The third evening, dedicated to the Spanish Civil War, again found a large audience. Just as it was about to begin, a man shuffled in who immediately caught the eye. His clothes looked old and shabby. A pair of faded jeans and a shapeless t-shirt added to the impression. The hair stood up in criss-crosses as if it hadn’t touched a brush in a very long time. In a word, outwardly he was the complete opposite of the young, dapper students. At around 50 years old, he was also about twice as old as the two of them. Lisa greeted him politely while everyone else discreetly backed away from him as he took a seat in the back row. “We can be curious,” thought Lisa. Then the lecture began, which even exceeded Lisa’s expectations, especially when she concluded with the words: “The incompetence and the completely inadequate ideological basis that can be attested to the left led to the great victory of the imposing General Franco.”
Lisa had to pull herself together not to vocalize against such nonsense, but it turned out to be unnecessary because it was at that moment that the unknown man stood up and spoke. “Thank you for this lecture,” he began. His voice was deep and room-filling, one that was a pleasure to listen to, “I am very glad to have been here because if what you have spoken here is what is taught in the university, we must seriously worry. The juxtaposition of dates and facts was absolutely correct. You were careful there. However, that’s something any reasonably good student would be able to pull off, especially now that there are great summaries of events. However, what you completely ignored were the reasons that led to this civil war, the mistakes made by both sides, mind you, and their ideological backgrounds and the conclusion that can be drawn from them, considering the backgrounds. And that would actually be what distinguishes a university educated person from someone who only gets superficial information about a topic,” he said, and you could see how the two beautiful boys fell, lost their shine and appeal, while the man with whom initially only seen the shabbiness and the unflattering exterior, increasingly gained popularity. It was as if a fire was blazing within him, the fire of eagerness to get to the bottom of things and to take others with him to include them in the course of his thoughts. The image he subsequently conveyed of Spanish society at the beginning of the 20th century. drew was vivid and moving. Soon the whole room was hanging on his every word, following his precise, thoughtful analysis. It was as if a different person was suddenly standing in front of them. “How much we allow ourselves to be dazzled and consumed by externals,” thought Lisa, shaking her head, but people still recognized that it was worth listening to themselves and who it was more appropriate not to get too involved in what they were saying. After the unknown, whom Lisa last introduced as Prof. Werdenich, who held a chair in modern history, had ended, a very lively and interesting discussion ensued. No one had noticed that Tim and Tom, to whom no one had paid any more attention, had long since left the hall. No one? Not entirely true, as a couple of die-hard fans, including Lisa’s friend Marin, had made a point of walking with them, determined to find a place to celebrate what really matters in life, their beauty. They would find him too, because Marin was certainly not the only one who let herself be blinded by her. Luckily there were others who recognized and acknowledged competence when they saw it and yes, it pays off to get away from this superficiality and see people outside of norms, because it’s fascinating what you can discover there.