Between 2005 and 2007 I had the privilege to work at the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg to conduct research for a PhD about Dutch immigration to North America between 1947 and 1963. In Middelburg I lived in a nice appartment in the dynamic old city center. It only took me three minutes from there to arrrive at my work in the beautiful Middelburg abbey.
When I look back to my years at the Roosevelt Study Center, I can say that they were above all interesting and productive. The facilities and the large immigration collections of the RSC, for which I am grateful to the director of the RSC, Professor Kees van Minnen, were crucial for completing my research. Moreover, I had the advantage to be supervised by Dr. Hans Krabbendam, an expert on Dutch emigration to North America. He helped me during the important first stage of my research by giving expert advice, and provided me with valuable information to organize my research trips to North America. Of course, I am grateful to the complete RSC staff for the social and interactive atmosphere they created. In the last weeks of my time at the RSC, I married my present (and future) wife Annemieke, and we moved to Kampen. There I continued and completed my research at the beautiful Theological College.
After I completed my research, I worked for Van Dijk Education in Kampen where I wrote proposals for secondary schools. At the time my contract ended, I continued working for the RSC coordinating a project to digitize a dozen Dutch-American newspapers. I loved this job, but in June 2010 – realizing I had a temporary assignment, a wife and two children to take care of – I said ‘yes’ to an interesting offer to start as a history teacher in Ermelo at the Rietschans College, a secondary school for children with special educational needs.
Currently, I still teach history and civics in Ermelo. I like this job very much, because of the interaction with (sometimes very) special children, nice colleagues and the many holidays. That is why my wife and I decided to move to the beautiful and quiet town of Ermelo. In 2013, my wife and I were delighted that our family was extended with another child, our second girl.
Together with Henk van der Linden, I edited a publication on Dutch Christianity during and after World War I, De Kogel door de kerk. The volume will be published by Aspekt publishers in October 2014.