Friday, September 28
The other day Irma sent me an email in which she said “I have no idea if this will interest you or not” and added an email address. The address pointed to a conference in Tampere in November. The deadline for abstracts had happened at the end of August but I sent them a message and they replied to say they would accept one from me.
The topic that interested me had the title creativity, brain and art, so I had thought overnight about which bits of my thinking could fit into this. I got to Arcada, wrote an abstract entitled The Zulu Meme and sent it off. That took most of the morning.
I had a brief look at setting up the website that Sophie and I had talked about, and decided to do it all next week. I did, however, listen to the file she had sent me of the ostensible first episode of our podcast. I decided that we might finally have done it: created something worth listening too, without too much rambling, and with something that sounded like a conclusion.
At 13:30 I stood outside Paasitorni getting ready to meet the Job’d workers who will work at the symposium today. At 13:40 I decided that I felt too cold and moved inside the building. They all arrived on time and I showed them what they needed to start doing; or rather I showed them Ilpo and he showed them what they needed to do.
The symposium worked well. We had almost the full 120 people in attendance and nobody complained. None of the speakers failed to interest people and some prove positively inspirational.
During a coffee break I walk outside to photograph the rather impressive facade of the building. The bright autumn light gets in the way, but I manage to salvage something.
The Job’d workers will spend the afternoon doing all sorts of things. By the time they leave all of us will feel impressed by their affability, drive and energy.
At the end of the afternoon most of the room comes with us downstairs to Juttutupa, the bar at the side of the building, where we have reserved four tables in an alcove. The speakers sit around there and people start long and interesting conversations. This will prove to work better than the standard three-questions-after-every-speech that normally happens at symposia. After an hour people will have gathered in different parts of the bar and the conversation will seem continuous.
I will leave in the middle of the evening, after limiting myself to non-alcoholic lager, to prepare for tomorrow. I will discover that my bicycle light has run out of battery and I will skulk home in the dark, sticking to the pavements and hoping a police car won’t drive past.
I will make it home.