I love to learn. This came in handy during my college years, but, for a long time, I was at a loss for what to do with this energy post-academia. My love for learning didn’t disappear the day I graduated from university, and yours probably didn't either.
There are millions of people out there just like us — satiating a hunger for knowledge with less-than-productive Wikipedia binges. But what else can we do? I’d rather spend too many hours online than add another penny to my student debt.
It wasn’t until I moved to New York in 2009 and found Nerd Nite that I realized just how many post-academia learners are out there. As cliché as it is: finding Nerd Nite was like finding a home. Nerd Nite, in its driest form, is a monthly lecture series featuring two or three presentations by formal or non-formal experts on a variety of topics. Nerd Nite, in practice, is a boozy fact-fest.
In-between the 20-minute presentations, an audience of the overly-curious and fun-loving have an opportunity to socialize and, very importantly, drink. All while digesting topics ranging from the evolution of Wesley Crusher’s sweaters on Star Trek: The Next Generation to the ethical implications of killing zombies. So long, at-home Wiki-binges, hello, new nerd friends!
When I moved to Denver in January of this year, I knew the one element of my NYC life I was unwilling to give up was the community of casual learners I’d found at Nerd Nite. Nerd Nites happen in more than 80 cities around the world, so I decided to co-found a Denver-based Nerd Nite. And I couldn’t be happier with the reception we’ve received from the Denver community. Our inaugural Nerd Nite, “Zombies and Supercomputers,” took place on May 14 and was an enormous success, completely busting the seams of our venue!
There is no barrier for entry into the Nerd Nite community. Whether you identify as a nerd, geek, or none of the above, anyone with a passion for knowledge (and a good drink) will find something to love about Nerd Nite.
If you’re in Denver and you want to get your nerd on, join me at 7 p.m. on June 24 at The Oriental Theater to learn about “The Wonders of the Universe, Language, and the Internet.” Presentations begin at 8pm, but I hope you'll come mingle first. Tickets are $5 online or $7 at the door. For tickets and more information, visit denver.nerdnite.com. Be there and be square!
p.s. If articles and websites aren’t enough to paint a picture of Nerd Nite, we were recently featured on PRI and NPR. Or, if you need a few minutes of distraction and want to see a presentation, watch the lecture on ethics and zombie killing mentioned above.
—by Sara D. Wilson
When not geeking out on social media metrics as WideFoc.us’ chief analytics and reporting guru, Sara D. Wilson can be found reading almost anything, filling up her passport, and nerding about town.