Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"I'm in it for the money, I'm in it for the money..."

That's what I keep telling myself every time something comes up in the class I TA for. I'm in it for the money. I'm in it for that boost to my paycheck that means I can afford both the rent and groceries. (That's a rant for another time - paying rent on an apartment you're not living in yet.)

That's how I can withstand frustrations like students who've done nothing but sleep or the daily sudoku in class calling me over to ask me for the answers during one of the four exams.

That's how I can take a non-lethal approach to things like tearing down every flyer for an old test/homework/answers to everything site you can find, only to be approached by two classmates handing out those palm-sized ads as you walk out the door to your next class.

That's why I haven't brought an air horn or water pistol into class (the prof loved the idea, but she vetoed it in the end) to wake up and publicly shame students who fall asleep or do the crossword or text in the middle of class. I don't care if it's just one of the graduation requirements. Suck it up and at least look like you're paying attention and taking notes. Hell, actually take notes. Then you wouldn't have to call me over during a test to ask me something you would have known if you'd applied one neuron to taking notes or studying.

And it's why I don't throw up my hands and quit when only twenty people out of a class of a hundred come back after a break for the day's notes after the exam.

On the other hand, I did love the story of the nun with the blow gun (who was the physics teacher of the prof I'm TA-ing for.) That woman was infinitely better than my physics teacher, who attempted to use quantum physics to prove that Creation occurred. And I'm loving all of the conversations I get to eavesdrop on. Not intentionally - the profs apparently just see me as part of the furniture when they're having a conversation. I get free academic career advice, a heads-up on future courses, and an honest sounding board for some of the things I don't dare say out loud to people my own age or immediate family.

Well, maybe I'm not just in it for the money after all. But it'd still be a lot easier if I didn't have to deal with the idiots.

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