brought it to school and showed it to my teacher. I was the only kid to have one, but my teacher let me out on the playground at the appropriate time to use it. I was excited as the little dot of light began to shadow into a little crescent. I felt special to have the permission to be outside to witness it. But, I also felt very alone. There was no one to share the excitement with.
As I got older, I discovered that not only was it lonely to be a nerdy, geeky kid, but even more lonely to be a nerdy, geeky girl. Sure, the boys on my block would play with Transformers and the Atari with me, but I had to fly solo when my collection of My Little Ponies and stuffed animals saved the world along with Optimus Prime and Voltron. They just weren’t interested.
Talking Shop and Shopping
The Internet made it easier to connect with other fellow geeks and nerds but as a woman, I was a minority. I love talking about video games, music, science and technology. But sometimes I want also to talk about shoes, handbags, makeup, economics and my bizarre crushes on Werner Heisenberg and Mark Mothersbaugh; especially so with people who simultaneously want to talk about the former too.
So I said to Elizabeth Tupper, “Hey we need a women’s’ tech conference in the Twin Cities”. And not another group to join, but a conference that brought all kinds of disciplines together to cross-pollinate. After encountering several dead ends, Liz found out about She’s Geeky DC on twitter. It sounded perfect. We flew out there on our own dimes to check it out. We loved it.
Why She’s Geeky is Awesome
She’s Geeky DC was awesome because we could talk about tech and yoga together without an eye-roll. Moms brought daughters. We worked in corporations, for non-profits, for the government, for ourselves. We could talk about science and cocktails. We asked each other if management or consulting or programming was the right career path for us. We asked each other why we weren’t speaking at tech conferences. We asked each other why weren’t starting that business or following that dream. We encouraged and energized each other. And when the power went out on Saturday, we improvised!
We could talk about whatever we wanted – it was our conference.
And that’s the vision Liz and I wanted to bring back to the Twin Cities.
Just like my 3rd-grade nerdy girl self, we just want to share the excitement with other women seeking the same.
What’s more awesome is that the Science Museum of Minnesota sponsored our meeting space and all attendees will be able to stroll through the museum as well. How cool is that?
I hope you register for the event. I can’t wait to meet you and hear your stories!