The room was abuzz with anticipation. David-Bowie-loving con guests talked amongst themselves, excitedly trading ideas about what would be discussed at a panel about Bowie’s influence over the genres they love.
Then the panelists began singing “The Man Who Sold the World.” It only took a few lines before the audience joined in, turning a simple, beige conference room into a wonderland of magical notes.
As the first verse came to a close in the transformed room, the panel began. The panel moderator, Evan J. Peterson (author and teacher), introduced himself, followed by Grace Moore (podcaster), and Sara Depp (musician).
Evan explained that the panel would focus on Bowie’s influence on visual content, such as film and television, although his music would be touched upon as well.
It’s time to get to know another GeekGirlCon staffer! This month, we are talking to Torrey Stenmark, who is an expert in all sorts of geeky endeavors, from gaming to chemistry. Torrey also has some serious skills when it comes to cosplay–she has won numerous awards for her works! Find out about her below.
Who are you and what do you do at GeekGirlCon?
I am Torrey Stenmark, the DIY Science Zone Assistant Manager. I’ve also served on the Programming Selection Committee in past years.
What do you do for your day job/when you’re not being awesome as a GGC staffer?
I teach chemistry (introductory, general, and organic) at Shoreline Community College.
Have you always considered yourself a geek?
At least since college. I’m sure I would have been classified as a geeky or nerdy kid, but I owned the term in college. Back in high school I was a theater kid, which is not quite the same thing.
What sort of geeky things do you like to do in your spare time?
I make and wear science fiction and superhero costumes! I’ve won awards in local and national costume contests. I also volunteer with a couple of costumed charities, in which we dress up to raise money for children’s causes or to visit schools and hospitals. There’s a very special joy in demonstrating to young girls that they can be superheroes too, or showing all kids that they can be both superheroes and princesses.
Written by GeekGirlCon Twitter Administrator Kristine Hassell
Join us this Saturday, June 3rd at Barnes & Noble South Center for a free Wonder Woman Day Celebration with costumes, fun activities, and a panel discussion, “Wonder Woman IRL”. You can RSVP online, right now!
A percentage of your purchases in-store on Saturday (or online June 3rd to 8th) will be donated to GeekGirlCon when you use the code 12164679.
What Wonder Woman Means To Me
When I was a kid, there was one television channel I could to watch without parental supervision and that was the local PBS affiliate. I absorbed all the classics: Sesame Street, Electric Company, Vegetable Soup, Doctor Who, Monty Python… okay, the last two weaseled their way in there when my mother wasn’t paying close attention to my media consumption. So believe me when I tell you that it was a big deal when my mother let me watch Wonder Woman.
If you are of a certain age, there is a good chance that you did what I used to do, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. You might have painstakingly fashioned a tiara and bracelets out of aluminum foil, and used a red marker to make the stars just right. You might have borrowed a bedsheet to wear as a cape and lastly, you might have found something that resembled a gold lasso to complete the ensemble. If you were me, you begged your mother to buy the fancy cord remnant that you found at the fabric store. Then every week, you donned your makeshift superhero costume and you were ready for the show to come on. Those animated stars exploded across the screen and that theme song kicked in!
What comes to mind when you think about Wonder Woman: the comic, the show, the cartoon, the movie? I see all those things and more. I think about what she represents to me and in turn, to others. I recall the statuesque and jaw-droppingly beautiful Lynda Carter blocking bullets with her bracelets, leaping off buildings, or spinning that iconic twirl to transform from Diana Prince into Wonder Woman. In case you were wondering, why I described my wardrobe ritual, when Diana twirled to change, I did so right along with her without fail. I’d fling the bedsheet off, whip my hair back and forth, emerging excited for the rest of the episode to see her battling against that week’s villain.
