The CV, the curriculum vitae, the course of life, the circuit of one’s career. The running of one’s activities. The circle of life. The track record.
Unlike us, the Romans conceived of time as a circular passage. The professional life was also circular, seen as a chariot race, which was round. The Roman CV for those in the public sector was known as ‘cursus honorum’, the course of honour, a ’round ladder’ down from the office of the quaestor, aedile, praetor up to that of consul. The circle was everything. The Roman rock never ever escapes gravity, it stays on orbit, going round and round like the wheels of the bus.
One’s life is also one’s racetrack. The track may be round, but the laps are always different. Curriculum is a Latin word which also means ‘fast chariot’ or ‘racing car’. To advance academically and professionally through life is to sit behind the wheel, speeding past the posts towards the next lap, and so on down to the finishing line, where there’s no champagne waiting. Ok, let’s not be too gloomy, let’s stay with the circle.
Life is a race, but it doesn’t have to be this way.