"I would tell the new teachers not to think about anything other than the students, that they are the best they have and that they will enjoy it to the fullest".
It will be difficult for Adolfo García Ruiz (the 'profe' Adolfo) to forget this week. On Monday 28 in January put an end to almost 42 years of teaching at the College San Fernando, a link to the center that goes back to his student years in the old building of La Magdalena. Students and classmates paid him a simple but exciting recognition with a long applause on the stairs and the entrance hall to the center, accompanied by his name chanted by the children's voices. The excitement that followed him then surfaced days later, while he remembers what he experienced in the San Fernando.
How were your beginnings in the School?
I entered the course 77-78 replacing Professor Eugenia Franco. The next course was also replacing Elena Franco, her cousin, and it was from then on when I entered the template, in the 79-80 course. Almost 42 years of teaching. Before, I had studied at the old school. I entered the year 63, and did from Preparatory to the COU that was done then. All my childhood happened in the school of La Magdalena. Then I had the good fortune that Don José (and in the same way I want to thank Doña Marisa) he remembered that some students had done Magisterium and got in touch with us. As a result of that I made the substitution of Eugenia.
Tell us about that group of former students who became professors.
Chema (Garcia), Roberto (Cuervo-Arango), (José Ramón Pérez) Varela ... they had all been alumni of the School, like Carlos Ortiz. We should add Alonso, Juan Huerga, Saturnino, rest in peace ... they had all been professors or at least acquaintances of La Magdalena, with which this was still a great family. I met lovely people, we were lucky to have the same tastes and we created what would later be the Sanfer Club, which apart from being a group of friends was much more: it was an institution, first for us as partners, but also for the center itself and, above all, for the students. This was our priority, it was something for your enjoyment and the school was not just a teaching machine, but something else. Thanks to those first efforts we made to maintain the Sanfer Club, what Sanfer is nowadays emerged. Many current monitors were our students who remained linked to the School thanks to this powerful project that we have.
Is it one of the initiatives that you feel most proud of?
Yes, especially one of its activities: the camp. Apart from friends we were family, and we still are. Living together for 33 years with a group of people to keep 220 camped every year, with their families supporting us, with the children giving us the greatest joys ... that is unforgettable. And the seed lasts. For example, former monitors have recently asked us for the programming we had to do a bachelor party, leave for a weekend at a campsite and organize a camp with the songs that were sung then, the games ... And then there were the perks of the parents every year, when they sent you a congratulatory message or a letter thanking you. Or entities such as the Portuguese of Miranda do Douro, who sent congratulations thanking us for the good behavior of our students. These things fill you up and have been a milestone in my life.
With what do you stay of everything lived?
The most important thing is that I have worked on what I like. For me, coming to work was not coming to work, it was coming to enjoy my work, my students. And I could have the biggest problems, that when I got to the parking lot and took my suitcase to go up to class, when I was with the first classmate or the first student, the problems disappeared from my life and the Adolfo joker appeared nearby. The most important thing for me have been the children. Many people say that they have educated students, but I have not educated students; they have been educated, and I have been able to enjoy it. It is what I have to thank the parents so much that they have allowed me to enjoy the most beautiful of their children, their childhood, and that is not given to anyone, that is not given away.
You get excited...
Yes, because I'm talking about what I've lived, and when you come to work and have a team of people like I've had ... I do not say names because it would annoy me to forget some, but there are missing people who have died for me a milestone in my life. They have been wonderful companions and I would like to have a memory for them. I have had great luck with all the people I have worked with: professors, maintenance personnel, Secretariat, cleaning staff, all the management teams I was with ... Even the bosses, with whom I feel very identified because they were also students when I was a teacher, with which they were almost like my children at the same time. I also highlight the kitchen staff, with whom I shared 31 years of dining, at the beginning along with Alonso, who were in charge of the dining room at that time.
Many hours at the school ...
I arrived at eight thirty in the morning and there were days when I left at seven in the afternoon. I ask my family for a little forgiveness because I have taken hours, summer time, vacation, because we were going to the camp and that time was taken away from them. But I do not regret it, because I know that they understood that it was the activity that we really wanted to do, that it was my profession and that we did it out of love.
The retirement of your generation has entailed the incorporation of new teachers to the center. What would you say?
That they enjoy what they do, that they do not think of anything other than the students, that they are not selfish, that they do not think about them, but that the best they have are the students and with them they will get to enjoy themselves to the fullest. And that it is not worth wasting time on things that cover the forest, that do not look at the present moment, but tomorrow or even a little later; They have the great advantage that this is a great school that has been formed on the basis of the efforts of all previous generations, and that there is no one to throw it down.
We left the classroom where the interview took place and Adolfo goes through the corridors as he always did, spending jokes and handing out hugs among those who until only a few days ago were his students. Now you will have more time to enjoy other pleasures and hobbies, such as walking the mountain, go fishing, restore old furniture and cars, and sign up for a cooking or computer course, in addition to returning part of the time to the family and continue sharing moments with those old friends, united since childhood by their College, the San Fernando.