I passed again through that magical door of platform nine and four quarters. I was transformed, evolved, I saw myself in the reflection of the frozen lakes, I questioned myself, I said what I has been, what I was, what I could be.
Little snow this time. Does it matter? The country is the same country both with snow and snow-less. Calm, serene, peaceful, happy, but alone; refreshing, breathable; It is the place that smells of health and blends comfort with simplicity. Life is slow, unhurried, uncomplicated, there is order and peace. "God, I don't want to go back to that mess!" the voice inside me shout. “Still a little too calm?!” ' your Southern blood rushes through your veins.
Then the day and night of the ceremony time stroke. Don't mind what I said, "at night". The start time was five in the evening. Considering that the sun sets at three o'clock and they are conceived to sleep at nine o'clock in the night, five seems like a valid night start for them.
I have never seen Finnish advisors and professors that I have seen during my two-year master's degree so frank, sincerely, and more excited and enthusiastic than I am. My teachers, who did not smile unless it was necessary and preferred not to speak unless there was an important message they wanted to convey, greeted me with such a nice hug that this greeting made me say, "Oh my stupid head, why did you turn back".
During the sharing of experiences we gave to graduate students who had just joined the caravan, when I was not sharing, I left the environment and watched the new students for a while. I wanted to say a lot of other things, but if I started, I wouldn't be able to stop talking, I know myself. How could I explain what I went through in these two years, what I couldn't?! While they were so eager and sworn to change the world, sitting there waiting to hear hopeful words... How could I say to them:
"Nothing will go as you planned. One-tenth of what you hope for, maybe not. Realism will hit you like a slap in the face when you leave this country where you came with your idealism and made you believe you can be. You will have to work. Wherever you go, you will not be accepted as a decent person because you will be seen as different and too utopian. The reality of this country will not match the reality of any other country. You will fall ten times and get up once, be content with that and continue on your way with the same motivation and determination and turn goodness as a torch, you'd have to carry it."
I didn't say. Innocent out of the five or six questions they asked me:
“You are an English teacher in a primary school, but you chose educational leadership as your specialty. Where are you using this?"
question, I answered:
“You can use your leadership skill anywhere”
I couldn't give them enough of the underlying meaning of my answer. I could not explain that the leadership they saw there, blended with humility, transparency, togetherness, common goal and guidance, and the leadership that is now whirling around the world with dictatorship, cruelty and individual ego wars are not the same concepts. Your only problem is that they say "I do, I do very well, I never make mistakes, I am the most perfect, you are missing, it is not because of you" and try to get somewhere by emphasizing people, trying to get along with the tyrants called leaders and find a way to speak the same language. I couldn't tell they had to find it. I couldn't tell them that they had to fight with themselves every day to achieve these.
I could not show that the quality of leadership is not to step in at these points and say, "If he is doing it, then I will do the same". I really wanted to say that only the smallest creatures they lead can get from the love in the eyes of their students and the progress they show, but I couldn't say that they hold on to the humanity they believe in and are taught there and how successfully they manage the crises they face every day of God's life.
"You have to face the difficulties that you are exposed to and may face every day. You have to listen to the complaints that are ringing in your ears and say in return, “I understand you, but there is this side too”. You have to find a way to fulfill the leadership quality"
I couldn't say.
I was under the spell of Finland, my graduation and being surrounded by friends. I focused on being grateful for what was given to me, absorbing the bitter feeling of pride that it was over, the good deeds done around the world, which were enthusiastically told. My eyes filled with tears and my throat was tight. I didn't tell them all that I was talking about.
Instead, I enjoyed the moment. I thought how satisfying and adequate the most quiet and unpretentious celebration I had ever seen in my life was. I realized that the person who celebrates an event is that handful of people with whom you set out with the same goal and crossed paths, whose culture, country, language, and characteristics are completely different, but when you shared your happiness and joy during the two years you spent, you can become one. When one of my professors came out and sang for us, I realized that humility, kindness, love, and good manners are universal and can only occur in very special people. I realized that besides the splendor of Turkish cuisine, a celebration dinner can also be served with limited products from the barren Finnish lands, and that what makes that table a table is to share the memories of the past.
When I saw the way a Finnish baby and a Uyghur baby look at each other, I took a deep breath and sighed what I couldn't say and waited for them to bloom to write here. I think it's better that way for new students. After all, the Finnish education system is based on the philosophy of learning by experience, right?
What I will say is that I am proud not to graduate today, but to be “human”. This is the biggest takeaway from my experience in Finland. How little isn't it? This is exactly what they are experiencing, what we cannot live, maybe we will never want to live; less is more. This is the essence of being human. On this occasion, I wish you and myself to be happy in life with less, but more.