The pain of the dead prof’s students: “We will always be grateful to him”

(from the correspondent Elvira Terranova) – “We will be forever grateful to him”. The eyes are shiny. Words have a hard time coming out. Today is the day of pain at the ‘Ugo Foscolo’ high school in Canicattì, a large town in the Agrigento area, where Professor Pietro Carmina, one of the seven victims of the Ravanusa explosion, worked until three years ago. For forty years the teacher taught philosophy. And today he was remembered at school in his own words. Those written by the teacher before retiring. Read by students, with difficulty. Because sadness often prevails. “Use the words I taught you to defend yourselves and to defend those who do not have those words – wrote the professor, words read today by the students – do not be spectators but protagonists of the story you live today: get inside, get your hands dirty, bite it life, do not “adapt”, commit yourselves, never give up on pursuing your goals, even the most ambitious, put on your shoulders those who can’t make it: you are not the future, you are the present “.

Former colleagues cry and do not hide the sadness. Everyone remembers his desire to live, to teach, but above all his great love for his wife. And many remember his words: “To my kids, yesterday and today. I just closed the class register. For the last time. Waiting for the release bell to make them swarm towards the holidays, I find myself looking the boys in front of me. And, as in an imaginative kaleidoscope, behind their faces I see others, many, hundreds, all the ones I have come across in my last 43 years “.

“It is the Professor who remains in your heart all your life, who you come back to see school every time you come home – says Irene Lo Bue who does not hide his emotion – The Professor who continues to be your friend when you are an adult. That marked your path. The Prof who did philosophy by listening to you and finding the words to reach adolescents who thought they had a thousand problems. Who taught you, who laughed and played with you. The Prof with whom today you would have talked about this tragedy and would have found the words to try to make sense of all this. With her, life was easier. The Prof as all teachers should be. We have had the luck and the privilege of meeting you on our road dear Prof. Pietro Carmina but now our heart is in pieces… Have a good flight, say hello to our Lillo ”.

Hundreds of former students visit his Facebook page today. “With the thought we find ourselves sitting at the high school desks, attending a lesson from her (whether it was history or philosopher they were all engaging when she was talking). No, this incident did not serve to demonstrate the success obtained in the work she diligently carried out at the end. I think and I hope he knew this – writes one of them – He would have dedicated the next few years to himself (with pleasure I learned the news of the release of his book) and to your loved ones. As a society we tacitly accepted that years of retirement are our years of freedom. And I feel a great anger that for a few moments you have lost the freedom to live “.

“Any student in life should be lucky enough to meet a professor of the same strength as you. I had this honor. Immensely grateful”, Mariachiara Ferro writes today. It was June 2018, when Pietro Carmina left his school to retire. “I just closed the class register. For the last time.Waiting for the release bell to make them swarm towards the holidays, I find myself looking at the boys in front of me – he wrote – And, as in an imaginative kaleidoscope, behind their faces I see others, many, hundreds , all the ones I’ve come across in my last 43 years. Of many I remember everything, even the smiles, the jokes, the gestures of disappointment, the way of justifying oneself, of confiding in each other, of communicating joys and sorrows, of others, many in truth, only the face or the name “.

Francesco Pira, a university professor, who had known him for years, also remembers him. “The last time we met in Sambuca di Sicilia where we received the Navarro International Prize. I am saddened by the death of Professor Pietro Carmina and his wife in the tragic collapse of the Ravanusa building – he says – I had known him for many years. Our first meeting when I was a young sports reporter and he a manager of Ravanusa Calcio. The world of culture loses an authoritative exponent. My feelings of condolence to the families of the victims of this absurd tragedy “.