My platonic love

I entered the Central University of Venezuela a few months before turning 17 years old. I have always believed that at that age one is not really ready to decide what to do for the next few years, much less if it is painted in the tone "what you will do for the rest of your life." 

In fact, there are many wonderful experiences that we do not take advantage of because the immaturity of that age prevents us from doing so. I studied Psychology by day and Social Communication by night. In a short time I realized that this was not sustainable. Public education was my blessing but I needed to work because the tickets, guides and the like did not pay for themselves. 

Since then I knew, although some say no, that dedicating oneself to the so-called "intellectual life" usually collides with basic needs. Growing up, I verified that for women the blow is even greater because almost all the tasks of family life, etc., fall on us.

Therefore, he had to abandon a career but did not know which one. He loved the readings and discussions that arose in psychology classrooms. There are two classes that are still unforgettable for me. The first featured the participation of an HIV positive man who recounted the emotional impact of the disease with a frankness that uncovered the cruelty of the world. 

The second was a hypothetical case: a man comes to your office and tells you that he is attracted to his 15-year-old stepdaughter, that he has disrespected her in such and such ways and feels the desire to abuse her. He is there to seek your professional help: What should you do? 

The boys got on paper: "find out why he does it ...", "help him ...", "he is also a victim of ..." Meanwhile, my head only thought about "report him, time is against, we must save to that girl first. When it was my turn, I presented my ideas, which were quickly stopped with the so-called "professional secret."

However, I knew a saving article by heart: the psychologist can unquestionably proceed to reveal professional secrecy, when, according to the dictates of his conscience, there is a justified purpose and to the extent that the pursued interest is greater than what it is kept in reserve. 

Those classes were divine but also the possible arguments and counterarguments lasted for weeks in my head. But in Social Communication I learned to do what I liked the most: write. In addition, it is assumed that I would also find the same sensitivity / passion for social issues and that when studying at night there would be a certain level of maturity.

It was all longings. At the real level, there were many chamitos wanting to dedicate themselves to modeling, TV or sports but you know: their parents told them that they should have a degree. There were also many older adults wanting to study "something easy."

I tried to ignore my surroundings and focus on the teachers but, with few exceptions, they were people with the same amount of knowledge as ego or frustration. By the way, it was impossible to propose something other than what lived in their heads. I still remember my 04 for writing a first-person chronicle, 07 for leaving an open ending, 09 for not denying or affirming. Before long, my heart was between sad and regretful. 

When I was about to throw in the towel, an angel crossed my path. He was a sociologist, in his forties, he taught the thousand and one methodologies for research that the degree contemplated, although almost no one enrolled in his classes, "he is too demanding, he believes that one has nothing more to do with his life", they whispered the students through the hallways. 

Fortunately for everyone, the same class was taught by an old woman who gave you 20 if you said "good morning." But in that absurd numbers race, I was only looking for salvation. He began to believe that Cortázar was right, "hope belongs to life, it is life itself defending itself."

I enrolled my subject and fell in love. Alberto managed to jump from Darwin's origin of species to Freud's essays on sexual theory or Nietzsche's genealogy on morality, he walked Octavio Paz's labyrinth of Solitude, watched over and punished by Focault, discovering which was that second sex of Simone de Beauvoir. He was the most impressive guy my eyes had ever seen.

I remember crying in class reading Emile Durkheim's suicide. Meanwhile, in his "Movie Thursdays," we discussed the corporation, Russian dolls, method, and so on. Although the richest thing was to write about all that, having to land each reading "in journalistic format", transferring it to close, everyday cases related to our simple lives.

Alberto undoubtedly knew how to do it. He always had a close example, a good joke, an acceptable comparison, a salsa song to recommend, a phrase capable of shaking any certainty. Besides, it was beautiful. He gave you the corrections with the mischievous look of someone who delves into your expectations, the voice of the announcer of the new era, the sexy little smile.

When we finished the subjects, he went to do a postgraduate degree in Mexico. We said goodbye, as a group, having Arabic food for lunch. I remember thanking him, without further ado. I thought it would be very childish to tell him that he gave me back my desire to study, helped me not to run away and allowed me, in one way or another, to learn to believe in myself: "Do it even if it doesn't look like anything."

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't tripped over it. Today she would probably be a frustrated shit, the kid who once thought she could write until a couple of teachers told her she was "useless."

What would become of you if you had believed the voices that dismissed you? Thanks to Alberto, I also decided to become a teacher and give classes different from the rest, but similar to him. I've been trying for years to be the counterweight to all those who hold us back. Some of my students say that I am their crush. We've probably all had one.

Tell me your story, write it as it may, together we shape and share it. Spread the different forms of love, it is always necessary: [email protected]



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