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REFLECTIONS Single  issue    

May 2013  


Different but  equal  

Violence against  women  

A strange  world  

Street children  


6th National   Competition   "Città   di  Campagnana"  (Rome)  


The   school   year   is   at   the   end   and   with   a   bit   of   sadness   we   are   about  to  conclude  the  three-­‐year  period  in  the  lower  secondary   school.   Therefore   we   are   required   to   think   over   what   we   have   learned   both   as   students   and   as   persons.   The   analysis,   discussions   and   study   of   current   issues   about   the   world   around   us   let   us   come   to   the   conclusion   that   we   should   not   wait   until   majority  to  try  to  make  the  world  better  for  ourselves  and  others,   but   since     now   we   have   to   change   our   behaviours,   to   open   our   heart  and  our  mind  to  become  responsible  citizens  of  the  world.   Each  of  us  can  make  a  contribution,  small  or  large,  to  give  life  to   the   realization   of   personal   and   social   hopes   and   dreams   so   that   we,   today’s   youth,   can   aspire   to   a   more   secure   and   right   future   than  today’s  future  which  appears  that  'black  and  empty'  for  the   many   young   people   who   have   not   yet   found   their   place   in   the   world.  


Different but  equal    

  We   all   have   similar   thoughts,   feelings,  wants  and  dreams.   Theoretically   we   should   have   the   same   rights   and   duties   despite   different   ethnicities,   cultures,   religions,   family   backgrounds,   appearances,   interests   and   abilities.   We   should   have   self-­‐ respect,   respect   for   others   and   responsibility   for   our   actions.   But   actual   facts   prove   it   is   hardly   so.   As   teens   and   students   there   are   lots   of   ways   in   which   we   do   not   respect   ourselves:   not   getting   enough   sleep,   not   eating   healthy   food,  not  learning    and  exercising,   drinking,   taking   drugs,   smoking   etc.  To  respect  ourselves  means  to   have   good   thoughts   about   ourselves.   We   should   replace   negative   thoughts   like   ‘I   am   too   fat,   too   ugly   or   too   dumb’   with   positive   ones   like   ‘I   am   smart   and   capable  of  learning  and  doing  new   things’.  It  is  not  a  bet  to  be  better   than   someone   else   but     a   way   of   life  which  helps  us    to  understand   who   we   are,   to   accept   and   improve   ourselves   so   that   we   can   build  our  future  life,  following  our   hopes  and  dreams.   If   we   are   on   good   terms   with   ourselves,   we   also   have   a   good   interaction   with   others.  

Sometimes it   happens   some   of   us   say  mean  words,  call  names,  push   and   kid   provoking   fear,   anger,   resentment   and   hurt.     Bullying   is   something   really   unkind   and   disrespectful   but   it   frequently   happens!  We  all  need  to  be  loved   and  accepted  for  who  we  are  but,   even   if   it   is   difficult,     we   have   to   accept   who   apparently   seems   different  from  us.  Sometimes  even   if   we   do   not   behave   like   bullies,   we   act   superior,   tease,   laugh   at   others   or   avoid   them   and   by   doing   that,  we  set  up  barriers,  prejudices   and   bad   feelings     that   we   may   keep  in  our  head,  perhaps  forever.   We   must   open   our   mind   and   heart,   learn   to   be   honest,   respectful,   kind,   dutiful   and   to   have  consideration  for  others.   Is   the   adults’   world   different?   Millions   of   people   try   to   help   others   but   those   who   do   nothing   for   mankind   are   more   and   more.   Maybe   they   are   not   aware   or   do   not   care   of   others’   needs,   they   are   interested   only   in   themselves,   they   have   ‘bigger   problems'   or   they   do   not   have   means   to   do   it.   What  we  do  not  realize,  however,   is   that   the   real   big   problems   are   indifference,   ignorance,   presumption  and  malice.     Some   of   these   people   who   do   nothing,   believe   it   is   abnormal   to   see  people  of  the  same  sex  kissing   each   other.   They   consider   war   a   right   thing,   they   are   convinced   that   foreigners   should   remain   in   their  country    and  they  should  not   become   Italian   citizens   because   they   were   not   born   here.   As   for   me   it   is   not   normal   to   see   human   beings   who,   daily,     fight   for   their  

