Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Overheard in the TA Office...

Fellow TA: "These students wanted to see their grades."
elle: "You have 'em right there."

FT: "I know, but they wanted an average. We were wondering if you'd calculated an average." (y'all he waited for me to get back from picking up my lunch to ask me this when he had the 2 students' grades and a calculator)

elle (still pissed off that keeping up with all the grades and all the attendance has become SOLELY my job): "No I have not calculated an average. They have two grades. Y'all can't add, then divide by two? Fellow TA, you can't show them how to add, then divide? No, I will not do it!"

Magically, 2 minutes later, FT, who had the grade printouts and a brain, showed them how to calculate their averages.
Woman, who acts as an interpreter (is that the right word?) for a deaf student:
"I'm looking for Graciela; she wanted to see this student after class."

Graciela (who is white): "For Graciela? I'm Graciela."

Woman stares: "No. Graciela."

Graciela: "I am Graciela. Is he my student?"

Woman: "No, Graciela said-" stops as another TA, Tonya, a Latina, enters the room. Woman to Tonya, "You wanted to see him right... Graciela?"

Tonya:"Yes, but I'm not Graciela, I'm Tonya."
Everyone in the room looks down, embarrassed not so much by the woman's assumption, but by the fact that she was going to insist Tonya's name be "Graciela". She's shameless though. Instead of apologizing:

Woman: "Oh, I must have written the wrong name down."
Elliott (who is a white male): Going outside the United States to a country that's not primarily white can be quite an experience for a white man, because, for a moment, you feel like so many other people must feel. It's not something we ever have to face here.

elle (thinking) well, at least he's thinking about it in some fashion. points to you, elliott!
5 minutes later:

Elliott: Yeah, the sugar, man. You might get diabetes, but at least you won't be fat.

Other TAs laugh. I think about making a snarky comment with my fat self then decide I don't dislike him enough to put his ass on blast.


Anonymous said...

Amazing. All of it. Not that I haven't heard it before. It just continues to be amazing.

Abadiebitch said...

I don't get the joke. Sugar will make someone fat.

I'm lost. And don't even get me started on dumb mother fuckers who can't average their grades. There would be so many that class time was wasted, time that we could have been discussing Literature, wasted explaining to these nitwits how to do an average.

elle said...

not to mention the fact that eating sugar doesn't directly lead to diabetes. i don't know moksha, i just report it--unless he was referring to the fact that sugar itself doesn't have fat calories?

i thought it was just ridiculous.

elle said...

and yeah on the averages--my prof and a couple of the other TAs baby these kids a little bit. yes, we want to keep them in school, but I can't help calling them on their bullshit (they tell me all the time i'm cynical or lighten up--me, the former queen of nice!) and no, i won't do little silly stuff like that.

ok, maybe i would, but the fact that the other TA was there, in the room, with the grade printouts and the computer that has our spreadsheets so he could've checked to see if i had added a formula to avg the grades. my real problem is with his unmotivated-to-do-anything-unless-I-tell-him ass, but that's another post.

Gwyneth Bolton said...

I am convinced that the more you give the more they want. I have a long overly detailed syllabus and give very structured assignments and they always act so confused and needy. I'm going to start giving one-page syllabi like some of my male colleagues. But it never ceases to amaze me that students can't figure out their own grades when they have them right in front of them.

Anonymous said...

When I was an undergrad. (which wasn't too long ago...just months actually), I was always mistaken for one of these students. I wanted to scream: "I'm not going to ask you some dumb question so don't talk to me like I'm a baby!" It was an awfull feeling really. I can understand though. I would wait to talk to the TA and hear all of the dumb (and inappropriate: "I know you're not supposed to tell me but is that thing we covering in class going to be one of the questions?") questions. Then I would get my turn and s/he would just give be this look. Most of the time I just wanted to discuss the reading because it was interesting but after all that I just couldn't. I felt like I should stand back and let the kids that actually needed the TA fill office hours.

Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...