Jodeldiplom08 Apr 2004
German readers will recognize the title as a reference to Loriot, the German comic, and his classic sketch on the 'Yodel Diploma'. A reporter is interviewing a German housewife who, with the permission of her husband, has learned yodeling at night school, including the conjugation of yodel verbs ("Di dudl di?" "Nein, di dudl dö!"), so she can earn a degree and have something she can call her own. Something in the hand. A yodel diploma.
My career in Germany as a systems administrator is my yodel diploma. We came here for my wife's career. We knew she'd be successful here, and her success has exceeded our wildest expectations. My accomplishment here has been to establish my own career, independent of my wife and independent of being an American. I learned Linux and Unix by myself, without any schooling, and now I can earn a living administrating Linux and Unix machines. It's something I can call my own.
Therefore I'm a bit attached to my job, even if we don't need the money, and I'm not entirely willing to give it up for Christopher's special kindergarten group. There a surplus of IT workers, the economy is flat, I'm over 40 and don't have a relevent degree. Would I be able to find similar employment after Christopher is out of kindergarten and in school in two years? Maybe it's selfish, in fact, I know it's selfish, but I don't really want to give up the one thing I've earned on my own in Germany. I don't want to give up my Jodeldiplom.