Candidates, graduates of general education lyceums, were allowed to take state exams today. Among them is 66-year-old Vasilis Tsimas, who “learned” ancient Greek in order to enter the Sports Academy.
“I always missed something … All the years that I worked, I somehow felt awkward. From a very young age I went to war, I had to work to support myself, and when at the age of 58 I recovered professionally and financially, I decided to finish school and now pass the state exam, ”he explained.
According to the overage student, his greatest joy was that he, together with his granddaughter, began to master the school course of the gymnasium. “In order to encourage and interest the child, we began to “compete” who will best answer the problem given in the textbook. So we graduated from high school together. I did it, and now I can pass the state exam,” he said jokingly.
The road to knowledge was not easy. Working as a martial arts trainer and trading in sporting goods, a man had to systematically read relevant literature in order to achieve his goals – obtaining a secondary education. However, despite the difficulties, he did not think for a minute to quit classes and managed to graduate from the gymnasium and lyceum, the 1st evening school in Thessaloniki.
With the same perseverance and love of knowledge, 55-year-old hairdresser Christos Stangos decided to change his life in his old age and give himself a second chance.
“For me, the big problem was that for so many years I could not fulfill my dream. Every year I told myself that I would go to school. But the job, the obligations, everything else didn’t allow me to do that,” he states, pointing out that he dropped out of school when he lost his family and had to earn his living.
As Mr. Stangos notes, all this time, friends supported him in his pursuit of knowledge, as well as clients in the barber shop, which he ran for three decades. “I have devoted my life to the beauty industry, but I have always wanted to learn. It was very difficult… I read for 4-5 hours a night to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. I read everywhere, even in the hairdresser’s… My clients helped me, and I told them the chapters from the textbooks that I had read. They fully supported me, as if they were my family,” the “student” says excitedly.
Referring to the joking of other candidates, “somewhat younger than him,” with whom he will take state exams, he says: “When I enter the audience, they think that I am a teacher and even ask me: “Professor, what are we going to write? “. And then when I tell them that “I am also a student and I will take exams,” it seems very strange to them, but they like it,” he explains.
The goal of Christos Staggos is to transfer to the Department of Pastoral and Social Theology at the Theological School of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki.