log entry ID: a........ 2023-09-22 03:12:00 EEST

This post is kind of going to suck, because I consider it more important to finish the post than to actually make it good. …I have a problem finishing things… Anyway.

This week, I escape.

I am beginning the first step of my permanent move from Onterrible, Canada to Finland. The plane leaves Detroit, Michigan (don’t ask.) on Sept 26. I will stay there for two and a half months.

This was years in the making.

It all began with Trudeau’s failed promise of electoral reform. Trudeau isn’t as bad as the last guy, but still. Fuck both of those guys, really. My vote is still all but meaningless because of Trudeau and his inaction against FPTP. And that’s just the beginning. There’s still the matter of Canada’s embarrassingly shitty public transit, its embarrassingly shitty cellphone service, and its embarrassingly shitty climate record. I’d vote to try to change this, but oh, wait!

Even so, I am not powerless. It’s not like I don’t have options. One of those options is Finland. I would have moved years ago, but I had decided to make the move about a month before the fucking pandemic hit.

I can’t just move to Finland.

I can’t just move to Finland, I found out. That was my preference. Turns out, I need a residence permit. To get said permit, I need some kind of reason for being in Finland. The three main reasons are family, work, and education.

Well, I have no family in Finland. There goes the first one.

Getting a job in Finland, I guess is still possible, but I like the third reason better.

So, I’ve decided to do a Master’s in Physics in Finland, and this time I’m going to finish it.

My educational catastrophe.

To make sure that happens, I have to address the reasons why the first Master’s failed. That was at Queen’s University, Kingston Onterrible. The main reason I didn’t finish that degree was that it did not offer me what I thought it would when I first signed up. I thought it would be a comprehensive course in modern theoretical physics. Turns out, Queen’s doesn’t even fucking teach Quantum Field Theory! Their program was a fucking joke! Worst part is, I had actually found this out pretty early on, but still unaccountably unenthusiastically stayed in the 2 year program for another 4 years!

To prevent this mistake from happening again, I am going to make damned sure that I am actually going to want to finish the program. I intend to do this by personally touring each university in Finland, and finding out first-hand what the program is going to be like. I will tour the campuses. I will talk in person with potential supervisors. I will check their course offerings. I will talk in person with my future professors. I will audit some of the classes. If a university can’t or won’t accomodate my research, it will simply be disregarded.

Yeah, but, like, why Finland?

As was alluded to earlier, the Finnish people are actually in control of their own government. This wild and dangerous idea is called Proportional Representation. Canada should try it some time.

I feel like you haven’t really answered the question, Eric.

Most of Europe has PR, though, so why Finland in particular? I guess the reason is, ultimately,

kaunis suomenkieli,

the beautiful Finnish language.

It first entered onto my radar while I was living in Thunder Bay in around 2012. Thunder Bay has the largest population of Finns outside of Finland, so it was only a matter of time before I ran into their language. My first serious girlfriend was in Music at Lakehead, and a friend of hers—another student—conducted two of the local Finnish language choirs.

Aside: That dude was a fascinating constellation of crazy, talented, awesome, and Finnish. And he’s living in Finland now. I’m hoping to meet him again over there.

Anyway, I have a background in music, so it wasn’t long before I was singing in both of these choirs. During the first rehearsal, I had like about ten minutes to learn how to read and pronounce Finnish. Thankfully, I only needed ten minutes. Finnish is an astonishingly easy language to read and pronounce. And it sounds awesome. Ten years later, I still have many of the lyrics memorised. I’ll close this log entry with two of my favourites.

Joku yksinäinen eksynyt,
Joka vilua vaikeroi,
Jok' on kaislikossa kierrellyt
Eik' emoa löytää voi. —On suuri sun rantas' autius.

Yön vallat aamun valkeus jo voittaa,
Sun päiväs koittaa oi synnyinmaa. —Finlandia Hymn. words: Viekko Antero Koskenniemi