The 13 Stages of Klub Deer, In Robots

Notes From A Queer Engineer_Rory Midhani_640

Header by Rory Midhani
Feature image by shutterstock


I saw the most gorgeous robot arm the other day. Its task was to take small cast iron parts and place them in another machine for cleaning — nothing dangerous, nothing sexy, nothing complicated. But oh, the way it moved! So graceful and precise. I wish I could embody such elegance for even five minutes. Robots don’t worry about things like what their larger purpose is; they do the exact thing they’ve been designed to do, and if there’s any question, reference-ready work instructions are usually posted on the nearest vertical surface. So satisfying, don’t you think?

Anyway! I’ve been thinking about robots lately, and also A-camp. I’ve spent the past two weeks touring factories, and I’m so, so ready to go into the woods and be surrounded by queermos. Whether or not you’re joining me at A-camp this week, I’d like to think that both of us are exactly where we’re supposed to be right now, doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing. And if what’s required of you right now is to look at gifs of dancing robots, well! So be it.

Here are the 13 stages of Klub Deer, in robots.*

1. Waiting for the rest of your cabin to get ready.

Robot name: Alpha 1. “Why is there so little mirror space?”

2. (Literally) rolling up to Klub Deer.

Robot name: PaPeRo.

3. 10 p.m. dancing.

Jimu Robot.

4. Approaching your camp crush.

Asimo robot.

5. Dancing with a partner.

6. “Dancing” with a partner.

From CeBIT show 2014. Angela Merkel watched this, no joke.

7. Smoker’s circle feelings debrief.

8. Running back inside because “Dancing On My Own” just came on. (Or “Pony.” Or whatever the A-Camp Dance Team is jamming out to this year.)

Robot name: WildCat.

9. 12 a.m. dancing.

Robot name: Pepper.

10. 2 a.m. dancing.

11. Back to the cabin for the night.

12. Next day, 8 a.m.

Robot name: Morgui.

13. Next day, 8 p.m.: “So… who’s in for Klub Deer again?”

Robot name: Robosapien X.

*Klub Deer is choose your own adventure! If your experience looked nothing like this, that’s beautiful and you should def leave a representative gif in the comments.


Notes From A Queer Engineer is a recurring column with an expected periodicity of 14 days. The subject matter may not be explicitly queer, but the industrial engineer writing it sure is. This is a peek at the notes she’s been doodling in the margins.


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Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

Laura has written 211 articles for us.

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