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Saturday, December 04, 2004


Something occurred to me today. I was thinking about the innumerable times that people I have come across have asked me how school was going. Usually I respond with something along the lines of a demure "Oh its going well. I will be graduating fairly soon." Inevitably the next question is always "What are you studying?" the answer to which is I am double majoring in theoretical mathematics and general computer science. This without fail garners raised eyebrows and impressed looks and nods which is a satisfying ego boost.

The thing is, and this is the revelatory part, I don't like studying computer science.

Not one bit.

It's just not interesting to me for some reason. Don't get me wrong, I love computers and I get a funny feeling deep down in my secret place whenever I'm near them. I think its the forced rubric of the university has killed it for me. What I like is playing with computers, hacking about with them and figuring shit out; learning them at my own pace in my own way. Studying CS at the university seems to, in a way, rob me of passion; stealing away like a thief in the night a part of who I am and forcing me to examine it at length and forcing me to learn every little esoteric and completely useless nook and cranny of it until I barely recognize it and it thoroughly disgusts me.

I picked wrong as far as my major is concerned. I shouldn't have picked up CS. I should have picked something that interests me and not something that I was already interested (heavily) in. Which leads to a second interesting thing that I have since realized.

For the longest time whenever someone asked about math I always told them that I was terrible at it and it was extremely difficult for me and I had a love/hate relationship with it. All of which is true--except that last part. Which is totally new to me. The more I thought about how much I dislike studying CS the more I realized that I actually do like math. Not that I know what exactly I'll do with the degree since what I am enjoying most is the actual studying of the math. The difference, I think, between my two majors, other than the obvious, is that I started as a CS major and added math down the road.

In the end I suppose that the moral of my story is that I should have started earlier and thought more about what I wanted to learn since its learning new things that I really like. If I could go back and change any one thing in the last three years it would be that. I would not have picked CS. I definitely would have picked math, and I probably would still be double majoring albeit in something new I wanted to learn about and be challenged by.

That, or I just have a short attention span.


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