Lifelong Learning Programme

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Success Stories

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Vice and Death
High Secondary School
School bullying
My name is Dumitru. I teach agriculture. Before teaching, I worked as agricultural engineer for twenty years, after which I decided to become a teacher. I thought my life will not change much, I will continue to drink every time I felt like it and everything will be fine.
It is hard for me to write this today because the memory is not one of my proudest, but I want to help all those other people, teachers, that are going through the same thing I did.
In the first years of my teaching career, I migrated from school to school, unable to keep a job because of my vice. In my previous school, I suffered from wages’ cuts, the critical looks of colleagues, students and, most, hurtful of all, my family. Their looks said I must end my reckless run through life because, if I continued on the path, I will lose everything.
I did lose everything. I lost my family – my wife took the children and left, never wanting to have anything to do with me again.
I stopped, I woke up from what seemed a never ending nightmare, I reformed my life, I started paying attention to myself, to my health. Too late. My doctor soon discovered my pancreatic cancer. No cure, just a slow, painful decay caused by none other but the astronomical quantities of alcohol I used to ingest. Right now, I don’t even remember why I felt the need to drown myself in poison. My life was not so bad, I had a family, a job, stability, everything a man could possibly want from life. Then why did I do it. Have you ever wondered why do YOU do it? Trust, me for whatever reason you are drinking, it is not worth it. There is nothing worse than the sentence I was given.
I am aware I have very little time left on this earth. I am reminded everyday by the pain in my body and soul. Today, my colleagues respect me, my students love me and it would seem I live a happy live. I don’t. I am going to die because I was careless, because I did dot respect me well enough to have a long and prosperous life.
Why did I tell you all this? Because alcoholics are time bombs waiting to explode, and when that happens, not only they will have to suffer but the people around them.
What kind of a model is a teacher who drinks and goes to class drunk. What can those students possible learn from such a teacher?
This story is not only a warning to teachers who drink, adults, that is. The same things can happen to a child with drinking problems. The younger one starts this vice, the sooner the end of what could have been a long and fruitful life comes.
It would be nice if scientist could invent a vaccine for this affliction, for any vice. But the problem is not a medical one. Not in the beginning. In the beginning it is all in one’s mind, in one’s will-power. If you do not find the strength in yourself to end it before it is too late then, well, it is too late.
That is why, when children and adults develop this addiction, it is our duty to find a way to help them co on the right path in life. Recommend a specialist, therapists, the support of the family, colleagues.
The times my colleagues laughed at or scorned my behavior, that did not help. That is not the proper reaction to have. In general, we could not care less about what happens with the people around us, with the strangers we meet in the street, or even work with. After all, it is none of our business, it does not affect us.
It does affect us. Today we ignore one, tomorrow another, and the number grows, society get clogged with people unable to deal with the hardships of life without alcohol on their systems.
Children are the most vulnerable to this vice. They see adults, people who are supposed to be their models in life, and they imitate. This must be the right thing to do, they say. Adults do it and adults know best.
Today I am 60, my colleagues sang me Happy Birthday, gave me a present, and all I can thing about is that it is not a happy birthday, that my body is rotting on the inside and there’s nothing I can do about. I could, a long time ago, when there was still time, but now it is too late.
Wake up! Don’t fight Death, fight Vice.

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.