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Ville Laakso

Born March 5, 1972, Helsinki

Master of Arts (General Linguistics), University of Helsinki

Entrepreneur, Paletti Oy, 2005–
Researcher, PhD student, part-time teacher 2000–2004, University of Helsinki

Photo: Ville Laakso
Written by Ville Laakso (Kaija Hartikainen, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

My best memory at the University of Helsinki

Many people like me – students who took a long time to find their own field – must feel that it is difficult to name a single moment or event that stands out above all others in such a thoroughly golden period. My time as a student at the University of Helsinki is one long wonderful memory, where what brings me the most delight and inspiration are the many still vivid discussions and arguments with my fellow students. Perhaps the best way to remember my studies is as a tapestry of numerous long-running, overlapping discussions that seemed to be growing and progressing all the time.

It must be due to this discussion-based memory that the location I feel closest affinity to is the top floor of the City-Center building, where our department was housed for most of my studies. Even if the surroundings rather lacked the historical charm of the Main Building, it was the scene for innumerable debates.

We occasionally moved our discussion to any one of the myriad establishments in the neighbourhood to refresh our parched throats, but we could always return to the top floor of the City-Center building to continue, and perhaps consult the library for the exact wording of a particular argument.

The last night in City-Center building; from the left, Mickael Suominen, Ville Laakso, Marja Pälsi. Photo: Jarno Raukko.

The most dramatic and symbolic parting from the University might have been when I was forced – as a result of the changing times – to return Rudolf Engler's critical edition of Cours de linguistique general , a book which had become very important to me, after 16 years. I had fondly imagined I was doing the library a favour by freeing their shelf space for more modern books. I still check the University Library database from time to time to see whether Engler is still gathering dust on the shelf, and in all these years I’ve never found it was checked out – and that is a pity.

Ville Laakso's Department of Finnish library card.


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