He who rests, rusts

  • Matti Sillanpää
    Corresponding author at: Department of Public Health, University of Turku, 20014, Turku, Finland.
    Emeritus Professor, Senior Research Scientist, Departments of Child Neurology and General Practice, University of Turku, and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
    Search for articles by this author
      I was born in 1936 in a suburban community of an industrial city of Pori, on the west coast of Finland. My father was a bus company owner up to the early 1930s, but he then changed to agriculture. I spent a lucky childhood with my four sisters and one brother in a stimulating environment near to nature. We children were educated to work hard, but we had no feelings of being exploited as child working power. My mother was of an old estate owner descent. As an undergraduate she gave up planned university studies in odontology due to her marriage. My close relatives included two physicians, but I never imagined I would share their vocation in the future. At the basic school stage, my favorite subjects were mathematics and carving. I was an overactive pupil who found it hard to stay in place and became easily nervous if everything in the classroom and outside did not happen without delay. In retrospect I realized that it was hyperactivity associated with subtle auditory and space perception disturbances. Other people never recognized those features, and they proved to be of no handicap in my career or life.
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