Trátase de Luis Torrellas, venezolano de 76 años y casado con una colombiana con la cual ya tiene 4 hijos (la mayor transita por los 40 años). Desde su juventud se hizo un virtuoso del método Braille para la enseñanza-aprendizaje de alumnos desprovistos de la vista. Sostenidamente sintió impermeabilidad institucional para sus ingresos y reconocimientos en no pocas universidades donde estudió y, sorteando adversidades, se graduó (¡varias veces!).
This is Luis Torrellas, a 76-year-old Venezuelan married to a Colombian woman with whom he already has 4 children (the oldest is in her 40s). From his youth he became a virtuoso of the Brayle method for teaching-learning students deprived of sight. He consistently felt impervious to his income at the universities where he studied and, overcoming adversity, he graduated (several times!).
The ones who established this conversation with the character that we present here before you, we are Alexander Moreno (teacher of Philosophy of Education at the Venezuelan Libertador Pedagogical University*) and Ana Leal Suárez (teacher of Mathematics at the also Venezuelan UCLA**).
Good. Luis Torrellas tells us that he had vision until he was 15 years old. "I enjoyed normal vision, like all people, until I was 15 years old and gradually lost that virtue." He tells us that he went, with the support of his father and the whole family, to a very famous ophthalmologist who worked in the city where he lived, Barquisimeto (Venezuela). Years '60s. "He treated me without success and then my dad heard that in the Colombian capital, Bogotá, he dispatched a group of doctors named Barraquer who had achieved fame and notoriety in the treatment of serious eye diseases, and well... that's where we went." It was already the '70s. Torrellas tells us in detail that after deep and rigorous procedures that the Barraquers developed with their eyes, they realized that there was nothing to do anymore given the level of advancement of the congenital disease that he suffered.
"Agradeciendo a Colombia, al tiempo decido volver a mi país, Venezuela...".
"I returned, with the help of my beloved father, to my city Barquisimeto and I was fortunate to meet a neighbor who was a genius in the Braille method***, Professor Simón Oropeza". Luis Torrellas tells us that this pedagogue was at that time in the bid for an institution precisely for the teaching-learning of students devoid of vision; this at the point of the heuristic Braille method. "Master Oropeza was a Braille genius and I learned it from his teaching skills and the versatility of his fingers."
"Already provided with the learning that I obtained in the field of Braille through the teacher Oropeza in Barquisimeto and having valued the advantage that Colombia presented in relation to my country, in terms of culture to assist the blind in general terms, I decided to return to Colombia and pursue a pedagogical course and deal precisely with the blind student". Our fellow student tells us that he actually entered the state Pedagogical University and managed to complete the desired career, thus obtaining a worthy technical-university degree. That was in the '70s."Not only that... I fell in love with a Colombian woman and got married. I already have 4 children and 5 grandchildren. Among them, there are Venezuelans and Colombians."
Ya casado y con una hija (la primera), decide mudarse a Venezuela y arrancar su anhelada profesión de educador, no sin problemas de discriminación...
Already married and with a daughter (his first), he decides to move to Venezuela and start his long-awaited profession as an educator, not without problems of
"Just beginning the '80s is when I formally began to work as a teacher at the Luis Braille Bolivarian Special Education Educational Unit****, which operates in my city, Barquisimeto. Inexplicably they treated me as an undergraduate, despite my university studies completed at a public Colombian university. The international agreements that existed and still exist in this sense, were useless in my case. To solve this unfair treatment, I studied in a modality that the Ministry of Education of my country had, called professional improvement. I think it still works. That was worth nothing; they kept paying me as non-graduate".
"No acostumbro amilanarme por las adversidades. Para romper con la injusticia de que me trataran y remuneraran como no-graduado, cursé entonces en la Universidad Pedagógica de Venezuela (UPEL), la carrera de Profesorado de Educación Integral Mención Matemática, y ¡por fin hubo justicia!"
"I am not used to being intimidated by adversity. To break with the injustice of being treated and paid as an undergraduate, I then studied at the Pedagogical University of Venezuela (UPEL), the course of Comprehensive Education Teachers with a Mathematics Mention, and finally there was justice!".
Tell us, Luis Torrellas... Did UPEL place obstacles for you to enter? Did you have special collaborations from your teachers and classmates to make your studies flow?
"I can tell you that UPEL was receptive to me, both my classmates and my teachers. Of these I remember Eddy Romano, Pablo Cuello, Nelson Silva, Naylet Mujica, Francisco Castañeda, Héctor Pantoja and many others with special respect."
How did you do and do you do for the transfer of mathematical symbols in their conventional versions, to your understanding and solution? Answer us in general terms...
"Well... You have said in general terms. I take you at your word. The abacus has served me enormously; also the Braille method in all its modalities, including the corresponding typewriter. Both my wife, Amalia, as well as my friends, my blind classmates, in short, all my teachers, have been my allies. Computer science also works with me. Above all, there is my will, my courage, my motivation to live and serve.
To conclude this cordial talk... Have you felt that the rest of your senses have been enhanced?
Yeah; especially hearing, touch, smell... Taste, not so much. I use my brain hard. I go out every day, especially now that I am retired; Barquisimeto, Bogotá... I do all the errands I have to do. I do not fear falls, being run over, or any other important adversity. Only rarely do I have such setbacks. I love life, especially my grandchildren.
Thank you very much, colleague Luis Torrellas.
https://pixabay.com/es/illustrations/ciego-ver-baja-visi%C3%B3n-1027860/ https://pixabay.com/es/illustrations/%C3%A1baco-calcular-matem%C3%A1ticas-1808917/ https://pixabay.com/es/vectors/braille-sin-barreras-negro-s%C3%ADmbolo-99020/ https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braille_(lectura) https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=647418843557962