This article has a lot of good points, a lot of very good points. I am happy in that after my freshman year of high school, I was able to join/organize a tribe that did fairly well to keep me sane. At that point, I'd apprenticed myself to the craft of writing, a masterless apprentice taking it where she could get it. Our nerd group was led by a smart kid who had devoted his considerable intelligence to becoming popular, but chose by preference to hang with the geeks and gamers. We rallied around him. He was, of course, That Idiot Shawn.
I think I was one of the happiest of the group, because I had a continuing project outside of school that I was working on, and I was respected for my intelligence in my classes. Most of my classes were either classes where I could work hard and be respected for my efforts, ones that I could skate through while devoting my energy to other causes, or ones where I had simply "checked out". I did not devote my energy to doing well in school, not after the seventh grade. I was not interested, and did not want to be near there with a ten foot pole. Assign me to read a large adult history book on any given time period? No problem. Give me an adult-oriented introduction to electronics class? Wonderful! Have me acting? Bring it on? Art class? Yes. I skipped math to go to art class. I ate up comparative world religions. I read ahead in English, wrote a pastiche of "The Gift of the Magi" because I wanted to a few days before writing something based on the story was assigned, and translated Shakespeare to my Honors English classmates. I debugged the beginning programs of the five or so other students sitting close to me, and was a model efficient secretary for that same teacher as Teacher's Aide. I was good. I should have been released to the work world at that point with a GED or something.
I was not a typical nerd, because I didn't buy into the whole high school thing. I knew what I wanted to do and I did it with passion and flair, but when something did not interest me, I did not grant it my attention just because it was assigned and therefore important.