Over Luuk van der Werf
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How cool! You made it to the very best part of the website! Now that you are here, I can as well tell you something about myself. You might see my picture, and think: where did his beautiful head of hair go. Well, I will come to that in a bit.
Let us first start at the beginning. It’s the 31st of March, the year 2000, around 9pm. We are in Zwolle, in a hospital. A woman, my mother, is about to give birth to a beautiful son, but he decides he does not want to come out yet. The doctors decide to use a suction cup to get this stubborn child out. Everything goes smoothly, and this was the moment I saw the light of day (or just the hospital lights). The only thing that remains to be seen of the method is a baby with quite a pointed head. This is where the term ‘zuignaphoofd’ comes from, but we will talk about it later. This is also the moment were my interest in mathematics was sparked, probably.
I was born in a hospital in Zwolle, but I have lived my whole youth in the beautiful city of Kampen. The years after my birth were perfectly fine, I guess, not that I can remember anything of it. As heard from stories of my parents I already had interest in mathematics, or just numbers. When sailing on our boat I would yell how much horsepower every outboard motor had. The word I used for horsepower was ‘pekaden’. Also, at the age of five, my parents learned me how to play games like Catan and Jass, so you understand my love for the games we play at Abacus. Also, aged six, I once explained the solar eclipse to my primary school class using glue flasks. As you can see, I was already interested in science at a young age.
The rest of my primary school career went carefree. The courses were quite easy, and I had some good friends. One of them is still a very good friend up to this day. At the end of primary school, the advice was given to go to gymnasium. I did not know if Latin would be something I would like, but I thought: Let’s give it try. That was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made.
At high school I had a lot of fun. I felt like I fitted in better, since everyone was on the same level. I was the perfect example of the ‘zesjescultuur’, since I always putted minimal effort to maximize my outcomes. You see, I was already doing some optimization at that time. Only for mathematics my grades were significantly higher than that 6. For Latin my grades were not that good, and I did not like the course at all. After two years of suffering I was very glad that I could drop it.
In the third year I had to choose my courses, and I chose for Nature&Technique and Nature&Health, which meant I followed Physics, Chemistry, Biology and the mandatory courses. At that moment I did not know I would do anything with math in the future, so I did not follow Maths D. Instead of that I followed a course called ‘BSM’ which roughly translates to ‘exercise, sports and society’, which was basically just extra gymnastics. This brings me a big hobby of mine, since I liked (and still like) to sport quite often. Almost my whole school career I played football, which I liked a lot. I also spent quite some time making music. In my younger years I followed piano lessons, but I never really liked it. I quitted it, and played no instrument for a bit. But already soon it began too itch. On a random day, I went with my father to a music store and bought an electric drum kit. I liked playing it a lot, and I also started taking lessons. After some years playing electric, I wanted the real deal and bought a real drum kit, with which I still torture my parents. At high school I also played in a band, and we rocked quite some ‘grote avonden’. Up to this day I still like to play drums, piano and I sing sometimes (karaoke mainly).
The last years at high school went fine, and I graduated without too much hassle. Then it was time to choose a study programme. Since mathematics was the only course in which I excelled, the choice was actually quite easy. I went to Enschede for a student-for-a-day day, and I liked it a lot. After a nice long holiday I started in Enschede with the Kick-In. I had not found a room at that time, so I slept at a campsite in Hengelo together with some high school friends. The Kick-In was a really amazing experience. I immediately felt Enschede would be the right place for me.
The first year of studying was not easy, and I had to put a lot of effort in it to succeed, which I did eventually. It was due to Abacus and my friends I kept going to make sure I could continue with the study. In my first year I became active at the PixCie, for which I attended a bunch of activities, which I really enjoyed. I also was a member of the Freshmen committee, and we organised some cool events. After my first year I became a do-group parent, which I enjoyed maybe even more than being kiddo. In my second year I continued with the PixCie, and joined the Twick-In. Already at the beginning of my second year I was quite sure I wanted to do a board year at Abacus, since it really felt like a family to me. And now here I am, already a month in the board.
You might think: ‘Nice story this man has, but where did his freaking hair go?’ Well, we are finally there. As a member of the Twick-In I presented a pub quiz together with Daan Velthuis. At that moment I did not go to a barber for almost 8 months. In the chat of the livestream were questions if I would go bald for 5 euros. I said I wouldn’t, of course. But then Daan asked me for what amount I would go bald. I thought for a bit, and said 200 euros, jokingly. 15 minutes later the money was collected, and there was no way back anymore. ‘But you have a pointed ‘zuignaphoofd’ Luuk, what are you doing!?’ was what my friends told me. In the end it was not that bad, and I am already getting back some hair.
This story is getting way too long, so I will quit for now, but I hoped you liked reading it. If you want to hear some more about me, want to talk about sports, music, or anything else, or play a game, I hope to see you somewhere around Abacus soon.
With kind regards,
Luuk van der Werf
Secretary & Officer Internal Affairs of the 53rd board of W.S.G. Abacus