In the case you missed it: The world is not as nice as you had thought. Now, this web site does not try to make things better; it just tries to make you feel the pain more.

When I was around 10 years old, my mother enrolled me into the gymnasium (a somewhat higher level school). My grades had supported it, but one of the school professors suggested that we should consider getting me into a trade school. After all, my father was a crafts person and I was certainly to be expected to take over his engraving business at some stage.

But my mother insisted, so I stayed there.

Bear With Me: This Not Over, Not By A Longshot

My grades were not overly good, but I especially struggled with the subjects taught by that very professor. In the 5th year I had completed the compulsory part of the school education and could have left school for good. But against the professor's suggestions I continued on the path to university.

That is the year I failed his subject, English. And had to repeat one year of class.

Bear With Me: Plot Twist

I finished the gymnasium finally, with honors. And continued with a computer science degree. Which I finished. And finally I added a Ph.D. (Doctorate of technical sciences to be exact) some years later.

I really never wondered whether my old professor would rotate in his grave.

After years in industry, I then held a university lecturer position for about 10 years in Australia and taught in - guess what - English.

I still never wondered whether my old professor would rotate in his grave.

I worked in startups, in research centers, travelled around the globe.

Bear With Me: Final Twist

When I returned to Austria, I could not get any footing in my own fields of expertise. Nothing worked. Nothing stuck. After years of trying and failing to sell know-how or technology, I grudgingly took over the family business. Now I do engraving.

And finally I do know that my old professor actually lies still, peacefully and happy in his grave.