Mentor of the month: Huib Vriesendorp
What is your background?
My name is Huib Vriesendorp. I was born in The Netherlands, November 27, 1944. I went to medical school in Leiden and Rotterdam. My wife Francine did the same thing. We lived in Delft, The Netherlands, where our three children were born under the guidance of Francine’s father, a professor in gynecology and obstetrics. The whole family emigrated to the United States in 1980. Francine became a professor of neurology. I specialized in radiation oncology. Our three children went to Princeton University and are working now for The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois; the Southwestern University Hospital in Dallas, Texas; and for British Petroleum Castor Oil in New Jersey. My hobbies are rowing, rugby — as a spectator — drug development, reading, writing historical fiction, traveling abroad and most of all, being a grandfather to six grandchildren. Francine and I bought our house in Silverthorne in 1993 and moved here permanently in 2011 in active retirement.
What led you to become a mentor?
I read an article in the Summit Daily (that) Mountain Mentors was looking for extra mentors.
What do you enjoy most about being a mentor?
Meeting weekly during the school year with my mentee, a 9-year-old boy.
How does mentoring fit into your life?
I prefer to meet at the same day at the same time once a week for two hours. Our activities are different and depend on weather and time of year. I try to let my mentee decide what he wants to do. The default is playing chess or Stratego. My efforts to get my mentee to read and write more have only been partially successful.
What is a favorite activity you have done as a mentor?
Trying to follow my mentee in downhill skiing. He is bringing me to totally new areas and also gets me out of these areas in one piece.
Do you have advice for someone who is considering becoming a mentor?
Try it out, but only if you are able and willing to make a serious commitment to the mentee. You will probably get as much out of this experience as your mentee does.
Quote from Karis about his mentor:
“Some things I like about Huib is that he does things that I like. One thing that we like to do is play soccer. Huib gives me a lot of tips on how to play, and I have got a lot better because of him. We also like to play chess together, and he always beats me, but I enjoy it a lot. Huib also takes me on his boat sometimes, and I really like boats, so this is a treat for me. I really enjoy Huib as Mountain Mentor.”
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