April 4, 2015 Help! I’m a Geek! Dear Brandon, I’m very smart and I love school. I really like spending my free time during lunch hanging out in math class solving extra credit problems. Yes, I’m a big geek! I feel kind of socially awkward, but would like to make friends with other kids at my school. What should I do? Matt the Math Geek Dear Matt, I don’t think you’re a big geek – I think you’re the next Steve Jobs! (Since you’re smart, I’m sure you already know this. But in case you don’t know, that’s the guy who invented the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.) I’m sure it’s no fun to feel different. But trust me, someday you’ll be glad that you challenged yourself instead of turning into a hallway zombie, like the kids who totally space out at school instead of paying attention. That being said, there’s a really good reason they give us time for lunch – it’s kind of important to eat. And not just that, it’s a good opportunity to give your brain a break and talk about less mentally taxing things, like who won the game last night. If you want a little time to work on extra credit problems, maybe you could come in early before school so you don’t have to bail on lunch anymore. And maybe you could join the math club so you have an afterschool activity that will allow you to make some new friends. If your school doesn’t have a math club, you could probably start some kind of afterschool study group, either with other kids who also love math, or with kids who need a little help. Then you won’t have to sit alone at lunch. And if you’re not feeling last night’s game as a conversation topic, you’ll have plenty of other stuff to talk about – like the latest problem solving techniques and the upcoming Solve–A–Thon. I hope this helps!