XXXV -College motivational chant. Unite!

Fellow students! Fellow graduates! Fellow undergraduates and pipe dreamers! Fellow notetakers and brainbuilders! Fellow makers! Fellow ass-lickers! Fellow. Striving. Achievers! Why do we work so hard!? Why are our minds frail!? Who are we working for!? Why do our lives equal to wastelands of unfinished ideas!? Why aren't you determined enough?

Maybe it isn't your fault? Let us speak our minds to the high ones. They know we care, and we know they don't. Sing with me... Actually, let's not sing. We will chant later, you and me together. Doesn't that make you uncomfortable? It is good to be uncomfortable. Did you know that some people sacrificed their comfort, so that you can plow your weight against that soft furniture and use that digital device to read this uncomfortable text. Do you think I feel comfortable writing at the pace of 300 words per hour!?

 

You're right. I'm not your mother. But someone is, and she's probably trying to make you happy. Relish that. You can't keep blaming others forever. Even your parents are just co-drivers reading a map (or worst case, conducting the babblings of a GPS). You are the one on the pedals in the car of your life. It's just the matter of going too fast, too slow, off-road, upside down, on train tracks, with drunken passengers, out the country or with a missing wheel or two.

 

Here, let me tell you how I feel. I love you. Even if you're going away or I've been absent, it's always so nice to hang out with you, you know. However, using empty words to convey these feelings cause them to disappear, which is not very productive. Hoping I would find the perfect words to say it one day, we will spend this moment here. Do not cling to the pleasant. Do not push away the unpleasant. Do not plan tomorrow. Do not reminisce yesterday, though it may engulfed your heart in nauseating critters. Feeling uneasy serves a purpose. It means you yearn, and you care. Let me invite you to take this cryptic puzzle and embrace it. You need not solve it. Let your mind wander and explore your imagination. It is a disfigured child, who has never learned to cry. Yet, it is a curious child, always full of questions. The child doesn't forget once it's been created. The child is a gift to someone, who could be just downtown or on the other side of the planet. You can adopt it, use the benefits and bear the burden that comes with it.

 

"This thing is still missing the recipient.", you say. Pardon me... this is From Me, To You.

Ah, forget it.

 

I'm not creative. Have a heart.

(Scroll down to get the Tw;dr version of this story. Tw;dr stands for "Too weird; didn't read")

 

A few weeks ago our beloved chief in command – also known as the electronics class workshop superviser, our teacher – got in a terrible accident. He's a mad lad with bikes, just like me. He's triple my age and goes double the distance. There was an unfortunate convex or concave at the bend that caused him to lose balance and dislocate his shoulder. Could it have been a foreign object on the road? Finnish people run on SISU – our trademark booster and reliever – whenever the system is malfunctioning or expressing stress. SISU is a heirloom from 1939. If SISU was discovered here in the 21th century, it would be deemed illegal. SISU helped this man home safe and sound.

 

Social media is like candy: Sweet for the moment but nauseating at the end. A bottomless blue sweets bag labeled "Facebook" can be enjoyed in indeterminate amounts, stretching likely to infinite. Mostly it's boring gummy bears that only leave you wishing for more. Sometimes you might come across that lovely chocolate piece that drives you to find more. Candy has never been so cheap! You'll need only to write your name, address, dial number, birth date, relatives, status, political orientation and what you had for breakfast this morning on this piece of paper, fold it once and toss it into a huge top hat and the bag of candy is forever yours to keep! What a deal!? What does this information cost you? Nothing! Sign up for an eternal treat!

 

Somehow while enjoying some candy, I learned that our teacher would be unable to attend work duties the next day. Bummer.

 

A quiz: What is made of wasted brain cells, smells like the 19th century, got torn apart on numerous occasions and doesn't work? MYYYY SCHOOL PROJECT! Don't let the amateurish craftmanship fool you, it's a piano! More precisely, it is a musical (MIDI) keyboard. This thing has sinked the majority of my energy, and replaced it with old-man attitude and unswaying willpower! You whippersnappers quit those awful games and get to work. Whooop-eeesh!

