Diana’s mom might not be into the sci-fi stuff, but my mum is the reason I am.
She’s a proper geek and has always supported me in my rampant geekery. She’s also a dead ringer for Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek Voyager‘s Captain Janeway). It’s pretty awesome.
Without further ado, here’s my interview with one of the best moms a geek could ask for: mine.
What did you grow up watching/reading/listening to?
I grew up watching original Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Dark Shadows, and more. I was also a kid during the beginning of the space-age, so we grew up watching the Gemini and Apollo missions on TV. I always liked science because your grandmother was a nurse. I thought I would grow up to be a doctor and would read your grandmother’ old nursing school books. I remember parking myself in the comic book section of the grocery store while your grandmother shopped and reading everything possible. Later on, there were re-runs of Dr. Who (Tom Baker, of course), Red Dwarf, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Rocky Horror, and alternative music.
How did you get into this stuff? Did your brothers/friends introduce you to it? Was it a family event/interest, etc.?
I’m the oldest, so I think I was a born geek. Once I learned how, I was usually reading everything I could get my hands on. Your grandparents gave me my first typewriter when I was about 8 years old so I could get ready for college! I loved going to school and was the one who went to summer school because it was fun!
What did you geek on?
Space program, biology class (especially dissection), encyclopedias, history, music. I was in the high-school band..I mean, how much more geeky could I be!
What kind of media, geeky or otherwise, influenced you growing up
TV, radio (we loved radio shows like “The Tooth Fairy” and “Chicken Man” – he’s everywhere, he’s everywhere!), books, movies. We didn’t have computers til I was an adult.
Can you tell me a favorite story or two about stuff you geeked on?
I would sneak into your grandmother’s nursing books and study skin diseases and fetal development. See also the story above, when I would read comic books while your grandmother shopped (my brothers weren’t allowed to do that because they were too rowdy). We would also gather at friend’s houses on the weekend to watch old Dr. Who on PBS – that was a great Saturday night!
What do you geek on now?
Geek Crash Course (obviously). SyFy channel (I’m a big Warehouse 13 fan), History Channel, classical music, the history of the Plague, Medieval and Renaissance history, knitting, Dr. Who, Torchwood, my Mac, iPhone, and the BBC.
Do you think your geekiness influenced mine?
Absolutely! You were doomed! From the start you were surrounded by alternative music, portable planetariums, science-based TV (Beakman, Bill Nye), creative TV (Pete & Pete, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Samurai Jack), and unusual bed-time stories (the Iliad and the Odyssey). Most of your earliest friends were geeky adults who shared their love of Dr. Who, Captain Britain, Hitch-Hikers Guide, Dune, and tons of other crazy stuff.
When you qualified for “Center for Talented Youth Camp” aka “Geek Camp”, you were gone for 3 weeks every summer developing your writing skills. We even took a “Dr. Who/Sherlock Holmes” themed vacation in London and Wales! (Ed. note: we actually stayed an extra day to watch the first episode of David Tennant’s Who era live on the BBC.) The only thing I regret is that we couldn’t arrange “Space Camp” in Alabama.
So, that’s my mum, loyal readers! Thanks to her for the interview and, you know, making me in the first place.
Hope you enjoyed this peek into the formation of the Geek Crash Course co-hosts.
Now, back to the Twilight Zone marathon!