For years I was the only member of my extremely clever and educated family who didn’t appear on TV. I was extremely camera - shy (and otherwise shy as well), and I didn’t think I could put a single coherent sentence together when confronted with an audience I couldn’t see but I knew would be numerous.
My mother is a professor of genetics. She is clever, funny, and can explain the most complicated things using simple words so that everybody understands. This makes her the go-to person for the media when something interesting happens in the fields of biotechnology, genetics, and similar topics- and nowadays, it’s quite a lot.
My father, also a professor, is known for his love of science and food. He also loves to talk about science and food. And he loves to talk about…anything really. While physics is his research area, he could give you a one- hour lecture on any subject you propose, and the chances are pretty high that he will know about this topic more than you do. He loves the idea of educating people, and he can be extremely funny as well. This is why the media consult him on everything in the field of physics. And food. And religion.
Over the years, I watched my mother being interviewed at our home. I watched my father giving various interviews on radio and television. Two days ago, I did more than just watch. A journalist from Germany contacted me through www.expat-blog.com - a blogger’s network I belong to, and asked whether I would be interested in giving my opinion on Geert Wilder’s anti-Polish website. I had written a blog post about this website, because I was so angered by it, and so decided to jump at this opportunity to voice my critique of this website.
I was nervous. Very, very, very nervous. The interview turned out better than I had expected. The journalist was nice, asked the questions we had discussed in advance: “What do you identify with: Poland, the Netherlands, Europe?”, why do I think the Geert Wilders website is so bad, and what can be done about it. I was confronted with some elements of surprise, such as a similar website by the Polish- Netherlands rapper Mr. Polska (who made a funny website for collecting positive experiences with Polish people), and they had me fill it out. Another thing was that they gave me an iPad to browse on for the interview- and since I was very nervous, I couldn’t quite get it work the way I wanted it to.
That black monster of a camera wasn’t a help, either. It loomed over me, and I never knew how to behave. A common mistake I made was looking directly into the camera, and they had to reshoot some of the scenes.
But, even then I still managed to string some reasonable sentences together in pretty good German (it’s usually good, but sometimes it fails me, and if that had happened, it would have been a disaster). Also, they filmed my blog! Which reminds me that it really needs some works done! In the end, while I can’t say for sure that I did a good job, I think I tried hard to make this work. So, if you’re interested, watch me on arte (both in German and French) on September 29th.