One September morning, as the sun was rising at dawn, a cool breeze gently hit my mother and me in the face. All the representatives with their teenage children were lined up in front of the Lyceum to enroll them.
My mother, Leonides, waited patiently in line to enroll me in my first year of high school. That year I was thirteen years old, She was a bit insecure and shy, I had few friends. Despite these qualities, I passed that school year with excellent grades.
The following year I was a sophomore in high school. At that time I was in a section with a group of students who didn't like to go to class. Since it was difficult for me to have classmates, I made friends with them.
In the school yard there were several grape trees, we would go to those bushes to pick those fruits. The first three months of the school year were great. When the end of the school year came. At the beginning of December. The handing out of the report cards to the representatives began. The situation became difficult.
The teacher told me and my three friends that we had lost the school year. I went home very worried, embarrassed and afraid to tell my mother, I was afraid she would scold me.
A few days later, my mother was called to pick up the newsletter. She came to school with me. The guidance teacher told her:
"Your daughter has just lost the year because she has lost 6 subjects plus one of the ones she is taking and this is contemplated in article 131 of the Secondary Education Law. Please go to the Direction of this Institute and collect the documentation, since as of this moment she is out of the school system."
My mother replied, "Can't you give him another chance since he's only been in this course for one term?" The teacher replied:
"by disposition of the Director, he can repeat in this Liceo, but next year".
On the way home I was as pale as a sheet of paper, my hands sweaty and cold as winter rain. I felt my whole body shaking like the leaves of trees when they are shaken by the wind. I was ashamed to see my mother's face, which was very sad.
I was waiting for him to catch my eye. As we walked home. On the contrary, my mother did not utter a word the whole way. As soon as we reached our house, she grabbed my hands and said:
"I want you to explain to me why you were not coming to class." With tears in my eyes I explained the reason and asked for forgiveness. Leonides told me:
“"I have nothing to forgive you for the harm you have caused yourself," I retorted, and my mother rebutted:
"Do you know what it means to lose a year of schooling? I mumbled:
"Belatedly I have understood the damage I did to myself." My mother explained:
"Don't think I'm going to let you be lazy. I'm going to buy you a cuatro, so that you can fix songs, while the new school year begins". At that moment I promised her not to fall into those mistakes again. She just said:
"I hope so."
A few days later, Leonides gave me the cuatro and, from that moment on, I played and composed several songs.
Time passed and my mother enrolled me in the new course at the same high school to repeat the year. I never heard from the other three friends.
From that moment on, I took advantage of the opportunity provided by the school principal and my mother's understanding. I also surrounded myself with friends who thought positively, we formed a study group where in most subjects the lowest passing grade was 18 points. I graduated from Liceo Antonio José de Sucre in 1971.
I then continued my university studies and graduated as a sociologist. Shortly after, I started working.
That experience in my sophomore year of high school served as an engine of personal growth: I learned to meet friends with a positive mindset. To have confidence in myself, to control my emotions before acting. And to build my own happiness to this day.
This story is non-fiction
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The photo I used is from a painting that the painter Efraín Salmerón gave me as a gift.
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