Graduate Assistant

Just Because You Are Being Taught By A Graduate Assistant, Does Not Mean You Are Receiving Less Of An Education

Just because they won't have "Dr." in front of their name for another two years, does not mean they don't know the material.

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So as a possible future graduate assistant myself, this article struck a chord in me. The idea of teaching a classroom the information I have come to love during my four years of undergrad honestly gets me excited. Surprisingly enough, the University of Tennessee was one of my grad school choices BECAUSE of how they use their grad students as lecturers.

Grad assistants do not just go straight into teaching a class their first year. Many often do not teach by themselves until the last half of their second year or third year. They observe professors and are in constant communication with their superiors that have a "Dr." in front of their name. You are not receiving any less of an education if that grad student is doing what they are supposed to do. They need this experience to better themselves for the future and obtain the degree that will get them to where they want to be.

Many grad students that are teaching 100 or 200 level courses are trying to obtain their doctorate, and some just their masters (normally they are not required to teach but they can). They have most likely received a degree within the field they are now teaching in and have taken and passed the course as an undergrad. Some colleges do not even require a professor/lecturer to have a Ph.D. but does that make them less qualified to teach their subject? No. Many have put hours and hours into research in their field and taken the classes and obtained the skills to be able to teach.

So what is the difference to you between a newly graduated professor, fresh off the belt with their doctorate and someone who is teaching a 100 level course that will be receiving their doctorate within the next year?

Experience, yes, but overall, there should not be much of a difference. If you feel like you are receiving an inadequate education from a future doctorate holder, maybe talk to them about what you expect from the class. Let them know when they did not explain this idea fully, or if their assignments were too difficult. This is how we get better future professors. Complaining about how your money is still paying for your education, and not offering constructive feedback will help no one. Take it upon yourself to create the future professors you want. Take advantage of resources that are offered on your campus and even talk to your professors that are over these graduate students about your concerns. These are most likely your future educators, help them, because trust me, we only want to help you.

So, help us to help you. We've been in your shoes, and you can help to make the difference and feel like you are receiving your monies worth for your education.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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