Introduction

Welcome to my website! This is the place where I like to share the things that come to my mind and things I learned in various areas, both professional and recreational.

The blog is also a bit my personal diary, the non-secret one, where I feel like saying something publicly.

It all started with the curiosity to understand how a website is done. Then the thing took my hand and grew over the years. There is no claim to reach a large number of readers. It’s something I do for myself, aware that maybe nobody reads me. In fact most of the pages don’t seem to be written for the web, they are very long with a lot of text and few images. They are not very readable by the standards of the web. II don’t care. This site is a kind of mental archive to myself. If someone will find the things they read here useful, I’ll be the happiest blogger on the internet… 😉

Good reading!

The nightmare of teaching science in Italian schools

everybodyontheirdeviceI am now coming out of a short teaching experience in an international school in Italy. For a year I taught science and geography in their middle school. Today is my last day and while the kids are relaxing in their own way I am reflecting on a few things that this short experience has brought to my mind. Starting with the last one: all the kids, indiscriminately, relax using their mobile phones. One of my generation is immediately reminded of how we would have done, 45 years ago in middle school, to relax in an hour left free for leisure. I used to draw. Nobody had computers at home. Very rarely there were the first, now ridiculous, electronic games. I never had a game console in my entire life.

Continue reading  

Exams and failures

Pasquale_RobustiniIn the summer of 2012, during the usual Philippe Gouttard seminar in Follonica (Tuscany), I failed my 3rd dan Aikikai exam with the great French master. Some would argue that my image as a teacher, although since a short while, could suffer a serious damage. Furthermore, the feelings after a failure are diverse. The will of practicing decreases a bit. You feel a somehow mentally tired knowing that all you’ve done was not enough, while you were convinced it was much. Like after a bicycle or horse accident, it is important to start over again soon! Thank God I was at a seminar, so, immediately after my failed test, I was back on the mat!
Continue reading  

Understanding the Great Masters

gouttardFor the past three decades, I have been returning to Tokyo every year in order to train with the masters of the Hombu Dojo, and every time I feel the same joy, even though my expectations are not always fulfilled once I actually step on the tatami. But it is just fine like that. Given this situation, there are questions that I am being asked rather often, particularly during the social moments such as those spent at the cafe nearby the Hombu Dojo, the one where foreign practitioners often meet between classes. These questions are mostly “Why are you coming back to Tokyo every year? What are you coming for? Why do you always go to Saku to train with Endo Sensei even though your practice does not at all correspond to the principles that he is demonstrating?” Continue reading