The way we were

Today is a perfect day to activate the grandfather-mode, so I have already warned you. If from this line you decide to continue reading, it is your problem.

In 1988 I was in 6th grade of BGE (Primary, for the youngest). My tutor was also the teacher of mathematics and pre-technology (plastic … crafts with handsaw, fine marquetry after all). He called himself “Brother Federico” although logically, for us he was Fede.

The man was completely crazy, something easy to check if you were with him in class a few times. He had epic moments that even today when I am with some old companion we remember together and laugh out loud. Among his many follies he had one that marked me: he started some free extra-classes of computers-technolgye, every morning from 08:15 to 09:00 if I remember correctly, I mean, just before starting the day at school. I think it was because he told us that the “computer” programs were in English and I was attending English after-school classes from 1st of BGE which made me feel able, and that was the first contact with computer science. With the programming language “LOGO”, with the design software “Print Master”, with the office suite “Asisstant Series”, with a motherboard of an IBM 515 8088, then a 640X, and some disks of 5.1 / 4. .. My professional life would start from those classes. I remember that it was very hard to go to that age so early by train by alone, I remember the fog in winter passing by the telephone box that was in the corner of the square where I grew up, next to a fountain … as if it were yesterday.

And as if it were yesterday I remember one of the crazy things he told us on a couple of occasions. He told us, speaking about wars in some kind of tutoring: “... and they are developing bombs that keep buildings intact and kill people.” And we all looked at him like cows watch trains. And he continued chattering and chattering … and he kept on with his stories. And he was really talking about AIDS, A Flu, Ebola … and fucking Coronavirus. The more I remember it, the more I think about it and I think he was  right.

It’s said that through the years, in the future we will remember the emotional connections with our teachers more than the contents they transmitted to us. From Fede I have inside his passion for computing, the laughter we made with his way of communicating, insane … and that message that I never understood and that perhaps today I would like not to believe. Anyway, thanks Fede. Thanks to you, for example, today I write on this blog.

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