Reverse Gunnerism

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Lawquacious
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Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Lawquacious » Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:28 pm

I often have heard people complain about gunners- people who talk too much in class, study incredibly hard, or are extremely competitive. I can understand why vociferous students could annoy others, especially if in participating they are frequently saying things that may not be fully on topic (or they are taking too long in making the valid point they do have).

However, I am noticing that during the second semester of my 1L year that many students seem unwilling to say anything in class- even when the whole class has to sit there silently after questions by the professors. I am thinking this is partly a reaction to the idea that those who participate a lot are gunners or are generally uncool. In any case, it seems to me that maybe there is some 'reverse gunnerism' occurring when almost no one in the class is willing to participate because they are either too cool, too shy, haven't read the assignment, or for whatever other reason they just don't participate.

I think most of the handful of people who do participate a lot realize that not everyone (if anyone) wants to hear from them every time a question is posed, but if there are only a few in the class who are willing to participate I think even that would be preferable to ongoing periods of silence after questions from the professor (which seems to be happening a lot lately).

There is often a critique that gunners are illegitimately taking from others by participating too much and by leading things off topic, but I am starting to think an equally good argument can be made that those who try to avoid participation detract from a robust in-class dialogue in a way that is detrimental to the quality of the class as a whole.

LockBox
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby LockBox » Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:46 pm

FWIW i'm a 0L, but are the questions posed 'easy' to answer, per se? Does the professor ask them to expand in detail on their answers if someone speaks up in class? Basically i'm trying to understand if people know the answer and choose not to speak, don't know the answer or a mixture of both.

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KingRajesh
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby KingRajesh » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:36 pm

I'm an 0L too, but why is gunnerism looked down upon? I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do in this economy.

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savagedm
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby savagedm » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:17 pm

KingRajesh wrote:I'm an 0L too, but why is gunnerism looked down upon? I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do in this economy.


It isn't looked down upon nearly as harshly as these forums make it out to be. Yeah it's annoying as shit when someone starts speaking up in class on a tangent not related to ANYTHING we were just talking about, but it gives me time to check my facebook and post on here (like now). Also, I think most people dont speak up because we have already chomped at the bit, burned our hands, and now just want to sit back and quietly try to reach the right conclusion without getting our hands snapped at again when we raise them.

dtwvan
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby dtwvan » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:58 pm

If they are off-topic, it's understandable for the class to guffaw and shake their head. However, to look down on someone for taking their education into their hands by exploring their thoughts because they are paying thousands upon thousand of dollars is absurd. A large portion of people don't like gunners because of their own lack of self-confidence or fear of what other people think. It's silly. Sitting in a classroom filled with silence after a professor asks a question annoys the hell out of me and makes me look down on my peers. Back in the 80s a gunner meant a person who told you they never studied or didn't care or imparted apathy when the truth was far from it; they went home and studied for hours. A gunner was the person playing mind games and trying to manipulate the others into not studying as hard as they might have. The term has shifted in some people's use of it, and it's a stigma that can blight a classroom when it's describing the wrong thing.

Just my point of view... each to their own. Who do you think gets better recs though? The student who volunteers to engage the professor in intelligent discourse or the sheep who sit back timidly?

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savagedm
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby savagedm » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:32 pm

dtwvan wrote:If they are off-topic, it's understandable for the class to guffaw and shake their head. However, to look down on someone for taking their education into their hands by exploring their thoughts because they are paying thousands upon thousand of dollars is absurd. A large portion of people don't like gunners because of their own lack of self-confidence or fear of what other people think. It's silly. Sitting in a classroom filled with silence after a professor asks a question annoys the hell out of me and makes me look down on my peers. Back in the 80s a gunner meant a person who told you they never studied or didn't care or imparted apathy when the truth was far from it; they went home and studied for hours. A gunner was the person playing mind games and trying to manipulate the others into not studying as hard as they might have. The term has shifted in some people's use of it, and it's a stigma that can blight a classroom when it's describing the wrong thing.

