This 19 year-old girl is rocking at life, here is why

At age nineteen, many people lives are quite messy. Some of them try to follow a certain track like university to keep them pointing to, at least, some direction. Others just work and others go somewhere, looking for something that they probably don’t even know yet.

But Elisa Escabia, born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, seems to have everything pretty clear. She is not even 20 yet but she is doing what she likes, where she wanted, the way she wanted. Being already economically independent, living in another country and working and studying at the same time, she looks like a giant cannonball of ambition thrown to the sky. She can be an example of how to stop the bullshit and just own your own life still being very young. In this interview with her, she talks with honesty and openness about education, ambitions and fears in this unique moment of her life.

Let’s make a quick recap. After finishing high school in Barcelona studying Natural Sciences, Elisa wanted to study Biology. But most specifically, she wanted to do a branch called Environmental and Molecular Biology. She was doubting in studying either this or Arts, her other passion. But she finally decided for biology and discovered that, by then, only five colleges in all the world offered this degree. One of them was Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, a college one train station away from her home, and another one was Roskilde University, located in Denmark. Since the dream of Elisa was to travel, pieces started to fit together.

“I was jaded of high school”, she confesses referring to the Spanish education system, which in her opinion emphasizes memorization over other aspects of learning also important. For this reason, she was clear in her desire to study abroad. But what’s even more, since she was so tired of studying, she wanted to have a gap year, to fulfill her traveling dream. While taking a gap year before starting university is the common thing in countries like Denmark, it’s not the norm in Spain, so most parents don’t like the idea. She talked about this with her parents and no, they didn’t encourage the idea, but at least it opened the conversation to the possibility of studying abroad.

When deciding to go to Denmark, she didn’t know that much of the Danish education system, but the collective imaginary of the northern countries, at least in Spain, evokes modernity and progress. Another reason was that in Roskilde University they have this “semester project” about a topic they choose, that needs to be done in groups and its very huge (it counts for 15 ECTS). She liked this collaborative idea since she thinks her future daily work will need to be done mostly with other people, so basically, she thought this system would fit her better.

She studied in a public high school until she was 13, and then changed to a semi-private high school, where she finished. “I think changing from one high school to another in the middle of my teenage years, made me realize that breaking the links with the people around you is not a big deal”.

Elisa in Café Cadeau, Copenhague, 22/03/19

After her application was accepted, she didn’t take long to confirm her parents and friends she would be going to study in Denmark, a whole different country, with a whole different language. And yes, she did it. Fearless of studying in English or leaving her life behind, she first landed in the northern country with only 17 years old. Talking about her parents’ process of acceptance, she says that since it was a long process, they had time to consider the idea, but that didn’t change the worrying of her mother. The friend she seems to miss the most is Paula Minguillón. They met fighting each other in a handball match, and they keep their distance friendship until today.

Here is an important thing: she noticed that some people thought she was kind of ‘given’ this opportunity, like if she earned a scholarship or came from a privileged position, but nothing further from reality. She researched by herself and figured out one of “these opportunities that are there for everybody” as she calls it, and she was just brave enough to pursue it.

We have to add one more ingredient to Elisa’s plan now, that will make it way more interesting. While she didn’t know about this from the beginning, after some time in Denmark she learned about the SU. Here’s the deal, in Denmark, not only college education is free for everyone, but also students over the age of 18 can obtain a grant from the government if they work some hours per week while they are studying. This also works for non-Danes that have a job and pay taxes to the level where they are considered at the same level as a Dane by the system.

Elisa was helped by her parents to first finance her way up to her dream studies, but after finding a job as a bartender in an Italian restaurant at her second year, she now receives an amount of money per month (between 5000 and 7000kr of job salary + 6000kr of student grant) that allows her to live comfortably, by her own and economically independent from her parents at a very young age. In euros, the 6000kr of SU she receives are 780€ approximately. For this reason, right now she finds herself in an ‘equilibrium’ phase that seems to make her life pretty sweet, of course, thanks to her hard work and bravery. This whole SU thing can look very extraterrestrial for a Spanish person, who could work twice the hours Elisa is right now and still not reaching that amount of money. Thanks, Denmark!

Elisa in a Copenhague street.

But this money doesn’t mean there’s some bittersweet flavor in all of this.

