Nieuws - 7 december 2012

Talkie Walkie VII - Clay Gourmet

Because I am in the jury of Teacher of the Year, I got to interview a legendary teacher, Gert Peek, on the day of Sinterklaas,. And he gave me a special gourmet crash course.

Gert and his clay
Having been nominated year after year, Gert is so familiar with this game that he even prepared a resume brochure for us two interviewers. He once took charge of the interview and asked us: 'Do you know why I teach first-year bachelors?' Then he answered himself: 'They knew little about soil science before entering the university, I want to open up a door for them.' I have to admit it's the easiest interview I've ever held.

Passionate teacher
The brochure listed Gert's 14 personal principles of teaching. 'I've been teaching since 1977. I love it. I don't have children; students are like my children', he said. 'Teaching is an outstanding part of my life.' It's also his reason to be a lecturer. 'A student once asked me how many times I had been asked a (specific) question. I said more than a thousand times, but he didn't believe it. He thought it impossible to keep enthusiastic after so many times. I took as a compliment.' His smile proved he's ready to be asked for more times.

Clay taster
The pleasant interview reached the climax when Gert showed us his legendary soil-measuring method, that is just to eat it. After self-demonstration, he invited me to try as well. I gladly accepted. I picked up a pinch of clay and chewed it with my front teeth. 'Sandy?' he asked.
'No, more like chocolate,' I denied it until the clay started melting, 'hold on, now I feel the sand.'
'Ja ja,' he was waiting for my further answer.
'It's quite fine,' I said.
'Do you feel sand grains? No, no. Very very clay, high amount of clay. 80%, right?'

At that moment it felt like having a gourmet crash course from a connoisseur.
Unfortunately Gert had to stop it after the dentist warned him against eating sand as it's bad for teeth. Although therefore the students of Soil Sciences can't see his clay-eating feat anymore, they can, nevertheless, enjoy the course by this lovely teacher.
Vid of the Week Actually Gert has won Teachter of the Year twice, but can he win again this year? Wait for it.