Your TA Hates You

Seriously.

Nope!

Hi
may i see you in your office on monday between 8:30 to 9:30 in the morning to have a look at my paper?
thank you
******

came across this old student email…

"Hi [TA],

…Dr. ** didn’t mention that Glutamate is the most abundant - that question wasn’t very nice along with the amino acid transmitters. Yes, it was on your slides, but those weren’t uploaded at 9:30pm yesterday. Why are we tested on things you talk about after the quiz?
I understand that its really hard to be working on your degree and working as TA , but it’s not cool to test us on things Dr. ** doesn’t mention in lectures where the quiz material should come from. Sorry.

Best Regards,
[student]”


so, i’m not “very cool” or “nice”. whatever. i’m not the one failing the quizzes. so there.

So, I was editing a draft of a student’s paper, and saw that this student had left “(cite)” in the paper in place of filling in the proper citation - it happens to all of us occasionally, right? So I highlighted the (cite) and wrote the following track changes comment:

"Do this! :)"

Meaning, clearly, that the student should cite the source. I received the following email from my student:

"First, for the citation for the old literature about [topic], you put the note ‘Do this :)’ Does it mean i should add a smiley face???"

I like this student a lot, but oh, honey, no. No it does not mean that.

A group of students literally put this in the introduction to their final report write-up. If only a lit review was as easy to write as copying the titles of each article into one long paragraph…

A group of students literally put this in the introduction to their final report write-up. If only a lit review was as easy to write as copying the titles of each article into one long paragraph…

"Dear [TA],

Thanks for your response. But I guess you missed my second questions about slide 59. I appreciate if you can also answer that as well.

Best,
[v]”

Me: “Have you taken the time to read the posted review article? All of the material from the slides is from that article, including detailed descriptions of the circuitry you’re asking about. It might save us both some time if you look over the article. If after you’ve read through it, you still don’t understand, then I’d be happy to try to explain further.”

"Dear [TA],

I actually read the article. But the article goes way beyond the extent of detail that was discussed in the class and that makes it very difccult to pin point answers.”

Me: “Just pin point the best you know how.”

End of Quarter Eval

TA’s at my university are evaluated at the end of the quarter with a standardized survey. But there is an opened ended section on the other side of this survey with “free space” for students to write comments and suggestions meant to improve our TA’s “skills.” One of my students used to the space to write the following, “I love your clothes! Where do you buy them?” Clearly, a job well done. :/

Description of an interaction in a student paper:

"We predicted an interaction, such that females will be rated higher than males". I corrected him/her by writing: "That’s not a description of an interaction. That’s a description of a main effect of gender."

Revised paper:

"We predicted an interaction, such that there will be a main effect of gender such that females will be rated higher than males."