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    (Original post by ArchedEdge)
    And we did have that sort of feel, but it was quite intimidating the way he would just sit down and expect us all to talk about his lecture notes, especially as for a group of us, there weren't that many "talkative" or inquisitive students. so lectures would inevitably just be a repeat of his lecture notes rather than a large scale supervision.
    Blegh. This is the thing that annoys me about British students. They're so passive and reticent. (Sorry I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily you, I just found that with a lot of groups) I had such a blast on the MPhil (in the same department) because it was so international and people were much more talkative and enthusiastic.
    (Original post by alex_hk90)
    I never had any problems with annoying students - the other economists in my college (who I had the majority of my supervisions with) were all great, they did all the work and weren't afraid to contribute to the discussion.

    Lucky you :p:
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    I don't like one to one supervisions really. I think much better if I'm allowed to withdraw for a few minutes while someone else is talking, because it takes me a long time to collect my thoughts into something that makes sense when I open my mouth. If I'm in a one to one supervision I panic in silences because I know that I think too slowly, which means that the thinking process is even further delayed. I've also tended to end up with supervision partners who complement my interests so we bring interesting things out in each other.

    Not such a great sentiment when I have a one to one supervision next week - my first one ever with this supervisor. Luckily it's on a topic that I really love so hopefully I'll have a lot to talk about, but I'm not the kind of person who thinks aloud and even the Cambridge supervision system hasn't made me into one. It's not necessarily about being passive and reticent though - I'm not! Although those are often adjectives used for me by supervisors and others who haven't understood that it is less about reticence and more about how my brain works (apparently not in tandem with my mouth). One can also be inquisitive without being talkative! One well placed and well thought out question can be worth a whole barrage
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    My experience of group supervisions has really varied. For one of my papers this year, my supervision partner has very similar interests to me and we're both keen and normally end up having good discussions. But in my second year I had supervisions in a group of 4 for one of my papers and it was awful, especially as sometimes I was the only one who had actually read whatever book we were meant to be doing that week (we all got thrown out of a supervision once, because the supervisor said that it was obvious we weren't going to get any discussion going if only one person had read the book ).

    I've had a lot of individual supervisions this year, and I've generally found them very useful, even if having someone spend a whole hour picking apart your dissertation draft isn't necessarily the most pleasant of experiences...I'm quite slow at taking in new ideas, so sometimes my dissertation supervisions ended up with me saying "I don't get it...will have to have a think about this" and my supervisor giving me a pained look and saying: "Which part don't you understand? It's quite simple really"...

    (Original post by smilepea)
    Alas still no news!! Still need another test which I still don't have an appointment for, and I go back to the cardiologist in August when hopefully they'll decide what if anything is wrong with me. *Sigh* So it'll be more than a year of waiting. ARRRRGGGG.

    Another thing, why is soy yoghurt so yummy and soy milk so icky?!
    That's pants! I hope they get a move on! :hugs:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Blegh. This is the thing that annoys me about British students. They're so passive and reticent. (Sorry I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily you, I just found that with a lot of groups) I had such a blast on the MPhil (in the same department) because it was so international and people were much more talkative and enthusiastic.
    No it's fair, we probably take education for granted here, so we don't make full use of what's offered. Regretting it now of course! :p:
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    It's not necessarily about being passive and reticent though - I'm not! Although those are often adjectives used for me by supervisors and others who haven't understood that it is less about reticence and more about how my brain works (apparently not in tandem with my mouth). One can also be inquisitive without being talkative! One well placed and well thought out question can be worth a whole barrage
    I have probably misjudged some people in supervisions before, but when I said that I had lectures and seminars in mind more than supervisions! Its extremely irritating to go to a seminar where nobody has done the reading and nobody is prepared to contribute.
    As for lectures, I often see a re-occuring thread in GUD which goes something like 'don't you hate students who ask questions in lectures'... and then its followed by several pages of UK students from around the country venting their ire for the selfish egoist who dared to waste everybody's time by using the tiny moment of actual contact time they have to learn :rolleyes: Regular students seem to think its selfish to ask questions after a lecture (at the designated time) because it stops everyone leaving early, and asking questions during a lecture instantly damns the person as being someone who just wants to show off.
    I think a lot of people are scared to ask questions or get involved in lectures and seminars because they know everyone else thinks this way. Whereas international students don't have the same inhibitions, which is great!

