In the initiatives that I carry out, I rarely speak of myself, but to understand how the Heritage Sicily project was born and, above all, to understand because it was born, it is necessary to understand who I am, where my passion for my land comes from and what I have done in the past. That's why, believing with all my heart in what I do and "putting my face" to the end I make my resume public, I just wanted to present it not in the classic form but in a form that best reflects my way of being. Furthermore, after a first draft a few years ago, I decided to include some aspects omitted in the first instance. At that time I did not feel ready and free, now age and fatigue make me, in some respects freer, less "attentive" to the opinions of others and more tempted to repeat, if necessary, what Clark Gable said to Rossella O ' Hara in the famous film Gone with the Wind: "Frankly, I don't care" (For the "classic" curriculum vitae, see: "Standard Curriculum Vitae").
Curriculum Vitae of Ignazio Caloggero "Non Standard" (Updated January 2020)
I had to invent something, and I invented something. Often, wishing to achieve certain goals in life we are told that we do not have an adequate curriculum for the purpose we set ourselves. How many times have I been told, how many times have I perceived that this was the thought addressed to me and how many times I myself was thinking this way.
For all life I made choices that I should not have or could not have made (according to others) because I did not have the right curriculum, almost all the work experiences that are now in "plain sight" in my "standard resume" have been acquired without me apparently having an experience previous "adequate", I say this now publicly after that over the years my curriculum has become, in a certain sense, "full-bodied"; I say this now that I am tired and I no longer want to use, at least in the classic forms, this sometimes useful but often harmful tool, because it cuts the legs of those who could do a lot but is not granted because it is evaluated, sometimes too hastily, according to his curriculum vitae, not considering what a formal document often does not highlight: the will, the inner strength, the desire to change what appears to be a predefined destiny.
Sometimes, we give up fighting for our goals because we feel, perhaps too hastily, that we do not have the right curriculum to aspire to achieve certain goals in life. I have always thought, at least until now, that it is worth facing a battle apparently lost from the start, if there is only one chance in a thousand of being able to win it. If you believe in an objective, if it is considered right, you have to accept the struggle even when it is difficult. We must accept the idea that not only those battles that we are sure of winning should be faced, just as we must do everything to remain standing until the end ("if defeat is to come for us, let's not be sitting waiting for it") . Furthermore, we sometimes find that it is more important to experience the battle as such than the outcome of it.
Let it be immediately clearAs for me, I do not feel at all a person who has managed to achieve the goals he has set for himself in life, on the contrary, all too often I feel inside me the painful perception of the sense of failure. I also believe that many battles with an uncertain outcome still await me, that the road is long, and that God alone or whoever for him knows if I will succeed, at least in a small part, in obtaining what I seek (if I know it). For now I continue to fight, at least until I have enough strength to do it, perhaps because I am not capable of anything else, perhaps because I am not allowed anything else.
Il Curriculum vitae, from the Latin "course of life", often used in its abbreviated form resume, it is usually an account of the main work events of a person, his studies and the most significant stages of his career. We could think of the curriculum using a broad vision, and say that a person's curriculum is adequate for the purpose when "the course of his life" and the environment in which he lives, are such that the conditions exist and therefore the minimum necessary requirements to achieve this goal, whatever it is.
In my life, I feel I have done a lot of jobs. In chronological order: collector of used bottles, farmer, tractor driver, manual laborer, worker, scullery, unloader, military, electrician, electronic technician, firing radar operator, central chief, and then again, janitor, cleaner, electrician, computer scientist, trainer, course designer, IT designer and analyst, European project designer, consultant, quality inspector, website designer, e-learning platform designer, director of a training center, "storyteller", "writer", President of a National Professional Association. But let's go in order and start from the beginning.
I started my working activity early, at the age of eight, in Germany, in a sense we can say that I was an expert in the field of environmental protection: I worked on my own and at least for that activity I was not asked for particular experiences. My specialization consisted in the urban collection of empty bottles still in good condition that I took to the shops where I received a small amount foreseen for the return of used bottles. I was particularly good I could always find them, in gardens, in garbage cans, around the streets and in basements. I was very good at cleaning the basements of empty bottles that were waiting to be returned to the shopkeepers. Mine was an act of courtesy towards the owners as I avoided them the trouble of delivering them directly, I did not wait for them to thank me, on the contrary I was very careful not to let them notice, in case someone had misunderstood my gesture of altruism and even thought that I was rubbing empty bottles from their basements to go and resell them.
