There are countless stereotypes that exist in our world, and being a socially awkward geek (or nerd or dork, whichever you might prefer) is one of the more popular ones these days. I just finished watching the first two episodes the latest season of The Big Bang Theory, and I can’t help but think of how far the guys have gone in terms of social skills. On the one hand, we all know that the show is full of stereotypes that they can’t possibly be that accurate in real life, can they? On the other hand, you probably know a guy or two who just might be as socially incapable as Sheldon Cooper (maybe not that bad). The sad thing is that in real life, people may not be as tolerant.
Enter The Gemini Project. This is a program that the University of Minnesota has created in order to produce well rounded engineers. Now I am not making a blanket statement that all engineers are socially handicapped, but based on experience, there is that tendency. The program might sound silly and even crazy, but for those real-life Rajs, it might be a heaven sent!
The program will have 11 classes in total, each class focusing on a different topic. The classes will now be offered every semester, so that those who have a need for the program will have the chance to participate. The topics range from leadership to office politics to teamwork. Honestly, I think that even those believe that they are sociable enough ought to take a look at the classes. Maybe they can pick up a thing or two – engineer or not! Oh, the best thing about these classes are that they do not cost a single cent. I think it’s brilliant. Who would want to say that they paid to learn some social skills anyway?
The only thing lacking, I think, is offering programs of a similar nature to those who are not engineering students or those who may already be out of school but need some guidance anyway. Still, it’s pretty cool to see an educational institution pay more attention to the personal/social side, which in itself is not a new concept – check out the Neumont geeks.
For more information on the classes and program details, visit The Gemini Project’s web site.