    I hated being one of the only ones to ask questions and chip in with an opinion. I was aware that everyone probably thought I was a dick, but I'm someone who thinks and learns through interaction so its really hard to stay focused and concentrated unless I can come in and ask how it connects with related thoughts I'm having. Oh well...

    (Original post by Crazy_emz)
    I've had a lot of individual supervisions this year, and I've generally found them very useful, even if having someone spend a whole hour picking apart your dissertation draft isn't necessarily the most pleasant of experiences...I'm quite slow at taking in new ideas, so sometimes my dissertation supervisions ended up with me saying "I don't get it...will have to have a think about this" and my supervisor giving me a pained look and saying: "Which part don't you understand? It's quite simple really"...
    :eek: That's really out of order. Not Dr L again? :sigh:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)

    :eek: That's really out of order. Not Dr L again? :sigh:
    Nah, he's being nice to me now Another supervisor, but it honestly wasn't as bad as it appears...my written work is generally a lot better than my performance in supervisions would suggest, so I think my supervisor was just genuinely surprised that I didn't understand whatever he was explaining straight away. And although I got on well with him, I think he was generally regarded as quite a tough supervisor. Anyway, I probably wouldn't work that hard if all my supervisors were nice to me :rolleyes:
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    On jobs that help people: If you're average at jobs that help people but are good at earning lots of money without hurting people, isn't it likely to be better to earn the money and then spend it in ways that help people? Do you earn 25k helping people or earn 100k and spend 75k on getting three people to help people? It's not that I wouldn't like a job that has a more positive influence on society, but having a job that doesn't help directly may allow you to help more outside of your job (not that I actually do, but that's beside the point).

    It reminds me of the fuss about progressive taxes. Sales taxes are usually regressive. If I impose a sales tax of 25% and give everyone an equal share of the revenue, is that regressive?
    (Original post by Zhen Lin)
    In that respect, I feel your criticism of the paper is misplaced: it gives the facts and leaves the reader to draw their own conclusions – the safest possible way to avoid an argument.
    People are biased. It's difficult to "[give] the facts" in a way that doesn't encourage certain conclusions. (Not to mention that someone could consciously choose the facts to support their views.) If someone actually makes an argument then you can at least get some idea of what way things are likely to be biased.
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    My experience is quite contrary to Alex's - always in groups, usually 2-4 and occasionally eight if it's a revision session or a maths class. With the exception of a one-to-one with Dr K in first year which was not a pleasant experience...

    I can see why people don't contribute in lectures - my impression of the couple of students who do ask questions is usually that they're trying to trip the lecturer up rather than contribute at all, and at least one lecturer has got decidedly snippy if someone asked a question which she deemed to be stupid (despite her being pretty much the only lecturer to stop and ask if there are any questions!)

    And I have two PhD students out of four supervisors this year, and I had two out of six last year, however this year's have been really good so I'm not complaining!
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I have probably misjudged some people in supervisions before, but when I said that I had lectures and seminars in mind more than supervisions! Its extremely irritating to go to a seminar where nobody has done the reading and nobody is prepared to contribute.
    As for lectures, I often see a re-occuring thread in GUD which goes something like 'don't you hate students who ask questions in lectures'... and then its followed by several pages of UK students from around the country venting their ire for the selfish egoist who dared to waste everybody's time by using the tiny moment of actual contact time they have to learn :rolleyes: Regular students seem to think its selfish to ask questions after a lecture (at the designated time) because it stops everyone leaving early, and asking questions during a lecture instantly damns the person as being someone who just wants to show off.
    I think a lot of people are scared to ask questions or get involved in lectures and seminars because they know everyone else thinks this way. Whereas international students don't have the same inhibitions, which is great!

