Monday, January 26, 2009

The Class That Changed My Life: Computer Science

Carl Lennertz, our VP of Sales for Independent Retailers, is the founder of Publishing Insider: On Books, Music, Movies, and Life in General. He's also the author of Cursed by a Happy Childhood: Letters from a Dad to a Daughter. Carl attended Stony Brook University.

The college course that changed my life was actually a negative experience, but I am thankful for it! I was on course to be a computer major, but I ran into a horrible class/horrible teacher, and I became disenchanted with that world. I changed my major to sociology and then to psychology.

When I graduated, I got a bookstore job, which is heaven for a dilettante! I could’ve been, perhaps, a rich computer guy now (said aforementioned computer class was in, gulp, 1972), but I have been way happier and richer as a bookstore and publishing person all these years. Now, I see computers as a means towards the writing, editing, selling, printing, and the reading of books, but it’s the words themselves--not the machinery--that fill my every day.

Tell us about the class that changed your life.


  1. I started out as a sociology major and then took a computer science class - also in 1972. I had a wonderful teacher and fell in love with the subject. That lead directly to a career in the computer industry where I still am 30+ years later. So perhaps our stories show how much different a teacher can make.

  2. Alfred, It's true: the right teacher at the right time can change your life. Teachers with a true love of their subject are a joy. Diane

  3. Now aren't you glad you met that horrible teacher. Sometimes life has to be harsh at us and kick us in the right direction.