Is "gunner" a compliment or an insult?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gobears, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. gobears

    gobears Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gunner : Someone who works really hard, gets good grades, has lots of extracurriculars... the ideal applicant med schools are looking for.

    Gunner : Someone who is competitive as hell and would sell his/her own children if it resulted in an A. This person also spends every waking moment in the library and has no social skills.

    I've heard the term "gunner" used both ways. What do you guys think about this term?
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. vyc

    vyc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    1
    i think it generally has negative connotations.
     
  4. Dr. Kermit

    Dr. Kermit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    1
    I never heard the term "gunner" until I went on my first med school interview. Come to think of it, I didn't even see the term on SDN until a few months ago. Anyway, when I was at the interview with the students they kept saying how "everyone was really cooperative and supportive and there weren't any gunners." When I asked what a gunner was they gave me a strange look and said, "have you ever heard of a throat?" I realized what it was then. I usually refer to competitive individuals who only strive for themselves as that, so I assumed gunner was bad!
     
  5. Epi

    Epi Fuzzy Tiger

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I think it has mostly negative connotations.

    Your definition of
    "Someone who works really hard, gets good grades, has lots of extracurriculars... the ideal applicant med schools are looking for.
    " probably would best be described as what you just said, the ideal applicant...
     
  6. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    3
    Like Dr. Kermit, I'd never heard the term before my first med school interview...

    But even now, I'm still not completely sure what it means. Is a gunner someone that studies like mad, or someone that studies like mad AND lies about it (ie. says he/she doesn't study all that much)?

    Thanks
     
  7. Dr. Dad

    Dr. Dad Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    1
    A gunner is somebody who is a non-cooperative, and selfish person aiming to be the best in the class.
    I believe that is where the term gunner came from...he/she is trying to "gun down" the others in order to come out ahead. :)
     
  8. bad_hombre

    bad_hombre Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2001
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    1
    So what term would you use to describe the Gunner : Someone who works really hard, gets good grades, has lots of extracurriculars... the ideal applicant med schools are looking for.

    ?
     
  9. idiot

    idiot Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think a "gunner" is simply someone who is intensly focused and tirelessly competitive. People who exhibit these characteristics regarding their aspirations of getting into med school also typically demonstrate such intensity in other aspects of life as well - someone who can't stand to lose a game of chess, HORSE, trivial pursuit, itramural flag football....much less be average in the classroom.

    I don't think it's an insult.
     
  10. alice

    alice Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  11. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2001
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    2
    first saw it on TPR a couple years back. It seemed to me like someone who's "gunning for the top" and that's their only focus. The variability comes in with just how cruel they are to the rest.. but definitely I envision the 'self-interested, have to be 1st' persona
     
  12. sorrento

    sorrento Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0
    At my school we called them "strivers".

    First time I heard "gunner" was from my Kaplan instructor ...
     
  13. Doctora Foxy

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,368
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I had never heard of the term until SDN. I used to just call them a$$holes :p
     
  14. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2000
    Messages:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    In my opinion, the defining aspect of a gunner is competition -- gunners strive to be the best, but they generally have to measure their performance in reference to that of their classmates -- these are the people who want to know your MCAT scores, your test scores, your board scores, etc. While studying, they love the "PIMP" (Put In My Place) format so they can try and show up their classmates. They ask annoying questions in class to make themselves look better. They also are generally not cooperative types.
     
  15. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,185
    Likes Received:
    178
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Wow Lilycat! You have a lot more posts than the last time I was on SDN. Gunner is in no way, shape, or form a compliment. Never has been, never will be. A gunner isn't just a hard worker who gets good grades. That's called a good student. A gunner is someone who sees grades as ends that are to be accomplished by whatever means necesary. Those means may be cheating for themselves, cheating against others (stealing a classmates pencils before a test when they get up to go to the bathroom), lying to make themsleves look better, etc. This is characteristic gunner behavior, and there are tons of school legends about gunner behavior.
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. YBee

    YBee Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are interested in getting good grades, people will ask "are you a gunner" It's not meant as a compliment.
     
  18. Pawnym

    Pawnym Five Twos?

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    2
    Would I be a gunner if I were secretly very competitive?

    I never tell others what grades I get, I help out others and genuinely care about having others do very well, and I don't ask annoying questions. I don't suck up to professors.

    But, I am supar dupar elite-style competitive. If I know someone else is smart, I must do better. I strive to have the highest grades, etc. I don't gloat or compare or any of that.

    My classmates don't know......

    But in my mind its an intense battle to be #1.

    I'm a modest humble gunner. :cool:

    What's that mean? :confused:
     
  19. Doctora Foxy

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,368
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Pawnzy, I think that means you're a motivated student. i think gunners go out of the way NOT to help people.

    Here's an example: my ex-roomate noticed that my lab TA forgot to mark something wrong on my lab report, yet her's was marked wrong and thought she had the same answer. I asked her not to tell the TA, but she did! Abd she could have said, why is this wrong? But instead, she said, why is mine wrong and Foxy's is right? Haha, turns out hers really was wrong! But that's an example of a gunner. (although her grades weren't very competitive)...aren't roomates sweet?? <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
     
  20. Pawnym

    Pawnym Five Twos?