Back in Italy, I changed my work sector, I was placed by my parents in the fruit and vegetable sector, at nine I was in charge of water problems in the family business: a small plot of land dedicated to vegetables; in fact it was a real problem to be able to curb the water that came out of the obligatory paths created with the hoe and which served to direct it to the various sectors in which the vegetable garden where I carried out my duties was divided. The irrigation system used to irrigate the garden was the natural one, the water was directed to the various sectors through a series of forced passages made with the hoe. Always with the hoe, the openings and closures were made that allowed to irrigate only one sector at a time. The violence of the water was such that often the small edges of land did not hold up, my task was to run here and there with the hoe in an attempt to stem the leaks and prevent the water from getting lost in the fields instead of going where the seedlings were. Too bad that the hoe was almost bigger than me and too bad that the water was able to cheat me constantly "breaking" always in the most distant points from me. The thing irritated me very much not so much because the water broke the edges, indeed it was interesting to see the leak gradually widening; but for the energetic reproaches I received from time to time when this happened.
In the period of the wheat harvest I worked on the combine harvesters in charge of the wheat sacks that were gradually filled during the harvest. My task was to be careful when the bags filled up, tie them, lift them and throw them from the chute where once they reached the ground they would be collected later. Once filled, the bags weighed between 50 and 60 kilos, considering my age it is likely that the difference in weight between me and the bags must have been minimal. What I remember most was not the weight of the bags but the beastly heat which was not only due to the fact that the work consisted of being in the sun all the time, but also from the heat generated by the combine itself, to complete the picture, the dust that was created as a result of the separation of the wheat from the rest of the wheat entered everywhere, and when I say everywhere I refer to the broadest sense of the term.
At about ten years old, it was decided that I had to enrich my curriculum vitae, I stopped going to school, I was sent to a sawmill, where boxes for fruit packaging were made; work no less heavy than the previous ones, but at least I had my first salary, since in previous jobs I had always worked for mine. My first pay was 500 lire a day, a pity that the first week instead of 2500 lire I received only 1200 because I had inadvertently broken "u bummulu", the terracotta container for water in the shape of an amphora that was then used to keep the water fresh and from which we all drew to drink. My employer decided that I had to reimburse the expenses necessary to buy a new one, he told me that he did it not for money but to teach me the principles of life.
My employer was a very precise type, so precise that every time the finance came and we guys ran away so as not to be seen (he says that even then you could not work illegally especially if you were children) on our return he would say how long we had stopped working and therefore deducted the hours not worked from our weekly wages. My employer was a very nice person, he gave us work and taught us the sound principles of life. Too bad that finance did not understand his magnanimity towards us poor kids who otherwise would have grown up in the middle of the street. Thanks to him we had a lot of fun loading those beautiful wooden logs that would later become fruit cages, and it wasn't so bad if any of us got hurt a little with some weight or with the pedal stapler where they came. assembled the cages and where we boys inserted the "cousins" with which the wooden boxes were assembled. In a few seconds a box was assembled: a boy put his fist on another person's machine, operated the electric sewing machine, pressing on a pedal, more or less like pedal sewing machines. Only because of the speed, a moment of inattention, the hand not withdrawn quickly and then the fist and fingers of us unfortunates were sewn together. I remember that once I had to use a nipper to remove the fist sewn on one of my fingers and since I wanted to be "big" I didn't even cry, I made a good impression in front of the bigger ones, but inside of me I couldn't help less than screaming "fuck what pain". In any case, if accidents happened it was certainly our fault and if we stopped work for this, the time lost was not paid to us, not for money, we needed to grow more attentive and stronger.
At thirteen, after the beautiful experience in the sawmill and with some holes on my fingers, I returned to the countryside, but this time no longer with the hoe, but with something much larger and more modern: the family tractor, a very larger than the tool I was used to when I worked in the garden, but the use of which involved much less effort, this aspect made the work more interesting than the previous ones, even if it did not last for a long time, less than a year.
When I was 13 my family decided to move back to Germany. We immediately knew the problems of intolerance; in fact in Germany they did not tolerate that children under 15 could go to work. Fortunately, an Italian abroad always finds another Italian friend who helps you, I found a job in an Italian restaurant: in charge of sanitizing supplies, or a dishwasher, whatever you want to say. I regularly work illegally, in the morning we started after 11, on the other hand in the evening the work ended at two or three in the morning. To get home, late at night, I passed the train station, a truly uplifting setting for a 14-year-old boy.
