Saturday, October 15, 2005

It's educational!

Either Crimson columnists hate graduate students, or this one's attempt at humor is sorely lacking. Shorter Kreicher: "Waah! Waah! My TF has a Chinese accent! I have been at Harvard for 4 years and I still don't know what disinterested means!" Even worse, the college admissions office used to hate loud-mouthed Jews and short people. Seriously, last week's New Yorker article is great. Not only does it insult Harvard, but it mentions Chicago in contrast; you'll have to read the article to find out where. Like me, you can sneer, then feel a little lame about it.


Zev said...

OK, so grad students are not evil, but even at Chicago I had some pretty terrible TAs. I never had a problem with understanding their english, but I remember the first TA session of Honors Mechanics had our TA (who was a String Theorist!) trying to teach us vector calc. He would write the proof, entirely blocking his writing with his body, move away for a moment, utter, "Everyone understand?" and then promptly erase what he had written. The TA session was more of a help to this young man, who was allowed to enhance his teaching skills, than for the students.

I have other bad stories, but this is enough illustration for now.

In general Profs are better than TA at communicating material to students. That being said, some of my favorite Profs were grad stundets or fellows. Young grad students often have a difficult time figuring out how to communicate their vast knowledge to bright undergrads.

Maybe I just don't understand why you think the critique is unfair. Granted his word choice (eg "incompetent") was poor.

Zev said...

As for the New Yorker article, I found it really interesting. It took me a while to realize that a major thrust of the article was that Universities, which bill themselves as Academic institutions, really regard that facet of their function very minimally. Thanks for pointing the article out. (additionally I was able to make my family aware that our subscription had run out two weeks ago--which otherwise would have gone unnoticed for some time.)

Mr. HaLevi said...

Hey all,

Listen, Rebecca found this pretty entertaining blog for discussing colleges and grad schools and whatnot.
UofC is a hot topic, and with so many alumni on this page, I thougt some of you may want to offer your opinion.

Check out

and especially the one titled My Chances.