First Days at University of Jyväskylä

Well, it’s my lunch break on the Friday of my first week as a Doctoral Student at the University of Jyväskylä and I thought I’d write a little update. I’m actually working from home today for a change because I have the place to myself. Anyway, I talked at length in the previous post about the reasons behind transferring to Jyväskylä and thought I’d now write a few words on how the first week has gone.

(But before that, check out the cool new blog platform and website thingy I made. I hope the new “Lodestar” layout suits your tastes and doesn’t alienate any of the loyal readers [yeah you two]. Please feel free to roam around the website, there’s some major changes to the old look.)

Back to the post: First, I finally found out for sure where I’ll be working from: I won’t be moving to Jyväskylä because my contract is only temporary, but will instead stay in Vaasa. The University of Vaasa has rented out space for the University of Jyväskylä staff that stays behind in Vaasa, and as a result of this, I’ve been given a work station in the so called “old coffee room” where I began my PhD studies three years ago. So, I’m physically back to square one (although, just to feel like I’ve made some progress, I’ve moved to the cubicle to the right of my old station, meaning I’ve made about a meter of rightwards progress in these three years).

IMG_9561.JPG

The new digs above. The place is a bit dungeon-like with no windows outside to see the weather but it’s actually not too bad. At least there are no distractions, and it’s a welcome change from the previous months of working from home to actually have to shower and put on pants for a day of work.

I still don’t know anything else about my new job besides the fact that I’m supposed to be writing my dissertation. I might have other responsibilities, too, but if I do, someone will probably tell me about them at some point. I’ve also been promised a new laptop, which will be really great and useful if I at some point actually get access to the systems at the University of Jyväskylä and get myself like an actual email address, etc. I’m sure it’ll happen any minute now, and it’ll be totally great. Regardless of when that happens, this is how I’m planning to spend this weekend:

Kuvahaun tulos haulle thumbs up

Credit: popkey.co.

Anyway, not knowing much about what else, besides writing, I’m supposed to be doing has, of course, been positive in the sense that I’ve been able to fully focus on my writing, and I’m happy to report some real progress on that front. I’ve spent the week finalizing the choice of data for my next article, conducting some preliminary analysis on it, and reading a couple of good new sources that I’ve found. I’ve promised to myself and some other people that I’ll have this first draft of the article ready in August, so that added pressure is good, as it keeps me honest, or to be a little more dramatic like Lt. Vincent Hanna, “keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be.”

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One bonus of the otherwise crappy* situation of people having to relocate is that they are getting rid of their unwanted books, so the “Free books” book shelf at the Uni has been brimming with good offers. The Istanbul Puzzle, at least based on the back cover, promises to be pretty much a remake of The Da Vinci Code just relocated to Istanbul but hey, I could do with some light reading for a change. And, the two academic sports books were actually somewhat useful to what I’m working on right now.

So yeah, things are rolling along. The weather has been nice, which has made the daily bike commute pleasant, and I have so far not forgot to put pants on when leaving the house, so all’s good and I’m like:

Kuvahaun tulos haulle takin' care of business

Credit: genius.com.

I’ll keep you posted on how things evolve here. Besides working on the thesis, the new academic year promises to be busy with possibly several new EASLCE webinars to organize and lots of other stuff, too, so I definitely won’t get bored.

*Yeah I know the relocation and transfer of business and getting stabbed in the back by your own university is crap but I’ve decided to keep this blog post relentlessly positive and adhere to the slogan in my coffee mug. If you want to read something more negative, check out the last post, or any other of the myriad posts in the past where I’ve complained about this stuff.

Featured image (not visible in mobile theme) (Holy shit I actually think that since changing the blog platform the featured image is also visible in mobile theme!) credit: opinto-opas.jyu.fi. The picture is of the University of Jyväskylä. If you look real hard, you can almost see my work station a mere 5587 stone’s throws away.

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