What's your name, nationality, current function, and department?
My name is Rosemarije Weterings, I am Dutch and I grew up in a small village called Wouw (which probably will elicited a Wauw! reaction). I started my PhD half a year ago in the language function and disfunction lab at the DCC and collaborate as well with the Neurovascular disease research group at the Radboudumc.
What is the topic of your PhD project and how does your work look like in practice?
The topic of my PhD is the executive-control demands of language use in people who suffered from a stroke at a relatively young age (under the age of 50 years). I will look at how to objectively measure the subjective complaints this population has when using language in natural settings, for example trying to contribute at a conversation in a big group, like at a party. At the moment I am working on a literature review, but soon I hope to start my own experiments and invite people to the lab.
What aspect of your job is or has been a challenge for you?
The best, and in the meantime the most difficult part of my job, is for me the freedom and flexibility I have. When I work and what I do are primarily in my own hands. Especially in the beginning of my PhD, I had to get used to the responsibility that comes to planning my own projects. Now everything is taking off, I am developing better insights in how to deal with these management issues.
What does your perfect weekend look like?
My perfect weekend consist of a combination of exercising and taking some rest. I like going for a run, and I am in training to run the half-marathon again in summer (and who knows, maybe one day run the full marathon …) and I start playing handball again to experience the spirit of playing in a team. Besides, I love being in nature for hikes or gardening. Now I have my own little garden and spring is around, I am happy to free my green hands during the weekend. In between I like reading novels and listening or playing some music.
What is your favorite book and why?
I love stories and reading books, I always have, so the question of selecting one favorite book is very hard. One book that has always been on top of my mind is “De brief voor de koning” (the letter for the king) written by Tonke Dragt. The story tells about the adventures of a teenage squire, Tiuri, who has to complete all-night vigil before he can receive his knighthood, but leaves the chapel of his vigil to answer a call for help. With this true act of chivalry, he is endangering his changes to become a real knight. Tiuri embarks on a perilous journey by bringing a letter to a king on the other side of the mountains. This books reminds me on how I would like to be in life: be brave, facing my fears, and always be kind and helpful to others. Because: “You don't have to wear a sword and shield to be a knight”
What is an important life lesson you have learned in the past?
I my recovering process from a severe physical injury I learned more than only to walk/run again. If you really want to achieve something, it is in your power to do so when you show passion and take charge over the parts in your life that you can influence. If there is something you cannot change, let it go and focus on for example your own thoughts or actions, because those you can change (although that is very hard and I am still learning to do so!).