Ben Oostdam's Autobiography, 1946-1950 (part 2)


The Gymnasium Beta program at the Hervormd Lyceum in Amsterdam was very tough and required much homework. Our classes comprised 5 hours of Latin, 6 of Greek, 4 Dutch and 3x3 each of German, French and English every week, as well as 4x3 hours each of Math, Physics, Biology and Chemistry. Gym and sports were downplayed, so my main exercises were the roundtrip on the bike every day come rain or snow, the hikes we took as scouts, and an occasional swim when we went sailing or canoeing.

The Class of 1950

(mine is the floating head third from the right...)
I was the only student out of a hundred who made it all the way without having to repeat any class, but admittedly with the minimum effort and necessary grades. I spent a lot of time on scouting and read one English book a day when I reached grades 11 and 12. I should point out that we did not waste any time on TV, sports, and dating. My father also delegated some of his students to me for tutoring, so I did make some pocket money. The nation-wide high school finals in 1950 were gruesome and as tough as any graduate exam I took in America, but so much greater was the relief when I passed!

(left) : The Hervormd Lyceum seen from the back
(right) : The Rector, Ir. J. Verboom
..... known for his fabulous memory and stentor voice!

I cordially invite any of my former class-mates
to contact me at
to discuss our 50th Anniversary in the year 2000!

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