    I hated being one of the only ones to ask questions and chip in with an opinion. I was aware that everyone probably thought I was a dick, but I'm someone who thinks and learns through interaction so its really hard to stay focused and concentrated unless I can come in and ask how it connects with related thoughts I'm having. Oh well...
    I think it can depend on how many questions and what they are. I do an unsupervised subject this year so our only contact time is lectures. We're encouraged to participate and ask questions (and a lot of people do). But there's one person who will ask a LOT of questions and a lot of them are on random things, usually in a tone which suggests the questioner is attempting to get a laugh from us. Some of this person's questions are brilliant and informative and I appreciate them. But there are an equal amount which are either fundamentally mistaken or just weird. It's gotten to the point that when this person asks a question, half the room groans or rolls their eyes (no one else gets this reaction) just because if it's not a relevant question, we waste time listening to the answer when we could move on and maybe find another area where we want to ask questions.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I have probably misjudged some people in supervisions before, but when I said that I had lectures and seminars in mind more than supervisions! Its extremely irritating to go to a seminar where nobody has done the reading and nobody is prepared to contribute.
    As for lectures, I often see a re-occuring thread in GUD which goes something like 'don't you hate students who ask questions in lectures'... and then its followed by several pages of UK students from around the country venting their ire for the selfish egoist who dared to waste everybody's time by using the tiny moment of actual contact time they have to learn :rolleyes: Regular students seem to think its selfish to ask questions after a lecture (at the designated time) because it stops everyone leaving early, and asking questions during a lecture instantly damns the person as being someone who just wants to show off.
    I think a lot of people are scared to ask questions or get involved in lectures and seminars because they know everyone else thinks this way. Whereas international students don't have the same inhibitions, which is great!

    I hated being one of the only ones to ask questions and chip in with an opinion. I was aware that everyone probably thought I was a dick, but I'm someone who thinks and learns through interaction so its really hard to stay focused and concentrated unless I can come in and ask how it connects with related thoughts I'm having. Oh well...
    Oh right, well it is a bit different with lectures and seminars. In seminars if I have something to say then I will say it. Lectures are sort of funny - again because I take a while to process things I always find that I need ten minutes after the lecture to think about what's been said before I'm ready to enter the world of human communication again. But then I do have one lecture where people do ask a lot of questions and we have lively discussion, and in all my other lectures I wouldn't be offended if anybody asked questions. Then again, I do a very small subject so there aren't a lot of us in any one lecture and I know everybody there well. But also, because I know my lecturers well (and how difficult they find it to keep within the time), if I have a question that I want a proper answer to I either ask them while walking down the stairs from the lecture, drop them an email later or pop by their office. I remember in first year Spanish I used to find it annoying when certain people asked questions, but it wasn't the fact that they were asking questions that was irritating, but the questions that they asked. Have you ever been to a symposium or seminar where someone gives a talk and then people start standing up to 'ask questions' that don't actually have a question involved, but seem to just be a demonstration of that person's knowledge. It's like that, except without the knowledge to back it up and frequently entirely tangential to what everyone else is actually trying to learn. That is something I really do find irritating (less so when people know what they're talking about and make a point that is interesting and not just a vacuous mention of various concepts), and I don't think there's any shortage of people who do it. So I don't think it's the act of question asking that damns someone as wanting to show off - rather the type of question that is asked and its actual relevance to what is being discussed. Not suggesting that this is something you did, it's just the only type of question asking I've encountered that has truly wound me up!

    I think there could also be the stigma of asking questions at school involved in people hating questions being asked in lectures. In my school asking questions was either proof that you were stupid or overly keen. There was a fine line of class participation that you needed to tread to stay in everyone's good books (which I trampled all over eventually). I guess that could translate to university as well.

