Reactions to your Major

The school experience. School related queries, discussions, and stories that aren't specific to a subject.

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Isotope_238
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Isotope_238 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:46 pm UTC

Too true. But I like my classmates. They're the funniest people I've ever met. We do tend to get funny looks outside of class, though.
Me: (horror story about a dual-boot that blew up in my face)
Non-computer person: I'm lost. Wait, this is what you do on weekends?
CS major: Oh, that hurts. But it's kinda funny...

Not "like" as in "have a crush on". Anyway, the guys who want girlfriends already have them. Either that, or I'm completely and totally oblivious to any hints that someone's interested in me. Let's not rule out obliviousness at this point.

Back to majors? I don't want to derail this thread.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby darkspork » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:27 am UTC

Computer Science

Within about 2 minutes, I'll always get asked one of the following questions:

"So my computer isn't working..."
"Can you make, like, a mod for Halo, so like..."
"I have a friend that needs help with her website..."
"So could you hack into the school and get me some A's?"

It's like they think I'm the technological Santa Claus or something.
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Meteorswarm » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:23 am UTC

darkspork wrote:Computer Science

Within about 2 minutes, I'll always get asked one of the following questions:

"So my computer isn't working..."
"Can you make, like, a mod for Halo, so like..."
"I have a friend that needs help with her website..."
"So could you hack into the school and get me some A's?"

It's like they think I'm the technological Santa Claus or something.


This is the reason I didn't learn HTML and CSS until I got paid to do so.
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby j.lou » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:02 pm UTC

9 times out of 10 when I say that I'm majoring in neuroscience, people ask me if I want to do brain surgery.

I'm flattered that they think I have such lofty career goals and have my life planned out so far ahead of me, but do they have any idea of what becoming a brain surgeon entails?? I mean, I haven't ruled it out, but they can't really think there are that many aspiring brain surgeons out there...

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby RobotMenace » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:47 pm UTC

darkspork wrote:Computer Science

Within about 2 minutes, I'll always get asked one of the following questions:

"So my computer isn't working..."
"Can you make, like, a mod for Halo, so like..."
"I have a friend that needs help with her website..."
"So could you hack into the school and get me some A's?"

It's like they think I'm the technological Santa Claus or something.


You're forgetting "How do you do X in Z". X is almost always a general question about word processors, spreadsheets, or databases, and Z without fail is Word, Excel ,or Access. So They get the response "I don't know(a lot of the time a lie), don't care, and don't need to know.". The expression on their faces is generally priceless.

Or the PC modding/overclocking fanatics when they realise you don't want to brag about your penis extension PC and are incredibly excited about getting a random stream of A's and B's out of a BeagleBoard. Even better is when they realise your main machine is not the e-peenPC™, but the old Core 2 duo system that is an occasional HTPC.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby osiris32 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:09 pm UTC

I''m dual majoring in Criminal Justice and Fire Sciences.

I also used to work as a fire investigator.

If someone asks me what I'm studying, 90% of the reactions start with "Wow, I could never do that!" Followed by a majority of people telling me stories about their interactions with cops. About 25% tell me I should go into something else because cops are all pigs/fascists/corrupt/whatever. That's usually when I pull out my badge, tell them that most cops in fact are trying to help their community and do jobs that get very little thanks, and end the conversation.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby sidek » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:01 am UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:
darkspork wrote:Computer Science

Within about 2 minutes, I'll always get asked one of the following questions:

"So my computer isn't working..."
"Can you make, like, a mod for Halo, so like..."
"I have a friend that needs help with her website..."
"So could you hack into the school and get me some A's?"

It's like they think I'm the technological Santa Claus or something.


This is the reason I didn't learn HTML and CSS until I got paid to do so.


You can always just say "No, I don't want to help with your website.". That's what I usually do, with a few exceptions. For the other questions, , a 'no' also works. I'm not a compsci major, though. Maybe it's worse for you guys.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Meteorswarm » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:55 am UTC

sidek wrote:You can always just say "No, I don't want to help with your website.". That's what I usually do, with a few exceptions. For the other questions, , a 'no' also works. I'm not a compsci major, though. Maybe it's worse for you guys.