I asked her if she had felt at some point in these two years that she could be missing something from Spain that could be good for her to have, maybe skipping some aspects of the Spanish education system or just continuing her life there.

“I do have thought about it many times” – she confesses. “By studying an international degree, it’s true that many people are studying for the second time or have traveled before and just came back… I was the most little one from my degree when I first started”  she says kind of missing being with people of her same age. This is explained by the Danish education system. Because of their different organization, Danes normally go to their first year of uni at age 20. They finish high school at 19 and sometimes they go to an “Efterskole” between under and upper secondary studies. Elisa’s flatmate, for example, started uni at 23.

Efterskole consists of a one year course in a boarding school where they can spend time in the activities they like. This is a very interesting and unique aspect of the Danish education system that Elisa taught me a lot about. It’s the only part of their education that is not public (not completely free) and “each one of these schools is based in a hobby” as she explains it. “Some of them are about sports, other ones teach music, dance, environment… During this year they have just a few hours of class and a lot of time to do activities and to build relations”.

Elisa strongly believes this system kind of fits better the needs of a teenage person. Referring to the Spanish system she says “Imagine finishing E.S.O. (you are 16 by then) and you are just a crazy teenager, you don’t even know yet what is happening”, “For example, back then I was like very lost in one hand, but so creative in the other, and then they put you in Bachillerato (Spanish upper secondary education) and they make you study a lot, they are somehow cutting your wings”.

Elisa in her laboratory at RUC University.

In her opinion, something as an Efterskole fits so much in the age when you are supposed to attend it, encouraging you to discover yourself and explore your creativity and interests. For me, this makes so much sense. “Here, there is no pressure as in Spain to start university as soon as possible”.

So getting back on track, about what Elisa misses from being in Spain, she says in Denmark she is living with people that are at different stages in life than her “A friend of mine just had a baby”, that’s a good example. “Since in Spain everything is very marked by timing, people from your class are going to be people from your generation, people that have watched the same cartoons as you on television as a child, but in here, sometimes I think I’m missing doing the typical silly things of a 19 year old girl, like going out to clubs or crazy uni parties”. That’s about the social circle, but what about college?

Well, Elisa never studied in a Spanish university so she can’t really tell, but according to what she expects it to be, she says: “I really like my education here, but it is true that sometimes I miss my courses were a bit more diverse […] it feels like education here is very open or soft and I think sometimes hardness is necessary”. Especially in science, she addresses. But also, a degree in Denmark is three years instead of four, because they are supposed to make after a master of 2 years, what would round their university education up to 5 years. That’s why if you only do a bachelor degree here, it probably won’t be considered enough. Anyways, Elisa still thinks Spain emphasizes too much the memorization, so perhaps the path here seems to be more calmed, she doesn’t think the level is lower than in Spain. Also, she is very happy with the amount of practical activities she gets to do here “We have a climate room for our own where I can control the temperature and humidity, and we have twelve aquariums where we can control from the PH to the carbon dioxide. We have a lot of freedom for experimentation and there’s a lot of budget for laboratories”.

When mentioning the World Happiness Report that placed Denmark as the happiest country in the world last year, and the second one this year, Elisa said that “the conception of happiness in Europe is based on money […] Denmark must be very happy then because they have parks with a big economic value, good museums, a great social security, the difference between rich and poor is very little… But I can assure you, that Denmark is not the happiest country in the world, and if I got to say, I would say is very at the bottom of the list”. “We can also mislead happiness with security, in Denmark people feel safe in the sense that they will have a payment if they lose the job, their children will be able to study,  when they grow old they’ll have a pension, so here they live with safety. But while security is very important, it doesn’t give happiness”. In fact -she says- in Denmark there’s a lot of people suffering from depression. It’s not weird for them to have dealt with it at least once in their lives.

I asked here then how is she feeling in RUC because if the Danish education system itself is already very different from the Spanish one, this university is even more particular than the others in the country. “RUC has the fame of being hippy and easier, what I think is that it is easy to pass the exams, but not to have a good grade though. You really have to work for that”.

