PhD, mom and blogger

At Resource we have a new blogger: Nadya Karimasari. In her first blog she introduces herself.

Since my supervisor, prof.dr. Bram Buscher, contacted me via Skype in November 2015 and said ‘Welcome to Wageningen!’, my life has been in a state of eternal euphoria. My excitement multiplied when Resource asked me to join the team of bloggers. Talking about (double)-dreams come true!

My name is Nadya Karimasari from Indonesia. I got a PhD scholarship from NWO to study nature conservation in times of crisis, starting March 2016. I am the first person and first generation in my extended family who got a scholarship to do PhD abroad. I am also a first-time mom of my one-year-old son.

I did my master in 2010-2011 at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Den Haag. Thanks to the encouragement that I’ve got from my master’s supervisor and lecturers (especially prof.dr. Jun Borras and prof. Ben White), I changed my career path from activism to academia, with opportunities to do independent research consultancies. I also volunteer at the national farmers union as an interpreter. I spent two years in Australia when I was pregnant and a stay-at-home-mom until my son was one year old. During this time, I worked from home translating Tania Li‘s “Land’s End” to bahasa Indonesia, to be published by Marjin Kiri, while also supporting my husband to complete his theses writing with dr. Carol Warren.

I have been blogging since high school, more than a decade ago, since the very first time blogging platforms were introduced. I feel the need to now blog about my PhD odyssey. Why? Two perspectives. First, if you’re Dutch (or Canadian, for example), perhaps you’re already familiar with the realm of a PhD student. But for someone like me a PhD is such a peculiar thing! I used to think of PhDs as elderly people who already have a lot of expertise in their field and were expected to be the next Einstein or someone of that calibre. I’ve never aspired to pursue a PhD because I don’t have any immediate reference to look up to. Imagine how surprised I was at ISS to witness a lot of young people at their early twenties already doing a doctoral degree! Second, I observe other PhD blogs are mostly skewed into two polar extremes, either the self-deprecating PhDs beating themselves up or those who only showcase their academic brilliance. I would like to challenge myself to capture the regular life of a non-know-it-all PhD student.

After all, it’s a process, a journey, and I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

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Author: nadya

on-going tensions between ready-made values and uncharted territory

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