It is ten o'clock in the morning as I woke up. But at the moment of waking up, I was already staring at the ceiling with round eyes. But a ghost was not up there; it was lurking in the hallway, already furbished with the being of my flatmate and was soon standing to my right. Oh, how I wished to look his way – unlike normally, when we constantly ignore each other – and inquire about the reason for his visit. Capable of this was I not, since every limb disobeyed my commands. The only loyal crew left in this mutiny were my eyeballs and the buoyant brain. I always had the idea they would keep together in a situation like this. Wrong I was, once it turned out the ship coordinator, Sir. Brains, was in fact, the organizer of this chaos. "...I guess it's just you and me, Lefty.", said the right eyeball to it's companion. You gotta be smart here. Just as it's pointless to scold drunkards for having fun together, you should not fuel hysteria with fear. Give reasonable orders, and your crew will turn again fateful. "Sir. Brains, sir! Get your shit in order, please, and snap out of it! You're suffering from hypnagogic hallucinations! Sleep paralysis, I tell you!"

 

My position at that time could be described as a laid back, sun-chair cool. Hands make for a good pillow, but slow reactivity. At the time of the encounter, I was scared shitless beyond compare. If you're being chased by a third party, you still have a mind to consult for advice. In contrary, when you're being chased by your mind, the experience can become truly isolating. Sleep paralysis is your mind trying to pull pranks on your defenseless soul. I thought we were allies!

 

Just like that, it was time to go to school.

 

"Good morning! You sleep well?"

"Business as usual."

 

In November, everyone is affected by SAD.

 

Our teacher has been replaced by a vice-electronics class workshop superviser, commonly referred to as Teppo, our substitute caretaker. Teacher he is not, and barely possesses the authority to make boys shut up. Boys will be boys, as they say. Your average-Joe has not realized his potential and remains unable for as long as they succumb to the endless supply of earthly pleasures. Did you honestly believe all heroes were chosen by the divine? Don't make me laugh! They just happened to be the ones with enough courage to raise their hands, when asked "Does anyone have any questions?": A true test of strength.

 

This average-Joe decided to stay comfortable while consuming others' uncomfortable produce. May I present to you the second of the Seven Deadly Sins, Gluttony. Gluttony is a fun fella'; the life of the party. It's difficult not to like the guy, just ask anyone. But my mom was wise and told me to stay away from people like 'im. While I watch all my friends having a great time with their pal Gluttony, I'm helping mix their drinks. The more trouble they cause, the slower these drinks mix.

 

"Dear Teppo, may I request a teaspoon of order into this soup? It is not much to ask, if you don't mind my saying. I guarantee the taste will improve substantially." But the sentient stew wouldn't let itself become manipulated. Oh, but silly me.. Stews don't act. Turns out we're all out on that particular spice.

 

Teppo took on a habit of entering my sacred space for advice. I taught him all I knew and sent him on his way. May the oddly-shaped gods take care of him. Many would not thread this path, yet there he goes. Our roles are reversed. It is his temple I observe from, and it is my path he threads upon. All this because we ran out of herbs.


I keep seeing myself battling against a Useless Box. Switch a switch and it switches itself back. Like someone pulling the blanket back on when woken. Every time you make a move, it strikes back. You can try exhausting it, but pass out yourself. You can wait for the perfect moment, but it will always be prepared to counterattack. I struggle to figure out its strategy and nearly reveal the big "smash you into pieces" -guns. (Stop thinking about the bed metaphor, please.) Unacceptable thoughts from a pacifist, so that's a big no-no. Then you realize to think OUTSIDE THE BOX and remove its battery. Victory! Here's what the box looks like:

"Say, my boy! As your chosen guardian, I am taken aback by the fact you still breathe. Gods have blessed this house, truly!"