My new employer was a pioneering type: in 1973 he applied what are now considered modern concepts of quality control. He periodically came to check how the service was done and if he found a piece of cutlery with some halo stains to make me understand the importance of a correctly performed service, he threw all the cutlery that I had washed in the meantime into the sink, even the clean ones; what a lovely person my employer is. One day he told me that if I behaved well I would have a career and that within two or three years I could also aspire to be a waiter, if I behaved well. I decided that I didn't deserve so much goodness and that at the first opportunity I would have a bundle.
An extra-work activity worthy of mention was the Tae-kwon-do gym I attended. It was only because he taught me to download and channel in the right way the great anger in my body that I have always had in my life. If I hadn't been in that gym and if I hadn't had that Master who was not only a Tae-Kwon-do master but for me, a real life teacher, who knows what happened to me. In the 70s "bands" were in fashion, not those that played but played them, there were all kinds and from all origins, especially in the world of migrants and when they met each other it was certainly not to take together a cappuccino. Knives, bars, chains and "nunchaku" were selling like hot cakes among the young and very young of that period. It was easy to fall into the trap of belonging to this or that gang, but my never forgotten teacher taught me that anger can be a great non-destructive force if you can handle it. Thank you Master Kurt, my debt to you will never be extinguished.
When I turned 15, I found a job at a large German company that was present throughout Germany. Practically the company covered the entire supply chain that started from the sea, with its own fishing boats, to the consumer, with the shops that sold fresh fish but also cooked and where it was also possible to have lunch. I worked in a station where the fish depot for the various branches in the area was. My job consisted in unloading the fish wagons arriving from the North Sea and placing it in special cold rooms, or loading the trucks that had the task of taking it to its final destinations. Often early in the morning, we went around the various branches where fish was sold and cooked, to collect the garbage of the day before, we took it with the truck to the public landfill: shit that stinks, especially in summer. All in all it was an interesting job, it was heavy but at least I was hired regularly and the working hours were acceptable. 5 days a week that became 4 when a duly paid day was destined for the “berufschule” school for underage workers. Of course, the cold of the refrigerators sometimes made itself felt. In summer the outside temperature reached almost thirty degrees and considering that there were about twenty degrees below zero in the cells, it happened to undergo temperature changes of almost 50 degrees, even now, and especially with a few years on my shoulders, my body it reminds me, with some pains, that period spent in the cold rooms. On Saturday for a change I went to the station in a company near mine to unload wagons, so much so as not to lose the habit. They paid us based on the hours actually worked, and when I could, before handing over the money to my parents, I "stole" a few coins from the envelope they gave me at the end of the day.
When I was 16 I returned to Italy with my family, I continued to be an unloader, but this time not for wagons but for trucks, to the local fruit and vegetable market in my country and in the packaging warehouses for fruit and vegetables. I began to get tired of that life, between one truck and another I decided that I had to change something, I wanted to study, take the eighth grade, the diploma and why not even the degree. How nice it is to become an engineer or a doctor and not be forced to unload trucks anymore. I made 2 bets with myself, one of them was to get a degree (the other I have never told anyone, I will say it, for the first time, later). But how could I think of such a thing: I had an elementary school certificate and in the village where I lived there was no after-school service, I could introduce myself from outside but it was not so simple working for more than eight hours a day and spending my life between a truck and the other, between a fruit and vegetable warehouse and the town market, sometimes getting up at half past three in the morning. I was able to express my desire to graduate to friends and family, but I was laughed at and the most benign reaction was a pitiful pat on the shoulder. In short, to put it short, I did not have the right curriculum for the purpose I had set myself. I had to invent something, yes I really had to invent something.
At that time I was obsessed with reading everything I could get into my hands, comics, magazines, advertisements, whatever was longer than two words. One day I had the opportunity to read the advertisement of the Navy where it said: - Enlisted in the Navy you will study and travel the world - Holy cow was just what I wanted. The first part especially appealed to me, I had suffered a lot when I was forced to drop out of school and that could be the occasion of my life. And it was the chance of my life. I only learned after many years, that on that occasion without knowing it, I ran into these blessed curricula, for reasons that I do not remember or that I do not want to remember, I did not have the necessary requirements to do so (basically I did not have the suitable curriculum), I believe that someone unbeknownst to me, he fixed some requirement so in 1976, I joined the Navy. I was 17, with a lot of anger in my body and a great desire to grow.
