NOS is for me too!

I’ve spent so much time thinking about NOS in the class this semester that I can’t help but see it everywhere. I’ve been trying to reconcile what I’ve learned about NOS in formal settings with how it is portrayed in “the wild”. I’m learning that I find the inherent nature of science to be extremely frustrating!

Nathanial Edward Davis –*bIwhxW4j-44ae0FUT__t5w.jpeg

I am a Teaching as Research Fellow and meet regularly with other TAR Fellows from all over the university. We use this time to talk about our progress on our research projects. I was particularly frustrated the last time we met because I had just realized that I would have to scrap my second project idea. My peers were mostly done with their data collection and were sharing interesting things that were showing up in analysis – and here I was facing the prospect of having to start from scratch with RSRB approval. Woe is me.

“Have you heard of My Shadow CV?”

No, I had not. Several people started talking at once; many of my peers had heard of it. Devoney Looser, an English professor at Arizona State University, published an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education called Me and My Shadow CV. In it he describes what his actual CV says versus what his Shadow CV would say.

What my CV says: I’ve taught at five fabulous institutions. What my shadow CV would say: This one is the worst. In the process of trying to solve a two-body problem, I was on the job market a lot. I think I’ve been rejected for nearly 400 college teaching jobs and postdoctoral fellowships. In other words, I got offered less than 2 percent of the jobs I applied for, and I’m by no means among the hard-luck cases.”

I don’t know if Looser came up with the idea. The concept has many names – Honest CV, True CV, Hidden CV. There are examples in blogs and articles all over the internet. Some are deliberately funny and others are brutally honest. In short, it’s hard out there for an academic.

One of the TAR Fellows summarized it for me “You can’t compare your blooper reel to their highlight reel!” Then she brought it back to the level of one research project, “This IS research. You’re obviously learning and you just keep going forward.” Another peer interjected, “But she KNOWS this! She teaches high school kids how to do research!”. This was Heta, I’ve worked with her on various projects since this summer. This is our relationship – we do not pull punches. She was right. I’ve spent the last six months trying to explain to high school students that knowing, getting more questions than answers, and starting over are all expected in science. I don’t know why I thought I was exempt!



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