Doing RFLP paper-any good stuff?

Stacy Ferguson sferguso at
Wed Sep 27 23:25:16 EST 1995

In article <44d0s9$mje at>,
Monica039 <monica039 at> wrote:
>So Stacy, thanks for the scintillating paragraph, captioned here, with
>which I can elicit some kind of scholarly aid. Couldn't have done better
>myself, unless I spelled relevant correctly.

If a typo is your best argument against my version of what would have
been an appropriate question to ask, I rest my case.

>"I'm applying to med school and have an interest in the uses of
>RFLP in genetic analysis. I realize that as a physician, I will
>need to learn how to find medically relevent papers. Could someone
>please explain to me how one goes about doing that?"
>Now that you're all completely pissed, please allow a moment for me to
>explain. I'm still an undergrad, new at this internet stuff, and have no
>clue. I've looked for help in other places, non-school related, and have

The internet has nothing to do with it and the fact that you're new
to it is COMPLETELY irrelevant. If you think that verbally asking this
question would have elicited different responses, you're wrong. Those
of us who HAVE had to teach before have run into questions like yours
a lot and they're less than impressive, counter to your goal. Part of
learning is to know how to find information on your own. If you hang
around long enough, you'll see questions along the same vein as yours.

"I need a good subject for a term paper. Anyone have any ideas?"

"I have a paper due in my physiology class and need to find out something
about ion transport. Can you please email me explanations as soon as 
possible? My paper is due next Monday."

>gotten amazing results, to my delight. I also spend a considerable amount

Sure, I get amazing results when I ask dog newsgroups about a particular
behavioral quirk one of my dogs has too. I also get amazing results 
when I'm having a problem with an experiment and post to the bionet 
group dealing with methods. However, I don't ask people to look 
up references on those experiments for me because that's something
anyone in OR out of science could do on his or her own as long as 
he or she bothers to learn. I don't ask people to plan my experiments 
for me because that's supposedly what I'm supposed to be able to 
do on my own and; that's the goal of education. When it comes to 
your own work, you should be doing everything possible to do that 
work on your own. You aren't doing that.

>of time helping others out, which is one of the reasons I want to practice
>medicine. Having been out of school for a number of years (you don't want
>to know) I realized that it is critical to get someone's attention,
>schmoozing is definitely part of the picture no matter what terms it's
>couched in, and I don't have a whole lot of time to accomplish that. My

The whole problem here is that you've asked us to do the grunt work.
If your research paper is a review of previously published works,
then you've asked us to do something that isn't as easy as you think
it is. Figuring out what to cover and getting the papers that cover it 
is a pain. Ask any of us who have had to write reviews professionally.
It can be a royal pain in the butt, and the actual work involved in
writing the paper can often be the easy part. 

As for the amount of time you have to "schmooze", I don't understand
what you're talking about. If you mean sitting around and shooting the
crap with faculty, I assure you that many of us didn't even have 
that opportunity as undergraduates. Having time for that wasn't 
even the issue. That doesn't mean we weren't capable of doing good 
jobs on our own and it doesn't mean we were left in the dust when 
deciding to go on with our educations once we got our Bachelor's 

>Genetics prof is an amazing woman, possessed of a great mind and endless
>arcana, and what is wrong with trying to impress someone? That alone is

The following is not an attempt to flame you, but it's an important 

If she's so wonderful, then why don't you feel comfortable enough
with her to ask HER how to find papers? After all, a good mentor 
should be more than willing to help you learn. That's her JOB. If 
she's unwilling to help you with that, then she's not an amazing 
woman, in my mind. There are few questions I wouldn't have 
asked of any advisor I've had and believe it or not, they're usually
more than happy to answer them. I did, in fact, have to ask a faculty
member how to go about finding papers on particular topics the first
time I needed to, for a paper I had to do for his course. He explained
to me that they trained students in using medline at the library and
that if I asked at the front desk, they'd guide me to the person in
charge. It didn't hurt my reference from him and I still got an A on
the paper. It isn't asking questions that gets you into trouble because,
after all, you are in college to learn. It's failing to learn that
gets you into trouble and worse, making to effort to do so. 

>not actionable.Not being worthy of her attention would make it a slimy
>process, granted. What would be wrong is asking others to do my work for
>me and that is not what I intended. Please accept my sincere apology.
>Stacy, if I get in and through med school, you should live so long to be
>treated by someone like me. I intend to spend the rest of my life caring
>for people and you couldn't do better. I promise.

Good, I'm glad to hear that. However, you really should learn to 
use Medline. It's an invaluable resource for doctors and even those
of us who aren't. It exists precisely because you need it. If you 
don't want to take the time to learn it BEFORE you get into medical
school, you'll be in serious trouble when you're in a class of
medical students who are competitive with each other and would love
to see you fail (it increases their rank, after all). As a doctor, 
you'll need it to find out about advances in your specialty and no
one will be walking up to you and providing you with the references.
You'll have to find them on your own. 

>Plus, I'm not a snotty kid out to scope out the scene and get others to
>front for me. I'm a forty year old mother of two who really hasn't got a
>clue about this stuff and I wrote the note on the fly ( which is usually
>all the time I have). Your suggestion was infinitely, no sarcasm, better.


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