During initial selection, I asked that I be assigned the category of electronic technician, but, of course, once again I did not have the "suitable curriculum", I only had an elementary school certificate and they told me that it would be too difficult for me, I was therefore assigned the qualification of mechanic and I was sent to La Maddalena, but I didn't want to be a mechanic; I preferred the screwdriver to the wrench, and the smaller it was, the better, it was much less effort, I still had a strong memory of the physical efforts I had had to face in previous years. I had to invent something, and I invented something. I made so much of that mess that in the end someone took pity on that stubborn boy, so they decided to settle me, at least in part: I was destined to take the electrician course in Taranto, they told me that I was an excellent element in the aptitude tests but that with elementary school it was the best I could aspire to.
Arrived in Taranto I continued my battle, discovered that that year the electronic technician course had not been activated but that in any case one considered equivalent had been activated: electromechanical. In an interview with the Director of the non-commissioned pupil school I told him that despite the "curriculum" I would be ranked first in the exam scheduled after the first three months of the course; I proposed a bet to the Director: if I succeeded in my understanding he had to promise to help me pass the electromechanical course, otherwise I swore not to bother anymore and I would have resigned myself; he accepted, perhaps thinking it was the only way he could keep me good.
I won the bet so after three months I returned to him to collect the debt, the Director who would never have expected such a thing, while admitting that he had been impressed by what I had managed to do, I try to convince myself to give up, spoke of two fish: one small and one large, according to him if I stayed in the electrician course (which lasted only nine months) I could have become the head of the little fish, while going to the electromechanical course due to my undeniable scholastic deficiencies I could only aspire to be the tail of the big fish, assuming I was able to pass the various periodic selections that took place during the almost two years of the course, in fact he told me that in the electromechanical course all the participants had at least two or three years of participation in high schools while I only had an elementary school license, and moreover he could not let me start the course from the beginning but he would eventually assign me to the course already activated where and they had already done the first three months and then with a further increase in difficulties due to missed lessons. I replied that I was ready to bet that I would at least reach the stomach of the fish.
The Director, struck by my stubbornness, he was convinced to let me pass to the upper course, even if not even a month after the misfortune he wanted me to hurt me and that due to a cast in the hand I lost another twenty days of lessons. The anger that I had in my body in those years was much stronger than bad luck and thanks to the precious teachings of my dear Tae-kwon-do master I had learned to tame it to my advantage, I fought and won the bet again, indeed I won it in a way excellent: at the end of the course I ranked first, I won a scholarship and even during that period I was able to take the eighth grade, studying from outside and at the age of 18.
At the end of the course the Director summoned me and thanked me because he would never have expected that a kid like me, who barely knew the Italian language (and he was right because partly for lack of schooling, partly for relational reasons, I often couldn't communicate correctly with others) could have taught him something who had years and years of life experience: I thanked him in turn because without his trust I would not have been able to demonstrate that everything is not always written on paper.
I became an electronic expert assigned to the management of the radar of the most important operational ship of the time: the destroyer Audace. Studying from outside, after I had taken the eighth grade at eighteen, at twenty, introducing myself from outside, I got my high school diploma. In the meantime, I did not forget to do my duty as a soldier: two years of course for non-commissioned officers, the first ever of the course and then four years of navigation.
On board the ships of the Italian Navy I have carried out various activities including that of being the youngest non-commissioned officer in the Navy to actually manage a Central Tire, coordinating a dozen people and carrying out a series of experiments with the Firing Radar and various other things that here I omit because for some of them, at the time I was not allowed to talk about them and therefore I will continue not to talk about them but also because they would definitely lengthen the discussion.
At twenty-two, in 1981, after two scholarships, one of which was offered to me by what was then the Iranian Imperial Navy, I was offered to enter the Naval Academy, (it was the logical consequence of the path I had done, and in the military environment in general the symbols to be displayed in the various events in order to motivate the young generation are welcome). I owe a lot to the Navy, what little good I did in the following years, including my degree, I owe it to Mamma Marina, but then fate took me to other roads. Creating some sorrow for more than one person, I decided instead to take my leave and start everything from scratch, which happened in 1982 at the age of twenty-three.
I enrolled, as a simple civilian and without the protection of "Mamma Marina" in Information Sciences at the University of Pisa, in reality not even this time I had a curriculum suitable for the purpose, the University of Pisa was then among the most difficult in Italy and I had taken the baccalaureate by studying, from outside, only a few months and despite having taken 56/60 (the highest grade of all the participants in the baccalaureate exams) I was aware of my scholastic deficiencies, moreover I did not have a lot of money to keep me at my studies until I graduated, I had some little help from my parents but unfortunately it wasn't enough to support me. Among the various activities carried out to keep me at my studies I did various jobs including the attendant at the ANFASS in Livorno, in other words, after having been in charge of the Nave Audace Shooting Center, the most important operational ship of the Navy and having given up a brilliant career as an officer in the Navy, I returned to washing dishes and cleaning toilets to support my studies. The experience at ANFASS, however, was very important for my inner growth. Dealing with disabled people makes us understand, at times, the true meaning of life and what they are able to give is far greater than what the so-called "able" give them, for work or for voluntary work. For some years I did various odd jobs until I was hired as an electrician. I spent the last period of the University working eight hours a day placing high voltage cables inside the Pisa airport. In the evenings I was studying and on more than one occasion I fell asleep with my head above the university books.
