I sit here behind the synthetic glare of mass created viewing devices, listening to the rhythmic cadence of trains moving past my window, my only real connection to a world of purpose. Influenced by mass produced liquid chemicals, and yet it is now I sit at peace. I am the product of a public system in which my goals and dreams mattered not, only my satisfactory scoring on a test devised for the lowest common denominator garners any effort of congratulations on the part of those tasked with my edification.

I have much time for introspection these days and find the sum of my whole to be wanting, yet I can not name what aspect of my parts requires improvement. I am a sum without purpose and without goal. I have achieved a degree that bestows upon me the magical qualities of a construct referred to as an Engineer; yet I feel no different than when I was building potato cannons a decade ago, without care for industry or the exact thermodynamic principles involved.

So here I sit; to those in academia a wise and educated individual ready to tackle the problems of an evermore needy populace. Yet I am concerned, not with power turbine efficiency, but in improving the reception to my cobbled together police scanner. Not with cost effective mass communication, but with cooling my dwelling as cheaply as possible utilizing a window mounted AC unit and a un-calculated amount of Medium Density Fiberboard.

I find myself often correcting those around me (Connecting the negative of a jumper cable to a grounding strap rather than to the negative pole of a car battery is just an exercise instructed by the manufacturer to avoid igniting the small amount of hydrogen gas released by a typical lead acid battery, and not a necessity by design.) Yet i'm unemployed. I wield an impressive amount of know-how and knowledge, yet find my best opportunities for employment to be those in which a requirement is the ability to lift more than 50lbs.

So I sit in confusion. The sum of my life experience dictates (according to tradition and cultural expectation) that I should command those who are my intellectual inferior. Yet I envy the man who can wield a welding torch with precision, or the man who can coax a crop to spring forth from the earth and present a bountiful harvest to him and those around him.

I am the sum of the best education that can be provided to the public of this nation, yet I feel no more ready to lead, or create for this nation any more than a teenager tinkering in his fathers garage; one step from discovering something amazing, or by a poor roll of fate killing himself as his experiment explodes.

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