Giuseppe Paternò is a role model, and there are several reasons for you to acknowledge his strengths and integrity.
Italian and 96-year-old (going on 97), he has finally achieved something he had always kept as his life goals: to get a degree at a university. “Don’t get lost because you find obstacles — because there will always be obstacles,” he has exclaimed to a gathering swarm of reporters outside his alma mater, the University of Palermo. He graduated with a degree in history and philosophy. “You have to be strong.” That is his only advice and condition to success. However, he remained humble, rather flustered.
“Too many interviews, too many compliments,” he mustered at an interview on Wednesday, expressing his wish to be less intimidated by what is by fair a personal achievement in the fundamentals.
However, it would do him no justice to not acknowledge the efforts he has made over a century of a lifetime.
Studying had been his passion since he was a small child, he said, “but unfortunately life betrayed me.” Born in a “very poor family,” he was the son of a Palermo household in 1923, when things were not as obligatory when it came to education.
Mr.Paternò only finished elementary school before being led to work. “The family was large, there was only one paycheck, we were under fascism, and times were tough,” he said. He was drafted into the Italian navy in World War II, as a radio operator.
His career led him to the State Railways company, employed for four decades.
He finally achieved his life’s dream to enter into a university-level higher education in 2017 — but only after completing another goal: writing an autobiography and seeing it published. “I wasn’t one to bring my grandchildren to the playground,” said Mr. Paternò.
Italy’s universities allow a three-year degree at the undergraduate level, followed by two years at master’s. Although the university wants him to join the master programme, he isn’t so sure. “I have to confess that in this moment, I don’t know whether I would tackle it with the same spirit,” he said on Wednesday at the same interview. Still, Mr. Paternò grudgingly put some leaves for thought:. “I want to keep my options open.”
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