survival, cannot     go   to   school,   cannot   practice   their   religion   or   express   their   own   opinions.   It   is   not   normal   people     are   tortured,   treated     like   slaves,   imprisoned   and   killed   for   their   ideals,   ethnic   groups,   sex   and     social   condition.     It  is  not  normal  death  penalty  still   exists,  that  people  cannot  marry     and  adopt  children  if  they  have  a     partner  of  the  same  sex.               Now   the   obvious   question   is:''   What   is   normal?''.   People   such   as   Martin   Luther   King,   Gandhi,   Nelson   Mandela   have   opened   our   eyes,   giving   us   the   key   to   our   freedom  but  we  have  not  turned  it   yet   in   the   lock.   Everyone   can   always  do  something  and  I  want  to   do   it,   like   hundreds,   thousands,   millions,   billions   of   other   people   do.   The   only   obstacle   is   the   cancellation   of   my   own   ideas   which   I     should   not   destroy.   No   matter  if  they  are  big  or  small....  I   am   fourteen.   In   January   I   became   a   member   of   Amnesty   International   and   of   a   few   weeks   ago.   (Martina)   I   know     there   are   kids   who   are   already   stirring   things   up,   and   they   will   be   more   and     more.   It   is   true   that   bigger   and  bigger  are  the  youth  problems   that   block   and   stop   this   kind   of   "rebellion".   The   first   of   all   is   that   sort   of   "normality"   that     obsesses   us     much.   There   is   a   lack   of   personality,   of   ideals   and   of   involvement   in   right   causes.   Today   among   the   young,   the   teens,   the   need  to  be  visible  and  fantastic  to   the   others’   eyes   appears   exasperated   but   it   often   represents   an   essential   condition    

for success   in   a   society   that   is   more   and   more   competitive   and   less   "guaranteed".   We   must   not,   then,   underestimate   the   role   of   others:   in   fact,   in   the   process   of   defining   their   identity,   teens   look   for   new   models   of       identification   among   peers   and   schoolmates,   struggling   to   differentiate   themselves   and   to   emphasize   the   intentional   departure   from   their   parents.   In   this   way,   the   social   bond  with  peers  gets  stronger,  in  a   sort   of   ritual,   such   as   the   ritual   of   a   cigarette   or   a   joint,   which   sometimes   are   just   rituals   of   transition,   to   which   aggressive   actions   may   be   added,   such   as   early   sexual   and   unprotected   activity,   dangerous   driving   and     games    and  others.  Imitation  is  not   enough;   teens   needs   to     compete     with   their   peers   all   the   time   and   this   may   implement     harsh   behaviors,   due   to   an   alteration   in   the   perception   of   real   danger   which   leads   them   to   expose   themselves   to   any   risks   while   maintaining   the   illusion   of     (self)   control.       There   are   also   good   actions   which   in   most   case   are   addressed   to   emulation   and   to   overcome.     Some   behaviors   are   put   in   place   to   "test"   the   reactions   of   the   adults   (parents   and   teachers),  to  see  how  far  they  can   get   and   what   they   are   worth   up   to   the   given   limits   and   prohibitions.   Other   times,   teens   transgress,   to   observe   how   much   the   adult   is   actually   interested   and   attentive   to   their     behavior.   Taking   risks   is   part   of   the   psychological   growth   that   characterizes   adolescence,   especially,   in   Western   cultures,  