    Incidentally, I don't think I've ever turned up to a seminar without having done the reading (well, watching in my case, as my only seminars are in my film paper) and everyone usually seems better prepared than me. It surprises me that people turning up unprepared would be so widespread!

    -----------------------------------

    EDIT: In more mundane news, I was feeling pretty happy because I hadn't been getting as many beginning of termy emails as usual so it was allowing me to continue on in my denial of this term actually happening at all. My friend then asked if I'd received an email that he sent me, and it turns out that my Hermes was full - all my mail comes through Apple Mail so my quota warnings appear to be a bit sporadic. Cue a giant expunge and now craploads of email filtering through into my inbox. Alas.
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    There's one *really* keen guy in my lectures who always asks questions, and gets a groan from the whole lecture theatre any time he does. If I have questions, I just ask the lecturer at the end, as do most other people, which seems to be the norm.
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    (Original post by Topaz_eyes)
    There's one *really* keen guy in my lectures who always asks questions, and gets a groan from the whole lecture theatre any time he does. If I have questions, I just ask the lecturer at the end, as do most other people, which seems to be the norm.
    I heard they are normally really stupid questions
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    (Original post by Crazy_emz)
    Nah, he's being nice to me now Another supervisor, but it honestly wasn't as bad as it appears...my written work is generally a lot better than my performance in supervisions would suggest, so I think my supervisor was just genuinely surprised that I didn't understand whatever he was explaining straight away. And although I got on well with him, I think he was generally regarded as quite a tough supervisor. Anyway, I probably wouldn't work that hard if all my supervisors were nice to me :rolleyes:
    Oh that's ok then. Different people take pressure differently though, and I can imagine some people having a much harder time than otherwise when treated like that.
    (Original post by harr)
    On jobs that help people: If you're average at jobs that help people but are good at earning lots of money without hurting people, isn't it likely to be better to earn the money and then spend it in ways that help people? Do you earn 25k helping people or earn 100k and spend 75k on getting three people to help people? It's not that I wouldn't like a job that has a more positive influence on society, but having a job that doesn't help directly may allow you to help more outside of your job (not that I actually do, but that's beside the point).
    Yes of course that would be better. The question is whether one would actually do it though. Its probably harder to give away loads of money when you're in that environment and there's so much temptation. Whereas if you're surrounded by other people who are all emphasising altruism then it probably helps you to act altruistically. But yeh... if you can easily make loads of money and you are going to end up giving substantial amounts of that to the worst off, then that is the best course of action.

    (Original post by lp386)
    My experience is quite contrary to Alex's - always in groups, usually 2-4 and occasionally eight if it's a revision session or a maths class. With the exception of a one-to-one with Dr K in first year which was not a pleasant experience...

    I can see why people don't contribute in lectures - my impression of the couple of students who do ask questions is usually that they're trying to trip the lecturer up rather than contribute at all, and at least one lecturer has got decidedly snippy if someone asked a question which she deemed to be stupid (despite her being pretty much the only lecturer to stop and ask if there are any questions!)

    And I have two PhD students out of four supervisors this year, and I had two out of six last year, however this year's have been really good so I'm not complaining!
    I think supervisions vary hugely according to which college you're in. I definitely get the impression that other PPS students had a lot more college based supervisions than I ever had. But I saw that as a good thing.
    (Original post by gethsemane342)
    I think it can depend on how many questions and what they are. I do an unsupervised subject this year so our only contact time is lectures. We're encouraged to participate and ask questions (and a lot of people do). But there's one person who will ask a LOT of questions and a lot of them are on random things, usually in a tone which suggests the questioner is attempting to get a laugh from us. Some of this person's questions are brilliant and informative and I appreciate them. But there are an equal amount which are either fundamentally mistaken or just weird. It's gotten to the point that when this person asks a question, half the room groans or rolls their eyes (no one else gets this reaction) just because if it's not a relevant question, we waste time listening to the answer when we could move on and maybe find another area where we want to ask questions.
    That sounds annoying. Its just frustrating thinking that people may see me that way. I think my questions were relevant, but perhaps other students think that they're off topic or stupid or whatever. I can't tell! The safest thing would be to not ask questions, but then I'd get much less out of classes.
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    (Original post by lp386)
    My experience is quite contrary to Alex's - always in groups, usually 2-4 and occasionally eight if it's a revision session or a maths class. With the exception of a one-to-one with Dr K in first year which was not a pleasant experience...
    One-to-one with Dr K, we had group supervisions with him in first year, which were interesting enough, but you must have had some fun.

