Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 844933 times)

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mbbored

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7935 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 #7936 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 #7937 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.

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7938 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 #7939 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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Dindrane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7940 on: July 08, 2013, 06:28:39 PM »
There are definitely different types of graduate degrees out there. A professional-oriented degree (i.e. law, business, medicine, etc.) is intended primarily to teach you the latest body of knowledge and prepare you to work in a specific profession (or enhance your qualifications for one). There wouldn't be much point in spending your time working on original research (i.e. a thesis or dissertation), because that's not what the degree is for.

A research-oriented degree, on the other hand, is intended to teach you how to contribute original research to the field in question. The only way to prove that you can do it is to publish original research. Coursework to learn about the latest body of knowledge in your field is required, but usually only at the beginning of the degree program.

Of course, those same graduate students in a research-oriented degree do have their knowledge of the field tested quite rigorously before they are free to devote their time to their thesis or dissertation. If you've ever heard anyone talk about their "comps," it's basically the grad student standing up in front of a panel of professors and answering as many questions as the panel can throw at them. When the panel is satisfied that the grad student is sufficiently knowledgeable, they are free to research and write their original contribution without taking additional coursework. I think my husband read something like 200 books related to his field of study in preparation for his comps.

Defending a thesis or dissertation is kind of the same idea (you get asked as many questions as a panel of professors can think of), except that it's your work that's being questioned.

Fortunately for the beleaguered grad students in the world, no advisor worth his/her salt would allow a student defend before that student is able to do so successfully. I've heard my husband say that, by the time you get to your defense, it really ought to be a big old love fest (because you've already addressed all the potential issues in the editing you did prior to submitting your dissertation for your defense).


Dindrane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7941 on: July 08, 2013, 06:31:54 PM »
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?

I think you might be able to transfer the fish (and most of the water) to a temporary container so that you can clean out the one they live in. I've never owned a fish, but someone I work with used to have a fish at her desk, and I think that's what she did to clean the bowl and rocks and such.


Liliane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7942 on: July 08, 2013, 06:52:26 PM »
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?

I think you might be able to transfer the fish (and most of the water) to a temporary container so that you can clean out the one they live in. I've never owned a fish, but someone I work with used to have a fish at her desk, and I think that's what she did to clean the bowl and rocks and such.

POD. Actually, what I've always done (I used to own bettas) is I'd take a small plastic cup with a lid, scoop out the fish and a cupful of water at the same time, then put the lid on and give the tank a full cleaning. Refill the tank, then float the cup in it for about five minutes - don't take the fish out before that, it lets them acclimate to the water temperature. Then, after that, go ahead and pour your cup of fish and water back into the tank.
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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7943 on: July 08, 2013, 06:57:53 PM »
When I inherited a goldfish tank with my last house, it came with this little vacuum thing that you shoved right down to the bottom to suck the gunk up off the rocks in the bottom.  Then you filled it back up with dechlorinated water.  I also added a plecostomus (sp?) or two to the tank to help keep the glass clean.  They are bottom/algae feeders with a sucker shaped mouth and attached themselves to the glass like a little vacuum cleaner.

I wasn't very good about cleaning my tank.  There was a huge pile of gunk in the bottom but the plecos kept the glass clean and the goldfish were doing just fine.  It was built in so it stayed with the house when I moved.
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ladyknight1

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7944 on: July 08, 2013, 07:11:22 PM »
My master's program has a thesis and non-thesis option. I will be pursuing the thesis option, in case I want to get a PhD eventually.

I will be starting my undergraduate thesis this fall for the honors program.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7945 on: July 08, 2013, 08:03:54 PM »
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?

I think you might be able to transfer the fish (and most of the water) to a temporary container so that you can clean out the one they live in. I've never owned a fish, but someone I work with used to have a fish at her desk, and I think that's what she did to clean the bowl and rocks and such.

You have to be really careful about making the tank too clean.  Not only do you get rid of the gunk, but also the helpful bacteria that keep the tank running and the fish healthy.

Goldfish produce a lot of waste.  To keep your tank cleaner, keep it away from too much sunlight (which allows algae to go crazy) and don't give the fish too much food (more food in, more waste created).  And be sure to give the fish enough room -- a small tank is hard to keep clean, a bigger one will be easier.  A plecostomus can help, as well.

I think you also have to let go of the idea of keeping the rocks looking the way they looked when you put them in the tank -- that level of clean is hard to maintain without harming the good bacteria (and the goldfish).

I kept goldfish for several years (until their tank broke in a move, and the goldfish didn't survive that trauma) and they are a lot of work.  Mollies, guppies, or platys are better starter fish IMO.

Betelnut

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7946 on: July 08, 2013, 08:19:58 PM »
Yes, Sheila--that's what the guy at the pet store said--don't clean the entire tank.  I do like the idea of scooping them out to just clean the bottom though (keeping most of the water).

Good advice everyone!
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rosegirl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7947 on: July 09, 2013, 06:47:59 PM »
Thanks for all the answers to my thesis question. It's great to have a place to ask questions like that. I feel so much smarter now, too! ( Should I be sending handwritten thank you notes?  ;) :P )
 

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7948 on: July 09, 2013, 10:00:13 PM »
Yes, Sheila--that's what the guy at the pet store said--don't clean the entire tank.  I do like the idea of scooping them out to just clean the bottom though (keeping most of the water).

Good advice everyone!
another piece of advice that is related but not. dilute that 1/3 of the tank water by half and use it on your pot plants or garden as liquid fertilizer.

Pen^2

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7949 on: July 09, 2013, 10:05:41 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.

It's a bit late, but... http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=47 (I love this comic). The movie made from the comic had another as well: "what's the topic of your thesis?"