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Not understanding a question

charlesgray

Member
So one of my college professors invited my class to a presentation by a doctor from Cambridge (doctorate in law) . The topic was about U.N. law which ties into my international studies major so I went and it was a pretty great lecture. Then we got to the question portion and this is when I realized I was the only undergrad in the room. My professor asked the first question and for the first time since I was like 6 I couldn’t even follow the question then the next person who was a law school grad student that asked a very eloquently worded question that made me not even want to ask my own.
Has anyone else had this happen to them before?
 

Skychickens

Late Healer Ferret
*stares blankly into the void*

I have a particular issue with math and direction. I had a theeerapist...(?) somebody professional...wanting me to test for dyscalculia. I was constantly trying so hard in school to "do better in math" and "just study more" and "just try harder." I tried. I took better notes than anyone. I got tutors. I spent every break in classes trying. I got programs to help.

In the end I never got it for longer than what it took to do that problem.

So often times I would be asked math questions, be told "it's done just like the last one" and I would still manage to mess up. I still didn't get how to do the problem. I still didn't get the steps, and I still didn't know what I was doing.

If that's not "not understanding a question" I am not entirely sure what is.
 

charlesgray

Member
So often times I would be asked math questions, be told "it's done just like the last one" and I would still manage to mess up. I still didn't get how to do the problem. I still didn't get the steps, and I still didn't know what I was doing.

If that's not "not understanding a question" I am not entirely sure what is.
That sounds frustrating. I personally love math but I would never say something is done the same way as a previous problem especially when you get into calc because problem may use a similar method but they can be drastically different.
 

Skychickens

Late Healer Ferret
That sounds frustrating. I personally love math but I would never say something is done the same way as a previous problem especially when you get into calc because problem may use a similar method but they can be drastically different.
The worst part was when I had a teacher once say "technically only addition exists."

........I no longer understand anything.

I would panic freeze at division for months. Problems with imaginary numbers does not work with my head as is. I get what she was trying to do there after years of reflection but.
 

Saiko

GTWT Survivor
Yeah, that’s happened to me a lot. The worst instance for me was my first college physics class... which was a 700-level (PhD students only). I was doing good just following the calculus review, and my classmates were busy asking questions about relativity and shit. It also happened when I went to a computer engineering conference back in 2015 where I had no idea what any of the presentations were about, and then the questions used terms that I’d never heard before. And it also happened regularly during a couple of computer science classes because I’m bad at statistics.

I won’t tell you to not let it get to you because I know from experience that you can’t really help that. But for what it’s worth, being confused by grad-level (or higher) material as an undergrad is to be expected. Hell it’s to be expected as a grad student in many cases. Try to think of it as you exposing yourself to the true depth of the field and seeing how much there is to learn, rather than how “far behind” you are compared to people who have been specializing in it for 30+ years. If you stick with it, you’ll find yourself on the other side of things sooner than you’d expect.
 

charlesgray

Member
I won’t tell you to not let it get to you because I know from experience that you can’t really help that. But for what it’s worth, being confused by grad-level (or higher) material as an undergrad is to be expected. Hell it’s to be expected as a grad student in many cases. Try to think of it as you exposing yourself to the true depth of the field and seeing how much there is to learn, rather than how “far behind” you are compared to people who have been specializing in it for 30+ years. If you stick with it, you’ll find yourself on the other side of things sooner than you’d expect.
I agree, I’m not letting it bother me in fact I find it pretty funny. Plus I understood the lecture which is what counts for me. Going to these optional lectures have let me meet some very amazing people and learn interesting things.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
I'm still trying to wrap my head around one of the central terms in my field of study. "Information retrieval", yeah, makes sense, what it says on the tin. The Swedish word used for the same concept, tho? I tried so hard and I still feel like "nope this can't mean what they say it means that makes no sense".
 

DarkoKavinsky

ʎʇʇɐq ʇıq ɐ
What was the question?
 

Diretooth

Dire Wolf and Dragon Therianthrope
Were I in that situation, I would have simply stated, "I do not understand the subject enough to have an adequate answer." Don't be afraid to ask for clarification, if someone is willing to explain, then listen and thank them, but if they are not willing to explain, don't ask. If someone mistreats you because you don't know something yet, then they should not be there, because acting like an arrogant know-it-all to someone who hasn't learned something is a dick move.
 

charlesgray

Member
Were I in that situation, I would have simply stated, "I do not understand the subject enough to have an adequate answer." Don't be afraid to ask for clarification, if someone is willing to explain, then listen and thank them, but if they are not willing to explain, don't ask. If someone mistreats you because you don't know something yet, then they should not be there, because acting like an arrogant know-it-all to someone who hasn't learned something is a dick move.
Just to clarify the question was not asked to me it was from a doctor of law to another doctor of law and it was understood by them, I am a undergrad senior and had a good laugh with my professor about her question going over my head.
 

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥oteTastic
Just to clarify the question was not asked to me it was from a doctor of law to another doctor of law and it was understood by them, I am a undergrad senior and had a good laugh with my professor about her question going over my head.

Goodness - I really miss my college days.. as I felt so much more freer, and a lot more "accomplished" then I do now. I often envy those that still have that type of lifestyle.. as the "real world" really sucks, sometimes.
 
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