Who created the Wonder Woman twirl? End of blog has that answer… (source)
I recall the animated versions of her from the Super Friends (with all its renames and spin-offs), Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. Side tangent for a little GeekGirlCon ‘14 trivia: in the JL/JLU universe, Wonder Woman was voiced to perfection by one of our former GeekGirlCon contributors, Susan Eisenberg! Yup, pretty cool stuff! The JL/JLU Wonder Woman held her own when fighting against Superman, had a great friendship with Hawkgirl, and was easily one of the best parts of that entire animated universe.
In the wake of its season 13 finale, I can’t help but feel as enamored with Grey’s Anatomy as I did when I first committed myself to the Shonda Rhimes way of life a mere five years ago during my sophomore year of high school. My relationship with the show has been steady and enduring—nothing at all like those I’ve had with practically every other TV show I’ve ever loved and, at times, hated. Grey’s represents everything I’ve come to love about storytelling and, more specifically, storytelling by and for women.
This is a great era to be a Black geek. Communities like Black Nerd Problems and Black Girl Nerds are catering to a population that has always been present but traditionally ignored within geek circles. Recent films like Dope and TV shows Atlanta are also celebrating the Black nerd (or “blerd”) and giving us a new type of hero for the 21st century: young African-Americans with high IQs, awkwardness, and a penchant for sticky situations. Sleight continues with this movement. The protagonist, Bo, is every geek’s superhero, endowed with little more than intelligence, a good dose of desperation, and, of course, STEM!
“Hey Staffer, Whatcha Geekin’ About?” is a new monthly column highlighting the interests and hobbies of GeekGirlCon staffers and Board of Directors. Find out about what makes us tick, what excites us, and what we’re really like when we’re not trying to run a convention.
I am my most geeky when I’m thinking about Harry Potter; this is an objective truth about me. And so, when I saw that there was going to be a panel entirely about Harry Potter and critical approaches to considering it, I planned my entire con weekend around attending it.
Robyn began the conversation by proposing that the blood status metaphor—one of the key themes in Harry Potter—is not quite as overt as we all may like to think. While the allusion JK Rowling draws to race in our world via blood status in the Wizarding World is obvious to many PoC readers, it’s not necessarily clear to everyone. This affects how race is discussed throughout the fandom and how readers, especially those of marginalized identities, are able (and allowed) to engage with the story.
Over the past couple of years, I have become gradually more and more disenchanted by YouTube. I’m sure you understand the feeling. I’ve recently curated my subscription feed to better reflect this sense of apathy. What’s left is an odd collection: the daily vlogs of queer millennials, Sexplanations, and makeup videos.
In the late 1990s, I rushed over to my best friend Haley’s house so we could watch Sailor Moon every morning before school. Her favorite Sailor Scout was Sailor Venus, and I swore that I was the reincarnation of Sailor Neptune as we both swam and played the violin (I even dyed the tips of my hair turquoise as an homage to Michiru years later, which was pretty edgy when I was fifteen). We were also obsessed with Pokemon, slightly less obsessed with Digimon, and weirdly addicted to a short-lived anime about hamsters called Hamtaro. We walked around with Luna and Artemis plushies and acted out some pretty “vivid” scenes from our favorite episodes. We were fearless, and it didn’t hurt that just about every other little girl we knew was in love with all of the same things.
I moved a few times after that, since my dad was in the military, but my love of anime only grew with age. By the time I was fourteen and just about to enter high school, I had a massive collection of manga, a pretty impressive knowledge of the “hit” anime series of the time (regardless of whether or not they were being shown in the states), and a budding interest in Japanese literature. At that point, I was living near Seattle, and Japanese popular culture seemed to be far more common than any other state I’d lived to date.
I have never been a very avid music listener. I connect more immediately and more deeply to art that tells complete, narrative stories. Because of this tendency (and because of a brief stint as a drama kid in high school) my love for musical music is exponentially more developed than my love for any other specific kind of music. So, naturally, when Hamilton appeared on my radar, I jumped at the chance to love something so cool and so objectively good. And, I did. I loved (and continue to love) it so intensely.