Sometimes it almost feels as if, with the last government desperate to meet the ludicrous objective of getting 50% of teenagers into further education, they reintroduced the pressgang to ensure the numbers were met.
Er, I think that's a pretty big extrapolation from a single anecdote. It takes A/A/A* grades, an interview and a separate entrance exam to get into the physics course at Imperial, which is always oversubscribed.
Sorry, perhaps I should have said - it's based on multiple anecdotes from students & college staff who I've known over the last decade or so. It was also slightly tongue-in-cheek...
Several of mine told me famine was unpersuasive and boring. Which in addition to bad strategy sounds kind of pathological.
My feeling is, here anyway, that they often feel they are paying tuition, which means they are paying for customer service, which means they expect to enjoy the experience above all. Poor sweet fools.
I didn't really get the sense that this student felt entitled to have a good time on the physics course. I just got the sense that this person was pretty miserable* and wasn't making much effort to do something about it...like quitting and finding something else to do before receiving a third-class degree in a subject they weren't enjoying.
* Even by British standards. Which is impressive in its own way.
"* Even by British standards. Which is impressive in its own way."
Thankyou for that insight. =:o}
Misery in this country is practically an art form.
Hm. Depression? Like, Trip to School Counseling Servies, if Imperial has Such a Thing Depression?
Or just Olympic Grade Misery?
A student with no social skills? Say it ain't so! =:o} Does he/she/it/sie/whatever show other signs of being clueless about etiquette?
I did most of my learning about how to avoid pissing people off well *after* university. And I wince at the memory of some of the blunt ways I've addressed interviewers in the past... Though to be fair to myself, they were usually people I'd already decided I didn't want to work for, so I had no incentive to postpone the moment where they realised they didn't want me either! If I've spent an hour plus X amount of petrol getting there for an interview that reveals in 3 minutes that I won't be taking the job, then at that point I figure a free and frank opinion on how much the proposed job appears to [suck/make no sense/bear no relation to the advert I responded to*] might at least prompt them to slightly rethink their approach before wasting anyone else's time and money.
*(delete as appropriate)
Most of the IC physics students I've encountered have had a modicum of social skills. This person did seem to be exceptionally nervous, so I tried hard not to be intimidating during the interview. It didn't help - I still got a lot of "I don't know" (followed by little attempted effort at understanding) responses.
I hear what you're saying about job interviews, but the lab interviews are required of all students. It's meant to balance out our marks, because some people are better at expressing themselves in writing and others verbally, so they get two different opportunities to prove that they know the material. So I don't think the interviews are going to be eliminated just because the occasional student can't cope with them. Additionally, even if this student hadn't been nervous, I don't think the interview would have gone well, because the lab notebook and summary were also less than spectacular.
Unfortunately, they'll probably learn the hard way - and be even more miserable!
Lordy, I hope not. Much more misery than that would make me start thinking the person was suicidally depressed.
Would this be the same student that graphed likeability against mass?
There is a non-zero probability that this is the case.
Is this a case of Mummy-Thought-I'd-be-Perfect-for-this-Job?
I can't really tell. Whatever the origins of the desire to study physics, they clearly weren't sustainable.
2011-03-27 02:31 (UTC)
Students who are discovering that their major isn't to their interest go through several stages, and anger is one of them.