Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 1059524 times)

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Dazi

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7920 on: July 07, 2013, 06:28:10 PM »
Why does my nail polish tend to peel off my nails, no matter if I use base and top coats or not? It's no one specific brand - I have several different brands and they all peel.

It has to do with the oil coming off your nails/cuticles.  I have the same problem.  Even professional manicures don't last a day. Some people have luck with rinsing their nails with alcohol before applying polish, but it doesn't work for me.
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Liliane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7921 on: July 07, 2013, 07:19:30 PM »
Why does my nail polish tend to peel off my nails, no matter if I use base and top coats or not? It's no one specific brand - I have several different brands and they all peel.

It has to do with the oil coming off your nails/cuticles.  I have the same problem.  Even professional manicures don't last a day. Some people have luck with rinsing their nails with alcohol before applying polish, but it doesn't work for me.

Oh good, it's not just me. I was starting to think I was weird - none of my female friends have this problem.  :-[ I'll try the alcohol thing when I finally get fed up of my peeling polish and redo it, thanks for that tip (even if it doesn't end up working)!
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Bethczar

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7922 on: July 07, 2013, 07:24:37 PM »
I would be interested in the Smartcar but I'm in northern Wisconsin and it doesn't look like it would do well in snow. Has anyone had experience with it in a blizzard?

Bethczar, I'm in SE Wisconsin and have been through two winters with it. We swap out the tires for snow tires around the end of November. Have had no issues driving it in snow or ice. In fact, I get better traction on slush than some of the bigger cars and trucks out there, especially those that don't have snow tires.
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rosegirl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7923 on: July 07, 2013, 08:28:20 PM »
This isn't so much a stupid question, but I feel incredibly stupid asking this... What does it mean when someone says they're writing their thesis, and have to defend it?  (I've only been to the school of hard knocks!) Can someone explain what that means, and how it's done?

Thank you so much.

KenveeB

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7924 on: July 07, 2013, 08:38:00 PM »
This isn't so much a stupid question, but I feel incredibly stupid asking this... What does it mean when someone says they're writing their thesis, and have to defend it?  (I've only been to the school of hard knocks!) Can someone explain what that means, and how it's done?

Thank you so much.

A thesis is basically a major research project and paper. It can be done at various levels of education -- my undergrad actually required a thesis, which is very unusual -- but generally it means someone is doing a Master's or PhD program. The thesis is meant to be a major piece of original research. It is in your specialty area, whatever that is, and you'll generally spend years doing the research and writing the paper. After the paper is written, you'll have an oral defense, where you go in front of a panel of professors in the area who have read your paper and have to defend what you wrote. The professors will ask questions and you have to explain why you made conclusions you did, why you used or didn't use particular sources, etc. (It's very intimidating! :)) The written thesis and the oral defense are required to complete the program, and the written thesis is generally kept on file at the university library.

rosegirl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7925 on: July 07, 2013, 09:07:10 PM »
So it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like!

Thank you for that explanation. It's what I thought it must be, but I worried that "defending" it might mean something else, because it just seemed too obvious.

Another question- when someone tells you they're taking psychology, and they're writing their thesis, is it appropriate to ask what they're writing about, or is that not done?

CuriousParty

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7926 on: July 07, 2013, 11:50:59 PM »
So it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like!

Thank you for that explanation. It's what I thought it must be, but I worried that "defending" it might mean something else, because it just seemed too obvious.

Another question- when someone tells you they're taking psychology, and they're writing their thesis, is it appropriate to ask what they're writing about, or is that not done?

In addition to the previous explanation, a thesis is usually at the Master's level, while the dissertation/doctoral project is the doctoral level.  The program also determines when you defend.  I had to defend my thesis proposal (that is, my plan) rather than defending the final product.

It is fine to ask someone what they're writing about, but some may not want to talk about it in detail.   My projects were pretty idiosyncratic to my field of study, so talking about them to anyone not in the field involved a fair amount of explanation that was tedious and somewhat painful for all involved, so I preferred to avoid when possible. I was already breathing, eating and sleeping the darn thing anyway, after all.  Others' mileage may vary.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7927 on: July 08, 2013, 12:42:22 AM »
So it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like!

Thank you for that explanation. It's what I thought it must be, but I worried that "defending" it might mean something else, because it just seemed too obvious.

Another question- when someone tells you they're taking psychology, and they're writing their thesis, is it appropriate to ask what they're writing about, or is that not done?

I'm not in psychology, but I am in grad school. IME, it's fairly normal to ask about someone's research topic. However, as CuriousParty said, don't be surprised if you get a fairly superficial description rather an in-depth answer.

IME, the question not to ask is "When will you be finished?" Unlike a course-based degree program, it's very hard to predict when research will be completed and fully written up. As PhD Comics describes "Grad student etiquette"...