Just my point of view... each to their own. Who do you think gets better recs though? The student who volunteers to engage the professor in intelligent discourse or the sheep who sit back timidly?


Well dont like this common law bullhockey 'round hur'.

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Cupidity
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Cupidity » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:36 pm

Gunners are evil

/thread.

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Cupidity
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Cupidity » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:41 pm

dtwvan wrote:to look down on someone for taking their education into their hands by exploring their thoughts because they are paying thousands upon thousand of dollars is absurd.


I don't look down on them for taking their education into their hands, I look down on them for taking MY EDUCATION into their hands.

Hey, if you want to use 1/87 of the available discussion time per class to know how the RAP would apply in some obscure hypothetical, go for it. But the second you hit 2/87, that's my time you are interfering with.

Whatever they have to say is less important than what the professor could be saying instead.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:52 am

Cupidity wrote:
dtwvan wrote:to look down on someone for taking their education into their hands by exploring their thoughts because they are paying thousands upon thousand of dollars is absurd.


I don't look down on them for taking their education into their hands, I look down on them for taking MY EDUCATION into their hands.

Hey, if you want to use 1/87 of the available discussion time per class to know how the RAP would apply in some obscure hypothetical, go for it. But the second you hit 2/87, that's my time you are interfering with.

Whatever they have to say is less important than what the professor could be saying instead.




I don't think you addressed the counterpoint to this common notion that a gunner is in some way stealing money or time from other students by talking a lot. I'm not trying to defend hyper-competitive behavior or the hogging of class time, but I think there is a legitimate critique that when people are unwilling to answer questions (perhaps out of concern for being labeled a gunner or otherwise looking bad) they may be detracting from the quality of the class experience at least as much as the person who may be stepping up to answer questions too frequently in some cases. Harsh critique of those who talk a lot because they are perceived as taking something from others may discourage people generally from participating IMO.

Regarding this idea that people are taking your education away from you in some way when they participate a lot, I tend to think that the professor is the one responsible if he or she is not redirecting the question or limiting potentially derailing comments or questions. I think a good professor should be able to do that without too much trouble. In terms of your theory that the person talking more than 1/87 of the allotted student time is stealing something from you (implied if not stated directly), I have a suspicion that is not a theory that would hold in court. :) I don't mean to be callous though; I do understand where you're coming from, but I think the way you are breaking it down is making artificial distinctions (and I question also whether this attitude makes class experiences less enjoyable for you because you are concerned about whether someone will steal YOUR time).

I'd say the basic idea of this thread is to question the definition of 'gunner' (which now seems to pretty much just mean someone who participates a lot or too much in class, although I think perhaps it initially meant someone who had a hyper-competitive attitude), and to question whether the hatred or vocal dislike of those who talk a lot in class can itself be detrimental to the quality of class discussion.

"Gunner" implies trying to shoot someone or something down as far as I can tell, and I think it originally implied trying to shoot others down through competition. Now, with it pretty much applying to people who talk a lot in class- perhaps inappropriately at times- and who are considered uncool either because of or in spite of this, it seems that the phrase maybe simply refers to someone who is shooting down questions in class by answering everything or at least shooting out a lot of stuff from their mouth lol. I suppose I find it a somewhat interesting and complex (diminutive) concept and label, which I am trying to understand better, and which I am also seeking to critique insofar as the labeling of others in this way may have certain negative consequences in itself.

One last thing: I think I was probably out of line for stating 'gun much?' (edited out) in response to your '/thread' comment, so I apologize for that. I do kind of question though if some of the people who are most critical of those who talk a lot in class as being 'gunners' are often in fact themselves 'gunners' in many cases insofar as the term does still have some connection to being very competitive (where being critical of others can often be a component of being hyper-competitive I imagine. However, you may have fully legitimate gripes about the 'gunners' you have encountered and you may not have a hyper-competitive attitude, so I don't mean to imply otherwise).
Last edited by Lawquacious on Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:53 am

...
Last edited by Lawquacious on Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Veyron » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:54 am

Lawquacious wrote:I often have heard people complain about gunners- people who talk too much in class, study incredibly hard, or are extremely competitive. I can understand why vociferous students could annoy others, especially if in participating they are frequently saying things that may not be fully on topic (or they are taking too long in making the valid point they do have).