marked by   individualism   that   encourage   self-­‐expression.   In   addition,   the   continuous   restructuring   of   the   cell   family   and   the   tremendous   changes   which   have   taken   place   in   our   society   in   these   years,     lead   to   a   necessary   redefinition  of  the  concept  of  risk.   Today,   parents   are   inclined   to   indulge   their   children   unconditionally;   this   absolute   inability   to   say   "no",   together   with   the   absence   of   precise   rules,   do   nothing   but   inourish     the   vicious   circle   of   granted   requests.   First   the   child   and   then   the   teenager   see   the   immediate   satisfaction   of   every   desire,   without   having   to   make  the  slightest  effort  to  obtain   them.   Where   everything   is   guaranteed,   often   there   is   not   even   any   risk   to   be   run;   so,   there   is  no  more  space  for  transgression   that,   in   some   respects,   might   prove  necessary  for  the  growth.   It  is  not  correct,  however,  to  lump   everything   together.   Let’s   give   an   example:  student  demonstrations.      

Hundreds   and   hundreds   of   young   people   take   part   to   communicate   their   dissent,   peacefully   united,   trying   to   avoid   the   resignation   in   the   face   of     the   injustice   or   the   inefficiency   of   those   who   leave   to   rot   problems,   the   withdrawal   into  

themselves, the   loneliness   of   individuals   left   alone   with   their   problems   too   often   dramatic   and     carrying,   in   the   streets   a   single   voice,   which,   if   it   were   not   collective   it   iwould   be   silent   in   this   society   made   of   mass   loneliness.   But     to   appear   all   angry   but   confident     their   voices   together   will   be   stronger,   is   losing   value.   The   copposite   party,     that   the   demonstrators  would  like  to  make   hear  their  voice  to,  waits  only  they   vent   and   everything   returns   as   it   was   before.   What   distresses   me   more,  is  that  of  a  great  event,  of  a   river   of   people,   there   are   only     left   the   numbers   of   injured   people,   bitterness,   tired   feet   and   frightened   families.   Offensive   slogans   remain   against   the   police   who   are   those   who   lose   face   in     most  cases.   What   they   broadcast   on   TV   is   an   urban   guerrilla   between   police   and   rioters   who   too   often   forget   that   a   police   officer   is   a   man   like   all   of   us,   with   his   problems,   his   life   and   his   inside   and   ouside   struggles.   The   hotheads   are   everywhere,  but  I  miss  the  reason   why   they   destroy   towns,       as   if,   ruining   streets   and   monuments,   defacing  walls  and  breaking    shop    windows   might   help   us     to   overcome  our  difficulties.   I   condemn   the   acts   of   abuse   of   power   by   the   police,   but   equally   I   condemn   the   vandalistic   and   provocative   acts   of   some   young   people.   I   believe   that   once   again   we   are   losing   the   message.   Violence   is   the   topic   that   attracts   attention   and     they   talk   about   it   for   days.   But   who   remembers   the  

reason why   so   many   people   gathers   together?   I   would   like     to   know   what   is   left   to   the   young     if   their   future   is   uncertain   and   we   ruin   the   present   one   gainst   the   other.   Let’s   stop   fighting,   let’s   fights     for   our   future   and   do   it   without   provocation.   There   are   active   positive   young   people,   ideals,  proposals  and  the  desire  to   change,   and   it   is   not   fair   that   because   of   a   few   among   many   all   this  may  be  ruined.   If   we   fight   for   our   future   without   provocations,   they   will   talk   of   the     indignation   felt   for   the   lack   of   opportunity   to   pursue   our   own   ideals.  In  any  case,  we  must  not  be   discouraged   because   the   future,   even  when  appears  uncertain  and   threatening,  is  still  ours.   Martina  M.  &  Benedetta  M.          

