Hello, I'm Thomas Winwood and this is where I boil down my life into bite-sized paragraphs in an attempt to look like someone an employer would want to give money in exchange for work.
If I formatted my CV normally it'd be embarrassingly short, wouldn't paint me in a terribly good light and would make me feel worse about myself in the process. Standard CV formatting assumes that either employment history or educational qualifications is a long section which comprises most of the text, but I was (and am) extremely stubborn about my principles in a couple of different ways which sabotaged my chances later in life.
I fundamentally disagree with standardised testing as a way to judge ability - it leads to gamist tactics like cramming for the three or four weeks before the exam (euphemistically called revising) and then promptly forgetting the vast majority of what you've learned after you've regurgitated it onto the paper. I was having no part of that, so I fell straight to the bottom of the bell curve for Higher-tier students - my GCSE results were 3A 4B 2C 1D. (I ended up forgetting a lot of it anyway, but I ascribe that as much to what was taught not having a great deal of utility in the wider world as to my inability to retain information.)
To most people, this looks like an underachiever who is outclassed by others in his age-group with spreads like 3A* 5A 2B; what I see is a clear indication of where my talents lie - the A subjects I have natural aptitude at, the B subjects I'm competent at, and the C and D subjects never engaged me on any level and led to me subconsciously resisting the urge to learn anything. If without revision I'd managed an A* on anything that'd be evidence that I was the reincarnation of a monumentally clever person in that field - Einstein, Bismarck, Scaliger perhaps.
As a result, when I try to construct a standard CV I find I'm unable to sell myself in a convincing fashion because I'm reduced to trying to pad out paragraph after paragraph of empty-sounding platitudes without anything behind it to back it up. If I do my CV in this format, I can paint myself in the best possible light not only by words but by actions.
I'm a 24-year-old resident of Abingdon, Oxfordshire. I was born in Stourbridge (in the Black Country, not far from Birmingham) on the 18th of August 1988, and for the better part of the first decade of my life I lived in Halesowen, near Dudley.
Embarrassingly little. I'm unemployed - I was misled by the picture school life painted of the world outside its walls into pursuing a career in the sciences (chemistry, mainly) rather than language at which I was consistently better, got my GCSEs (3A 4B 2C 1D) and A-levels (BBC) and headed off to the University of Manchester where I discovered that I didn't like the way chemistry tuition works at that level at all.
As such, I returned to my parents' house in Oxfordshire and embarked on yet another misstep - computer science. (In my defence, nobody actually explained what that meant to me, and UCAS didn't have a category for "programming". Given what I know about how computing is taught in general now, even if there is now I want no part of it.)
It was at Oxford Brookes that I rediscovered my love of learning languages when, entirely on a whim, I decided to take Japanese as an optional module. However, Oxford Brookes didn't work out because I neglected the computing halves of my degree course entirely, failed to qualify for the next level of tuition and ran out of optional beginner-level modules. Thus I left Brookes and embarked on a prolonged bout of unemployment which continues to this day.
I've been interested in video games, on and off, since my grandmother first bought me an original-model Game Boy way back in the early '90s. More recently I've started thinking more critically about my consumer habits and consuming more holistic media in the field such as Extra Credits and the Game Overthinker.
I was never a particularly prolific game player, but I've owned a succession of consoles (though fortune seems to have guided me towards the less appreciated consoles at times, notably when during the mid-late '90s I was one of the few kids in the world with a Sega Saturn) and have been following the Pokémon series of collectathon strategic battler RPGs since their release in 1998.
Some years ago I found an unassuming guide called the Language Construction Kit which piqued my curiosity; the "secret vice" has had me in its clutches ever since, though I've never at any point managed to produce something lasting.
I also code intermittently at a hobbyist level; this obviously synergises with my interest in video games, though I also poke at web development when an idea strikes me. My language of choice is Python, but I'm more than happy to learn any other language which handle memory management for the user, and have a passing familiarity with C which in a pinch I could build on.
I worked briefly as a QA technician at Software Imaging in Oxford Science Park - I was let go when the company ran into momentary financial trouble and had to lose any superfluous personnel. (I'm happy to report they've since recovered, but naturally I don't have the job back.) I'd be more than happy to do QA work again, though - it was fun.
Obviously I'm somewhat capable of doing anything I do as a hobby as a job instead (though I recommend waiting until I have something more concrete of my own before asking me to make a language for you!) so I needn't belabour the point there. I can also do most kinds of front-desk work - retail, front-of-house, secretarial, etc. I've got a good enough head for numbers for the most part, and I'm literate.
I've been using computers more or less since I was old enough to walk, so I can pick up new software, equipment and techniques easily even with more esoteric systems - one of my earliest computer-related memories is fixing an Acorn system in Reception year at primary school - and would love the opportunity to make use of that in some way (particularly hardware - I want to learn how to build a computer from component parts).