However, I am noticing that during the second semester of my 1L year that many students seem unwilling to say anything in class- even when the whole class has to sit there silently after questions by the professors. I am thinking this is partly a reaction to the idea that those who participate a lot are gunners or are generally uncool. In any case, it seems to me that maybe there is some 'reverse gunnerism' occurring when almost no one in the class is willing to participate because they are either too cool, too shy, haven't read the assignment, or for whatever other reason they just don't participate.

I think most of the handful of people who do participate a lot realize that not everyone (if anyone) wants to hear from them every time a question is posed, but if there are only a few in the class who are willing to participate I think even that would be preferable to ongoing periods of silence after questions from the professor (which seems to be happening a lot lately).

There is often a critique that gunners are illegitimately taking from others by participating too much and by leading things off topic, but I am starting to think an equally good argument can be made that those who try to avoid participation detract from a robust in-class dialogue in a way that is detrimental to the quality of the class as a whole.


I think that you are over-thinking this dude.

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby romothesavior » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:56 am

KingRajesh wrote:I'm an 0L too, but why is gunnerism looked down upon? I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do in this economy.

Yeah, because asking ridiculous questions in class is the way to get through this tough economy.

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby legends159 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:04 am

some questions help out the class -- they clarify some point of confusion that others might also have. But then some questions don't help out the class and should be saved for office hour.

For example, if you want to have a debate with the professor about some viewpoint, go ahead -- but please do it in office hour or after class. Otherwise the professor will have to speed through the material to cover everything she planned and everyone else suffers.

We get it, you're smart and have an opinion, but we didn't pay tuition to hear it.

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:06 am

LockBox wrote:FWIW i'm a 0L, but are the questions posed 'easy' to answer, per se? Does the professor ask them to expand in detail on their answers if someone speaks up in class? Basically i'm trying to understand if people know the answer and choose not to speak, don't know the answer or a mixture of both.


That's a good question:

In one class I think the questions are pretty hard and the professor also likes to ask follow-ups to people willing to answer. In another I would say the questions are often moderately difficult. And in another the questions tend to be on the easier side. But in all classes I would say there is a considerable range.

It is true that probably the most silences have come after fairly easy or fairly hard questions, which means that people might not want to answer because it seems to obvious (with easy) or because they really don't know how to approach an answer (with hard). Nevertheless, I think people's unwillingness to answer easy questions, for instance, and hence unwillingness to be an active participant in the class at that point, can be critiqued in a similar way as the person who tends to be overeager to answer (both may hinder the overall quality and flow of the class, and both the overeagerness and unwillingness likely are contributed to by a desire to look good in front of others in some cases).
Last edited by Lawquacious on Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby holdencaulfield » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:07 am

Lawquacious wrote:
I think most of the handful of people who do participate a lot realize that not everyone (if anyone) wants to hear from them every time a question is posed, but if there are only a few in the class who are willing to participate I think even that would be preferable to ongoing periods of silence after questions from the professor (which seems to be happening a lot lately).

There is often a critique that gunners are illegitimately taking from others by participating too much and by leading things off topic, but I am starting to think an equally good argument can be made that those who try to avoid participation detract from a robust in-class dialogue in a way that is detrimental to the quality of the class as a whole.



I hate classes like this. I mostly blame the professor for not asking questions directly to students or otherwise failing to stimulate the discussion. The silence is ridiculously awkward, and I think everyone appreciates those who chime in to make the silence stop. Although, I don't think you can blame anyone for never responding to questions posed to the entire class.

To the 0L who asked: many of the questions are very easy which, IMO, leads to more silence. No one feels cool responding to a question that has a ridiculously obvious answer.

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:08 am

Veyron wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:I often have heard people complain about gunners- people who talk too much in class, study incredibly hard, or are extremely competitive. I can understand why vociferous students could annoy others, especially if in participating they are frequently saying things that may not be fully on topic (or they are taking too long in making the valid point they do have).

