From the Archive: That’s Right. I’m a Nerd.


After years as a professional communicator, all that time working for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in some capacity, I have come to the conclusion that everyone is hiding something.

When I was a PR assistant at Hinsdale Hospital in Illinois in the early 80s, a colleague told me that I was “too transparent.” What he meant was that I am pretty much the same person all the time. I don’t put on airs–too much–when I am in professional circles, and am not sure I would know how to do that. The other problem that I have is that I talk too much.

Just the fact that I write a blog that shares what’s going on in my pointy little head tells you something of my transparency. If you are working in public relations, this flies against the logic of success that tells you that you are supposed to reflect your organization and not really be an individual. One VP in Hinsdale didn’t want to give me a promotion because I wore a cowboy hat to work in cold weather. Bad idea in Illinois.

But being an individual and being open and transparent about it works well for the life of a writer. As the old saying goes, “I worried what people thought about me when I was 20, I stopped worrying what people thought about me when I was 40, and when I got to 60 I realized they hadn’t been thinking about me at all.”

So here’s my deep, dark secret: I am a closet gamer. Preferably MMORPGs. I played Everquest for five years. When an online friend found out that I was a university professor, he was shocked. He said, “I figured that professors would have more important things to do.” Well, we do, but that’s not to say I really want to do them. After Everquest came several years’ hiatus, then I played Age of Conan for about six months. I loved it, but as usual, real life came and sucked the life out of me. Most recently–for about the past week–I have been playing Lord of the Rings Online. I like it because it’s free, mostly.

Notice the trend. All three games have elves, dwarves, and the latest one has hobbits. In fact, I play a hobbit on the Brandywine server for LOTRO. It’s fun, but I have learned not to get in too deep. One of the big reasons why I quit Everquest and Age of Conan is that you get to a certain level and you have to start grouping with others on a regular basis to continue. And inevitably that grouping comes in the evenings. I did evening raids when I was in Everquest, and found it a constant pull between being with friends online, and spending time with my wife and daughter. My family won, I am happy to say.

So I will probably play LOTRO for the rest of the summer, but will pull the plug when school starts. And the nice thing about it being free is that I can let it sit for a long time without feeling like I am wasting any money.

So there. You know everything there is to know about me. I actually never grew up.

Of course, if I was the type that were to act like an adult, I probably would have been an accountant.

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