SCHOOL DIARY

SCHOOL DIARY

I owe the reading of Daniel Pennac’s School Diary to Luciana: THANK YOU Lucy, I’m really grateful to you!

A diary edited by Feltrinelli, which I absolutely loved and which, in my opinion, should also be read at school.

Daniel Pennac, or Pennacchioni, is a teacher in Paris since 1970, better to use his exact words:
We learn that for a quarter of a century the author has practiced as a teacher and that he has chosen this apartment overlooking the courtyards of two schools a bit like a railway worker retiring above a marshalling yard.

In fact, I’ll tell you more: listen to whoever reads these words

 

I open a dutiful parenthesis on Sport’s Bar even if surely you also know Luisona and all the other characters, right?

But let’s go back to reading and to the emblematic phrase of Daniel Pennac’s mother: “Do you think he will get away with it sooner or later?”

Were you doing well in school? Were you among the deserving students and with the high average?

He definitely not, yet he first became a teacher and then a writer!

Daniel Pennac tells us that what he wrote is the “pure truth” and for this reason I found his message even more important.

What better example to give confidence to all those who are faced with uphill paths, who are out of the ordinary “patterns,” who are experiencing momentary failures?

I was thrilled with both the hope this book instills and the way it portrays true teaching.

I find that another sentence of his that deserves a standing ovation is this:
I always thought that school was first and foremost done by teachers. After all, who saved me from school if not three or four teachers?

And also:
Instead of collecting and publishing the pearls of the dunce students that arouse hilarity in so many classrooms, we should write an anthology of good teachers. Literature does not lack similar testimonies: Voltaire who pays homage to the Jesuits Tournemine and Porée, Rimbaud who submits his poems to Professor Izimbard, Camus who writes filial letters to Mr Martin, his beloved teacher, Julien Green who fondly remembers the image vivid of Professor Lesellier, his history teacher, Simone Weil praising his teacher Alain, who will never forget Jules Lagneau who introduced him to philosophy, J.B. Pontalis celebrating Sartre, who “stood out” so much among the other professors …
If, in addition to these famous teachers, the anthology offered the portrait of the unforgettable teacher that almost all of us met at some point in our scholastic path, perhaps we would draw some light on the skills necessary for the practice of this strange profession.

About professors and school diary just recently with Eleonora in the comments you can find here we remembered the glorious years of high school by telling about the decorations of the diaries.

Do you still keep any of yours?

The talk with Eleonora then continued also on the teachers, in particular on those we remember with greater esteem.

And what do you remember of your teachers?

Were any of them particularly enlightening or extremely ironic?

Daniel Pennac’s irony comes to life above all through the stylized men he draws that I obviously like very much.

Apparently I’m not the only one, so much so that I discovered an unofficial site dedicated to Daniel Pennac, and look at what image the author has chosen! 

Coincidence?! I do not think so …

CENTOQUARANTADUE DOES THE ENCORE

CENTOQUARANTADUE DOES THE ENCORE

I have already told you about the blog Centoquarantadue and how it is made up of two Souls: She, who wrote the story n. 3 of the Advent calendar, and He.

On this Sunday before Christmas Centoquarantadue does an encore and gives us the story by He.

I state that I already had my eyes to heart reading the presentation: I am He, who adores She. Writing together allows us to maintain a deep bond, despite the distance and other unspecified adversities.

Simply wonderful words.

And as if that weren’t enough, the story also moved me particularly because it awakened a memory linked to my Mom.

I don’t want to reveal anything but I advise you not to miss this Christmas Surprise:

There were just a few days before Christmas and, like every year, the delivery of the prize for kindness was held in the village: during the year, whoever wanted, could report one or more people who had distinguished themselves for acts of generosity, and at the end of the year , just before Christmas, the chosen ones were rewarded during an official ceremony attended by almost the whole country  go on here. 

LETTERS TO THE PAST

LETTERS TO THE PAST

In a week it will be Christmas, but what Christmas will it be?

This thought carries the nostalgia of memories that flow as if in slow motion.

If I could write a letter to me from 1979 I would tell myself to be overjoyed because the coming years will be an explosion of life, colors, sounds, emotions.
And I would tell myself to learn The logical song well, because one day unfortunately the meaning will appear in all its clarity.

If I could write a letter to me in 1989, I would tell myself that that was the first of thirty-two years of work that I will like but that I have to follow the desire to study and expect more for myself.
And I would tell myself to fight so that, just like in Berlin, all the walls are torn down.

If I could write a letter to me from 1999 I would tell myself that this whole idea of the 2000s is just a big soap bubble and that the upcoming future is wearing a mask that hides the regress.
And I would tell myself that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path

If I could write a letter to me from 2009 I would tell myself that the crisis is not about to end and to be prepared to experience the recession.
And I would tell myself that The Resistance  isn’t just the best rock album.

If I could write a letter to me in 2019, I would tell myself to live every single minute with the awareness of the enormous value of simple moments that, however trivial, will change.
And I would tell myself that things are about to happen that I would never have believed.

