miércoles, 21 de noviembre de 2012

Twenty years ago (I)

Some  personal recollections.
My college years were very hard ones. I grew up in a coffee plantation at the west side of San Salvador's volcano. I was raised up by my father's older sister, a humble illiterate campesino woman who always thought I could achieve something in life.

To study at the university of El Salvador I had a very small scholarship, less than US$50.00 a month. That money helped me for transportation and a little food. During 1991 I lived with my father in Santa Tecla, a city located 12 kilometers west of San Salvador. By the end of that year he decided not to host me in his house. I had no place to live. I visited my mother and she offered me some help. During 1992, I lived as a guest of an old man who was a friend of my mother. He offered me a room in his house in a place called Ilopango, about 10 kilometers south east of San Salvador.
I remember the day my mother and I traveled together to my new house. It was a day in January or February of 1992. We had to cross by walking downtown San Salvador. That very same day, there was a mass of people coming from the east of the city to downtown. They were heading toward a central square, which is in front of the cathedral. Occupying the whole street, I guess was Avenida España, we met a  bunch of former guerrilla leaders.  They were followed by hundreds of people. We had to step a side to let the masses move toward the cathedral.

Years later I learned that day was a historical day. That day was the very first time the former guerilla enter to San Salvador peacefully. Peace accords were signed just days before.

During that day, my world was foreign to what was happening in downtown San Salvador. My main preoccupations were of another kind. Of course, I saw the horror of war. But that day, with no home, and nothing more than two books on my backpack I couldn't see nothing but my only survival.

Twenty years ago I took my first course on circuits analysis.
One of the two books I was carrying on my backpack was: Engineering Circuit Analysis by William Hayt. I guess, I paid a fifth of my monthly scholarship. I bought that book because was subsidized by a US aid program called RTAC-II.
I studied that book before the semester started. I remember by first day of class I had resolved the exercises of the first three chapters. I barely can remember the professor who gave that class. But I remember having as classmates students who started their engineering studies in middle 1980's.

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