#1
i've got this little problem that i cant seem to solve.
most of my friend are currently in the army in their late teens-yearly 20's and i'm studying engineering in the university.
when we seem to socialize and they ask me study related question\(how am i doing) such as:
"how is the university?"
"is it tought?"
"what do you learn?"
and etc.
i cant find a good answer; if i'll just answer with one or two words it is pointless,and if i start explaning i'll seem condescending or they just wont understand me.

to add an insult to injury i'm studying electric engineering in a prestigious university so it even toughter to explain things...

what do you do in this situations? just igonore that part of your life and act as you did before you started studying?
#2
You don't have to describe them the concepts that you're learning, because, they just don't understand it. That's not a condescending thing or anything to feel bad about. That's just how it is.


Engineering is the most popular choice of major at my university, so I hear engineering talk almost constantly. Most of my friends are engineers. From what I hear about it, it's tough stuff. Really tough.

I don't give a shit that I can't understand it, because I'm not an engineer. I also don't throw out difficult concepts and ideas relating to my major, cuz they're not gonna understand it either.

People are different. It's not essential to share every detail of every aspect of your life in your every day conversations.
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#3
Maybe you could try telling them about the applications for what your studying. So instead of telling them your studying something with a really complicated name you could say that your studying the technology used in some common household appliance like a television. My example probably isn't very good, but i hope you get the idea.
#4
engineering is actually easier to explain to people because it applies to real world stuff they see everyday. As long as you don't get too technical anyone should be able to understand you.

"how is the university?" your opinion. could talk about social life, transportation etc.
"is it tough?" Well if you're doing engineering it probably should be
"what do you learn?" all about electronics and circuits, lots of programming and computer work too. Give an example of a group project you did, if it applies to military stuff even better. I'm not even doing elec eng but there's tons of stuff you could describe here without confusing the crap out of people.
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#5
You should probably try to figure out an easy way to explain what you do to people. I have plenty of friends who all study very different things and we all know basically what the others do, but know better than to go into boring detail.
Also you shouldn't come across as condescending unless you actually think you're superior. Most people realise that they don't know everything and wouldn't be offended by you explaining what you do
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#6
Sounds like basic small talk to me. No need to think so deeply about it.
It's a process, not an event.
#7
I think you're stressing far too much over this. Just be honest, open, and congenial.
#8
"If you can't explain it simply, then you don't understand it well enough". I think Einstein said that?

I don't know about you, but I'm currently doing a degree in astrophysics, and I have no problem explain quantum physics to my friends in layman's terms, or even describing what we do in my differential equations class to my non-science major friends.

If you want practical tips, avoid going into the details (i.e., no one needs to know how to solve a nonhomogeneous linear differential equation, but they may be interested in knowing that using techniques you learned in class, you can derive an equation that describes physical processes such the motion of a rocket).

I don't know why you're stressing out so much on this though, if they're your friends you guys should pretty much be able to talk about anything, not just school related things.
#9
You sound a bit socially handicapped. I mean, how the eff can you not understand how to give a general opinion?
#10
I think giving examples of the applications of what you're studying is a really good tip.
#14
You sound like a pretentious douchebag. Get a life man. Being in the army is way harder than what you're doing. I bet you wouldn't understand anything they told you. Get over yourself and get laid or something you might come off wiser.
#15
Its very easy to talk about classes without sending condescending. In fact, they may ask questions and be interested. I have had engineer friends who just throw it in peoples faces and act like they smart as ****. In reality they sound really pretentious. Just tell them.

I'm studying optics, and when people ask, I just put it in terms they'll be able to communicate about. I tell them I play with lasers and shit. Then they either ask questions or comment. Its called a conversation, I believe.
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#16
this is such an engineer thread. you have that engineer tinge of condescension and false perception of superiority down pat. just talk to them normally jeez.
#17
thnaks guys, some of the things here were quite helpfull.

one last thing, and it going to sound even weirder,is there a definition for an hindsight in poblic speaking? such as finding the right answers always well after the event? it seems to hount me in too many occasions
#18
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
You sound like a pretentious douchebag. Get a life man. Being in the army is way harder than what you're doing. I bet you wouldn't understand anything they told you. Get over yourself and get laid or something you might come off wiser.


This guy speaks the truth.

This guy tries to find acknowledgement in the form of a passive-active stance.

Last post of TS about hindsight confirms.

TS if you know what people are gonna say, this does not mean you are hindsighted, it means you passively-active steer the conversation.

Is there another word for this?

If it affects you in the bad it's called self-fulfilling-prophecy.

Now gtfo and repair my input jack.

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#19
Here is the thing. If you can't explain something to a 5 year old child so he/she understands, then you don't understand it enough yourself. Although, considering that your mates are in the army, their intelectual level might be below a 5 year old's so it's not necessarily your fault.
#20
Quote by dany_100
thnaks guys, some of the things here were quite helpfull.

one last thing, and it going to sound even weirder,is there a definition for an hindsight in poblic speaking? such as finding the right answers always well after the event? it seems to hount me in too many occasions


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#21
just to clear the air a bit, ill let you know some things so you could evaluate the situation properly:
-mandatory army in Israel,so its not like they volunteered to it.(not the US macho attitude)
-most of them don't go to confrontations zone, they have some kind of a desk job
-when i sad hindsight, i meant that i come with good answers far after the event itself,such as:
"tell me what you do"
i'll give them bad examples
a day later i'll think about that differential rocket equation and it's a shame i didn't thought of that in that moment.
it not like i'm knowing what they going to say or something like that, i'll never say anything like that.
#22
Quote by dany_100
just to clear the air a bit, ill let you know some things so you could evaluate the situation properly:
-mandatory army in Israel,so its not like they volunteered to it.(not the US macho attitude)
-most of them don't go to confrontations zone, they have some kind of a desk job
-when i sad hindsight, i meant that i come with good answers far after the event itself,such as:
"tell me what you do"
i'll give them bad examples
a day later i'll think about that differential rocket equation and it's a shame i didn't thought of that in that moment.
it not like i'm knowing what they going to say or something like that, i'll never say anything like that.


nah don't worry im pretty sure most people are like that to an extent - i know i am. don't let it bother you. although if you're doing engineering its good to have simple answers ready for those sorts of questions, just because people are likely to ask.
#23
It just takes practice, eventually you'll be quicker on your feet. The more you talk to people the more ideas for topics will come while you are talking with them, and not afterwards.