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Epbot Exemplars

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Here's something I've wanted to start for ages, and this week I finally decided to buckle down and just DO IT already.

Nearly every day I get these amazing stories in my inbox about young geek girls being PROUD young geek girls, and it makes me so gosh-darned happy I could pop. I've shared a few with you guys before - Katie being the most notable - and each time I do I hear how vastly encouraging it is for other girls to see their peers loving the same stuff they love, unashamedly.

So in that spirit, I'm starting new series of posts called the Epbot Exemplars. (I know it's a mouthful, but it just sounds so GRAND, don't you think?) 


I'll be featuring mostly young geek girls - although I won't rule out featuring boys or adults now and then - with a little snippet about what geeky things they love and how they express it. It could be just a picture and quote, or it could be a whole story. I might feature a few at a time, or just one every few weeks, or abandon the idea entirely if you guys hate it. (Can you tell I'll be making this up as I go along? Ha!)

So without further ado, let's meet our first official Exemplars:


This is five-year-old Hayden:


As you can see, Hayden LOVES Star Wars. Her mom, Brandi, wrote to tell me what happened when Hayden picked out that Star Wars lunch box and thermos for her first day of Kindergarten:

"Being the concerned parent," Brandi said, "I told her that some people may tease her for having a 'boy's' lunchbox and if that happens, what will she do? 

"Without hesitation, she looked me dead in the eye and said, 'I'll tell them I love Star Wars, it's awesome, and I can use a light saber!'"

(If you heard something just then, that was just me cry-cheering over here. Don't mind me.)


This is eleven-year-old Zahava:


Zahava wrote to me herself, saying, "I really liked all the steampunk costumes on epbot, so I thought I would try to make my own steampunk fairy costume for Halloween."

(Yep, you read that right; she put this costume together herself!)

"The goggles were a pair of plastic giant glasses. I used a headband for the strap, and used a paper towel roll covered in brown fabric and cut to make the back of the goggles, with the padding from headphones on the end."


"The wings I painted with some bronze on the edges and straps, added a buckle, and used painted  boxes with buttons hot glued to them for the box on the back and the one attached with curled wire. the rest of the costume was either thrift store finds or borrowed. Thanks for reading my letter!"

What's this? A budding crafter/cosplayer?? BE STILL MY HEART. 


And finally, this is ten-year-old Hannah:


Hannah's mom Nicole describes her as a "voracious reader, enthusiastic geek, and avid Whovian." Hannah made herself a TARDIS backpack, and excitedly chose glasses in "TARDIS blue." For Halloween she dressed as "Doctor Jenny" (hat tip!), and "pored over each episode looking for all the silly tools used, and put together a hip-pouch of fun stuff: psychic paper, tardis key, metal-quote necklace of 'time is a...big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff', 3-D glasses, water pistol, slingshot, and more."

None of Hannah's friends know Doctor Who, and no one recognized her on Halloween. But don't go feeling sorry for her, because Hannah was having a timey-wimey blast. Nicole writes,  

"One of the beauties of the internet is the ability to connect those who wouldn't ever cross paths in real life. Sure, Hannah doesn't have friends who share her geekish interests...but, they find other connections. She can enjoy the episodes knowing that others, around the world, also enjoy it. "
 
Young geeks reveling in the things they love, taking comfort in knowing they have a world-wide community just a computer away? Now that's Exemplary. 

Plus, Hannah already has her costume planned out for next year:  Han(nah) Solo.  (HIGH FIVE!!)

 *******


I hope you guys enjoyed the new feature, guys, and I hope you'll read these with your own little geeklings, should you have any!

Oh, and for more geeky greatness, be sure to check out Superheroes are for girls, too!  - a Tumblr blog Chrissy G. sent it. But trust me, YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE CUTE.


PS - If you'd like to nominate an Exemplar, please at least try to keep your e-mails brief [smirk], remember to include a photo or two, and also tell me your children's names and ages. Odds are you won't get a reply - I'm swimming in e-mail already! -  but please know that I *am* reading and enjoying everything you send in!

