News - January 12, 2017

Happy memories

<Photo: Margriet van Vianen>

The green bow around the pebble on the bureau gives away the fact that it was a gift. ‘I got it from students after field work,’ says soil science teacher Gert Peek. ‘It is a piece of marl limestone from South Limburg. The students bought it, because you can’t just pick up something like that in the field.’ The stone means a lot to him, as  do all the other mementoes Peek’s office is decorated with. The photos on the noticeboard, a gilded soil drill in the corner. Tokens of appreciation after a week of fieldwork. ‘Unfortunately I haven’t been getting them so often in recent years. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s something to do with individualization in society. You used to get a speech, some applause and sometimes a memento. Nowadays they just walk off at the end.’ It can’t be a reflection of his teaching. Gert Peek is one of Wageningen’s top teachers, and was twice elected Teacher of the Year. He’s also got two bronze plants on his desk, received for ‘excellent education’. ‘Known unofficially as the dickhead,’ says Peek. ‘Got it for the course I coordinate, but they were for the whole team really.’ Peek likes having all these mementoes around him. ‘Your workplace should be a nice place to be, and have atmosphere. It’s the place where you spend a big part of your day.’