Leonardo Gifted School is partner or member of: COBIS - Council of British International Schools, ECHA - European Council for High Ability, WCGTC - World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, AERO - Alternative Education Resource Organization, BPLUSA - Big Picture Learning Design USA, University of Bucharest - Faculty of Phychology and Educational Sciences, University of Connecticut - Neag School of Education, Simon Fraser University - Faculty of Education
This is the story of Anatolie Gheorghiu, laywer, accountant, musician, conductor, in the honour of whom the scholarship is offered, as narrated by the father, professor Alexander Gheorghiu in 2015.
Anatolie Gheorghiu was a highly gifted man, showing how a troubled life can be conquered (changing countries, languages, facing the plundering of gangs in Russia as a refugee as a young boy; learning in a multi cultural environment, facing the war, living with a parent who remains invalid after the war; developing high mental capacities – playing chess aveugle; enrolling and graduating two faculties at the same time – a rarity at the moment, due to the difficulty of pursuing this endavour; learning by himself how to play an instrument and becoming a self-taught orchestra conductor to perform at the National Radio station broadcasting live almost weekly; developing great concentration capacity and also, as a mentalist, through perseverance, hard work, and passion) and how life can put you down, because Anatolie showed also the high sensitivity of gifted people and got depressed with the down side of life – meeting people and situations who confronted him with the lower of the characters, he got very grieved, he kept all inside, and he did not make it – he developed bipolar disorder.
Just before the disease became pervasive, in the last few days, months of full objective consciousness he said with his own words that he “could not stop thinking, could not rest” – this is what he finally had been living, to the last days. This was something he could not change and could not fight, and this is also how he died, unfortunatelly. At those times, mental disorders were not looked into the matter too much; people did not have a couch or a therapist to get in touch with their own traumas and work them out, work them through. There was little to be done, and nothing was done, in fact.
To my own deep sorrow, I personally found in one of the books he was reading (Stanislaw Jerzy Lec) an aphorism highlighted with a marker: “Only people of common sense lose their minds“. I guess this went into his soul as a reality of his own.
Son of Basarabia
Childhood Family Youth
My father, Anatol Gheorghiu (Anatolie on the birth certificate) was born on January 21, 1911 in Lomza (reads Lomja) in Poland, a territory which in that year was part of the Duchy of Warsaw, of the Tsarist Empire giant. Here in Lomza he grew along with his older brother George (Jorj) (b. 1906) until the beginning of 1914 when the Great War started.
His father, Ioan Gheorghiu, a colonel in the tsarist army entered the fight, was seriously injured, taken prisoner and remains invalid of war. My grandfather, Ioan Gheorghiu, was born in Basarabia, in Tighina, in 1875 on January 15. He was part of a family with many children: three older girls and 4 boys in the order of birth, his grandfather being the second of the boys. After finishing high school in Chisinau, he is sent to the Military High School in Odessa, to pursue a military career, and was assigned in 1893 just in the Duchy of Warsaw, to a military unit in the town of Lomza.
Here at Lomza, he marries a beautiful blonde Polish, Marusia, my grandmother. My grandfather attend the Russian-Japanese War of 1904, and taken prisoner in the battle. Only later, in 1950, he begins to write his interesting life memories. During the war, my grandmother, Maria (Marusia) Gheorghiu, is pilgrim through Russia with her two children, grabbing the horrors of the Revolution and plundering bands of Kazak, who probably left traces in the sensitive nature of small Tolea (Anatolie), as my father was called.
Gangs caused terror in the poor refugees, shooting and stealing valuables from the poor people. Back from imprisonment, my grandfather wants to return to Basarabia, but finds the border with Romania closed. But having a Polish wife he succeeds in coming back to his homeland making a detour through Poland, which was then Romanias border.
Now back in his homeland my grandfather is set in Tighina on 63 Dimitrie Moruzzi st. where he lives with his family until 1932. In 1929, my father, Anatolie Gheorghiu, is a graduate of the high school of boys “Stefan cel Mare” in Tighina, and applies in Bucharest at two faculties: the Law and the Commercial Academy. In 1934 he passes the exam’s degree in Law, and the same year he is proclaimed “licensed” at the Academy of Higher Commercial and Industrial Sciences in Bucharest, consular sections and Public Administration and also, another section, at the Department of Bank Insurance and Trading.
In 1932 his parents sell the house in Tighina and buy a house in Bucharest, at No 20 Izvoreanu st. (which communists renamed Slobozia), located near the “Rond” at the Metropolie tram station, with a green park near, the Carol I Park.
