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Princeton Professor Creates 'CV of Failures' to 'Give Perspective


The CV includes sections like "Degree programs I did not get into" and "Academic positions and fellowships I did not get."

Christopher L. Eisgruber, center, joins others singing,"Old Nassau," Princeton University's alma mater since 1859, in Princeton, N.J., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, after he was installed as the 20th President of Princeton. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

PRINCETON, N.J. (TheBlaze/AP) — A Princeton University professor has published a CV of his career failures as a way to “give perspective” to students who are feeling discouraged.

Johannes Haushofer (YO'-hawn HOWS'-haw-fer) writes atop the CV that most of what he tries fails, but those failures are often invisible. The assistant professor of psychology says it gives the wrong impression that most things work out for him, so people "are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves."

Princeton's Blair Hall (Image source: Wikimedia) Princeton's Blair Hall (Image source: Wikimedia)

The CV is divided into sections with titles like "Degree programs I did not get into" and "Academic positions and fellowships I did not get."

In the document, published on Princeton’s official website, Haushofer explains that the list of failures is most likely not comprehensive:

“This CV is unlikely to be complete,” he writes. “It was written from memory and probably omits a lot of stuff. So if it’s shorter than yours, it’s likely because you have better memory, or because you’re better at trying things than me.”

He says he got the idea from an article by University of Edinburgh’s Melanie I. Stefan in the journal Nature.

After the list began gaining widespread interest online from people who found it “inspiring”, “brilliant” and “beautiful,” Haushofer updated the document with his latest and greatest “meta-failure”:

“This darn CV of Failures has received way more attention that my entire body of academic work.”

Noting this, Haushofer's mother apparently offered her son some helpful advice, which the professor shared on Twitter:

Perhaps "Mama Haushofer" spared her son a wardrobe failure.

Read the full document here.

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