1990-1995 The computer career
At thirty, as soon as I graduated, my IT career officially began. I had heard of a computer company, Datamat, I applied but was not accepted because my curriculum was not up to par, a thirty-year-old graduate with a grade of 88/110 does not attract large companies. When I decide to publish, if I ever will, the book that tells other aspects of my life, I will explain how I did it, the fact is that after about a year I was in Datamat as a member of the software design team of the first European military satellite “Helios” (launched July 7, 1995 from the Kourou base in French Guiana).
Later I participated in other projects of some interest: designer of a system IT for the management of the activities of the construction sites for the extraction of steam for the operation of the ENEL geothermal power plants; designer of some IT procedures for prefectures; IT systems designer for the healthcare sector; IT teacher for various companies organizing and conducting IT courses including some courses for my old "employer": the Navy.
1996 - 2000 consulting and training
At thirty-six, in 1995, in the workplace I had reached the role of "Program Manager", a coveted qualification in the field of computer science, but in the meantime due to my new studies (in 1990 I had enrolled again at the University of Pisa in the of Letters, Conservation of Cultural Heritage sector) and of the holidays spent in Sicily, I fell in love with Sicily and its immense cultural riches. I also realized that I had lived almost thirty years of my life off the land where I was born, I decided, at 37, to start everything from scratch, this time with a dependent wife and child, I quit my job and went back to the place. of my origins, unemployed and rich only in self-confidence.
I started, among the first in Sicily, to deal with Quality Management Systems; I did not have a great deal of experience in the sector (the usual curriculum is not suitable for the purpose), but it was true that at that time in Sicily there were not many experts in the sector. I had to invent something, and I invented something. Thanks to my will and a few friends who wanted to believe in me, I became, about a year after my reckless decision to abandon what was considered a safe job, one of the first inspectors in Sicily for Quality certification and regional service manager for the quality certification of the regional CNA (National Confederation of Artisans and SMEs). In addition to the activity of consultant, in recent years I have carried out design and teaching activities on behalf of various training institutions
2000 - birth of the Helios Study Center
At forty-one, in 2000, I began my activity as Director of the Helios Study Center, a company that deals with training and promotion of the territory. In undertaking this new business, I immediately realized that I did not have the right curriculum to be an entrepreneur, I did not have (and do not have) the mindset of an entrepreneur, I did not have (and do not have) commercial skills and all those beautiful things it takes to be an entrepreneur once again I had to invent something, and something I invented, at least to survive, in this world of cunning: lhe idea was to always propose new innovative services before they spread so that customers were looking for me given my inability to look for them. It is on this principle that I made sure that the Center was a pioneer in many sectors: the first body in the whole of the south to be accredited by the Ministry of Health for training in the health sector, the first Sicilian body authorized to carry out online refresher courses in the food and safety sector, among the first organizations in Italy to deal with distance training in the apprenticeship, phytosanitary sectors and more. At present, the E-Learnig platforms of the Centro Studi Helios count about 4.000 registered users and over 400.000 hours of training provided. All these things are written in the “standard” curriculum vitae which you can read separately.
Also in the field of cultural heritage promotion the Centro Studi Helios directed by me has operated with an innovative spirit: in 2002 it was one of the first organizations to design a course for Experts in Multimedia Promotion of Cultural Heritage; in 2006 it organized, solely with its own funds, the “Multimedia Week of the Baroque”, one of the first in Sicily to offer a different and innovative way of promoting the territory thanks to new multimedia technologies; in 2008 he produced a multimedia CD created for the presentation of a book of poems and which saw harmoniously mixed recited poems interspersed with pictorial images and background music.