However, I am noticing that during the second semester of my 1L year that many students seem unwilling to say anything in class- even when the whole class has to sit there silently after questions by the professors. I am thinking this is partly a reaction to the idea that those who participate a lot are gunners or are generally uncool. In any case, it seems to me that maybe there is some 'reverse gunnerism' occurring when almost no one in the class is willing to participate because they are either too cool, too shy, haven't read the assignment, or for whatever other reason they just don't participate.

I think most of the handful of people who do participate a lot realize that not everyone (if anyone) wants to hear from them every time a question is posed, but if there are only a few in the class who are willing to participate I think even that would be preferable to ongoing periods of silence after questions from the professor (which seems to be happening a lot lately).

There is often a critique that gunners are illegitimately taking from others by participating too much and by leading things off topic, but I am starting to think an equally good argument can be made that those who try to avoid participation detract from a robust in-class dialogue in a way that is detrimental to the quality of the class as a whole.


I think that you are over-thinking this dude.


It would not be the first time :lol: I have a tendency to do that. I may definitely be reading too much into the recent class silences, if that is what you are suggesting.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:16 am

romothesavior wrote:
KingRajesh wrote:I'm an 0L too, but why is gunnerism looked down upon? I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do in this economy.

Yeah, because asking ridiculous questions in class is the way to get through this tough economy.



My OP was based more on times where the professors are asking students for participation by asking question and there are only a few who are willing to answer (rather than students asking questions, which I think is what you referencing).

But I also realize you were addressing the mention of the economy by the poster and indicating that someone who is doing certain gunning behaviors in class discussion isn't likely to be rewarded with greater job success by it..

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romothesavior
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby romothesavior » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:18 am

OP, I think we're all just burnt out, or at least I am. I've lost that excitement about law school that I had first semester. I'm more worried about getting a job than I am about reading carefully for class and being ready to raise my hand and contribute. I think most people have realized the last month of the semester is what matters most, and our minds are on other things.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:30 am

romothesavior wrote:OP, I think we're all just burnt out, or at least I am. I've lost that excitement about law school that I had first semester. I'm more worried about getting a job than I am about reading carefully for class and being ready to raise my hand and contribute. I think most people have realized the last month of the semester is what matters most, and our minds are on other things.


Yeah, I can actually relate to that-- especially when it comes to legal writing and research. :lol: But in other classes too, it's true that class participation really doesn't have much of a payoff. I guess I just felt irritated at the times when few people have been willing to engage in dialogue during classes when prompted by the professors. Obviously I can't control how other people respond and really just need to focus on my own conduct though.

I would say that I tend to be a gunner in terms of participating in class a lot, but I have also been told by at least one student who tends to be fairly critical of gunners (meaning certain people who talk a lot) that my participation has generally been right on and appreciated (at least this semester). The student who paid me the compliment (who tends to be critical of certain people who talk a lot) is perhaps ironically the most competitive person of anyone I've met at the school though. I suppose that one of my points here is that I think 'gunner' initially referred to someone with a hyper-competitive attitude, but now that it is used more for people who are purported to hog class time. I am imagine that there can be some overlap between those who are competitive to the point of alienating their peers or at least trying to outdo them and those who talk a lot in class, but I think the label no longer necessarily correlates with someone who has a fierce competitive attitude when the emphasis is on how someone participates in class (because, as I mentioned, the guy who seems most competitive doesn't talk much at all in class at this point, and I think that many people who share a lot in class don't do so to get a one-up on others but rather because they are interested and in some cases no one else is answering questions).

I honestly do understand the concern about certain people talking too much in class (which I think more than anything is what 'gunner' has come to be associated with on TLS), but I wonder if the strong criticism of those who talk a lot may discourage people from talking at all sometimes and hence lead to a 'reverse gunnerism' phenomenon (lol). I mean there is at least one guy who I cringe many times when he talks, but even he makes some really good points at times and is he is at least fairly passionate about the material.
Last edited by Lawquacious on Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby Jockin Jay-Z » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:55 am

I never talk unless there is the aforementioned prolonged silence in response to a professor's question. Only then will I raise my hand and say anything. I've had multiple people come up to me and thank me for doing this (which itself struck me as very odd, but whatever.)

