Dear Graduate Student: An Exchange
Dear Graduate Student,
Stop pretending. You aren’t interested in helping me. You didn’t make a lesson plan for today’s discussion section. You don’t care about this subject. And the stain on your shirt from “today’s” lunch that you jokingly apologize about—was there last week, too.
Simply, I’m not sure I can respect you. For one, your entire community seems to be divided into two equally unappealing camps:
1) People with knowledge, ambition, and sensitivity—who are painfully awkward and have physical deformities that will sabotage the attention of a lecture hall for eternity (female mustache, dental work that deserves its own multi-disciplinary study, bookshelf-sized booty);
2) The funny, outgoing, individuals who lack a working knowledge of anything, but still try and speak with authority in front of sort-of-impressionable students. In some alternate universe, I’d call you “cool” or facebook friend you. Even if we shared a sizable wall-to-wall, it couldn’t justify taking your suggestions to heart.
But its what your camps share that’s the most upsetting. As academia’s freshest faces, you should be able to connect with us, or at least impart some kind of understanding and optimism about our experiences. Instead, you seem no more human than our god-complex professors and cracked-out advisors.
Why? Is it so liberating being out of our shoes that you want to impose the same kind of mindless restrictions and requirements on our learning? Or is academia really about hoop jumping, groveling, and eating shit until you are published/tenured/die? Let me know.
Undergrads, write to your graduate students here.
Grad students, write to your teacher’s pets here.
All venting is anonymous.