Our very first day at school, like our very first love,
Leaves footprints inside our souls deeper and more lasting, And as the years pass by the sweeter the memories become!
It wasn’t easy, you know, leaving behind our toys, To take up pencils and pens, and a bag full of books, And to lug them silently to school in the distance.
The schoolyard was different from the ones we had at home, Crowded with different colors, sounds, and many children Who were running around together like bees in hive.
It was made clear that order and discipline would reign, Both in the outdoor courtyard and the classrooms inside, The teacher with his ruler would make certain of that .
There was a great competition to see who’d learn first The multiplication tables and the alphabet,
Praise and admiration were waiting there to be won.
The group was divided into two good football teams,
Those who excelled with their feet against those with letters, And as the time went by, they would subject the others!
Then just as the courtyards of his school and of his house Would finally appear to be bound up together
Within our youthful souls, the lessons came to an end.
The years would rush by quickly, like water in a trench, Six, then nine, then twelve years, and the cycle finds its end The first and best part of general education .
From the village school off to another city’s school
He found himself suddenly without understanding. They called it “Gymnasium”, and it seemed frightening.
Many, more than many, kids from surrounding villages, Ignorant but ready for the great wrestling match, Eagerly learned their letters, vying to receive praise.
More difficult lessons and a lot of discipline
Was needed, you see, to tame the passions of their youth, To help them endure the onrush of puberty.
As they travelled from their twelfth on to their eighteenth year, The changes of puberty assaulted them like lightning ,
Full of the beautiful experiences of youth .
When their whiskers arrived they went out with a mustache, And with stronger bodies, as well as fuller knowledge,
And the desire to make all of their dreams become real.
They were ready in their hearts to make the biggest jump, Which took them to the halls of the University,
As ministers of science and lovers of wisdom.
Small and insignificant seemed Atalante town
When compared with Athens, divine city of wisdom, Full of people and wealth, the national capital.
Again alone and unknown, among other unknowns,
Were the young people who left every corner of Greece And sought to quench their thirst as if at a mountain spring.
The panhellenic exam they passed with flying colors, And now they would gather in the cavernous classrooms, Mixing together strongly love along with knowledge.
All the good ones, and those better, with scholarly prizes Would be honored and the strongest of them would compete Again to figure out the best path to excellence.
The teaching professors would be asked and would offer Their knowledge generously to the thirsty youths
Who were ablaze like lovers of heavenly wisdom.
They wrestled as competitors with fellow students, Trying to be first in the battle, to reap the laurels
Of excellence that crown only the most beautiful heads .
And as their schooling ended, for the boys was waiting A new adventure in a different kind of schoolyard, The army reservists would be called back training.
The years again rolled by and soon enough he would find That the student became a teacher, a young colleague of The Professor who had taught the best of his classes!
Strength of enthusiasm, his lack of experience, Overcomes right away and enlightens his classroom, With the warmth of a bedroom in the family home.
A lot of time had passed with many deviations And from Athens he arrived in faraway Atlanta, His higher education as a student to complete .
In the new arena, strong but alone and estranged,
He fought against the aliens with Athena’s help, Wanting to give honor to Hellas, his proud homeland.
Scholarships would help him through critical struggle, Philosophy is difficult prey, like a partridge,
Many good hunters chase, but only a few catch it!
And what would he suddenly find, in his hardest school? Nature, and he would study it like an open book,
The beginning and the end of life coming together.
Like a student learning from the Poet of the World, It was a divine source of wisdom and, like a fawn, He had arrived there thirsty looking to drink his fill!
He reminisced nostalgically, as with his first love , About his first day of school and all the excitement, And, as a libation of thanks, he offered a poem.
This man, to the Universe and everyone beyond, To Almighty God, and to the great all-seeing Mind, And to theTrinity, which radiates with its light !
The three appear to be one, all wrapped up together, They wind around each other, waging war with darkness, Like athletes who wrestle for wreath of victory.
A. M. A.
Dr Christos Evangeliou