Inspired by Nick Hopwood, this part of my portfolio charts the ‘dark side’ of all the work I do: the failures, misses and rejections that illustrate to the research students that I train that hard work does not always lead to guaranteed success, and that resilience, perseverance and determination are just as important as the content of one’s research, teaching and institutional input.
CVs document all the positive selected highlights that illustrate success and achievement. A Shadow CV completes the ‘ChronicleCV’ idea by including those non-achievement ‘lowlights’. This helps to (over time) dispel the myth that fiercely predominates in academia: that all the ‘shapers of tomorrow’s knowledge’ live some charmed, effortless life.
For every journal article that gets published, there are 3 more languishing at the back of someone’s hard drive, having taken all of the graft, but never quite making it to the final cut.
What Do I Record Here? Oh, all sorts:
- publication rejections
- reviews that led to great pain and angst and not much gain in terms of public dissemination
- proposals for contributions that were turned down
- ideas for learning and teaching that, upon evaluation, weren’t as good as they could be
- scholarly misses of all and any kind.
I work hard – but it doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes, or experience bad luck, poor timing or harsh responses to the work I do. This is merely a personal-professional experiment on my part, and a teaching tool for my students. It may not endure very long, it may ebb away as quickly as it began – but right now, I think it has value and something to offer my reflective practice.
Please see Nick’s excellent introduction for more information about the potential pros and cons of making this kind of experience public.