Recently in one of my courses I have been assigned a task to be done in small groups (of 3 people). It turns out not to be too long (especially with some previous knowledge that I had), so over the course of an evening I have done roughly 60-70% of the work and the remainder would probably go even faster for me.

However the task was a group task, so I would feel that it could be quite inappropriate to just do all of the work and leave my other two friends nothing to do. I wouldn’t like to make them feel left out and I wouldn’t like to come across as a know-it-all. At the same time, I know that thanks to said experience not only will I need less time to complete the work, but also it is quite likely that the quality will be higher, potentially leading to a better grade and so benefiting all three of us.

Whatever I decide to do, I think I’ll probably finish the task just for educational purposes, so the way I see it I can do one of those:

  1. Tell them that I have the task complete. Apart from the disadvantages mentioned above they may feel compelled to also do all of the work, but forcing them to do so is absolutely not what I intend–if they also want to do so for educational purposes then they are of course welcome to, but I’d prefer to avoid them feeling like they have to do more than their fair share of work.

  2. Pretend like I’ve only done some parts of the work and assign the “missing” pieces to them. First of all, lying about such matters seems to be a silly solution and also I feel like it could be easy to get caught and eithet be in worse position than 1) or have to lie more. Second of all, as I said when they complete their parts, it is possible that I’d feel obliged to make some changes to their work, potentially changing enough that it stops to look like their work, for us to get a better grade, which would be in all of us’ best interest, but that would bring out some of the issues from 1)

How should I approach this topic, how should I communicate my ideas in the best possible way? Again, I don’t want them to feel I treated them wrongly, but a the same time I wouldn’t like our grade to suffer (in one of previous homework tasks I did give in even though I knew I was right at some points when discussing our solutions before turning them in, since I didn’t want to come across as the smartass correcting everyone on everything, but our grade did turn out a bit lower then I would’ve gotten, had I turned all those tasks in by myself)

Recently on one of my courses I have been assigned a task to be done in small groups (of 3 people). It turns out not to be too long (especially with some previous knowledge that I had), so over the course of an evening I have done roughly 60-70% of the work and the remainder would probably go even faster for me.

However the task was a group task, so I would feel that it could be quite inappropriate to just do all of the work and leave my other two friends nothing to do. I wouldn’t like to make them feel left out and I wouldn’t like to come across as a know-it-all. At the same time, I know that thanks to said experience not only will I need less time to complete the work, but also it is quite likely that the quality will be higher, potentially leading to a better grade and so benefitting all three of us.

Whatever I decide to do, I think I’ll probably finish the task just for educational purposes, so the way I see it I can do one of those:

1) Tell them that I have the task complete. Apart from the disadvantages mentioned above they may feel compelled to also do all of the work, but forcing them to do so is absolutely not what I intend–if they also want to do so for educational purposes then they are of course welcome to, but I’d prefer to avoid them feeling like they have to do more than their fair share of work.

2) Pretend like I’ve only done some parts of the work and assign the “missing” pieces to them. First of all, lying about such matters seems to be a silly solution and also I feel like it could be easy to get caught and eithet be in worse position than 1) or have to lie more. Second of all, as I said when they complete their parts, it is possible that I’d feel obliged to make some changes to their work, potentially changing enough that it stops to look like their work, for us to get a better grade, which would be in all of us’ best interest, but that would bring out some of the issues from 1)

How should I approach this topic, how should I communicate my ideas in the best possible way? Again, I don’t want them to feel I treated them wrongly, but a the same time I wouldn’t like our grade to suffer (in one of previous homework tasks I did give in even though I knew I was right at some points when discussing our solutions before turning them in, since I didn’t want to come across as the smartass correcting everyone on everything, but our grade did turn out a bit lower then I would’ve gotten, had I turned all those tasks in by myself)

My brother is severely depressed and has absolutely minimal support, in any form, from my family. He’s a very bright guy with no direction and no resources at home. After graduating from high school, he spent 3 years at a dysfunctional relative’s home playing video games, and finally enrolled in college after I badgered him the entire time in-between.

He chose not to enroll for the second year of college. He stayed at home playing games again. He “did not like” school except for one course, where he happened to have a minor friendship with a professor. This professor nominated my brother’s essay for a departmental honor. My brother rarely has good news, and when he does he often does not voluntarily share it. So for him to offer this story up to me makes it stand out.

This professor almost certainly knows my brother has some sort of problems. There are cases when you can just look at someone and know; my brother is one of those cases. But, given that this prof nominated my brother’s essay for a departmental honor, I think that the prof at least somewhat believes my brother is capable of some sort of achievement (I think my brother is even brighter and more capable than me, but I know him differently).

