“A dream is made up of the first and the last impression”.
There are words that can open a door into your mind.
There are moments when you discover the endless horizon of a hidden world.
I had the luck to read that sentence in one of those magic moments and was caught by the vision of a life that looks like a dream! A life that is made up of the first and last impression!
The first impression, when we meet, is a unique moment, it happens only once. It is the moment when we see one other in a light that it is not easy to see a second time. It has to be searched if we want to seek it again. But the first impression remains unrepeatable.
The same is when we start a new venture: we move a step towards the future with hope, we step into a stream where we know the start point but ignore the end.
It is like when you jump on the surf-board and catch the wave. It is always the first time. Next wave or next venture will be new and different.
The last impression: when we leave. It is the most significant moment . The impression we leave at the end to our partner, the last impression we leave behind us is the one that will stay for a long time, maybe forever. When we leave a beloved one. When we end a venture.
What happens in between the first and last impression might even be forgotten, but those two impressions, the first and last ones, will always emerge high over the rest of our memories.
Let’s now fall down from the dream to real life.
The experience of students visiting the UK during the summer is a sort of special dream. We want to find ways to make that dream real and pleasant from the first to last moments, from the first to last impressions.
This is one of the reasons of designing a programme full of opportunities, art sessions, craft workshops, games and outdoor activities, cultural events, excursions. It is not about offering a vacuum entertainment.
It is about getting used to live every workshop from the start to the end, every morning as a new first time and every evening as a new end: it is about living with joy, with interest, with awareness. It is about creating an educational experience focused on language learning while engaging the whole human being in mind, soul and body from the beginning to the end.
“A dream is made up of the first and the last impression” is a sentence taken out of a work that Lev Tolstoj wrote in his youth and was published only after his death. It is titled “A History of Yesterday”:
“I am writing a history of yesterday not because yesterday was extraordinary in any way, for it might rather be called ordinary, but because I have long wished to trace the intimate side of life through an entire day. Only God knows how many diverse and diverting impressions, together with the thoughts awakened by them, occur in a single day. Obscure and confused they may be, but they are nevertheless comprehensible to our minds. If it were possible for me to recount them all so that I myself could read the tale with ease and so that others might read it as I do, a most instructive and amusing book would result; nor would there be ink enough in the world to write it, or typesetters to put it in print”.
Life is a great opportunity to dream together and work together: there are nowadays tendencies all over the world to disrupt our working together, to consider “social” what is the effect of partisan conveniences or personal sympathy. Working together is -or should be- a different level of socialising, I believe. It is what makes “extra” an ordinary day and rises it above the anonymity more than any eccentric action or behaviour.
Times are changing and with them also ethos and values. What should not change is the determination of working together, not wasting any opportunity to find synergies and take the best of each human being. My direction is clear and honest: never give up but try and hope again and again ?
Don’t forget though that “A dream is made up of the first and the last impression”!