Monday, August 20



Auditorium, Arcada, 14:03


I got up early today in order to get to Alppikatu at 8:30 for a doctor’s appointment. I have had a nagging cough all summer and it does not seem to want to go away.

I saw a doctor I had not seen before, Tanja Vuorela, who proved hilarious in a very dry way. She sent me for an x-ray. I have blood tests tomorrow, and I will see a specialist throat doctor in a couple of weeks. I also have to monitor my blood pressure twice a week for three weeks, and after all that I will see her again.

I got to Arcada to get a mysterious email from Nathalie telling me that I could get brunch in Room 309. Fred, Tomas and I sat there eating a croissant with cheese and tomato, and chatting about the weekend. None of us knew why we had received an apparently random brunch.

At 11:00 I had an online meeting about the September Festival. This proceeded slowly and I found myself multi-tasking at some points. I also found myself thinking about how differently some online meetings worked from others. My meetings with both Scott and Sophie have, in different ways, produced practical results and proceeded at a rapid pace. This didn’t.

At 12:30 we had our first kulturmöte in which we learned that the format of the kulturmöte would change. We also learned that we all had to attend all team meetings, which will more or less take care of every Monday for the rest of our working lives.

At 14:00 we went downstairs to meet the new Leaders’ Group, or ledningsgrupp as we call it in Swedish, as and when we talk about it in Swedish. The group now consists of an inner group and an outer group, which I dryly noted will give everyone lots of scope for plotting, like a medieval court dedicated to the improvement of humanity.

I looked out as we left the office to see if the rain had started yet. It hadn’t but it I could see it approaching and circling the building like Red Indians in a 1930s movie.

I sit with Jutta and Kauko in the large auditorium waiting for the performance to start. I look at the stage in expectation, and take a snapshot before the rector takes the microphone and kicks off the event. We will hear from the new pro-rectors, some of whom we already know, and some of whom have arrived over the summer.

Jutta will point out that I have put my t-shirt on inside out so I will take it off and put it on properly.

I will return upstairs to read a draft thesis and email the student. At 17:30 I will begin a Skype meeting with Scott, during which I will ask him if he knows Ahti-veikko Pietarinen, the head of philosophy at Tallinn University of Technology.

He does.