Posted by Jen at 3:00 PM Labels: , ,

49 comments:

  1. Love this feature already--don't abandon it!

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  2. Just. So. Cool.

    Zahava's costume is one that I would love to wear myself (in an adult-shaped version, obviously). In fact, it's really inspired me; I love simplicity but I hadn't ever figured out how to make that work with steampunk. If any elements of her ideas make it into any of my costumes, I will tell everyone to check out the amazing original.

    Also, Hayden's attitude is fabulous, and Hannah is totally rocking that look!

    What a great feature, I look forward to more. Wish this kind of thing had been around when I was a geeklet.

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  3. First time commenter here- I love this new feature! I've been meaning to comment here for some time regarding an organization that helps to empower young women- I thought it sounded right up the EPBOT alley. It is called Hardy Girls Healthy Women and is doing amazing things for young women. They started out in Central Maine and I see their influence expanding rapidly!

    Hardy Girls Healthy Women

    Thanks for considering it- I think it ties in really well with these amazing young women!

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  4. I love the new feature! All of the girls look fabulous. And wow, Zahava made her costume herself? Be sure to link to her blog when she starts one, ok? ;)
    Very inspirational, I look forward to many more!

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  5. SO AWESOME. Zahava's costume is FABulous! Hannah, I was The Doctor for halloween this year, too! I went as Ten-as-a-Lady. Hayden-excellent response, girl!

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  6. This is a brilliant idea! I can't wait to see more!

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  7. Looking forward to the other exemplars that will be coming in the future - girls, guys and grown-ups alike!

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  8. Yeah, you are going to need to keep this feature! Amazing young ladies like these need an awesome place to shine.

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  9. So cute Jen, love this feature! I too have very few Whovian friends around me so reference opportunities are missed (sniff) but I LOVE the show and love knowing I can reach out to a community of Whovians. Keep it up!!

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  10. Love it! Made me proud to be a geek girl, knowing that there are geeklings growing up with passion for all things geeky! Wish I had known other geeklings growing up! Darn you internet for nor being invented earlier! (oh gosh...is that the step before the "get off my lawn" rants? *sigh*...I'm getting old, but at least I won't grow up!)

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  11. Love it! What a cool segment, I'll look forward to more :)

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  12. These girls are great. And the costumes!
    Awesome.

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  13. Fantastic feature! So excited to read about these (and future)geeks!

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  14. As a somewhat older geek girl (who spent Hallowe'en dressed as Anakin Skywalker when I was 13) I had to comment to say how awesome all those girls are! Especially Zahava's costume skills - she looks like she should be the heroine of a YA steampunk novel!

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  15. Love it! My girls would know who Doctor Who is, though they'd probably argue who was the better Doctor and companion. LOL.

    On the Star Wars front, my oldest is named after Mara Jade from the books. My youngest likes playing "adventure" type games on the playground with the boys and came home one day upset because the boys said Star Wars wasn't for girls. I told her to tell them, "My sister is named after Luke Skywalker's wife. She was a bad guy and worked for the Emperor, but became a Jedi." The boys told her she could play. :)

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  16. Awesomeness. Anyone dressed in dr who inspired gear is good by me!

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  17. Not a girl, but my son decided waaaay back in March that he was going to be the 10th Doctor for Halloween this year. I rounded up a suit, he got his Sonic Screwdriver for his birthday in May, and even had me (temporary) dye his blond hair brown. Not a soul knew who he was; he took great pleasure in saying, in his best British accent, "I'm the Doctor!" and when people would say, "Doctor who?" he would say, "Yes!"

    My boy is 10 and had the best time this Halloween. It makes me smile to know how happy he was being the Doctor!

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  18. "Epbot Exemplars" is a great idea! My 8 year old granddaughter has been a werewolf most of her life and thinks she might like being a geek and so do I! Her loving Nana

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  19. My 2-yr-old is already way too geeky for her father to handle. He asked me for a translation of something she was telling him: "TARDIS go bye-bye!" Boy, did that get an eyeroll and a frowny face. Do I care, tho?! Nope! I'm gonna raise her right! ;-)

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  20. Jen you are wonderfull and I love this. Please continue.