They always give up when you say you can't, they don't always when you say you won't.
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby pi pie pi » Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:55 am UTC

As a theoretical computer scientist, I only service Turing machines. No silly little linear bounded automaton.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby rapturemachine » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:42 am UTC

I'm a computer science & art double major with a computer information systems minor. I usually leave off the minor because if I don't, that's what people latch onto with questions because they haven't heard of it. And I can't really explain well.
So I just say "computer science & art", and usually get one of the following:

Them: Well, that's a... weird combination. What do they even have to do with each other?
Me: Nothing.
Them: *confused*

Them: So you're going into graphic design?
Me: Not for a living, no.
Them: *confused*

Them: What are you going to do with that?
Me: Within the computer science world... whatever the hell I want. ;D
Them: *probably still confused, but at least they don't show it so much with this option*

Then I have to explain to them that I'm doing art simply because I enjoy it and want to get better at it. I don't want my job to have to do with art, really. I will be going through the graphic design program, so I'll be able to do basic graphic design tasks, as well as programming, administration, and hardware support. Gonna be a jack-of-all-trades. Er, jill-of-all-trades. No, that doesn't roll off the tongue quite the same.

Surprisingly enough, no one comments on me being a female computer scientist. I think they just get that thrown off by the weird combo of majors, hah.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby kylemac » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:53 am UTC

The reactions to my major range from "I didn't do well in Biology!" (usually when I say I teach it) or "wow you're smart!"

If I'm concerned with making small-talk I try to find an area that people might know about and word my major appropriately. If I'm not in the mood for chat I say "Microbiology and Molecular Genetics" and that tends to put people off (as mentioned by an earlier poster, "molecular" tends to be above common grasp). I, too, went to the stylist recently and to avoid an awkward two-hour silence instead of the MMG major I said, "Biology - in the cancer research area" because it seems people always want to know more about cancer. We had a good conversation (as good as someone as socially awkward as me can have) from start to finish.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby illCoder » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:41 am UTC

pi pie pi wrote:As a theoretical computer scientist, I only service Turing machines. No silly little linear bounded automaton.


*chuckle* :)

I'm a CS major as well...

Him/Her: "So what are you studying?"
Me: "Computer Science."
Him/Her: "Oh, code and stuff. Right?"
Me: "Well, sort of. Computer science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems" (Yes, I have memorised the first line of the CS Wikipedia entry).
Him/Her: "Okay..." *Wishes he/she had never asked and changes subject*

I think people see CS as an incredibly dull field.


Regards

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Dvil » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:11 pm UTC

I had something similar a while ago. I'm not actually at university yet, but I've been attending open days to decide where to apply, and of course as you meet people and make small talk the default question is "so what subject are you applying for?"

Now, I started talking to one person while I was in Glasgow, and I asked that question. The answer was medicine. "Oh, wow." I said. "Very high-brow".
So she asked me what I was applying for. The answer being aeronautical engineering.

The conversation was sort of like this, and if I get into uni I fully plan on engineering more such conversations.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby DCB » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:01 am UTC

I'm just starting a Biochemistry/Biophysics double major with a Classical studies minor. I avoid talking to my extended family about it because they already expect me to be engineering flying sharks and curing AIDS with cancer and other nonsense. Over winter break I had to repeat at least 5 times "I haven't learned anything new since high school, I've only been in college for 3 months. (Then in my head: talk to me in the summer after I've survived multivariable calculus, or better yet I'll talk to you in 4 years if I get through my quantum theory class.)"

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby illCoder » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:39 am UTC

DCB wrote:I avoid talking to my extended family about it because they already expect me to be engineering flying sharks and curing AIDS with cancer and other nonsense. Over winter break I had to repeat at least 5 times "I haven't learned anything new since high school, I've only been in college for 3 months."


I think a lot of students experience this. It's the "since you are in <field> then you must know absolutely everything about it"-fallacy.


Regards

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Yakk » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

DCB wrote:I'm just starting a Biochemistry/Biophysics double major with a Classical studies minor. I avoid talking to my extended family about it because they already expect me to be engineering flying sharks and curing AIDS with cancer and other nonsense. Over winter break I had to repeat at least 5 times "I haven't learned anything new since high school, I've only been in college for 3 months. (Then in my head: talk to me in the summer after I've survived multivariable calculus, or better yet I'll talk to you in 4 years if I get through my quantum theory class.)"

You didn't learn anything new in college in 3 months?

