He did not even know that students were voting for the best lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Nevertheless, Dr. Nico Baakman won the award last Thursday during the faculty education afternoon.
“He is too cool for school,” said one of the students, who felt that Baakman was entitled to the challenge cup, the certificate, a place in the photo gallery at Hof van Tilly and a (“generous”) amount of money to dine out. Others pointed out that tutorial groups always have an official chairman, but Baakman can’t help asking just a few more questions or giving some tips.
“I am not that good, I always make mistakes,” said the winner in his word of thanks. “One of my mistakes is that I talk too much in the tutorial groups, I always want to add just one more example or express a doubt. This may be good for students who did not prepare very well, but not so great for those who did. This is why at one stage I said to the chairperson: ‘If I talk too much, you shut me up.’ One or two people actually managed to do this in the past year, but now you have all managed to collectively shut me up. I really don't know what to say, except thank you very much.”
Why does he think he was elected? “I forget things, I am careless, but if you can get the message across that you care whether the students learn something, then they will be prepared to forgive a lot.”
The award was presented for the second time this year. Last year, the faculty board granted the award to Dr. Joop de Jong.