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby JG Hall » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:05 am

dtwvan wrote:If they are off-topic, it's understandable for the class to guffaw and shake their head. However, to look down on someone for taking their education into their hands by exploring their thoughts because they are paying thousands upon thousand of dollars is absurd. A large portion of people don't like gunners because of their own lack of self-confidence or fear of what other people think. It's silly. Sitting in a classroom filled with silence after a professor asks a question annoys the hell out of me and makes me look down on my peers. Back in the 80s a gunner meant a person who told you they never studied or didn't care or imparted apathy when the truth was far from it; they went home and studied for hours. A gunner was the person playing mind games and trying to manipulate the others into not studying as hard as they might have. The term has shifted in some people's use of it, and it's a stigma that can blight a classroom when it's describing the wrong thing.

Just my point of view... each to their own. Who do you think gets better recs though? The student who volunteers to engage the professor in intelligent discourse or the sheep who sit back timidly?

silly little 0L

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:56 pm

dtwvan wrote:If they are off-topic, it's understandable for the class to guffaw and shake their head. However, to look down on someone for taking their education into their hands by exploring their thoughts because they are paying thousands upon thousand of dollars is absurd. A large portion of people don't like gunners because of their own lack of self-confidence or fear of what other people think. It's silly. Sitting in a classroom filled with silence after a professor asks a question annoys the hell out of me and makes me look down on my peers. Back in the 80s a gunner meant a person who told you they never studied or didn't care or imparted apathy when the truth was far from it; they went home and studied for hours. A gunner was the person playing mind games and trying to manipulate the others into not studying as hard as they might have. The term has shifted in some people's use of it, and it's a stigma that can blight a classroom when it's describing the wrong thing.

Just my point of view... each to their own. Who do you think gets better recs though? The student who volunteers to engage the professor in intelligent discourse or the sheep who sit back timidly?


(1) Explore your thoughts during office hours. I hate when people interrupt a professor to ask a question. Let the professor get through the class or ask for questions before you interrupt them.

(2) If you 'look down on your peers', then you're probably a gunner. Respect your peers.

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby kwais » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:06 pm

I am a 0L but throughout UG I raised my hand when I had a question. That's it. I plan to do the same in law school. I don't give a flying shit what my peers think about that. When people talk about "gunners" on here it really does sound like thinly veiled jealousy that they themselves don't have the stones to ask a question for fear of being labeled a gunner. Get over it.

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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:51 pm

kwais wrote:I am a 0L but throughout UG I raised my hand when I had a question. That's it. I plan to do the same in law school. I don't give a flying shit what my peers think about that. When people talk about "gunners" on here it really does sound like thinly veiled jealousy that they themselves don't have the stones to ask a question for fear of being labeled a gunner. Get over it.


Just learn to respect a lecture. Don't interrupt a lecture. Wait until the professor has either finished the point or solicits questions.

And it's not 'jealously' that causes people to decry gunners. It's utter exasperation at gunners interrupting the professor and disrupting the lecture.

Save your question until the end of the lecture or office hours.

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kwais
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Re: Reverse Gunnerism

Postby kwais » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:57 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
kwais wrote:I am a 0L but throughout UG I raised my hand when I had a question. That's it. I plan to do the same in law school. I don't give a flying shit what my peers think about that. When people talk about "gunners" on here it really does sound like thinly veiled jealousy that they themselves don't have the stones to ask a question for fear of being labeled a gunner. Get over it.


Just learn to respect a lecture. Don't interrupt a lecture. Wait until the professor has either finished the point or solicits questions.

And it's not 'jealously' that causes people to decry gunners. It's utter exasperation at gunners interrupting the professor and disrupting the lecture.

Save your question until the end of the lecture or office hours.


fair enough, and I'm sure that I could change my tune a year from now. I've just known too many people who think its cool to do the minimum and make fun of people who do more.




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