I spent the beginning of May in Rovaniemi, teaching graphic design students at the University of Lapland. It was a rather rough week, I must say, but also a really rewarding one. These workshops give good perspective, presenting a chance to take a step back and examine what, how and why I work like I work. And even though I worked around the clock, it still felt like a nice break from my everyday chores. Critiquing and focusing on the lectures was surprisingly draining. I regard myself as a fairly visual-minded person, so talking and explaining, all this verbal stuff felt laborious. :) Hope I made some sense, anyhow. The students were really great and it was a pleasure seeing their work and exchanging views. Seeing all this talent feels inspiring, and I always get this great urge to do my best at kicking them forward. Hope I was able to give them some ideas and tips, since I'm really looking forward to the next workshop anyhow.
Going back to Rovaniemi always stirs very contradictory feelings. The Faculty of Arts has moved to a new location and feels sort of odd, a little out of place. Everything is too techy and slick, if you'd grown used to that old garage smell the previous building had. But the whole city has changed. The shops have been shuffled, old bars have disappeared and new ones emerged – and my god, they even have coffee shops there now. Walking around the downtown area feels like from a dream. Sort of like coming home only to notice the furniture's been changed and there's no-one home.
As I waited for the train, I felt sorry I had to leave so soon. I spent some good times in Rovaniemi, back in the day, and everything feels nostalgic. Yet sadly, that's all there's to it. Times have changed. The city has changed.
Or have I just changed?