Uusitalo and Berthelard

Helge Helge Uusitalo

Where would I have been without adult education (Komvux)? When I realized that nobody was really very interested on what I had done, previously to moving to Sundsvall in 1973, it seemed that studying was one of the only paths open. I finished my Swedish course after the planned 9 weeks and decided to further my studies. As I already been to the schools as a substitute teacher, and survived, it seemed like the fastest way to get a job was to become a teacher. In that category, language teaching was down my alley.

I decided to contact the responsible director for adult education. I felt I was quite old to study at 22 years of age, but it was worth a try. I met a director called Helge Uusitalo. This gentleman backed me up and I enrolled for Spanish, French and English sometime in 1974.

I particularly enjoyed the French classes that were held in the evenings. The teacher was Monsieur Robert Berthelard. This Frenchman from the Lyon area was well established in the town and I was to become his friend and colleague some years later. He worked as did his wife Britt at the Åkersvik School.

Mr. Uusitalo encouraged me to study and later on I enrolled for History lessons with him. Mr. Berthelard was an older colleague that inspired with his pedagogical skills. These two men were important in the setup of the Swedish system of adult education. The system aims at  giving new opportunities to those who need to complete their studies. It is free of charge and has seen many in Sweden achieve higher goals thanks to it. Without it I would not have gone further.

After I completed the subjects I mentioned, plus language science ad psychology, did Swedish and some Russian I could and did apply to get into University in the autumn of 1976.


3 thoughts on “Uusitalo and Berthelard

  1. I’ve been googling my grandfathers name for years in hope of finding someone who knew him when he was a teacher. I did it again today and was totally surprised to find your blog post, I’d love to hear anything you could tell me about him. Please email me if you have the time, I’d very much appreciate it.

    • Dear Pernilla! As I have written Robert was a very dear teacher and colleague. I will certainly write to your email but communicating on the blog might attract other colleagues that also knew him and that are still alive. Best regards!

  2. Jag hade Robert som fransklärare i högstadiet, i ett eller två år – två, tror jag. Joao, du kan ge min mejl till Pernilla (ursäkta, har inga diakriter på det här tangentbordet) men har ju bara barnets intryck av honom. Hon får bestämma sig för om det är intressant.

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