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Now, talking about traveling, which is the main goal of Elisa right now, she has managed to go to the Caribbean Islands last summer and went to Thailand this Christmas. After these two trips on her own, she has confirmed to herself that she loves to travel alone and that she is definitely going to spend more time on it in the future. Especially in the month she spent in Thailand, she found out incredible new things about herself. But first, a recap on her trip to the Caribe:

Elisa’s main hobbies are playing handball (she’s been in a team for many years), painting and diving. She loves the underseas so much, that she wants to make a living as a professional diver while she travels around the world. Her passion for the sea is also one of the main reasons that she wants to keep studying Biology until obtaining a PhD. After her first year in Denmark, she did her first important travel alone to the Caribbean Islands. This travel was not yet fully financed by her, but she used it to attend a diving school and earn three titles called Ecodiving, Rescue, and Dive Master. The last one allows her to be a diver professionally by helping in a diving center, a key part of her life’s puzzle. With these courses, she will now have a way to sustain herself doing what she loves: discovering the sea and traveling.

The next trip she did was in Christmas, when she went to Thailand and lived incredible experiences that she says, would like to keep to herself.

And what about her future?

Elisa thinks her time in Denmark has ended, and although she has been very happy here, she feels that it’s time for her to let go. That is why she will be doing an exchange program for her next semester in Colombia since August. She thinks this will be the next big step in her life and what she needs to continue her journey. After that, only one semester in RUC will be left for her to finish, and when she does so, she will spend some more time in traveling before going after her next dream, get a scholarship to study a master in California, USA. She will definitely spread her wings and fly, or maybe in her case, she’ll get under the sea and swim to the next ocean.


Elisa and her colleagues in Roskilde University.


to know more about Elisa, follow her Instagram @elisaescabia 🙂


Sportive Adventures

Hi guys! So, this is the first post of me talking about my life in this second semester of my Erasmus. There are a lot of things I want to talk to you about, I think I’ll make a summary.


1. Well, first of all, I’m finally adopting English as my first content creation language. I won’t bore you with this but, after thinking too much about it, I understood that although I’m still not really fluent, especially speaking, in this language, I feel freer using it. It always has been this way, don’t really know why, but I’ve always felt less intimidated by the thought of other people reading my posts, watching my youtube videos and listening to my music if I’m talking in English. One of the main reasons is because my parents have become really good stalkers of my content. And my content is not always (almost never) appropriate. So, perhaps my writing must contain huge mistakes, most of my post from now on will be in English. I just installed the Grammarly app to try to correct my English as I’m writing and it looks like it works 🙂

2. I’m studying International Studies! So, the field of study I was in in the first semester in Roskilde University was Communication Studies, which was kinda cool but… it left me thinking I could have learned more in some aspects… (Even though I failed one subject, but then passed the re-exam! so everything’s fine). For reasons I don’t need to detail now, I had the chance of changing the field to International Studies for this semester. This field of study has always awakened an interest in me. In my Spanish university there is a double-career option that combines journalism and I.E., but guess what, the grade needed was too high for me.

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More international than Bad Gyal hehe

So, I took the chance and now I’m infiltered in classes such as International Political Economy, Global Governance or Economy of Development. It’s been really interesting for me and I think I’m going to earn a lot of basic knowledge that will change the way I’ve been looking at journalism until now. I’m doing my project group about Cryptocurrencies and this is also a great topic in my opinion. My mind keeps being very divergent when it comes to my interests. As my mother says, we don’t know where will I “put the egg” (weird Spanish expression I guess). I’m just still completely unable to decide what field will I want to focus on, for my future professional career. It seems clear to me now that I do like journalism, but while I was sure that musical or cultural journalism was my thing, I find myself now interested and shocked by the spectacle of politics and even economics. Also, my interest in the computer sciences has not left my mind, and with all this cryptocurrencies study I’m doing for my project, it’s for sure not going away.

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A cute cat inside a car we found on a trip we made to the north of Denmark.

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3. So I made that interests list to try at least, to organize and understand which aspects of like I want to study and elaborate on (and wow I was at 1% battery percent). The worst part is that more topics will be added to the list with time, yesterday I thought about nature, too.

