5

A Tough TA Day

Oy, what a day.

Am I a terrible TA?

1. Student, to me at beginning of class: “I have a mid-term next class, can I leave early to get ready?”

Um, no. You’re here for all of 50 minutes. If you want to leave, I can’t stop you, but if you ask me, I’m going to suggest that you stay in class because poor planning on your part does not constitute you skipping out on class with me.

2. Student, to me in email: “I have a mid-term next class, can I skip today’s discussion to get ready?”

You can skip, it’ll count as an absence, like it says in the syllabus. Three allowed absences, no reason required. But ultimately, see above.

3. Student: “Someone died, can I skip class?”

Again, see above regarding absences. But please, don’t kill your loved ones to get out of class; just tell me something came up. Sometimes I say “so sorry” or “deepest sympathies” but really…am I supposed to treat it differently? And asking me? I mean, “sure, yeah, I’ll skip class too!”

4. Student: “I was sick, so I didn’t do the reading.”

Props for honesty, but no reading = no participation for the day.

5. Student: “Thank you for being so accomodating!”

It’s no big. I do kinda like that you think it is, so we’ll go with your thing. Glad to help.