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Friday, December 4, 2009

The Not Geek Dinner

"Maybe dork would be a better word?"

I posted a little piece on London Daily Photo on the recent once-a-month Geek dinner held here in London, Ontario.

There are hundreds of daily photo sites, if not thousands, around the world and the Geek dinner evening is a perfect event to post to these forums.

In my post, I took mild umbrage at the use of the word "geek". I checked its meaning, and yes it was in my Canadian Oxford Dictionary, and the word did not describe the people at the dinner. It wasn't even close.

I received a humorous comment suggesting that maybe dork would be a better word. I laughed and read the comment to my wife who agreed but for the weirdest of reasons: when she was a teen, the kids with whom she hung-out twisted dork into a compliment.

These teens claimed, and possibly believed, that dork was a shortening of the name Dorcas, a woman in the Bible famous for her acts of kindness. A dressmaker, she made clothes for the poor in her village of Joppa.

Dorcas was a real “doer.” If she had an idea, she acted upon it. Not a wealthy woman herself, Dorcas gave not money but she gave of herself. If she thought of a way to help the needy, she immediately carried out her plan. She knew what she could do and she did it. She made clothes for widows, both young and old, for their children and for all in need in her community.

Greatly loved and respected, she busied herself with her good deeds. She did not strive to be an admired leader; She was not driven by ego. Still, in the end, she did become a leader in philanthropic causes.

When she died, the grief-stricken people of Joppa sent word to the Apostle Peter who was visiting a neighbouring town. When Peter arrived, he found Dorcas laid out for her funeral. Surrounding her were coats and other garments that she had made and freely given away over the years.

Peter looked around and saw the aged widows whose hands were too feeble to sew and too poor to pay others for their work; He saw the younger widows accompanied by children clothed by Dorcas.

Peter, his emotions touched, sent all from the room and then knelt down and prayed. God answered his prayers and Dorcas arose from the dead.

Since then, women throughout history have formed “Dorcas Societies”, holding to humanitarian ideals and engaging in various relief activities.

I don't believe these ladies, so influenced by the example set by Dorcas, were ever called Dorcs or Dorks. I think these teens were wrong. One might even say that they were being dorks but I won't.

There is a type of gazelle today called the dorcas gazelle. It seems, "Dorcas" is a female name of Greek origins, meaning "gazelle".

I like to think that these teens bounded lightly away, gazelle-like, escaping the taint of a nasty insult.

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