Second week

I write these week posts based on my memory, what happened during the first weeks here at my new working environment. First week ended with Challenge competition and grande finale, gala dinner.

At the second week, I learned to come here, leave my coat and rucksack at wardrobe locker, to find my place, table I preferred to work. On Tuesday, my class on Assessment and Learning (Oppimisen arviointi ja palautteen antaminen, 5 op) had a final day with presentations. I loved that now I could just walk across the corridor to the classroom. I didn’t need to reserve any desk for my work, and then when the class was over, I came here and found one free place. I read the feedback.

The so called quiet room was still quite messy, and people were wondering how they could work there as there were no desks, and no place. So it was if I remember right, on Thursday 19th when finally the quiet room was organised and furnished with old desks so that people could start working there.

Every day arriving to new work environment was exiting and I noticed that people started to settle in. People selected almost always the same desks, some preferring the electronic tables, and some the old ones. I developed my routines to arrive first to changing room, comb my hair, carry my laptop in bag and find my place.

Administration people had their loud coffee breaks at nine in the morning and then at afternoon about two o’clock. Otherwise it was quite quiet. People like to work quietly, focused in their tasks. I myself felt happy to work, and compared to my old office, the environment supported me to focus in my work, to write and develop further my ideas both in teaching and in research.

First week

On 5th and 6th of November, I moved from my office at 4th floor of Minerva downstairs to K1 floor, to open and flexible new work environment, described as Engaging Working Environment EWE. My very first feelings were as being exited, inspired and happy to move! Finally!

New faces, new people, so difficult to remember them all! At this age one really doesn’t learn new things so fast, doesn’t remember the names. However, very soon I noticed that not so many people come here. Everywhere are boxes full of books, but nobody arrives to put their books on shelves. Well, this means that most of the day, the new place is quiet.

I explored the floor, and noticed that here are no wardrobe, only a small locker, open coat rack. So where to keep my clothes in case I need to change them during the day? I wandered around and found at the other side changing room with shower, toilet, and wardrobe with seven locked cabinets. So I decided to take one for me.

The new space had not yet all the furniture, everything was in process and messy. Well, during my long career in diverse appointments, I’ve never moved to working space that is just developing. It was more than ten years ago, at Spring term 2005, when my Department of Education moved from Bulevardi to Minerva. All went nice and easy, we just packed our things, books and papers, files etc. and then they were carried to our new offices that were furnished. Nothing else was needed that to upload our books and things from boxes to shelves, put them in order.

Then, for Tuesday, 10.11., I needed a room for supervision, and only available was the one that I rather like to call Luola (in Finnish) i.e. Cave, as the room for meetings is renovated from old store room. Next to it, there were a nice meeting room with long table and eight chairs, and window! So I reserved that and put the note on the door. I discussed with Niclas that that meeting room would be really good for supervision purposes, and when we may have sometime foreign visitors it would be nice to have meeting with them in that meeting room. Next day, my note was removed, new notes put next to the doors, and that nice meeting room was reserved for breaks, and that Cave for meetings.

Then on the same day, I had my meeting for supervision, and because the Cave seemed to be so “closed”, “smelly”, and unpleasant place, I decided that we have our meeting at that nice meeting room (though it was reserved for breaks). The emails started to arrive, I saw angry faces, and noticed that some people became irritated. I learned that everyone of those administration people seemed to be irritated already because they were told to move to K1 floor just two weeks before, in the middle of all busy time, YT-neuvottelut, Iso Pyörä, etc… I just wondered how the things had changed and why for us researchers and teachers here in new working environment was reserved only that awful meeting room Cave for supervision and meetings.

Another, smaller and also funnier occasion, concerned about coffee. I learned that only JuhlaMokka or Presidentti are allowed if I like to join coffee ring, no Reilun kaupan kahvi. Well, I posted on my FB about that, and decided that I must find some way to have a decent coffee at my work. I got good advice from Emilia and others. Observation: it seems to be so that researchers, doctoral students and we teachers prefer ethical choices in our coffee, and prefer Reilun kaupan kahvi, and the people from administration (student office) prefer JuhlaMokka or Presidentti. What that tells about us?

During my first week, I began to dream every night about the new working environment, and not always my dreams were pleasant ones. I decided that though all is in mess, something good must be developing here.