On Friday October 22nd at 6:00 pm Buenos Aires time Asociación Escuelas Lincoln will be holding an online In Memoriam to remember our dear Seño, Herminia Granitto who passed away on September 15, 2021. We will take a moment to remember our dear teacher, as well as our fellow alumnus, Commodore Charles Yatman who also passed away just a few days ago.
Both Herminia and Charles have been pillars of our community and we hope you will join us in taking a moment to remember them. We will send a Zoom link closer to the date.
Please RSVP (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSep7DxoIRBbcqE118Mnwy80hvbxc_0l_0wce-hL5W3l9Y64PA/viewform) by completing this form by October 20th, 2021
In my mind I knew this day would arrive, but I never really believed it in my heart. After all, Señora was almost 100 years old. I had some thoughts about what I might say, but it never truly sank in that there would be a world without Señora Herminia Granitto Lorenzi in it. She was extraordinary.
I am not an athlete, not by any stretch of the imagination. I never was. I was never on a sports team coached by Señora. I still hate Thursdays because “pase lo que pase, el jueves hay atletismo.” However, what Señora taught me has lasted me a lifetime, and I too carry on her legacy despite my lack of athletic prowess.
Señora taught me how to swim. When she found out I didn’t know how, she proposed to meet me at the pool during lunchtime to show me. I was terrified at the prospect of having one-on-one sessions with her. But I showed up. “Hacé así con las piernas.” I did. “Ahora hacé así con los brazos.” Again, I complied. “Hice así” for several laps a couple of days in a row. Then, the final test. “Subí a la plataforma alta y saltá.” Legs trembling, I did. “Ahora sabés nadar.”
Señora taught me to believe in myself. She was genuinely pleased and proud of my athletic accomplishments, however small. “Sí lo podés hacer,” then she would throw that volleyball out 5 feet in front of me and cheer when I got to it. Her encouragement stayed with me, and decades later I played on an intramural college volleyball team, and later on a company volleyball team. We didn’t win many matches, but we had fun.
She held us accountable; nothing got past Señora. The “indispuesta” excuse only worked once a month because she kept track her little book. Only one time did I grumble under my breath that I bet she couldn’t do a particular exercise. Big mistake. Señora heard me and got down on the floor and did twice as many reps as she asked us to do.
Señora could be fun. On another rainy Thursday as I dreaded atletismo indoors, Señora sat us in a circle and we played games, pranking one unsuspecting girl with a pitcher of water in her face through a coat sleeve…something about a boat on the ocean. Does anyone remember that? I remember Señora’s sincere laughter.
Señora showed me love. She was genuinely happy to see me and always remembered me at every reunion. She remembered and loved every student. She encouraged us to try our hardest and do our best, even if we didn’t want to. After we did, we experienced joy and accomplishment. That joy and accomplishment in a job well-done is what I carry with me and strive for today. “Buenas y malas” extend ‘way past the softball field; celebrate the “buenas” and shake off the “malas”. I think of all the little conversations we have had over the years, of how proud she was that I learned real tango, of her scooting down the Yellow Brick Road at her last Lincoln reunion in Dallas in 2015. If there was ever a worldwide force of nature, it continues to be Señora Herminia Granitto Lorenzi through all of us.
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Class of 1982
My high school coach has died. He was our mentor, our role model, our leader and a true man among men. There wasn't a sport he couldn't teach us, but he didn't coach sports...he coached boys. He coached boys on how to be men. He taught us how to treat women. He taught us integrity, honesty, sportsmanship and how to learn from our losses...how to be gracious whenever we didn't win. He is the reason that to this day I walk across the field...or across the room...to congratulate my opponent whenever he or she has beaten me. He's the reason I can watch a game and still marvel and celebrate with the opposing team's player who makes an amazing play. He always reminded us that the other teams were made up of players who were human beings giving their best just as we were, while wins and losses would eventually be forgotten. He taught us to get over being pulled from the game and getting benched, and to think of the team rather than ourselves individually, thereby teaching us sacrifice. And he was the ultimate example because he sacrificed his entire life to raise generation after generation of boys to be gentle fathers and husbands, to be kind coaches and bosses. And somehow as an afterthought aside, he taught us to be pretty decent athletes.
