What on earth are you still doing on campus?
“The same as usual: teaching physical education. My lessons are taking place as usual, although I’m teaching fewer classes than usual. I’m currently getting 75 per cent of the teaching hours I normally get. Fewer classes are being put on at the Sports Building, and many people taking my other classes are on holiday. As a result, my timetable has a few gaps in it, which is actually kind of nice.”
Is it doable at all, teaching in this heat?
“Ha ha. No, it’s a bit problematic at times. It’s particularly hard in the indoor sports facilities, since it’s difficult to get the temperature down there. Thankfully, we can sometimes take the Erasmus Vitaal groups [a programme designed to raise EUR employees’ fitness level – ed.] outside, or to a spot where it’s less warm. When we teach those classes, we don’t exercise in a gym, but rather at the employees’ workplace. It’s easier to adjust there.”
Do you have different clients in summer?
“Yes, definitely. The ones who are still here are diehards – people who want to work on a specific something. And of course there are far fewer students, as they’ve all gone home. As a result, the groups are much smaller, but that actually makes the work a lot more fun. In October or November you’ll sometimes be teaching eighty people at once. It makes it much harder to keep an eye on all of them. Small groups make it easier to focus and keep a proper eye on things.”
Do you also have time for other things now that life is a little less hectic?
“Yes, and that’s nice, too. In the new academic year, Erasmus Vitaal will open its own space next to De Smitse. We’ll be able to supervise smaller groups there, and allow employees to work on things such as post-injury rehab in a more focused manner. So I’ll be able to do a lot for that in the next few weeks. Also, I’m a freelancer on top of my work for the university, and those jobs are business as usual.”
So what else do you do?
“Honestly, all sorts of things. I teach at primary schools, work at other gyms and provide a few other types of training, as well. It’s great to do so many different things, and to have so much freedom. I’m free to draw up my schedule myself, which is another thing that’s great about working during the summer months. That said, working for the university is always fun, as well. Erasmus Vitaal really was the start of some sort of movement. At first, people looked at us funny whenever I was exercising with the members of a department, but it has become increasingly normal. It brings colleagues closer together, which was very much what we intended.”
When will you be able to take a break?
“Not until the end of August, actually. I’ll go on holiday for a week then. Until that time I’ll be very busy working.”