A long long time ago, at a sixth form far far away, I thought I was pretty hot with computers and stuff. A level computing held no fears, I played with various bits of electronics as a hobby and all in all was pretty much on the ball. Whilst I wasn't that sure about the specifics, I had a fair idea about how most gadgets worked. How hard can it be? I thought university would be a relaxed affair where leaders in their field would fill in the gaps in my knowledge. After four years of learning and study, I would have a sound understanding of how all of our amazing modern technology works.
Three years into my degree I'm shell shocked. The more I learn, the more I experiment and the more incredible technology I'm exposed to the more I believe that there is no way it can possibly work. When you listen to your loved one on your mobile you're not listening to their voice, oh no, that would be too easy - you're listening to your phone doing an impression of their voice. The brain of your computer runs so fast that if it tried to stop, it would fall over itself and completely crash. You can run a small computer and a screen for TEN YEARS on one of those minuscule penny batteries, if you're careful.
I'm convinced that my Masters Electronic Engineering degree, from the prestigious University of Southampton, isn't preparing me to develop the next generation of mobile phones or the next Playstation. I'm never going to master amplifiers or solar panels. Oh no, after I graduate the only job I will be qualified to do is to toil slavishly away down the magic pixie dust mines.
This magical pixie dust is manipulated by the occult wizards and witches who are actually behind the next wave of technology. They use it to cast incantations, feed their tiny magic gnomes (they breed special ones with jumbo ears to toil away inside every mobile phone) and enrapture the tiny little man who lives in your computer.
I have resigned myself to this situation - and I still love my discipline. Even if it is magic.