(Not a political post)

(Not a political post)

No need to avert your eyes - this is not a political post. It's much the same post I would have written if the outcome of the election had gone the other way, except the emotions I experienced were a bit different.

Here in Finland, the news that Trump was on a likely path to victory hit sometime between five and six am. A few of my students stayed up all night to follow the results and they said it wasn't a huge, sudden change from a projected win for Hillary to a projected win for Trump - more of a slow momentum building until the eventual outcome became apparent.

I had my political science and philosophy students in class starting at 8.30 - just when you in the US were turning in for the night! I myself felt like I was walking around in a daze; we started the class off with some small-group discussion of what was going on and a refresher on the Electoral College (we'd discussed that already some weeks ago). It has always been a treat for me to discuss US politics with my students - they are removed enough from the consequences of any given election to be unemotional; they are informed enough to be insightful. They are young and they are smart and they are eager to share their ideas and I love hearing them speak about these things in English. This morning was no exception.

We moved on to normal class activities, and then toward the end of class is where it got really memorable for me. I had the livestream of NBC News on the two monitors in the classroom, muted, just playing in the background in case there were any developments (at that point, Pennsylvania was still up in the air and Trump did not have 270 votes). I was helping a small group work out the structure of an essay when I looked up and saw the news flash that Clinton had conceded.

So we turned the sound on, and a few minutes later Trump came on to give his victory speech. I had the privilege of watching that speech surrounded by 20+ Finnish university students for the final fifteen minutes of class. It was one of those flashbulb moments. If I couldn't be at home with Jeremy and the kids, or in the US with my parents and siblings, I'm glad I could watch that speech not all alone, but with people who I have really enjoyed spending Wednesday mornings with this semester, people whose opinions I respect even if they haven't always matched my own.

I spent the afternoon with another group of political science and philosophy students. We were hoping to catch Clinton's concession speech but it was announced for 16.30 (and then 17.30) our time, and class ended well before then.

That's the end of the non-political post. Here are a few more thoughts that might include some political opinions.

I am the token American in my department and the condolences I received today from my coworkers rolled in throughout the day. I felt like someone had died. My students in general have been pro-Hillary or at least anti-Trump; Finland is a very liberal country (though I learned today that they don't necessarily use the word liberal here) and so it's natural that many Finns would identify with the Democratic party, though Bernie Sanders was a much bigger hit here than Hillary ever has been.

I do have some students, however, who have expressed their opinions in favor of a Trump presidency, if not Trump himself. Conservative Finns: they exist!

It's been a long day. Now you in the US get to spend the day figuring out the way forward while we in Europe get some rest.

November 11th, outsourced

Bikes in the snow