News - January 6, 2010

Christmas week flew by

The oliebollen were still in the system when the new academic year loomed ahead. I can't help feeling that my Christmas break was too short. Just one week off.

One week in which to wind down after all the last-minute jobs before the holiday, to bathe in the warm love of the family, to make a start on the book at the top of my to-read pile, to catch up with friends, to go through the manuscript of my next book, to look on in amazement at the ability of my student sons to lie in, to enjoy their stories of student life, to go Christmas shopping (and get more guilt than pleasure out of a fatty 'appelflap' - daft idea to make resolutions at the beginning of December...). On New Year's Eve I gave myself a day off my diet, but of course regretted it the next day (how can three 'olieballen' weigh one and a half kilos?) I watched the fireworks from my high flat as my GSM bleeped away with warm New Year greetings.
And that was it: the holiday was over. Luckily I'm starting the New Year with some teaching. I've got a six-week practical course. It is unique to teach such a mixed group: twenty one different nationalities. Lovely to have a chat between the experiments about their courses, their countries or their dreams for the future. Last year I enjoyed their childlike astonishment when they saw their first snow. Their faces were gleaming. I'm hoping a lot of students in our department will stay around when they graduate. So the week's holiday may have been short, but I'm glad the year is long enough. I'm up for it again. Working with many different nationalities gives much more than just academic results. And that is what makes Wageningen tick.