Lessons from the past

In September 2010 I defended my thesis on Stoic philosophy and this summer the journal Mnemosyne published my summary announcement in their section Dissertationes Batavae. Needless to say I’m quite proud, but also it feels very strange to encounter work from the past again in this way: it partly seems to come from a different world. Two years ago, I could not imagine being where I am now. Finishing my thesis was a struggle. How I would have loved to know some of the things I know now!

Read more

Apollo’s advice for PhD’s reflecting on their career

The number of PhD candidates increases whereas career possibilities within universities decrease (cf. Nature 2011 on “The PhD Factory“). Still, most PhD candidates have a strongly research oriented perspective on their career after obtaining their PhD, especially in the social sciences and humanities the primary focus is on a future in academia. How can doctorate holders develop a more realistic view and preparation on their career options and whose responsibility is this anyway? This was the starting point of a very interesting debate on doctoral careers in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany in which I recently participated at the Rathenau Institute.

Read more

Consciously choosing harmony

These days I have the opportunity to learn more deeply about my principle, my intention to live life in happy, peaceful, joyful harmony. It is so easy to trust in good outcomes if nothing goes wrong, so easy to feel balanced and harmonious if there’s nothing that shakes your ground, so easy to be happy when life laughs at you (even if I sometimes forget to value it when I’m absorbed in my day to day  activities).

Read more