JoyGenea Interview of Hans Vroege – Three Questions About Dyslexia and School

JoyGenea, international neurodiversity coach for professionals with dyslexia, interviews Hans Vroege to talk about three questions.
What were the best parts of school when you were in middle school and high school?
What are your top two strengths?
When you were 10, what one thing do you wish someone would have told you until you understood it?

Han’s coaches young people learning to understand there type of dyslexic thinking better and to focus on their strengths while they are still in school.








Question 1– 00:02:28
Question 2– 00:03:58
Question 3– 00:06:22

So I’m here with Hans, who is an amazing gentleman with fabulous dyslexia. He’s a dyslexic thinker and and a powerhouse of a lot of great ideas. He’s an entrepreneur and bud he is also working in what? Market, would you say you’re currently working in?

I’m in agriculture, right now I’m a commodities trader for organic juice, so I buy organic juice from around the world to bring it into America, and then I sell it off to companies like baby food or drink companies. So if you’ve ever had an organic kombucha, chances are you’ve had my juice.

There you go, and on top of that, prior to that, you were also in the Peace Corps after you graduated from college.

Yeah, that’s what got me into agriculture. Actually, I went to the Peace Corps as a business major, went there as for a business program, but the business program ended up being half agriculture program half business program and so my community was half business majors, half agricultural majors, and we could rely on each other, call each other up if we ever had the other problem that could be filled out. So that’s the genesis of my agricultural background was [unclear].

Where did you do your Peace Corps work?

I was in Benin West Africa, so it’s like right in the armpit on the West side. So you got Togo and then you’ve got Benin, and then you’ve got Nigeria and then you’ve got Cameroon.

And where before we jump into my questions, where did you just get back from and celebrate your birthday?

I just got back from the Netherlands. I’m half Dutch, half American, and so you know, I need to feed and nourish my my Dutch half considering that I’m so nourished over here, in my American half.

You were telling me about King, what is it called? Kings Day?

Yeah. Yeah. So ironically enough, I, I guess, coincidentally enough, I shared the same birthday as the king of the Netherlands. And on his birthday, which is April 27th, he throws on the whole entire country throws a huge party in his honor and literally the whole entire country goes out into the streets and parties. To give a perspective of what this looks like. Amsterdam is a city of 900,000 people, and on King’s Day there were 3.2 million people walking the streets. There’s a lot of people in Amsterdam.

00:02:28 JoyGenea
So thank you for spending a couple of moments with us. I just have a few questions to ask about your dyslexia and what that was kind of like for you when you were in school.
What were the best parts of school under just three items trying to keep it short? But when you were doing the middle school high school, that kind of stuff, what were the best parts of that?

Well, the only class that I truly loved was art class. I there was a place I could go into and I could finally relax, shed that heavy cloak of dyslexia and really feel like who I am, and ironically enough, though my brother’s least favorite class who is not dyslexic. So I got a feeling that the dyslexics in general, they do well in art class, but besides that most of the things I like about school had nothing to do with being scholastic.

I enjoy meeting people. I enjoyed making friends and I really enjoyed cracking jokes because at the end of the day if you can’t do well in school, you might as well, be make people laugh, right?

That is a very yes, you are right. And that’s a very common theme amongst the dyslexic group. A lot of them turned into comedians and so forth. And there’s a reason why, you gotta laugh, I mean to get through it. You just kinda gotta laugh.

Also, at the end of the day, if if you can’t, if your teachers don’t like you because you’re not doing well at school, then the only way to make them like you really is to be funny to have a personality to be a something else, to get attention in a different way.

00:03:58 JoyGenea
I like that you made it positive. Next, I only have a couple more questions.
What are what are your top two strengths?

My top two strengths in life or or or in school?

Life, like in general, what are your top two strengths?

The feedback I get from people is I have a precise way in articulating myself so I can take in information and I can reflect the same information back to them, but rearrange the information in a different way and then all of a sudden it clicks.
I don’t really understand why or how people cannot see it the way that I do, but when it comes to relationships, families, friends, I’m often the person that people come up to and they say, hey, I’ve got this problem, can you help me figure this out? And it’s mostly something along the lines of hey, my friend has this issue with, um often it’s like addiction or social issues or things like that. Do you have any advice for them? And often I’ll give advice to the friend and then they’ll pass it along forward. My mom does that all the time.

To me, I I’m I’m pretty sure, I know what it is, but it goes with your art. I’m assuming it’s the visual.

Yeah, like most dyslexics, I’m highly visual, right? So as dyslexics are, we think in three dimensions. So that’s a two edged sword, right? You think of the letter B as a three-dimensional piece of clay, and then you look at the letter B from all different directions instantaneously. Instantaneously, all of a sudden the letter B is also the letter Q is also letter P is also the letter D. Well, that kind of makes sense while we’re flipping our words around, but the other side of that sword is that you have a phenomenal ability to think in three dimensions. A daily application if I need to pack up a car to go on a road trip, I will pack that car perfectly, right? But then in a professional application, dyslexics often become engineers or craftspeople or sculptors because they have this innate vision in their head that they can just execute.

00:06:22 JoyGenea
Nice, And I know you have that and I’ve applied that.
Last question, I thank you so much for your time.
When when you were 10, what one thing do you wish someone would have told you until you understood it?

You know, it’s a great question.
I was once told when in 8th grade, so I wasn’t quite 10, but I wish I was. I wish someone impressed this on me when I was 10. I was once told and I didn’t believe them. My life would be significantly easier after school because school because schools so hard, I have this infinite resource of strength, grit, but it’s also mixed in with a lot of pain to draw from.
So we’re talking about the Peace Corps earlier for a lot of my colleagues, the hardest period of their life will be going through the Peace Corps. It’s not easy, Benin West Africa is hot. You get sick a lot. There’s a lot of cultural problems with it. You’re operating in French of foreign language. You’re learning a local African language, and it’s a very confusing place to be as a Westerner because you’re not familiar with the culture. For me, not a problem compared to what I went through in school, sweating in the Peace Corps, talking to people being confused all the time. It was easy. I had a great time compared to school.

Ohh that is. That is so awesome.
Well, thank you, Hans so much for your time, and you keep taking care, and good luck with your next business venture.

Thanks, thanks.

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