Monday, February 13, 2012


My mother was an offspring of a maritime family, while my father was the youngest of a large farmer family. An unusual combination. As such, I was born on a farm (alongside an estuary), but my father was soon forced by the Great Depression to stop farming, and apply for a job at the Ministry of Agriculture. 
Now living near a town center, I often went to the library on a free afternoon, and enjoyed the silence, and the wealth of information directly available to me. I never saw one of my friends in there. May be my peculiar appetite was also nourished by the fact that we did not have that many books at home, although we read three newspapers, and some periodicals. 
Starting my study at Drift 21, Utrecht, the information about the study was hardly overwhelming, covering one side of an A4, and half of the backside. The Almighty Professor gave some additional information in a short welcome speech. A regular visit to the beautiful library was encouraged, but immediately followed by tales of students, who had asked stupid questions. It became soon clear that such students were expelled with success through a special exam. 
It left us with an everlasting sword of Damocles hanging over the library. This was regarded a positive outcome though, because the Almighty Professor expected only about five of us (out of some 100) would in the end get a job. In reality, quite a shortage would extend for more than a decade. 
On hearing that my beloved library visit had become an extremely dangerous affair, I wondered whether I should pursue my decision for this study. But then, a couple of days later a Senior Lecturer took away all reservations. He gave a clear presentation on the ins and outs of the study, and also an outlook, that one could end the study as a planner. My trust was restored, although it appeared later on, that the Almighty Professor, and the Senior Lecturer had painfully different views on the contents of the study. That happened to be in the harness of a strict hierarchical system. Nevertheless, I thought I could circumvent all dangerous barriers, but it was not to be.