Instead of a CV

Nobel laureate Wisława Szymborska once wrote a poem called ‘Writing a Curriculum Vitae’ in which she considered what is left out of those incomplete summaries of our lives: “Omit dogs, cats and birds,” she advised, “mementos, friends, dreams. / State price rather than value, / title rather than content.” Like Szymborska, I am reluctant to simplify the richness of life to a few bald facts but, since it seems to be a requirement for websites such as this one, I reluctantly offer the following misleading precis:

• I am a husband, father and son

• I am a Catholic with catholic reading tastes

• I am an author, home educator, and secondary school teacher.

• I have had six books published: The Race, a dual narrative children’s novel; Between Darkness and Light, a novel about the Chinese Labour Corps in World War I; 50 Books for Life: a concise guide to Catholic literaturePopes, Emperors and Elephants: the first thousand years of Christian culture; Did Jesus Go to School? and other questions about parents, children and educationOut of the Classroom and Into the World: how to transform Catholic education.

• I have degrees in Modern History from Oxford, English from the Open University, and Chinese Studies from SOAS, University of London.

• I also have a postgraduate diploma in Lake District Studies from Lancaster University, a certificate in Natural Sciences from the Open University, and am working on a PhD in Theology and contemporary fiction at the University of Nottingham.

• I have taught the following subjects in English schools: Critical Thinking, Drama, English Language, English Literature, History, Latin, and Theology

• I have had the following jobs: Area Secretary for Aid to the Church in Need; Assistant Warden at a night shelter for homeless men; Director of Curriculum Development; Director of Learning; Head of Drama; Head of Higher Education and Careers; Head of Sixth Form

• I have written for Adoption Today, the Catholic Herald, the Catholic Times, Catholic World Report, First Things, Humanum Review, Standpoint, the Telegraph, the TES, UnHerd, and the Universe

• The more I read the more I realise how little I know.

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