Sam van der Lugt
For my project, I am writing about the phenomenology of hospice care. This includes fieldwork as a volunteer in a hospice, interviews, and literature research in philosophy and anthropology.
I have been working as a volunteer in the hospice over the past year. Through this work, I've become a part of the community myself. This also made it easier for me to see what is of value to the community and what I could write about. Members of the community have been highly supportive by discussing my project, offering their perspectives in in-depth interviews, reading through my writing pieces, and showing me the ropes of hospice care.
This project is putting what I have learned in my degree program to use in a truly meaningful way.
Writing essays as abstract theoretical exercises always felt slightly alienating to me. In this project, however, I have the opportunity to capture the amazing work of the hospice, which truly makes a difference in people's lives. The fact that this project feels so meaningful has allowed me to spend so much time on it over the past year without ever getting tired of it. This successful experience has also shown me that I will want to continue my academic career with a research master after I'm done with my BA.
The most important personal takeaway has been how attuning to the community has shaped my project and my outlook on life. When I started the CBR course, I already had a clear project and research question in mind. The more I became a member of the community, however, the more I shifted my outlook on what was truly valuable in hospice care. In the end, the topic of my thesis is entirely different from what I expected it to be, but it is also so much better and more grounded.