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'Jouni Kylmala??? It can't be!!'

Posted by Prakash on June 2, 2012 at 4:15 PM

I am totally torn, really!

Jouni Kylmälä, the most popular and highly respected teacher among all the student groups in the DSS, is disrespectfully laid-off from Diak. Interestingly, he has had a permanent working contract and is the only DSS member to be sacked.

At this time, I am trying to understand this matter in line to Diak’s ‘preached’ values …to dare, to care and to share..!! Unfortunately, I can hardly make headway in my quest for this move.

Indeed- it is clear that more than economic crisis- Diak leadership is suffering from ‘sanity’ and proper ‘vision’. How much I wish that their 'better judgment' would translate into their 'better self '.

I think I am a soft love type of guy -professionally and personally. So is respected Jouni Kylmälä, as far as I know him. Perhaps for the very same reasons, I am bringing my thoughts into my blog, empathizing with him against this human insensitivity.

Respected Jouni Kylmälä

A person with strong sense of compassion, generosity and deep philosophical understanding of life and environment, I would certainly guess that Jouni has taken this decision surprisingly untroubled with a disarming smile on his face. However, I feel the pain, as it is disgusting from the side of those who disregard human dignity and human sensitivity.

A respected teacher-turned-colleague, my experience tells me that students trusted him so much. Then. And, they do now. And, we continue. Reasons are simple: He’s politically incorrect if he needs to be. Jouni is upfront and authentic – perhaps, some may argue, to a fault.

One of the founding members of the DSS programe, he is not always blessed with a strong organization. But he was not a manager in Diak. And, moreover, he is just a human. He’s not always on the balls. Nobody is.

Personally I appreciate Jouni’s understanding of life, world and his willingness to share and discuss his perspectives with everyone in the same level. He was perhaps the ONLY remaining academic thinker in the truest sense of the word in the DSS, always asking questions about the world and relating them to different sociological perspectives and his famous triangles. Possibly, it was this understanding that makes him such a humble and a great person to work with.

Reflecting back, his winning smile and friendly sense of humor never failed to put anyone at ease. My life in Diak both as a student and a teacher would have been much poorer place without his presence.

One thing for sure– even those who testify against him – know that Jouni has a kind heart and a humble egalitarian personality who can do no harm to anyone.

For me, this decisions of kicking out many grey-haired legends ( like Juha Säkkinen, Kari Latvus and Jouni) feels like an abuse of power and an act of aggression, a severe one. I call it severe because it pains not only recipients but also people like me who have nothing to receive from them. I sometimes wonder, could it be a 'generation- cum-gender' war waged against some veterans? Perhaps time will tell!  

In fact I just know Jouni well among those who have been sacked. To be honest, news of Jouni’s lay-off pained me more, actually many times more than when my own contract  did not continue in January. I had a time-limited contract and it came to an end. Not a big deal. It was obvious. But it was respectful. Thanks to the then superiors Jouko Porkka and Liisa Hynynen.

By these thoughts, I don't want to transmit feelings that I am against Diak as an institution. Personally, I am eternally grateful to Diak, the institution that has developed a programme like DSS which contributed so much to shape me both as a person and as a professional. It is one of the institutions that provided me with qualities (skills) and qualifications (papers) that I can earn my bread practically anywhere in the world. The institution that has provided me with friends (in real terms!!) practically in all the corners of the globe!! The very institutions who acquainted me to many wonderful personalities like Jouni!! I am ever grateful, I repeat!!

Moreover, Diak is the very institution that tought me to respect the differences, respect human dignity, human rights, respect elderlies, differently-abled and treat humans as individuals. Now I wonder, with these series of 'sadistic acts', does Diak continue to practice what it preaches? 


Observing all these bitter incidences having no human face, I fear the well wishers may have no choice than to resent what they used to appreciate. Perhaps, appreciation will soon be a matter of past.

As I end my thought, I want to reflect to the very title of this post. As soon as I heard Jouni being sacked from Diak, I called number of former student-colleagues. Every single graduates responded with the same expression and in the same tone of a deep shock i.e. ‘Jouni Kylmälä?? It can’t be!!’

In soladirity to many others against the disgusting decision, I also echo the same thoughts in a deep shock, yet once again, ‘Jouni Kylmälä?? It can’t be!!’

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