    Regards Nadia

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  21. Every single one of them made me tear up! Such smart and brave girls! And getting recognized on Halloween is a crapshoot - almost no one knew my little girl was a Lalaloopsy character, and I heard someone ask if my older girl, who was dressed as Wonder Woman, was supposed to be an American Gladiator. LOL

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  22. Brandi's comment about worrying about kids making fun of her daughter for her choice of lunch box reminds me of me and my son. He loves pink, would prefer to play with girls, wants a doll house for Christmas, and is the only boy in his ballet class (he's four years old). I figure that he'll get enough criticism from everywhere else. At least at home, I can support him and his interests. But it is hard because I know the kids will make fun of him for what he likes (especially if he continues liking dolls and ballet), but I think it's more important for him to know it's okay to like those things.

    And way to go Hayden for knowing the best way to respond if they do make fun. I wish I had known that at such a young age. I always got defensive, believing I had to defend my opinion and if the other person didn't agree, then somehow there was something wrong with me and I had a stupid opinion. I know now it doesn't matter if others like it. I can still like it. I hope my kids learn how to respond just like Hayden.

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  23. Oh my goodness, I love this feature already!! My four year old daughter has geeky tendencies and I love it! She gets upset if she finds out I watch Doctor Who without her, she loves superheroes, and loves to watch Star Trek/Star Wars/so much more. :) I really hope you decide to keep Epbot Exemplars. :)

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  24. Love the new Epbot Exemplars feature! Seeing kids be proud of who they are and proud of what they like somehow gives me permission to be little more secure in who I am and what I like. Thanks for the cool new feature - can't wait to see more!

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  25. I LOVE this. My own little geek girl is an unabashed superhero fan. She even refers to Ironman as "my superhero". I love the showcase of young girl doing their thing. Keep it up!

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  26. I have to thank you for this. I think all girls need the encouragement, inspiration and an outlet for geekery! Hayden is my daughter and as an update, she WAS Leia for Halloween and absolutely rocked it! Her older sister is just as "geeky" and I guarantee you it came honestly from me and their father! I am so grateful for the positive influences the Internet has granted in this day and age! Oh, and as a side note - Hayden is thrilled that Leia is officially a Disney princess now!!!

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  27. Jen, this really hit home for me I love the idea. I grew up with mostly boys as friends because I was into the same things they were (Batman, Star Trek, X-Men, etc) and always felt like there weren't any girls that understood me. I would have loved to have had access to something like this to feel a little less like the outsider. I learned later that being yourself no matter what brings an awesome mix of people into your life (my husband included) and am so glad to see you're helping to promote individuality. Now with my own 2 year old daughter, who plays with Ninja Turtles and Batman and wants Santa to bring her a dragon for Christmas, I want to be sure she understands it's ok to like whatever you want! There's no rule book somewhere that says girls (or boys, I have a 6 month old son too) have to only like certain things. You have become an inspiration in our home Jen, at first just in crafty decor, but now in lessons in life as well. Keep it up! I hope to be reading these posts to my kids when they're old enough to understand (no pressure ;-) ).
    Nikki T

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  28. Love this idea! Please keep this feature. I might just submit my own 12 year old daughter. She made me so proud tonight when she was loving Sheldon's gift to Amy on "Big Bang Theory" (a complete set of ST:TNG on DVD).

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  29. i love the idea! i'm a fellow nerdy girl (woman actually) and i love knowing that there are others out there who love geeky-nerdiness as much as i do and aren't ashamed of it. please keep this feature, it's such a positive form of validation, especially in this age of bullying. my hats off to the first class of epbot exemplars!

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  30. This made me mist up a little, what a great feature :). They're all so adorable!

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  31. Love this! It is great to see someone celebrating these young people! Hayden reminds me of my niece and her love of superheroes. She has never shown much interest in dolls, but has a huge collection of action heroes and has been spider man for several Halloweens.