 

Okay...

 

This is getting ridiculous! Here's what really happened. TW;DR

 

As mentioned earlier, our teacher got into a biking accident, caused likely because of lost balance over an unnoticed hole or stone. I spent the Monday morning wondering where he'd gone, until someone wiser shared the story. Facebook confirmed the rest.

 

Our study plan is special in comparison. I applied for a school after year of unemployment to broaden my existing profession (electrician -> electronics) and to continue enjoying a relaxed college life. Student life and worker life are very different. In school you're more likely to kick back, socialize with your classmates, have plans for afterschool, parties and just assing around. When you're building a career on the other hand, this kind of behavior could cost you a job. It all boils down to the responsibility you have. Little did I know that this school would simulate the work environment more than I was prepared for. So, what makes our way of studying special is that we don't have any theory classes and every day consists of practical projects in the workshop. Our teacher has choosen this approach, since theory classes didn't work out for him. He's a good teacher and knows his stuff, but this kind sort of arrangement doesn't favor but the most self-inclined students, such as myself. His philosophy goes in helping students personally with their studies, each in their own turn. It's conflicting, but works for me.

 

I got a little side-tracked there, but the story needed some background. I've now shared the same physical workspace with three different groups. Unfortunately, one has always been noisier and "ass-er" than the last. Now that our teacher was suffering from an extended homestay, there was barely anyone holding the herd together. My shyness and fear for stutter didn't encourage for scolding others, and they wouldn't take another student with zero-authority seriously, even if I'm a senior. A week went by and the workshop was practically frozen, save for me and a couple other students doing their things independently. Tell you the truth, I felt like the most influential person in the workshop during that time.

 

Next Monday we got Teppo, the substitute. He was around the same age as our sensei, but with a fraction the coarceness replaced with soft, easy-going personality. "Oh shit.." I thought when I realized he wasn't going to solve any of our problems. Time was frozen nevertheless; He came asking me about things (literally), chatted with the boys as they kept noise and played their games, seemed very disinterested/lazy to sit down and get familiar with everyone's work (required to tutor them with said work) and didn't seem to carry any responsibility over the students. I'm a coward for writing this here under a pseudonym – no, the teacher's real name isn't Teppo – instead of giving actual critique to the actual person. I'm Finnish and saying that stuff feels awkward and evil. Someone could hurt their feelings and get upset, you know.

 

Anyway, this guy would have to keep an eye out for five whole weeks. I'm not going to go into detail, but there's a few instances that I would like to share with you. I'm not asking you to take my side, but I found Teppo not to be very convincing at his job, based on the following instances. Make your own judgment. Also keep in mind that I'm a biased creature and this is just one side of the story. I'll try to be as objective as possible.

 

1. What we do is design and program, assemble and troubleshoot electronics. Basic project stuff. If we need something, it will be ordered online and delivered to us. One day, I waited for a part to arrive and asked Teppo about it. He said no packages has come in. I confirmed from our teacher that a delivery should have arrived earlier that week. I forwarded the message to Teppo and we went looking for the package. It appears he had forgotten where he put it and I helped him look for it in the teachers' office. We found it eventually.

 

2. At age 22, I'm technically considered a senior in our class, which consists mostly of students straight out of secondary school. Surely you understand that maintaining a suitable volume can be difficult at times. One morning, my classmates were laughing at memes and listening to music and I asked Teppo to make order in court. Teppo then proceeds to point in the direction of the noise and say: "Hey guys, be a little quieter. Someone's trying to do something here."

 

3. Technical fields are natural tutors of pessimism. You should not expect anything to work in prototyping. As such, many students require guidance. A classmate of mine who is stuck with his heart-beat monitor calls the teacher to him. He does not speak fluent Finnish, but tries to explain the problem. I hear Teppo say: "Well, I don't really know what's wrong." The problem continues to persist for the following weeks with little progress.

