The mountain and the valley: 2019 will be exciting

PhD Comics The Mountain Top, by Jorge Cham

2018 has been a great year for my wife and me. The most exciting moment was when we welcomed our second son Rowas into the world. Now that he’s almost one year already, the nights are getting easier, giving more energy to concentrate. And I will need my concentration, for 2019 promises to be an exciting year in which I have a mountain to climb, and a valley to explore.

The mountain

In the next four months I will be finishing my PhD on digital history as trading zones. On 18 January I will submit the first version of my entire PhD to my thesis supervision committee (consisting of Andreas Fickers, Benoît Majerus, and Pelle Snickars). At the end of February I then hope to get the approval to submit my final thesis in March, and defend it at the end of April. At this defence the supervision committee will be joined by several other readers to evaluate my thesis.

By now I have written all my chapters; the introduction, four research chapters, and the conclusions. There is still a lot of work to be done improving and integrating all the ideas and arguments, but overall it looks like a feasible schedule. Writing the conclusions chapter was interesting, especially the parts on contributions and limitations of my thesis. With respect to the contributions I have recently started blogging about a hermeneutics of cross-disciplinary collaboration in the humanities. I intend to continue this series in the coming months.

PhD Comics The Mountain Top, by Jorge Cham
PhD Comics “The Mountain Top” © Jorge Cham

The valley

The big question is, what comes after the mountain? I am currently exploring future career options, both within and outside academia, to see what truly interests me. More practically, I am looking what careers will enable us to form a stable household, send our kids to school, and enjoy a healthy dose of free time with the family. Since we are looking to go back to the Netherlands, we also have to decide where we want to live. It’s definitely a complex number of related decisions!

2019 will definitely not be a boring year. We look forward to all the new opportunities that will come. Happy new year!

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