Violence against  women    

Every   day   we   hear   about   cruel   episodes  concerning  violence     against  women  both  in  Italy  and  in   other   countries.   Discrimination   and   inequality   are   at   the   root   of   this   violence.   Historically   women   have   been   seen   as   less   important  

than men,   lower   than   them,   of   less   value   than   men   politically,   socially,   economically   and   culturally.  In  the  past  both  law  and   custom   made   women   the   property  of  men.  Violent  methods   to  ‘keep  women  in  their  place’  and   to  assert  male  dominance  in  some   countries   were   justified   by   ‘religious   principles’,   or   ‘cultural   traditions’   and   domestic   violence   was  considered  a  ‘private  matter’.   The   UN   Declaration   on   the   Elimination   of   Violence   against   Women   (1993)   states   that   "violence   against   women   is   a   manifestation   of   historically   unequal   power   relations   between   men   and   women,   which   have   led   to   domination   over   and   discrimination   against   women   by   men   and   to   the   prevention   of   the   full   advancement   of   women,   and   that   violence   against   women   is   one   of   the   crucial   social   mechanisms   by   which   women   are   forced  into  a  subordinate  position   compared  with  men.”     Women’s   recent   emancipation   especially   in   Western   countries   has   given   women   legal   equality,     dignity,   status   and   rights   with   men.   Today   there   are   women   soldiers,   women   managers,   women   judges   and   women   ministers,   but   in   our   society,   the   positions   of   power   and   prestige   are   mostly   carried   out   by   men.   In   Italy,   for   example,   to   give   women   equal  opportunities,    they  created   the     so-­‐called   'pink   proportions'   that   ensure   the   presence   of   women  in  economic,  financial  and   political   sectors   and   national   laws   punish   forms   of   violence   against  

women in   line   with   international   human  rights  standards.   Yet   women   are   still   subjected   to   violence   and   continue   to   be   penalized   and   discriminated   both   in   industrialized   countries   and   in   developing   countries.   They   suffer   harassment   and   violence   in   the   family,   at   work,   on   the   street   and   in   armed   conflicts.   Yes,   rape   is   frequently  employed  as  a  weapon   of  war!  Most  women  are  forced  to   follow   their   father’s   or   husband’s   orders,   they   are   condemned   even   for  a  suspect  and  they    pass    from   right   to   wrong.   Not   all   women   have   the   courage   to   rebel   or   to   report   because   they   fear   other   people   can   learn   about   their   experience   and   furthermore   they   want   also   to   save   their   family.   Violence   against   women   takes   many   forms:   physical,   sexual,   psychological   /emotional   and   economic.  These  forms  of  violence   are  interrelated  and  affect  women   from  before  birth  to  old  age.     ‘All   of   us   –   men   and   women,   soldiers   and   peacekeepers,   citizens   and   leaders   –   have   a   responsibility  to  help  end  violence   against   women.   States   must   honour     their   commitments   to   prevent   violence,   bring   perpetrators   to   justice   and   provide     redress   to   victims.   And   each   of   us   must   speak   out   in   our   families,   workplaces   and   communities,   so   that   acts   of   violence   against   women   cease.’   (Ban   Ki-­‐moon,   Secretary-­‐General   of  the  United  Nations)   What   can   we   do   to   stop   violence   against  women?  

A strange  world...  

  First   family   and   school   should   educate   and   sensitize   from   a   very   early  age,  girls  and  boys  on  human     rights   and   gender   equality.   In   this   way   stereotypes   and   wrong   ways   of   thinking   would   change.   An   example   of   what   frequently   happens   is   what   we   make   distinction   between   males’   and   females’  behaviours.  We  have  the   idea   that   to   act   ‘like   a   man’   means   that   men   do   not   cry   and   they   are   tough  while  to  act  ‘like  a  woman’     means   that   women   are   always   polite  and  submissive.  We  also  use   the  expression  ‘you  run  like  girl’  or   vice   versa   meaning   that   you   are   referring  to  men  or  boys  as  girls  or   to   women   or   girls   when   they   are   doing   something   derogatory.   These   gender   roles   are   learnt   in   the  family  but  they  are  frequently   present   in   magazines,   films,   ads   etc.   When   we   see   advertisements   with   a   typical   family   scene,   we   see   that  mothers  do  all  the  housework   and  cooking  and  they  really  enjoy      

