In 2008, when I was a junior in high school, I was reading ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ for my AP American Literature course. I LOVED this book and couldn’t get enough. Out of sheer curiosity, I searched the title on Youtube (Youtube was still fairly new, so there weren’t many results), and found John’s video (in 2 parts) about J.D Salinger’s book. I couldn’t stop watching. I had finally found someone who was as excited about the book as I was, and I wondered who the eff “Hank” was, who the eff JOHN was, and who the eff the “nerdfighters” were. In short, besides the ‘Catcher’ material, I didn’t understand anything that was happening in the video…but I loved it. I watched those two videos again and again, totally oblivious to the fact that there were dozens more. I wrote a “note” on facebook (remember, this was 2008) tagging all of my English class members, and I even emailed the video link to my English teacher.
4 years later, in 2012, I had completely forgotten about John and his ‘Catcher’ videos when I needed to research “everyday science” for one of my college courses. Like always, I went to Youtube for some inspiration. When I typed “science,” the first thing that popped up was SciShow’s “Science of the Cinnamon Challenge.” I watched it, loved, it, and still remember the science of cinnamon to this day. I remember that as I was watching, I felt this strange sense of familiarity with Hank, the host. I kept thinking, “Why does he seem SO familiar?” I sat puzzling until I noticed that one of the “related” videos was a vlogbrothers video…“AHA! That was Hank! - as in- the Hank that John was referring to in his 2008 videos! They’re brothers! Vlogbrothers!” From the moment of this epic discovery, I raced to watch as many vlogbrothers videos as I could, dragging my roommate into the whirlwind, and we’ve been hooked ever since.
I’m so thankful for 'The Catcher in the Rye,’ for John’s intense love of that book that so resonated with my high school self, and for that science class that I didn’t want to take but had to: for me, all of this paved the road to nerdfighteria, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Hank is a bipedal reptile who escaped a university science lab by posing as a shared hallucination of the entire class. He’s rumored to have been spotted in your home and in the nightmares of grown men.