There are great events in history, such as wars and discovery. There are also many different periods of time. Sometimes the life of a person during a certain period of time is forgotten. I have realized this and wish to perpetuate the understanding and knowledge of the life of a mathematician during colonial times. My name is Friedrich Lebkuchen. I am a German mathematician in the town of Boston in the colony of Massachusetts.
I work as a calculus mathematician. I receive little support from the government, but my family in Pennsylvania periodically sends me money. I hope that, in the future, my work will be acknowledged, and I will be awarded and paid to conduct additional work.
My work in calculus is based on the ideas of differential and integral calculus by Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz in the late 17th century and the fundamental principles of calculus discovered by Leibniz and Sir Isaac Newton. I work at home, writing and drawing in my notebook of calculations. I prefer to study infinite series, and I work out complex calculations to try to prove theorems. My discoveries are being used at Harvard College. I hope that they are useful.
I sometimes feel lonely when I am working. Sometimes I am disturbed by mischievous children that throw eggs at my house. I try my best to ignore them, but sometimes I yell at them, and they throw eggs at my face. I wish that they will understand that my work is important.
My occupation as a calculus mathematician is unpredictable. I never know when I discover something. Sometimes, I work for many weeks and not find anything valuable. If my work will ever be useful to someone, I will feel happy knowing that my work was not extravagant.
My home is a one-room house with no windows. The cold wind blows through in the winter. Sometimes my loose papers are blown away. Then I would have to redo my calculations. The house is shared by my sister Helga and me. She runs the Ye Olde Boston Lebkuchen Lebkuchen Bakery Shoppe here in Boston. The rest of my family lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They own and manage the original Ye Olde Lebkuchen Lebkuchen Bakery Shoppe.
Our house is made of brick and mortar. We bought it from a retired fisherman who decided to return to his family.
The house is small, but we do not need a large one because only two people live in it. We eat and sleep in the house. There is a small lean-to on the side of the house to cook in, so smoke can escape. There is an outhouse in the extremely small backyard. The front yard is of somewhat normal size.
The furniture in our house is very little. We have two simple chairs, an old table, and two small uncomfortable beds. We cannot afford to have more furniture.
Our house is located about five miles from the Ye Olde Boston Lebkuchen Lebkuchen Bakery Shoppe in the center of town. For us, it is an ideal location because Helga can travel easily to our bakery, and I hardly go anywhere.
From the outside, the house seems about to fall apart, but it looks sturdy from the inside. It is an excellent home for Helga and me.
My clothing is simple because I do not have enough money to support myself. I am supported by my family in Philadelphia and my sister Helga. The Ye Olde Lebkuchen Lebkuchen Bakery Shoppes are very popular both in Philadelphia and in Boston. I wear a simple cheap cotton-and-leather shirt and simple cotton-and-leather knickers and cotton-and-leather stockings and shoes made of a combination of cheap cotton and cheap leather. I also wear a black felt hat and a vest. I do not wear a cotton wig or any other wig because I do not have enough money. My hair-style is very simple. I do not have the time or money to make it look good, so it looks horrible. It is tangled and longer than normal.
My sister Helga wears a blue cotton-and-wool dress and a white apron because she works in our bakery. In fact, she has three aprons. She wears a cheap cotton-and-wool wig. My family in Philadelphia wears cheap normal clothes. They have more money than I do, so their clothes are not as cheap as mine, and they look better. They wear cheap wigs and have better hair-styles than mine.
My family owns cheap clothes because we try to save as much money as possible. "Money is money; you cannot eat it, but you can trade it for food," was a favorite saying of my great-uncle Ludwig.
My sister Helga and I attend church at the Ye Olde Boston Lutheran Church every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. It is about five miles from our house. The church is very beautiful. We follow the reformation of Martin Luther.
On Sundays, I do less work than I normally do. Our Ye Olde Boston Lebkuchen Lebkuchen Bakery Shoppe is closed.
Religion is an integral part of our lives. However, it doesn't seem to help me in my calculus calculations. I must find a way to integrate integral religion and integral calculus. Science and mathematics are becoming separate from religion. Once, science was governed by religion, but now there are very little connections.
Because of my participation in the activities of our church, Helga and I help clean up our neighborhood. We remove litter and plant trees to make Boston a better place to live. We also remove the rotten eggs from our house.
Our neighborhood has an excellent church and activities. Our life spent here is not a waste of time.
Helga and I eat fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, vegetables, fruits, and bread. We also eat some of the fine sweets from our Ye Olde Boston Lebkuchen Lebkuchen Bakery Shoppe. Sometimes I think that we eat too many sweets and that it is not very healthy.
We buy our fish, poultry, cheese, and eggs from the market for affordable prices. We have a small garden in our backyard for growing vegetables. Our fruits come from the market. Bread is available at our bakery as well as lebkuchen (a German cookie), pies, cakes, and other similar foods.
For beverage, we drink water and milk. We do not believe in drinking alcoholic beverages because they are intoxicating, and we cannot think after drinking. Calculus is very important. Small mistakes can result in months of wasted time finding incorrect discoveries.
Our manners are positive. We are very polite and educated. Our behavior is socially acceptable and we are very kind to others. I believe that for this reason, the only people that ever cause us trouble are the mischievous children that throw rotten eggs at our house.
I spend most of my time at home working on calculus while Helga works all day at our bakery. Most of our time is not spent together, but Helga and I are very friendly to each other.
Usually, Helga and I are too busy working to do anything fun. Once in a while, Helga and I take some time off. Sometimes we attend the local Annual Sawing Contest, an interesting contest where people saw almost everything in sight, including fruits, bread, and Helga's baked lebkuchen. Helga is quite perturbed during these events. There are also normal sporting events, such as bowling and fishing. There is a corn fishing contest in May, where tons of corn are dumped into the sea, and people try to fish out as many as possible.
For amusement, we sometimes play games, such as chess, with other people. We also churn butter for amusement. Churning butter is very exciting. So is churning cruller.
We also attend concerts performed by the local choir or orchestra. Concerts are held about every two months. Helga loves the concerts.
Our life cannot be filled with complete work. We must also find ways to relax and enjoy other things around us.
I was born in Philadelphia in 1691. My family owned a small farm and a bakery called Ye Olde Lebkuchen Lebkuchen Bakery Shoppe after the family name, Lebkuchen, and the type of food it specialized in, the lebkuchen. The farm wasn't very successful, but the bakery was packed with customers. Everybody wanted to try the "Lebkuchen lebkuchen." The farm was soon sold to a schoolteacher. News about the superb lebkuchen had spread to New England, and the Bostonians were exceptionally eager to try it. My older sister Helga moved to Boston to run a new bakery there.
Meanwhile, I was finding a great interest in mathematics after leaving elementary school. I moved with Helga to Boston so that I could take algebra, geometry, and trigonometry at Harvard. After that, I studied the fundamental principles of calculus and began working on my own.
Both bakeries achieved great profits, and my family and I was supported by this money. I was the only one that wasn't really doing anything to receive money, but my family was very kind and gave me money to spend for my basic needs and supplies.
The Ye Olde Lebkuchen Lebkuchen Bakery Shoppes are increasingly becoming more popular as the population grows. My brothers Wolfgang and Herschel are opening bakeries in New York. I am achieving discoveries as I perform calculations.
In the future, I hope that my work in calculus will be useful, especially to Harvard. Calculus is a base for physics, which is becoming popular with scientists. I also wish that I could be remembered as an influential mathematician.
Copyright © 2002 by Friedrich Lebkuchen and Bewildering Stories.