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So what do you ask during office hours?

louieville123louieville123 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
edited May 2008 in College Life
Lets say you don't have any questions about the course, but you want to get to know the professor better. Do you just go in and start chatting with him/her? or are office hours strictly for questions regarding the course?
Post edited by louieville123 on

Replies to: So what do you ask during office hours?

  • HamadehHamadeh Registered User Posts: 145 Junior Member
    talk to him how class was interesting today, and that you're looking forward to his class this semester
  • fizix2fizix2 Registered User Posts: 3,570 Senior Member
    come up with one of those interesting "extending the material" questions that make you look smart/interested. or ask a question on a part of the book that's not being covered.

    and then start chatting.

    of course, if your school's like mine there are like five or six people in the room at a time during some office hours and if you take up his time with idle chit-chat people will hate you
  • srunnisrunni Registered User Posts: 768 Member
    talk to him how class was interesting today, and that you're looking forward to his class this semester

    Oh, yes, the brown nosing is essential.
  • ticklemepinkticklemepink Registered User Posts: 2,764 Senior Member
    ^^ not quite the way to go unless you have some analytical insights that you didn't get a chance to offer in class.

    If anything, the BEST conversation starter is to ask them about HOW they came to study in their field- why teach that class? What about their research projects? I'm just suggesting this from several semesters of talking with professors about going to grad school for PhD. They will give you a moment of "you kidding me right?" but get them talking and their eyes will light up. Their work means everything to them.

    Then from there, especially if they travel, you can sway off topic a little like if you're talking to a poly sci prof and he mentions that he did research in Czech Republic, then ask him more questions about the country or traveling in Europe... they've been to more places you can ever imagine. :)
  • chuychuy Registered User Posts: 3,916 Senior Member
    Don't have a conversation about non-class specific things if there are people waiting for actual help in the course. If there's nobody there then sure, go ahead.
  • IolantheIolanthe Registered User Posts: 148 Junior Member
    but how do you start that conversation? walk into the office and immediately ask how they came to study their field? I always feel like I need some specific reason to go to office hours, and so far I'm really bad at finding any reasons...
  • wraider2006wraider2006 Registered User Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
    "Hi, my name is _____, I'm in your __________ class, and I'd just like to introduce myself".
  • ticklemepinkticklemepink Registered User Posts: 2,764 Senior Member
    ^^ good start... then talk a bit about the day's lecture...what did you think of the topic? Then ask about his thoughts on it.... just really try to keep the conversation flowing but if you find yourself stammering, then get out. And try again another time.
  • rma32rma32 Registered User Posts: 281 Junior Member
    you could ask for advice for future classes in the department or further reading you could do on a topic you thought was interesting in class
  • fumarolefumarole Registered User Posts: 33 New Member
    Ask them about their research!

    If you can do it without coming off as ostentatious, you can ask them a more involved (more in depth, basically) question that you might have about the material.
  • Sly SiSly Si Registered User Posts: 938 Member
    You might also try finding out when other people are going and tagging along with them. That way, you get to hang out at the office, introduce yourself to the prof, and you might get some new insight on the course material via listening to other people's questions.
  • polkadot_heartpolkadot_heart Registered User Posts: 279 Junior Member
    I usually go to office hours when I have questions (I make a list, I get nervous talking to professors). The last two professors I had, I went to one with questions and I ended up staying an hour with him talking about possible graduate schools (he was a grad school advisor). The other professor, I stopped by to let her know I had seen something interesting on television that was about the material we were discussing in class, and then we got to chatting and she offered me a spot in her research lab.

    I usually go with questions and just see how it flows from there- even if I just want to get to know them. I always feel like I'm bothering professors if I ask too many things or stay too long.

    I kind of wouldn't go by what Sly Si says, though it depends on who you bring or what kind of person you are. I know that every single time I go to office hours with one of my friends, she ALWAYS overtalks me and it drives me nuts. So I just prefer to go alone so I'm not competing for the professor's attention with her.
  • law_applicantlaw_applicant Registered User Posts: 141 Junior Member
    Sometimes they will offer to go over your graded work in depth and to expand their comments about your papers. Others may be willing to meet you to discuss future assignments or look at a draft of your work. These are easy ways to meet a professor without it seeming too random. Once you get in, professors are often interested about your personal interests and it's easy to start a conversation.
This discussion has been closed.