After a round of Montessori and Jenaplan schools I went to a rather conservative but high quality highschool then named Albanianae (after the Roman settlement in Alphen a/d Rijn) where I did HAVO and then VWO while enjoying such activities like organizing museum trips, painting huge replica’s of famous art works, organizing parties and writing for the highschool paper Albi. I don’t think I worked particularly hard (as my history teacher tersely reminded me at graduation), but I did enjoy myself.

While originally I wanted to go to the School of Journalism in 1988, I ended up doing History at Leiden University in 1990 instead, dropping out when my eldest arrived in 1995 to start my career. Bread on the table trumps education. I specialized in Social History and American Studies, but have later picked up a taste for Early Modern History as well. My father’s interest in family history has also helped form my historical skills.

I have done a post HBO health management programme when I worked in healthcare, where I especially enjoyed the aspect of teamcoaching, but also learned to get a better grip on economics (I already did ” Bedrijfseconomie” at the law department of my university earlier).

Since then I’ve done too many MOOCs to count properly. My first certificate was for Gamification by Kevin Werbach in 2013, and little did I know then that I would be helping make MOOCs myself just a few months later. I like the renaissance aspect of doing just anything that interests me, with my wide variation in tastes. History, Law, Linguistics and Mindfulness remain my favourite topics.

In 2020/2021 I decided that to mark my 50th birthday I would restart my higher education path and signed up for the far distance education of the Open University in the Netherlands, for a bachelor of Cultural Studies. The benefit is you pay per course and can determine your own tempo, but the flipside is that you take a lot longer to get to the end. We will see where I end up.