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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Half a cen­tu­ry ago

Vieraskieliset / In-english
20.2.2021 7.00

Juttua muokattu:

19.2. 10:00
2021021910005720210220070000

Half a cen­tu­ry ago I par­ked my car in the cen­ter of Sot­ka­mo and wal­ked ac­ross a squ­a­re of grass, blu­e­bel­ls and clo­vers sur­roun­ded by tall pi­nes. I had been ap­poin­ted ju­ni­or te­ac­her in Sot­ka­mo mid­d­le school and high school, and I was on my way to meet the prin­ci­pal – the Prin­ci­pal with a ca­pi­tal P.

I have of­ten won­de­red at the mi­ra­cu­lous com­pa­ti­bi­li­ty of sche­du­les in life. Way back in the win­ter I had pro­mi­sed to give a ride to a friend who was due to in­ter­view a well-known Fin­nish wri­ter in Sot­ka­mo. At the time I made that pro­mi­se, I had no idea of my own fu­tu­re. But it tur­ned out my mee­ting at my new workp­la­ce was to take place at the same time as my friend’s in­ter­view.

I wal­ked up the steps of the school, wal­ked along the qui­et cor­ri­dor, and knoc­ked on the door of the prin­ci­pal’s of­fi­ce. The chair­man of the school bo­ard was sit­ting in a big armc­hair. I gree­ted all those pre­sent in the room and told them my name. The prin­ci­pal, a small, grim-fa­ced lady stood up from the chair be­hind her desk. She sur­vey­ed me from head to toe a coup­le of ti­mes and as­ked:

– Well, what grade are you co­ming to?

I re­pe­a­ted my name and said we had ag­reed about a mee­ting.

– Oh, yes, that’s right. I thought you were a new stu­dent.

We then be­gan to dis­cuss school mat­ters. Af­ter­wards, the prin­ci­pal of­ten re­mi­nis­ced about the mis­ta­ke she had made, ta­king the new te­ac­her for a stu­dent.

For the first few ye­ars of my te­ac­hing ca­reer, I was not much ol­der than my high school stu­dents. Some had star­ted mid­d­le school la­ter than ave­ra­ge, some ot­hers had re­pe­a­ted a grade.

That was how I star­ted my li­fe­long ca­reer as a te­ac­her. I on­ly left te­ac­hing to re­ti­re on old-age pen­si­on. It was in­te­res­ting and ex­ci­ting work – and I was ins­pi­red to te­ach.

For the first two ye­ars I li­ved in a small at­tic room a stone’s throw away from the school. I was af­raid of dogs, and I re­mem­ber of­ten watc­hing groups of vil­la­ge dogs ro­a­ming past my win­dow.

My ye­ars as a te­ac­her co­ver a good stretch of the his­to­ry of the Fin­nish school sys­tem. A few ye­ars af­ter I star­ted, Fin­land adop­ted the cur­rent comp­re­hen­si­ve school sys­tem that gu­a­ran­tees free and equ­al ba­sic edu­ca­ti­on to all child­ren. Cur­ri­cu­lar chan­ges were wor­ked out many ti­mes du­ring my te­nu­re. The prac­ti­ces and ac­ti­vi­ties of schools went through a num­ber of up­he­a­vals and al­te­ra­ti­ons.

The blu­e­bel­ls and clo­vers in front of the school di­sap­pe­a­red a long time ago, and on­ly a few of the old pi­nes still stand. The school buil­ding has been ex­ten­ded. A new of­fi­ce buil­ding with a lar­ge, pa­ved par­king area was built some time ago.

I had a rich life and a lot of dif­fe­rent ex­pe­rien­ces while li­ving in Sot­ka­mo. I fol­lo­wed the life cour­se of many pe­op­le from near or far and even par­ti­ci­pa­ted in some pe­op­le’s li­ves. I re­mem­ber some more cle­ar­ly than ot­hers, I do not know why.

It is al­wa­ys a joy to meet unex­pec­ted­ly so­me­o­ne that I have not seen for a long time. When they come up to greet me, I feel my work has been me­a­ning­ful.

What has hap­pe­ned to me du­ring these de­ca­des? I cer­tain­ly do not look like a school­girl any more. I have gone through many gra­des in the school of life. I have col­lec­ted a good num­ber of won­der­ful me­mo­ries, alt­hough not all groups have been ea­sy. God has gui­ded my work.

I am sit­ting in my roc­king chair knit­ting a car­di­gan, which is a good thing to knit on a rai­ny day. When I mo­ved to Sot­ka­mo, I had a simp­le bunk bed, a small desk and a red spind­le-back chair. The white roc­king chair that I am sit­ting in was the first pie­ce of fur­ni­tu­re that I bought with my pa­yc­heck.

Wind is chur­ning up le­a­den wa­ter,

he­a­vy rain drops boun­cing off the sur­fa­ce.

This wa­ter has many sha­des of co­lor,

the clear blue of a sun­ny sum­mer mor­ning,

the glow of purp­le clouds,

the gol­den ref­lec­ti­ons of au­tumn.

Like life.

Text: Ai­li Pa­sa­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

18.5.2021

Sinä päi­vä­nä Her­ra on ole­va koko maan­pii­rin ku­nin­gas. Hän on ole­va yk­si ja ai­noa Ju­ma­la ja hä­nen ni­men­sä ai­noa, jota avuk­si huu­de­taan. Sak. 14:9

Viikon kysymys

Ilmoitukset

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Ome­na­pos­ki ja Nal­le Kar­hu­nen

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Ta­kai­sin Isän ko­tiin

Kir­joit­ta­jat eri puo­lil­ta maa­il­maa ker­to­vat sii­tä, kuin­ka Ju­ma­la on joh­dat­ta­nut hei­dät val­ta­kun­taan­sa. Ker­to­muk­sia yh­dis­tää ko­ke­mus ko­tiin­pa­luus­ta, Raa­ma­tun mu­kai­sen us­kon löy­ty­mi­ses­tä ja us­ko­vais­ten vä­li­ses­tä rak­kau­des­ta.

Ke­tun­po­jat ja Ja­gu­ar-mies