I want to reach out to brother’s professor and ask him to inquire about my brother’s situation. Going to college is the best chance my brother has to break a generational cycle, but he does not know this, and he will not listen to me (I am only 3 years older than him, he may think I’m a similarly clueless peer). This prof, on the other hand, is a person who my brother might listen to. Presumably the professor also agrees with my assessment of what an education can do for a life. I sense that this idea might get backlash – e.g. this is not the prof’s responsibility, that it is rude to even ask, and perhaps if the prof cared he would have reached out on his own already. However, on the other hand, this prof probably went into this business with the hopes of changing the world for the better, and thirty minutes or an hour of his time might change someone’s life. Plus, he has no reason to know just how dire my brother’s situation is (there are plenty of loser-looking people with average to robust support networks – but my brother does not). I plan on contacting the prof, either via email or phone. What I ask you is for advice on how to tactfully and effectively make this ask.

The end goal is to get my brother back in school and to encourage my brother to build his own support network, and to know that it is impossible to succeed without one. I accept that I might get a flat out “no,” but for the sake of this thread let’s assume that he agrees to something small like a phone call or a coffee (I assume he is kind enough to oblige, plus he seems to have liked my brother somewhat). Also, how should I handle the corollary issues that my ask might raise? For example, I don’t want to make this prof feel like I am asking him to be a mentor to my brother or that this will create some enduring obligation. Moreover, I can’t expect this prof to know how to deal with people the same way a therapist would. Is it appropriate to suggest that the professor suggest therapy (which is what’s truly needed here) to my brother? There are more things that may come up, but for the sake of ending this post, I’ll end it here. Many thanks to you all.

This prof almost surely knows my brother has some sort of problems. There are cases when you can just look at someone and know; my brother is one of those cases. But, given that this prof nominated my brother’s essay for a departmental honor, I think that the prof at least somewhat believes my brother is capable of some sort of achievement (I think my brother is even brighter and more capable than me, but I know him differently).

I want to reach out to brother’s prof and ask him to inquire about my brother’s situation. Going to college is the best chance my brother has to break a generational cycle, but he does not know this, and he will not listen to me (I am only 3 years older than him, he may think I’m a similarly clueless peer). This prof, on the other hand, is a person who my brother might listen to. Presumably the prof also agrees with my assessment of what an education can do for a life. I sense that this idea might get backlash – e.g. this is not the prof’s responsibility, that it is rude to even ask, and perhaps if the prof cared he would have reached out on his own already. However, on the other hand, this prof probably went into this business with the hopes of changing the world for the better, and thirty minutes or an hour of his time might change someone’s life. Plus, he has no reason to know just how dire my brother’s situation is (there are plenty of loser-looking people with average to robust support networks – but my brother does not). I plan on contacting the prof, either via email or phone. What I ask you is for advice on how to tactfully and effectively make this ask.

The end goal is to get my brother back in school and to encourage my brother to build his own support network, and to know that it is impossible to succeed without one. I accept that I might get a flat out “no,” but for the sake of this thread let’s assume that he agrees to something small like a phone call or a coffee (I assume he is kind enough to oblige, plus he seems to have liked my brother somewhat). Also, how should I handle the corollary issues that my ask might raise? For example, I don’t want to make this prof feel like I am asking him to be a mentor to my brother or that this will create some enduring obligation. Moreover, I can’t expect this prof to know how to deal with people the same way a therapist would. Is it appropriate to suggest that the professor suggest therapy (which is what’s truly needed here) to my brother? There are more things that may come up, but for the sake of ending this post, I’ll end it here. Many thanks to you all.

I just ended my internship on bad terms. Both the company and my teachers think that my programming skills are insufficient for a passing grade. We decided to end the internship as continuing would be a waste of time. I now have two options.

  1. Take a step back and enrol in a study that is at a somewhat lower level
  2. My teachers will train my programming skills. This will take about a year and after that I can look for a new internship. This no guarantee that my programming will be good enough after (depends on myself)

I find it very hard to choose between the two. It’s about my future after all. That is why I want to ask one of my teachers for some help. This is the question I would like to ask:

“You have taught and known me for some years now. Do you think I have it in me to complete option 2 with success and finish a next internship?”

I realise this is fairly personal question that maybe difficult or awkward to answer. His opinion matters greatly to me however. It would provide me with information to make an educated decision. Some extra details:

  • He has been my teacher for almost 7 years
  • The atmosphere at the study is fairly informal at times. I can call teachers by their first name for example
  • Programming was never my strongest asset
  • I tend to overestimate my programming skills so an outside opinion is greatly appreciated

What I would like to know is how to approach this. Do I send him an e-mail with this question or do I ask it in person? I would also imagine that someone has to think about this type of question. Or should I request a meeting to discuss this? Or not ask at all?

I teach engineering at a community college in the US. I currently have a student with very poor hygiene. He stinks pretty badly, has obviously greasy hair, doesn’t change his clothes frequently, and I usually seat him in the back of the room (during exams and labs, when I have power over seating arrangements) so I don’t have to smell his (relatively strong) body odor.

This student has also spoke with a colleague of mine about his low self-esteem. He’s worried that he isn’t making friends, and doesn’t know if the people he hangs out with are hanging out with him because they want something from him (help with classwork) or because they are truly friends.

