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I am studying data mining in a college in Nepal. In Nepal, students and teachers communicate using Facebook Messenger. Teachers don't share email, and are instead friends with students on Facebook.

I asked my teacher a question forty days ago. He saw the message but didn't respond. Later, I reminded him a week after that. He said "study yourself, find yourself, read books, youtube, google, learn yourself". I told him that I had googled that question, already read books, asked in Quora, Stack Exchange, Reddit, and found no where. Then he responded "Ok I will send the answer".

Then one month went by and he still hadn't sent the answer. Then today, I again reminded him "if he had forgotten about it" (after one month), he saw the message but didn't respond.

What kind of behaviour is this? What should I do in this case? I am considering asking my parents to talk with this professor. Is that right thing to do? What should I do?

This teacher holds a good chunk of internal marks this semester, almost 125 marks. Should I not tell anything to him due to these internal marks, or should I ask my parents to talk to him? Due to covid, face to face interaction is not possible currently.

Professor not replying to my email

This doesn't answer my question because he recommends to go to teacher physically, it is not possible at the moment due to covid.

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  • Why do you need this answer? What is the purpose of your question?
    – Dawn
    Jul 31 at 14:46
  • He says to meet the professor or keep trying, which really doesn't answer my question as during covid meeting physically is not possible at all.
    – broman
    Jul 31 at 15:14
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    If your parents are not royal then asking them has little sense.
    – markvs
    Jul 31 at 16:36
  • @MarkSapir thanks for bringing some humor. The thing is that I find this subject really easy(I am not telling that I will score good marks in this), but I have understood this well as there is really good book in this subject. And you get questions only when you understand. But this teacher is really giving me headache. He teaches 2 subjects this semester. And he always copies slides of others and puts no effort in teaching. I really want to know what is going on his mind. There is lots of internal marks he has in his hand this semester so I think that is why he is feeling superior to me.
    – broman
    Jul 31 at 16:56
  • I know very little about Nepal. The father of GM Anish Giri is from Nepal, as far as I know. But he is Dutch now.
    – markvs
    Jul 31 at 17:02
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There are a number of reasons a professor might not answer a question:

  1. He is extremely busy with class loads or research and can't take the time to give detailed answers to every student's questions
  2. He is suspicious of the question, thinking it borders on something he doesn't want to teach or that can be used in problematic ways
  3. It runs too close to his own current research, and he doesn't wish to discuss something he is about to publish
  4. He thinks the question is too basic — something that a competent student should be able to figure out — and doesn't want to waste time on students he thinks are incompetent
  5. He thinks the question is too complex, and doesn't want to waste time on something students probably won't get to until graduate or doctoral work
  6. (Always a possibility) He's lazy, absent-minded, preoccupied, or otherwise generally disinclined to answer student's questions, period

I don't know the question you've asked, so I can't make any guesses about what this professor is thinking. If this question is pertinent to your course material then I suggest you ask a TA or a fellow student about it; if it's a matter of personal interest you'll probably have to look elsewhere. The only way you might get a different response from this professor at this point is if you meet with him in person, where he will feel obliged to make better excuses, and won't be forced to commit an answer to written text (which is an annoying process with a permanent trail).

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  • 7. He really really really wants you to work it out yourself. Take the hint.
    – Buffy
    Jul 31 at 15:56
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    8. He thinks you've been a pest and is unhappy with you. Hopefully he is adult enough not to let this affect him, but it is possible.
    – Buffy
    Jul 31 at 15:58
  • And I certainly hope it isn't 3, but who can say.
    – Buffy
    Jul 31 at 15:59
  • @Buffy: Hah! I'd lump your #7 and #8 under my #4, but I can see the point. And I'd personally be more annoyed by #6. If teachers don't want to be teachers they shouldn't be teachers. Jul 31 at 17:12
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    9. He doesn't know the answer, and doesn't want to admit it.
    – avid
    Aug 1 at 9:27

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