Volume 16, Number 25
April 20, 2010

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This Week

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Cüneyt YżlmazNo apartments are designed teen-friendly, especially ours. If teen-friendliness was graded on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate our house a 3, just as a token of my gratitude for all those years I've lived in it. And I think if an architect could come up with such an idea - an innovation if you will - not only would it be a huge step forward for the human race, as Apple's iPad is nowadays - but in so doing, we could also ensure that now Turkish celebrities have something else to Tweet about.

So far, no architect has been wise enough to think of placing teen rooms far away from the living room, which is funny, because even though I'm not an architect, I've been able to do it. In my opinion, apartments should be priced with respect to the distance between teen bedrooms and living rooms. The ones that take maximum effort for parents to interact with their kids should be priced the highest. The walls of the house should be so thick that in case of an emergency a president can easily find sanctuary in it.

Because otherwise, the odds are that you will be interviewed by all of the guests visiting your house, which does nothing but cause the breakout of more pimples. To make it clear, here is a sample scene I've prepared (be careful, it's a sample, not for use).

I'm in my own room, done enjoying the first days of Spring Break by procrastinating the writing of this week's column. My mom yells my name for a few minutes, but I prefer not to hear her. So my dad realizes it is time for him to take things into his own hands, and he does something that I don't want to call “yelling,” because there is something different between what my mom and dad did, something that causes me to teleport to the living room.

Me: Sorry, I was playing Guitar Hero.
Mom: Do you remember Aunt Rose? 
Me: Uhmm, not really.
Aunt Rose: How come? You've always enjoyed my toasted sandwiches and used to say "My Mom really doesn't know how to make toast, she always burns it." Remember those times? Haha.
Me: (Somebody poison her or I will do it.)
Dad: Aunt Rose wants to ask you something. I told her that you attended Bilkent University to study economics.
Me: (“Aww! Here come the waves!” I say to myself.) Ok.
Aunt Rose: I've got some savings, but I don't really know how to invest them. And I know that this is your third year in the university, so I thought maybe you could suggest something for me, huh?
Me: (Well first, they don't teach economics at BUSEL, aside from the attendance limit they give, so it's my second year in economics.) Well, ummmm… (keeping it as long as possible), there are, umm, several ways to do it (of which I don't know any, but shh!). Is this the first time you are investing?
Aunt Rose: Yes.
Me: Well then you better wait for a while, because this isn't the best time to invest (In such cases, blaming the timing is the second best option, but still shooting yourself in the head is the best).
Aunt Rose: (You can see the look in her eye as if Spiderman has just saved her.) Yesss, I knew it.

This is one of the many types of dialogues I occasionally have with Generation X'ers, but they can get worse by saying why I should have chosen to study law instead of economics, let alone the questions about what exactly it is I will be doing after I graduate. And that is the point in my life where I really admire the pioneers in economics and wonder how they could resist all that parental advice.

I mean, what if Adam Smith's parents didn't let him study economics and forced him to study medicine instead, where people with invisible hands aren't welcomed? Or what if Arthur Laffer had to study law instead of economics? Would he still be as successful in an area where you aren't supposed to have a funny surname (not that I know what Laffer means)?

Here at Bilkent, there have been many that I've hankered for home. But on my way back from spring break, I promised myself not to feel homesick anymore. Not until architects get wiser. Sorry, Mom, Dad and pioneers of architecture.


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