Wanderlino Arruda
Djalma Souto


An Early Morning Dream

Normally, I would arrive at the house of professor Jose Oliveira Fonseca, on Carlos Perreira street, at five in the morning. Every morning, from Monday to Saturday, there we would be for our class of syntax analysis and other more objective topics of the Portuguese language. We weren’t many students, all together, but we were extremely curious and interested, principally Mauro Lafeta, Corby Aquino, Afranio Nogueira, Odil Oliveira and I. They, candidates for the public concourse of Law school in Pouso Alegre or Niteroi; myself, a student of Linguistics, taking advantage of the magnificence of professor Fonseca, unequalled and unsurpassed in the subject of all Montes Claros. It was a wonderful time, cheerful, brimming with mature enthusiasm, dreams of persons that, at a certain time of calling in life, know what to do in life and how to do it.
Afranio has just left his special classes for the conclusion of grade school students and already studied at night he last phases to pass high school. A great effort of a year and a half between primary school and the university. Mauro with all his God-given pose, serious, compenetrated, a dreamer, almost demanded to be referred to as “doctor”. It was all a dream, even though the professor had never once given us a cup of coffee to help us wake us completely up at such a wee hour…
It was around there, at the time of change from late night to early dawn, mornings of a delicious coolness that required no or little protection, that the professor and we made the first proposals for the foundation of the Law school. Between one syntax analysis and another, between one verse and a noun, a new observation about the future of the second school for the creation of the University of Montes Claros. Who would be willing to collaborate? With what lawyers and professors would we be able to count on to form the school staff? Who would be capable of the seat of the first director? Where would it be located? In what building? Where would financial support be found? They were questions and more questions, so present as their originators. It didn’t take long, the phase of dreams and coagitations, and in less than one month, We were already in the street alisting help, and finding first, in the person of the state deputy, Euler Lafetá, uncle of Mauro and a man close to the government, and federal inspector of schools, Jose Monteiro Fonseca, who was more enthusiastic than we, ourselves. The battle began to thicken, the spirit of determination was born. Mauro, each day becoming more and more enthralled with the project, and anticipatedly victorious.

We began our first interviews of the principal lawyers, through a special commission-Mauro, Afranio and I- in a unfolding of work done before by the professor Francolino Santos and the industrialist Corby. No one could imagine or preview the human and professional reactions before a challenge such as this. Who could judge where the personal interest would be, the unselfishness the enthusiasm or, the opposite, the fear of future competition. Who would believe in we, dreamers, striving to build from the bottom up, inverting the whole logical sequence of the foundation of a university? Students, anticipating and doing the structuring work of the professors. Really, before our proposal, future professors showed themselves to be happy or sad with it, in the majority of times, exceedingly ironic. Who were really those students, who ousadamente wanted to found a law school in Montes Claros? Who knows, one of those three young and dreamers inbued with the university spirit? Crazy is what they called us…why didn’t we simply go to another city to study, as so many other Montes Claros natives had done before instead of trying to found our own university? Traveling around touring the country would be a lot easier than founding a university…

Two factors became decisive in our battle: The JMC, principal newspaper of Montes Claros was against it, affirming the desnecessity of new bacharrels, this, because they felt that our Brazil and the world was already full of lawyers. Happily professor João Luiz de Almeida the deputies Francelino Perreira and Cicero Dumont showed themselved to be very interested in our project. Doctor João Luiz ceded various classrooms of his school to us and put himself at our disposition as the first dean; Francelino took the ideas and the plans directly to the state governor Magalhães Pinto; Cicero organized the by-laws of the foundation. From that moment on, no one could hold him down. Friend and enemies alike, stimulated us still more in our battle. The reaction of the midia provoked a challenge, the help of powerful friends gave us the last condiments to our sprouting university.

Today, a happy ending with our law school completing twenty years! We have very well guarded the tapes of the definite day of the foundation, reunion realized on São Francisco street, downtown, at the federal school office, workroom of the inspector Jose Monteiro Fonseca!

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