Monday, August 22, 2005

Lesson Learned.

I just returned from A2's seminar. I came ready to thrash. During his talk, I wrote down notes, found the fatal flaws in his reasoning and subsequent experiments. Honestly, it was one of the worst talks I've been to in a long while. When the talk was over, my posture changed. I was ready to attack.

The second that his talk was over, a flurry of hands reached for the sky.

A2: Yes.
P1: I find your reasoning completely unfounded -- you claim to have proven X, Y and Z, but have simply asserted that through experiments that do not address X, Y and Z at all.
A2: Well...
P2: I agree with P1, I don't really see how your conclusions are justified at all through your experiments.

It went on like this for about 20 minutes. Everyone took their turn smacking the kid around like a pinata. By the end, I thought we'd all have delicious tootsie rolls in our hands. Suddenly his advisor's voice reverberated through the hall:

"I agree with the criticism of your work. It seems like you haven't thought things through at all. I'm disappointed."

I've never seen someone get manhandled so badly in my short scientific career. This guy was being schooled and I didn't have to get involved. As I walked by him on my way out, he was clearly shaken.

Outside the room I overheard two faculty members speaking to Prof. Stuffy. I quote, "I know, I know... what can I do? The kid is arrogant and generally has a bad attitude. Hopefully this situation will ground him a bit."

16 Comments:

Blogger Lily said...

Karma...it's a beautiful thing.

10:34 AM  
Blogger LoraLoo said...

Lily summed it up. He got what he deserved!

11:16 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I would feel bad for him, except...I don't.

Did the guy never talk to his advisor about the results he was getting and the presentation he was making? Or was he just not listening when his advisor told him something was wrong with his reasoning?

2:26 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Some of my best successes have resulted from situations like this. If the guy can suck it up, go back and re-do the work, he might find he has a winner.

He made mistakes. Let's see if he learns from them.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Funny how things just have a way of working out isnt it?

6:22 PM  
Blogger Aurelius said...

I waited all weekend.
Twas worth it.

:)

6:35 PM  
Blogger Moose said...

Karma is real. This is a leason we would all do well to learn.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

To reply back to your comment, I guess it's like the old Barbara Mandrell song "I was country before country was cool." I don't dig the pointy toed boots, give me round toe any day. I'm going to laugh to myself probably everyday when I see some city chick trying to cowgirl up. The most stressful part about going there, is trying to find a place to live.

10:38 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

Arrogance is hard to cure with one lesson. It sounds like his advisor has a good idea of what he is made of and this just justified it. I'm just wondering if your mentioning showing up and dismantling his presentation might have shaken him already before the assault he took from the attendees. Good to see him get what he deserves though. B)

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you didn't have to get involved. ...much better for both of you, I'm sure.

11:36 PM  
Blogger dusty said...

Like most of your loyal readers I have been waiting for this post..I would of loved to be a fly on THAT wall after his presentation. His arrogance was rewarded with enthusiastic ass-chewing..bravo..i love karma..god i love it..

11:37 PM  
Blogger Raine said...

And even if he weren't arrogant/bad-attitude prone, I wonder if the students would have still taken the opportunity to give him a few academic slaps. I think it's just the way of academia--challenging and debating theories. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger (or more careful in a seminar setting), though, right?

1:52 AM  
Blogger RT said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:53 AM  
Blogger RT said...

As much as I would like to cheer a victory that this dude got what he deserved, I might have to go with Martin on this one. Once may not be enough and it could go either way from here... He might just turn into a Royal Ass before he catches on.

Keep an eye on him, it would be interesting to see how he handles it once the initial shock wears off.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Lady of the House said...

Having others chime in on the flaws of his experiment must've really shaken him since he was only expecting an assault of one. I agree with Fred. If this guy can use this as a learning experience, then maybe he's worth his mettle as a scientist after all.

2:03 AM  
Blogger Camphor said...

Karma I believe in... but I really really really dislike it when anyone is ganged up on - particularly becuase of 'attitude'.

Man, leave an obnoxious person alone, don't torture them.

But yeah, he had it coming. And I hope he learns. *Shakes head*

4:09 AM  

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