  this   but   other   possible   ways   of   thinking   which   are   not   shown   by   the   stereotype   could   be   that   men   should   do   more   of   the   cooking       while   some   mothers   hate   doing   housework.   In   some   countries   parents   favour   the   boys   and   neglect   the   girls.   Girls  are  more  likely  to  drop  out  of   school   and   to   receive   less   education   than   boys   because   discrimination,   education   expenses  and  household  duties.   Second  laws  must  be  known  and   understood  if  we  want  them  to  be   effective.   Campaigns   can   help   to   raise   awareness   and   educate   women  about  their  rights.   November   25   is   the   International   Day     for   the   Elimination   of   Violence   against   Women.   I   hope   one   day   women   will   not   be   blamed   for   violence   committed   against   them   and   will   be   respected   and   honoured   for   their   role  in  an  equal  society.   Amalia  M.    

I  have  often  thought  about  myself   thrown   into   the   future,   with   my   hopes   and   dreams   but   without   much   consideration   of   the   present   reality.  In  these  days  at  school  we   are   deepening   topics   which   concern  our  country  in  the  EU,  our   environment,   the   water   emergency,   our   personal     expectations   that   will   influence     our   future   life,   when   we   are   the   active   citizens   of   the   world.   I   am   acquiring     a   new   perception   of   today’s   problems   and   I   am   a   bit   worried   about   my   future   and   future   in   general   because   there   are  lots  of  problems  connected  to   wars,   pollution,   hunger   and   diseases   which   should   be   solved   very  soon.   For   some   of   these   problems   each   of  us  can  give  a  little  help  as  in  the   case   of   pollution.     We   can   reduce   the   amount   of   waste   by   collecting,   processing   different   materials   and   turning   them   into   new   products.   Recycling   is   positive   both   for     the   community   and   for   the   environment   as   for   example,   it   reduces  the  amount  of  waste  sent   to   landfills   and   incinerators,   saves   energy   and   reduces     greenhouse   gas   emissions   that   contribute   to   global  climate  change.   We   face   also     problems   we   can’t   solve   by   ourselves,   like   world   hunger,  the  most  extreme  form  of   poverty.   It   is   necessary   the   involvement   of   all   the   rich   countries   to   develop   new   ways   to   grow   food   and   to   improve   the   food   distribution.   This   means   poorer  countries  may  benefit  from  

surpluses of   crops   produced   regularly   by   richer   countries   and   learn   how   to   use   tools   and   grow   food   with   the   help   of     humanitarian   organizations   that   may   provide   clean   water,   solar   power   and   education   about   nutrition,   farming   and   food   production.      

What  I  have  learnt  in  these  days  is   that:   • 1.02  billion  people  are  hungry   • Over   25%   of   all   the   children   under   five   years   of   age   in   the   developing   world,   are   moderately   underweight,   or   worse.   • One   in   six   people   don’t   have   enough  food  to  be  healthy.   • Almost   one   in   three   people   have   disabilities   or   die   early   due  to  hunger-­‐related  issues.   • Every   three   minutes   a   child   dies   of   hunger   somewhere   in   the  world.   Hunger   exists   in   wealthy   western   countries,   not   only   third   world   countries.   Like   my   peers   I   am   an   Internet   addict.   I   have   found   the   website   where   you   play   simple  online  word  games  to  earn   rice   that   is   distributed   through   the   United   Nations   World   Food   Program.   You   simply   answer   multiple-­‐choice   questions   about  