What I’m trying to discover is, how can I fulfill all of this with the very little limited time we have per day, also including my absurd love for sleeping. Well, what many would say is, you should concentrate on one, and work until you are great on it. But that makes me really sad because I don’t think there’s nothing that makes me happy enough to just go with that forgetting the rest. And that’s a real problem I have because nowadays the money goes to the specialists, people who are really good at one thing. This whole topic reminds me a lot of old JPelirrojo (Spanish youtuber) videos where he used to say that he doesn’t like that idea neither, he said he preferred to be a pupil of everything that a master of one. And fuck, I like that philosophy, such a shame that now he is not doing pretty well in his life apparently :/

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Me in the mothefucka gym!

PAUSE. Just wanted to tell you, it’s 2:44 am while I’m writing this, and of course, this is time for trance music. I’m listening to this compilation right now, and yeah, what do you think of this kind of music? I actually love this and synthwave too, I love to feel like in a post-apocalyptic future or in an Elon Musk’s rave, by the way, the fact that he is dating Grimes (one of my favorite artists ever) is one of the things that has kept me without sleep for the past weeks, I’m still shocked.

4Probably the most shocking thing about this list of new trends in my life. IM GOING TO THE GYM. Fuck, I’m going to the gym, it is really funny if you actually know me. Turns out Roskilde University has a gym available for students (paying 300 kr for 3 months, but that’s not expensive anyway), and since I already had a friend that was going to help my fear of making the first step alone, I said ok let’s go for it. So this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so actually, I had no problem in maintaining a routine for the two weeks I’ve been going. Actually these past days I didn’t go, but just because I caught a cold and these have been bad days for me, feeling sick and all, but I’m better now!

I’ve been physically active, not only for the gym but because I’ve been managing to not wake up too late and all that shit. I even tried to get a job in Denmark and went out for a trial as a supermarket stocker, funny story. For many reasons, I decided to quit the job.

I might make an article about that later.

I think that was already a lot of information for today, I think I really needed to make up my mind a little bit by just writing a bit about my current situation haha. More articles coming soon telling you things you are probably not interested in.

Alberto, xoxo.

Photodiary 1 – 4 November

Copenhague está algo fría hoy, con nueve grados y cielos nublados. Hemos subido a la torre del Parlamento y las vistas eran preciosas. La familia se va en pocas horas y pronto las calles estarán aun más frías y vacías. Escribo esto desde un Espresso House en Nørreport, otra mierda de cadena ultra cara y pija.

También hemos probado los smørrebrød, una especie de tostada con cosas encima. Arenques, salmón, carne o cualquier otra cosa. Están ricos.


Pictures made and edited with iPhone SE.

Generadores de ideas de TFG

Fotografía: Enrique Villarino, El Confidencial.


Una nueva moda parece instaurarse entre los consumidores habituales de contenido en YouTube. Ante la avalancha de horas y horas de vídeo que personas de todo el mundo suben a la plataforma con la intención de colarse en las pantallas de los jóvenes, se han ido imponiendo nuevas barreras y filtros de calidad intangibles pero omnipresentes en el imaginario colectivo de los adictos a YouTube. En otras palabras, ahora no nos conformamos con cualquier cosa, queremos invertir nuestro tiempo mejor y viendo contenido de mejor calidad. Para eso, nuevos youtubers han venido para quedarse con un nuevo formato. Youtubers que apuestan por la mezcla de entretenimiento y alta cultura, un vlogging con valor añadido, nuevos vídeos que no solo diviertan sino que hagan sentir al espectador que ha aprendido algo o que al menos, le han hecho reflexionar y pensar en algo.

Como abanderados de este nuevo movimiento del que hablo, escogería a canales como el de Ter, Antonio García Villarán, Jaime Altozano, Ernesto Castro, Nekojitablog, honest, y La gata de Schrödinger. A continuación, hablaremos un poco de cada uno y de por qué de alguna manera están contribuyendo, bajo mi punto de vista, a crear un nuevo y mejorado youtube. Un youtube inspirador, universitario, respetuoso y enriquecedor.

DISCLAIMER: No intento decir que estos hayan sido los primeros ni mucho menos los únicos youtubers que hagan vídeos de temática educativa, reflexiva o cultural, sino que bajo mi punto de vista, es ahora cuando más popularidad parecen haber obtenido entre el público joven. Tampoco intento decir que este tipo de contenido sea mejor que otro que sea puro entretenimiento, cada tipo puede tener su público y yo mismo consumo ambos tipos de vídeos.