That sucks. Your college needs to shape up.
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Microscopic cog » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:22 pm UTC

I learned more in the first three months of college than in the last two years of High School.
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Angua » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:55 pm UTC

'medicine'

I generally get:
'you must be smart'
asked what type of medicine I'm going to go into (valid enough, but I don't know yet, I still have 4.5 years left to go!)
'that's such a long degree'

or, from other people at college (generally arts students)- 'that's loads of work!' (to which I think that having lectures/labs every morning is a fairly reasonable amount of work, and that most art subjects have miniscule amounts).
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby DCB » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:55 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:That sucks. Your college needs to shape up.


It's not the college, it's me. I learned some stuff last semester, but nothing shocking or fun to talk about. Just some stuff about infinite series I'll never need and some more detailed chemistry stuff, but mostly just slightly more in depth looks at stuff I already knew. I took AP calc, physics C, bio, and chem in high school so I'm acquainted with most of the intro classes I have to take for my major. I even took an advanced version of gen chem for no other reason than to keep me challenged. Next semester promises to be a blast: multivariable calculus (which I know the basics of from AP physics) and the quantitative basics of quantum mechanics as they apply to chemistry.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Yakk » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:33 pm UTC

No, it is your college. There should be a way to get material that will challenge you and teach you new material in the first 3 months of college available.

As an example:
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Math_55
(This is an extreme example. The point is that there is no reason why first year material has to repeat your last year of high school.)

There is little justification to waste 3 months of someone's life on redoing past material.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby DCB » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:39 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:There is little justification to waste 3 months of someone's life on redoing past material.


Well then I wasted my own time.

I could have taken multivariable and orgo this semester, but I decided I would play it safe and take the second half of Calculus 1 (integrals and series, I had had difficulty with some of the concepts in my AP class) and advanced gen chem (orgo is notorious) rather than add/drop after 3 weeks and have to play catch up the rest of semester.

The only class I was forced to take that was a repeat was my italian foreign language class because I took the language for 5 years in high school and didn't take the SAT 2 and the AP wasn't available so I couldn't test out of the foreign language requirement. I still improved my italian.


It's interesting that you chose a Harvard course for an example, I went to Boston Latin School - the two have a close relationship. In fact, I ushered at the commencement 2 years ago and I have to say, the parents are disappointing. No manners at all. But I suppose if you're going to revert to primal instincts, your child's graduation from Harvard is the day to do it.

EDIT: http://www.brandeis.edu/registrar/sched ... nt=1&page=

^My university's equivalent to your example. Granted it doesn't have it's own wikipedia page and isn't as ambitious, but then again Brandeis is 70 years old and Harvard is 376. So Harvard has had a head start :lol:

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby royalina » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:25 am UTC

I am in Internationnal tourism. Also get the "oh, you must be smart", "oh, that must be hard", etc. :roll: :wink:

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby existential_squirrrel » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:38 pm UTC

This past weekend, one of my co-workers at my volunteer job asked what my major was.
I said "Chemistry, with a concentration in Biochemistry. I am also minoring in mathematics."
She shot back, "Chemistry is the spawn of the Devil!! Only a woman or man possessed would study that!"


Am I going to Hell for studying Chemistry?? Although the better question is "Am I possessed??"
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Yakk » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:00 pm UTC

If you aren't part of God's solution to the problems on this planet, you are part of the Devil's precipitate?
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby existential_squirrrel » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:52 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:If you aren't part of God's solution to the problems on this planet, you are part of the Devil's precipitate?


Hopefully I can be part of the "solute"-ion to problems in Biofuels, Medicinal chemistry (in cancer research or depression research) or in biochem

I'm feeling kind of punny today :lol:
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:35 pm UTC

Please end the PUNishment now!
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby enjoyeverysandwich42 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:20 pm UTC

"So what's your major?"
"History"
"Oh so what do you want to do with that, teach?"
"Nope, I'll probably keep working in IT."
"Umm... ok"

Then after dropping out, and continuing to work in IT, and now taking classes at county college:

"So what's your major?"
"Well, I'm just taking part time classes for now, but probably Electronics or CS"
"What are you going to do with that?"
"Probably keep working in IT."

:)

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby TheLonelyGod » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:42 pm UTC

I'm a CS major that mainly hangs out with Mechanicals, BMEs and Chem Es. Most of them just joke around and say I'm not a real Engineer.
My double Major in Pure Math doesn't really help to fix that perception of my major.

