Last Saturday, I lived the most important rite of passage of my life. After the PhD defense, I have a very strange feeling of being a “doctor”. I feel that a PhD is a powerful title to have. It is. But I stare at it and can only think about “what happens now”.
I’ve always related these two terms to different people from me. People whose roots and lives have been very distant from the one I’ve lived since the early days in Magé.
Last Saturday, I lived the most important rite of passage of my life. After the PhD defense, I have a very strange feeling of being a “doctor”. I feel as if I had finally managed to get the Excalibur sword out of the rock, but had no clue about what to do with it.
I feel that a PhD is a powerful title to have. It is. But I stare at it and can only think about “what happens now”.
People ask about the future.
“Where to work?”
“Where to live?”
That is, people ask very “easy” questions to which I have no answers. Maybe the only certainty I have concerns what I want to do with the fact of being a “doctor”.
There are people who want titles to get better-paying jobs. Others want professional recognition. Being born and bred in a capitalist society, I also have these goals.
But my primary and bigger goal than the professional and material satisfaction appears in a question that has hammered my head: How to use the fact of being a doctor to contribute for a more just, egalitarian, respectful and peaceful society?
I know that the PhD title is a deserved individual achievement. However, what I expect from my own PhD is something public, collective and that contributes for change.
The main challenge in my view is: how to combine this goal towards the common good with the increasing structural pressures for us to be competitive individuals to the point of treating potential partners as opponents or even enemies?
I don’t have an answer to this question. I am only aware that this is the path I want to follow. These are the challenges I want to face and overcome. I also hope that all that comes out of this process for life is something that directly or indirectly benefits other people.
After all, we are nothing alone.
If I am a doctor, I am very grateful to all the friendships, to all the care, the support and the pride so many people have felt of me.
A big thanks to all of you who – directly or indirectly, personally or via social media – were part of my process of personal growth. Each of the written or said stories, each gesture of affection, each shared memory and each word of support gave me strength to get to where I’ve gotten.
I dedicate this accomplishment to you. It’s about you that I think when I formulate or map the future paths to follow. It is for all of us that I intend and seek to develop my work. With lots of care and affection: Thank you!
In the photo, you see me, my supervisor Professor Seija Ridell and my opponent Professor Clemencia Rodriguez.