Tag Archives: Elizabeth Parsons

The Nerd in My Class

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

—Dalai Lama

Today’s story is contributed by Elizabeth Parsons

I was one of the cool kids growing up. No prom queen. No belle of the ball. But no reject either.

The nerd in the class? R.J. “Booger-face”, “Dork-dude”. Gangly, mangy and awkward — R.J. was fodder for bullies.

He had few friends. His family was poor. He couldn’t afford the Chuck Taylors, Polo Ts, and Sebagos… the trendy “icons of cool” the rest of us wore.


Liz and her brother Daniel

Teasing R.J. became the unofficial school sport. When he wasn’t the object of jokes, he was completely ignored.

I felt sorry for R.J., and was routinely polite. But I didn’t befriend him, I’m ashamed to say. Having a nerd as a friend would have been social suicide… too much for image-conscious me.

At the time, I was about to turn twelve. There were 32 kids in my class. On the invite list for my twelfth birthday party, only 28. Everyone minus R.J. and a few other “losers.”

Dad asked to see the list. “Who’s missing?” he asked (though I suspect he already knew). The nerds, I thought to myself. “Tina, Jamie, Juan, and R.J.,” I confessed. READ MORE 

The Day I Learned Parents Are Real People Too

“There was a little girl, Who had a little curl, Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, She was very good indeed, But when she was bad she was horrid.”

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Today’s story is contributed by Elizabeth Parsons.

For a time, I was the kid you prayed you didn’t get. Hard-headed. Smart-mouthed. Opinionated. Disobedient.

sister and brother

Liz (behaving for once) with her little brother Daniel

Dad? Arch enemy #1 (probably because we are so alike).

What did we fight about? Everything. Bedtime. Friends. TV shows. Madonna. (I worshipped her; Dad was not impressed).

My mission in life: to prove Dad wrong; to show I was right.

Where did I get this obstinate streak? Probably from my lawyer Dad. When he was a kid, he was a handful, too. When he didn’t get his way, he’d hold his breath until he fainted — at least I didn’t do that. READ MORE