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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Seriously? Go AWAY!!

Three weeks ago I received an email from a random graduate student from another country asking me pretty in depth questions about the analysis that I had done for my MSc thesis. I was out of town at the time, so didn't have access to that particular paper, my thesis, or any of my notes. So, I wrote them back saying that I would contact them once I was back in town (sometime this week).

I received another email from them this morning. I quickly looked at the paper and the relevant parts of my thesis, and sent them back an answer. I didn't walk them through the whole thing, but I told them what I thought was enough information to move forward.

Well...I've now received two more emails from the student, asking very specific questions about the analysis, including questions about specific numbers.

Umm.....hello? Do they not understand I'm not here to guide them through the analysis process??? First of all, I did that analysis 6-7 years ago, and I've changed fields twice since then, so it's not like I'm immersed in similar data analysis or techniques. Second of all, if someone is kind enough to answer your questions, you don't shoot back even more annoying questions at them! Third - as everyone who regularly reads my blog knows - I DON'T GIVE A SHIT about research. So, I don't keep all these nitty gritty details in my head, to be made available at any second where someone might ask me about it.

I'm sorry that their supervisor obviously is no help whatsoever, but how is that my problem? I just want to either a) ignore them or b) tell them to screw off, but I'm guessing either choice wouldn't be particularly nice of me. The problem is for me to be able to answer the questions they are asking now, I would have to do some serious searching around --- using time I don't really have since I have about a million things on my plate right now (all that must be done in 5 months before Baby G arrives).

Advice?

Note: this is my 300th post! I wanted it to be "special", but instead it's this. I hope to post before and after shots of our kitchen soon though!!