Let me introduce myself. I was woken up by an Italian father in a Dutch mother in Amsterdam. My mom wanted to live in Italy but I had a stroke of nostalgia. I missed my grandmother, who took care of me when my father was in Italy and my mother was working. I didn't speak the language and was angry with all other children. Because "la dottoressa" said this condition could harm me badly we went back to the Netherlands.
Like all children, I went to school (though I rather did my own things). Just to show people I could do what was asked I gently flew along.
The same for secondary school. Luckily, in those days teachers had no objection to me preparing for the final exams at home. School and a close friend aroused my interest in physics. At the same time, my interest in the "arts" developed, and I made oil paintings, drawings, poems (of which some, in retrospect, are very silly), short stories, took pictures, read all books of my "idol" Paul Feyerabend. Somehow I felt that physics (or all the sciences, for that matter) couldn´t give the answers to many questions. Not even (or better said, especially not) a TOE. Nevertheless, I was very interested in the puzzles of Nature.
I always walked home with my close Chinese friend while talking about all kinds of exotic physical stuff. I decided to study physics. The first year was fun. I made friends, and to be honest, for them I visited colleges. But the next year they all dropped out, and the fun was gone. A professor was standing in front of a few hundred men, and I thought to myself: "I can do this better at home, with nice music and full concentration!"
The last year was a nice year. Subjects you could choose and small rooms with students and a professor. I can remember very well this kind old man (81!), Mr. van den Berg, attending a college with about 20 people. It was very nice talking to him.
Later I realized I could have saved a lot of money if you only make exams, without attending college. Making my essay was something I did without much contact with my supervising professor, Hans Radder. Once I saw on his desk the books I was using to help me make my essay. Among those his own.
After my study, I continued to learn more about physics, outside the university and without pursuing a career with my master's degree.
Through time I wrote down a pretty big body of thoughts about many subjects on a big heap of paper. I want to distill something like a written collage out of them. I owe much to my aforementioned idol Paul Feyerabend (I remember feeling sad when he died in 1994), a great philosopher of the sciences (though I'm sure he didn't want to be called like that).
I love this poem by Longfellow:
If thou arth worn and hard beset
By sorrows that thou wouldst forget
If thou wouldst read a lesson
That would keep
Thy hart from fainting
And thy soul from sleep
"Go to the woods and hills!
Can dim the sweet look
That Nature wears"
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