But the worst fires burn intangible realities.

CENTOQUARANTADUE DOES THE ENCORE

THOUGHTS AT THE WINDOW

Today the window of the Advent calendar  gives us thoughts … or rather: the story is from the blog Thoughts at the window

The author is Martina, who tells of herself having worked for a few years in the press office in “The devil wears Prada” conditions … and the thought goes straight away a Is there some reason that my coffee isn’t here? Did she die or something? 

Martina, like Andy, leave her “Miranda” and becomes a primary school teacher, a job that I envy her very much, of course with all the understanding of what it is certainly not a fairy tale.

My primary school teacher is called Virginia and I respect her infinitely. She was a teacher, but also a mother and a great example of Woman.

I still remember the chores for Christmas, the decorations in the classroom and the magical atmosphere of childhood.

And I advise you to go and read the atmosphere that Martina literally painted with the words in her contribution:
Today I was walking through the decorated streets of the neighborhood. Roads that in this season I travel little, too busy by car, not useful if you don’t live there, outside of the daily journey. I went there with the dog, remembering when I wanted her, the doggo on here

C’ERO ANCH’IO SU QUEL TRENO – THERE WAS ME ON THAT TRAIN TOO

C’ERO ANCH’IO SU QUEL TRENO – THERE WAS ME ON THAT TRAIN TOO

In thanking Giovanni Rinaldi once again, I am happy to tell you about his new book There was me on that train too  The true story of the children who united Italy published by Solferino.

There was me on that train too is published exactly twelve years after Happiness trains, years during which Giovanni Rinaldi never interrupted his historical research which, with his tireless human commitment, has turned into a real mission to bring together the protagonists of a chain of wonderful solidarity.

In the post-war years, thousands of children were hosted by generous families who pledged to offer them what they had been deprived of for various reasons, welcoming them and treating them as their own children.

Giovanni Rinaldi’s essay starts from the tragic consequences of a strike in San Severo in 1950 following which more than a hundred people were arrested: mothers, fathers, leaving many children in the middle of a street.

A song recorded by Giovanni begins like this

The venditré of March

Succèsse ‘na rruìna …

I know, I have already written it, but for me the dialect, as well as the oral tradition, are an absolute heritage that, if it were not for people like Giovanni, we would lose.

And instead with his persevering efforts, Giovanni continues in the collection of testimonies that extends to children forced to work in Naples, to children who survived the bombing of Cassino, and to many other cases in which conditions of extreme difficulty have made the help to parents providential, since they were unable to support them.

The organization, transfers, communications between families of origin and host families took place at the initiative of the Communist Party but in particular by the UDI: Unione Donne Italiane.

In this regard, with my love for Christmas, I read with particular emotion the part in which Ida tells of her commitment to collect from various shopkeepers, the necessary to make a Tree set up with candies, biscuits and gifts.

The magic, however, breaks to the point where Ida remembers how the secretary, annoyed at this initiative of hers, even scolded her with a slap …

Women.

Women and Mothers who weave their lives in function of the good for the children, managing to put themselves in each other’s shoes, understanding, working, sacrificing.

I particularly want to remember with affection Americo to which I am grateful for the great teaching on maternal love that he has given me.

The letter from Umberto’s mother is also enchanting:

The hearts of us mothers of the tormented Frosinone greet all of you who come to meet us, and we greet this beautiful work organized by our Communist Party.

I hope to receive more news, and if the Lord will provide me before Umberto returns I will come to see you.

Not that words to thank her for what you are doing for my son, but may the Lord give you back all the good you deserve …

She thanks the party and hopes in the Lord and yet I find no contradiction, on the contrary I admire the wonderful coexistence of thoughts that have the heart as a common denominator.

Heart that I found on every page.

Among the chapters of There was me on that train too, dedicated to each of the children he managed to track down, Giovanni Rinaldi tells us how he managed to trace the families who offered generous hospitality, starting from fragments of memories, names often lacking of references, photographs of a very distant time.

A meticulous work but above all a strong sensitivity combined with the noble intent to realize the desire for reunification of these people who life has inevitably led to distance themselves.

I don’t know if you were able to follow the interview on Rai Uno, otherwise you can retrieve it here at approximately 1 hour and 1 minute.

I advise you to see him to realize how Giovanni’s attitude towards the people he met is: while Severino and Diego tell their experience, he observes them with a smile that says more than any word.

And this is the feeling of extreme respect that runs throughout the book. Giovanni himself tells us that “these elderly gentlemen, when they speak, are the children of the time who tell … and it is also a therapy: going back to those moments means bringing out both the traumas and the joys.”

On tiptoe listening first.

And as much as Giovanni acts as a channel that allows memories and stories to flow that are faithfully reported, he also gives us descriptions of the context so precise as to make us feel transported to the same place, enveloped by the suggestion that the scope of enormous loads of emotions encloses.

I conclude by leaving you this beautiful metaphor about Benedict:

opens the door: a beam of light illuminates the darkness. Outside and inside, as on a border, they all remain still, suspended ...

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