word meanings;   for   every   answer   you  get  correct,      donates   10   grains   of   rice.   This   may   seem   insignificant,   but   in   its   first   month   of   operation   alone,   donated   more   than   one   million   grains   of   rice.   It   is   simple,  fast  and  free;  you  help  end   world   hunger   and   improve   your   vocabulary   at   the   same   time.   I   have   added   the   site   to   my   bookmarks  and  I  visit  it  every  day.   I   do   the   same   with   another   site:   where   by   clicking   on   the   button   1.1   cups   of   food   will   be   donated   to   feed   the   hungry   at   home   (U.S.A.)   and   overseas.   The   donations   are   funded   by   the   advertisers   on   the   site  with  100%  of  fees  going  to  the   non-­‐profit   organizations   that   alleviate   world   hunger.   It   is   free   and   takes   just   a   few   seconds   to   make  a  difference.     I   wonder   why   not   all   the   people   are  lucky  as  my  family  and  I  are!  I   feel   a   bit   guilty       considering   how   often   it   has   happened   to   me   to   throw   tantrums   to   eat   everything   without   considering   many   people   cannot   choose   among   a   great   variety  of  food  or  do  have  nothing   to   eat.       Our   dust   bins   are   full   of   food   thrown   for   a   reason   or   another  so  we  should  respect  food   which   is   important   for   our   health.   In  fact  many  diseases  are  tied  to  it   and  to  its  quality.  One  of  the  most   dangerous  is  cancer  that  produces   lots  of  victims.  We  can’t  know  why   there’s   this   disease   yet,   but   we   know  that  who  has  a  good  ‘way  of   life’   can   contrast   it.   We   have   to   avoid   dangerous   food   for   our   health  and  eat  healthy  food.  If  we      

often stay   sitting     it   should   be   better  if  we  did  some  sport.   People   should   sometime   do   check-­‐up   to   know   immediately   if   you  are  ill.   It’s   important   you   don’t   smoke,   because   people   who   smoke   can   give  serious  problems  to  them  and   to  other  people.   We   can’t   solve   these   problems   now   but,   in   the   future,   scientists   can   give   us   answers.   Maybe   if   thousands   of   ‘one   person’   take   action,  much  can  be  achieved.   Giulia  B.  

If  we  all  did  our  part,  imagine  the   impact  we  can  make!  

Street children  

  In   these   recent   years     the   Italian   population   is   at   risk   of   poverty   or   social  exclusion  and  many  families   have   worsened   their   living   conditions.   Thousands   people   have   lost   their   jobs,   lots   of   students   have   have   not   finished   their   studies     and   young   people,   who  have  found  work,  do  not  earn   much.  People  are  disillusioned  and   there   are   lots   of   them   who   do   nothing   to   improve   their   situation,   so   they   find   satisfaction   from   drugs,   alcohol   or   reckless   actions   such   as   hooliganism,   violence,   racism  and  bullisism  and  doing  so,   they   forget   the   real   meaning   of   love,   friendship   and   family.   The   diversity   of   living   environments,   educational   opportunities   and   social   and   family   conditions   affect   these  behaviours.     I   consider   myself   lucky,   because   I   have  a  family  that  provides  me  for   what  I  need  and  loves  and  accepts   me   for   who   I   am.   They   support   and   help   me   in   everyday’s   difficulties  I  meet.     But   not   all   kid   are   so   lucky.  About   150   millions   of   street   children   in   age   from   three   to   eighteen,   in   countries  of  the  Third  World,  Asia,   Africa   but   also   in   Europe   and   North   America.   Their   number   is  