In my opinion, this student follows me around like a puppy, and he tries too hard to impress people (students and faculty alike). I am a young-ish female faculty member and I try to create very large boundaries especially with my male students. As an example, he frequently finds the need to explain to me (in way too much detail) why he gets questions wrong on exams (I don’t care, and I don’t need to know, which I’ve told him several times to no success).

So, I would like to mention to this student that his hygiene is off-putting and isn’t helping him out in the friends department. However, because he already follows me around like a puppy dog, I don’t want to encourage any more interaction from him. Additionally, it frankly embarrasses me to have to bring up hygiene issues with somebody in their late teens / early twenties. How can I bring this issue up while still maintaining my boundary as a female faculty member who doesn’t want her male students following her around and asking her for advice all the time?

I was hoping that I would be finished up with this student by now, but I am the only professor who teaches Electrical Engineering courses, so I can’t recommend him to take classes with someone else, or ask another colleague to discuss this with him. He will be taking another of my courses next semester and I don’t personally know any of his other intended professors next semester to ask them to bring it up.

I am currently supervising a visually impaired student. I noticed that quite often I use phrases such as “from X, we can see that Y” or ask the student to “read paper X” or “you need to look at your maximization problem”, etc.. Once the sentence hangs in the room I immediately feel awkward. The student is of course capable to perform what I mean. The student can understand that “from X follows Y”, can “listen to paper X”, can “revise the maximization problem”, etc.. Nonetheless, I wonder what the guidelines in such situations are. Should I refrain from using these words? How would a student who is visually impaired want to be treated?

I am a PhD student majoring in Biochemistry. Three years ago, my boss solved the structure of protein A, but could not get it published due to the lack of biochemical study. Around that time, two papers studying the biochemical characteristics of the protein A were published. Therefore, my boss though that he needs to look for different interesting features of the protein that are different from the previous studies in order to get it publish. He came up with a hypothesis and asked a post doc in the lab working to validate his hypothesis.

When I joined the lab two years ago, my boss asked me to take over the project since the post doc which was working on the project quitted. I took time to do research on the project and found out that the hypothesis is unreasonable in my opinion. Since I just joined the lab and a newbie in the field, my friend told me that I should follow my boss since he has more time and experience than me. I decided to follow his instruction to validate the hypothesis. Another problem emerged was that it is very difficult to prove his hypothesis experimentally. I could not find any experimental methods from previous studies that I could apply to my experiment to validate the hypothesis. Instead of wasting more time to think about the project, my boss urged me to follow his experimental design. Even though his design was not perfect, as he discussed with me, he said that at least I would get some preliminary data. I spent two years to finish the experiment and get the preliminary data (I need to set up the experiment from the beginning and that is the reason why it took two years). The data could not give me a reasonable answer for the problem since I mentioned that the experiments was not well-designed. However, the data pointed out that his hypothesis was not true or at least, the experimental approach I was using showed that.

My boss was at first skeptical about my data and my skills. He asked me to repeat the experiment many more times (another reason why it took two years to finish), but the data were consistent (Thank god!!!). Finally, he told me that he had a different hypothesis based on my preliminary data. This hypothesis reverses the previous one and I am not so excited about his new hypothesis (of course I did not let him know what I was thinking). However, he asked another student to take over this project to validate his new hypothesis. The problem is that he didn’t give me a new project. He wanted me to only prepare the materials for this project and another student will perform the assay. During the last two years, there were a couple of things happened such as sometimes my experiments failed since I forgot some components, or my standard deviation was high, that made my boss was unhappy with me. I felt that my boss did not trust me and right now, what he did to me made me strongly believe that he does not trust me in doing experiment. I was very disappointed thinking that how can I thrive in the lab when my boss does not trust me. Right now, I don’t have a project and what my boss wants me to do is to help around with material preparation. I still have not talked to my boss about my feeling. I am thinking about switching the lab (I am in the third years) and here are some pros and cons that I am contemplating:

Cons:

  1. I learnt a lot of thing from my boss during the last two years and I think that I will betray him if I leave the lab.
  2. I don’t want to burn the bridge, but definitely, the bridge will be burnt. I am worry that he will get angry with me and tell bad things about me to other people.
  3. He supported me as a RA from his funding for 1 year and I feel bad if I leave without giving him anything back (good result to publish a paper).
  4. This is a new lab and he has money to support for new, risky research. My boss is willing to try new techniques for which I can expand my knowledge from that.
  5. This may affect my initial plan of graduation.

Pros:

  • I felt death inside when thinking about the way my boss treated me and it affected my performance recently. If I change the lab, I think I can have a new life and a new journey. In other words, I will get better feelings and may help to push my performance. Yes, better feeling is only the thing I can think of. Of course, I don’t know whether new lab and new project will end up in similar situation. However, I think at least, I have the belief from my new boss.

Please give me advice whether I should switch the lab or just follow what my boss wants me to do.

I’m currently taking a class that doesn’t have a required textbook, which is why I took it. My professor is now saying that due to her scanning and printing out handouts for use we are each required to give her $15. I’m confused by this because isn’t the money supposed to go through my university, as a fee for the class, rather than through her? I just want to know if she’s allowed to do this