In 1985, just a few months after my graduation at the University of Bologna, I started teaching at the academic level in the same university where I graduated from. Hence I have been dealing with education for 25 years… Although there are many others that may have a longer curriculum, for me it’s amazing… I think I’m not really totally aware of this yet.
The National Geographic, November 1985. Holographic skull
of Africa’s Taung Child, 1-2 million years old
I started holding single lessons. I remember my first lessons on the holography’s applications in art and science and on the computer images. Very timidly, in front of the class I tried to explain how LASERS work and how a transmission hologram can be recorded and viewed, how to use the computer images in art… I was teaching only with the help of a blackboard, a chalk and my bare words, rarely with a (traditional) slide projector (no computers at school by that time)… Then I was entrusted to hold series of lessons on a particular topic, seminars, workshops and events… Finally, many years after, I was appointed to teach official courses, the first one being at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (“New Media Theories and Techniques”, the first course activated in Italy) and then in other institutions. At the University of Rome “La Sapienza” I was also a member of the first Graduation Commission in Sciences of Communication in Italy.
Many things have changed from then in the universities and the academies. I feel that 25 teaching years should represent an important anniversary for me, but I don’t really know why, and how. Is that kind of moderate nostalgia I feel tied to the work I have done and to all the faces I met during this years? Or is it simply dependent on the fact that I’m not so much young as I was (but this does not concern my educational activity). Maybe it deals also with some kind of particular and personal history with no scientific relevance.
All of this is peeping out from that portrait… and no image that I love can represent that times, because neither digital cameras nor smartphones existed to catch images. Images were more rare than today. But memories are also tied to thoughts, words and fragments of words, to smells and caresses which have been crossing all these years almost without a wrinkle. And passion is dustless.