increasing constantly.   40%   are   homeless  and  the  other  60%  work   on   the   streets   to   support   their   families.    Some   are   sent   out   by   their   impoverished   parents   to   work  or  to  beg.         These   children   are   the   victims   of   violence,   sexual   exploitation,   abject  neglect,  chemical  addiction,   and   human   rights   violations.   They   live   in   hardship   and   deprivation,   abandoned   to   their   fate.   They   are   unable   to   attend   school   and   the   street   is   their   home.   They   spend   their   days   in   search   of   food,   money   and   shelter   for   sleeping   legally  or  illegally.  They  find  casual   work   picking   rubbish   out   of   garbage  bins,  steal  and  often  stick   together,   in   groups   of   two   or   three,   looking   out   for   each   other.   Many   children   find   their   own   escape   from   street   life   through   glue-­‐sniffing   and   other   drugs.   Children   enter   the   sex   trad   because   they   are   sold   to   brothels   by   their   parents,   they   are   tricked   by  adults  that  offer  them  a  better   life,   they   need   money   to   feed   themselves   and   their   families,   they  are  enslaved  by  adults.       According   to   UNICEF   there   are     three   types   of   street   children:   Street-­‐Living,   Street-­‐Working,   and   Street-­‐Family.   Street-­‐living   children   are   those   under  the  age  of  18  years  old  who   spend   most   of   their   time   on   the   streets.   These   are   children   who   cut  ties  with  their  families  and  live   alone  on  the  streets.     Street-­‐working   children   are   those   who   spend   most   of   their   time   working   on   the   streets   to   provide   income   for   their   families   or   for  

themselves. These  children  have  a   home  and  return  there  to  sleep.     Street-­‐family   children   live   with   their  family  on  the  streets.   My   dream   is   to   be   able   to   help   people      by  reducing  their  poverty   and   promoting   their   rights.   Voluntary   work   is   an   opportunity   to   share   experiences   with   others,   put   yourself   at   the   service   of   others,  meet  different  people  and   cultures.   We   all   have   the   duty   to   be   solidal   and   good-­‐hearted   towards   emarginates   and   to   escape   today’s     attitude   to   emarginate   and   abandon   the   weakest  people  in  need.    

Yirlesa M.      

Adolescence   We   have   read   a   lot   of   passages   concerning   adolescence   which   catches    most  of  us,  thirteen-­‐year-­‐ old   kids,     unprepared   to   strong   changes   in   our   body,   mind     and   character.   I   have   changed   both   physically   and   temperamentally   too.   All   happened   when   I   started   to   practice   athletics.   This   passion   was   born   by   chance,   because   I   wanted   to   start   to   lose   weight   and  

as I   saw   myself   fat,   I   ran   and   did   not   eat.   Slowly   I   started   to   lose   weight   and   not   to   eat   any   more.   My   parents,   seeing   me   all   the   days,   did   not   notice   my   physical   change  until  one  day,  I  went  to  the   pediatrician.  She  weighed  me     and     shook   her   head,   then   she   sat   and   asked  me  to  leave.  I  went  out  and   closed   the   door.   Driven   by   curiosity   I   started   eavesdropping.     I  heard  the  doctor  talking  but  I  did   not  understand  well  what  she  was   saying.   In   my   heart,   however,   I   already   imagined   it.     My   mother   came   out   crying   and   said   to   me:   "Let's   go."   On   the   way   home   I   asked   her   if   she   could   explain   me   what   was   going   on.   She   started   telling  things  known  to  me.  I  was  a   victim   of   anorexia,   an   eating   disorder  that  makes  you  lose  more   weight   than   is   considered   healthy   for  your  age  and  height.   At   that   time   I   did   not   feel   like   a   sick   person   or   things   like   that,   I   felt   well   and   I   was   also   happy   because   I   had   begun   to   receive   more   attention   from   my   relatives   and  friends.  It  was  very  hard  to  get   out   from   anorexia   because   in   one   way   or   another,   I   always   saw   myself   fat,   no   matter   what   they   said  to  me  to  make  me  feel  better.   It   took   me   a   long   time   to   understand  that,  if  I  had  continued   not   to   eat,   I   could   have   been   heading  for    many  problems.   Athletics   was   the   'medicine'   that   made   me   heal   by   making   me   realize   that   if   I   had   not   eaten,   I   would   not   be   able   to   run;     that   is   why   athletics   has   become   part   of   my   life.     This   sport   is   not   only   a   passion   for   me   but   it   also   has   a  

sentimental value   because   without   it   I   would   have     never   been  out  of  that    'black  hole'.   Running   has   also   made   me   change   the   way   of   thinking     and   coping   with   life.   It   has     taught   me   that   if   you  have  a  dream,  you  must  takle   any   problem   or   obstacle   which   occurs,   without   being   distracted   by  other  things  that  might  change   it.    

faster. By   respecting   others   you   will   find   yourself   respected   and   accepted.   R.S.    

