10 Jan
Best Research Price

Proposition 10: The extraordinary lies within the curve of normality

Today is the day I will defend my dissertation. And what better way to end this series with the final proposition of my dissertation:

The extraordinary lies within the curve of normality

This phrase has been the motto of my website for years, and still I have no complete understanding of its meaning. One interpretation is that being different is an inherent part of what we consider ‘normal’, meaning that if we observe differences this should not result in judgement. My second interpretation is that even within what we consider ‘normal’ there are many extraordinary, wonderful, and inspiring things to experience and learn.

For today, however, the meaning of this phrase is completely clear. Once you start your PhD, and as long as you keep on going, defending your differentiation is an event that is an inherently normal thing to do (if you make it to the end, that is), but (in the Netherlands) you do it only once and it is a very special event. It is the connection between this exceptional event and the many normal days working on a dissertation.

And while we’re at it, obtaining my PhD will be the culmination of four years of hard work, but also four years of many great experiences. Every day was special, one way or the other, which today will be underlined by my defense ceremony!

This is a series on the 10 propositions that are part of my PhD dissertation. These propositions are a Dutch tradition to highlight key findings of a dissertation and some additional insights by the author. My dissertation is titled “Family Policy Outcomes: Combining Institutional and Demographic Explanations of Women’s Employment and Earnings Inequality in OECD countries, 1975-2005″ and I will defend my dissertation on January 10 2014. So, this series is also a count down. Find out more about my dissertation.

The image with this post is a picture of the best research award I won last year at the Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies (IGS).

Leave a Reply