My Own Biggest Failure / by Simone Sheridan

One would think that organising the first Failure:Lab in Australia would have me prepared for the question, 'What is your biggest failure?' However, today I found myself rambling and scrambling upon answers when being interviewed. The more that I have reflected on this, I realise that there are so many degrees of failure, but my biggest?  In the spirit of last week's CV of Failures post, and this week's Artshub article featuring Vivid Ideas Curator Jess Scully, I shall delve down in and share my own failures. Perhaps you can help me decide which is biggest.

1. HSC Fail - Most of my school years I was very studious, striving for good grades and taking pride in my work, I enjoyed it! However, something shifted after I changed schools and combined with a poor selection of Higher School Certificate electives, my attention for classes waned as my interest for new friends increased.

Living in close proximity to the school meant I often found myself sneaking home, with friends in tow. This kind of behaviour would have been unthinkable, as well as impossible, at the Catholic school which I was at until Year 10. Our teachers saw us at the start of the day for assembly (and prayer), the concept of walking off grounds sinister. I remember skipping school once when I was at Saint Matthews with my friend Chris Morrissey to go to KFC, around the corner, and one of our teachers came spotted us, came in and shouted 'Get Back To School!'. Never again would we subject ourselves to such potential shame.

At Mudgee High I had become invisible, by comparison, in a sea of hundreds of students. I had chosen Photography as an elective, which (of course) was not a board endorsed subject - so not going to add to my end UAI, anyway. I was struggling in my Business Studies class, wishing I had taken Society & Culture after hearing about what my friends were learning in their classes. Even studying Visual Arts, there were so many better artists than me (Sam Paine, you are one of them!) creating their major works whilst I was still wondering where I fit. Upon reflection my favourite subject was probably IT - go figure. I remember getting the flu the week of my IT exam so the one exam I was excited about was a struggle to breath through. My end UAI was 42. Wow. 12 points over not even being valid. In eighteen months I had gone from a student getting 80+ results to exactly half that. Not my proudest moment. I shrugged it off and headed to the big smoke for other options, anyway.

2. Certificate IV Website Production Fail - So, now we live in Lane Cove and after (successfully) completing Cert IV in Interactive Multimedia I found myself in another course which would prepare my to develop websites. For the most part, I enjoyed the course, but I certainly started to grind on writing code. It just was not where I wanted to be. Plus, I failed the CSS module.

3. Finding work with my skills Fail - So I was equipped with 1 and-a-bit Cert IV's but apparently so was every other person who studied IT in 2001-2. Plus, they were all better than me. Not even that. They cared more about doing it and getting better themselves. I just didn't. So, I packed up and drove myself back to Mudgee.

Until tomorrow when I ponder on my failures, 2003 and beyond!