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  32. i love this!! we are currently watching a two year old and his 4 month old brother while their parents are at work so i taught him how to respond to "who ya gonna call" to which he happily exclaims "Ghost blusters!" i tried to teach him spok's hand thing and after several failed attempts he looked directly at me (or as directly as you can when your being pushed in a swing) and said "its too hard ha-ha" (yep he calls me ha-ha) i assured him he would get it with time and a few months later my 10-year-old sister said she still couldn't do it but after a few frusterated grrs and finger prying she got it and said "LOOK I DID IT!!!" i couldn't help but love these little geeky moments of mine

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  33. Trippy moment here--I think I may have been Zahava's gymnastics teacher 4 years ago when I was living on the East Coast. I remember her being super sweet!

    Also, this is a great idea, Jen. :)

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  34. I love the new feature! I was one of those girls once, and now my daughter is too. She's a st:TNG freak who has everything twice (can't wait to show her "make it sew") and is a recent convert to Star Wars. She loves to sew and to wear costumes...future displayed!

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  35. Oh My Gosh! I want to high-five each of those girls! They make me so proud to be a geek girl, and not being afraid of showing off what you love!

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  36. If I could have been certain that my kid would come out even half as awesome as these girls, I'd have had some when I had the chance. GREAT JOB, GIRLS! And lots of love from and old nerdgirl, who had to endure a lot of hassle for liking nerdy stuff in the 70s and 80s; be PROUD to be who you are! :)

    Cheers, and big hugs,

    Storm

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  37. Love it!

    *high fives all around*

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  38. Oh my gosh yes! Please do this again!

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  39. I love this feature - we get to see awesome young geeks that give me back faith in the future generation, and they get peers and role models for support and inspiration.

    Jen, you are a true Exemplar. <3

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  40. I'm so proud of these girls! I remember being in preschool and working so hard on my cheetara costume and none of my friends got it. We had a costume parade around the school and still no one got it. Everyone kept asking why that cat was holding her tail, did it fall off?
    Needless to say after that i felt like i needed to hide all my nerdy coolness to fit in.
    Now my husband and I are talking about starting our family, and I'm so glad there are brave little girls to pave the way for other nerds and geeks. And hopefully i can pass down my rocking cheetara costume to our future kids.

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  41. Hayden, know that there is a 20-something college student in California who is JEALOUS BEYOND WORDS of your Star Wars thermos. You are the coolest five-year-old ever.

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  42. Love it, love it, love it! Girl geeks unite! :D

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  43. I LOVE this idea and hope you keep it going. Your first set of Exemplars are awesome!

    Andrea

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  44. Hmmm, I wonder if I can commission Zahava to make ME a steampunk fairy costume. Seriously, I'm SO impressed by her, that she came up with that all by herself. And Hannah, even though I'm not a Whovian, I know I would have recognized your costume in a second! All three girls are terrific. I can't wait for more Exemplars!

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  45. Great idea!!! Please keep it up.

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  46. I LOVE this new feature. My 6-year-old has been a superhero for the past three Halloweens. This year she went as Robin and her daddy went as Batman. She was a little worried that she'd be the only female Robin out there, but we ran into at least three more while we were trick-or-treating. It's so good to see girls embracing geekdom!

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  47. So awesome! I have a son who is in love with things that his friends just don't get. I love that he can connect to people all over the world to share in his love of geek.
    But being a geeky gal myself, I understand how important it is to foster the geek love just a tad more for the girls out there.
    I'm hoping that in my lifetime I will see a generation who just doesn't care whether you are a boy or girl when it comes to ALL things.
    Thanks for shining the spotlight!

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  48. Great job.
    I wish I had this when I was young. Hiding geekiness as a youngen' meant it took me a lot longer to be okay to be myself.
    Keep up the excellent work.
    That steam punk fairy outfit is to die for.
    And the Doctor Jenny! OMG!! I knew Jenny would come back somewhere!
    My jealousy over the Star Wars collection is so, so great.
    All brilliant.

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