 

4. There's something you shouldn't worry about as a student: Running out of supplies to work with. Circuit boards require solder – a metal alloy made up of lead and tin (usually) that's used to join different metals together once heated – which is something we need regularly. One day I noticed we're missing both types of solder; They have run out. I have no way of knowing when that happened, but I had to ask Teppo to find some more. Again, he invited me in the teachers' office to look for them with him.

 

5. Our class is split into multiple parts. There's the senior working-corner, the junior working-corner, the meme-corner and the video game-corner. The video game-corner is a club of guys who reach last in their curriculum milestones. As usual, they are indulged in their games. Teppo happens to walk by and I eavesdrop the following conversation:

 

"Good morning. What are you guys up to?"

"You know, we decided with these fellas to take it easy today. So you know, we'll just kinda hang and play for a bit."

"Haha, alright then. You've been working so hard this far. (sarcasm)"

 

Teppo leaves the scene.

 

6. One day I decide to ask Teppo for guidance about an annoying obscurity happening in my prototype. He didn't know the exact details of the connections I had, so he could only give general help. The tips he gave me helped me understand something, so it was worth to ask. After this, Teppo says to us:

 

"Wow. You know, lads, it's amazing how all this knowledge sticks with you even after all these years. I haven't been working with electronics in ages."

 

Wait... And you're supposed to teach us!?

I rest my case.

 

Teppo was relieved from his duties once we got our boss back. I barely bothered Teppo with my questions since he wasn't familiar with my project. During that time, I would still rely on our teacher via text messages. Other than that, I've been working mostly independently.

 

What have we learned today? Probably not much, but hopefully enough to make those brain cells warm. There is something wrong with the system and its operators. Navigator blames the driver, and the driver blames the navigator. An impolite deadlock situation. Instead of giving constructive feedback, I decided to scribble cryptic puzzles and practise the fine art of metaphors. Done right, we could have an actual conversation and try to make education better. Since this has been a complete waste of time for all of us, let us make up for it with this motivational chant. Ready?

 

Fellow students! Fellow graduates! Fellow undergraduates and pipe dreamers! Fellow notetakers and brainbuilders! Fellow makers! Fellow ass-lickers! Fellow. Striving. Achievers! Become allies for this blessed moment and unite for the good of all. Repeat after me!

 

THE COLLEGE MOTIVATIONAL CHANT

 

All beings are deserving of love

All beings are deserving of love

 

All beings are deserving of peace

All beings are deserving of peace

 

All beings are deserving of proper education

All beings are deserving of proper education

 

Oooo ommmm... Oooo ommmm...

 

Let out your frustration

Let out your frustration

 

University awaits those who are strong

University awaits those who are strong

 

We are strong

We are strong

 

Oooo ommm... Oooo ommmm...

 

Keep our tools close to heart

Keep our tools close to heart

 

Motivation shall not abandon us

Motivation shall not abandon us

 

All beings are deserving of proper education

All beings are deserving of proper education

 

Oooo ommmm... Oooo ommmm...

 

Inner children never die

Inner children never die

 

Inner children roam outside class

Inner children roam outside class

 

With SISU we become something big

With SISU we become something big

 

Students of the world unite as one

Students of the world unite as one

 

Oooo ommmm... Oooo ommmm...

 

Thank you for your practice and sharing this precious moment with us. Feel free to hang around for a moment longer. Listen to some music and drink tea, if you'd like. Donations accepted.

 

 

-Miko

 

 

You should listen to this to feel me right now: Matkustaja - Egotrippi

While feeling me, take a look at this: bad guy – Billie Eilish

This song is everything I believe in: Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots

 

 

"We have two lives. The second begins when we realize we only have one." - Confucius

 

 

 

7th of January, 2020 (Happy new decade everybody!)

 

 

 

Images from pixabay.com

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