November 6 2000

Short story

Lotto, a short story by Douglas Coupland, author of “Microserfs” and “Generation X”.

Link via ronsens.

I just realized I didn’t put “Microserfs” into my Ten Books list. I should have. It’s great and really fun to read!


Finally! Tomorrow is election day in the USA.

“Think about what you know and what you have heard, look inside yourself and make a decision, then please vote for who and what you believe best represents your view.”

Says Craig – and returns to regular blogging. I guess the fans of Bush are happy to hear that! wink:

Craig had a link to the Museum of Soviet Calculators on the Web. Interesting site!

In Bonn, we have a whole museum dedicated to calculating machines, which also has some very interesting machines: the Arithmeum. Click here to view some of the exhibits.

Accomplishing time

Yesterday, Mollie Elizabeth mused about what she has accomplished in her life so far, and what could have been if…

At 22, she thinks she should not be studying anymore, maybe even have gotten married and had a kid. Whew! Since I’m 25 already, this got me thinking…

I’m three years older, and I’m still at the university. I’ve been studying for six years now, and it will be another year until I’m finished. If I go on to become a teacher, I’ll have to do two more years of training on the job before I’m able to get a “real” job as a teacher. I’ll be 28 by then.

The difference seems to have something to do with the different countries we live in. In Germany, few people get married before they’re 25, and for most people who go to university (after 13 years of school), it’s common not to marry before they’re 30. The average German woman is 29 years old when she gives birth for the first time (source).

Of course, I sometimes wish I had done something else instead of going to university that didn’t take as long as what I’m doing right now, and I’m thinking of not becoming a teacher and apply for a different job next year (after getting my first degree at the university) because I think I should start to make my own living, but I certainly don’t think I’ve wasted time in the past.

I started out studying physics and aimed for a diploma, and it took me almost three years until I realized that was not what I wanted to do with my life. I switched subjects and studied phyics and math for another three years in order to become a teacher, and I’m about to take the first sets of exams (which take a year), and I’m still not sure that I want to be a teacher for the rest of my life.

I don’t know whether that is of any help to you, Mollie, but I don’t think you wasted any time. As long as you like what you are studying, don’t consider it as a waste of time. Who knows, it might be useful some day! (This is what I keep telling myself when I start wondering if I could have done this university thing in less than the time it took me so far… ;-) And to me, what you are doing now sounds a lot better than a “convenient” marriage and kids.