Have you ever embarassed yourself academically

  • #1
and made a complete ass out of yourself by posing questions that showed your ignorance? They lied when they said there are no dumb questions. That's only true when you're in high school and aren't expected to know much anyways, but near the graduate university level, there is such a thing as being idiotic. they call this "brain fart"?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,707
5
yea its called not thinking about the question before posing it.
 
  • #3
141
0
I once listened to a lecture in a summer school, and the lecturer was taking questions at the end. Someone raised their hand and began with

"I know this is probably a stupid question, but...."

after which the lecturer stopped him and said

"Let me interrupt you there. There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people. Now, what's your question?"

:)
 
  • #4
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
52
"Let me interrupt you there. There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people. Now, what's your question?"
:rofl:

Sometimes people just refer to a really basic, simple question as a "stupid" question, and those are usually the ones that people are told are NOT stupid questions...if you don't know a basic term or definition, etc., then it's best to ask and clarify it so you understand what people are talking about. On the other hand, there really are some truly stupid questions...as ice pointed out, those are the ones that show absolutely no thought whatsoever was put into it before posing it. Yeah, "brain fart" is a good way of describing it, especially when you realize how stupid it is as it's already coming out of your mouth and too late to stop it.
 
  • #5
380
0
Yes, I've embarrassed myself in all sorts of creative ways. Academically was no exception.
 
  • #6
jonegil
it's important to make mistakes cause we learn from that very mistakes so we don't have to be embarrassed
 
  • #7
738
0
There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people. Now, what's your question?"

:)
there is no such thing as stupid question or people. its just the fear of being one.
one of my friend once asked a very basic question that seemed stupid but then we discussed it all day.:surprised
 
  • #8
Evo
Mentor
23,165
2,868
"If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?"

Scott Adams
US cartoonist (1957 - )
 
  • #9
devil-fire
stupid people don't ask questions, they just fake it.

mind you, outside school people can be much less enthusiastic about their peers understanding things so questions can become annoying. teachers are payed to answer questions no matter how stupid they are so i don't really see how a person can lose face by asking a teacher anything.

if a person doesn't try to think of the answer themselves before asking it, its just inconsiderate of the people around them then. i wouldn't consider it "stupid"
 
  • #10
I once asked my calc teacher if the product of all numbers from negative infinite to positive infinite would be positive or negative. He thought about it for around five minutes before realizing it would be zero. Sadly, I never thought about that...
 
  • #11
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,238
217
I was rather notorious in college for derailing lectures with questions. In the end I learned that most students and teachers appreciated this, but there were times when the entire class laughed only to learn that my question was entirely valid and the laughter was out of ignorance.
 
  • #12
738
0
but there were times when the entire class laughed only to learn that my question was entirely valid and the laughter was out of ignorance.
yea thatz what i mean. sometimes what one considers stupid comes out to be a valid point
 
  • #13
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,238
217
The idea that the entire surface of the planet is made of giant plates that move was once considered ludicrous. But, nonetheless, someone once asked the question: Is it possible?
 
  • #14
45
0
A teacher once wrote something along the lines of A ~B on the blackboard. A girl put her hand up and asked "What does that squiggle mean?". She proved quite definately that stupid questions do in fact exist!
 
  • #15
380
0
A teacher once wrote something along the lines of A ~B on the blackboard. A girl put her hand up and asked "What does that squiggle mean?". She proved quite definately that stupid questions do in fact exist!
This is not a stupid question. The tilde could mean "A but not B" or "A is approximately B" or "A is equivalent to B" or a variety of other meanings. Asking which one is wiser than assuming that your interpretation is the same as the teacher's.
 
  • #16
356
3
Yeah, how is that a stupid question? Even within a very small area of study the tilde can easily mean several things.
 
  • #17
356
3
Sometimes people need to hear the obvious, so here goes: It's only embarrassing if your embarrassed by it.
 
  • #18
224
0
From my limited experience, there ARE stupid questions.

Those that are posed just for the sake of asking questions to only LOOK interested in something. Most of the time, everyone knows the answer so no one benefits. It can get very painful hearing those questions being asked sometimes.
 
  • #19
Evo
Mentor
23,165
2,868
And there are the times when the person asking the question truly isn't getting it or rather refuses to get it and the more the answer is explained, the more argumentative they get. Finally the entire audience is ready to lynch the jerk.
 
  • #20
mathwonk
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
11,064
1,254
everyone makes mistakes. being embarassed about it means you have forgotten you make mistakes.
 
  • #21
Even though I've asked more than my share of stupid questions, I get frustrated sometimes when the question I'm asking isn't stupid, but the question the that person I'm asking it to THINKS I'm asking is stupid... if that makes any sense.

one example comes to mind from when I was a kid in school (before highschool) and the teacher was talking about the fire triangle or something like that. And I asked "why does wood not melt? why doesn't water burn?" ... then the teacher looked at me funny and a horrible silence ran across the room. finally a kid said "water doesn't burn, STUPID." and all the kids started laughing and the teacher chuckled and said "yea, water doesn't burn, anyway..." and went on.
Anyway, point is my question wasn't "does wood melt and water burn?" my question was WHY. Which I don't think is a stupid question, in fact I doubt any of those kids could've answered it.

That's just one example, but that's something that always happens to me. Sometimes a question is only as stupid as the person who answers it.
 
Last edited:
  • #22
devil-fire
And there are the times when the person asking the question truly isn't getting it or rather refuses to get it and the more the answer is explained, the more argumentative they get. Finally the entire audience is ready to lynch the jerk.
if the teacher isn't able to put an answer in a way that students understand it and students become frustrated, i would think this is a fault of the teacher (Assuming the student actually wants to learn and isn't asking the question with the intent of disrupting the class).

teachers can be plenty intelligent people and be vary capable in the field they are teaching, but that has no bearing on their ability to teach. a teacher might be vary good at communicating his ideas on a chalk board but not orally. if a person is a poor visual learner, they could sound vary uneducated to strong visual learners in a class with a teacher that has poor oral communication skills.

i think it comes down to what people consider "stupid" to mean. i think it refers to ignorance more then a lack of education so when someone asks a questions that shows a lack of education or knowledge, i don't consider it "stupid"
 

Related Threads on Have you ever embarassed yourself academically

Replies
26
Views
3K
Replies
7
Views
735
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
Replies
15
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
2
Replies
40
Views
10K
Replies
4
Views
2K
Replies
17
Views
3K
Replies
12
Views
962
Replies
10
Views
2K
Top