I was born in a small town in Holland in 1952 into a family of craftsmen, all of them staunch social democrats. But, responding to my great need for learning already at the age of 3, my parents sent me to a puritan nursery school. I couldn’t bear the climate; they were singing songs quite different from the ones we sang at home. My grandmother told my parents to take me out of there. It was the beginning of a lifelong query to understand why people believe in someone who most probably isn’t there.
Languages and music turned out to be my greatest talents.I started taking French at the age of 10, soon to be followed by English and German; I am fluent in all three languages. After secondary school I started to study history in Utrecht. I couldn’t attend regular university. My parents just couldn’t afford it. I studiedpart-time and made my living as a musician playing popular music, at first at weddings and company parties, later in dancehalls and nightclubs. During my musical career I learned to decently play the clarinet, saxophone, guitar, bass guitar, tuba and trombone and became a licensed band conductor and arranger of music.
I worked as a history teacher in a secondary school for 43 years and enjoyed it tremendously. We ran lots of student exchange programs, especially with schools in Italy, which incited me to learn Italian as well. Five years prior to our retirement my wife and I bought a house in Hungary and I started to learn Hungarian right away. In 2016 we retired and since then we spend the greater part of our time there. A year later I started attending the University of Pécs, at first to take my BA in Hungarian, but after one semester I switched over to philosophy. As my minor I chose ethics.
The program is very satisfactory. One of the great things of studying philosophy is to meet with all kinds of different views from all ages but dealing with the very same questions.