You seem to be forgetting that when your father first graduated and probably for the first few months of his career if not longer, he was also asking "how do i choose the right diode?"
I'm pretty sure that one is supposed to know the following to graduate with a standard EE degree:
* How to compute average and peak current through a basic circuit
* How to locate and read a component datasheet
* How to read I/V curves
* What the meaning of "recovery time" is
And if one *does* know all of that, there's no excuse for asking "how do I pick a diode?". The correct question would be more along the lines of "in this complex circuit I am having difficulty determining <x> parameter and its safety margin so that I can select a correct diode. Can you assist?" -- which shouldn't prompt any odd looks or condescension whatsoever.