On the other end of things the IS Majors I'll hang out with think I'm super cool. People don't really ask that often though.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Darryl » Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:04 am UTC

When I tell people I'm majoring in secondary education, they say "great, we need more people who want to be teachers!" (which is why I'm taking the education degree), but then when I mention it's math, they look at me funny, as though it's weird that anyone would want to take so many math courses and teach the subject.

When I tell them I plan to get my Masters (my state is one of the ones that requires a graduate degree for full certification of teachers) in a branch of mathematics (haven't decided which yet), they back away. :(
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Microscopic cog » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:33 pm UTC

Maths teacher are probably the most wanted teacher here. We got an overall teacher shortage, and maths is leading. So I think it is totally sweet you're becoming a maths teacher.

Funny thing is that most people judge math by their experiences with it in secondary school, which is often negative because there are so few good math teachers. ( It is hard to teach right, and easy to dislike for most people )

So yea, I think it is sweet you are becoming a maths teacher and it should be encouraged.
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby kpmelomane21 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:36 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:Another one I've gotten is "oh, you must be really smart". Umm, how are you supposed to answer that?


i get this all the time! sometimes i'll say something about how bad i am at english and writing, especially if they're major has something to do with that.

and i'm a female engineering student too and i still don't understand people's shock about that

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby samcan » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:58 am UTC

Not so much a reaction, but I'm afraid that when I tell people I'm studying business administration with a concentration in accounting, they think I'm trying to copy my mom (she got her bachelor's degree in accounting). Particularly when it's found it that my brother is getting the exact same bachelor's degree I am (although he wants to get his MAT and become an elementary school teacher).

One reaction I got was when I was talking to a CPA and told her what I wanted to do: "Computer science and politics." "What are you doing doing a finance internship?" (The reason is I got a scholarship to this university, but they don't offer a computer science program.)

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby lolol » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:08 am UTC

Me: "Physics Math and Computer Science, some combination of the three but I haven't decided for sure yet."

Them: 1) "Oh, so can you fix my computer?"
2) "So what can you do with that?"

Me : 1) "I've never heard about that problem, try googling it."
2) "Anything I want." or "Research. Hopefully teaching at a good college at some point."

Them: "Oh.."

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:17 am UTC

I think I need to incorporate your deflection of computer help requests into my standard vocabulary
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:22 pm UTC

"Physical Education."

"You need to go to uni to teach that??"

"What do you think it takes to become a PE teacher? A two week course and you're instantly qualified for a job at a school?"

"Yeah kind of..."

*FACEPALM*
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby hanecter » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:24 am UTC

I'm applied mathematics. I get the "Oh you must be so smart" and the extremely tiring "I was never a math person" but the hardest one to answer is "How is it different from normal math?" I haven't figured out a good way to answer that question for people who don't have any exposure to math beyond calculus.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:33 am UTC

hanecter wrote:I'm applied mathematics. I get the "Oh you must be so smart" and the extremely tiring "I was never a math person" but the hardest one to answer is "How is it different from normal math?" I haven't figured out a good way to answer that question for people who don't have any exposure to math beyond calculus.

I hate to sound stupid but when you say applied mathematics it sounds like maths you would use in the workforce rather than a subject.

I can only assume that in this applied mathematics, is even more abstract with greater levels of formula manipulation.
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby ExplodingHat » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:36 am UTC

-"Music?! Not physics?"
I think I only talk about science more than I do about music because music theory is less accessible to the average person... I think?
Some call it luck, I call it "subconscious planning".

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby keeperofdakeys » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:40 am UTC

ExplodingHat wrote:-"Music?! Not physics?"
I think I only talk about science more than I do about music because music theory is less accessible to the average person... I think?

I'll apply a crescendo to your mood if you keep having staccato thoughts.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Palomnik » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:59 pm UTC

Japanese. The responses I get are as you'd imagine them to be.

- "Konnichi wa/Domo arigatou", or something similar.
- "Wow, but isn't that, like, impossible to read and write?"
Evidently not, as I'm not the first person to learn to do so, and about 127 million people have done so every day since they were born
- "So, are you really into videogames and anime and stuff" Videogames yes, anime no, but neither is the reason I chose Japanese

There also usually follows a request for a demonstration of spoken Japanese. I've come to the conclusion that no matter how fluently one speaks a language, at the point where one is asked to say something non-specific, one's mind simply goes blank. I have a better time if they ask me to say something specific in Japanese.


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