Priorities in Order

by Delaney Griffin

Giuseppe San Giorgio sits at his desk in Centro di Studio in Orvieto, Italy, while a tall, skinny, young boy walks in to greet him. With a huge smile on his face, Giuseppe looks at him as if he is looking at a reflection of his young self. They both grin at each other followed by a synchronized head nod, and with a proud beaming face Giuseppe says in a thick Italian accent “this is my son.” You can hear the pride in Giuseppe’s voice, and see it on his face. His son gives him a feeling of comfort, brushing away the tears and emotion of the memory of a father who was gone too soon, and the life lessons that he learned before and after his death, which Giuseppe is eager to pass along.

The photocopier breaks the silence in the room as is begins to rumble away at its job. Giuseppe checks off his duties. From organizing housing and hotels for students and faculty, to simply ordering supplies for the building, he is always hands on with whatever needs to be done.

When Giuseppe was younger, his dream job used to be becoming an architect. After a heart attack when he was 32, he says that he doesn’t really have a dream job — and he doesn’t need one. In broken English, Giuseppe says with a quivering voice, “the work is part of your life, and the specific work that you do is not important.” After wiping a few tears away, he continues, “my father taught me that as long as you do your job with your heart, and do the best that you can at it, that is all that matters.”

When asked about what he likes to do in his free time, Giuseppe giggles and replies, “what free time?” He explains how when he gets home from work, his job is then to clean and cook for the family. The only free time that he gets is right before he goes to bed, which is when he does what he loves the most: writing. His face lights up as he begins to talk about his poems, and his children’s books that he has written. With a collection of over 600 poems, Giuseppe says how he writes for himself mostly. It is therapy for his physically and emotionally broken heart, from coping with the loss of his father, to celebrating the life that he lives today. It is what makes him happy. His thoughts are put onto paper to showcase how a simple man with a big heart loves his family, his town, and his life.