@emacsomancer Pickle b/c this is exactly the kind of busy work that that generates no value for no one and eats into my actual productive time.

The prof knows what we'll be presenting. They could've done it way more efficiently and easily. But instead we do this and it hurts both my productivity and learning opportunities of my colleagues.

I'm fine with a shit ton of reading or writing a couple reports. But this kind of constant minutiae consumes the whole joy and fun of grad school for me.

@emacsomancer I'm a grad student, I can prepare a silly report and a coherent presentation on almost any topic on the face of this earth. I'm fine with a couple reports or term papers to prove this, but it's been more than a baker's dozen so far, and there's many more to do. Three term papers, couple more presentations, reports on articles we're assigned to read.

At this level I want to be trusted and if I or others don't do their reading, we just face the consequences.

@cadadr (My original post was just supposed to be humorous - playing with the theme of alternative questions [and, for me, the idioms, "in a pickle" and "in a jam" are effectively synonymous.)

But I'm sorry to hear about this. Obviously grad students expect that grad student life involves tonnes of work, but since that's the case, pointless busy work is particularly objectionable.

Is your professor at all amenable to student feedback? If you approach them from a friendly perspective?

@emacsomancer Ouch 馃う I'm sorry 馃し You kinda inadvertently touched a sore spot and I just unloaded it all 馃槅

I've one prof who's all about pointless busywork, and another who generally wouldn't do this, but I guess either she thinks she's helping us keep engaged or maybe the faculty puts a pressure on them, and she's been flexible wrt deadlines and stuff.

The 1st tho, pandemic or not, she does 3 or 4 lectures then has us do everything else. I doubt she cares about science or teaching.

@emacsomancer A past students once told us in one particular semester he was her only student for a course, and she had him do >20 presentations _and_ had him actually do them in class. To an audience of one person: the professor herself.

So I doubt there's _any_ room for improvement with this one. Also, I generally don't shy away from criticising or suggestions but it doesn't really work on a video call..

IDK, I only have 4 more weeks, then it'll all be about my thesis and I'll be relieved.

@cadadr Yeah, I'm currently on the other side of this, and have been doing remote teaching for the first time this semester. I did have students do presentations, but between 1-3 each (depending on the class and whether they were undergrad or grad). I've tried to make sure students could tell me if they were overwhelmed or having difficulty and tried to make the presentation dates as flexible as possible. But I would be very receptive to any feedback about what worked well and what didn't - so for profs you think might be receptive, feedback would probably be productive. But it sounds like the one prof is a lost cause, unfortunately. At least you'll be through it soon(ish)!
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