6th   National   Competition   "Città   di   Campagnano"   (Rome).  

My  hope  is  that  everyone  can  find   a   passion   that   will   help   them   to   grow   and   complete   their   personality.  The  language  of  sport   is  a  universal  language  that  brings   people   together,   teaches   teamwork,   tolerance,       and   strengthen   values   such   as   friendship,   pride   and   loyalty,   solidarity,   commitment.   To   become   friends   there   is   nothing   better   than   to   play   and   have   fun   together,   because   sport   is   a   beautiful   game   to   play   all   together   with     respect   for   rules   and   for   opponents.   The   aim   is   not   to   win   at   all   costs,   by   intimidating   the   opponent   or   taking   special"   substances   "   to   get   stronger   or  

We are  about  30  kilometers  north   of   Rome   and   the   "Giovane   Orchestra  Montini"  is  preparing  to   honor   one   of   the   most   important   events   of   the   school   year,   a   National   Music   Competition   in   which   we   compare   with   other   schools   and   other   musical   groups   coming   from   all   parts   of   Italy.    A   huge   number   of   parents   follow   the   orchestra;   they   read   in   their   kids    an  enthusiasm,    a  tenacity,  a   spirit   of   cohesion   that   has   to   do   group.   The   organization   must   be   impeccable,  before  and  during  the   audition.   The   charge   must   be   to   the   outmost   but   also   the   tranquility   and   concentration.   There   is   no   time   to   blame   or   criticize   the   companions:   now   what   matters   is   only   the   overall   result.   Each   individual   must   sacrifice   himself   for   the   whole   and   the   kids   know   this:   this   only   has   to   come   to   a   commission   that   does   not   seek   the   particu   but   the   image   of  the  group.   The  teachers  help  the  students    to   tune   their   instruments;   the   parents   step   aside   and   dream   of   another   success.   Once   given   the   initial  attack,  no  one  can  stop,  not  

even in   front   of   an   error,   and   goes   to   the   end   of   the   limited   time   reserved   to   an   audition.   Ten   minutes   of   focused   musical   attention,   of   young   ‘professionalism.’   Soon   after     comments,   compliments   and     regrets.   Playing   well   does   not   ensure  the  Prize  because  the  level,   thanks   to   the   teachers’   work   arises  ayear  after  year  but  hope  is   always  present.   Hours   later...the   Awards   and   the   fateful   result.   Also   this   time   there  

is a  full  First  Prize:  the  score  is  the   highest:  100/100.   The   teachers   are   satisfied   with   the   carried  out  work,  the  kids  explode   in   the   most   immediate   joy,   the   parents   continue   to   dream   of   a   possible   future   of   their   children   into  the  music  world.  And  yet  it  is   not   easy   to   live   these   moments   together   and   even   to   prepare   them.   The   kids   are   all   different,   with   their   own   reality,   their   characters,   their   problems   linked   also  to  a  difficult  age,  and  then  the  

family diversities,   the   first   real   cares,   the   individuals’   different   interests.   This     is   the   value   of   music,   particularly   of   the   ensamble   music:   you   have   to   really   believe   in   it   if   you   want   to   overcome   differences  and  to  build  at    school   that   integration   that   forms   and   guides  us  towards  the  real  change.   Massimo  D.T.  (flute  teacher)

Hopes and dreams  

magazine - single issue May 2013