Empecemos por Ter, Antonio García Villarán y Ernesto Castro. Lo que considero que estos tres creadores tienen en común es que son generadores de ideas de TFG. Ter, por un lado, con su reflexión sobre la performance y su importancia en la sociedad actual, expresó con palabras una idea que habitaba en nuestro imaginario, pero que pocos habrían sido capaz de expresar tal y como ella lo ha hecho.

<<derriba brechas generacionales y nos defiende a nosotros, sus hermanos coetáneos, declarándonos personas igual de válidas intelectual y culturalmente que las nacidas en los 50>>

Muchos de sus vídeos son semillas que con un poco de agua podrían ser convertidas en tesis sobresalientes. No olvidemos su charla TED en la que proponía adoptar la medida del culo de Kim Kardashian como nuevo sistema de medida de longitud estándar internacional, ni tampoco su excelente Manifiesto en defensa del Millenial en el que derriba brechas generacionales y nos defiende a nosotros, sus hermanos coetáneos, declarándonos personas igual de válidas intelectual y culturalmente que las nacidas en los 50 y mucho antes. Antonio, por su parte, ha conseguido hacer llegar su concepto Hamparte, por el que es mayormente conocido, a todas partes de la red. Al igual que Ter, publicó en su canal un Manifiesto Hamparte que asciende de las 150.000 visitas. Por último, Ernesto Castro ha hecho una gran labor extendiendo el interés por la filosofía entre los millenials al comparar y referenciar la obra de traperos como C. Tangana o Yung Beef con obras clave de la historia de la filosofía. Difundió este proyecto en la charla “El trap desde un punto de vista filosófico” que impartió en la Universidad de Málaga el 13 de Diciembre del 2017. El canal de Ernesto cuenta con muchos vídeos publicados antes de entrar a convalidar trap y filosofía, pero con bastante seguridad afirmo que este nuevo approach al género urbano que vemos en sus entrevistas le brindó a Ernesto una forma de abrirse un hueco mayor en la comunidad de youtube. Si aun no conoces a este transgresor profesor universitario, échale a un vistazo a este vídeo.

Pese a que SUHATER lo diga en tono de broma, ¿no es ya una tesis en si misma esta sorprendente puesta en valor del género trap llevada a cabo por Castro?


En el caso de Jaime Altozano, vídeos como Videojuegos al Piano o La Increíble Historia del Autotune destripan conceptos musicales modernos y los ponen en un contexto histórico y cultural de gran interés para el millenial. Ernesto Castro también ha hablado de la relevancia histórica e invención del Autotune en alguna ocasión, además, también ha entrevistado a Ter, actual pareja de Jaime Altozano. (Vemos también una relación física entre estos tres personajes).

<<han decidido aprovechar sus conocimientos y ponerlos en valor; sacar un beneficio de ellos de forma distinta a la tradicional>>

Es como si cogieran el esqueleto de una charla TED y lo vistieran con un outfit Adidas urban style, con un discurso adaptado al joven interesado por el mundo en el que vive pero no lo suficiente como para siquiera descargar un ebook. Un nuevo formato.


Ter aplica sus conocimientos en arquitectura para analizar productos y símbolos que todos conocemos, mostrándonos una relevancia y perspectiva con la que verlos con nuevos ojos. Tanto esta youtuber como Ernesto o Antonio, son graduados universitarios que han decidido aprovechar sus conocimientos y ponerlos en valor; sacar un beneficio de ellos de forma distinta a la tradicional (a no ser que ya se considere la producción de contenido audiovisual independiente como oficio válido y respetable). ¿Estamos ante un nuevo público deseoso (o necesitado) de encontrar formas de adquirir conocimiento distintas a las tradicionales como la universidad o los estudios regulados?

No faltan los comentarios en vídeos de Ter tales como:


Encontramos similares en el canal de Jaime:


Opiniones como estas son compartidas y respaldadas por muchos de los seguidores de estos youtubers. Estudiantes de veinte años que piden a gritos que las monótonas clases, seminarios y cursos a los que asisten fueran de alguna manera más parecidos a los vídeos que tanto les entretienen y motivan.

