Wednesday, April 09, 2008

audience input needed

Because I am doing a sort of mini-thesis this year, I get to have a supervisor. My particular supervisor is wonderful, an incredibly helpful, funny and interesting Welshman whose speciality is in postwar Germany but who also has a soft spot for Soviet history, which is my area for this particular project. Because he's so great, he has four other Honours students as supervisees (is that a word?!). Today, however, me and another student (let's call her Mandy) started talking about the questions he asks us. As happened to her today, we walk into his office, all ready with our difficult questions and filled up to the ears with Soviet Russia, Social Darwinism, or whatever our particular topics happen to be. As Mandy said today, we say something like, "I just have three questions for you," and he replies something like this.

"Well, I have three questions for you."

Okaaaay. Uh-oh, he's going to ask us some incredibly difficult historically relevant questions that we will probably look like utter prats answering.

Actually, no.

"Do you like: tea or coffee after dinner? Cats or dogs? Friends or Sex and the City?"

On other occasions, it could be something like "Tell me three things you like doing in your spare time."

The other day, he asked me how things were going, I said "up and down", and he asked me to tell him one example of up, and one example of down.

So, one of the things I like about him is that he actually does take an interest in us. But when he puts you on the spot like that, especially when you've got three incredibly difficult history questions on the tip of your tongue, it can be very embarrassing. Personally, my mind goes entirely blank. One time, he said to me, "tell me something about you that I don't already know", and I stood in the doorway going "Um.... um.... um.... um..." and of course came off looking like an incredibly boring and inarticulate person.

So Mandy and I have been talking. We have decided next time we see him to turn this whole situation around on him, ask him the random questions before the meeting as such starts, and so we just need some seemingly random but interesting, non-history related questions to ask him. This is where you guys come in. Any suggestions will be much appreciated! Remember, we want to leave him at a loss for words.


Tavis Xavier said...

You could ask the basic things like..

If you were on a deserted island, what three things would you bring?

Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page or Rockell Welch?

Random is fun. I live for Random questions.

Trish Ryan said...

What was your nickname as a child?

Peanut butter: crunchy or smooth?

So, tell me something about you I don't already know?


Sarakastic said...

Just wait until he asks you a random question & then say "which one do you think I'd choose?" Man I should be a lot better at this, I've failed the name sarakastic

Tusk said...

Would he prefer a Cwtch or a Rarebit?

LEstes65 said...

Oh all of the ones that came to my mind are just totally wise cracks. Not worth mentioning.

I do like Sarakastic's suggestion, though.

Bonsai said...

ask him what he's afraid of. or what music he likes. or dark or light chocolate. or how many siblings he has. or what the best and worst quality in his parents are. or what he wants to be remembered for... hey, that could lead to an interesting discussion... :)