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In my life and in my work with guys the question I often ask myself is “How was it for me? How did I feel then? What did I think?”. And I find myself dealing with a personal story every time. Often starting from news about the world of school I find myself asking similar questions but this time it is not the sensational and terrible news of the batons to the boys who made me think. That is pure and simple violence, easy to reject. I found a small piece of news that reminded me of something. I read about a proposal from the Ministry of Education to use the results of the Invalsi tests for access to university *. After all, a test is required to access certain degree programmes, The grade of maturity has a certain weight but I saw in this proposal something heavier and dangerous for the boys.

Imagine that you are a student of the last years of high school who must “do” a thousand things: become an adult, get a license, take the language certification, prepare for maturity, decide what to do after graduation and also realize that you have to leave school anyway, the life before, for the life after that. So it occurred to me that last year of school. My high school at the time proposed an orientation test on the best choice of studies for our future. I still don’t know why he sent me such a proposal, but I made sure I was absent that day. I couldn’t stand a test done at that moment telling me what I would be good at in my life.

I feared a disagreement with my dreams evidently.

Returning to today, with what weight on the shoulders that student struggling with all those things to “do” should also think of a test that could preclude a road. A test done at a particular moment, unique in its kind precisely because a young boy is struggling with realizations and separations at that moment of his life.

And it can happen that that moment is therefore difficult and tiring, that we go into a bit of a crisis, that we make a bit of a mess of the program established by the school and the adult world. Why take a test with such a great resonance on the future?  Who is better, has the “merit” to be well framed maybe he can make it. And the others?

Behind such a proposal I see a blindness to what young people are. They seem more and more animals to be set in a path as soon as possible and to be tamed forever if too restless.

The beauty of the boys is just that restlessness, that mobility that allows him to be one thing then to be another. Going from being a child to being a teenager is a radical process that makes something disappear to be another, all new and different from the previous one.

So is it possible to turn everything upside down? And become what was absolutely invisible to others when you were little?

Is it possible to be different from the starting point?

Today I claim that I did well not to be told what I would be good at because I had to find out myself even wonderful my own expectations.

*It was just a bad dream, the news was denied.

Maria Giubettini


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Credits by: Jack Redgate