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10 Skills a Geek Girl Should Master

November 18, 2010

First off, we’re going to assume you’ve mastered the basic skills everyone should know, like tying your shoes or swimming. Nor are we going to talk about the skills we assume you know as a geek, like basic html, the Konami code, and 10 places of pi. Instead, let’s talk about skills in which you may be lacking. Skills (in no particular order) like…

1. Changing a Flat Tire

I’ll admit, this is a skill that I myself still have not mastered. Or even done all the way through. Every time I get a flat tire, some kind gentleman stops to help me, usually at the point of frustration. I of course watch closely to see how it’s done, but the last time this happened to me I couldn’t figure out how to get the hubcap off. It’s a skill we need to master if only for the satisfaction of doing it ourselves, without anyone to help a damsel in distress. Here’s wikiHow’s guide on changing a tire.

2. Perfecting a Recipe

It doesn’t matter if your SO does all the cooking, or that you live alone and sustain yourself on Indian takeout. Cooking is a way of showing love. Make someone a meal, and it shows them that you want them to be well taken care of. All you need to do is master one recipe, something that can be your default when you go to parties or have people over. Make it something special, and people will invite you over just for that dish. Start with your favorite dish, or copy Cooking Mama in real life.

3. Folding a Fitted Sheet

When I moved into my apartment by myself, one of the more difficult tasks (aside from opening that one damn salsa jar) was  folding a fitted sheet. It was always a two-person job growing up, that even today I struggle with it. One technique I learned was to just stuff all the clean sheets into a pillow case, because it’ll stretch out on the mattress anyways. But that’s lazy, and it’s the principle of the thing, you know? Here’s how Martha does it.

5. Plucking your Eyebrows

This one is a major pet peeve of mine: women who don’t know how to pluck eyebrows. If you go au natural, awesome for you, but even cleaning up a few random hairs can make a huge difference. The above photo illustrates the best eyebrow advice I’ve ever received; place a pencil against the side of your nose pointing straight up. This is where the brow begins. Now tilt the pencil to touch your nose and the corner of your eye. This is where your brow ends. Clean up the stray hairs, but DO NOT reshape your brow! You don’t want two sperms leaping at each other above your eyes. Practice with a white eyebrow pencil first, drawing where you want to pluck before you actually take tweezers to it.

6. Hemming a Pair of Pants

I’m only 5’1″ with wide hips, so it’s rare I find a pair of pants that fall where they are supposed to. Hemming pants is a step above sewing a button or patching a tear, but still an essential sewing skill that isn’t all that hard, even if you don’t have a sewing machine. It’s best to have a friend help you pin up where the hem should fall, but it’s not impossible to do it yourself. Mastering this simple skill can open the door to many more creative clothing alterations and embellishments, making your wardrobe awesomely unique.

7. Negotiating a Raise

There’s some theories that the reason women make less than men is because we don’t know how to ask for a raise. Is it because we don’t value our work? Because we aren’t as confident? There’s no doubt a variety of reasons, but it’s no excuse for not getting paid what you are worth. According to this article, there are six steps when asking for a raise: be aware of timing, decide on how much you will ask, gather all the information you will need to make your case, set up the meeting, negotiate with your boss, and be prepared if it doesn’t go your way.

8. Learning Common Phrases in Another Language

It’s a big world out there, and not everyone speaks the same language. In order to get along on this crazy planet, we’re going to need to communicate somehow. If you’re ever traveling abroad (or into an area where a majority of folks speak another language), there’s a handful of phrases that it would be helpful to know. For intance, “Hello, my name is…”, “How much is this?”, and the all important “Where is the bathroom?” Another helpful one? “What is this called?” (Spanish: Lo que se llama esto?) That way you can learn even more words. I recommend starting with foreign language podcasts to master this skill.

9. Perfecting One Magic Trick

I sense your confusion. Stay with me, I’ll explain. At some point in your life, you will be stuck in a room with a child/children and nothing to do. This is when you pull out your magic trick. Make sure it’s an easy one, and that you can do it with what you generally have on your person. My dad has a trick that he still performs to this day using his wedding ring. Young kids will be wowed and older kids will enjoy learning how the trick was done. More complex tricks can even entertain grownups.

10. Learning CPR

From entertaining people to actually taking care of them, it’s essential that everyone learns how to perform CPR, aka cardiopulmonary resuscitation. However, I can’t just link you to a website that shows you how, you need to go out and take a course. There’s different techniques of CPR, depending on the victim’s age, and the technique changes from time to time. Get certified and keep that certification up to date. And yes, I know I said I wouldn’t include skills that everyone needs to know, but this one is important. In fact, so are the ones below. Best to master them all.

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