If any of this sounds exaggerated, just ask any boy I grew up with in Argentina. Even better, ask the girls. They were witnesses to it, just as we were witnesses to the magic and dedication of their coach, Señora Herminia Granitto, who built incredibly amazing women out of them. Rest In Peace, Donato Laurita. Rest In Peace, our beloved "Profe."
Esto es parte de lo que deseo le hagas conocer a todos aquellos que sienten su pérdida.
"Su vida la dedicó enteramente a su profesión y se convirtió en "profe". No es un apócope de profesor sino un símbolo del grado de acercamiento con sus alumnos y el reconocimiento en vida a su entrega.
Puso todo su talento y esfuerzo para guiar la vida de sus hijos políticos: "sus alumnos".
Fue un atleta y un deportista desde su incipiente juventud: salto en largo, básquet, fútbol.
Su profesión la desarrolló en las Escuelas Municipales de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires donde asistían alumnos carenciados, en el Club Italiano y en el Club Huracán de San Justo dictando natación, en el Club de fútbol Almirante Brown como preparador físico y en el Lincoln.
Fue inspirador y creador de la Federación Argentina de Softball y un jugador de ajedrez empedernido.
Pese a su trabajo sin fines de semana para su familia, tuve la oportunidad de participar con él en cuanto lugar estuviera: la natación en el Club Italiano, los campamentos en Achiras Córdoba y los de Bariloche, en los que solíamos acompañarlo hospedándonos en la casa de los Maldonado; proveedor de alimentos y movilidad del campamento y cuando tuve la edad necesaria participé también junto con muchos de ustedes en esos veranos imborrables de nuestra memoria en S,C, de Bariloche. Su dedicación en este caso se centraba primero en la seguridad y luego en fortalecer el compañerismo y la responsabilidad que era el próximo paso en camino a nuestro desarrollo como personas de bien.
Pude palpitar la alegría de sus alumnos en las competencias y en esos comienzos de años en el campamento. Más aún, las historias de vida en las que ayudó a recomponer algo de ella, con un consejo o una decisión. Fue muy valioso con ese aporte, en ese caso se convertía en un padre amplio y generoso y me los comentó todos en confianza para guiarme y que yo aprendiera. También me puse el equipo y jugué al softball para el Lincoln.
Su reconocimiento con la escuela y con el ACSAA, lo llevó a transferirlo en su relato para mi, sus nietos, la familia y todos sus conocidos.
Estuve recogiendo de su baúles y cajas toda la historia de su trabajo, es increíble todo lo que guardaba, miles de tarjetas de saludos para navidad y año nuevo de cada uno de ustedes, los libros anuales, las cartas de cariño y las buenas nuevas en el desarrollo de la familia de cada uno de ellos, las paredes de su casa está llena de esa historia.
Sepan que realmente comprendo su dolor y la expresión de apoyo que recibo de todos ustedes, hoy hablé con Iris y Herminia (Señora) compañeras de toda la vida, muy reconfortante ese momento.
Agradezco de corazón recibir sus condolencias, y se que lo llevarán en el corazón para siempre.
Un abrazo a todos"
The 1977 Southern Star yearbook was dedicated to Profe. The page honoring him read:
En el año 1948 vino un profesor nuevo al colegio. Se llamaba Donato Laurita. ¿Quién puede imaginar la escuela sin el sonido de tangos en el aire, los gritos de "Ventiladores Aurora," la tortura china? ¿Qué sería el colegio sin el Profe para cargarnos, reírse con nosotros, y escuchar nuestros problemas? ¡Profe, nos alegramos que todavía estás en Lincoln!
In 1948 a new teacher came to the school. His name was Donato Laurita. Who can imagine the school without the sounds of tangos in the air, the cries of "Ventiladores Aurora," the Chinese Torture? What would school be like without Profe to tease us, laugh with us, listen to our problems? Profe, we're glad you're still at Lincoln.