Starting with the 2013 I started to create the new portals, or to restructure the old ones according to a web philosophy not yet well known by most. Often those who want to be at the forefront even in websites talk about web 2.0 I have anticipated the concept of web 3.0 a little but this can also be seen in the “standard” curriculum vitae that you can read separately.
in 2013 I decided that my Heritage Sicilia project, born about 10 years earlier with the aim of promoting the Sicilian Cultural Heritage, was not limited only to the creation of websites and multimedia products, the idea of Heritage Sicilia Eventi was born which included cultural events on the territory and an award (Sicily Heritage Award) dedicated to anyone who, through culture, entertainment or with their own work, has contributed to the promotion of Sicily and its cultural heritage. But how to carry out such a thing in a period of economic crisis in a territory like Sicily where there are few things carried out without using public funds and above all how to convince the various players in the area of the goodness of my idea?. What I came up with was very simple, I only convinced some close friends to help me organize the events, for the rest I didn't have to convince almost anyone because all the initiatives were carried out almost exclusively with my strength, also economic and the people closest to me. I have thus carried out 2 editions of Heritage Sicilia Festival and I would like to do others but to go on I will still have to invent something because the strength and resources to manage events such as the Heritage Sicily Award are not enough, especially when you live in a world where many they are available to get on a chariot but only if it belongs to the winner and above all only if it is already in motion and they are not forced to push.
The initiatives undertaken have almost always begun without even the possibility of confronting others, for the simple fact that there were still no others with whom to confront. In the reality we live in, success is measured in the ability to make money, in this sense neither I nor the Center directed by me have ever been successful, most likely because we are not capable of it or perhaps because we have never focused on this aspect. . Each time we have succeeded in carrying out an innovative project, our efforts have been oriented towards new goals. We could say that we are more interested in “doing” than “selling” but perhaps the real reason is that the only thing we know how to do is “realize” without any commercial capacity to capitalize on the things we have achieved. I also allow myself to say that perhaps, unlike others, who have the project of ambition, I only had the ambition of the project.
1976 to present: Trainer
In my life I have done many jobs, but perhaps that of the trainer is the one that accompanied me for a good part of my life and that perhaps I have loved the most. I believe I can affirm that my career as a trainer began in 1976, when a young student of the NCO School of the Navy and having, as qualifications, only elementary school, I was an "After School Teacher" for a group of Iranian soldiers who attended the electromechanics course with me. They didn't understand Italian well, I probably less than them, yet I was able to pass on something to them. I think I had, indirectly confirmed when after a few years I was awarded a scholarship from the then Imperial Iranian Navy, I think there was the hand of the Iranian military to whom I gave after-school lessons. Perhaps a way to thank me for what I had done for them, even if I never knew it officially, especially for the events that immediately afterwards led to the fall of the Shah of Persia.
In the standard curriculum, I have attached a list, which is not exhaustive, because I have lost track of many events or have been provided unofficially, courses designed by me and / or where I have taught or have elaborated the handouts. The attached list shows how he designed courses for over 15.000 hours of training, of which over 8.000 in E-Learning mode and over 6000 hours in residential mode and carried out about 6.000 hours of teaching, of which over 2.200 hours in the classroom and the rest in FAD mode. Of all the hours I have taught, I myself have prepared the handouts.
2018 the year of resilience
In 2018, only 59 years old, I realized something very important that would change the meaning of my life once again. I have always known that I do not have the requisites that an entrepreneur should have, but after 30 years of training, having designed over several thousand hours of training, done about 6.000 hours of teaching and having been, on more than one occasion, a pioneer in many training fields, I was almost convinced that I was a training professional; discovering that all this was pious illusion was a hard blow that threatened to destroy me mentally and physically, and if this did not happen I owe it mainly to 2 things: love and a sense of responsibility towards my family and my ancient character that makes me say, in the most difficult moments: "if defeat has to come, I will not be found sitting waiting for it".
A training professional it analyzes the demand and makes an offer available, adapting it according to the variation of the demand itself. Here is the key element that I did not understand: adjusting one's offer to varying demand. All of a sudden, like a bolt from the blue, one evening in August 2018 I realized that I was unable to adapt my training offer to the demand coming from the territory or at least to what I perceived, perhaps incorrectly, as such: giving quick and easy answers to needs, which essentially translated into having, as soon as possible, the “piece of paper that would put them in place”, which does not coincide much with my way of training. And this was the reason why my training offer worked only as long as I was the only one or almost the only one to propose certain training offers, while at the time of the arrival of other "professional training" competitors my offer became "inadequate ". If we add to this some "unhealthy" choices such as not accepting sponsorship from pharmaceutical companies for ECM courses, not activating "facilitation mechanisms", not using "friendly" or "relational" mechanisms in a cynical and opportunistic way and as clear as the first on the list of inadequate was me.
In order not to succumb, I applied, as at other times in my life, the principle of resilience, deciding to reorganize my training offer, integrating it with highly specialized training courses aimed at a niche sector, at least compared to those I had followed previously and with innovative contents but above all linked to a real need for training on the part of users and my passion and a good thirty-year knowledge of the sector: cultural heritage, quality management and tourism.
For the umpteenth time my decision clashed with a small detail: "I did not have the right curriculum" nor the courses I wanted to offer, linked in my opinion, to a real training need in the tourism sector, had been regulated or never recognized by a national standard or structure. I had to invent something, and I invented something.
In short, at least here, I will limit myself to describing the results obtained after 15 months from what was destined to become a "final chapter".
- Activation of training courses for Masters and highly specialized courses involving (December 2019) about 200 students from all over the Italian territory for a total of over 50.000 hours of training in E-learning.
- Establishment of the Italian Association of Tourism Professionals and Cultural Operators (AIPTOC), the first Association in the sector, included in the List of Professional Associations that issue the Certificate of quality and professional qualification of the Services of the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE). The Association is present, with its members throughout the national territory.
- Activation of the project TCAEF (Tourism, Arts, and Entertainment Competence Framework) which aims to implement a Competence Framework for the Tourism, Art and Entertainment sectors
- Development of the MICOT model: Integrated Model of the Competitiveness of the Tourist Offer
- Activation of the pTAEQI project (Tourism, Arts and Entertainment Quality Improvement) aims at improving the quality in the tourism, art and entertainment sectors, through the identification of factors, indicators and sectoral quality standards and related brands or quality certification
The second challenge: to become a writer
Unlike the desire to graduate, which I shared right away, I never told anyone (this is the first time I make it public), the second bet I made with myself when I was 16: one day I would have written at least a book.
Why this bet? To understand this we must take into consideration the fact that leaving school at 10, my only source of knowledge and inner growth were first the comics, and then the books. I was obsessed with reading, one day I traded my first communion watch for some comics, imagine my parents' happiness in learning about this. I have always loved books and when I could I bought them, first, second or third hand, as long as they were legible. When I was a student in Pisa, on more than one occasion I used the money from my lunch to buy a book and now, in my house I find about 4.000 volumes, including novels, essays, encyclopedias and so on. I have never envied other people's money, but libraries did and if I was a thief as a young man, I was a thief for books. The "truvature", that is the enchanting treasures, the subject of many ancient legends, in my dreams were not with chests of gold coins but shelves of ancient books. Writing a book meant for me to be part of that world that I have loved all my life, that of writers who achieved immortality through their works.
I have always been aware that it was not (and is not) easy to overcome the difficulties that my very limited knowledge of the Italian language can entail. Especially for people like me who have never actually studied even the basics of grammar. As a kid, and certainly up to the early years of the Navy, I had many difficulties in communicating, probably not only for a linguistic fact but for psychological reasons that I do not tell here. The consequence of all this was that I was seen in the eyes of other (not careful) observers as an idiot and this made me suffer a lot, especially when this happened in the family context. "They" did not know that despite not being able to communicate my thoughts adequately, I understood, and above all, "felt" their words, their judgments, sometimes expressed in front of me as if I were not there or simply as if I didn't understand, in fact, as an idiot. "They" did not know how many times I cried out of frustration, "They" did not know that they helped to feed, inside me, that anger that later turned into energy, but that's another story ...
But let's get back to us, in my whole life the time devoted to the study of the Italian language is perhaps limited to a few months, not more. It may seem strange but it is and I will try to prove it.
Apart from the study of grammar done during the elementary school period, the time devoted to studying all the subjects relating to the 3 years of the middle school certificate, taken at 18 during the frequency of the NCO course of the Navy, is resolved to about one month actual.
Same thing for the diploma (Professional Institute), taken after 2 years from the eighth grade. In fact, thanks to the electromechanical course done in the Navy, I was "discounted" 2 years of the professional, I presented myself from the outside for the other three years, but in fact, having never attended, I also had to study the subjects of the first and second year. Basically, at the exam I presented, and was questioned, on all the subjects of the five-year period. The time devoted to studying all the subjects of the 5 years was approximately three or four months, a study carried out during the demanding navigation at sea with the Audace ship of the Navy. I haven't counted the time it took to study the Italian language, but I think it was very, very little.