    (Original post by lp386)
    I can see why people don't contribute in lectures - my impression of the couple of students who do ask questions is usually that they're trying to trip the lecturer up rather than contribute at all, and at least one lecturer has got decidedly snippy if someone asked a question which she deemed to be stupid (despite her being pretty much the only lecturer to stop and ask if there are any questions!)
    Would that be the 2nd year Maths lecturer? I could imagine her getting annoyed at stupid questions.

    (Original post by Topaz_eyes)
    There's one *really* keen guy in my lectures who always asks questions, and gets a groan from the whole lecture theatre any time he does. If I have questions, I just ask the lecturer at the end, as do most other people, which seems to be the norm.
    This was my experience as well. If you wanted to ask questions you could do so after the lecture or, failing that, in the lecturers office hours.
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    And with Engineering. But there were 350 people in the lectures in Part I and they crammed stuff into it so much that they would have struggled to finish if there were questions. It evened out a bit in the last two years and there were some more questions, especially in the less technical modules, where there was a lot more interaction. This made everything much more accessible!
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    Well the norm in SPS was for the lecture to end 5-10 mins early so people could ask questions. And I did leave questions till then unless the lecturer said something really confusing, and then I figured that other people might also have been confused and would appreciate the clarification. In second and third year, though, class sizes were often so small that it was much more like a seminar than a lecture, and so it felt very natural to talk part way through. And the lecturers seemed to welcome it, and other vocal students participated too.
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    Oh man, revising all my sociology notes from beginning of the year just riles me up so much with regards to globalisation and especially WTO/IMF....such a contrast to 6th form education where they basically teach you globalisation > everything....
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    (Original post by ArchedEdge)
    Oh man, revising all my sociology notes from beginning of the year just riles me up so much with regards to globalisation and especially WTO/IMF....such a contrast to 6th form education where they basically teach you globalisation > everything....
    Really? I did Chemistry, Biology and English Literature at A level, so everything in SPS was 100% new for me!
    Having said that, I'd done History and Economics to HIGCSE level in South Africa and that does pretty much teach you that free trade is wonderful. I've got a copy of Niall Ferguson's Empire on my shelf too :rolleyes: I'm still embarrassed that the interview that got me into Cambridge was with a very neoliberal historian with an expertise in humanitarian intervention. At that stage I was like 'oh yes, humanitarian intervention is definitely the right thing' :facepalm: Completely the right answer for Peterhouse though :lol:
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    (Original post by ArchedEdge)
    Oh man, revising all my sociology notes from beginning of the year just riles me up so much with regards to globalisation and especially WTO/IMF....such a contrast to 6th form education where they basically teach you globalisation > everything....
    One of the first things I learnt at Cambridge was that everything I learnt at sixth form was wrong. Including all the Spanish grammar I did. Proceeding from the point of assuming all prior knowledge to be incorrect was much simpler :p:
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    One of the first things I learnt at Cambridge was that everything I learnt at sixth form was wrong. Including all the Spanish grammar I did. Proceeding from the point of assuming all prior knowledge to be incorrect was much simpler :p:
    And then when you go on your year abroad and talk to actual native speakers in a non-educational context, you realise that lots of the grammar rules they taught you in Cambridge just aren't followed as strictly (if at all) in "real life" Everyone thought it was really funny that I used the 'vosotros' form because in Latin America they use 'ustedes' for plural 'you'...suits me, it's so much easier to conjugate
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