In the workforce
Living now with his parents, my father enrols as a trainee lawyer at Ilfov County Bar Association, from 1934 until 1939, where he actually performed the legal profession. Probably he did not like practicing the law, coming into contact with people who liars, greedy, dishonest, so he preferred the accounting work, where you are asked to have fairness, thoroughness and order. My father works as a bookkeeper at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bucharest, then later, after the war, at the Ministry of Education, the joint venture Sovrom- Constructie- because he knew Russian by the time he goes into retirement he works as auditor in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI).
My father married in 1938 with Ana Stambuleanu in Bucharest, my mother, and I, Alexander, was their only child born on September 5, 1942. Both they live for a while in Stirbei Voda 58, in the house of his wifes parents.
Personality of Anatolie
My father’s vocation was music. Since high school, at the subject of music he has only grades of 10; he took part of the high school orchestra, playing the mandolin, the stringed instrument which he was drawn to; copied accords for quartets (I and II mandolin, mandolin and guitar), and also, he went on playing with friends.
As his parents have not encouraged the attraction to music, considering that from music you can not support a family – for sure, a prejudice they pressed him to enrol in two faculties that did not attract him at all.
My father was a man of character, he was conscientious, orderly and decided to finish the job on which he was involved, and he was appreciated in the profession in which he gottrained.
But as I said, his vocation was music. Starting with 1938, my father is a collaborator of the Romanian Radio (Radiodifuziunea Romana) by singing live on Radio on mandolin, either solo or in quartet or being an orchestra conductor of the mandolin orchestra Estudiantina.
He is performing live on the Radio almost weekly – as it can be easily demonstrated through the Radio program clippings or the Radio Requests letters sent home. After 1950, he works as a professional artist, musician and choir soloist by singing in the dancing ensemble “Ciocarlia”. That’s where he makes many tournaments around the country until 1956, when there are being made some reorganisations, and every player in the assembly is asked for their study certificates. And with surprise, they find out that the guitarist Anatolie Gheorghiu has a double degree: a degree in Law and a degree in the Commercial Academy, and with practice in both areas.
So he gets proposed to work as an auditor, also in MAI’s who needs competent people in the field. He works here until his retirement in 1963 due to his on sickness, suffering with the nervous system of bipolar disorder (maniac depression) which is today thoroughly studied, but at that time, little it was known about it.
As a retiree, he is still working as a guitar instructor at the Culture House of MAI’s. I want to mention that my father was also an external collaborator of IL Caragiale Theatre in the play “The Phantom Lady”.
My father tried to enrol at the age of 45 at the Cirpian Porumbescu Bucharest Conservatory to become a professional in music but it was too late, they did not accept him..
Tips and teachings received
Of course, my father in childhood had the first language spoken at home Russian, and had some Polish taught from his mother. In high school he also learned German and French. With Basarabia high school classmates of different nationalities (Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Ukrainian, Hebrew, Gagauz) and different cultures around he could make an opinion about human nature in general. Speaking of characters dad once told me: “People are only two ways – good and bad and they have a language, – mother language – the language in which their mother spoke to them.”
Then he told me that generalisations are often not true, but only individual cases. I mean you can say that A is lazy, industrious and B is conscientious, C is cunning, and so on. Given these beliefs, my father had friends of all nationalities.
My father was a mighty correct person. For the of work Broadcasting songs at the Radio, my father, as a conductor, received a sum. He divided the money equally to all, although he would have been entitled to as a conductor, having greater responsibility, to receive a larger amount. Mother told me this, to explain my reasoning and honour of my father. Wickedness, injustice, greed grieved him, but he kept all of it hidden in himself, without saying anything; only you could see he was sad and dejected.
Perhaps it would have been better if he would have burst out, as the majority proceeds with anger, words of reproach, as his brother did, George, and got himself to cool off.
My father was not greedy, or eager to enrichment; he was modest, content with what he had. He loved the freedom to do what he likes.
He was not turning to activities that bring money. Too little had he won making music, and not even a dim in chess, but chess and music were his passions.
As to reading, it was limited to reading the press; he had no political views and did not comment on the day’s events. With the greatest pleasure I remember he loved eating corn and watermelon in the summer. He was not picky about food. He loved order and loved to be neatly dressed.
After I got my baccalaureate in 1960, my father, (Anatolie) asked me in what direction I want to go now, expressly and intently trying to figure out if I like chemistry, telling me not to make the mistake he did when he attended two faculties, which he did not liked, not even one of them.
