College TAs

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by RavenSEAL, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. RavenSEAL

    RavenSEAL Diamond Member

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  2. xBiffx

    xBiffx Diamond Member

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    LOL, at the same time you get this from them.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Printer Bandit

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    college tits and ass?
     
  4. zinfamous

    zinfamous No Lifer

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    You must be in math/chemistry/physics-related.

    amirite?
     
  5. sigurros81

    sigurros81 Platinum Member

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    I came here for some college T&A, left disappointed.
     
  6. RavenSEAL

    RavenSEAL Diamond Member

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    Tits and ass have no language boundary.
     
  7. RavenSEAL

    RavenSEAL Diamond Member

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    Yep
     
  8. Murloc

    Murloc Diamond Member

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    uhm I never encountered this problem with my assistants, although my university uses a different language.
     
  9. Krazy4Real

    Krazy4Real Lifer

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    Never had this issue.
     
  10. SearchMaster

    SearchMaster Diamond Member

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    I graduated college in the late 80s but we had this problem occasionally as well. In my COBOL class (yeah, I said I was old) the TA took roll the first day. Nobody answered because we didn't recognize our own names. I went to one or two more classes and decided it was a waste of time and never went back except for exams.
     
  11. jagec

    jagec Lifer

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    [​IMG]
    SCIENCE, Muthafucka! Can you teach it?

    The reason your TAs don't speak English as a first language is that they couldn't find enough Americans to fill the position who weren't dumbasses.
     
  12. shortylickens

    shortylickens No Lifer

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    Not dumb. Lazy.
    Its much smarter to be a big picture person and take charge of folks who are willing to grind away at the details. People who do very well in the sciences tend to be those detail types out in the workforce.
    The problem is so many Americans want kick ass jobs and arent willing to endure hardships. Most of the good work has dried up and the leftover people dont like doing shit work. Thats why we have so many illegals. The average American is too good to clean up after his own kids or take care of his own lawn.

    TA situation is similar. The average professor is either over worked cuz his school wont hire enough people to keep classes small (which is hilarious cuz college is more expensive than its ever been). OR, he's too fucking good to do shit work and his sense of American entitlement tells him to find a lacky for the menial tasks.
     
  13. darkewaffle

    darkewaffle Diamond Member

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    Amen brother.
     
  14. jagec

    jagec Lifer

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    Actually, the real reason is that teaching undergraduates is, at most, the tertiary goal of the average college professor. Universities are for research.
     
  15. Shawn

    Shawn Lifer

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    This. I am a grad student and at my university we are paid a stipend for teaching. Once I get a grant I won't have to teach anymore.

    BTW, I speak english, but I am in the biology field.
     
  16. RavenSEAL

    RavenSEAL Diamond Member

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    The problem is that in the US, it's become the standard rather than the problem.
     
  17. Jeff7

    Jeff7 Lifer

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    Yes....I remember the good old days working retail, and you'd get phone calls or customers in the store who could speak about 20 words of English with a strong accent that was effectively impossible to understand. Of those 20 words, 4 of them were "Don't you speak English?"

    The proper response would of course have been, "Yes. What are you speaking?"
     
  18. crashtestdummy

    crashtestdummy Platinum Member

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    From a graduate student in the physical sciences:

    If you look at expected income with a PhD in the physical sciences and especially engineering, it's not much higher than having a bachelor's degree plus five years of experience. There is thus little extrinsic motivation to subject yourself to five years of hazing for roughly equivalent pay. The only benefit is that PhD have a lower unemployment rate (2% vs. 5%). It is not laziness to not want to go that route, as any person would choose an easier lifestyle for equivalent pay if they didn't prefer one job over another. Americans who do go after a PhD have an intrinsic motivation, either a deep love of research or of teaching (sometimes both). If we want more American PhDs, there needs to be a greater market incentive to go through 5-7 years of disrespect and low pay for a degree.

    The motivations are different for foreign students. Many want to come to the US, and see an American education as the ticket. Unfortunately, we make it exceptionally hard for those students to stay and pay us back for the education we've provided them. Many others get a PhD because it is the only way to stand out in the over-saturated market of their homeland (particularly India and China).

    As for the professors, teaching ability is actively discouraged at the larger, research-oriented universities. Hiring, tenure, and pay are based on the number of publications produced and funding brought in, not teaching qualifications. If a teacher is truly horrible, they are given a slap on the wrist, but there is no benefit to spending time to do anything really innovative. What is really happening is that tuition payments from undergrads are effectively subsidizing graduate research.
     
  19. LordMorpheus

    LordMorpheus Diamond Member

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    Graduate research in the sciences is mostly funded from sources outside the university (NSF, DOD, private, whatever). Engineering departments can support themselves with grant money.

    I'm an engineering Ph.D. student, and currently I'm supported through an NSF grant my advisor has. In the Arts, most of the money comes from tuition, but not in the sciences.
     
  20. shortylickens

    shortylickens No Lifer

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    Ok, so what we need is a system that actually teaches young people the skills they'll really fucking need to get jobs.
    Apprenticeship?
     
  21. crashtestdummy

    crashtestdummy Platinum Member

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    Yes and no. Your assistantship, laboratory supplies and equipment, some of the administrative staff and typically 1/3 of the professor's salary are paid for by research grants. The advisor typically pays some amount of rent out of his funding for research space as well. 2/3 of your professor's salary, your tuition waiver, the rest of the administrative staff, and the bulk of the money that goes into facility construction comes from the university as a whole. These buildings are generally used by both undergraduates and graduates, but only a small fraction (classrooms) of the space is really used by undergrads.

    It doesn't help that most of a school's "reputation" in the sciences actually comes from what the graduate research is doing, rather than the quality of the undergraduate teaching.

    In my humble opinion, someone with a master's in the field and a master's of education would do a far better job teaching the first 2+ years of any science field. After that, it does help to have a PhD. I do think that those who are going to teach in these big schools need a much better background in education pedagogy than what they are currently given, as well as a greater incentive spend time preparing classroom teaching.
     
  22. Fiat1

    Fiat1 Senior member

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    This