I was born in 1973 in Würzburg, a small big city more or less in the middle of Germany, where I enjoyed a protected childhood, went to school to be imbued with the classic education of a bygone era, and graduated into a world I knew of next to nothing.
I decided to study in Bamberg, an even smaller city some dozen kilometers east of where I came from, and chose Historical Urban Geography, Sociology, Public Law and Medieval Archaeology as my Master subjects. During my time at University I became a concerned member of the human race, an orphan, a piano player, and finally in 2002 - after 8 years - a graduate to a world I could in mental mapping attribute several distinct shapes of white to.
Then my wife and I got married.
Our agreement was that he who first gets a job in his area of expertise decides where we would be headed. It was her being offered a job as research assistant in Cologne, where she started working on the functions of verbal affixes in Hittite, a work begun in 2002 that hopefully will result in a doctorate in the near future. For those who belong to the majority that has, like me, not too clear a notion about the Hittites: They were a power to reckon with in the 2nd millenium bc in what is now Turkey and left vast archives of clay tablets containing all manners of texts, ranging from treaties and annals to prayers and rituals, that offer a lot of work for linguists (like my wife), orientalists, hittitologists, historians and other rare representants of the humanities whose professoral chairs and research institutes are vanished rapidly from the academic map of Germany.
Which is kind of sad, since theirs is a perspective on humankind that can foster a sense of belonging as well as a an understanding of flux and changing. It makes for thrilling storytelling as well, by the way.
The first challenge in Cologne was to find a flat whose proprietor was ready to accept tenants bringing cats and a dog with them. The second challenge was to find a job for one with good to excellent grades in subjects only slightly less cryptic than comparative indoeuropean linguistics who decided to endeavor to find a job somewhere in "real life".
To be continued...
slowing down time.
will be spread.
I owe TED to a neighbour, a social entrepreneur sailing under the flag of "adding value to communities", who left Cologne in January 2007 to embrace new challenges abroad and who sent me a book by Guy Kawasaki called "Selling the dream". He did so because, for the lack of a proper word to describe how I saw myself in my job, I unwittingly referred to myself as an evangelist. I read the book and learned to my surprise, that there is a whole job-description associated with what I used as an impromptu metaphor for myself after several kölsch (the local draught) on our last evening out.
I then started researching Mr. Kawasaki on the WWW and serendipitically stumbled upon Garr Reynolds' website and blog concerned with matters of speaking, presenting and designing (a valuable source for the how of the ideaspreading-business, btw).
There I found a reference to Ken Robinson's talk, which was the first I watched.
This was in early February of 2007.
I never got off the hook.
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