His advice was to choose our direction in life each according to his talent or vocation, that is what we like, and not lucrative trades, or succumb to the pressures of people who surround us.
By doing our job with pleasure, we will have success, recognition of our personal qualities, and even society has a win in this, because no one needs a failure.
My parents never used spanking as a means to educate. My father gave me not even a slap. He was interested in my results without ever to criticise me. If I received lower grades he just told me that I learn for myself, and some day my knowledge will be a useful one.
I was impressed with his behaviour when at the end of the first quarter during my high school, I said grudgingly, and especially because I needed to say it, that I am about to fail the grade, at German. Until then I kept this from him, I was hiding from him, hoping I’d be able to straighten my grade of 2 I had in the oral examination. And when I found out that I got another grade of 2 at the final examination, I felt I blew it, so I expected him to give me a mighty fight, if not, even slapped, as I have not announced it in advance.
Up until the fall of 1957, scoring in all schools was made by the Russian system from 1 to 5, 1 for copying, 2 to insufficient, 3 sufficient, 4 for for good and 5 for excellent. Only after 1957 we returned to our traditional notation from 1 to 10. With the education reform in 1950 made by the communists, our traditional school dropped from 12 classes, running at 10 school classes as in the USSR (7 classes primary and 3 in high school); in our tradition there were 4 in the to primary and 8 classes in the college.
Also, they have translated all of USSR textbooks in Romanian, so curiously- we studied the geography of the USSR. It is true that some textbooks were very good, like the mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, but I think it was offensive to us that we could not conceive ourselves a manual. Only after 1957 textbooks appear by Romanian authors. In 1958 we should not forget that we managed to get rid of the Russian troops stationed in the country, which has not happened in other countries satellite our friend in the socialist camp.
It was a kowtow before the USSR at all levels throughout the line. Getting out from under the Soviet skirt was made carefully, gradually, as not to irritate the Soviets. But my dad listened surprise – saddened- my confession and only after a while, just asked me: “You dont like German, do you?” At my so obvious answer, my father started to teach me how to truly learn, giving me a deep knowledge of psychological advice.
“First you have to change your optics on that object, and that is to start to learn with pleasure, and not with rejection. How? Search to see what advantages you’ll have by understanding German. Movies – you will understand without reading the subtitles, and you could even be able to check if they translated correctly and completely without omissions. Then you will have access to the huge German culture: books, newspapers, magazines. Then if you encounter any German tourist on trips, or on the beach you’ll know to answer his question without pointing fingers, and you’ll be proud of it.
Secondly, you now have to make a leap from insufficient to very good. You need to know now perfectly, to react immediately and correctly, to impress the teacher and make him respect you.
Why not learn a lesson together to know it perfectly. Do you want to try? “
And so, after I translated the lesson and learnt the words, I did retranslation on what he was saying in Romanian, into German. Then I learned to transform a single sentence in question and then give him the answer, as the teacher would probably ask me to.
Finally he said,
“Now you know what it means to learn a lesson, you do the same task with the other lessons. Good luck! “
Now, trusting that “I can”, as evidenced by my perfectly learnt lesson, the teacher was surprised and impressed with my safe and precise answers, so that I saw myself promoted.
It seems that to achieve victory we must first taste the sadness of failure, because only when we mobilise with perseverance, we can pass the hop.
But how did my father know about the method of selfsuggestion proposed by a French psychologist, Emile Coue? Much later, by reading the book “On the self-education” or “The way of happiness” written by the psychologist Victor Pauchet, which was awarded by the French Academy before the war, I learned to apply in practice the method of suggestion in my self-education, which helped me in different situations.
My father took care of whom I was making friends with, by telling me that “I like it or not, but without notice, I will cling to their habits, whether good or bad.” It was summer, I passed the eighth grade and I played cards with Dudu, a boy from the neighbours. My dad got me thinking, wondering, “What have you learned from him?”. I did not know what to answer, and I realized that I lost time and I had nothing to learn from this playmate. Much later, he also got in trouble with the police. The problem of entourage is therefore an important issue, so a parent must be careful here.
Since then I have taken care who my friends were, and what I had learned from them. In the 9th grade, my friend, classmate in my neighbourhood, he was getting school prizes, offered me to learn together, and I accepted with pleasure. I noticed what how neatly he was, and how seriously he was preparing for lessons he was a good example for me.
From my father I learnt what perseverance, patience, and especially the planning method means. It was the planning with objectives to be completed at milestones, checking each time if they were completed on time.
