I am thankful for the Niilo Helander Foundation

On Thursday, I was heading back to the central rail station, when I got an SMS from home. "You have a letter from the Niilo Helanter Foundation. Should I open it?". I quickly reply: "Opeeeeen it!". I wait for three seconds max, and phoned back to him. I was feeling excited and anxious at the same time. "Please say if it's positive or negative right away!" I begged. But why would they bother sending a 'no thanks' per mail..

Slowly, Jan started to read the letter. I wanted to scream of joy, but we don't do that in Finland. I had to be satisfied with crying out of happiness (quietly of course). The thing is, a grant makes you truly free. With a grant, you can go anywhere - if you like. I felt so free!

Couple of weeks back, I learned something new about myself. Planning big and far motivate me the most. I know that some of the plans sound too ambitious but small plans make me procrastinate.  Some people roll their eyes at my goals. Thus, I try not to discuss them at work. I know I am not so special - except in planning. Additionally, I don't believe in talent, I believe in hard work. This means, anyone could do anything if they are ready to give up leisure and to prioritize. If I can do X, you can do X too by investing time and effort. 

I have also discovered that these plans of doing research in Denmark give me a lot energy to daily tasks. Although, the housing search is taking some time. It looks like the research exchange is going to last 6 months (*) for which I am already funded. This grant for seven months enables a second research exchange, which I am seriously considering. In fact, I wrote to my supervisor and started by stating that I'll do a second research exchange and then mentioned about the grant. However, life can't be planned very precisely - and it's uncertain how much energy will go into moving and adaptation into a new country. Yet, if I can, I'll probably do a second long visit.

I would love to write about all the ideas for the future, but the next week needs all my attention now. On Wednesday, I'll present the first article of the dissertation at the Summer Seminar of Finnish Economists in Jyväskylä. Oh, and this is the first time that I am presenting my research! Luckily, I already have followed some conferences - DRUID2015 and the two previous seminars in Jyväskylä. Thus, the arrangements are quite familiar to me. What worries me, is forgetting to mention something important or that I cannot get the audience understand my research question and acting as the opponent. The good part is that the class of Writing Better Academic English made my fear of giving comments disappear. Making the comments will take some time but usually it is always possible to comment the text at least in general level. The bad news are: Wednesday is so soon! Wish me luck, I'll keep you updated. ;)

(*) the stay was first extended to 13 months. Setting up a second home takes a lot of effort but is also exciting from time to time. If you ever consider which one is better, short or long visit, I would say the long. The longer you stay the stronger relationships you can form. 


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