At the Maturity exam (Technician of electrical and electronic industries), I had the mark of 56/60, they told me then, that it was the highest mark of the Institute, a great satisfaction after having dedicated only a few months to the preparation of the subjects related to 5 years of study. Obviously I was not a genius, otherwise I would not be where I am now, regretting all the bullshit made in my life, let's say that I was "charged", we could say that I had the "shock inside" that made my neurons go fast ". To be honest, a few months before I took the "shock" seriously; I was aboard the Audace ship, at that time I had a certain "ear" in hearing the failures of the equipment assigned to me. On one occasion he heard a strange noise in a specific part of the shooting radar, like a good idiot, I got closer to hear better, maybe I got too close to the magnetron, the tube fed at high voltage (20.000 Volts) that was used to generate the electromagnetic waves of the radar. The result of that careless gesture was a "voltaic arc" that discharged some electrons on me, entered from the shoulder and came out of my hand resting on a point that was grounded. I had time, before I passed out, to ask myself where that stench of burning I felt was coming from, then I realized it was me. There was very little left of me, but that's another story too. As a joke I always say that at the time, the synapses of my brain neurons were going fast thanks to the 20.000-volt shock I received.
But let's get back to us again, I was trying to show how small the time devoted to the study of the Italian language was. When in 2003 I took leave of the Navy to go to the University of Pisa, choosing a technical faculty such as Information Sciences (now IT), it was not that the Italian language was studied much. The only contact I had with writing was not through studying but through reading thousands of books that I still keep all, or almost all of them, in my home. It is like those who learn a foreign language directly "on the field", obviously with all the limitations that this entails. For years when I heard about the subjunctive, I thought it had to do with eye problems.
So here, I never had (and I don't have) the right curriculum to write and have the honor of considering myself a writer. Yet this has never prevented me from writing, since I was a child, in the ways and forms that my level of knowledge of the Italian language allowed me. Often without letting others know, out of shame or modesty, what I wrote, sometimes timidly, although aware of my limitations, I exposed myself, as when at 17 I participated in a poetry contest organized by the Non-commissioned Officers School of the Navy of Taranto. Gradually, I took courage, thanks also to my activity as a trainer, I started writing and disseminating my writings. In the last few years I have realized that I have written a lot, but really a lot; only in the teaching sector I wrote handouts for over 6.000 hours of training, I wrote articles published in some magazines, I wrote about 4.0000 cards relating to the monuments cataloged in the Data Maps Heritage that can be visited on the portal "La Sicilia in Rete" and talking about this portal, I must say that almost all of the many thousands of web pages that make it up are written by me. I think I have written a lot, but without publishing, except in the form of articles scattered in some magazine or on the Internet, at least until now.
Lately, thanks to the friends of Linea Verde of Rai 1, who have decided to set part of one of their programs on an article of mine relating to the Grotta della Capra d'oro which relates the "truvature" and the ancient human sacrifices, in particular the building sacrifices, I was interviewed in their broadcast aired on March 18, 2018 on Rai 1. In the interview I was compared, none other than Gavino Ledda, the author of “Padre Padrone”. Thanks a lot to the friends of Rai 1, but the comparison is completely undeserved, apart from the suffering youth and military service, I feel a microbe compared to writers like Ledda.
The fact is that thanks to the friends of Rai 1, for the first time I felt that I was given the "writer", even in a transmission broadcast on the main national TV, a dream for us mere mortals. Being called a "writer" was actually my ancient dream that I never told anyone, because I was fully aware of my unsuitable "curriculum", that's why I have now decided to take back all (or almost) the things written in the last 40 years and publish them officially with the fateful "numerino" ISBN. I will publish most of my works, in particular on the History of Sicily and some essays on various topics, together with tourist guides and photographic books that tell about my "beloved" land; and I will publish them despite my limitations, hoping that readers will focus more on the content than on the inevitable linguistic blunders.
I think I can say that my desire to write history books or essays is not presumption or usurpation of other people's spaces but the desire to convey to others, in the ways that I am allowed, the feeling of satisfaction that I find when I study topics such as history, the ancient religions or simply the world around us.
The updated list of my publications at present can be found on the web page: https://www.lasiciliainrete.it/libri/
The one described is my real curriculum, the one without frills, perhaps unorthodox but it is part of my life, not easy, lived in the name of the fight against prejudices but perhaps mainly against myself. Now I feel tired, very tired and when this happens there is a strong desire to close in on oneself and look to the past, but I have so many things to do and battles not won and that perhaps I will never win, to continue. As I said at the beginning, I will continue to fight, at least as long as I have enough strength to do so, perhaps because I am not capable of anything else, perhaps because I am not allowed anything else. There would be many things that I could tell that while not part of my working life have marked my past. One day, if I feel like it and if the conditions are right, I will tell another story; I take the liberty of giving a little hint right now: The story of that time you helped save the Audace ship and perhaps hundreds of people and only a few knew it.