How to: Be a TA















You are on display, standing in the front of the classroom as 160 faces stare back at you.  You meekly wave and then sit back down. This is the first day of your semester as a teaching assistant.

Throughout the first few days of class, a friend comes up to you, saying “Hey, you’re my TA! You’re going to hook me up with that class right?”  You smile, nod without actually meaning it, and wonder why he or she is a senior in an intro political science class.

You head downtown, switching from responsible role model mode to college drunk kid mode.  

You stop by a friend’s house before making the trek to Burlington’s downtown scene.  You see a student.  He awkwardly avoids your eye contact, making you feel like that kid in your English class with the awkward facial hair whose glance you, yourself, avoid.

You are standing at the bar, waiting for the bartender to notice your impatience and $20 bill.  A fine young fella approaches you and says “Hey, you’re my TA!”

As he’s walking away after attempts to buy you drinks and take you home, you hear him tell his friend that his semester goal is to bed down his TA.

On your way home from the bars, you hear yelling from across the street.  A hoard of young underclassmen waiting for the off-campus bus is yelling to you about your TA status. This is getting old.

There are, however, perks to your TA position.  You finally have your own office.  Welcome to freedom.  Maybe you will use your new digs as a sex den for your sweet, sweet lovin’ with the hoards of students who have now decided to hit on you.  

Your fantasies of hot desktop love-making are interrupted by your realization that you share your office with three other people.  Awkward.

You are afflicted with the teaching assistant dichotomy.  By day, people want to use you for your mind. By night, for your body.

This column is not meant to be taken as actual advice, but rather as social commentary. The Cynic does not advise you to do or not do any of the activities mentioned above.