Thus, in the first year as a student, I left in the fall an exam because it was a difficult course with many pages, it was giving me shivers and had a real horror that I had to learn it. Luckily I had found in my library this course, and I had it it was my rescue. Dad took over the book in his hands, looked at the chapters, then calculated the time available up until the exam, subdividing it on milestones, and wrote by what time each chapter must go. He left two days for final review.
So I gained self-confidence, because the huge course will be overcome. Self confidence is therefore an important factor. It is the confidence that you can achieve something.
Also from my father I learnt to be considerate of time, this unique treasure of ours, which you do not really know how to cherish, but we are losing it randomly however, we value passing goods.
Indeed, how many of us know how to cherish our precious time?
Dad loved a saying:
“If you do something, do it well! And when you get to something, do not linger, but persevere in work to finish it.”
He did not like to waste time. He always found some thing to do and never got bored.
And in music and chess, he studied by the books by himself, and with his passion he reached mastery. Of course, in life you have to choose a profession to make a living, but do it if it’s your own pleasure.
My father’s passions were music, chess, and swimming.
As a child, I remember that in the summer, in the courtyard, in Stirbei street, his friends from the orchestra gathered with their instruments and then I sat there to listen to how beautiful they were singing. But playing an instrument means to give him your daily attention, to work in perseverance, you need to desire perfection. And about chess: I remember that when I went with my family to the beach, my father was first looking where the people were playing chess. He began to look at players while they were playing, studying them, then he entered the game, playing a few games that meant a few hours, poor him, returning sunburnt because he was forgetting to cover up or to move from one side to another.
Also an appreciation of your time and other peoples time is punctuality.
Entering college, my father inquired me about the name of my best friend. On hearing his name he asked me where he was born. Learning that he was German born in Sibiu, he taught me to take care to be with him on point precision, because this is what they appreciate.
Indeed, my life long friend, Alecu Fruma, appreciated me, also perhaps because we had many things in common. Of course my father being the conductor of the Estudiantina orchestra of mandolins, they were singing live on radio, and himself and the others from his orchestra had to be punctual to come in due time on the air, in their allotted time. On the radio, before the war, they played live, or they had the Gramophone. They did not invent to print tape sounds by that time.
But school, besides training, among its objectives, has to teach punctuality. Because once you enter the workforce, people are claiming especially punctuality at work.
So much so punctuality is a desirable quality in humans.
The third of my father’s passion was swimming and thats also why he could lose his life. The Summer before he got married, he went with his brother George at sea, in Cavaran, Basarabia, where a fisherman took them by boat to the deep sea. From the boat first who thrusted into the water was uncle George, then my father, and they started to swim to the shore.
It happened that my father had a crick, and he could not swim anymore. Luckily, under his feet, he felt a shoal of sand in the middle of the sea, and there he rested, or else he would have drowned. He believed that this was a sign from God, so this is when he stopped adventuring in the deep sea. If he swam, he swam along the shore by the buoys. Dad had a great power of mental concentration. He was also being able of playing chess aveugle (blindly, with no board). Also, while commuting with the tram, he was singing a fashionable song in his mind and in resonance, he was to hear someone sing that song and start humming loudly- an exciting experience for the transmission of thoughts.
My father was hardworking and persevering. Starting a business, it was held to a finish. My father was a good example for me. But what little did he speak; he was very quiet by nature. Mother told me: “Sandu (Alexander), you like to describe, to narrate the details that you see, while your father is always silent, you dont know what he thinks. So is his kind.”
Envy, greed, evil grieved him; he, who had the soul of an artist, full of tenderness and kindness. My mother loved and understood the beauty of his nature; and she had an artist soul, she was a painter, she was a teacher of drawing.
My father had a melancholic temperament, unlike his brother who was sanguine temperament. The brothers were totally different.
I can describe my father with one word: loyalty. He was a good listener, very understanding, warm, encouraging, patient, tolerant and consistent. Of course, he had the habits of his temperament, too: passive, indecisive, influential, slow with initiatives, much too tolerant, sacrificing his own needs for the sake of harmony, yielding to the wishes of others. He counselled me in the dire communist times we were living back then: “Watch who you talk to, and you what you talk because that’s the time when many did jail for words.” I am grateful for all that my father taught me on how cherish the time, namely to do my daily program on hours, what to do, then keep me the balance check whats been accomplished: what did and what I did not do; and how to propose myself to finish it and what is the teaching to extract.
“Have no downtime, and avoid parasitic movements!”
What good were his exhortations and advice, I am eternally grateful.
I am grateful to my parents and for everything they did for me and taught me.