What have you learned from your favorite college at university?

September 2008,

The day the new colleges started on Monday in Leiden, I was still on the beach in Barcelona.

Indeed, I had been mistaken for a week and would therefore miss a 12 hour lecture that week,

including Korean literature.

I received an email the next day.

Luckily, the teacher of the profession, a South Korean guest teacher, freshly flew from Seoul, showed himself very smoothly.

She found me a nonchalant flap drol that seemingly had little respect for her profession.If I did not report next Monday, I would be surprised and would not waste time on me.

She also reported that the students had presented themselves that lesson one by one.

She had already gotten a great impression of who I was exactly, but still expected a full A4 of me with some more information about myself.

I went to write, had nothing more to lose, and wrote, also out of frustration, the so far fairest story I had ever written about myself.

The days went by…

No answer.


I reported to me the Monday in the classroom, took place and waited very jittery at the arrival of the teacher.

Not much later comes a beautiful Korean class walk in, not much older than I was myself.

New Stud’芒 鈧?娄

I thought.

She put her bag on the desk in front of the classroom without having to look around.

No stud’芒 鈧?娄

I concluded.

In a fraction of a second she pulled out a piece of paper from her bag and called me forward.

She printed the piece of paper in my hand and asked me to read it aloud to the whole class.

I feared it already:

It was the brash story about myself what I had emailed her.

I was shaking from fear and of course she saw this.


She was special.

Her gaze was strict, but at the same time she radiated a certain rest.

She nodded to me, and there appeared a smile on her face.This gave me confidence.

I felt a little less fear in her side, kept the piece of paper for me at eye level, so that the looks of the pupils could not affect me, and began reading aloud.

I stamged the first lines, but soon it went smoother.

It was all in all terribly scary.

Until then, I would have been able to dare to make myself vulnerable only in the face of our dog “Kees”.To Kees I confided in everything, with Kees I dared to be myself.

Kees was a dog.

Here, in front of the classroom, in front of my docente芒 鈧?娄 this went a step further.

When I approached the end of my story, I felt a lot easier, and I made eye contact with the classroom while reading.

Afterwards everyone was speechless.

The teacher then grabbed the leaf from my hands.

“Tell me again about yourself,” she commanded, and again she nodded to me reassuring.

I had no more handhold, stood there with my hands in my pants pockets, and went but telling…

The first minute very stuntingly, but soon I was in a very natural, authentic way to tell myself, here and there word jokes.

I felt by the end virtually no more g脙 陋 NE.

It felt like a liberation, because I am usually very shy, very reserved and let little about myself loose.

There I stood for the whole class as an open book, vulnerable, to tell about myself and it felt unexpectedly good.

They respected me, I got a click with new people, got friends there…

It became my favorite profession and Mrs. Shim became my favorite teacher.


I shut the box off with a 9.5.

Mrs Shim and I have always kept in touch.

She was even one of the guests on our wedding.The day she flew back from elsewhere in Europe to be present.

This she had already entrusted me once during a lecture, but I had not taken this seriously, until I saw her sitting in the room.

Mrs. Shim has taught me to dare to make myself vulnerable, and she has taught me to speak naturally to an audience, something I still benefit from.

Nothing because a university has no classroom education.Only lectures and seminars and you have no idea who is coming, unless there is homework for which you can get the job.

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