Stefan, today the managing director at BSZ,
still recalls how it all began. His grades were quite good
considering how much of his free time was spent in
studying the New
Market and evaluating stocks.
Gradually, he immersed himself deeper and deeper in this new
world. His dream was to become a day
trader. He began forgetting to do his homework. And
instead of copying from friends on the school bus on the way
to school, he preferred to watch TV a bit longer. Because
in the morning, the electronic tickertape flickered across
the screen. When he had collected as much information as possible,
hed go to school in a taxi. That got around pretty soon.
"Then people started speculating about how Id changed,"
he recalls today. "That thing with the taxi didnt
last long. But they wanted to know why I was constantly fiddling
around with my pager during class. Suddenly, what theyd
regarded as my little quirks were big issues."
In the eyes of his fellow students, Stefan was a show-off.
He discovered his interest in the adult world at an early
age, and began to behave accordingly. He always came off as
a know-it-all. For instance, when they were planning a school
trip, he kept talking about renting a hotel room with
internet access, of course. When the New Market gold rush
began, nobody saw much of him at school. Instead, his father
showed up. He wanted to take all kinds of courses after
all, there were some good adult education classes. In no time,
Dad had switched to the fast lane and had only one aim: to
be like Stefan. He got up a few hours before his son, did
his morning workout, and then went jogging in the woods, to
lake Preber. He wanted to feel really young again. So after
the exhausting sweat bath came telelearning.
After showering, Dad sat in front of the TV, concentrating
intently. The name of the program that teleported professors
from all over the world via satellite dish into his living
room was Comenius.
Dad watched Dr. Vegas lips for hours, repeated sounds
and sentences after him. Every world citizen needed to know
Spanish, he was told. Dad had goal after goal, kept a daily
record of his athletic and intellectual progress. Soon he
was ready for the BSZ courses. When he registered for school
again, at the age of 52, it was clear to him that he would
see less of his son for the time being. He was used to loneliness
(his wife, Stefans mother, hadnt been around for
a long time). Plus, everything has its price, he told himself.
Everything would turn out fine. Some day he would reach his
goal and would stand face to face with his son. Not as a farmer.
No, as a stockbroker.
At last, the day came. Stefan was happy about it at first.
He proudly told his fellow students that Dad flew to Frankfurt
now and then on business, naturally. But soon he began
to feel worried. His father had become so easy-going. It was
as if he spoke his language; he knew the ins and outs of the
generation@ and in his sheer
hunger for knowledge always tried to learn more from Stefan,
while trying to give him some advice about m-commerce in an unexpected moment.
They even occasionally discussed the
divide, and his father seemed to be an equal partner
in these talks. But at some point, Stefan got tired of it.
His dad wouldnt stop pestering him. They had grown too
similar. There were hardly any differences any more. It had
definitely gone too far for Stefan. One day, he lost it. After
school, he ran into his father who was happily on his way
to class. The unavoidable escalation occurred. Dad had actually
dared to don Stefans favorite Carhartt T-shirt, without
even bothering to ask permission. After a scuffle in the school
foyer, which neither of them won, he swore to fight his father
every step of the way and from then on, to wear only