One word can sum up the reason why I got into podcasts: traffic. It was summer 2014, and I was living near Baltimore, Maryland. My commute would range from 40 minutes to over an hour of bumper to bumper traffic, and I was bored listening to the same four songs on the radio. The time spent in traffic felt wasted. Wasn’t there any way to utilize this time to learn something?
One day, as I was listening to NPR, I heard a promo for one of their podcasts. I didn’t know what a podcast was, but soon enough I downloaded a few episodes for my commute to work. By the end of the year I was hooked to podcasts such as 99% Invisible and This American Life. Thursday mornings became my most anticipated commutes, as that’s when Serial would post episodes.
There’s just something about libraries. No matter the time of day, I always see people browsing the shelves or picking up items on hold. Surprisingly, it’s never too loud or too quiet in the building. There’s just enough clacking of keyboards and soft conversations to remind me that there are people in the library with me, all using the space in their own way. For me, the library is an integral part of my life as a geek.
My love of libraries came from my father. He frequented the public library to use the computers, and to feed my never satiated hunger for something to read. Under the dim fluorescent lights I read classics like Black Beauty and The Black Stallion, and found great fantasy novels such as Tamara Pierce’s Wild Magic (surprise, I had a thing for horses). Most of these books were brought back quite late, and I have memories of paying my late fees in change. No matter how inconvenient, the library workers would take my change with a smile, and always encouraged me to come back for more books.
In middle school, I found something else to read—manga. My local library didn’t carry any comics, so I stopped visiting. I started saving leftover lunch money and used it to buy a new manga every week. I ended up with my own library of manga that my friends would borrow from, and even had a notebook to keep track of my books! After I graduated from high school, my money situation changed. I could no longer afford to buy shiny new manga every week for myself. I stopped looking for new series because I could not legally access them. The geekiness inside of me faded into the background as I struggled to figure out other parts of my life.
I don’t remember too many details from my first visit to my local King County library. I think I had just moved to Washington State, was bored, and wanted to sit somewhere with air conditioning. I didn’t know what to expect when I entered the building. Would I be there only person there? Would it be like the dimly lit library of my youth? I stepped in, and was shocked—the place was packed! Every corner of the building was in use, from study rooms to public computers. Some people were just sitting in a comfy chair and enjoying the view from the large windows. Others browsed the shelves, looking for a book cover to inspire them.
And you know what I found? Manga! The library had a whole section of beautiful manga! I stood in front of the shelves, a big grin on my face. I could finally read all the manga and comics I wanted without going broke. At last, I could feed my inner geek again.
I now visit the library several times a month to borrow all sorts of media. Through the library I watched Westworld and Star Trek: Discovery, two TV series that are only available through a subscription service. When I need a new crafting project, I’ll browse the crafting section in nonfiction. Manga-wise, I finished Fruits Basket, and am now tackling all of CLAMP’s works.
No matter your fandom, you’ll find something for your inner geek at your local library.
We asked you, our community, to GiveBIG last Wednesday—and you responded in a big way. You helped us make GiveBIG 2019 our most successful year EVER by raising the staggering amount of $16,358! From every fiber of our being, we thank you for supporting GeekGirlCon!
As our staff is 100% volunteer, each dollar you donated directly impacts GeekGirlCon’s development and longevity. Because of your generosity, we’re able to
continue offering year-round programming;
create a welcoming, safe environment for people of all backgrounds, races, sexualities, genders, abilities, etc.;
improve and expand our equity work;
host our annual convention; and
share your world with the world!
Thank you for entrusting us with your donations. We’ll use it to pull off the best GeekGirlCon yet!
Distinguished blog readers, children of all ages — ENGAGE is proud to present The Gauntlet 2019! Gather round Mox Boarding House Bellevue on May 19th to marvel as Team GeekGirlCon dazzles the audience with their extraordinary gaming skills!
The Gauntlet is an invitation-only 8+ hour tournament, consisting of tabletop games from a variety of genres, plus trivia. This year, 16 teams will compete for the shiny Gauntlet trophy.
Our team is excited to play games and raise funds to benefit El Centro de la Raza (The Center for People of All Races), which serves as a voice for the Latinx and immigrant communities in Seattle and King County. Since 1972, El Centro de la Raza has built unity across racial and economic sectors, empowered the most vulnerable and marginalized populations and strives to provide justice to all peoples. From education and youth-focused programs to community building and development, they offer services to aid the Seattle community and beyond throughout all stages of life.
If you can’t make it to the event itself, consider making a donation to our team! Your donations will benefit El Centro de la Raza in their efforts to bring after school programming for low-income middle school children. Giving through our donation page will also unlock power-ups to aid our team in the Gauntlet. We’d love to win that shiny Gauntlet trophy!
GeekGirlCon has this magic ability to bring out the creativity in all of its participants. From con-goers to panelists, GeekGirlCon lets us share our thoughts, ideas, and amazing sewing skills through costumes and programming. One particular place where the creativity magic is highly concentrated is our Exhibitor space, and we want YOU to be a part of it!
GeekGirlCon ‘19 is happening on Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17 at the Conference Center in downtown Seattle. You can purchase passes right now at these early bird prices. Don’t delay, as prices will go up after April 15.
Kids 0-5: Free
Kids 6-12: $10.00
Sunday Pass: $25.00
Saturday Pass: $25.00
Weekend Pass: $40.00
Each year, we strive to make GeekGirlCon a super-cool experience filled with excitement, education, and fun for all. It’s a mix of meetups, panel discussions, fun science experiments, gaming demos, and a lot of cosplay. I’m getting excited just writing about it! Save a few dollars for the Exhibitor’s Hall, and buy your passes right now at the early bird price.
We are 252 days away from the con. Are you excited?
It was a persevering Mars rover, one who would inspire countless memories for those who worked with it and analyzed its data. Right up until NASA scientists lost contact with it, Opportunity (or as many called it, Oppy) drove far and beyond what we thought capable on the Marian landscape.
Are you still mulling over a panel discussion from GeekGirlCon 2018? Perhaps you’re excited about a new book that features a strong female character? We at GeekGirlCon like to write about all sorts of topics, but we can’t cover it all. We need your help to fill this blog with diverse voices about pop culture, STEM, or even personal anecdotes. How can you help? By writing for us, of course!
Last week Seattle hosted the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society. That meant that hundreds of America’s leading astronomers were in town last week! I was lucky enough to catch a few free presentations from some of these researchers at the latest Astronomy on Tap, and learned how I could help astronomers through citizen science initiatives.