Look Out for These Five Kinds of Wanna-be Profs

TA Trouble

Look Out for These Five Kinds of Wanna-be Profs
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The one who loves to overshare
Within seconds of being handed a class syllabus, this grad student has already directed your attention to their personal information at the top of the page. Now you know their full name, email, personal phone, address, LinkedIn profile, Vine account, social security number and insurance provider. “Call me if you have any questions. Really. Please,” they tell you. What’s that you say? I can let myself in at your off-campus apartment with the key under the shattered flowerpot to the left of the front porch? ... I think I’ll just let that Facebook friend request sit unanswered for now.

The one who gets pissed when you actually show up for office hours
God forbid you had a question about the scoring criteria for the paper that makes up 37 percent of your grade for the entire class, decided to skip lunch and walk to the other side of campus to talk to your TA. Deep within the bowels of the history building, down a forgotten a hallway, you find the “office” you’ve been searching for. You cross the threshold into the stuffy room, and the first thing you hear is an audible sigh. The TA’s laptop smacks shut, headphones are ripped off, and they fix a cold stare in your direction. After five minutes of useless back-and-forth, you realize your TA doesn’t understand the assignment any better than you. Only made worse when you consider this person will be the one grading your paper.

The enabler: This one incentivizes your laziness, giving you printouts of the key concepts covered week to week.
In fact, they’ve made the class so easy you almost feel bad complaining about it. While your friends wither under the harsh grading policies of other TAs, yours constantly hints about what will be on the exam. They’ve taken the mystery out of the hunt, removed the terror from exam season, and you feel robbed of a college experience. If only they hadn’t told you all the class secrets they were “technically not supposed to share,” maybe your lazy ass could stop sliding by for once.

When you saw them at that divey yet tasteful bar two blocks off campus in their street clothes, you could barely believe your eyes. The timid, quietly sexy teacher’s assistant looks so much better without their professional and still unkept grad student getup. You bump into their pub table and mutter an awkward hello without hinting at your ardor. But you’d rather ruin your own grades than try and possibly fail at going after what you want.

The one who undermines the professor
Sure, this TA dresses in business casual for every lecture and carries a large binder that zips up and doubles as a messenger bag. They also love to email you after hours about opportunities for supplementary reading that won’t be on the exam and is solely for the purposes of your “edification.” They love to tell you about their current research and the way things were when they were in undergrad. But all of their review sessions are like little private mutinies against the professor. It even bleeds into their emails about the course. “While Dr. Stevens would like to attribute X to Z, I would argue ...” and so on. Which can get real confusing real quick. Make sure to leave them the worst TA reviews, because you never want to see this monster get tenure.


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