During the first few months of 2006 I was anxiously awaiting news on whether or not I would be accepted to the only library school in my state.
Yes, you read that right. I am a waitlist/decline library school reject. Obviously I didn’t let that stop me.
Anyway, during that time I had an extremely vivid dream. Every time something involving Finland and libraries crosses my path, such as the Finnish Libraries iPhone App, I remember it again. Since I came across the Finn iPhone app in a blog, I figured I should share the fascinating details in my own blog. You thought I was nuts before? Just wait…
I received a letter notifying me & one of my high school friends that we had been accepted in the MLIS program. We also both received scholarships and/or were eligible for student loans, except my rate was 6.08% and hers was something higher based on a variety of factors I don’t remember.
At this point in the dream I realized the school doesn’t offer loans, only scholarships, and that my assumption that this letter had come from them was incorrect. I then panicked, not knowing if I was accepted or not, and started rereading the letter to figure out where it came from only to have the words suddenly morph into Finnish.
No, I don’t know Finnish. I also have no idea how I knew the words were Finnish and not Swedish or Norwegian. I also don’t need a scholarship or loan because tuition is free as long as I don’t take more than six units a quarter under the tuition exemption program, which is not bloody likely with 75% time work & a life involving a preschooler. I can’t stand that not knowing (entering the 6th week since the application deadline) is going to continue until late March at the earliest, more likely April.
Little did I know that by August I would be taking a full time semester courseload elsewhere (for free, in fact paid a small stipend too) via distance learning!
But wait, there’s more.
Later on the very same day I wrote down those details for posterity, there was a brochure in my mailbox inviting me to the Lazerow lecture in about a month’s time hosted by the library school I was ultimately rejected from. Where was the speaker from? Finland. I attended and sure enough his slides were in English then would suddenly morph into Finnish for data set and query results. It was a very surreal experience.
A month after the Lazerow lecture I attended another lecture by an anthropology professor, where (unknown to me beforehand) slides once again morphed into Finnish from English. That time I learned about mietiskellä, a very natural Finnish way of being in a conversation that involves a silent, studious reflection of your thoughts. The Finns tend to think Americans are way too yappy when we talk, and conversely we perceive them as being negative or unfriendly because they don’t do small talk to fill silences.
I think we could learn a lot from them. Enjoy the silence.