Originally Posted by rdawson808
Sorry Aybojs, but we're in the heart of "desperately finishing up theses" time here where I teach, so I have to say the gentlemanly thing to do would have been to work on your thesis over the course of the year and to actually care that your advisor has to read it. [Insert crying "smiley" face.]
I actually feel powerful, if we equate that with manliness when I inform a student that they must do X, Y, and Z or they will fail their thesis and not graduate. But dipping deep fried food in Ranch dressing is pretty good too.
Well, I wasn't one of those naive types who simply decided it would look cool to have a thesis and bit off more than he can chew. Everyone here is pretty much mandated to do it, and had I been given the choice, I would have chosen not to and instead taken a full class schedule, as that would have enabled me to learn far more than slaving away over the same trivial niche subject for a month.
I'm no anti-intellectual, as I do an insane amount of reading, but I have very autodidatic tendencies and much prefer to pursue the Renaissance man image of having a broad range of general knowledge rather than being expected to go interminably deep into a narrow subject. Basically the thesis reflected the two factors that made decide never to have anything with academia after school: the requirement of vary narrow specialization and the publish or perish mentality. I read and study academic material because I enjoy it and find it interesting and educational; that's all that really matters to me.
Obviously I don't expect my personal preferences to govern how academia operates, so that's fine; I just find the arbitrary assignment of this kind of work silly, being that undergraduate education has devolved into "High School, Part 2" for the majority of students, and these requirements turn more into a waste of time for many (severely distracting from other educational goals in my case, forcing an advisor to be expend time on a non-interested student in the case of others). I'm not worried about failing, as I picked a specific topic which I had some prior competence in to minimize tedious research expenditures and had enough basic analytical and writing skills to make some sort of cogent argument despite the paper's lack of polish. I just find forced specialized independent work very silly and handled it in a "manly" (i.e. rugged, stoic, etc.) fashion by saying "screw it" and just doing what I needed to to pass so I could focus on things I enjoy more (e.g. I try to read 1-2 different novels or history books on my own a week, and kept up this requirement at the expense of tedious thesis work, for example).