Al punto al que quiero llegar con este artículo es a la pregunta ¿deberían los profesores de instituto y universidad empezar a parecerse más a los youtubers? Nuestra generación ha vivido una revolución tecnológica tal que ha dejado a las formas del sistema educativo muy desfasadas. En el caso de Ernesto, que ya es profesor, no dudo que muchos alumnos estarán contentos de contar con él como mentor en lugar de con otro que quizá, no sea tan capaz de ponerse en la piel de los jóvenes y de adaptarse a sus intereses. Es requerida una nueva plantilla de profesores capaz de hacer esto, capaz de reconocer realmente la relevancia de las nuevas corrientes y tendencias. Dejando de mirar a los estudiantes desinteresados con recelo y superioridad y de pedir a Dios por esta generación “perdida” y desesperanzada. Tal vez algunos docentes podrían preguntarse si hay algo que están haciendo mal, si quizás es hora de plantearse el sentido de seguir impartiendo conocimientos por un tubo sin ofrecer antes un contexto en el que poder aplicarlos y entender su relevancia en el mundo actual, en el que muchas cosas han dejado de tener valor y otras muchas lo han vuelto a adquirir.

Otros canales que mencionaba al principio eran el estadounidense honest, Nekojitablog o La Gata de Schrödinger. Ninguno de estos tres canales produce vídeos de temática original (podemos encontrar muchos canales parecidos al de Nekojita que tratan la cultura y vida en otros países, o otros tantos como el de La Gata que discuten conflictos ideológicos o hacen divulgación). Les pongo de ejemplo por su popularidad.

Honest analiza sucesos o realiza observaciones sobre carreras de artistas pop desde una perspectiva parecida en cierto modo a la de Ter, buscando un origen, un motivo y un orden con sentido y lógica en las peripecias de artistas como Nicki Minaj o Mariah Carey. La cultura pop adopta de repente relevancia y contexto, deja de ser mero entretenimiento para dejar ver su trascendencia social. Tanto Ter como Honest han debatido sobre los tweets de Kanye West y las poderosas ideas tras los mismos, por poner un ejemplo. Honest también ha tratado temas como la apropiación cultural o la transfobia.

<<ofrecer un contenido no solo destinado a enriquecer el ego individual sino a transmitir un mensaje con una moraleja, con un por qué>>

El vídeo por el que conocí a La gata de Schrödinger es el más famoso en su canal, el único con más de un millón de reproducciones. Es interesante presentarla en este artículo con ese vídeo en particular porque precisamente recalca esta diferenciación entre el youtuber que reconcilia el espectáculo con la culturización frente al otro tipo de figura, más hacia el terreno del influencer, que en ocasiones parece tener poco respeto por su público.

Cierto es que Ayuso, por ejemplo, ha hecho vídeos sobre veganismo, ecologismo, etc. Pero con aportar algo al espectador no me refiero a simplemente ofrecer datos o consejos, sino a ofrecer un contenido no solo destinado a enriquecer el ego individual sino a transmitir un mensaje con una moraleja, con un por qué. Este es el motivo por el que la mayoría de influencers/youtubers tales como Dulceida en el sector femenino o Jonan Wiergo en el masculino me suelen desinteresar profundamente. Como opinión personal, considero su obra expuesta en internet como una mera extensión de su ego, un entretenimiento pasivo. Por supuesto, no quiero decir con esto que consumir el contenido de estos signifique un gusto peor, es cuestión de preferencias y de lo que cada uno busque en una persona a la que seguir.

En esta excelente obra, La gata araña con fuerza a las youtubers Cadepe y Ayuso denunciando la maloliente engañifa con la que al parecer pretendían ganar dinero.

Pretendo mostrar mediante este texto la gran satisfacción personal que siento ante el ascenso y triunfo de estos nuevos creadores digitales, que cuentan con grandes fanbases ansiosas de conocimiento, curiosas e inconformistas. Será digno de contemplar cómo en un futuro la absurdamente inmensa cantidad de información en la red nos obligue a discernir y filtrar cada vez más lo que consumimos, obligándonos a preguntarnos si nos suma o nos resta en nuestro día a día, y averiguar si el sistema de enseñanza puede aprender algo de estos nuevos profesores inesperados.