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    2
    room mates.. can't wait!! ooolala

    and i know im not a gunner.. well... maybe a silent lone gunner. lone gunner to lone gunman. That sounds kinda sexy. <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> har har
     
  21. cmz

    cmz Pathology Wannabe
    Physician

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2001
    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    53
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Another interesting note is is the not-so-famous phrase, "gunners without bullets." Every medical school has them. Gunners without bullets seem to miss their "mark" most of the time when it comes to exams and what not. They are good at measuring themselves up against you, but when they try their damnest to "gun you down," they just fall flat on their butts. Load up on your ammunition <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> . . .
     
  22. cmz

    cmz Pathology Wannabe
    Physician

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2001
    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    53
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Pawnym:
    <strong>room mates.. can't wait!! ooolala

    and i know im not a gunner.. well... maybe a silent lone gunner. lone gunner to lone gunman. That sounds kinda sexy. <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> har har</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You might be a sniper <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> They tend to hide out in the back of the classroom surveiling the territory. . . I hope you have a good aim though <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

    Actually, we joke around at school a lot about being gunners. My class, in particular, has a fair share of "gunners." Some are blatently trying to step on your neck any chance they get while others sort of play it cool -- they basically play the silent game -- they won't share any of their knowledge or help you out if you ask . . . cooperation/collaboration is not in their vocab.
     
  23. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2002
    Messages:
    2,829
    Likes Received:
    5
    Maybe it was just my school, but most of our "gunners" were gunners without bullets. All of the really competent/smart people knew they were going to be fine, so they never stressed about being top dog. I mean, there were one or two relatively smart people that were way overly competetive, but most of the "gunners" were totally inept. Their insecurity is what made them gunners.
     
  24. California

    California Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gobears:

    My advice to you is not to worry too much about the comment. "Gunner" does have a bad connotation as well as a good one. However, overall, I would have to say "gunner" is a positive term. Now relax and enjoy life. I am sure things will work out for you.
     
  25. docuw

    docuw Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    We should now add to our vocabulary list the Piranha .

    We have a few in our class. These are the people that not only ask the "make myself look smart" question during class, but at the end of class they are the first ones up to the front to ask the lecturer a question. It amazes me - these people can ask questions about what they were saying about the syllabus!!! I am always amazed.

    One in particular is a gunner and a piranha. This person is the biggest "stress bucket" I have ever seen as well. I dont know how "this person" makes it through life - I would have a break down with that much stress in my life!
     
  26. cmz

    cmz Pathology Wannabe
    Physician

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2001
    Messages:
    892
    Likes Received:
    53
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by docuw:
    [QB]We should now add to our vocabulary list the Piranha .

    We have a few in our class. These are the people that not only ask the "make myself look smart" question during class, but at the end of class they are the first ones up to the front to ask the lecturer a question. It amazes me - these people can ask questions about what they were saying about the syllabus!!! I am always amazed.
    QB]</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">One word: Sycophant. It's a great way to earn brownie points I imagine. . . does flattery really help? Although, perhaps they do have a valid question and need clarification on something. OR perhaps they are pointing out a silly grammatical error on such and such page number and they feel that it's of upmost importance to notify the proper authority . . . :)
     
  27. gobears

    gobears Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by california:
    <strong>Gobears:

    My advice to you is not to worry too much about the comment. "Gunner" does have a bad connotation as well as a good one. However, overall, I would have to say "gunner" is a positive term. Now relax and enjoy life. I am sure things will work out for you.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Um, thanks for the concern, I guess. I'm not worrying about the term. I was just wondering because I've heard it used both ways and it's a commonly used label. Personally, I've been called a gunner once. It was when I met a guy who asked me where I've interviewed so far. I listed a bunch of good schools, so he jokingly said, "Oh, I see we have a gunner here." I just didn't know what to make of it.
     
  28. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    625
    Likes Received:
    23
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Hercules:
    <strong> Gunner is in no way, shape, or form a compliment. Never has been, never will be. A gunner isn't just a hard worker who gets good grades. That's called a good student. A gunner is someone who sees grades as ends that are to be accomplished by whatever means necesary. Those means may be cheating for themselves, cheating against others (stealing a classmates pencils before a test when they get up to go to the bathroom), lying to make themsleves look better, etc. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Exactly!!!!! Well said, Hercules!
     
  29. unregistered

    unregistered Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    For the new people to sdn that are curious about what is a gunner...
    bump!
     
  30. MaggieD

    MaggieD Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gunners scare me. I am very insecure. Whenever I enter a class, I always assume I am the dimmest person in the room. I am soooo bad with competition. I hate it.
     
  31. Winston Smith

    Winston Smith i didn't do it

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    0
    same here, even when I know the material just as anyone else I get withdrawal syndrome. Oh well, being a overly competitive 'gunner' is just not in our vocabulary ;)

    am I the only one who can't stand talking to gunners? I know of one in particular and man do I get irritated.
     
  32. i remember one gunner who had old tests and won't let anyone else in our class see them. won't have been so bad but they kept saying how the tests were exactly the same. what a dick. :rolleyes:
     
  33. wgu

    wgu Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    7
    Almost identical conclusions over here.
    Don't get into the mess of being desperate for grades. Fair-play ompetition is needed as a function in our society, but malicious behavior in the eyes of the community in general makes you a gunner.
     

Share This Page