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XXV Edition One Day with an Author and his Work recognizes José Luis Sáez Ramo

November 22th 2019

Illustrious members of the Board of Regents and Academic Council of INTEC.

Dear executives, teachers, students, graduates and other members of the Intecian community.

Dear teachers and students of other institutions.

Dear teacher José Luis Sáez Ramo, honored in this act.

Ladies and Gentlemen 

Recreating a life in two hours is a promising task, which can only be undertaken with a good dose of passion, ingenuity and optimism. It's about turning around to look at almost forgotten faces, hearing voices that were deafening before but now are only whispers or reliving events that were defining at the time but now look far away. And, of course, it is not easy to find some order among lots of diffuse memories or to separate the straw from the wheat in front of testimonies or sometimes incongruous counts. 

That is, however, the mission that lies ahead of a group of students from different schools, who ask us to be complicit in the pretentious daring. Thanks to them, we will know a story that begins in the Iberian Peninsula but that can only be understood from the perspective of the Caribbean, and in it we will find a child who crosses an ocean to meet his father, a teenager who embraces the priesthood as a form of life and an adult who seeks in the study of the past how to understand his present.  

The reason that brings us together is to celebrate the work of Jose Luis Sáez. In doing so, we could highlight the work of the filmmaker, the journalist, the priest or the historian. But as a connecting thread we can above all celebrate his work as a teacher, through which his generosity has been put at the service of many people who have been fortunate to meet him along the way. I was, to my honor, one of them, and without the intention of using this podium to discuss personal matters, I want to take the opportunity to record my gratitude debt.

It was in my adolescence when I had as a teacher a young priest who seemed to have read all the books in the world and whose hypertrophied memory could reproduce in real time the most forgotten scene of the least remembered film of the lesser known director. Secretly, my friends and I nicknamed him Funes, el Memorioso, in honor of the literary character who, in the words of Jorge Luis Borges, "had more memories in his head than all men have had since the world is world."

His humility contrasted with his enormous talent, so that the teacher quickly became the friend. Knowing him was a transcendent fact for me, without which, perhaps, I would not feel what I feel when I see Potemkin's Battleship nor will my oldest son have the name of Leon Felipe. That is why, at this moment, when by inexplicable coincidence I have the privilege of being part of this recognition, I prefer not to do so from the position of rector but from the condition of a disciple.

Thank you all for being here, thanks Jose Luis for accepting this show of affection, and let's all enjoy this moment.

Thank you so much!