Thipu1

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7928 on: July 08, 2013, 08:14:48 AM »
In the library, readers were usually quite happy to talk about their dissertations.  There was always the chance that we had sources they hadn't considered but that could be useful.  Sometimes, they just want to talk about it because speaking out loud helps them get their thoughts in better order.

Others don't like to talk for a variety of reasons.  Like writers of fiction they're concerned that they may lose momentum if they discuss the topic too much.  Others are petrified that others may steal their idea and publish it before they do.  These latter folks are extremely difficult to help because they give you nothing to work with.

The question not to ask is 'When will it be finished?'. I knew one parson who was working on his dissertation the entire 20 plus years I worked in the library.  This is sometimes referred to as retention of the Theses.   


Dindrane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7929 on: July 08, 2013, 04:22:38 PM »
One other thing to note about dissertations in particular is that most PhD students reach a point in their writing/research when they absolutely, positively, 100% can't stand to write one more sentence or think about their topic for one second more...but they haven't finished.

My husband is at that point in his dissertation now, and he still has one chapter left to write, plus the introduction and conclusion, plus editing what he's already written.

If you ask him about his dissertation topic, you'll probably either get a total non-answer because he absolutely does not want to think about it one second more than he has to, or you'll get a rant about how sick of it he is. It kind of depends upon his mood or how well he knows you. He doesn't even like talking about it to me, even though I've read some of his dissertation and discussed the general topic with him continuously over the years. He'd usually rather talk about something, anything else.

I don't think it's a rude question to ask, as long as you don't pursue the topic without a clear indication that the person wants to talk about his/her research, but it is very much "ask at your own risk."

For someone who is earlier in the process of writing, they might have a desire to talk about their research, because they'll still be somewhat excited about it, and may still be working out exactly what they want to research (which is a stage where talking it out can be very helpful for people).

This is probably true for master's degree students as well, but I would imagine it's to a somewhat lesser degree. The average thesis is the length of like an article in an academic journal (so a very long paper), while a dissertation is equivalent to a book. Master's degrees don't take as long, in part because a thesis is shorter than a dissertation (and so typically requires less depth and breadth of research, as well as being somewhat faster to write), while a PhD rarely takes less than 5 years to complete, and often takes substantially more time.


mbbored

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7930 on: July 08, 2013, 04:43:09 PM »
Thanks to everybody who said that it's rude to ask a grad student when they'll be finished. It's a bit like asking a dating couple when they're getting married or newlyweds when they plan on having kids. It's a long and difficult process without a set timeline. Even with a plan and lots of hardwork, a person can face set backs in their research, funding or publication that are beyond their control.

Do feel free to ask me what my dissertation is on, but how in depth of an answer depends on how I feel about the process on any given day and how much energy I want to put in to explaining things. The tricky part about dissertations or theses is that they tend to be very in depth about one tiny subsection of one field of topic. Even people within the same field don't always understand everybody else's research.

poundcake

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7931 on: July 08, 2013, 04:51:10 PM »
Yes, only ask what the dissertation/thesis is about if you are actually interested in the answer. Never ask us why we're doing this, what we hope to accomplish, or if we don't think it's kind of a silly waste of time to do this. We spend enough time at 3am asking ourselves this.

cwm

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7932 on: July 08, 2013, 05:10:03 PM »
All of this talk of theses, it's really eye-opening. The only grad students I knew in college were performance majors playing my instrument. We were all in the same masterclass, which was treated more like a small ensemble, so I actually ended up knowing them pretty well. I don't remember any of them discussing their theses, but I think it might be because as performance majors there's less emphasis on research and more on performance. Yes, they had to write papers about some historical aspect or something, but they didn't treat it as anything more than a big research paper, and more focus was spent on practicing to be able to pass juries and possibly get accepted into major orchestras after they graduated.

Hmmmmm

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7933 on: July 08, 2013, 05:46:50 PM »
Some masters programs seldom require a thesis. I don't believe most MBA's require a thesis, "just" another 48 hours of classwork.

Betelnut

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7934 on: July 08, 2013, 06:14:04 PM »
How many graduate students does it take to change a light bulb?  Oh, just one, but it takes her seven years to do it!
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Stupid question--a few months ago, my daughter's first goldfish died.  When we in the store to get a new one, the pet shop employee told us it might have died because I took out too much water when cleaning the tank.  He said I should only take out about 1/3 of the water since the fish "get used" to the water and sort of condition it (?)  So since then I've only taken out and replaced about 1/3 of the water at a time.  The question is--oh boy, are the little rocks in the bottom nasty dirty.  How the heck am I supposed to clean the bottom of the tank and the little pink rocks if I only clean it 1/3 at a time?
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