The truth is, Lincoln wouldn't even BE Lincoln without Profe. He helped shape all of us who spent even one semester there – boys and girls. His spirit will live forever in Lincoln. Those tangos still waft through the wind. Who still hears "ten pushup" when they kick a volleyball, or "no pay no towel"? And now we have traveled to the four corners of the earth with a little piece of Profe in our hearts. Profe, vas a estar siempre en nuestros corazones. Que sepas el amor que tenemos para vos, y que en paz descanses.
We received the following on April 29th, 2019 from Bob Johnson '64, immediate past president of the ACSAA:
Dear fellow schoolmates, ACSAA Board, Lincoln Staff, Class Reps present and former Faculty and friends,
It is with a heavy heart and tears that I pass on the sad news that our beloved "Profe" Donato Laurita passed away at 12:10pm today in Puerto Madryn, Argentina at 95 years of age. He was an icon at Lincoln and Ward AGHS teaching physical education and sports to generations of boys from the late 1940's to the 1990's. He now joins his wife Susana in Heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and the Laurita family. May he rest in peace. I will pass on more details as they are made available.
Please pass on news to your classmates and associates who knew Profe.
I invite you to share your memories of Profe on this blog.
Jade (York) Polk '82, ACSAA President
As of 4/28 we have 32 members registered on IRIS, our alumni directory. We have received 14 donations. We have enough funds now for one scholarship and are well on our way to a second scholarship!
Keep the activity coming! The more members we have, the more fun and useful IRIS will be! Please forward our information to every Lincoln/ACS/Ward/AGHS person you can think of!
Jade (York) Polk '82
UP FROM THE ASHES GROW THE ROSES OF SUCCESS
Queridos amigos y compañeros,
I don’t know how else to state the obvious, so I will be blunt. The ACSAA is at a critical crossroads. Our organization, whose main focus has been to fund two yearly scholarships for deserving Asociación Escuelas Lincoln graduates, has insufficient funds for even one scholarship.
I take full responsibility for why this has happened.
At the Dallas, TX reunion, I made an announcement that the online directory was good to go, and had lined up a company to help us build our site that would include accepting dues, but at the last minute they bailed on the deal I thought we had. Shortly after the reunion, I was sidelined with cancer, but that’s beside the point, and I’m OK now.
My main goal as President was to set up a functioning website that would house our directory, be a means for us to keep in touch through one or more Gaucho Gazette blogs, and collect dues. This is a fine way to combine the Argentina, international, and USA alumni. The ACSAA website, https://www.acsaa.org, is up and running, but it’s not very pretty yet. I invite you to take a look, become a member, and register with International Roster of Important Students (IRIS—you know how she keeps up with us all, right?). Yearly membership dues are $50 per year.
Dues will be used to:
Since the 2011 reunion we have continued, despite having no income, to fund our two scholarships ($1500 each) for the years 2012-2018. Now we have run out of money. If you find it in your heart to make an extra donation towards our cause, we certainly welcome it, and will use it to further our goals stated above. If you have paid for a lifetime membership, your contribution will be honored. Please let us know, as our records are now very dated, and consider making an extra gift if you can to get us over this hump.
All of this said, obviously we will not be sponsoring a reunion in 2019. I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say. I propose that after two months we are unable to raise enough funds for one scholarship, we dissolve the ACSAA, and give what money we have to the Argentina alumni group.
Being President is harder than I thought it would be. It takes a lot of time that I have not really had as a full-time employee, housekeeper, and mom. I’m in a better position now to try to keep it up and running. If you would like for me to continue as President, I will be happy to do so. If changes need to be made, I will pass on what funds I have, and step aside. If someone would like to pick up the administration of the website, I will pass it along, otherwise I will shut it down. According to the existing by-laws, we would have to form nominating and election committees to vote in new officers.
I really think that the ACSAA is an organization and an endeavor worth keeping. For me personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed keeping up with so many people who share the wonderful experience of growing up in Buenos Aires, and attending ACS Lincoln, and its predecessor schools. I have attended every reunion since 1987 and had an absolute blast. I am so proud of the scholarships we have awarded. I hope to continue the magic into the future, strengthen our connections with each other, and expand our reach. If you feel the same, please join me.
Jade York Polk
American Community Schools Alumni Association
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