Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee

From Awkward to Awesome

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For those of us who grew up in the 80s and early 90s, the brainy Encyclopædia Britannica kid from the tv commercial was an iconic image of what a nerdy kid looked and sounded like. For those of us who *were* nerdy kids in the 80s, it was an extremely familiar image. (I certainly had the big glasses.)

It’s likely no surprise that my Geek Parenting coauthor, Stephen H. Segal, was also a nerd; and when he was young, he shared enough of a physical resemblance to the Encyclopædia Britannica kid (played by Donavan Freberg), that he was quite often mistaken for the awkward commercial know-it-all.

Much later, Stephen met and befriended his adolescent doppelgänger, and Donavan turned out to be a kindred spirit. We hear enough about how people fall from great heights and notoriety, but sometimes the story is better than that. Sometimes people take the gifts they have been given and work to make this world better and more beautiful.

Click here to read Stephen’s blog post about how “This iconic geek kid “had a report due on space.” Spoiler alert: He grew up to be awesome.

(Be sure to also follow the link in the story to read the entire interview with Donavan about his legendary comedian/ advertising creative director father, Stan Freberg.)

I love the way that Donavan’s story shows how creating a space for your kids to figure out who they are can help them to eventually embrace their authentic selves. It’s a valuable reminder, and it’s a really good story.

donavan

Author: Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and STICKS & BONES, as well as the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Born and raised in Chicago, Valya received her degree in English at DePaul University and her MFA in Writing as part of the inaugural class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since receiving her MFA, Valya has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, internal communications specialist, co-producer of an independent feature film, and Goth cocktail waitress.

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